Handel Society of Dartmouth College

Interim Conductor: Filippo Ciabatti

Founded in 1807, the world’s oldest Handel Society and America’s first town-gown choral ensemble, the Handel Society of Dartmouth College strives to provide transformative choral experiences for audiences and its 100 singers. Its concerts feature world-renowned soloists, guest artists such as leading Bach authority Helmuth Rilling, and professional orchestras, as well as world premieres and commissioned works.  Maestro Ciabatti leads the group during interim year 2019-2020.

Handel Society at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome after singing High Mass on December 16, 2012.
The Handel Society at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome after singing High Mass on December 16, 2012.

Visit the Handel Society website.


Our Conductor

Filippo Ciabatti is serving as interim conductor of the Handel Society of Dartmouth College.  A native of Florence, Italy, he is Music Director of the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra and the Dartmouth Glee Club.  He is the co-founder of the Dartmouth Opera Lab.

As a pianist and vocal coach in Italy, Ciabatti worked
for the Cherubini Conservatory, Maggio Musicale
Fiorentino and Florence Opera Academy. He has
played for masterclasses of Renée Fleming, Nathan
Gunn, William Matteuzzi, Donald George and Isabel
Leonard. Since 2016, he has been music director and
vocal coach of “Scuola Italia per Giovani Cantanti
Lirici” in Sant’Angelo in Vado (Italy), and in summer 2019
joined the faculty of “Opera Viva!” in Verona as vocal
Ciabatti holds degrees in piano, choral conducting
and orchestral conducting from Italy and the United

Our Accompanist

Annemieke Spoelstra McLane, collaborative pianist, was born in Kampen, The Netherlands, and started piano lessons with Joke Venhuizen at age seven. She studied classical piano at the Conservatory in Zwolle, The Netherlands, with Rudy de Heus, earning her degrees Docerend and Uitvoerend Musicus (Bachelor and Masters as performing artist) for soloist, chamber music and art song accompaniment. She later studied art song accompaniment at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam as a duo with German tenor Immo Schröder. She has often been invited to serve as collaborative artist at conservatories and in national and international competitions. At age twenty-one, Spoelstra was first-prize winner at the Dutch National competition Young Music Talent Nederland for best accompanist. She was praised for her touch and coloring. In 1997, she was first-prize winner for Music Student of the Year for her final recital. The jury report wrote, “She shows great intellect in music pedagogy and is a sensible, great performer, with well-balanced programs.” In 2001 she was a finalist in Paris at the international Nadia and Lili Boulanger competition. Since January 2004, she has been a US resident living in Vermont. She performs solo, teaches piano at St. Michael’s College and at her studio, and coaches vocalists and instrumentalists for auditions, competitions and performance.   She has performed concerts in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and the US.

Our Vocal Coach

Erma Mellinger, a Lecturer in Music at Dartmouth College, earned her Bachelor of Music degree with Highest Distinction from Northwestern University and her Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music where she earned both Teaching and Performance Awards. A professional singer, Erma Mellinger has performed leading roles with many of the country’s major opera companies including Cleveland Opera, the Dallas Opera, the Florida Grand Opera, the Fresno International Grand Opera, and the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.





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