Randy Swiggum headshot

Randal Swiggum,
Britten and Holst Conductor

Besides conducting Britten and Holst, Randal Swiggum has served as Artistic Director of the award winning Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra (Chicago) since 1998. He is also has served as education conductor for a number of professional orchestras including The Florida Orchestra, Elgin Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, and Boise Philharmonic.  With the Madison Symphony he frequently designs and conducts concerts for young people, including Symphony Soup, the Fall Youth Concerts, and the Carnegie Link-Up concerts.  In 2016, he conducts the Milwaukee Symphony in Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem, in a special concert for high school students.

Randy was Artistic Director of the Madison Children's Choir from 1996-2000 and led the first international tour for Ragazzi and Cantabile to Brazil in 1998.  He has also taught at Whitefish Bay High School, Verona High School, UW-Milwaukee, and Lawrence University.

A frequent guest conductor of orchestral and choral festivals, he conducted the first ever Pennsylvania All-State Junior High Choir, as well as the MENC All-Northwest Honor Choir in Portland, New York City Interschool Choral Festival, Mansfield (PA) University Choral Festival, American Mennonite Schools Orchestra Festival, Northern Arizona Honors Orchestra, and both the Wisconsin Middle Level Honors Choir and Orchestra.  Recently he has conducted orchestra or choral festivals in Aberdeen, Scotland; Seoul, Korea, and Singapore as well as the All-State Orchestras in Georgia and Illinois. In 2009, he conducted the Scottish National Youth Symphony and returned to Seoul for the APAC Choral Festival, which he co-conducted with colleague Margaret Jenks.  He and Margaret also were invited to co-conduct ACDA Young Men's Honor Choirs in Cincinnati (2010) and Madison (2012).  

A passionate advocate for a richer learning experience in the rehearsal, Randy serves on the Wisconsin CMP (Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance) Project. He has addressed the Pennsylvania MENC and ACDA, Minnesota ACDA, Iowa ACDA, Illinois ACDA and IMEA, Maryland MENC, the ACDA North Central Division and Eastern Division, the Texas Orchestra Directors Association, and MENC National Conventions in Phoenix and Kansas City.  He often works with music teachers in workshops and in-services across the U.S.  With colleague Margaret Jenks, he recently taught a CMP workshop in Hong Kong for teachers across southeast Asia.  They both also continue to serve as faculty for the Carnegie Hall Music Educators Workshop in New York City.

Randy has led concert tours throughout Europe, Canada, and the Americas. He has music directed over thirty stage works including the 1991 premiere of the Theatre X opera, Liberace.  He created the music for celebrated director Eric Simonsen's new production of Moby Dick for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, named by TIME magazine as one of the 10 Best Theatrical Productions of 2002, and was Music Director for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre's beloved annual "A Christmas Carol" for thirteen years.  He is author of Strategies for Teaching High School Chorus (MENC 1998), and co-author of Shaping Sound Musicians (GIA 2003).  He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at UW-Madison.

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