Max Nolin - courtesy Danielle Nadler/Loudoun Now

A community near Washington D.C. makes beautiful music thanks to Conservatory of Music graduate Max Nolin '13.

Young conservatory alumnus inspires community music as artistic director

December 18, 2017

Max Nolin - courtesy Danielle Nadler/Loudoun NowA community in suburban Washington D.C. is coming together to make beautiful music thanks to BW Conservatory of Music graduate Max Nolin '13, who is impacting and inspiring a revitalization of the nonprofit Loudoun Chorale, located in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Speaking highly of Nolin's leadership at a mere 26 years old, Loudoun Chorale singer and board member Elizabeth Newberry said in a Loudoun Now article, "He advocates for diverse and high-quality music prepared and performed with a tremendous sense of joy and community. I find we spend our rehearsals smiling and laughing with his brand of conducting and his enthusiasm."

Leading generations of music makers

In his young, diverse career, Nolin leads Loudon Chorale and an additional choir in Potomac, Maryland. The Kent, Ohio, native also teaches at Edmund Burke School in Washington D.C., where he works with middle school and high school students.

Balancing his time between youth and adult singers, Nolin told the newspaper, "As much as I love working with kids, I like working with adult singers. It's an amazing experience to get to see people from a lot of different generations come together and try to make music with each other."

Nolin takes on the challenges of blending all types of singers together and incorporating new ideas such as unifying themes or diverse music.

"What the chorale has—and it was there when I got there and it continues to grow—is a really human sound and a really beautiful sound. When people come to our concerts, they're moved not just by the sounds, but they're moved because the people are really committed to what they're doing. It's a really full experience."

Bitten by community music bug

Nolin told the newspaper he started college at BW with a dream of becoming an opera singer "but shifted gears after the university's choral director and his work with a local church choir led him to fall in love with community music-making." During his time at BW, Nolin directed a 12-member choir at a Cleveland-area church.

After earning his undergraduate degree from BW's Conservatory of Music, Nolin added a master's degree at Westminster Choir College.