Thomas Octave, assistant professor of music at Saint Vincent College, was honored by the Saint Vincent College Student Government Association with its annual Faculty Award at the spring Honors Convocation at Saint Vincent Basilica on April 26.
Octave has earned degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University.
As a conductor, Octave is frequently seen presenting a multitude of varied genres of music. At home in the theater he has conducted numerous operas and musicals. Recently, his collaboration with the Theater Department of Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s production of “A Year With Frog and Toad” earned a Kennedy Center nomination. In recent years, he has collaborated with jazz legend Joe Negri in performances of “Mass of Hope,” The River City Brass Band, Highmark’s “The Caring Place” and renowned choreographer Maria Caruso.
A champion of new music, Octave has premiered several major works by composer Nancy Galbraith, including her “O Magnum Mysterium,” “God of Justice,” “Novena” and “Lumen Christi.”
He recently conducted the world premiere of Galbraith’s “The Passion of Christ” in England and in the United States. In demand as a clinician, he has presented workshops and guest conducted ensembles for Indiana University of Pennsylvania, John Carroll University, Benet Academy and for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association.
He has also served as the director of music for the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral and La Roche College Campus Ministry. Octave has presented music for the First Lady of Uganda and The Queen of Jordan upon their visits to the Pacem In Terris Institute. He has also served as the assistant conductor of the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh presenting with Maestro Thomas Douglas the Pittsburgh premiers of Bernstein’s “Mass” and David Chesky’s “The Agnostic.”
Currently, Octave is an assistant professor of music at Saint Vincent where he conducts the SVC Singers and teaches courses in voice, music appreciation and opera. He also currently serves as the musical consultant to the archabbot.
He is the music director for Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, MAESTRI, the Diocesan Choir of Greensburg, music director of Saint Maria Goretti Parish in Bloomfield and is music director of the Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra and the Westmoreland Choral Society.
Photo: Br. Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B., and Thomas Octave
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