Bruce T. Fifer
B.M.E., Westminster Choir College
Arts Department Head, Collegium Musicum Director, Music
Harold and Elizabeth Marvin Chair
Work Phone: 860-945-7773
Year Appointed: 1996
Prior to joining the faculty at Taft, Bruce spent 20 years as first assistant then director of liturgical music and drama at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. He spent eight years on the faculty of the New York State Summer School of the Arts at SUNY Fredonia, Skidmore College, and SUNY Albany. Bruce was also the founder and director of the performing arts program at All Hallows Episcopal Church in Wyncote, Pennsylvania, co-founder and company manager of the Philadelphia Singers, and co-founder of Chorus America. He began his teaching career on the music faculty of Princeton Day School. His singing experience includes solo performances with the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein; Boston Symphony and the Buffalo Philharmonic under Michael Tilson Thomas; the Philadelphia Orchestra and National Symphony; and numerous opera roles with the Greenwich Symphony, Bel Canto Opera, Manhasset Opera, L’Ensemble of New York, Eastern Opera, the Alice Tully Hall/PBS production of Deseret, among others.
With more than 35 years of experience in singing and choral contracting, Bruce has performed and recorded with virtually every vocal ensemble in the New York metropolitan area, including Musica Sacra, Waverly Consort, Ensemble for Early Music, New York Choral Artists, Gregg Smith Singers, Camerata Singers, Men of Song Enterprises, Robert Shaw Festival Singers, the Philadelphia Singers, The New York Vocal Arts Ensemble, and Alice Parker’s Melodious Accord. In film, he sang for Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Mulan. He has also provided backup vocals for James Taylor, Art Garfunkel, Paul Winter, Tom Hulce, and Pete Seeger.
Bruce is a member of Connecticut Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and American Guild of Musical Artists. Currently he is the director of Taft’s Collegium Musicum, and has brought the group to San Francisco, Spain, China, Italy, and France to perform. He inaugurated a performing artist series titled “Music for a While,” an endowed visiting professional artist residency, and an endowed scholarship program to enable students to do further artistic education in the summer. He is married to Helena White Fifer, an actress and drama teacher at Taft, and has three children, Abigail, Nathaniel, and Sam, and one grandchild.