J. D. GODDARD, MUSIC DIRECTOR Euclid Symphony Orchestra
J.D. Goddard, the newly appointed Conductor of the Euclid Symphony Orchestra (2012) made his conducting debut at the age of 9 (Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony). He is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the Master Singers Inc. Chorale of Northeast Ohio and its MSI Orchestra (2001/present) as well as Artistic Director of the Chagrin Valley Choral Union (2007/present). J.D. began clarinet studies at the age of 4 and at the age of 18 became a professional clarinetist and performing member of the Musicians Union in Los Angeles, California and was appointed assistant conductor of the San Gabriel Valley Honors Youth Orchestra in Southern California.
Since that time, he has conducted and served as a clinician for orchestras and choruses both amateur and professional throughout the United States. J.D. has directed many varied types of musical organizations including symphony orchestras, opera orchestras, pit orchestras, master choruses, opera choruses, a cappella choruses, women’s glee clubs, men’s glee clubs, jazz show choirs, chamber singers, madrigal singers and numerous youth choirs.
He developed his baritone/tenor vocal training with Jess Walters, lead baritone with the Covent Garden Opera in England. This led to J.D.’s recognition as a performing artist with the Los Angeles Co-Opera Company, San Francisco Opera Company, Santa Fe Opera Company (Young Artist Apprentice Program), and Kenley Players (Actors Equity). He has also performed as a guest artist with the Amarillo Symphony, the San Gabriel Valley Symphony, the DePauw University Orchestra and the Akron Symphony (Carmina Burana). Dr. Goddard was twice a southwest regional finalist for the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, and has presented solo performances in England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy.
He received his formal training and two conducting degrees under the internationally acclaimed choral conductor/teacher Dr. Howard Swan. Further training included studies with Robert Shaw and Roger Wagner. While an undergraduate student at Occidental College, he was awarded first prize in the Southern California Collegiate Choral Conducting Competition. As a graduate student at the University of Texas, J.D. conducted the nationally acclaimed UT Men’s Glee Clubs, while earning further degrees in operatic performance, and orchestral/choral conducting. Dr. Goddard became a graduate assistant to Dr. Walter Ducloux, director of opera at The University of Texas and served as head of the voice and opera departments at Amarillo College, attaining tenure and full professorship. He was also director of opera and voice teacher at The University of Akron where he implemented and founded the University’s first totally student run full-time opera program. While at The University of Akron, he also conducted four choral organizations, Men’s Glee Club, Women’s Glee Club, Chamber Singers and Jazz Show Choir. He has held the title of conductor/director of opera.at Kent State University. J.D. is currently a correspondent/reviewer for the internet site www.clevelandclassical.com.
Musicians throughout northeast Ohio are united in their praise of J.D.’s extraordinary ability to teach, prepare and empower instrumentalists/singers, in a limited amount of rehearsal time, to present profound and exciting orchestral and choral performances of outstanding quality. His sincere interest in the musicians as individuals is what sets him apart as being a conductor of notable exception.
…..”resonant of bass, towering both vocally and physically.” Also, J.D.’s conducting has been reviewed as “clear and adroit,” “blissfully antic,” and “splendidly imaginative, while maintaining smooth control over the proceedings.”
“Your conception of the (Dvorak) Mass (in D) was brilliant, and your conducting was a model of clarity.”
…..Daniel Hathaway, Founder and Editor in Chief of clevelandclassical.com.