Position: Conservatory Choir Director; Choral Artist
Location: Ruebush Hall, Room 239
Employed Since: 2018
B.M., Simpson College; M.A., University of York; D.M.A. University of Nebraska
Fields of Expertise:
- Choral conducting
- Choral performance
- Choral composition
- Early music (vocal)
Dr. Oltman is music director emeritus of the Grammy Award-winning male vocal ensemble, Chanticleer, and artistic director emeritus of the New York-based Empire City Men’s Chorus. He will serve as the conductor of the Conservatory Choir, teach courses in choral conducting and literature, and assist in the leadership of Shenandoah Conservatory’s dynamic Vocal/Choral Division. He is also the associate director of CORO and leads the CORO/Simpson College summer master’s program in choral conducting.
Oltman first joined Chanticleer in 1999, singing in the ensemble until his appointment as music director in 2009. As a singing member, he appeared on 12 albums and toured extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He expanded the ensemble’s repertoire and attracted a younger, tech-savvy audience during three critically acclaimed seasons as the ensemble’s music director, which included over 300 concerts in more than a dozen countries. In addition, he helped launch the Chanticleer Live in Concert (CLIC) recording label and was the editor of the Chanticleer Choral Series, published by Hinshaw Music.
Dedicated to the creation of new choral music, he has facilitated commissions from composers such as Stephen Paulus, Mason Bates, Steven Sametz, Jan Sandström, Peter Michaelides, Roxanna Panufnik, and Ilyas Iliya, as well as Vince Peterson, who arranged the choral/indie pop sensation, “Cells Planets.”
Oltman has served as lecturer in music at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln; guest director of choral activities at the University of California, Berkeley; and guest lecturer in music at Texas State University. He is a regular guest conductor at the Choral Chameleon Summer Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and the Taiwan Youth Festival Chorus in Taipei. He has conducted All-State choruses in Texas and Georgia and made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut in 2014, as part of the DCINY concert series.
Oltman is well known for his connection to Franz Biebl’s ubiquitous choral setting of the “Ave Maria.” His experience performing, conducting and recording the piece over two decades led him write a history and analysis in 2017.
Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Oltman earned a Bachelor of Music. in vocal performance from Simpson College, a Master of Arts in music from the University of York in England, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.