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Carolyn has been singing in and directing choirs 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 enabled her to travel to Europe before college. 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 Missouri and Michigan. In 1978, while teaching six choirs daily, she was voted to serve as the Michigan Honors Choir Director in Ann Arbor. 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.

Also in 1978, she began her music doctorate in conducting in Ann Arbor, one of only two people accepted and the first female in the doctorate conducting program, at a time when women were rarely taken seriously in the profession of conducting. 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. She concluded her coursework and directed a dissertation recital but remains ABD, as she decided to dedicate her time to her first passion, her family. 

When she moved to Arizona in 1994, the Scottsdale Symphony hired her for a year to direct and build their choir, which premiered a new contemporary Hungarian composition in 1995. After this she created the Arizona Arts Chorale, a community choir that thrived for twelve years, and performed in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Beijing. In 2007 she founded the Carolyn Eynon Singers, a smaller community chamber choir.

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, CES, and the Scottsdale Philharmonic in 2018, and Beethoven’s Chorale Fantasy with members of the Phoenix Symphony at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts in 2021.

She has had the pleasure of performing at Carnegie Hall with both John Rutter and Doreen Rao. 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 Christie, and even competed in the International Eisteddfod Festival in Wales. She was proud to bring her singers to perform in an outdoor concert at the 9/11 Museum in Manhattan.

Professionally, Carolyn is active with National Society of Arts and Letters, Chorus America, Arizona American Choral Directors Association, and the North Valley Arts Council locally. She spoke at the National League of American Pen Women in February 2023.

 

She has been recognized for her 50 years of choral excellence multiple times. She was profiled in the Executive Inc section of Phoenix Business Journal in 2017. In 2023 she was named an Arts Hero for the state of Arizona by ONMedia and SRP, as well as being inducted into the prestigious  Marquis Who’s Who international biographical registry. 

Carolyn Eynon

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 lives by the motto “Singing together connects people.”

READ MORE:

Carolyn Eynon named Arizona Arts Hero

Carolyn Eynon inducted into Marquis Who’s Who international biographical registry

Carolyn Eynon profiled in Executive Inc section of Phoenix Business Journal 

Carolyn Eynon video interview with Phoenix Business Journal

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