SMWC professor receives GRAMMY award

News | 02.10.2015

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choirs Michael Boswell received a GRAMMY award for “Best Choral Performance” for his work with Conspirare, a professional choral organization in Austin, Texas, on their album, “The Sacred Spirit of Russia.”

Conspirare competed against four other nominees in the “Best Choral Performance” category, including the BBC Orchestra and Chorus. The results were announced on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015.

“The Department of Music and Theatre is very proud of Michael Boswell for the GRAMMY earned by Conspirare. Only those singers who are exceptional are invited to perform with this unique professional ensemble, which has had six GRAMMY nominations,” states Tracy Richardson, Ph.D., MT-BC, SMWC music and theatre department chair.

This album was Boswell’s first project with Conspirare. As the title states, the album is fully comprised of sacred music of Russia and is entirely a cappella.

“It was pretty surreal,” states Boswell of his reaction to seeing the GRAMMY award ceremony via live stream. “To look up and see Craig [Hella Johnson] accepting the award and seeing some fellow singers who I’ve known for a few years standing there with him, that was pretty neat. I wish I could’ve been there.”

When Boswell learned he would join Conspirare on this album, he knew it would be a positive experience both personally and professionally. He was especially excited to work with the conductor and artistic director of Conspirare, Craig Hella Johnson, but was not aware how that collaboration would impact his role as a music professor.

“After delving into that music, I came back with an adjusted mentality about how to approach the teaching of music,” states Boswell.

Very few can consider winning a GRAMMY professional development. Michael Boswell is one of them.

“Mr. Boswell is a great example of a voice teacher and choral director who continues to nurture his own love for great music by singing in professional ensembles. In doing so, he brings new ideas, energy, repertoire and methods of teaching and directing to the young women in his voice studio and choral ensembles at SMWC,” states Richardson. “The students at SMWC are very fortunate to have Michael Boswell as their teacher and choral director.”

Read more about Boswell’s work with Conspirare.