Theodore M. Guerrant has served as accompanist of the National Philharmonic
Chorale for 30 years. In honor of his outstanding service, Chorale Artistic
Director Stan Engebretson and the National Philharmonic have established
an unrestricted annual fund for the purpose of supporting the National
Philharmonic Chorale in musical excellence and enhancing artistic quality.
To further honor the outstanding commitment of this fine musician and
friend, the National Philharmonic named the National Philharmonic Chorale
Accompanist position, the
Theodore M. Guerrant Chair.
Stan Engebretson, Artistic Director,
National Philharmonic Chorale, Theodore Guerrant, Accompanist,
& Victoria Gau, Associate Conductor
The National Philharmonic gratefully accepts contributions to the Theodore
M. Guerrant Chair Fund on an ongoing basis. To contribute to the fund,
here. Write "Guerrant Chair Fund" in the comment section.
Thank you for your contribution.
A Match Made for Great Music
For a combination of cosmic good fortune and fantastic music-making, look
no further than Montgomery County. The year 1982 was when the county’s
home-grown Masterworks Chorus (now the National Philharmonic Chorale)
had the great luck and vision to hire Theodore Guerrant as its accompanist.
That one event, perhaps more than any other, began the transformation
from a small, well-regarded community chorus into one of the region’s
leading choral groups.
“Any chorus is only as good as its accompanist,” explains National
Philharmonic Chorale Artistic Director Stan Engebretson, “and Teddy
is simply the master. His consummate skill, the precision and nuance of
his playing, his deep understanding of the music, and his great wit and
heart as a performer – these are the things he brings to every rehearsal
and performance to make better musicians of all of us.”
Chorale member Ellen van Valkenburgh offers the singer’s-eye view:
“The National Philharmonic is so privileged to have Ted. He interprets
the conductors’ wishes in an instant with his keyboard skills and
his understanding of the complexities of the music. On a lighter side,
his sense of humor adds fun to singing, with his well-timed musical jokes
at the piano.”
When Ted joined Masterworks, he was already accomplished, and his accomplishments
have expanded even more over the years. As a child in College Park, Georgia,
he began studying piano at age five and organ at 11. His first gig as
an accompanist was playing bells with singers in third grade – and
that experience got him hooked.
“I knew then that I wanted to be an accompanist,” Theodore
says. “I love working with other musicians to perfect the shaping
and phrasing that brings the music to life. All musicians spend a lot
of time on their art in solitude, but the great joy of music for me is
creating something beautiful together.”