Jeffrey Douma

Since 2003, Jeffrey Douma has served as Director of the Yale Glee Club, hailed under his direction by The New York Times as “one of the best collegiate singing ensembles, and one of the most adventurous.” As Professor of Choral Conducting at the Yale School of Music, he also heads the graduate choral program and teaches a studio of graduate-level conductors, and serves as founding Director of the Yale Choral Artists and Artistic Director of the Yale International Choral Festival.     

Photo of Jeffrey Douma sitting in front of a large window and facing the camera.

Douma has appeared as guest conductor with choruses and orchestras on six continents, including the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore’s Metropolitan Festival Orchestra, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Estonian National Youth Orchestra, Daejeon Philharmonic Choir, Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Solistas de la Habana, Istanbul’s Tekfen Philharmonic, Norway’s Edvard Grieg Kor, the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and the Central Conservatory’s EOS Orchestra in Beijing, as well as the Yale Philharmonia and Yale Symphony Orchestras. He also currently serves as Musical Director of the Yale Alumni Chorus, which he has lead on ten international tours. He served for five years as Choirmaster at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, CT, where performances ranged from Bach St. John Passion with baroque orchestra to Arvo Pärt Te Deum, and currently serves as Director of Music at the Unitarian Society of New Haven.

Choirs under his direction have performed in Leipzig’s Neue Gewandhaus, Dvorak Hall in Prague, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Notre Dame de Paris, Singapore’s Esplanade, Argentina’s Teatro Colon, the Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai, Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher and Alice Tully Halls, and Carnegie Hall, and he has prepared choruses for performances under such eminent conductors as Marin Alsop, William Christie, Valery Gergiev, Sir Neville Marriner, Sir David Willcocks, Dale Warland, Krzysztof Penderecki, Nicholas McGegan, and Helmuth Rilling.
Douma has presented at conferences of the ACDA and NCCO, and the Yale Glee Club has appeared as a featured ensemble at NCCO national and ACDA divisional conferences. Active with musicians of all ages, Douma served for four years on the conducting faculty at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, America’s premier training ground for high school age musicians, conducting the Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, and Festival Choir. He frequently serves as clinician for festivals and honor choirs. Recent engagements include conducting masterclasses at the China International Chorus Festival, the University of Michigan School of Music, the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, the Royal Academy of Music in London, the
Hochschule der Künste in Zurich, the Florence International Choral Festival, and the Berlin Radio Choir’s International Masterclass, as well as residencies at the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing and at Luther College as Visiting Conductor of the internationally renowned Nordic Choir.
An advocate of new music, Douma established the Yale Glee Club Emerging Composers Competition and Fenno Heath Award, and has premiered new works by such composers as Jennifer Higdon, Caroline Shaw, Dominick Argento, Bright Sheng, Ned Rorem, Rodrigo Cadet, Jan Sandström, Ted Hearne, Hannah Lash, Martin Bresnick, David Lang, Rene Clausen, Bongani Magatyana, and James Macmillan. He also serves as editor of the Yale Glee Club New Classics Choral Series, published by Boosey & Hawkes. His original compositions are published by G. Schirmer and Boosey & Hawkes. A tenor, Douma has appeared as an ensemble member and soloist with many of the nation’s leading professional choirs.
In 2003, Douma was one of only two North American conductors invited to compete for the first Eric Ericson Award, the premier international competition for choral conductors. Prior to his appointment at Yale he served as Director of Choral Activities at Carroll College, and also taught on the conducting faculties of Smith College and St. Cloud State University. 
Douma earned the Bachelor of Music degree from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Michigan. He lives in Hamden, CT, with his wife, pianist and conductor Erika Schroth, and their two children.