B i o g r a p h y
Matthew Erpelding is an award-winning music educator and composer living in central Iowa. Most recently, Dr. Erpelding was on staff at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, before which he was a member of the vocal music staff at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, where he conducted the A Cappella Choir and the Select Treble Choir; as well as Vocal Point, the preparatory vocal jazz ensemble; and Ignition, the preparatory show choir. Prior to his appointment at Valley, he was the Director of Choral Activities in Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA, where he conducts the College, Concert, and Chamber Choirs, and teaches courses in music education and choral conducting. Dr. Erpelding was an award-winning Director of Choral Activities at Hopewell Valley Central High School in Pennington, New Jersey, as well as at Boylan Central Catholic High School in Rockford, Illinois. Dr. Erpelding likewise has considerable experience as a church musician. He conducted the Sanctuary Choir at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Rockford, Illinois, and was the director of the Chapel Choir, Youth Choir, and Bell Choirs at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Additionally, Dr. Erpelding served as a member of the conducting faculty at the Performing Arts Institute at Wyoming Seminary in Wilkes-Barre, PA, from 2012-16, and is in frequent demand as a guest clinician and conductor.
As a high school and college choral director, Dr. Erpelding's ensembles have received high praise at the local, state, and national levels for their preparation and artistry. Choirs under his direction have earned numerous awards at choral music competitions, including back-to-back Grand Champion showings at the Roxbury Choral Invitational (2014 and 2015), as well as first place performances at Festival Disney in Orlando (2015) and the Windy City Classic Music Festival in Chicago (2013). Dr. Erpelding's choirs have also garnered invitations to perform at various conferences and select venues, including the Luther College Dorian Choral Invitational, NJMEA State Conference, PA-ACDA Fall Conference, and the PMEA State Conference, as well as at the Princeton University Chapel and the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Furthermore, choirs under Dr. Erpelding's direction have been invited to collaborate with a number of amateur, scholastic, and professional ensembles and musicians in concert and workshops, including choral music luminaries like Ola Gjeilo, the King's Singers, Eric Whitacre and the Eric Whitacre Singers, and Moira Smiley.
Dr. Erpelding was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, as well as a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Northern Illinois University. His conducting teachers include Timothy Stalter, Eric Johnson, Tim Peter, and Weston Noble. Dr. Erpelding’s choral works have been performed around the world by community, school, and university ensembles, and are currently available for purchase through Earthsongs Choral Music, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and Heritage Music Press. An award-winning educator, musician and scholar, Dr. Erpelding is a member of both the American Choral Directors Association and NAfME: The National Association for Music Educators. He currently serves as the Ensemble-Specific Repertoire and Resources Chair for ACDA-PA, and previously as the Higher Education Representative to the Curriculum/ Instruction Committee for PMEA District 7.
When he is not conducting, composing, or otherwise doing musical things, Dr. Erpelding enjoys fine food, travelling the world with his husband Brad, building personal computers, cheating at New York Times crossword puzzles, and enjoying quiet time with his two dogs: Oliver and Daphne.