B i o g r a p h y
Dr. Matthew McConnell holds a B.A. degree in Music from Bennington College, a M.M. degree in Musical Composition with Distinction in Performance (and Academic Honors) from the New England Conservatory of Music, as well as a Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) degree from the same institution.
His primary composition instructors included
Stephen Siegel, Allen Shawn, John Heiss,
and Hollywood film orchestrator Erik Lundborg.
Dr. McConnall studied organ with Dwight Killam, piano performance with Ann Cain, Jane Jenkins, and John Van Buskirk, alto saxophone with Roger LaRocca and Raymond Willard, baritone sax with Carl Jenkins, conducting with Janet McGhee, sacred music, organ and harpsichord with Daniel Pinkham, orchestration with Lee Hyla and Erik Lundborg, mathematical musical systems with Pozzi Escot, and algorithmic composition with Paul Burdick. He received the Aaron Copland scholarship to attend The Conducting Institute’s Composer-Conductor Program at Bard College, and is a member of ASCAP and the American Guild of Organists.
Dr. McConnell collaborated with organists Kent Tritle and Nancianne Parella at St. Ignatius Loyola Church in New York City, and has worked with the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space Concert Series in New York. He has been a guest organist with the Berkshire Lyric Theatre Choir, premiered original works with Kathy Andrew (former violinist for Eric Clapton), and has composed music and worked on tracks for internationally-acclaimed artists including Andra and Florin Salam. McConnell co-founded The Toyland Band, a Boston-based award-winning instrumental ensemble which specialized in performing arrangements of classical and popular music for children on more than thirty toy instruments.
Dr. McConnell is the former Musical Director of the Drury Drama Team, and composed music for the International Thespian Festival held in Lincoln, Nebraska. He concertizes throughout New England, is the Minister of Music at All Saints Berkshires Episcopal Church, and was a Teaching Fellow at the New England Conservatory of Music (2006-2009). In addition to teaching composition, piano, organ, orchestration, keyboard harmony, and music theory, McConnell is a Schillinger scholar who teaches The Schillinger System of Musical Composition to students in Berkshire County. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Music at Northeastern Baptist College and is a professional Composer Mentor at Music-COMP at schools in Southern Vermont.
Dr. McConnell's numerous compositions include symphonic works, concerti, choral pieces, incidental music for plays and various events, song cycles, etc. His works are published by E.C. Schirmer, New Music Shelf, Sacred Music Press, and the Lorenz Corporation. He is particularly fond of his Concerto for Toy Piano and Orchestra, commissioned by Keith Kirchoff, which received a standing ovation at its premiere in Boston in 2004. In the words of toy pianist Margaret Leng Tan, “It is delightfully convincing and well orchestrated so the toy piano can emerge as soloist.”