If anyone could challenge the legendary late James
Brown for the title of hardest working man in show business, it might be G.
Kevin Dewey, artistic director of Vanguard Voices. The two men share the same
amazing energy and drive for excellence.
Dewey balances his directorship of Vanguard Voices
with full-time teaching responsibilities at Henry Ford Community College in
Dearborn, Michigan. As director of choirs at HFCC, Dewey leads its Concert
Choir, Blue Fusion vocal jazz ensemble, Renaissance Voices and Con Spirito.
In addition, he serves as musical director for HFCC theatrical productions.
In summer months, Dewey directs the City of Dearborn's
100-plus voice Summer Music Festival Chorus. He leads and is a member, as
well, of the Vanguard Brass Ensemble.
He has led the stage orchestra in the Players Guild of Dearborn productions
of Chicago and 1940s Radio Hour as well as the HFCC productions
of Sweeney Todd, The Music Man and Pippin. Dewey also
has performed in pit orchestras for Annie and Saturday Night Fever
in productions at the Fisher and Masonic Theaters in Detroit.
Dewey also works as a professional vocal and
instrumental performer, composer and arranger. In 1998, the Henry Ford
Big Band and Evergreen Blues vocal jazz quartet performed Dewey's arrangements
under his direction at the Montreux Jazz Festivals in Detroit and Switzerland.
Dewey brings to the podium vibrancy, enthusiasm
and passion for performing the world's great choral music. His determination
and energy are infectious and are transferred to choristers and instrumentalists
as well as to an increasingly loyal and growing audience.
Studying under Dewey's direction is, for many
singers, a revelatory experience. Rehearsals on a single musical passage
may draw allusions from composition theory to oratorio, from opera to
lounge-lizard standards, from Gregorian chant to television theme songs.
With an approachable and often humorous teaching and coaching technique,
Dewey elicits the best from his choristers. Vanguard Voices members, whose
experience may range from performing professionals to fellow teachers
to those who simply love performing choral music, enjoy a spirited dialog
during weekly three-hour rehearsals.
Dewey's varied musical background includes a
bachelor's degree in jazz studies and a master's degree in choral conducting
from Wayne State University in Detroit. There, he studied and performed under
the celebrated choral conductor Dr. Harry Langsford and toured internationally
with Wayne State's award-winning Men's Glee Club. In addition, Dewey has continued
his studies through workshops and seminars with noteworthy composers and directors
such as John Rutter, Ward Swingle, Phil Mattson, Ken Hansen and Sir David
Willcocks. In spring 2002, Dewey created a learning guide for choirs preparing
the finale of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
Dewey's collaborative spirit generated invitations for Vanguard Voices to participate in a citywide candlelight vigil following the 9/11 attacks as well as a joyous celebration of the City of Dearborn's 75th anniversary. In recognition of his 20-plus years of choral conducting and community involvement, Dewey was presented the Mayor's Award for contributions to the cultural life of his native city of Dearborn in 1996. In spring 2004, he won a Dearborn Press & Guide PAGE Award for best orchestral direction of the Players Guild of Dearborn production of Chicago.