Grant Farmer has served as conductor and chorus master for a variety of collegiate and semi-professional choral ensembles across the country, repeatedly recognized for their brilliant sound and inspiring performances. Currently the Director of Choral Activities at The College of Idaho, Grant conducts multiple choral ensembles and teaches courses in conducting, music education, and choral pedagogy.
Fall 2021, Grant will begin serving as Interim Music Director with the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale, reengaging the ensemble in meaningful performance following their pandemic hiatus. Preparing choral ensembles for major works is one of Grant’s great passions. He has prepared works such as Britten’s War Requiem, Brahms’ Schicksalslied, Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion, Bernstein’s Mass, and Handel’s Messiah. Beyond the traditional Canon, Grant has also collaborated in preparing exciting new works like Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields and numerous debuts of smaller octavos by various young composers.
Grant has performed under the baton of several major conductors such as Simon Rattle, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jane Glover, Alan Gilbert, Charles Dutoit, and Franz Welser-Möst. He studied conducting with Joe Miller, Amanda Quist, Betsy Burleigh, Dominick DiOrio, and Walter Huff. Grant is a doctoral candidate at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and holds a master’s degree in choral conducting from the Westminster Choir College.
Grant and his wife, Elizabeth, are fulfilling a “West-bound” dream as recent East Coast transplants to the Treasure Valley. They currently live in Meridian with their three dogs – Mae, Lilah, and Remy – and enjoy exploring the great outdoors as well as the vibrant city of Boise.
As a life long musician, Grant has dedicated himself to producing music of high quality, excellent presentation, and broadly meaningful connection. As the Director of Choral Activities at The College of Idaho, he conducts multiple ensembles and teaches courses in conducting, music education, and choral pedagogy. In the vibrant Liberal Arts education system of the college, Grant works with student from a wide array of specialties.
Specializing in Vocology and Music Education, Grant's work as a conductor centers around improving vocal function in large choirs - applying techniques from the studio in the choir rehearsal. His research involves shifting the language choral conductors use in rehearsal to target the physiological challenges in a given ensemble. Working with several groups with 75+ members, Grant has been noted for his strong leadership skills and rehearsal techniques.
Grant began his career teaching high school choral music in Tennessee at Wilson Central High School (WCHS), conducting multiple scholastic ensembles and various volunteer groups. His ensemble were consistently rated among the highest in the regional and state adjudication festivals, and they appeared in both the 2013 TNMEA State Conference and 2015 TNACDA State Conference.
During his graduate work at Westminster Choir College, Grant was the assistant director for the Westminster Choir under the baton of Joe Miller. He conducted the ensemble in both regional tour and in Barcelona at the 2017 World Choral Symposium. He also performed in Kantorei, Westminster's early music ensemble, under the baton of Amanda Quist. The ensemble's exceptional skills lead to performances across France and the United Kingdom as well as an album recording Lumina. Performing with the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Grant had the fortunate opportunity to sing under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Simon Rattle, Jane Glover, Alan Gilbert, Jacques Lacombe, and Charles Dutoit.
As an associate instructor of the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, Grant was an associate conductor for the Oratorio Chorus in coordination with Dr. Betsy Burleigh and Dr. Dominick DiOrio. Working with this large ensemble, Grant assisted in preparing works such as Pendercki's St. Luke Passion, Britten's War Requiem, and Brahms' Schicksalslied. He was also the Assistant Chorus Master for IU Opera's productions of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Bernstein's Mass, and Puccini's Suor Angelica.
While in Bloomington, Indiana, Grant served as the assistant conductor for the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Chorus. This ensemble is a semi-professional community chorus that performs a variety of works with a large orchestra. Grant has assisted in preparing the ensemble for works such as Handel's Messiah, Brahms' Triumphlied, Duruflé's Requiem, and various octavos. In addition, Grant served as music director at First Presbyterian Church, Bloomington. Some of the major works performed by this ensemble include Handel's Messiah, Bach Cantata 106 Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, and Vivaldi's Magnificat.
As a performer, Grant has maintained an active presence throughout his career including a role in Eugene Onegin (Captain) at the 2017 Spoleto Festival U.S.A. He maintains active solo engagements with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and he has also performed as a soloist throughout the Middle Tennessee area including Music City Baroque Ensemble, St. George Episcopal Church, Downtown Presbyterian Church, Middle Tennessee State University, Sewanee University, Tennessee State University. He has also been an active member of several ensembles including the Westminster Choir, Westminster Kantorei Choir, Philadelphia Symphonic Chorus, Music City Baroque, and Nashville Chamber Singers.
Grant is doctoral candidate in Choral Conducting with a minor in Vocology at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, under the tutelage of Dr. Betsy Burleigh, Dr. Dominick DiOrio, Prof. Walter Huff, and Dr. Brian Gill. He received his masters of music in choral conducting at the Westminster Choir College under the tutelage of Dr. Joe Miller and Dr. Amanda Quist. His undergraduate degree in vocal music education is from Middle Tennessee State University under the tutelage of Dr. Raphael Bundage, Dr. Jamila McWhirter, Dr. Nancy Boone-Allsbrook, and Dr. Christine Isley-Farmer.