Dr. Daniel R. Afonso, Jr., Chorus Director
Dr. Daniel R. Afonso, Jr. has served as conductor of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra Chorus since its foundation in 2001 and has prepared several choral works with the ensemble. He is also Director of Vocal and Choral Studies at California State University, Stanislaus.
Dr. Afonso received a B.M.E. degree from the Universidade do Rio de Janeiro (UNI -Rio),a M.M. degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a D.M.A. degree in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa. Dr. Afonso is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has studied conducting with Carlos Alberto Figueiredo, Cees Rotteveel, Eph Ehly, and William Hatcher.
Dr. Afonso has performed with choral groups in Brazil, the U.S., and Europe, and has previously taught music at the Conservatório Brasileiro de Música and Doane College, Nebraska. In 1988, he won the first prize and a special award for the best performance of Villa-Lobos work at the Concurso Villa-Lobos de Canto Coral, a national choral competition sponsored by the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro. Dr. Afonso is strongly committed to the performance of new music and has premiered several choral works in the last few years, including Michael Mitchell’s I Will Praise the Name of God with a Song (1997), Deborah Kavasch’s Amor (2001) and Feather on God’s Breath (2003), John Marvin’s Ophélie (2003), John Hillebrandt’s A Clear Midnight (2004), and several of his own compositions.
He is also a composer, arranger, and editor of choral music and has works published by earthsongs, Colla Voce Music, and Alliance Music Publications. He has been recognized for his research and performance of Brazilian choral music and continues to present workshops and lectures about the Latin American choral repertoire. Dr. Afonso remains active as a voice instructor, clinician, and guest conductor. His professional affiliations include the Ordem dos Músicos do Brasil, the International Federation for Choral Music, and the American Choral Directors Association.