Assistant Professor - Director of Choral Activities
Fine Arts Center C118
Julie Neish, DMA, is currently the Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music-Voice at Augusta University in Augusta, GA. In February 2020 she will conduct a premiere performance of Jocelyn Hagen’s The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci at the Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre. Previously Dr. Neish was the Director of Choral Activities at Thiel College in Pennsylvania where she was also Assistant Professor of Music-Voice and the Music Director for the Thiel Players in the Department of Music & Theatre. Before her appointment at Thiel College, she was Professor of Music and Music Department Coordinator at Northland Pioneer College and directed numerous ensembles at Arizona State University and George Mason University.
Dr. Neish is a versatile conductor, music director, and pianist. At Thiel College she conducted the Thiel Choir, Chamber Singers, and Handbell Choir, founded the Thiel JazzCats vocal jazz ensemble and Thiel Gospel Choir, and played piano for the Thiel Jazz Band and percussion for the Thiel Concert Band. In May 2019 she organized and led 54 Thiel students on a Music & Theatre Department Tour to Greece and the Aegean Sea. While at Thiel College, Dr. Neish was a collaborative pianist for all music department recitals and for chapel services and performances. She was the music director for the Thiel Players productions of The Christians, Evening of Broadway cabarets, and Next to Normal. For her work on Next to Normal Dr. Neish was awarded a certificate of merit from the Kennedy College American College Theatre Festival for Excellence in Musical Direction. In December 2018 she conducted the Rutter Gloria with full brass and percussion as part of the 66th annual Thiel Christmas Festival. Additional conducting highlights include the choral movements from Carmina Burana with full orchestra and combined choirs while at Northland Pioneer College.
Dr. Neish traveled to Singapore in August 2017 to present a workshop entitled “Color-Tone Dramas: Perceiving Color as Sound and Sound as Color” at the international Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA) conference. Conducting and piano engagements have taken her to Greece (Athens), Mexico (University of Veracruz), Italy (Sarteano, Perugia, Umbria, and Todi), and Spain (Granada, Toledo, Valencia, Basílica de la Sagrada Família in Barcelona, and the Montserrat Abbey). In the US she has performed at the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, the historic Library of Congress stage in Washington DC, the Tempe Center for the Arts, the Gammage Memorial Auditorium, and Carnegie Hall.
Dr. Neish has been an assistant director and accompanist for the National Philharmonic Chorale in Maryland, the Georgetown Chorale in Washington DC, the Arizona State University Chamber Singers, the George Mason University Singers, and the Phoenix Girls Chorus. She has also worked as an accompanist/vocal coach/chorus master for the George Mason University Opera Theater and the Arizona State University Lyric Opera Theatre. In March 2017 she conducted the US premiere performance of “Songs of Innocence,” a suite by Donald Patriquin, at the Tempe Center for the Arts, with the composer present to introduce the composition.
Dr. Neish has a passion for musical theatre and has been the pianist/musical director for more than 50 productions in seven states. In the summer of 2018 she worked as a music director/vocal coach/accompanist for Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre (UFOMT), where she worked with musical theatre composer Will Reynolds and lyricist Eric Price on the premiere staged reading of their work “The Violet Hour.”
Dr. Neish has also enjoyed a long career as a church musician, serving as a music director, choir director, and pianist/organist for numerous congregations. As an invited pianist she has performed Tchaikovsky’s and Prokofiev’s versions of Romeo and Juliet with the Capital City Symphony in Washington DC, and Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty with the Triangle Youth Ballet Orchestra in North Carolina.
Dr. Neish’s choral and instrumental arrangements have been performed in concert by the George Mason University Chorale and pit orchestra; the Arizona State University Women’s Chorus; Northland Pioneer College’s Soundcheck a cappella ensemble and Snap! swing jazz band; the Thiel College Choir, Chamber Singers, and Gospel Choir; and by the Chancel Choir and invited instrumentalists of the Sun Lakes United Church of Christ.
Julie is also an accomplished sound designer, lighting designer, and electrician, with experience designing for Disney World and other dance, opera, and theatre companies. Her hobbies include hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and snorkeling, and she is an avid foodie and cook.