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Choral Groups Limit Choices For Conductor

By Susan D. Chira

A student search committee began the preliminary selection of a new conductor for two of the University's three choral groups last night by narrowing a field of nearly 140 applicants to 20, the manager of the Radcliffe Choral Society (RCS) said yesterday.

Dominique Alfandre '79 said the search committee, composed of the student presidents and managers of the Harvard Glee Club, the H-R Collegium and RCS, considered education, university experience, professional music connections, references, and conducting and teaching experience in making their selections.

In the second step of the selection process, Alfandre said, the choral societies will enlist the aid of a panel of "music luminaries"--heads of music departments at other universities, music critics, and professional conductors--to choose five candidates by mid-December.

Because of their connections to the professional music world, panel members will be able to check references and "find out who these applicants really are," Alfandre said.

Thomas Bridge '79, manager of the Glee Club, said last week that the five finalists will then visit Harvard to conduct the various groups. The search committee will rank the candidates, and sent the rankings to the Music Department.

By this process, the groups hope to avoid the controversy that surrounded the Music Department's decision to refuse tenure to F. John Adams '66, the present conductor, Alfandre said.

The new conductor will have a reduced teaching load so he can concentrate on performing rather than on academic research, Kathleen Sweeney '80, an RCS member, said last week.

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