John Silantien
John Silantien

UTSA Spotlight: Music professor John Silantien serves as Library of Congress lead researcher and editor

By Ashley Harris
Public Affairs Specialist

(June 6, 2008)--UTSA music professor John Silantien was selected to serve as a lead researcher and chief editor by the Library of Congress (LOC) and the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) for a project that will digitize American choral music of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The researchers will select choral octavos from LOC holdings and write prefatory (or introductory) materials. The materials then will be digitized and placed online to be readily available for conductors free of charge as part of the library's "American Memory" series. The LOC plans to make more than 1,000 public-domain works available through the project.

"For project researchers to sort through that large volume of pieces, study their historical and musical value and make select octavos readily available to modern choral conductors would be of immense value to the discipline," said Silantien.

Silantien has taught and conducted choirs on the secondary and collegiate levels in Texas, Washington, D.C., and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. He holds a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Illinois.

His awards include a Rockefeller grant for choral conducting at Aspen, Colo., and a Fulbright award for research in London, England. He serves as director of choral activities at UTSA and director of the San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers. Additionally, Silantien is listed in "International Who's Who in Music" and "Who's Who Among America's Teachers."

Choirs under Silantien's direction have been invited to perform before the Music Educators National Conference, American Choral Directors Association, Texas Choral Directors Association and Texas Music Educators Association. In June 1997, the UTSA Madrigal Singers toured Brazil, performing at major venues in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. His orchestral conducting credits include performances with the San Antonio Symphony, San Antonio Pops and New York's West Side Chamber Orchestra, as well as CD recordings of three Mozart piano concertos with the Moscow State Radio Orchestra.

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