WILLIAM HENRY CALDWELL BIO
Baritone William Henry Caldwell served as head of the Vocal and Choral Department and Chair of The Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Central State University in Wilberforce from 1979 to 2013. Having created one of the finest vocal and choral programs in the history of the institutionand upon his retirement as a full professor of music, tremendous interest in the position attracted applicants throughout the vocal and choral music world from all races, creeds, and color at the historically Black college in Wilberforce, Ohio established in 1887. Working with some of the world’s finest orchestral conductors, William Henry Caldwell has prepared choruses for the Indianapolis Pops, the Cincinnati Pops, the Cincinnati May Festival, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dayton Bach Society, the Vocal Arts Ensemble, and the Cleveland Orchestra. He has served as guest clinician for the Cincinnati Boy’s Choir and the Young People’s Choral Collective (YPCC) of Cincinnati, Ohio. Currently, Mr. Caldwell is the Artistic Director for the Vocal Arts Mastery Program, which is a special after school program for the city of Cleveland sponsored by the Cleveland Foundation and the Tri-C Creative Arts Division. He is the resident conductor of the Martin Luther King Junior Celebration Chorus for the Cleveland Orchestra and the resident conductor for the Classical Roots Community Mass Choir for the Cincinnati Symphony. Mr. Caldwell has served as guest conductor for the Ohio All-State Choir Festival and traveled to Passau Germany as conductor of the world renowned Central State University Chorus in preparation for the first World Choir Games held in Cincinnati and the United States. While in Germany the chorus performed on Musikantenstadl and was seen by millions on national television. Under his leadership, the Central State University Chorus performed throughout Europe including a performance at the Vatican. The chorus also performed at the U. S. Embassy in Beijing. Mr. Caldwell continues to serve as an adjudicator at numerous choral competitions and festivals with the most recent being The Negro Spiritual Festival of Detroit. Recently, he guest conducted choruses in Los Angeles and Cincinnati featuring works by African American composer Glenn Jones. Seventeen years ago in 2003, Mr. Caldwell joined the Cleveland Orchestra family when he was invited to prepare the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Chorus, which was the debut appearance of Maestro Franz Welser Most for the MLK celebration. Under his direction the Central State University Chorus became the resident chorus for the Cleveland Orchestra Martin Luther King Celebration until his retirement from Central State University in 2013. For 34 years, Mr. Caldwell, who was a full professor of music, served as conductor of the Grammy nominated Central State University Chorus and under his chairmanship, the Ohio Board of Regents recognized the Department of Fine and Performing Arts as a Center of Excellence. Under his direction, the Central State University Chorus can be heard on more than six recordings on the Telarc label including a recording of Porgy and Bess, Blue Monday, and Amen: A Gospel Celebration. He is a very active board member for the Dayton Performance Arts Alliance, the Rosenthal Foundations for the Arts, the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, the Dayton Public Radio WDPR, and the May Festival. He is music director at historic First Baptist Church of Dayton, Ohio. Mr. Caldwell is a native of Demopolis, Alabama. He attended Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with degrees in Music and English. He did graduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin for the Master of Music in Vocal Performance, and continued study for the doctorate at The Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music with a cognate in choral conducting. Mr. Caldwell continues to sing as a lyric baritone and currently lives in Dayton, Ohio, Washington Township.