Kathy S Romey

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Director of Choral Activities, Professor: Chorus

Kathy Saltzman Romey is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Minnesota, where she oversees the graduate program in choral conducting and conducts choirs. She is also Artistic Director of the 200-voice symphonic chorus, The Minnesota Chorale, which serves as principal chorus for the Minnesota Orchestra. Known for her meticulous training of choirs, Romey has prepared the Chorale for performances with both the Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra under the baton of such acclaimed conductors as James Conlon, Nicholas McGegan, Bobby McFerrin, Roger Norrington, Helmuth Rilling, Robert Shaw, Leonard Slatkin, Osmo Vänskä, Edo de Waart, and Hugh Wolff. Romey has conducted the Chorale in regional, national and international forums and in performances with both the Minnesota Orchestra and Metropolitan Symphony. She also coordinates and presents the BRIDGES series, the nationally acclaimed education-outreach program of the Minnesota Chorale. Begun in 1994 to build musical and social bridges between diverse populations, BRIDGES is an annual initiative that harnesses the richness of global choral repertoire to engage cultural communities and raise awareness of pressing social needs. A passionate advocate of choral civic engagement, Romey documented the BRIDGES program in a co-authored chapter with two University of Minnesota conducting students for the book Wisdom, Wit and Will: Women Choral Conductors on Their Art, released by GIA Publications in 2009.

Romey has served as a staff member to the Oregon Bach Festival since 1984 and is principal chorus master of the 54-voice professional Festival Choir, which she prepares for annual Festival concerts, commissions, and recording projects. American and world premiere performances presented at the Oregon Bach Festival include major choral works by Tan Dun, Arvo Pärt, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sven David Sandström, and Mozart reconstructions by Robert Levin. Romey has assisted with ten recordings, including the Festival’s 2001 Grammy Award–winning CD of Penderecki’s Credo under the direction of Helmuth Rilling and the 2008 Grammy-Nominated CD of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony conducted by Osmo Vänskä with the Minnesota Orchestra and Chorale.

Active as a guest conductor, chorus master, and clinician throughout the United States and Europe, Romey has regularly prepared ensembles with the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart for special programs and tours in Germany, France, Poland, Austria, Switzerland and the United States. Currently, she serves on the faculty of the Junges Stuttgarter Bach Ensemble. This international choir and orchestra are assembled annually for the Stuttgart Bach Week, focusing on the study and presentation of major works by Johann Sebastian Bach. In addition to her work with the Bachakademie, Romey has prepared programs with the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Netherlands Radio Choir, Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus, and Grant Park Music Festival. 2012 marked her second appearance with the Berkshire Choral Festival.

Romey earned a B.A. in Flute Performance from the University of Oregon in 1979, and an Artistic Degree in Choral Conducting under Helmuth Rilling from the Frankfurt Musikhochschule in 1984. She returned to the United States and served as Director of Choral Activities at Macalester College from 1985-1992. She joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1992 and was recognized in 2006 with the University’s Arthur Motley award for exemplary teaching. She was also honored by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association with the 2002 Conductor of the Year award.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Künstlerische Reifeprüfung: Choral Conducting, Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany, 1979-1984.
  • Auditor: Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany, 1976-1977.
  • Bachelor of Arts : Music (Flute Performance), University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, 1974-1979.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Bach
  • Community engagement
  • Choral performance
  • Conducting
  • Music of Living Composers
  • Symphonic Choral Repertoire
Courses Taught
  • MUS 3230/5230: Chorus [Women's Chorus]
  • MUS 3415/3416: Undergraduate Choral Conducting and Lab [2001-2006]
  • MUS 5240: University Singers [co-conduct with Professor Matthew Mehaffey]
  • MUS 5950: Conducting Performance & Pedagogy [team taught]
  • MUS 8299: Performance in Choral Conducting
  • MUS 8450: Graduate Seminar in Conducting
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Director of Choral Activities, University of Minnesota: (Professor: 2013-2016, Associate Professor: 2006-2013, Assistant Professor: 2000-2006, Instructor: 1992-2000) , 2004 - present
  • Choral Advisor, Minnesota Orchestra: 2004 - present
  • Artistic Director, Minnesota Chorale: 1995 - present
  • Chorus Master, Oregon Bach Festival: 1995 - present
  • Chorus Master/Staff Member, Internationale Bachakademic Stuttgart: 1998 - present
  • Conductor, Mount Olive Church Bach Tage: 2006 - present
  • Director of Choral Activities, Macalester College, Minnesota: 1985 - 1992


