Joe Svendsen is Assistant Professor of Music and Assistant Director of Choral Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He conducts the UNLV Singers, the University Chorale, and the UNLV Early Music Ensemble. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in choral conducting, choral literature, and choral methods, and serves as a facility advisor for the Rebel Rousers, UNLV’s a cappella ensemble. Svendsen has conducted and/or prepared choirs for performances in collaboration with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Bach Collegium San Diego, the Las Vegas Baroque Festival, serves as chorus master for Opera Las Vegas, and has served as an invited conductor and clinician for middle school, high school, and church choirs in California, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, Texas, and Wisconsin. In 2018 he served as a clinician, consultant, adjudicator, and conductor for over thirty middle school, high school, community, and professional ensembles/festivals in four states, working with over 5,000 individual singers, musicians, and music educators.
Previously, Svendsen served as an instructor at Texas Tech University where he conducted the Matador Singers men’s chorus and University Singers and taught courses in vocal pedagogy and choral methods. For six years he taught vocal music at Fort Dodge Senior High School in Fort Dodge, Iowa, conducting men’s and mixed choruses and teaching secondary general music, voice, and musical theatre.
Mr. Svendsen currently serves as Collegiate Advisor on the board of the Nevada Music Educators Association and as the Nevada representative to the Keep Singing Project leadership team, an organization dedicated to encouraging graduating high school seniors to participate in choral ensembles at the college and community level. He serves on the steering committee for the Western ACDA conference and as the College R&R Chair for Nevada ACDA. He was recently named Artistic Director of the Las Vegas Baroque Festival.
Svendsen holds a Doctor of Music in Choral Conducting from Texas Tech University, a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Bachelor’s degrees from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. His conducting teachers include Richard Bjella, Chester Alwes, Craig Arnold, Timothy Peter, and David Weiller.Follow @josephsvendsen