Biography

VU publication shot

TUCKER BIDDLECOMBE, (Ph.D) is Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activi-ties at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, where he serves as conductor of the Vanderbilt Chorale and Symphonic Choir, and teaches courses in choral conducting and music education. In addition, he serves as director of Vanderbilt’s five-year Blair to Peabody music teacher education program. In 2016, he was appointed director of the Nashville Symphony Chorus, the official vocal arm of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

Since joining the faculty in 2012, Dr. Biddlecombe has re-invigorated choral activities at the Blair School. Performance highlights have included Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Haydn’s Creation, Bernstein’s MASS, a collaborative concert with Roomful of Teeth, and a centenary celebration of Benjamin Britten. He created the annual Choral Prism concert, which has become the largest-drawing student performance on the Blair concert calendar. The Vanderbilt Chorale released their first solo album in February of 2018, entitled Music in the Listening Place (Navona). Textura noted “the vocal artistry of the Vanderbilt University Chorale is in full and luxuriant display throughout this splendid debut recording.” He is a past recipient of the Blair Faculty Excellence Award. 

His work with the Nashville Symphony has included chorus preparation for Haydn’s Creation, Verdi’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe, and a world premiere recording of John Harbison’s Requiem (Naxos). He has also conducted the orchestra and chorus in performance of Bach’s Ascension Oratorio, Handel’s Coronation Anthem No. 1, and Rutter’s Gloria in the annual Voices of Spring Concert. Upcoming projects include chorus preparation for Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 (Kaddish) and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Conducting engagements in 2019 include his Carnegie Hall debut conducting Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, and Carmina Burana with the Nasville Symphony Chorus in Prague, Czech Republic. 

Over the course of a ten-year career as a public-school music educator, Dr. Biddlecombe achieved National Board Teacher Certification and was awarded ‘Teacher of the Year’ at Lawton Chiles High School (FL). Ensembles under his direction have performed to acclaim at state and division conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. He is in demand as a conductor and clinician, having served as a clinician to choirs in 22 states, and has conducted all-state choruses in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and New York. He is also a published composer and arranger with choral works printed by Hinshaw and Walton Music. Dr. Biddlecombe’s article on specificity of conductor feedback was published in the fourth volume of the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing, and he has conducted residencies with Tarleton State University (TX), the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and San Jose State University.

Off the podium, Biddlecombe is active as a tenor and keyboardist. He has guest-conducted performances with Music City Baroque and the Nashville Early Music Festival and serves as organist and musician at Harpeth Presbyterian Church in Brentwood. Dr. Biddlecombe is active in public school music programs in Nashville, working with teachers as a Side-By-Side Coach with Metro Nashville Public Schools. His web initiative, the Nashville Choral Consortium, tracks each choral ensemble and performance throughout the season and serves as a hub for community, university and church choral performance throughout Middle Tennessee. 

A native of Buffalo New York, Biddlecombe is a graduate of SUNY Potsdam and Florida State University, where he completed doctoral studies in choral conducting and music education with André Thomas. He resides in Nashville with his wife Mary Bid-dlecombe, Artistic Director of the Blair Children’s Chorus. 

(Updated 2/2019)

© Tucker Biddlecombe 2018