Peter Bagley: 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

One of the pathfinders for African-American choral conductors, Dr. Peter Bagley is Professor Emeritus of Music and former Special Assistant to the Dean of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Connecticut. He received a B.S. in Music Education at the Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Potsdam, and his M.M. and D.M. in Choral Music under Julius Herford at Indiana University.

Dr. Bagley began his music teaching career in 1957 in Greenwich, Connecticut, where he was the first African-American teacher in the public schools. While teaching in Greenwich he also sang with the Collegiate Chorale in New York City, led by Robert Shaw. Dr. Bagley served for 16 years as Professor of Music at SUNY New Paltz, and was appointed Director of Choral Activities at UConn in 1984. He led the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Chorus in New London from around 1995 through at least 2001, was one of the key mentors in the founding of Con Brio in 1997, and throughout his career lent his support and inspiration to choral musicians throughout the state.

Dr. Bagley has been invited as guest conductor and choral clinician for numerous festivals throughout the country, including at least 14 all-state choirs. He conducted the MENC All-Eastern Division Chorus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and launched his international career as choral clinician with a ten-city tour of New Zealand sponsored by the New Zealand Choral Federation. In 2011, he traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, to conduct the Nairobi Chamber Choir and the Safaricom Community Choir and Orchestra in a performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in June 1997, conducting the University of Connecticut Festival Chorus and Orchestra in Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem.

Dr. Bagley has been an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, and in 1990 was named Connecticut Choral Educator of the Year. At the 2009 national ACDA convention, he appeared on a panel with five other esteemed conductors entitled “Legends in the American Choral Tradition." He has also been an active member of the Boards of Chorus America and the Hall Johnson Institute.