Dr. Carl Johengen is a multi-talented artist who has earned a reputation of excellence as a conductor, voice teacher, singer, and composer. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music, as well as the Master of Music degree from the Ithaca College School of Music, where he was a conducting student of Lawrence Doebler. He has been active as a conductor, clinician and church musician since 1987. He has conducted festival choirs in Syracuse and Rochester, and since 2005 has been in demand as a guest conductor for junior high and high school Area All-State and All-County festivals throughout New York State. Currently he holds the position of Director of Music Ministry at Asbury First United Methodist Church in Rochester NY, where he conducts two adult choirs and oversees an active multi-generational music program.
From 2009 to 2019, Dr. Johengen served as Music Director of the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble, Ithaca’s elite a cappella 20-voice chamber chorus. During his tenure, CVE performed with greater frequency and in a larger geographic region; in 2010 they appeared in a televised concert on local PBS affiliate WSKG. CVE has collaborated with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra in performances of Handel’s Messiah in 2012, 2014, and 2018.
Dr. Johengen served as Director of the Wells College Concert Choir in Aurora, NY from 2011-2018.
Between 2000 and 2007, he served on the Voice Faculty of the Berkshire Choral Festival, working alongside such renowned conductors as Robert Page, Jane Glover, Grant Gershon, Philip Brunelle, John Rutter, Tom Hall, John Alexander, Vance George, Nicholas Cleobury, Maria Guinand, and Craig Hella Johnson. With BCF he performed in dozens of major choral works, including solo appearances in the Mozart Grand Mass in C Minor, Barber’s Prayers of Kirkegaard, and the Beethoven Choral Fantasy.
As Founding Music Director of the Syracuse Gay and Lesbian Chorus (1991-97, and 2004-07), Dr. Johengen led SGLC in two major concerts annually, as well as over a dozen road concerts and appearances throughout New York State. He led SGLC in its debut performance at the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses Festival in Montreal in July 2004. He oversaw the preparation and performance of two large commissioned works for chorus and piano, as well as two recordings. With Syracuse Opera, Dr. Johengen provided choral preparation and off-stage conducting for six shows, including a production of Verdi’s Aïda involving 75 choristers and for which an Opera News review led with the “glorious” singing of the chorus. He also led the Opera Chorus in its first-ever concert of non-stage works (works by Schubert, Telemann, and John Rutter.) Other past positions include Assistant Conductor of the Buffalo Schola Cantorum, and Diocesan Director for Music for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse.