Deborah Simpkin King
Artistic Director Deborah Simpkin King
Photo by Dan Howell.
Deborah Simpkin King, PhD, is a visionary conductor, new music advocate, and educator who deeply believes in the power of music to affect the human spirit and enrich communities. Recognized for her innovative choral programming that incorporates new ways of making music more accessible, Dr. King’s passion for the human element in all music is what informs every aspect of her work as an artist and leader in the music industry.
Dr. King is the Founder and Artistic Director of Schola Cantorum on Hudson (Schola), for which she provides the ensemble’s creative programming — a high quality, eclectic, stylistic mix of new music with a relevant social message. Schola is the parent organization of Dr. King’s renowned brainchild, PROJECT : ENCORE™, an international advocacy initiative that promotes post-premiere performances of new music. She is well known for her many premiere and post-premiere performance of new choral music.
She is the Director of Arts Ministries at Trinity and St. Philip’s Cathedral in Newark, NJ, where she reestablished a previously-dormant Cathedral Choir and is building a multi-dimensional outreach ministry through drama, dance, and the plastic arts. A leader in the choral community, Dr. King is Chair of the New York Choral Consortium (NYCC) and the coordinator of the NJ-ACDA HS Choral Festival (since 1994). She has guided several university choral programs through times of transition, most recently serving as the Interim Director of Choral Activities at William Paterson University.
A frequent guest conductor, Dr. King is one of five conductors chosen to work with Simon Halsey in the 2016 premiere preparation and performance of David Lang’s new commission, the public domain, calling for 1000 voices, in celebration of the 50-year anniversary of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival.
A sought-after teacher, Dr. King conducts master classes and choral workshops as well as private conducting and studio voice lessons. She has a PhD in Musicology, an MMus in Music Education/Choral conducting and a BMus in Vocal Performance.
Dr. King has two sons and two daughters-in-law: Patrick Daniel King, producer of Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal, married to Elise Terrell King, coordinating Producer for The Daily Show; and Michael Alexander King, married to Hannah Miller King, both conservatory-trained singers and graduates of Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, both currently on the pastoral staff of Truro Anglican Church in Fairfax, VA. Michael and Hannah are the proud parents of Isaiah Wesley King.
Download a printable biography here.