Earlier this fall, the Harvard Glee Club bid farewell to one resident conductor and welcomed another. 

In August, Harris Ipock, the Glee Club’s resident conductor since 2012, headed back to his home state of Virginia to become Director of the Conservatory Choir and a Visiting Choral Artist at Shenandoah University.

Ipock’s five years with the Glee Club were marked by his approachability, commitment to musical excellence, and dedication to teaching and mentorship. In addition to his day-to-day work with the group, he served as conductor on two tours: the 2016 Spring Tour to the American Southwest and the 2017 New Year’s Tour to Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. 

Speaking of the unique opportunities afforded by the Glee Club experience following the 2017 Tour, Ipock noted how singing in the group provides “such an incredible opportunity to broaden your horizons beyond what you would [otherwise] be able to do in your lifetime” and how “for anyone to have an experience like this is going to affect who they are for the rest of their lives.” 

A self-proclaimed choral nerd, Ipock delights in pointing out especially brilliant chord progressions and pushing singers to improve their vocal technique. As one recent alumnus put it, “Harris was always capable of getting the best possible sound that the Glee Club was capable of making. It was an incredible experience to be in a musical setting led by someone who himself is also an extremely talented performer.” Currently completing his Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting at the Eastman School of Music, Ipock is also a highly acclaimed concert soloist, most notably through his work with Craig Hella Johnson’s Conspirare in which he served as a section leader for the group’s Grammy-winning Sacred Spirit of Russia album (2015).

It is with heartfelt gratitude that we bid Ipock farewell and wish him the best in his future endeavors. The singers at Shenandoah are indeed fortunate to be working with such a gifted musician and kind and generous soul.

Joining the Glee Club this fall as its new resident conductor is Nathan Reiff. Reiff comes to Harvard from Yale University where he recently completed coursework for a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and worked with the Yale Glee Club and the Yale Camerata. He holds an M.M. in choral conducting from the University of Michigan where he served as Conductor of the Orpheus Singers, Assistant Conductor of Arts Chorale and the Residential College Singers, and Music Director of the Ann Arbor Cantata Singers. Prior to his graduate studies, he received a B.A. in Music with distinction at Yale, where he performed as a member and Music Director of the Whiffenpoofs. In addition to his work as a conductor, Reiff taught music at the International School of Trieste in Trieste, Italy and assisted the violinist Midori with the administration of non-profit organizations specializing in music education and community outreach. 

The past few months have been a “whirlwind” for Reiff, who in addition to joining the Glee Club as resident conductor also got married this summer, moved to Boston, and joined the choral conducting faculty at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Reiff tells the Foundation that he is “incredibly excited and honored” to work with the Glee Club, and that he finds Cambridge “much nicer than New Haven.”

We’re excited for Reiff and the Glee Club as they embark on this new chapter together, and we’re confident that Reiff will contribute to the group’s continued flourishing.

Posted October 10, 2017