In his tenth year with The Phoenix Symphony, Chorus Master Thomas Bookhout brings to The Phoenix Symphony Chorus a vast experience in the choral art, preparing and conducting symphony, opera, university, community, school, and church choruses. He has prepared the Symphony Chorus on its widely varied and challenging masterworks repertoire, such as Mozart’s and Verdi’s Requiems, Poulenc’s Gloria, Kodaly’s Psalmus Hungaricus, Estévez’s Cantata Criolla, Pärt’s In Principio, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and Handel’s Messiah; as well as for exciting performances in the Symphony’s Pops series. The Symphony Chorus has grown during his tenure, and enjoys a reputation for stunning performances, engaging rehearsals, and inspiring camaraderie.
Bookhout has conducted The Phoenix Symphony Chorus in performances of its own in Phoenix, at Carnegie Hall, in Vienna and Salzburg, and in Poland. His work preparing and conducting the Chorus on Poulenc’s Gloria in Vienna was hailed as “stimulating and … breathtaking.” In 2015, he led the Chorus in the world-premiere of Dan Forrest’s Psalm of Ascension for chorus and orchestra in New York City.
Previously, Bookhout was Chorus Master for the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, where he prepared its chorus for symphonic performances, including Britten’s War Requiem, Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony, and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast; and for fully staged operas including Carmen, Il Trovatore, and Die Fledermaus, earning notable reviews in the American Record Guide and Opera News.
As an educator, Bookhout has held positions at University of Charleston, Ottawa University and several of the finest private and charter schools in Phoenix. He has been Minister of Music and Choir Director at Camelback Bible Church, Music Director of New York’s Taghkanic Chorale, and Director of Music at the elite Stony Brook School in New York.
Dr. Bookhout is a native of New York State and earned his MM at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester and his DMA at Arizona State University. His teachers and coaches have included Donald Neuen, Donald Bailey, Alfred Mann, Samuel Adler, David Stocker, Eric Nelson, Joseph Flummerfelt, Frauke Haaseman, and Dale Warland. He has served on the board of the AZ ACDA and is a member of numerous professional music and educational organizations.
Tom and his wife Jeanne’s family includes three adult children, two sons-in-law, and an ever-increasing number of perfect grandchildren.