Dr. Joshua Habermann
JOSHUA HABERMANN is in his third season as Artistic Director of the O'ahu Choral Society, Under his leadership, the OCS Symphonic Chorus has grown to include over 80 members. Habermann is also in his sixteenth season as Artistic Director of the Sante Fe Desert Chorale, one of the nation's premier professional chamber choirs.
Since joining the ensemble, Joshua has broadened its repertoire to include not only a cappella literature, but also choral-orchestral masterworks, and unique concert experiences that combine music, poetry and the spoken word. In 2015 the Desert Chorale was a featured performer at the national convention of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA) in Dancing the Mystery, a program featuring the poetry of Sufi masters Rumi and Hafiz.
Habermann has led honor choirs and choral festivals in North and Latin America, Europe and Asia. As a singer (tenor) he has performed with the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus (Eugene, Oregon), and Conspirare (Austin, Texas). Recording credits include three projects with Conspirare: Through the Green Fuse, Requiem, a Grammy nominee for best choral recording in 2006, and Threshold of Night, a Grammy nominee for best choral recording and best classical album in 2009.
From 2011 to 2022, Dr. Habermann was director of the Dallas Symphony Chorus, the official vocal ensemble of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, where he prepared the 200-voice chorus for classical series concerts. Highlights with the DSO include performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Verdi’s Requiem, Berlioz’ Te Deum, and Britten’s War Requiem, which was performed for the ACDA national convention in 2013. Recent international collaborations include performances of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, and Duruflé’s Requiem with the Swedish Radio Orchestra, and tour performances in Spain, France, Sweden, Estonia and Finland.
From 1996-2008, Dr. Habermann was assistant conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and professor of music at San Francisco State University, where under his direction the SFSU Chamber Singers received international engagements in Havana, Cuba, and undertook concert tours in Germany, the Czech Republic, and China. National invitations include the Waging Peace Festival in Eugene, Oregon, multiple appearances at the California Music Educators Convention, and an appearance at the American Choral Directors’ Association regional convention in 2008.
From 2008-2011, Dr. Habermann was Director of Choral Studies at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, where he led the graduate program in conducting and directed the Frost Chorale. Notable projects included an appearance at the Florida ACDA convention, and collaborations with the New World Symphony and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas in music of Ives, Schubert and Beethoven. During this same period Habermann led the Masterchorale of South Florida in performances of masterworks such as Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Haydn’s Creation, and Mozart’s Requiem.
A native of California, Joshua is a graduate of Georgetown University and the University of Texas at Austin, where he completed doctoral studies in conducting with Craig Hella Johnson. He now lives in Honolulu with his wife Joanna, and children, Kira and Kai. He is currently the Interim Director of Choral Activities for the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.
Alicia Scanlan is our recently hired Managing Director, starting with the O‘ahu Choral Society in August 2023. She also auditioned and has been invited to sing with OCS as a Soprano in both the Symphonic and Chamber choirs. Alicia has been an active member of the American Choral Directors Association since 1999, has sung with the Hawai‘i Vocal Arts Ensemble for four years, and participated with another Honolulu-based choir, Nā Wai, for two seasons.
While growing up in Eugene, Oregon, Alicia spent her adolescent years singing in the Oregon Children’s Choir and made her first visit to Hawai‘i while on tour with this ensemble. After years of singing in National, Regional and State Honor Choirs, and studying private voice and opera, she went on to receive a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance at Willamette University.
Alicia then completed her Masters of Music Education in Choral Conducting at Arizona State University and moved to Hawai‘i in February of 2001. In August of that same year, she began her role as a middle school Choir Teacher at Punahou School. She also serves as their Junior School Music Department Head and has held that position for 19 years. Within her leadership roles at Punahou, Alicia frequently collaborates with the Theatre Department, serving as their Music Director for multiple productions.
Alicia is the proud mother of two boys, ages 12 and 15, who attend Punahou School, and is married to Cavan, who is a high school English teacher at Kamehameha Schools.