Music Director of the Rochester Oratorio Society from 1986 to 2006
Music Director Emeritus
Roger Wilhelm has been one of the most influential choral musicians in the area. In Rochester he served as Director of the Sanctuary Choir at Asbury First United Methodist Church for 29 years, Music Director of Madrigalia (1989-2006), and as Music Director of the ROS for 20 years. He is well-known to many Rochesterians as Director of the Summer Oratorio Reading Choir as well as the former Chorus Master for Opera Theatre of Rochester, and Opera Under the Stars.
Wilhelm, a Buffalo native, was educated at Northwestern University, the University of California at Berkeley, and at Stanford University where he received his doctoral degree in music. He has taught at Kendall College, at the University of North Dakota, and at the University of Rochester’s River (undergraduate) Campus and the UR’s Eastman School of Music.
Wilhelm is a recipient of the prestigious Sudler Award for Excellence in the Art of Oratorio Singing. He has performed professionally as a singer, pianist, and harpsichordist, and has written numerous choral compositions. Wilhelm has also published several editions of early 17th century choral music and edited the first performing edition of Mozart’s Regina Coeli, K108. He has conducted Madrigalia in four CD releases.
Roger Wilhelm was named the 1996 “Musician of the Year” by the Rochester Alumni Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon, an international professional music fraternity. The music society annually honors an individual who has made “significant contributions to the musical community”. In 2008 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester. He lives in Pittsford with his wife Beth.