Gwen Gould, Artistic Director
has enjoyed a diverse career in music as a recitalist, music director, conductor, and entrepreneur. In 1988, Ms. Gould founded the Columbia Festival Orchestra. Under her direction, the CFO developed into a first-rate regional orchestra presenting consistently high quality and diverse programming for the residents of Columbia County and neighboring counties. In 1971, Ms. Gould founded the West Village Chorale, a community chorus she conducted for 27 years in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Resident at the historic Church of St. Luke in the Fields, the West Village Chorale continues to flourish under the direction of conductor Michael Conley. Ms. Gould is also co-founder and former Music Director (2004-2007) of Diamond Opera Theater, which made its debut on November 7, 2004, as Hudson Chamber Opera.
An enthusiastic advocate of the “Hands-on” experience of music, Ms. Gould was one of the first proponents of the “Open Sing,” where lovers of choral music gather to read through major works in an evening. These informal “Sings” have since become popular throughout the country. She instituted the West Village Chorale’s Summer Sings in 1972, the Columbia Festival Orchestra’s Sunset Sings in 1993, PS21 Summer Sings in 2006, and was a popular guest conductor for the New York Choral Society’s Summer Sings for many years.
Ms. Gould is a native of Millbrook, NY, where she studied piano at an early age and began her performing career as an organist at age 13. A national competition finalist, she performed extensively as a solo recitalist in New York City and the greater metropolitan area. She developed a career as an organist and director of music in New York City, working at St. Bartholomew’s Church, The Church of St. Luke in the Fields, Immanuel Lutheran Church, and the Church of Our Savior. Ms. Gould received a Bachelor of Music from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and a Master of Sacred Music from Union Theological Seminary School of Sacred Music in New York City. She held teaching posts at Stuart Hall in Staunton, VA, and at St. Luke’s School, NYC.