Jonathan E. L. Wall
Jonathan E. L. Wall has served as the Director of Choral & Vocal Studies at Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, Texas, since 2009, where during the past decade, his contributions have significantly impacted the university, local community, higher education, music education, and choral music both locally and internationally.
While serving as chair of the department of music for seven years, he wrote and implemented new curriculum, including the establishment of a Bachelor of Music Education (BME) degree, and recruited new faculty. He also founded the Southwestern Recital Series which, since its debut, has presented over 130 concerts at the university and in the local community.
As conductor of the University Singers, Wall has developed the group into an acclaimed university choral ensemble. Under his leadership, the choir has been featured throughout Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado, Washington D.C., Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York.
It has performed in prestigious venues in Texas, including St. Andrew UMC in Plano, St. Stephen Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth, First Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth, Texas State Capitol Rotunda in Austin, St. Vincent’s Cathedral in Bedford, and the Historic St. Joseph’s Parish in San Antonio and the Bass Performance Hall with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra for the Bernstein Centennial Concert and the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas.
Nationally, they have performed in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, The Senate Bible Study in Washington D.C., First Lutheran Church of Boston, and in the Asbury United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City,
Internationally, The Singers had the privilege of representing the United States in the Prague Spring Festival in the Czech Republic, on National Television in Bratislava for the 20th anniversary of US/Slovakian Diplomatic Relations. They also have been featured in concerts in Austria, Slovakia, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Portugal, South Korea, Puerto Rico, and Canada,
The choir has performed in famous and historic venues such as the Turku Cathedral in Turku, The Famed Rock Church in Helsinki, The American Church in Paris, Sta Clara Kyrkan in Stockholm, Pentemont Abbey in Paris, Aveiro Cathedral in Aveiro, the historic Naatalin kirkko built in 1443 in Naantali, and the famed Notre Dame Cathedral in Montreal.
As Artistic Director of the Southwestern Music Festival, Wall has raised the expectations for music education and increased opportunities for elevated musical performance. In addition to the development of the festival’s mass choir, he has created new musical ensembles, including the Southwestern Orchestra and Southwestern Saxophone Ensemble, and an elite Festival Honors Choir.
In 2016 he founded the Festival Commission Project which has brought famous composers to the Southwestern Music Festival as new music creators and clinicians. Featured composers have included Ēriks Ešenvald’s (“I Believe for Choir & Strings”) 2017; Kim André Arnesen “(Sing the Earth for Choir, Brass, Organ & Percussion”) 2018; Craig Courtney (“Psalm 23 for Choir, Piano & Strings”) 2019; and Dr. Brandon Boyd (“I’ll Fly Away for Choir, Piano, Percussion and Bass”) in 2020.
Wall founded the Festival Scholarship Program which has introduced dozens of outstanding students to SWAU and enabled them to attend both the festival and university. As an educator, he is known for developing student scholars and creating professional opportunities for them to grow and thrive in. These initiatives along with the collaborations with noted composers and guests have extended the reach of the Festival and increased the level to professional levels in both performance and education.
In addition to the University Singers involvements in classical music, they more recently engaged in unique collaborations centered around music and worship with some of the most prominent artists of this era. In 2019, the Singers were invited to join Eight-time Dove Award Winner Jaci Velasquez in Dallas for a Live concert featuring her early award-winning music & worship songs. In 2018 and 2019 the Singers performed as guest artists with the Gospel Music Hall of Fame Inductee Steve Green in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was the featured choir on his newest Spanish Album, El Descanso (2019).
A sought-after music educator & scholar, Wall has been the featured clinician for festivals & workshops in Texas, Maine, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Colorado, Arkansas, and Florida. He was a presenter at the last two National North American Division Educational Conventions in Nashville, 2012 – “Striving for Excellence in Choral Music: An intensive touching on essential elements of developing and maintaining a successful choral ensemble,” and in Chicago, in 2018, where he presented – “Plan a World Class Music Tour (Budget Edition).” His work was highlighted recently in an article, “The Choir as a Worship Leading Ensemble: A Conversation with Jonathan Wall from Southwestern Adventist University. “Best Practices for Adventist Worship,” NAD Ministerial Publications, December 2019.
Wall was born in Stoneham, Massachusetts, one of two sons of Kevin and Sherrie Latimer Wall, teachers who founded Central Vermont Academy. Music was an important activity in their home starting in third grade with began lessons on the trumpet. He played trumpet throughout his academy years and played in first chair positions in the Northern New England Conference Music Clinic and at the Atlantic Union Band Festival.
While attending Greater Boston Academy and singing under the direction of Lauri Redmer Cadwallader, he was inspired to pursue a career in music. In 1998, under her leadership, and in 2000 during his senior year at GBA, when he was invited to sing on a tour with the Pro Musica, select choir at Columbia Union College, now Washington Adventist University, directed by James Bingham, when they toured to Europe and Russia.
In 2000 Wall won the Atlantic Union College Music Scholarship and, while in attendance at the Northern New England Conference Music Clinic that year, met Steve Zork, director of choral and vocal activities at Andrews University, who was guest conductor and clinician. He then enrolled as a music major at AU, where both Zork and Peter Cooper, who was serving as music chair at that time, served as mentors.
During his study at AU, he served as a section leader in and baritone soloist with the Andrews University Singers, traveling with them on tours to Africa, the Bahamas, Chile, and Bermuda. He also was a featured soloist with the AU Sinfonietta and a frequent soloist in church services on campus and in the area.
He graduated from AU with a B.Mus.Ed. in 2005 and completed an M.Mus. at A.U. in conducting in 2013. While doing his graduate work, Wall assisted Steve Zork, director of choral activities at AU, and also served as minister of music at the Berrien Springs, Michigan, Seventh-day Adventist Village Church and as associate director of music at the First Congregational Church in nearby St. Joseph.
Wall is married to Marcela Moskalova, a native of the Czech Republic, who is a professional portrait painter and teacher at Southwestern Adventist University and Chisholm Trail Academy. They love to travel & learn about new cultures and live in Keene, TX with their two daughters, Zasha & Luccia.
Sources: Information provided by Jonathan Wall, 3 March 2010 and February 27, 2021; https://jonathanelwall.com/