A Virginia native, Marques L. A. Garrett (he/him) is the Associate Professor of Choral Studies at the University of North Texas. His responsibilities include conducting the University Singers and teaching graduate and undergraduate choral conducting. His previous appointments were at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and Cheyney University. Additionally, he holds a PhD in Music Education (Choral Conducting) from Florida State University, an MM from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a BA from Hampton University.
An active conductor, Dr. Garrett is the founding conductor of the Nebraska Festival Singers and previously served as artistic director of the Omaha Symphonic Chorus. He serves as a guest conductor or clinician with school, church, and community choirs throughout the country in addition to festival and honor choirs in Georgia, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. His most recent engagements were with the NAfME All-Northwest and Connecticut All-State Mixed Choirs. Aside from his conducting classes at UNT, he leads conducting workshops at other universities and conferences. His formal conducting studies were with Dr. André J. Thomas, Dr. Carole J. Ott, Dr. Carl G. Harris, Jr., and Mr. Royzell Dillard.
A versatile voice that performs both as a baritone and countertenor, Dr. Garrett has sung with several community, church, and university groups as both a chorister and soloist. He was the baritone soloist for the Germantown Concert Chorus’s performance of Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis. His premiere as a countertenor in Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo served as the work’s European premiere in Limerick, Ireland. Additionally, he performed the role of Lil Lud in Bernstein’s White House Cantata with the Tallahassee Community Chorus. Currently, he sings with the Festival Singers of Florida and Jason Max Ferdinand Singers.
Dr. Garrett is an avid composer of choral and solo-vocal music whose compositions have been performed to acclaim by high school all-state, collegiate, and professional choirs including Seraphic Fire, the Oakwood University Aeolians, and the National Lutheran Choir. His music is available through more than ten publishers. He has been commissioned by the Cincinnati Youth Choir, Concordia Choir, Harvard University, Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia, and Westminster Choir College. Among his latest commissions is his largest work to date, Dreamland: Tulsa 1921. This collaborative work with librettist Sandra Seaton for tenor-bass chorus, soloists, and chamber orchestra was commissioned by the Turtle Creek Chorale to tell the story of the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
As a researcher, his most advantageous topic is the non-idiomatic choral music of Black composers. His lectures at state and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and at other local and national venues afford him the opportunity to showcase this underrepresented area of music resulting in the anthology The Oxford Book of Choral Music by Black Composers released in February 2023. His peer-reviewed presentations and headlining events for conferences and organizations have been in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Canada. He serves as co-editor of the “Out from the Shadows” Series with Gentry Publications.
Dr. Garrett holds membership in the American Choral Directors Association; American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers; National Association of Negro Musicians; National Collegiate Choral Organization; and Pi Kappa Lambda. For more information, visit www.mlagmusic.com.