Michael Kemp

Michael Kemp was a conductor, choral clinician, author, composer, voice teacher, and violist. He was the founding conductor of Philadelphia's Academy Chorale and Orchestra as well as Music Director of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.

With his legendary family choir, the Kemp Carolers, Michael sang almost 100 concerts in Europe at age 15. He was educated at Westminster Choir College, the University of Oklahoma, and the Royal Conservatory of Music in the Hague, Holland. In college he was a soloist with of the well-known Westminster Choir College touring choir, and later was soloist with the Heidelberg-based Seventh Army Soldiers Chorus, singing over 250 concerts in Europe. In addition to his earlier education, with accredited post graduate study, Michael accrued the equivalent of 12 years of college. He also studied privately with world class musicians, Paul Salamunovitch, Alice Parker, Philip Brunelle, Paul Boepple, and Daniel Guilet (Toscanini’s concertmaster with the NBC Symphony Orchestra).  He studied for seven summers with Robert Shaw and taught throughout the U.S. and Canada with choral legends Howard Swann, Weston Noble, and Donald Neuen, as well as those mentioned above. While in Texas, he founded the Arlington Choral Society, which critics placed “on the top rung of choral music in the Dallas Metroplex.” He was also a regular lecturer for SMU’s Perkins School of Theology graduate church music program.

His career in choral conducting included 30 years in church music, 30 years in academics, 40 years conducting community chorales and orchestras, besides teaching 526 choral workshops in every state, Canadian province, and 10 other countries, teaching over 30,000 choir directors and singers. He was also the main clinician at the national music conferences of 16 different church denominations.

In his career, in addition to founding two community choruses and one community orchestra, Michael also built from scratch four church youth choirs and two nationally respected academic high school choirs, and conducted 400 choral and orchestral masterworks. A published composer, Michael was also the author of several significant training books for choral directors and voice teachers, fulfilling a personal goal  to pass on accessible, scholarly concepts to choir directors to enhance their choirs.