Assistant Professor of Music and Co-Chair of the Music Department
Director of Choral Music
D.M.A., The University of Illinois at Urbana-
B.M., M.M., Brigham Young University
Bryson Mortensen is Director of Choral Activities and conductor of the Virginia Wesleyan Singers and Virginia Wesleyan Chorale. Previously Bryson was Artistic Director of the Festival Choir of Madison where he premiered more than fifteen works by living composers in four years, and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wisconsin – Rock County where he brought the UW-Rock County Jazz Singers to perform at the Wisconsin Choral Director’s Association convention. He has also conducted choirs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Brigham Young University, co-founded The Heritage Singers in Champaign, Illinois, and conducted QuoQue in Provo, Utah. Bryson is also an active clinician and conductor for High Schools and festivals around the country.
As a professional vocalist, Bryson is a regular performer with the Virginia Chorale and has performed across the Midwest and West with choirs such as the Bach Chamber Choir and the Deseret Chamber Singers, and has been a soloist on works such as Handel’s Messiah, Carrissimi’s Jepthe, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and Schubert’s Mass in G.
Bryson’s research focuses on increasingly literacy and improving vocal technique in the high school and young collegiate choir as well as studying and transcribing the sketchbooks of Edward Elgar’s choral music.
“Imperial Propaganda and Caractacus: Social Darwinism and Britain’s altruistic obligation” Elgar Society Journal 19, no. 1 (April 2015): 30 – 37.
“Finding the Head Voice: The Challenge of Developing the Male Head Voice in a Mixed Choir Environment.” Choral Journal 55, no. 5 (December 2014): 53 – 60.
“Imperial Propaganda and Caractacus: Chivalry, militarism, and the multi-faceted character of Elgar’s British Army.” Elgar Society Journal 18, no. 5 (August 2014): 25 – 36.
“Imperial Propaganda and Caractacus: The Woodlands and Elgar’s Love of Country.” Elgar Society Journal 18, no. 3 (December 2013): 30 – 41.
“Traditional and Art Music in Ghana.” Presentation at the Wisconsin Choral Director’s Association State Convention, Appleton, Wisconsin, January 2015.
“Teaching Harmonic Context through Solfeggio.” Presentation at the North Central Regional Convention of the American Choral Director’s Association, Des Moines, Iowa, March 2014.
“A Spiral Approach to Vocal Technique.” Presentation at the Wisconsin Choral Director’s Association State Convention, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, January 2014.