Lawrence Abernathy is a choral artist based in greater-Kansas City where he is in demand as a conductor, clinician and tenor. He is currently the Director of Choirs at Washburn University where he leads the University Choir, University Singers and teaches classes in conducting and rehearsal techniques, diction, and vocal pedagogy.
Recognized for his engaging and dynamic conducting style, Lawrence is noted as a versatile musician, comfortable in a wide range of styles and periods. Recent conducting engagements include performances of Haydn's Missa in Angustiis, Luis Advis' Cantata Popular: Santa Maria del Iquique, The Hope of Loving by Jake Runestad and Bach's BWV 22, Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe with the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project. Lawrence made his international debut in 2017 with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Elora Singers, has conducted the Vancouver Chamber Choir and in 2024 will lead a performance of Marianne Martinez's Dixit Dominus in Paris with Mid America Productions. In addition, Lawrence was the Associate Director for Poulenc's Gloria at Indiana University, and served as the Assistant Chorus Master for Puccini's La Rondie, Rossini's Il barbieri di Siviglia, and Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro produced by the IU Opera Ballet Theater.
Lawrence enjoys an active schedule as a tenor and has performed as a soloist and ensemble member with groups such as Spire Chamber Ensemble, Are Longa Ensemble, and The Cecilia Ensemble. While at Indiana University he was featured in the Bloomington Early Music Festival singing music from 16th century Guatemala alongside Carolaan Buff, performed multiple roles in Cavalieri's Rappresentatione di Anima, et di Corpo under the direction of Nigel North, and regularly collaborated with Dana Marsh and the Historic Performance Institute.
Lawrence's research include novel approaches to score study, conducting pedagogy, the music of Gabriel Jackson and interrogating the classical cannon. His research has been presented at state and national conferences including the 2022 National Collegiate Choral Organization's 9th biennial conference. His dissertation (forthcoming) will be a conductors guide to Gabriel Jackson's The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lawrence holds a Masters of Music from the University of South Carolina, and has completed coursework towards the Doctor of Music at Indiana University.
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