Scot Hanna-Weir is an Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Santa Clara University, and Artistic Director of the Santa Clara Chorale. He is recognized for his innovative programming, his fluency with technology in performance, and his engagement with issues of equity and social justice. In addition to regularly commissioning and premiering new works, he is also an active composer and arranger himself.
Scot regularly conducts the combined choirs of Santa Clara University and the Santa Clara Chorale in the performance of masterworks with orchestra. Recent performances include major works by Bach, Fauré, Handel, Haydn, Lauridsen, Mozart, Orff, and Rutter, alongside world, US, and regional premieres of works by Scott Gendel, Jocelyn Hagen, Cecilia McDowall, Andres Solis, and Dale Trumbore,.
As a composer and arranger, Scot’s works tend to present innovative fusions of technology in choral performance or highlight issues of injustice or suffering. His composition Sympathy (co-created with SCU Faculty Member and electronic musician Bruno Ruviaro) has been widely performed. Buck v Bell (2017), sets the text of the 1927 Supreme Court decision by Oliver Wendell Holmes that legalized the forced sterilization of the “mentally feeble”. The Wound, was commissioned by the San Diego Pro Arte Voices for their Disarm Hate project and highlights the role gun violence plays in suicide. His current projects include a 45-minute score for The Water Project, a collaborative theatre and dance piece that examines issues around water and a choral score commissioned by the Washington, DC-based vocal ensemble, Bridge, that serves as the musical underscoring of a short film featuring a spoken-word piece by poet Nina Brewton.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Scot’s SCU Chamber Singers were the first university ensemble in the United States to perform a live-remote choral performance. He has presented and published on this topic and issues of pedagogy and practice in virtual choir production for organizations across the country. He serves as an advisor on virtual choirs for ChorAmor and as a member of the Western Region American Choral Directors Association board and conference planning team.
Scot holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting from the University of Maryland, a Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of Wisconsin, and a Bachelor of Music in choral music education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His major conducting teachers have included Matthew Halls, Helmuth Rilling, Edward Maclary, James Ross, Beverly Taylor, William Carroll, and Welborn Young.