Julie Moore-Foster, born in Manhattan, New York City, is assistant professor in voice and diction at Oakwood University, a position she has held since 1999. From 2001 until 2004, she conducted the Aeolians, OC's famous singing group, while its conductor, Lloyd Mallory, was on a study leave.
Under Moore's leadership, the choir toured widely on the East Coast, produced a CD, A Joyful Noise, and toured in Poland in August 2003, where they performed 13 concerts in seven days. One of these was as the only American choir chosen to sing at the annual international music festival in Wratislavia, a concert that was televised nationally and internationally on the internet. In that same year, the Aeolians were honored with induction into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Moore led the Aeolians in a performance at the time of that ceremony.
Moore grew up surrounded by music. Her father was a flutist, and her mother sang in church and participated in small opera companies in New York. The tradition of music in the family is longstanding. Her paternal grandfather, a professional musician who had made his living teaching, playing several wind instruments, and working as an orchestrator, had arranged the Jamacian National Anthem.
In her childhood years she studied violin, starting at age four, and made unusually rapid progress. She was musical, had a good memory and a sensitive ear for pitch, and was a good sightreader.
Following Moore's parents' divorce when she was twelve, she eventually moved to Detroit to live with her father, who had remarried. She attended Southfield Junior and Peterson Warren academies, nearby Adventist schools.
After graduating from PWA, she entered Marygrove College, a Catholic school in Detroit, where she registered as a computer-science major with a minor in voice. Encouraged by her choir director, James Turner, Moore changed her major to music.
She completed an undergraduate degree in vocal performance at MC in 1987. She earned a master's, also in vocal performance, at the Mannes College of Music in Manhattan in 1989. In that program she studied with Peter Elkus and Richard Barrett, was coached by Joan Borneman, and was exposed to master classes by some of the premier singers of the time. She is presently pursuing a doctorate in voice pedagogy at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
A mezzo-soprano, Moore has performed in numerous choirs and many times as a recitalist and soloist with orchestras and choirs. While on a tour to Europe with the Marygrove College Choir, she was chosen to be a featured soloist in a televised BBC performance of Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
She later presented a program with the Trenton Symphony in Princeton, New Jersey, where she gave a recital of songs that had been performed by Marion Anderson, acclaimed African-American contralto of an earlier era. She was chosen from hundreds of applicants for this tribute, which was titled “The Lady from Philadelphia.” Music critic Donald Delany of the Trenton/Princeton Times observed that Moore “was faced with the daunting, really impossible task of attempting to recreate the aura of Marian Anderson, but she did a remarkable job.” He continued by describing her voice as a “wonderful instrument, which she produced without effort from top to bottom.”
Moore completed a specialized course in vocology under voice scientist Ingo Titze. She earned a certificate in the subject through the University of Iowa at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and during her first year of membership in NATS, two of her students won first and third places at its regional competition. Many of her students have garnered other awards and scholarships.
Moore enjoys her work at OU. She recently spoke about the depth of vocal talent that exists there:
Having studied at some good music schools and been exposed to the talent that gravitates to New York City, I can really say I have never heard such vocal talent anywhere I have ever been. As a voice teacher I am just amazed at the number of good voices that just keep coming to Oakwood.
Interview: Julie Moore Foster, 1 October 2006; Biography at Valley Conservatory of Music, Huntsville, Alabama, 2012.