Clara Longstreth, Music Director
Clara Longstreth is the founder and Music Director of New Amsterdam Singer and has led the group for its past 53 seasons. Under her direction, NAS has become known as one of the premier avocational choruses in New York City. Of Ms. Longstreth’s programs, Allan Kozinn wrote in The New York Times, “When a director takes up the challenge of building a cohesive program around a broad theme, we are reminded that programming can be an art.” And in June, 2018, Times critic Anthony Tommasini wrote, “You think von Karajan’s 35-year reign at the Berlin Philharmonic and Eugene Ormandy’s 44-year association with the Philadelphia Orchestra were impressive runs? Well, at a concert on Wednesday night [May 30, 2018], Clara Longstreth concluded her 50th season as music director of the 70-member New Amsterdam Singers….Ms. Longstreth conducted with undiminished energy and focus.”
Ms. Longstreth studied conducting with G. Wallace Woodworth at Harvard University and with Richard Westenburg at the Juilliard School, from which she received her Master’s Degree. She also studied with Amy Kaiser and Semyon Bychkov at the Mannes College of Music, and with Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival. Ms. Longstreth has been a frequent adjudicator at choral conferences, and was selected to present a lecture-demonstration on “Adventures in Programming” at the Eastern Division Convention of the American Choral Directors Association. In 2009 she received an Alumnae Recognition Award from Radcliffe College for her founding and longtime direction of New Amsterdam Singers. Ms. Longstreth has also served on the faculty of Rutgers University, and as a guest conductor of the Limón Dance Company, the Mannes College Orchestra, and the popular Messiah Sing-In performances at Avery Fisher Hall. She has led the chorus on 17 international tours.
David Recca, Assistant Music Director
David J. Recca is currently a lecturer at the Conservatory of Music of Purchase College, SUNY, where he directs the Purchase Chorus and Purchase Chamber Singers, is a frequent guest conductor of the Purchase Symphony Orchestra, and teaches a variety of undergraduate courses including music history, music theory, ear training, and conducting. He is the newly appointed Artistic Director of the New York City Master Chorale. He is also the Artistic Director of the Southern Connecticut Camerata, and the Assistant Music Director of the New Amsterdam Singers.
Mr. Recca has served as Assistant Conductor to Mercury Opera Rochester, Principal Assistant Conductor to the Yale Camerata, and Artistic Director to Madrigalia Via, whose performances were hailed as “sinfully blissful” by the Wall Street Journal. He has prepared choirs for conductors such as Helmuth Rilling, David Hill, Masaaki Suzuki, Simon Carrington, Erwin Ortner, and Sir Gilbert Levine.
Mr. Recca holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from the Yale School of Music, a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the Eastman School of Music, and a Performer’s Certificate in Vocal Coaching and a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from Purchase College.
Pen Ying Fang, Accompanist
Pen Ying Fang was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and began studying piano at age five. She attended an “experimental” music-focused grade school there until she moved to the United States to continue her education. Here she studied with Paul Hoffmann and Barbara Gonzalez-Palmer, earning a B.M. and M.M. in Piano at Rutgers Univer- sity in New Jersey. She has performed around the New York metropolitan area, building up an extensive repertoire of solo and chamber works. Ms. Fang has accompanied the master classes of many prominent artists, including Keith Underwod, Evelyn Glennie, Brian McIntosh and Chris- topher Arneson. Additionally, she has toured domestically and overseas with various choirs in the New York area, and in 2007 she played at the “Florence Voice Seminar” in Florence, Italy. Currently she serves as a staff accompanist at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J., and teaches piano students in the central New Jersey area.
Will Maitland Weiss, Manager
Will Maitland Weiss joined the New Amsterdam Singers as its Manager at the start of the 2018-2019 season. He is an adjunct professor for St. Lawrence University, teaching a course on entrepreneurship and nonprofit management in their semester-in-New York City program; he has also had guest teaching positions with the Brooklyn College graduate program in arts administration, Brown, CUNY/Baruch, NYU, Seton Hall, and the University of the Virgin Islands. Mr. Weiss is a former executive director of the American Stage Festival, CSC Repertory Theater, the Arts & Business Council of NY, and the Big Apple Circus.
The board of the New Amsterdam Singers is responsible for the overall operation and management of the chorus. Board members are elected by the membership of the chorus.
Donna W. Zalichin, President
Ellen G. Stark, Vice-President
Orren Alperstein, Treasurer
Robin Beckhard, Secretary
Robert H. Palmer
Susan H. Perkins
Gwendolyn D. Simmons
Paul Alan Levi
(as of November 2020)
Robin D. Beckhard
Jaime C. Leifer**
Timothy H. Sachs**
William A. Simpson
*Chamber Chorus Member
**Chamber Chorus only