SFRV Names New Music Director, Assistant Director

San Francisco Renaissance Voices has appointed Don Scott Carpenter to the position of Music Director and Liesl McPherrin to the position of Assistant Music Director/General Manager.

A frequent guest conductor with SFRV, Don Scott Carpenter became their regular conductor October 2019. Currently he is also Organist and Director of Music, Worship, and Arts at Lakeside Presbyterian Church in San Francisco where he oversees an active Royal School of Church Music program; and has been the Executive Director of the American Bach Soloists since 2011; he will retain both positions. Prior to moving to the Bay Area, he was General Director of the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and Artistic/Executive Director of the Louisville Youth Choir. He has also been on the faculties of Bellarmine University and the University of Louisville, as well as a lecturer in worship and music at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. He has served as Principal Organist/Artist-in-Residence of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (Santa Fe), Music Director of the Temple Adath Israel B’rith Shalom and Organist/Director of Worship at Second Presbyterian Church in Louisville.
As a composer, conductor, and organist, Mr. Carpenter holds the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Louisville School of Music as well as the Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance. His choirs have been heard throughout the United States and Europe including performances at the Dom in Salzburg, Votivkirche in Vienna, and Carnegie Hall in New York City. He has prepared choruses for world premiere performances of operas, prepared choruses for major works with orchestras, and for touring Broadway musicals. As an advocate for new music, he has commissioned and conducted world premieres by several composers. Shalom, his debut album, celebrating the rich Jewish choral tradition, recorded live in performance with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, can be heard on the White Tie label. Mr. Carpenter is a member of the American Choral Directors Association; the American Guild of Organists; the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers; and Chorus America.

Assistant Music Director and General Manager Liesl McPherrin has served as a guest conductor with San Francisco Renaissance Voices and also sings soprano with the group. As a soprano Liesl has been praised by SF Classical Voice for her “brilliant top notes and winning comic chops.” She has performed a wide variety of repertoire in both opera, concerts, and musical theater including roles with Pocket Opera, Island City Opera, and been a chorister for professional ensembles including the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and San Francisco Renaissance Voices. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from San Francisco State University and a Master of Music degree from Westminster Choir College.
Liesl has performed the role of Bianca with Island City Opera in their production of La Rondine in March, 2019 and was Lisette in San Francisco’s Pocket Opera’s of La Rondine in April and May of 2019. During the 2018 season, she sang the role of Carolina in Cimarosa’s The Secret Marriage with Pocket Opera, the tail-wagging Mutts in Mutts and Maribel Walk to the Moon, an outreach chamber opera by Nancy Bachmann, and was also featured as a soloist with Sing for America, San Francisco Renaissance Voices, and as Michaela and the title role of Carmen in a concert suite with Yuba College Wind Ensemble as their faculty artist. Liesl is also Music Director at Coastside Lutheran Church and is on the music faculty at Las Positas College.

San Francisco Renaissance Voices debuted in October 2004 with a “standing room only” performance of Victoria’s Officium Defunctorum à 6and quickly became a favorite of Early Music audiences in the Bay Area. Recognized for its imaginative programming, they are a professional mixed-voice ensemble dedicated to performing and exploring the a cappella choral music of the Renaissance, particularly lesser-known and rarely-performed works.

During its fifteen-year existence the group has been featured by the national magazine Early Music America, Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Newsday, USA Todayand San Francisco Classical Voice, among others. Most recently the group was was hailed by the San Francisco Examiner who said of their production of the medieval Play of Daniel, “…one could not have asked for a more entertaining spectacle, a tour de force….” SFRV was selected as “Best Classical Music” by SFWeekly’s2010 “Best of San Francisco” edition.

The ensemble are currently Artists-in-Residence at San Francisco’s Episcopal Church of the Incarnation. Its individual members have performed with American Bach Soloists, California Bach Society, Carmel Bach Festival, Chanticleer, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Chorus and the Berkeley/West Edge, West Bay, Pocket, and San Francisco Operas.

Written by Jonathan Harris