It gives us great pleasure to announce that Fort Worth Chorale has chosen Dr. Karen Kenaston-French as our new Artistic Director and Mr. Steven Couch as Associate Conductor!
We are eager for them to both push our musical boundaries even further and help us build exciting new bridges.
Artistic Director / Conductor
Dr. Karen Kenaston-French
Dr. Kenaston-French is in her 10th year as Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Texas Arlington, where she conducts the A Cappella Choir, teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting, and heads the Vocal Area. Under her direction the UTA A Cappella Choir has performed at TMEA, SWACDA, and national ACDA conventions and has made appearances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Texas Ballet Theatre, and the Rolling Stones.
Prior to her arrival at UTA, Dr. Kenaston-French served as Director of Choral Activities at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, where she led the Chamber Singers in two appearances at the Tennessee Music Education Association state conference, and in master classes with Chanticleer, Cantus, and Libby Larsen. She taught conducting at Southern Methodist University and the University of North Texas, and was director of music ministries at Plymouth Park United Methodist Church in Irving, Texas from 1986-1998. Dr. Kenaston-French has been guest conductor for choirs in Colorado, Michigan and Tennessee, for numerous TMEA region choirs, for the American Festival of the Arts (AFA), and is a frequent clinician and adjudicator of high school choirs across the state. She serves as artistic director of the highly successful All-State Choir Camp, One Last Look Workshop, and the Area Workshop at UTA, which collectively attract more than 500 students each year. She continues to share her experience in church music as a faculty member for SMU’s Church Music Summer Seminar and as clinician for church choirs.
Dr. Kenaston-French holds a B.A. in vocal performance from West Virginia Wesleyan College, M.M. and M.S.M. degrees in choral conducting from Southern Methodist University, and a D.M.A. in choral conducting from the University of North Texas, where she was named outstanding graduate student in conducting and ensembles and the Pi Kappa Lambda outstanding doctoral student. She studied conducting with Jerry McCoy, Mel Ivey, Lloyd Pfautsch, Jane Marshall, and Larry Parsons, and in 2011 was a conductor for the Choral/Orchestral Master Class of the Oregon Bach Festival, under Helmut Rilling and Jeffrey Kahane. Vocal studies include graduate work with Lynn Eustis at UNT and Linda Baer at SMU. Her article “The Teachings of Jean-Antoine Bérard” was published in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Journal of Singing in November 2009. She sang in the Dallas Symphony Chorus from 1993-2003, and was selected by national audition to sing in the first Robert Shaw Festival Chorus at Carnegie Hall in 1991.
Dr. Kenaston-French may be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven Couch is a conductor, organist, pianist, flutist and published arranger/composer. He holds a Bachelors of Church Music from Friends University, Wichita KS. Steven has composed and arranged hundreds of pieces for use in worship and concerts. He has arranged and/or orchestrated for Kristen Chenoweth, Esera Tualo, Nell Carter, Cynthia Clawson, Mark Hayes, Marvin Gaspard, Greg Gilpin, The Turtle Creek Chorale, Resounding Harmony, Credo of Dallas, the New Texas Symphony Orchestra, and many other church groups, civic ensembles, choirs, orchestras and soloists. Steven currently serves as Director of Worship and Music at New World United Methodist Church in Arlington. Additionally, he is in pursuit of the Masters Degree in Choral Conducting at University of Texas, Arlington, studying with Dr. Karen Kenaston-French. Steven is a member of the American Guild of Organists, The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship, National Flute Association, American Choral Directors Association and on the board of the Dallas Chapter of Chorister’s Guild.
Alan Buratto is the long-standing accompanist for Fort Worth Chorale and choral director for the Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth. His past teaching and accompanying experience includes twenty years as a director of the Texas Boys’ Choir, and, in an administrative capacity, six years as director of Fort Worth Opera's education program. A pianist with a love of the human voice, he has served as adjunct faculty and coach/accompanist for the TCU and Texas Wesleyan University Opera Theaters. He has recorded as accompanist on MMG, Vox Turnabout, and Resmiranda labels and served as pianist for the Gregg Smith Singers, Metropolitan Opera stars William Walker and Jean Kraft, and the Texas Music Educator Association’s All-State Choir. He has served as clinician and guest conductor for Arlington, Plano, Richardson, Fort Worth and Temple school districts and statewide TMEA and Orff/Kodaly conventions.