Linda Lanier-Keosaian

Linda Lanier-Keosaian has turned a lifelong passion for piano, organ, and choirs into her life's work as a teacher, performer, and church musician. After finishing an undergraduate degree in organ performance at Westminster Choir College, she began teaching in the public schools of Newark, New Jersey. She was successful in starting recorder programs in the elementary schools and choirs in all of the schools where she taught. She continued this even as she raised a family, taught private piano, served many churches as organist/choir director, and finished a Master's Degree in organ performance at Union Seminary's School of Sacred Music in New York City. Her master's recital was given at St. James Episcopal Church in New York and at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She has studied organ with Warren Hutton, Joan Lippincott, Alec Wyton, William Entriken, and Marie Louise Langlais. She has studied conducting with Elaine Brown, Abraham Kaplan, Earl Berg, Margaret Hillis, and Elmer Eisler. She was a conductor participant in the Robert Shaw Festival at Carnegie Hall on three different occasions.

In 1981 she became Vocal/Choral Teacher at Newark's famed Arts High School. While there she increased the number and quality of the choirs. She began the women's choirs for each level to meet the needs of the large number of young women entering the program. These choirs won consistently superior ratings at choral festivals. In order to create new opportunities for all of the choirs and to foster understanding among area choirs, she created the Essex County Choral Festival for high school choirs, and also a High School Women's Choral Festival. At each of these festivals, for a nominal cost to the choirs, there were adjudicators who gave feedback to the ensembles after they performed, and who led them in a final song in which all joined together. While at Arts High School Ms. Lanier-Keosaian was called upon to lead workshops for teachers and to adjudicate at area choir festivals. Her choirs were featured at the All-Eastern MENC Conference in Baltimore in 1987, at which she led a session dealing with the adolescent voice. Another two of her choirs were featured at the New Jersey Music Educators Conference in 1992, again with a workshop on the adolescent voice. Her Freshman/Sophomore Women's Choir was selected by blind tape audition to perform at the All-Eastern MENC Conference in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1995. Her choirs were known for presenting new and unusual repertoire along with the classic literature. She was chosen to conduct the Honors SSA Choir for North Jersey in 1997.

While busy with her choral work, Ms. Lanier-Keosaian continued to perform as an organist and accompanist, appearing in recitals in New Jersey and also in London. She was keyboard player for the South Orange Symphony and for the Montclair State University Orchestra. while working on New Jersey State Certification in Music. As part of her work, she has written a number of pieces for choir. Two are arrangements of spirituals and one is an arrangement of an Armenian children's song.

Ms. Lanier-Keosaian has served as ACDA Eastern Divison Repertoire and Standards Chair for Women's Choirs. In this capacity, she communicated with women's choir directors in the Northeast about relevant issues. She helped plan and manage the convention. She organized a reading session for the Eastern Division Convention for the purpose of exploring new repertoire for women's choirs.

As a teacher in the Park Ridge School system, she has created new courses in World Drumming and in Handchimes, for middle school students. Her All-Star Drummers has performed as part of a presentation at New Jersey City University and by invitation at another school in Newark.

As a student in the Music Education PhD program, she conducted the NYU Women's Choir in their spring concert in 2002, and the Choral Arts Society in 2003. She has presented research papers at the Hawaii International Conference on Education and at the Arts in Education Conference at NYU. She presented a workshop with her drummers at New Jersey City University in the spring of 2009.

Read more at Linda's website

Email: musicdirector@annunciationoradell.org

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