Kimberly Dunn Adams is the Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Western Michigan University, where she directs the University Chorale, Collegiate Singers, Grand Chorus, and graduate program in choral conducting. She also teaches choral literature, choral conducting, and advanced conducting.
Under Adams’ direction, the University Chorale at WMU has been selected to perform at state and regional ACDA conferences and the Michigan Music Conference. In 2013, the WMU Chorale received second place in the 2013 American Prize, a national music competition. In the same year, Chorale was featured in an award-winning, nationally-aired commercial for the university. In 2017, they traveled to Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia on a performance and competition tour, winning three gold diplomas, the Director Prize, and the Grand Prix of the Kaunas Cantat. Adams has released two recordings with the WMU Chorale. In 2015, she conducted the premiere recording of Paul Lansky’s cantata, Contemplating Weather, for Bridge Records. University Chorale’s latest album, Ex Corde, was released in 2016; both albums are available through iTunes, Amazon, and other international retail distributors for purchase and streaming.
Adams has earned numerous accolades and opportunities throughout her career. She was named a Conducting Fellow in the ACDA International Conductors Exchange Program (Sweden, 2015) and authored an article in the Choral Journal about the experience. She has presented at World Choral Symposium (Barcelona, 2017) and Nordic Choral Conference (Malmö, 2015), the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) conference (Baton Rouge, 2017), the Michigan Music Conference, and MSVMA’s Summer Workshop (2014, 2015, Headliner - 2019). She has guest conducted and given workshops to choirs around the United States and in several countries.
From 2006–11, Adams was the Director of Choral Ensembles and Lecturer in Music at Mount Holyoke College, where she taught conducting and directed the Glee Club, Chorale, and Chamber Singers. She has previously conducted the University of Wisconsin-Madison Masters Singers and Women’s Chorus, Yale Marquand Chapel Choir, Yale Repertory, and Recital Choruses, and Oberlin Women’s Choir. Adams has also enjoyed her time as a music director at churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Connecticut.
Adams holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from Oberlin College and a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Oberlin Conservatory. She received the Master of Music degree in choral conducting from the Yale School of Music. Adams earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting with a minor in music theory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a graduate student, she received 2nd Prize at the American Choral Directors Association national conducting competition, among other fellowships and prizes from her alma maters. Additionally, she participated in the Oregon Bach Festival conducting a master class with Helmuth Rilling and was a fellow in orchestral conducting at the Conductor’s Institute at the University of South Carolina.
An active member of the American Choral Directors Association, Adams has served as the on the boards for both Massachusetts and Michigan ACDA. She is also a member of the Michigan School Vocal Music Association, Chorus America, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, and is a past president of WMU’s Pi Kappa Lambda Chapter. Adams is highly praised for her energetic, positive, and insightful work as an honor choir conductor and is a sought-after guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator.
For more information about the choral studies program, be sure to visit the choral studies page.