Michael Slon headshot
MS

Michael P. Slon

Associate Professor
Director of Choral Music
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Music
Office location and address
Old Cabell B013
30 South Lawn
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
Biography

Active as a conductor of choral, orchestral, and operatic repertoire, Michael Slon is Director of Choral Music and Associate Professor at the University of Virginia, where he conducts the University Singers, UVA Chamber Singers and also guest conducts the Charlottesville Symphony. His ensembles have recently sung for composer Philip Glass, and the creators of Les Misérables – Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg – during their UVA residencies, and taken a two-week European concert tour. Since 2011, he has also served as Music Director of the Oratorio Society of Virginia. In that time, he has created a series of new artistic partnerships with the chorus, including an acclaimed 2014 semi-staged production of Bernstein’s Candide with Ash Lawn (now Charlottesville) Opera, a 2015 collaboration with the Charlottesville Ballet on Honegger’s King David, performances with regional orchestras and youth choruses, and a Community Sing-In to benefit local charities. Repertoire with the choruses has also included Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Verdi’s Requiem and La Traviata, Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Bach’s St. John Passion and Mass in B minor, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, and a range of shorter a cappella and accompanied works.

After substituting on one hour’s notice for a performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1, Slon served in the 2005-2006 season as Interim Director of the Charlottesville Symphony, leading performances of Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, and Copland’s Appalachian Spring.  In 2005, he also created the University Singers-Symphony Family Holiday Concerts, now a beloved Charlottesville tradition. His opera and musical theatre engagements have included a production of Stephen Paulus’s The Three Hermits with Buffalo’s Opera Sacra, regional premieres of Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George and Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza with the Heritage Theatre Festival, South Pacific and The Magic Flute with Ash Lawn Opera, and Into the Woods and Bernstein’s Mass at Indiana University. He is also active as a guest conductor for honors choirs and orchestras, and as a musician deeply committed to the education of young musicians, was recognized in 2006-2007 as a member of UVA's Mead Honored Faculty, recognizing outstanding faculty mentors.  

Prior to UVA, he served as visiting conducting faculty at the Oberlin Conservatory, and as assistant conductor of the Cornell University choruses and Cincinnati’s May Festival Chorus, where he prepared and co-prepared choruses for concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. His ensembles have worked with artists including Moses Hogan, Bobby McFerrin, Meredith Monk, Peter Phillips, and Franz Welser-Möst, and taken on commissioning projects with composers including Stephen Paulus, Forrest Pierce, Eric Whitacre, and Judith Shatin. Also a pianist, composer/arranger, and writer, Dr. Slon holds degrees from the Indiana University School of Music and Cornell University, where he was named a member of Phi Beta Kappa. His first book, Songs from the Hill, has been cited in a variety of other publications, and his work on Leonard Bernstein recently received the national Julius Herford Prize from the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). As a composer, he recently had work presented by the Vocalis Chamber Choir in concert at NYC’s Merkin Hall, and will have work performed at the 2018 ACDA Eastern Convention.

MUSI 2993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–3
Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
MUEN 3650: University Singers
Credits: 2
University Singers Prerequisite: Instructor permission by audition. Note: Because the subject matter changes each semester, courses numbered MUEN 3600-3690 may be repeated for credit, but no more than sixteen performance credits may be applied toward the baccalaureate degree in the College.
MUEN 3651: Chamber Singers
Credits: 2
Chamber Singers Prerequisite: Instructor permission by audition. Note: Because the subject matter changes each semester, courses numbered MUEN 3600-3690 may be repeated for credit, but no more than sixteen performance credits may be applied toward the baccalaureate degree in the College.
MUSI 3993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–3
Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
MUSI 4533: Advanced Musicianship
Credits: 2
Includes advanced ear-training, sight-singing and keyboard harmony. Prerequisite: Passing score on the exit test for MUSI 3336.
MUSI 4750: Choral Conducting I
Credits: 3
Studies in the basic technique and art of conducting, with weekly experience conducting repertoire with a small choral ensemble. Prerequisite: basic ear training, sight-reading. Previous experience in a choral or instrumental ensemble is preferred. Interested students should consult with the instructor before registering. Instructor permission is required.
MUSI 4760: Choral Conducting II
Credits: 3
Studies in the basic technique and art of conducting, with weekly experience conducting repertoire with a small choral ensemble. Prerequisite: Previous experience in a choral or instrumental ensemble is preferred. Interested students should consult with the instructor before registering. Instructor permission is required.
MUSI 4770: Choral Arranging
Credits: 3
This class will explore the art of writing for chorus and small vocal ensemble, and will aim at developing practical skills in creating and transcribing arrangements. Students will study a variety of examples from the repertoire, and attention will be paid to fundamentals of writing for the voice, setting text, etc. In addition the class will serve as workshop chorus, such that student arrangements can be performed and studied in the classroom. Prerequisites: MUSI 3310 or Instructor permission. A basic knowledge of music theory, and a basic ability to sing from written sources will prove essential.
MUSI 4993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–3
Prerequisite: Instructor permission.