  • UMN Community Engagement Leadership Team: https://music.umn.edu/engagement,
  • 2012 UMN Britten Peace Project: https://music.umn.edu/engagement/happening/britten,
  • 2012 UMN Opera Theater Production of "Parables": https://music.umn.edu/engagement/parables-project,
  • 2011 Carlson School Holiday Flash Mob, Musical Coordinator. A partnership between the University of Minnesota Choirs and Carlson Business School. Edited for the 2011 Carlson Electronic Holiday Greeting Card.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH8FvERQHtM,
  • Minnesota Chorale Bridges Program: A nationally acclaimed model for choral outreach programs: http://mnchorale.org/pro-bridges.htm,
  • Minnesota Chorale Education Programs: Harnessing the power of the singing voice to promote individual growth and a stronger community.: http://mnchorale.org/education.htm,
  • Minnesota Chorale InChoir Program: Choral experiences designed to illuminate music and text while revealing the historical and cultural influences that shaped their creation. : http://mnchorale.org/pro-inchoir.htm,
  • Voices of Experience: An artistically ambitious chorus of Twin Cities seniors, ages 55 and older. Offered in partnership with the MacPhail Center for Music, Jerry Rubino, conductor.: http://mnchorale.org/vox.htm,
  • Minnesota Chorale: Resident Chorus of the Minnesota Orchestra: http://www.minnesotaorchestra.org/about/artists-and-performers/artistic-roster/23-minnesota-chorale ,

    Sven David Sandström’s Messiah
    [2010 – Carus Verlag CV 83.453]
    Festival Ensemble Chorus and Orchestra Stuttgart, Helmuth Rilling, conductor

    Stephen Paulus’s To Be Certain of the Dawn
    [2009 – BIS CD 1726]
    Minnesota Chorale and Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Boys Choir, and Choirs of the Basilica of St. Mary’s, Osmo Vänskä, conductor

    Franz Joseph Haydn’s Heiligmesse
    [2009 Hänssler Classics CD No. 98.538]
    Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Helmuth Rilling, conductor

    Franz Joseph Haydn’s Theresienmesse
    [2008 Hänssler Classics CD No. 98.509]
    Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Helmuth Rilling, conductor

    Franz Joseph Haydn’s Schöpfungsmesse
    [2007 Hänssler Classics CD No. 98.279]
    Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Helmuth Rilling, conductor

    Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9
    [2006 – BIS SACD 1616]
    Minnesota Chorale and Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä, conductor

    Janika Vandervelde’s The Adventures of the Black Dot
    [2005 – Innova Recordings No. 207]
    Minnesota Chorale, Angelica Cantanti, and Twin Cities Musicians, Kathy Romey, conductor

    John Tavener’s Icon of Eros
    [2003 – Reference Recordings RR-102CD]
    Minnesota Chorale and Minnesota Orchestra, Paul Goodwin, conductor

    Krzysztof Penderecki’s Credo
    [1999 – Hänssler Classic No. 98.311]
    Winner of the 2001 Grammy Award for best Choral Symphonic Recording; Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Helmuth Rilling, conductor


    2012 Twin Cities Public Television Broadcast of Robert Aldridge and Herschel Garfein’s Parables
    A co-production of the University of Minnesota School of Music and Twin Cities Public Television
    University of Minnesota Opera Theatre, Choirs, Soloists, and Symphony Orchestra Watch the video.

    2009 Twin Cities Public Television Broadcast of Never Stop Singing!
    Documentary on Minnesota choral music produced by Myers Communications Group, LLC in partnership with Twin Cities Public Television. www.neverstopsinging.org


    Romey, Kathy and Matthew Mehaffey. “A Multiplicity of Voices: Choral Music in the United States” in The Cambridge Companion to Choral Music. ed. Andre de Quadros. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

    Romey, Kathy; Emilie Sweet and Shekela Wanyama. “Building Bridges: Choruses Engaging Communities” in Wisdom, Wit and Will: Women Choral Conductors On Their Art. ed. Joan Catoni Conlin. GIA Publishers, 2009.

    “The Conductor’s Perspective”
    Interviews between University of Minnesota graduate student conductors and leading American Choral Conductors; Kathy Romey, editor. The Choral Journal Volume 49, Number 3 2008.

    International Choral Bulletin: Composers Corner Articles 2001-2007
    [International Federation for Choral Music: International Journal]

  • 2011 School of Music Vocal Engagement Grant to underwrite student travel/participation to Detmold, Germany for 2012 Britten Peace Project
  • 2010 Minnesota Chorale Induction into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame
  • 2007 Grammy Nomination of Minnesota Orchestra CD of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 - Minnesota Orchestra and Minnesota Chorale, Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • 2006 Single Semester Leave for Research: University of Minnesota - Bridges partnership program "Sing me a Home" with the Minnesota Chorale, Habitat for Humanity, St. Paul/Minneapolis high school choirs and student writers, and Minnesota composers
  • 2006 Arthur “Red” Motley Exemplary Teaching Award: University of Minnesota
  • 2003 Fraternity Induction – National Honorary Member of Sigma Alpha Iota Minneapolis-St. Paul Alumnae Chapter
  • 2002 Minnesota American Choral Director Association: Conductor of the Year Award
  • 2002 McKnight Summer Research Fellowship - “From Page to Stage - the Documentation of Ten World Premieres” - Ten new choral works presented at the 2002 Sixth World Symposium on Choral Music
  • 2001 Chorus America Award to the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus - Recognition of the Grammy Award-winning recording for Krzysztof Penderecki’s “Credo” - Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Helmuth Rilling conductor
  • 2001 Grammy Award for best Choral Symphonic Recording - Choral Preparation of Oregon Bach Festival Chorus for recording of Krzysztof Penderecki’s “Credo” - Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Helmuth Rilling conductor
  • 2000 Chorus America Education Outreach Award: Minnesota Chorale Bridges Program