Powell River Academy of Music
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2016 Choirs

Robinson Select Women's Ensemble - USA

The Robinson Select Women’s Ensemble is comprised of students in grades nine through twelve with varied backgrounds and interests who share a common love for singing choral music.  The ensemble has earned consistent superior ratings at VCDA/VMEA state music assessments and has been recognized with prestigious performance opportunities and awards.  Under the direction of Mike Horanski since 2005, the ensemble has performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as the Washington Chorus Side-By-Side Chorus in 2013, and the Virginia Music Educator’s Association Professional Development Conference (2010). In 2012 the ensemble earned a silver medal at the World Choir Games in Cincinnati, Ohio in the Champions Level Competition and in 2014 the Select Women’s Ensemble earned a Gold medal at the Champions level.  The ensemble has performed at music festivals throughout the United States earning numerous first place awards and superior ratings.  In 2015, with help from a grant from The Wolf Trap Foundation, the Robinson Singers and Select Women’s Ensemble commissioned composer Sydney Guillaume to write a double choir piece titled “Musique” which was premiered in June, 2015.

Mike Horanski Conductor Mike Horanski

Mike Horanski is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he began both vocal and instrumental study at a very early age. His excellent training and rich experiences throughout his grade school years led to the pursuit of a music degree and a continued interest in both music performance and music education. Mr. Horanski earned his Bachelor of Science in Music Education and Master of Music in Music Education degrees from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he performed and studied conducting under the leadership of Dr. Brady Allred.

Mr. Horanski began his teaching career in the Pennsylvania public school system in the fall of 1997 serving for eight years as the choral director at Dorseyville Middle School in the Fox Chapel Area School District located in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Choirs under Horanski’s direction were invited to be featured performers for the MENC Eastern Division Convention, the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association and the Eastern Division of the American Choral Directors Association. In 2004, Mr. Horanski was nominated by the Fox Chapel Area School District as a candidate for the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year Award. While managing a successful teaching career, Mr. Horanski concurrently served as the Tenor soloist and Youth Choir Director at the Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church and performed with the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh. He also maintained a part time schedule as a private vocal instructor.

Mike Horanski joined the music faculty of Robinson Secondary School (Fairfax County Public Schools) as the Director of High School Choral Activities in the fall of 2005. At Robinson, Mr. Horanski directs five high school choral ensembles, and serves as Department Chair.  He is currently serving as President of the Virginia Choral Directors Association.  His ensembles study and perform a varied repertoire and consistently earn superior ratings at both district level and national level music festivals throughout the United States. Most recently, Horanski and the Robinson Select Women’s Ensemble were invited to perform for the Virginia Music Educators Association and the Robinson Singers and Select Women’s Ensemble qualified to compete in the 2012 World Choir Games in Cincinnati, Ohio where the ensembles qualified for the Champions level competition and earned silver medals additionally in 2014 the ensembles earned silver and gold medals respectively at the World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia. Additionally, the Robinson Singers were invited to be the 2013 side-by-side chorus for The Washington Chorus' Candlelight Christmas Concerts at The Kennedy Center and the Strathmore.

Mr. Horanski has served as a guest conductor for several choral festivals at the middle school and high school levels. For five years he appeared on live television as the music director and conductor of the “All-Star High School Choir” for the WPXI (Pittsburgh) Channel 11 “Carol Sing” broadcast. Horanski is currently active as a high school choral director, guest conductor, and adjudicator.  He also continues his musical work in the church setting serving as the Director of Music at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Fairfax, Virginia.

Mike Horanski lives in South Riding, Virginia with his wife, Tiffany Powell, who is the Choral Director at Oakton High School (Fairfax County Public Schools) in Vienna, Virginia and their son (and official choral department sibling), Aidan.  He continues to enjoy sharing his passion for music with others each and every day.