Australian conductor Katherine Chan is known for her energy and enthusiasm both on and off the podium. She is currently the Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. There she directs the A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers, and teaches conducting and ear-training classes.
Prior to relocating to the United States, Chan was extensively involved in Australia’s choral community, serving as National Council Member of the Australian National Choral Association (ANCA), and held numerous positions, including as the Musical Director of Choral Connection, Choir Director at St Andrew’s Uniting Church, Musical Director of the Queensland chapter of Australian Youth Choir and Assistant Conductor for the Brisbane Concert Choir.
Over the years, Chan has presented and performed at prestigious international festivals. In 2010, Katherine was a presenter at the Australia National Choral Association's Choralfest and in the same year, was awarded the Sydney Symposium Choral Foundation’s Fifth Choral Conducting Scholarship. In 2011, she was invited to participate in the conducting master class with Maestro Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival. In 2012, Chan continued to be a conducting scholar under the tutelage of Maestro Rilling, conducting at the Taipei Bach Festival (J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion) and then at Hong Kong SingFest (Great Mass in C Minor by W.A. Mozart, Levin Edition). She was selected in 2015 to participate in the national conducting master class with John Nelson at the ACDA National Convention and National Conductors’ Symposium (2016) conducting master class with Jon Washburn and the Vancouver Chamber Choir. Most recently, Chan was one of four conductors to advance to the national finals of ACDA Graduate Conducting Competition (2017).
Chan holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Minnesota (UMN), under the mentorship of Kathy Saltzman Romey and Matthew Mehaffey. While at UMN, she directed Campus Singers Gold and Campus Singers Mosaic, and served as the Assistant Conductor to the University Singers and Chamber Singers, the Men’s Chorus and Women's Chorus, and was a teaching assistant for Undergraduate Conducting. She also helped lead the annual WomanVoice festival in Minneapolis, focusing on the power of collaboration between female choristers. Chan received a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington, Seattle studying with Dr. Geoffrey Boers, and Bachelor of Music Performance & Pedagogy in Classical Piano, from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University. While studying at the Queensland Conservatorium, Chan won numerous awards including the Brisbane Women’s Club and Yvonne Hayson Bursary, the Ruby C. Cooling Piano Bursary and MK Lassell Piano Scholarship.
Chan has studied and worked with prestigious conductors including Weston Noble, Jeffrey Kahane, Matthew Halls, Simon Carrington, Edith Copley, Emily Cox and Debra Shearer-Dirié.
In addition to conducting, Katherine is actively performing as a soprano and pianist/accompanist. As a soprano, she toured Italy with the Brisbane Concert Choir, performing Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Vivaldi’s Gloria (soprano soloist). Katherine has also been a core member of Fusion Vocal Ensemble and performed at the 10th World Choral Symposium in South Korea, 2014. Katherine has also been a collaborator for Queensland Opera and The Queensland Pops orchestra as pianist/accompanist.