Timothy Sawyer, Artistic Director and Conductor
Two Rivers Chorale artistic director and conductor Timothy Sawyer has led TRC since 2004. He has enjoyed an active career as a conductor, educator and professional singer following formal musical training at Bethel University (St. Paul), Exeter University (England), the University of Minnesota and in doctoral-level study at the University of Iowa. He has done advanced conducting studies with Helmuth Rilling, Margaret Hillis, Vance George, Gregg Smith, Eric Ericson, William Hatcher and Robert Berglund. In addition to extensive experience as a tenor soloist, he is a veteran of several professional choirs, among them the Dale Warland Singers, the Ensemble Singers of VocalEssence of Minnesota under Philip Brunelle, the Grammy-nominated South Dakota Chorale and the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, with which he shared a Grammy award for the recording of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Credo. Since 1989, Sawyer has been a member of the music faculty at University of Northwestern-St. Paul where he is director of choral activities and professor of music. Choirs under his direction have been heard on tours and in radio broadcasts throughout the United States, South America, Eastern and Western Europe and Asia.
From 1997-2004, Sawyer served as assistant artistic director of the Minnesota Chorale, the principal symphonic chorus of the Minnesota Orchestra. Active also in church music, from 1995-2010 he served as choir director at The Colonial Church of Edina, and the board of the Sixth World Choral Symposium held in Minneapolis/St. Paul. An enthusiastic teacher of conducting, Sawyer has served on the artistic staff for conducting master classes at the University of Minnesota, and for many years at the Toronto and Oregon Bach Festivals. He is a former tenor section leader in the Schola Cantorum at the Cathedral of St. Paul, and currently on the performing roster of the professional South Dakota Chorale. Active as a festival clinician and conductor, he has conducted choral festivals throughout the United States and internationally in Ukraine, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Hong Kong, China.