Regarded as a leading conductor and pedagogue in the U.S. and abroad, Mark Stover shares his passion for people and building community through pursuing the highest levels of artistry. He joined SMTD in 2018 as associate director of choirs, conducting the Men’s Glee Club and the University Choir, teaching undergraduate conducting, and serving as the conductor of the Michigan Youth Chamber Singers.
Stover came to Ann Arbor from Northfield, Minnesota, home of Saint Olaf College, where he served on the music faculty as conductor of the St. Olaf Chapel Choir (SATB) and Viking Chorus (TTBB) while teaching conducting and a new course he designed titled “Music and Social Justice.” Both of these choirs regularly appear in the annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival, a tradition held for over a century and regarded around the world as one of the great music festivals of the season. Recently, Stover led the Chapel Choir, Viking Chorus, and the Festival Mass Choir of over 400 voices in the St. Olaf Christmas Festival, presented at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis at the 2017 National Convention of the American Choral Conductors Association (ACDA). Additionally, Stover served for multiple seasons as the artistic director of Magnum Chorum, a semi-professional choral ensemble of over 60 voices based in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Magnum Chorum was a featured ensemble in the 2017 ACDA National Conference in the Raymond C. Brock Commission performance under the baton of Robert Spano.
Notable performances and collaborations under Stover’s leadership with Magnum Chorum include the commissioning and world premiere of Paul Rudoi’s concert-length musical drama, Sermon on the Mount; a collage concert creation with composer Jake Runestad addressing gun violence in the United States; and major works by Rheinberger and Gjeilo. Additionally, Stover has conducted the annual oratorio concert with the St. Olaf Orchestra and Chapel Choir, performing Francis Poulenc’s Gloria, Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living, Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna and a new work by Charles Forsberg titled Cantica in Laude Sacri. In spring 2018, Prof. Stover’s Chapel Choir collaborated with the St. Olaf Choir and Orchestra to bring an original Buddhist oratorio to Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis for the world premiere of The Path by composer Justin Merritt. Among his most meaningful musical partnerships is the creation of a residency between the singers of Magnum Chorum and Voices of Hope, a choir made up of women incarcerated at the Shakopee Women’s Prison (MN), directed by Amanda Weber.
Stover has been featured as a conductor and pedagogue throughout the United States and abroad and has led ensembles in Ukraine and France. In 2014, Stover guest-conducted the famed St. Olaf Choir and led the ensemble in performances throughout the Midwest. Upcoming guest engagements include 2018 Together In Hope Project, a professional touring choral ensemble from the Twin Cities who will travel to perform several concerts in Rome, and the 2019 Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools in Singapore.
Stover’s leadership has been a bridge between the academy and the broader community. He served as the director of worship at Colonial Church in Edina (MN) for over a decade, overseeing multiple choral and instrumental ensembles, conducting the Colonial Chorale, and founding the Colonial Chamber Singers. Prior to Colonial, he was the director of worship, music, and arts at Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church in the San Francisco Bay Area where he also taught choral music and contemporary a cappella ensembles at Campolindo High School. He is the former R&R chair of music in worship for ACDA of Minnesota, and in the summer of 2018 acted as lead faculty coordinator for the biennial St. Olaf Conference on Worship, Theology, and the Arts.
Stover holds degrees from St. Olaf College and Luther Seminary, where he studied conducting and choral repertoire under the mentorship of Dr. Anton Armstrong and Dr. Paul Westermeyer.