Former Music Director

Lyndon Woodside,   Music Director 1967–2005

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The Westchester Choral Society remembers Dr. Lyndon Woodside as a distinctive leader who mixed wit and erudition with discipline. Besides his enormous musical knowledge, his stories about conducting different orchestras and singers on his trips to Europe and China were always fascinating and full of fun. Sometimes he made you laugh, and sometimes he made you feel a sense of awe.

Lyndon Woodside served as the Music Director of the Westchester Choral Society from 1967 until his death in 2005. Under his direction, the WCS expanded its repertoire and delighted audiences with vocal music of the highest order, ranging from Bach to Bernstein, earning Dr. Woodside critical acclaim for his sensitive conducting.

Dr. Woodside also served as Music Director of the Oratorio Society of New York for 32 years. After his 1982 European debut in Salzburg, Dr. Woodside made guest appearances throughout Europe in many choral and orchestral concerts. In addition to leading orchestras in Paris, Venice, and Stockholm, he also conducted the Mozarteum Orchestra, Orchestre Pasdeloup, Prague Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Tours, Artur Rubinstein Philharmonic of Lodz, I Solisti di Roma, English Chamber Orchestra, and Orchestre Bell’Arte. In response to his 1995 debut in Tours, the press hailed the "great art of the conductor." In June 2000, he conducted members of the Oratorio Society and the Beijing Orchestra and Chorus in the new Forbidden City Music Hall in Beijing. In March 2003, Dr. Woodside conducted members of the Society and the Orquesta Sinfonica National in a series of concerts in San Jose, Costa Rica to benefit the ecological preservation of Cocos Island, for which he was awarded a UNESCO World Heritage Medal. In addition, Dr. Woodside served as the principal judge for the Oratorio Society’s Solo Competition for 29 years. He also served on the judging panel of the Opera Index Awards at the Metropolitan and for the Opera at Florham Competition. In 1976, he received a Grammy award for his participation in the "Concert of the Century."

Dr. Woodside was Music Director of Temple Emanu-El of Southern Westchester in Yonkers for 35 years, and Organist and Choir Director at the Park Avenue United Methodist Church in Manhattan. In addition, he was associated with the Birch Wathen Lenox School in Manhattan for 40 years. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Dr. Woodside was voted distinguished alumnus of the year and awarded an honorary Doctorate in Music in 1991. He received his Masters degree from The Juilliard School of Music.

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