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Who We Are

Our Conductor

Bob Duff

Robert Duff, our conductor, also directs the Dartmouth Chamber Singers and teaches music theory in Dartmouth’s Department of Music.

Prior to his 2004 appointment at Dartmouth, Duff served on the faculties of Pomona College, Claremont Graduate University and Mount St. Mary’s College.  He also held the post of Director of Music for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Earning degrees at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (B.M.), Temple University (M.A.) and the University of Southern California (D.M.A.), Duff studied conducting with Wayne Abercrombie, Alan Harler, Lynn Bielefelt and William Dehning. He has taught all age groups in both public and private schools and serves as adjudicator and clinician for vocal and choral competitions, workshops and festivals.

An active commissioner of new music, Duff has conducted several world premieres of choral and orchestral works. In 2005 he conducted the New Hampshire premiere of Benjamin Britten’s The Company of Heaven. In 2006-07 Duff commissioned and conducted the world premiere, at Dartmouth College in celebration of the Handel Society’s bicentennial, of composer Andrea Clearfield’s Fire and Ice, an oratorio set to the poetry of Robert Frost. In the 2008-09 season, he led the Handel Society in the New England premiere of Requiem for the Fallen by Jonathan Leshnoff, a work co-commissioned with the Handel Choir of Baltimore.  

Choirs under Duff’s direction have performed throughout the United States and in Europe. He has also prepared choruses for renowned conductors, including, most recently, Helmuth Rilling. Duff serves as President-Elect of the Eastern Division of the American Choral Directors Association and has served as Councilor to the New Hampshire Council on the Arts. He is a member of the American Musicological Society, Choral Conductors Guild, Chorus America, the College Music Society, Music Educator’s National Conference, Kappa Phi Honor Society and Pi Kappa Lambda Music Society.


Our Accompanist

Evelyn Zuckerman

Evelyn Zuckerman, pianist and harpsichordist, holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Science degrees from the Juilliard School. She began her piano studies at the age of three and by six was performing concerts throughout her native New York City. She has performed at New York’s Town Hall, Carnegie Recital Hall, and at Harvard, MIT and Smith Colleges, to name a few, as well as on radio and TV. She was rehearsal pianist for the Boston Symphony and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and worked with many of the world’s great conductors. As pianist for the contemporary chamber group, the Boston Musica Viva, Evelyn toured Europe, New England, and had a series in Cambridge, MA. Her recordings can be heard on Cri, Delos and Musical Heritage Society labels. Currently, she teaches piano, coaches chamber music and singers, and performs as a member of Camerata New England.


Our Vocal Coach


Erma Mellinger, a Lecturer in Music at Dartmouth College, earned her Bachelor of Music degree with Highest Distinction from Northwestern University and her Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music where she earned both Teaching and Performance Awards. A professional singer, Erma Mellinger has performed leading roles with many of the country's major opera companies including Cleveland Opera, the Dallas Opera, the Florida Grand Opera, the Fresno International Grand Opera, and the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.


Our Student Manager

Kristen Colwell is the Handel Society student manager for 2011-2012. She is a member of the Dartmouth Class of 2013, and is currently pursuing a double major in Chemical Engineering and Music. An avid fan of classical music, she has played piano, french horn, or sung in an ensemble for the past ten years. She is also a member of Kappa Delta sorority on campus. 


Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is a representative body drawn from the members of the Handel Society. Of the fourteen elected members, at least one must come from each section (soprano, alto, tenor, bass). An elected member may serve for up to two 3-year terms, but must leave the Board for at least a year after the second term. In addition, the Board includes the Music Director, the student manager(s), the conducting assistant(s) and the immediate past president for a one-year term. Members are elected to the Board at the Handel Society Annual Meeting, which is usually held in April.

The Board usually meets five times each year, typically in August, October, January, March and May.

The Board's purpose is to assist the Music Director by reflecting the views of the Society membership on questions of importance, and by taking responsibility for some administrative duties. Under Music Director Robert Duff, the Board has been asked to take a larger role in shaping the future of the Society than has been the case in the past.

Members of the Handel Society are encouraged to nominate themselves as a candidate for a Board opening. Nominations should be sent to the Nominating Committee of the Board. Such nominations are then listed on a slate distributed to all members at least 14 days before the Annual Meeting. The By-Laws also provide that nominations can be offered from the floor at the Annual Meeting.

Last Updated: 5/9/12