Syracuse Vocal Ensemble Jace Saplan

Dr. Jace Kaholokula Saplan is the Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at Hamilton College. He received his B.A. in music from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, his M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from Concordia University-Portland, his M.M. in choral conducting from the University of Oregon, and his D.M.A. in choral conducting with cognates in music education and ethnomusicology from the University of Miami Frost School of Music.

He is the artistic director of Nā Wai Chamber Choir, a professional vocal ensemble based in Hawai'i dedicated to the preservation and propagation of Hawaiian choral music. Under his direction, Nā Wai has commissioned Native composers, toured throughout Hawaiian-speaking communities, and led workshops on Hawaiian choral music and music education at Indigenous identifying schools and universities throughout the country.

An advocate for contemporary choral music, Jace Saplan served as the chorus master for the Frost Opera Program at the University of Miami, where he prepared a number of contemporary works such as Golijov's Ainadamar, Kuster's Old Presque Isle done in collaboration with the John Duffy Composer's Institute and the Virginia Arts Festival, and a premiere work by Grammy-nominated composer Shawn Crouch. He also served as an instructor of choral music at Florida International University where he directed of the FIU Master Chorale, and taught courses in undergraduate and graduate conducting.

Jace's research focuses on multicultural perspectives in the choral rehearsal; intersections of choral music, gender, and sexuality in communities of color; and Native Hawaiian agency in music. His scholarship on these topics has also led him to lead interest and reading sessions at the state, regional, and national level for the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Educators, National Collegiate Choral Organization, Women in Music Conference, and the LGBTQ Studies in Music Education Conference.

Previous Artistic Directors

Yunn-Shan Ma, 2016-2017
Robert Cowles, 1996-2015
G. Roberts Kolb, 1990-1996
Julie Pretzat, 1986-1990
G. Burton Harbison, 1982-1986
John Armstrong, 1980-1982
Marietta Cheng, 1978-1979
Bruce Campbell, 1976-1978
Timothy Adams, 1973-1976

Help support our season.

Gifts will be acknowledged in the program at the categories below. Donors at the higher levels will receive complimentary season tickets.

Friend: Under $50
Donor: $50-$99
Supporter: $100-$199
    (includes 2 concert tickets)
Patron: $200-$499
    (includes 4 concert tickets)
Benefactor: $500-$999
    (includes 6 concert tickets)
Philanthropist: $1,000+
    (includes 6 concert tickets)


"The music filled the space with incredible blend and rich, warm harmonies ... It was a truly stunning reading of these lesser performed gems."
Love and Light concert, March 2014
Abel Searor, Syracuse Post Standard
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"SVE gave a remarkable performance and the mundane concerns of life were transcended ... the audience held its collective breath, hesitating, unwilling to disturb the intensity of the experience."
The Rakhmaninov Vespers, 2010
Linda Loomis, Syracuse Post Standard
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"I have been a heartfelt fan of Syracuse Vocal Ensemble for many years. Every single concert by this fabulous group of singers has been musically engaging and often deeply moving ... I keep coming back to hear great music superbly sung."
Kevin Moore, pianist

"[SVE's concert] was, simply put, the finest choral performance I have ever heard in person."
Crystal LaPoint, composer

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