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Carolyn has been singing in choirs or directing them since she was in elementary school in Michigan. At age 14, she began accompanying all the high school choirs in her school; at age 17, she won her high school’s European Music Study Scholarship, which sent her to Europe upon graduation. She traveled to different chapels to hear organ recitals and became acquainted with the French organist Marcel Dupre, and was privileged to play organ for him in his Paris home.

Carolyn Eynon

carolyn eynon
artistic director

At the University of Michigan, Carolyn earned both a bachelor's and master's degree in choral music education, after which she taught all levels of choral music in St. Louis, Missouri, and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. In 1978, while teaching six choirs daily, she was voted to serve as the Michigan Honors Choir Director in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In that same year, her high school students were the first American choir to travel behind the Iron Curtain to Romania and Bulgaria, where they sang in the languages of the countries.

After teaching for eight years, she returned to Ann Arbor to begin her music doctorate in conducting, one of only two people accepted. Women were rarely taken seriously in the 1980s in the profession of conducting, but she stayed the course and finished her coursework. During these years, she directed the 80-voice adult community choir Southfield Madrigal Chorale in a suburb of Detroit. In her orchestral conducting she was the first woman to direct the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Plymouth Symphony Orchestras in Michigan. She was very honored to take her Southfield choir to perform at the ACDA regional conference in Ohio in 1982.

When she moved to Arizona in 1994, the Scottsdale Symphony hired her to direct and build their choir, which premiered a new contemporary Hungarian composition in 1995. After one year, she created the Arizona Arts Chorale, a community choir that thrived for twelve years. In 2007 she founded the Carolyn Eynon Singers, a community choir of 24 members.

In 2010, she guest-directed the Phoenix Symphony on Copland’s Rodeo, and later Sleigh Bells, both memories she will treasure. She prepared Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for the Scottsdale Symphony with ninety volunteer singers and Beethoven’s Chorale Fantasy with members of the Phoenix Symphony members at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts in 2021.

She has had the pleasure of singing with John Rutter in Carnegie Hall when she took Arizona Arts Chorale and Carolyn Eynon Singers to perform on stage with other choirs. Jackson Berkey of Mannheim Steamroller accompanied Arizona Arts Chorale at the Kennedy Center for the Arts after Carolyn commissioned a new work by Berkey for the tour – truly a highlight for any choir! She has prepared choirs for James Sedares, Robert Moody, Hermann Michael, Doc Severinsen, and Michael Cristie, and even competed in the International Eisteddfod Festival in Wales

Professionally, she is active with National Society of Arts and Letters, Arizona American Choral Directors Association, and Chorus America, as well as speaking at the National League of American Pen Women in February 2023. In 2023 she was named an Arts Hero for the state of Arizona by ON Media and SRP. 

 

Choirs have taken Carolyn all over the world to China, Australia, Kenya, and Eastern and Western Europe. She thanks her husband, daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren for their love, patience, and support throughout her musical life journey.

Carolyn Eynon
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