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Dr. Lee Nelson

View Music in the Lee Nelson Choral Series


Dr. Lee Nelson is the Patricia R. Zahn Chair in Choral Conducting and director of choral activities at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Nelson was recently honored with the John O. Chellevold Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service. He conducts the Wartburg Choir and Ritterchor and teaches beginning and advanced conducting and literature at Wartburg. He also serves as the artistic director of Christmas with Wartburg, which was nominated for a regional Emmy in 2012.

Under Dr. Nelson's direction, the Wartburg Choir has performed nationally and internationally including an unprecedented performance at the White House and the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. In 2014, the Wartburg Choir was invited to perform at the North Central ACDA conference. Internationally renowned composer Morten Lauridsen praised Nelson and the Wartburg Choir's performance of "O Magnum Mysterium" stating: "It was in the top echelon of any performance of that piece by any choir that I have ever heard." The Wartburg Ritterchor (men's choir) has been invited to perform at a President's Day concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City in February 2017.

A highly sought-after conductor, clinician and adjudicator, Nelson has directed all state and honor choirs throughout the United States and Canada. He was invited to conduct the National Festival Chorus at Carnegie Hall in 2011, 2012 & 2014. He will return to Carnegie Hall in 2017 to conduct Randall Thompson's "Testament of Freedom." Nelson was the featured conductor at the 2012 North Central ACDA Conference where he conducted Stephen Paulus' Holocaust oratorio To Be Certain of the Dawn. A champion of contemporary music, Nelson regularly commissions and performs new works of choral literature. ECS Publishing distributes the Lee Nelson Choral Series both nationally and internationally.

Earlier in his career, Nelson received the Outstanding Young Choral Conductor of the Year, awarded by ACDA of Minnesota. In 2005, Nelson won the National ACDA Graduate Conducting Competition in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Nelson earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Concordia College and a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degree the University of Arizona.