Conductor/music educator Dr. Barbara M. Tagg is a retired member of the music education faculty at Syracuse University (S.U.) where she was conductor of the S.U. Women’s Choir for twenty years, and Founder/Conductor Emerita of the Syracuse Children’s Chorus (SCC) in residence at the university for thirty years. She is author of BEFORE THE SINGING published by Oxford University Press, and continues to guest conduct, adjudicate, and consult.
Dr. Tagg was the first nationally elected ACDA Repertoire & Standards Chair serving two, four-year terms following her tenure as Chair of the ACDA National Committee on Children’s Choirs, a position she held for eight years. During her tenure as National R&S Chair she guest edited three focus issues of The Choral Journal devoted to children’s choirs, repertoire and standards, and American music respectively, and numerous articles. As a former ten-year board member of Chorus America she continues to serve on various committees and initiatives.
Throughout her career Dr. Tagg has guest conducted treble honors choirs, all state choirs, festivals, and presented workshops for universities and choral organizations throughout the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, and China. She has presented concerts, research papers, and workshops in Greece, Great Britain, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, and China. She has prepared choirs for Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Dave Brubeck, Fabio Machetti, Daniel Hege, Doreen Rao, and the late Christopher Keene, Calvin Custer, and Gregg Smith. She prepared SCC for annual concerts with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra for twenty-six years.
She has commissioned and/or premiered over ninety works for children’s and women’s choirs. With SCC she twice received the Chorus America/ASCAP Award for Adventuresome Programming. Distinguished composers in residence for premieres with her choirs have included Libby Larsen, Bob Chilcott, David Brunner, Francisco Núñez, Jim Papoulis, Nick Page, Shawn Crouch, Gerald Cohen, among others, and the late Stephen Paulus, Calvin Custer, Liu Zhuang, and Gregg Smith.
For many years she was artistic director of the Keynote Arts Associates Children in Harmony Festivals in Orlando, FL, and the Adirondack Children’s Chorus at the Adirondack Festival of American Music in Saranac Lake, NY. She has been honored by ACDA, Syracuse University, the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, the Society for New Music, and DisneyWorld. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, Sigma Alpha Iota, holds the Choral Music Experience Artist-Teacher Certificate, and is a currently a member of the Gregg Smith Singers board of directors and an honorary board member of the Ernst Bacon Foundation.