University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Sharon Hansen

sharon hansen

Director of Choral Activities; Professor, Conducting

(414) 229-3608
MUS 165

Hansen is Professor and Director of Choral Activities and head of Graduate Choral Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Esteemed as a conductor and master teacher throughout the United States and in Europe, Hansen has guest conducted the Romanian National Radio Choir (Bucharest) on numerous occasions; the Gachinger Kantorei and Bach Collegium-Stuttgart; the Stockholm Conservatory Chamber Choir; the Moldavian and Oltenian Philharmonic Choirs (Iasi and Craiova, Romania); and the University of Regensburg (Germany) Symphony Orchestra. She has presented master classes in conducting in Romania's Academy of Music (Bucharest) and Ovidius University (Constanza), and was guest lecturer at the first and second annual Romanian National Choral Director's Association Conferences in Sinaia. She led the first International Choral Conducting Master class in Bucharest in September 2003, returning in 2004 for the second such master class.

Hansen's UWM Concert Chorale made their Carnegie Hall debut in 1997. Her collegiate and professional ensembles have been featured at state and regional MENC and ACDA conventions, as well as at national conventions of other distinguished professional organizations. She has guest conducted numerous high school and collegiate state and district honor choirs, and has conducted All-State choirs in Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Hansen holds the Doctorate in Conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Eph Ehly and Glen Block. While on sabbatical in Germany, Hansen sang over sixty-five concerts throughout Europe with conductor Helmuth Rilling and his ensembles. As a result of this study, she authored Helmuth Rilling: Conductor -Teacher. Since 1996, Hansen has been a member of the Editorial Board of the Choral Journal, where she is editor of "On the Voice," featuring articles dedicated to issues of vocal health and pedagogy. Hansen's research has been presented at Regional and National ACDA Conventions, as well as in other local and national venues.

Hansen's respected efforts in voice education garnered her the entire issue of the November 2008 Choral Journal, which she designed and edited. She is author of "Women, Conductors, and the Tenure Process: What's Up In The Academy?," which appears in Wisdom, Wit, and Will: Women Choral Conductors On Their Art (GIA Publications, 2009). In addition, she is author of a monograph titled On the Voice: ACDA, Teacher Preparation, and Voice Training in the Choral Classroom (1959-2009), which chronicles the history of ACDA's efforts in voice education, and features the best of the articles written for "On the Voice" since its inception.

Sharon A. Hansen is the Founder and Music Director of the Milwaukee Choral Artists, one of only five professional women's vocal ensembles in the country. Founded in 1998, The Milwaukee Choral Artists has been named to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Top Ten Milwaukee Performances list in four consecutive years, most recently being named "Milwaukee's #1 Performing Arts Event for 2007." The ensemble has sung in more than 40 languages from some twenty-six world cultures, and is a champion of new music, regularly commissioning new works. MCA frequently collaborates with Present Music, Milwaukee's internationally acclaimed contemporary music ensemble. Equally well versed in early music, the Milwaukee Choral Artists has appeared twice with the Boston Camerata, and performed with KITKA professional women's ensemble in May 2009. In August 2009, at the invitation of the National Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, MCA performed for their biennial conference at the Milwaukee Art Museum. MCA has also performed for the National Convention of Catholic Cathedral Musicians; as part of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist's Fine Arts Series (Milwaukee); as part of the Cathedral of St. James Fine Arts Series (Chicago); at the French Mass at Milwaukee's Bastille Days; and in state and regional conventions of the American Choral Directors' Association.

Hansen was a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Milwaukee Children's Chorus, serving for seven years; she also served six years on the Board of Directors for Milwaukee's Early Music Now. In tribute to her influence on Southeast Wisconsin's music scene, Hansen was the recipient of both the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Civic Music Association's 2003 Award of Excellence in Choral Music. In 2010, she received the Outstanding Alumni Award from he University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Her professional memberships include ACDA (American Choral Directors Association); Chorus America; IFCM (International Federation of Choral Music); MENC (Music Educators National Conference); NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing); The VoiceCare Network; and The Voice Foundation, for which she is presently Treasurer of the Greater Milwaukee Area Chapter of the Voice Foundation, the United States' first local chapter.