Deborah Simpkin King, Ph.D., is a visionary choral conductor, new music advocate, and master teacher. She plays an active role in the vibrant Manhattan choral scene and serves the national and international music community through her guest conducting and body of published work.
Her leadership as a conductor is ongoing with not only her own choral ensembles, the semi-professional Ember of Schola Cantorum on Hudson and the Presbyterian Church of Chatham Township (PCCT), but also within Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and other guest conducting appearances.
Schola is the parent organization of PROJECT : ENCORE™, an international advocacy initiative founded by Dr. King that promotes post-premiere performances of new music. Through PROJECT : ENCORE, she is at the leading edge of the new music industry, working with composers in finding post-premiere performances, and performing many premieres herself.
Supplementing her work in the not-for-profit and professional conducting arena, Dr. King frequently works as a professor and as a director of music within church programs. She has guided several university choral programs through times of transition, most recently serving as the Interim Director of Choral Activities at William Paterson University (WPU). Currently, Dr. King is the Music Director of the Presbyterian Church of Chatham Township.
Dr. King is a frequent guest conductor. She was one of five conductors chosen to work with Simon Halsey in the 2016 premiere preparation and performance of David Lang’s new commission, ‘the public domain,’ calling for 1000 voices, in celebration of the 50-year anniversary of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival. She served similarly in 2018’s Mostly Mozart Festival for the premiere by John Luther Adams of In the Name of the Earth. She also recently guest conducted for the Tlaxcala Canta choral festival in Tlaxcala, Mexico.
As an ongoing columnist with ACDA’s The Choral Journal, and host of public radio’s Sounds Choral, Dr. King serves the music community worldwide. King is Chairman of the New York Choral Consortium (NYCC), the coordinator of the NJ-ACDA HS Choral Festival and a frequent presenter at professional conferences on choral consortia and new music.