Artistic Director Joel M. Rinsema joined Kantorei in 2014, becoming the second conductor in its history. During his tenure, Kantorei has experienced tremendous growth of its audiences, nearly tripled its budget size, and launched an ambitious recording strategy. A frequent collaborator and champion of new works for chorus, Joel has commissioned and premiered work of many of today’s leading composers including Kim André Arnesen, Mason Bates, René Clausen, Ola Gjeilo, Mark Hayes, Cecilia McDowall, David Montoya, Jake Runestad and Eric Whitacre.
Joel is a passionate advocate for the professional choral art form, and he frequently consults with other choral arts organizations around the country. Because of his leadership in his field, he received the Louis Botto Award for “Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal” from Chorus America, the industry’s advocacy, research, and leadership development organization for choruses, choral leaders, and singers. He is an accomplished conductor of major works for choir and orchestra and was one of eighteen conductors chosen nationally through audition to participate in master classes and workshops presented by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and Chorus America. As a tenor soloist, Joel performed across the United States, in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.
In addition to his work with Kantorei, Joel serves as the North American Choral Promotion Manager for Oxford University Press based in Oxford, England. He holds music degrees from Arizona State and Whitworth Universities and is a member of the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammys), American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA).
Joel came to Kantorei from the Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Chorale. Throughout his 23-year tenure with the Phoenix Chorale, he served in nearly every capacity with the organization including the last 15 years as President & CEO and Assistant Conductor. He negotiated an ongoing recording contract with the prestigious U.K.-based Chandos Records, and Phoenix Chorale recordings earning a total of eight Grammy nominations and two Grammy wins. Joel appears on all of the Phoenix Chorale recordings and was a soloist on the Grammy Award-winning “Spotless Rose: Hymn to the Virgin Mary.” In addition to his work with the Phoenix Chorale, Joel served as the Director of Music at Church of the Beatitudes United Church of Christ in Phoenix for 15 years, and was the founding chorus master of the Arizona Musicfest Chorus.