M. Roger Holland, II Named Artist-In-Residence

Kantorei is pleased to announce that it has entered into a three-year relationship with multi-talented composer/arranger, pianist, organist, singer & conductor, M. Roger Holland, II to serve as the choir’s Artist-in-Residence beginning with the 2021-22 season.

Roger is a Teaching Assistant Professor in Music and Religion and Director of The Spirituals Project at the Lamont School of Music, University of Denver. He previously served as Artist-in-Residence and director of the Union Gospel Choir for over 13 years and toured nationally and internationally with The Boys Choir of Harlem, working with them as a conductor, pianist, instructor and arranger for several of their recordings. He has played for the Broadway productions of Oprah Winfrey’s The Color Purple and the Tony award winning show, Memphis.

“Denver is so very fortunate to have someone of Roger’s talent, experience and expertise living in its backyard,” said Joel Rinsema, Kantorei’s Managing Artistic Director. “Roger and I have been talking for quite a while about developing a relationship, and inviting him to serve as multi-year Artist-in-Residence for Kantorei seemed like the perfect marriage.”

Holland will be involved with one concert series per season beginning with the 2021-22 season. He and Rinsema will collaborate on programming, with Roger conducting, accompanying, and performing as soloist on each of the season’s series. Roger will participate in pre-concert chats and other educational activities for Kantorei singers, staff, audience members, and the surrounding community. Kantorei will also commission and premiere new works from Roger as part of his residency.

Roger states, “Kantorei is a premier choir, and Joel Rinsema is a consummate musician.” He continues, “To have the opportunity to collaborate with these artists is both a privilege and an honor. The thought of it makes me feel like a kid getting to play in a toy store. I’m excited to have the opportunity to share my gifts and experiences with this talented ensemble.”

A graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York City where he received the Master of Divinity degree, Holland also received a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York, and completed his undergraduate work at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey where he majored in Music Education with a concentration in piano and voice. In 2015 Union Theological Seminary awarded Roger the Trailblazers Distinguished Alumni Award, the first given to a graduate whose ministry is music, for his contributions to the legacy of African American music.

Original music collections published by GIA Publications include “Building Up the Kingdom,” featuring the single “Worthy God,” and his recent collection, “Honey from the Rock, Vol. 1 – 4.”


M. Roger Holland, II is a Teaching Assistant Professor in Music and Religion and Director of The Spirituals Project at the Lamont School of Music, University of Denver. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York City where he received the Master of Divinity degree, Roger also served as Artist-in-Residence and director of the Union Gospel Choir for over 13 years. In 2015 Union awarded him the Trailblazers Distinguished Alumni Award, the first given to a graduate whose ministry is music, for his contributions to the legacy of African American music. He received a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, also in New York, and completed his undergraduate work at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey where he majored in Music Education with a concentration in piano and voice.

Roger toured nationally and internationally with The Boys Choir of Harlem, working with them as a conductor, pianist, instructor and arranger for several of their recordings. Roger served as Minister of Music for Our Lady of Charity Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, NY for 12 years and is Liturgical Music Consultant for the New York Archdiocese Office of Black Ministry, acting as Music Director for their special Masses at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

In addition to his Broadway credits which include playing for the Broadway production of Oprah Winfrey’s The Color Purple, Roger is also a respected clinician, presenting workshops for McDonald’s Gospelfest, the Clarence Rivers Music Institute, Archbishop Lyke Liturgical Conference, the Roderick Bell Institute, Unity Explosion-Region X, and the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference. His commissioned works include “The Dream and The Dreamer,” “Down By The River,” commissioned by The Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation, and “The Tribulation Suite,” a 4-movement work based on Negro Spirituals. In 2016, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York presented Roger with the Pierre Toussaint Medallion for Service.

Degrees
M.Div., Theology, Union Theological Seminary, 2012
MM, Piano Performance, Manhattan School of Music, 1991
BM, Music Education, Westminster Choir College, 1988

Professional Affiliations
American Choral Directors Association
National Association of Pastoral Musicians
Gospel Music Workshop of America

https://mrogerholland.com/
https://liberalarts.du.edu/about/people/roger-holland
https://www.giamusic.com/store/artists/m-roger-holland

For a complete press release, click here.