Dr. Albert J. Mcneil

Dr.

Specialization: Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of California at Davis

About Dr. McNeil

Albert McNeil is a native Californian — born in Los Angeles. He earned Bachelor and Master degrees at the University of California, Los Angeles, and did his doctoral studies at the University of Southern California, the Westminster Choir College of Princeton, and the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He is presently Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of California at Davis, where he was Director of Choral Activities for 21 years and headed the Music Education Program. Simultaneous with the Davis period, he taught Ethnomusicology at the University of Southern California for 12 years.

Prior to his University teaching, McNeil taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 17 years beginning at the elementary level and including junior highs, and ended his tenure in the district at the Susan Miller Dorsey High School where he headed a multi-school program known as APEX, Area Project for Educational Exchange involving five High Schools in a unique federally funded experimental program with each high school specializing in unique course offerings.

The McNeil Jubilee Singers ensemble is his creation, and he has dedicated himself to upholding a choral tradition of excellence with the presentation of the concert spiritual and the ever-increasing contributions of African American composers of concert music, opera, and theatre music. Under his direction, the group, now in its 40th year, has performed in over 70 countries, including Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, and North and West Africa. During the summer of 1997 they completed their third tour of South America after numerous transcontinental tours of the U.S., Hawaii, and Canada.

McNeil’s guest conducting assignments during 1999-2000 included the Holland Festival (Michigan), the Heartland Chamber Ensemble (Ft. Wayne, Indiana), as headliner before the Choral Conductor’s Guild Convention 2000 (Pasadena, CA), Association of Church Musicians and the Schola Cantorum (Palo Alto, CA). McNeil’s second performance in Carnegie Hall (June, 2001) featured the music of Jester Hairston and celebrated the late composer’s 100th birthday with a choir of 219 singers from throughout California. He was one of the conductors who appeared with the 300-voice Children’s Choir at the Des Moines International Children’s Choral Festival, known also, as “Song Burst!”, July 4 – 7, 2001.