Robert Bode 2014Robert H. Bode

Artistic Director

Robert Bode has been Artistic Director for Choral Arts since 2007. He is on the faculty at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, where he is the Raymond R. Neevel/Missouri Professor of Choral Music and Director of Choral Activities. Before his position at UMKC, Dr. Bode was the Alma Meisnest Endowed Chair in the Humanities and Fine Arts and Director of Choral/Vocal Studies at Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA, where he conducted the 100-voice Chorale and the 30-voice Whitman Chamber Singers.

Bode received his doctorate in Choral Conducting from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Before attending the Cincinnati Conservatory, Bode won a conducting scholarship at the prestigious Aspen Music Festival, where he studied opera conducting with Fiora Contino.

In 1982, Bode studied in Wales as a Conducting Fellow at the University-College of Music in Cardiff.  He made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut in 1990, conducting the Walla Walla Symphony Chorale in the New York Premiere of The Waking by John David Earnest.

His choirs have been featured in performances for the American Choral Directors Association Division Conventions in 1990, 1992, 1994, 2004, 2006, and 2010.  In March of 1995, Bode conducted the Walla Walla Mastersingers in performances for the ACDA National Convention at Kennedy Center and Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

In the March of 1997, Bode conducted a series of televised concerts with the Yunnan Provincial Chorus in Kunming, China.  In February of 2000, he prepared the chorus of the National Opera of Mongolia for the first English-language production of “Porgy and Bess” in Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia.  In March 2002, Bode conducted a chorus of 1,600 high school singers in the 74th annual Southwest Michigan Vocal Music Festival in Kalamazoo.

An active orchestral conductor, Robert Bode was Music Director of the Mid-Columbia Symphony in Richland, Washington from 1992-2007.  He has since been named Conductor Emeritus for the orchestra.  In the summer of 1993, he won the Conducting Prize at the Symphonic Workshop International Competition for conductors in Hradec and Morovice, Czech Republic.  Subsequently, he was appointed to a three-month residency with the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic in Zlin, Czech Republic.

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In 2010 Bode and Choral Arts won the 2010 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from Chorus America.  In addition, Choral Arts’ CD, “Mornings Like This,” won the American Prize for choral recorded music in 2010. In 2013, Choral Arts’ CD “Shall We Gather at the River” placed second in the America Prize and Choral Arts was honored to perform at the Chorus America National Conference in Seattle. In 2014, Choral Arts won third place in The American Prize for their recording “Life Stories: The Choral Music of Eric William Barnum”, and Bode placed second in the American Prize for Choral Conducting. In February 2015, Bode and Choral Arts will perform at the ACDA National Convention in Salt Lake City, UT.