Conductors of The Same Stream Choir
Learn about the incredible team that shares the podium in our organization. Outside of their work with The Same Stream, each of our conductors has a flourishing career full of music making at the highest level. Scroll down to read more...
Grammy™-nominated conductor James Jordan, Artistic Director and Conductor of The Same Stream is recognized and praised throughout the musical world as one of America’s pre-eminent conductors, recording artist, writer, music psychologist and innovators in choral music. He was described as a “visionary” by The Choral Journal, which cited his book Evoking Sound as a “must read.” His more than 45 books explore both the philosophical and spiritual basis of musicianship, as well as aspects of choral rehearsal teaching and learning and are considered to be essential books in the conducting profession. His book Evoking Sound has been praised by the Choral Journal as a “must read.” At Westminster Choir College he is professor and senior conductor, and he conducts Westminster Schola Cantorum and the critically acclaimed Westminster Williamson Voices. He is also director of the Westminster Conducting Institute and co-director of the Choral Institute at Oxford.
His recordings with the Westminster Williamson Voices have garnered wide critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. Choir and Organ wrote about their Grammy™-nominated recording Annelies, “Jordan’s instinctive understanding of the score makes this a profound and emotionally charged experience.” 2017-2018 will mark the release of three new recordings with him as conductor: Silence into Light by the Westminster Williamson Voices; Abide, recorded by The Same Stream Choir and featuring the music of Thomas LaVoy, Dan Forrest, Peter Relph and Paul Mealor and Serenity-The Music of Paul Mealor, also recorded by The Same Stream Choir. All are available through iTunes and Amazon.
Artistic Director and Conductor
Jordan’s career and publications have been devoted to innovative educational changes in the choral art, which have been embraced around the world. 2017-18 marks the publication of six new books. Inside the Choral Rehearsal is a landmark book applying the Music Learning Theory of Edwin Gordon to the choral rehearsal. Conductor as Prism, Conductor as Architect, The Complete Choral Warm-Up Exercises and The Anatomy of Tone and The Moral Acoustics of Sound will also be released. His residencies, master classes and guest conducting have taken him throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2015, conducting the New York premiere of Paul Mealor’s Stabat Mater. He is also the conductor/artistic director of a new professional choir, The Same Stream which begins its touring schedule in 2018. In November 2015, Jordan conducted the world premiere of Paul Mealor’s First Symphony: Passiontide in Scotland. In 2016, the Westminster Williamson Voices was the first college choir to appear in the MetLiveArts series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art performing the virtuosic Kanon Pokajanen by Arvo Pärt.
James Jordan has been honored as a distinguished alumnus of Temple University, where he has been inducted into the University’s Hall of Fame. In 2016, he received the distinguished alumni medal from Susquehanna University. He was awarded the distinguished Doctor of Music degree by the University of Aberdeen in Scotland in 2014 to honor his artistry and contributions to choral music throughout the world. The University, established in 1485, has awarded degrees throughout its history to only two Americans: James Jordan and Morten Lauridsen. He shares this honor with Gustav Holst, Benjamin Britten and Joan Sutherland.
Corey Everly is a collaborative pianist, coach, and conductor. He is currently finishing his DMA in Choral Conducting at Northwestern University where he studied with Donald Nally. He has a Master's degree from Westminster Choir College in Piano Accompanying and Coaching under J.J. Penna and a Bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance. He has previously been accompanist for the GRAMMY-
Associate Artistic Director and Conductor
nominated Westminster Williamson Voices and Westminster Schola Cantorum. He has conducted over 30 musical theatre/opera productions spanning a wide range of styles and serves as music theatre voice faculty and coach to the classical division at Rowan University. Corey is also active as a guest clinician and conductor bringing socially conscious new works to the forefront of music education. Most recently he served as conductor for the PMEA District 6 Chorus resulting in a film version of David Lang’s “statement to the court”.
Corey has served as Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master for Opera on the Avalon in Newfoundland, Canada. In 2013, Corey was the Chorus Master for Britten’s Saint Nicholas at the Shipley Arts Festival in West Sussex, UK. As a chorister, Corey has sung with leading conductors such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Simon Rattle, Daniele Gatti, and Gustavo Dudamel. Highlights include Verdi Requiem and Mahler Symphony No. 2 with the Philadelphia Orchestra in Carnegie Hall and performances with the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra also at Carnegie Hall. One of his favorite projects to date includes performances of the Bernstein Mass with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Rising conductor, composer, pianist and vocalist Yiran Zhao (b.1999) received her bachelor’s degree in Piano and Theory & Composition from Westminster Choir College. She received first places in the Class Piano Competition awards in 2018, 2019, and 2020, first places in school-wide Composition Competition Awards in 2018 and 2019 (the “Andrew Phillips Scholarships”) and in 2020, she received 3rd place in Composition Competition Award as well as the Franklin Cannon Musicianship Award. In 2019, she was also presented the Damien Dixon Award, which was founded in remembrance of Ingrid Clarfield’s student, Damien Dixon. Yiran will pursue her master’s degree in Choral Conducting at the Yale School of Music in Fall 2021. Yiran is the choir director and organist at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Kendall Park, NJ. She’s also the director of the Xiao Feng Arts Choir.
Yiran joined the Beijing Philharmonic Choir (also known as The Children & Young Women’s Chorus of the China National Symphony Orchestra) at the age of 8. She studied conducting with Hongnian Yang, tenured professor at China’s Central Conservatory of Music, as well as the founder and conductor of Beijing Philharmonic Choir. She was the assistant conductor of the choir who received 1st place in the 65th Guido d’Arezzo Polyphonic Contest. In summer 2019, Yiran attended the Choral Institute at Oxford as a Full-Conductor, where she studied with James Jordan and James Whitbourn and conducted the Westminster Williamson Voices. In summer 2020, she was accepted as the youngest conductor in history of the Norfolk Chamber Choir & Choral Conducting Workshop with Simon Carrington, which was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19.
Ms. Zhao is currently soprano section leader of Grammy-nominated Westminster Williamson Voices, under the direction of James Jordan, and a soloist in Westminster Kantorei, directed by Jay Carter. She was a soprano soloist and student accompanist of Westminster Choir, the resident choir of Spoleto Festival USA, under the direction of Joe Miller. She was also a concertist of the Westminster Symphonic Choir when they performed Bach B Minor Mass with the Philadelphia Orchestra in December 2019, under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Yiran studied voice with Victoria Browers, and worked as a vocalist and soprano section leader at Lamington Presbyterian Church from 2017 to 2018. In summer 2018, she attended the Choral Singing School at Oxford University led by Dr. James Whitbourn, where she sang the soprano solo in John Stainer’s “I Saw the Lord”. She was hired as the soprano in Dennis Shrock’s Renaissance Symposium in Summer 2021.
Yiran started composing at the age of 14 when she started arranging hymns at her church in Beijing. She has written multiple works in different genres, from solo instruments to large works for choirs and orchestras. She has studied with Joel Phillips, Stefan Young, Jay Kawarsky and Christian Carey. Several of Yiran’s choral compositions have been performed in public by Beijing Kuanjie Church, Beijing Philharmonic Choir and Westminster Choir College students. In April 2019, her Symphony No.1, “A Dragon from the East” was performed by Westminster Community Orchestra. Yiran attended the “Singing School and Composing for Choirs” Summer Camp at Oxford, England in July 2019, where she studied composition with Dr. James Whitbourn. In March, 2020, she performed her own song set “Horizon”, commissioned by Ingrid Clarfield in memory of her student Damien Dixon. Her orchestral compositions were used as background and recessional music at Westminster Convocation and Commencement in Spring 2021.