Location: Arizona, USA
Dr. Thomas Bookhout is Chorus Master for The Phoenix Symphony. Bookhout brings to The Phoenix Symphony nearly 30 years of experience in the choral art, including leading symphony, opera, university, community, school, and church choruses. Since joining The Phoenix Symphony Chorus in 2012, he has prepared the Chorus for numerous and varied performances, including Estévez’s Cantata Criolla, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Handel’s Messiah, Vaughan Williams’s Serenade To Music, and Verdi’s Requiem (April 2014); as well as exciting performances in the Pops Series, and a concert with Andrea Bocelli in 2013. In 2015, Bookhout will make his Carnegie Hall conducting debut, conducting Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Manhattan Concert Productions Festival Chorus, anchored by The Phoenix Symphony Chorus, and the New York City Chamber Orchestra. During his tenure, the Phoenix Symphony Chorus has grown 40% in size, and has enjoyed a reputation for its engaging rehearsals, its camaraderie, and its commanding performances.
For five years, Bookhout was Chorus Master for the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra in Charleston, WV, where he prepared the chorus for symphonic performances such as Britten’s War Requiem, Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony, and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast; and for fully staged operas, including Carmen, Il Trovatore, and Die Fledermaus, earning notable reviews in the American Record Guide and Opera News.
Bookhout currently is High School Principal and Director of Fine Arts at Scottsdale Christian Academy. From 1993-2014, he was Director of the Sanctuary Choir at Camelback Bible Church, which performed a featured concert at the 2012 annual conference of the AZ American Choral Directors Association, toured Poland in 2010, and regularly performsed major choral-orchestral works in the Camelback Performance Series. He is an active choral clinician and adjudicator. Bookhout also has been Music Director of the Taghkanic Chorale (succeeding two internationally-known conductors, Johannes Somary and Dennis Keene, in that position), Director of Choral Activities at the University of Charleston, WV, and Director of Music at The Stony Brook School in New York.
Bookhout earned his doctorate at Arizona State University, a masters degree from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, and a bachelors degree from Houghton College, NY. His teachers and coaches have included Donald Neuen, Donald Bailey, Alfred Mann, Samuel Adler, David Stocker, Eric Nelson, Joseph Flummerfelt, Frauke Haaseman, and Dale Warland. He is on the executive board of the AZ American Choral Directors Association, and is a member of numerous professional organizations, including NATS and Southwest Liederkranz.