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.
The National Philharmonic gratefully accepts contributions to the Theodore M. Guerrant Chair Fund on an ongoing basis. To contribute to the fund, please click 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.”