SHHS Silvertones


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About the Conductor

John Shankweiler is director of choral music and theater arts at Strath Haven High School in Wallingford, PA. Thirty-one years ago, when he first arrived at Strath Haven, the choral department consisted of twenty-three students. Today his program includes four choirs, ranging in size from 30 students to 200 students. He holds a B.S. in Music Education and a M.A. in Vocal Performance from West Chester University.

At Strath Haven, Mr. Shankweiler focuses on performing choral masterpieces with his two large ensembles, the Cantata and Camerata, including Faure’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Durufle’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Orff's Carmina Burana, Brahms' Requiem, Mozart's Requiem, Handel's Messiah, and John Rutter's Requiem and Gloria.

John's jazz choir is designed to replicate the style of college a capella ensembles. His most select ensemble, The Silvertones, has given five concert tours in Italy. The Pennsylvania Music Educators' Association has recognized The Silvertones at the PMEA State In-Service Conference in 1996, 2002 and 2005 and in 2008 Music Educators National Conference has recognized them as one of the finest vocal ensembles in the Northeast United States. They performed at the MENC All-Eastern Conference in Providence Rhode Island in 2009.

Strath Haven's musical theater program is known for executing highly professional and innovative productions. John greatly appreciates the works of Stephen Sondheim, and has produced and directed seven of his shows.

As a conductor, John currently conducts The Orpheus Club of Philadelphia. This year, the 80-voice male ensemble celebrates 147 years of Orpheus concerts. Annually, the club performs three concerts at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall.

As an ensemble performer, John specializes in Early Music. He tours, performs and records with the Waverly Consort, a six-voice early music ensemble which has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR's St. Paul Sunday Morning. John and the Waverly Consort can be heard on CBS Masterworks, Angel, and EMI labels.

As a soloist, John has performed Handel's Messiah and the Paul Winter Consort's Missa Gaia at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. He also regularly guests with the Swarthmore College Chorale.

John lives in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. He is raising three beautiful, musical children: Henry, age 20; Simon, age 18; and Charlie, age 16. In his free time, John enjoys swimming, running, sailing, hiking, and making music with his family.




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