Artistic Director Eric Riley
In the Spring of 2012 the Wheatland Chorale announced that Harrisburg’s Eric Riley was appointed as Artistic Director, succeeding founder and director Robert J. Upton, who retired after 25 years. Mr. Riley is Artist in Residence at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in downtown York where he has served since 2016.
A graduate of the undergraduate program at Syracuse University School of Music with a degree in organ performance, Riley later obtained his Master’s in Music from the Scarritt Graduate School of Vanderbilt University. In addition to leading various church choirs, his post-graduate conducting history includes an 11 year stint as Associate Artistic Director of Voices of Canton, Inc. (VOCI – formerly Canton Civic Opera), Canton, Ohio as well as guest conductor and performer at several music festivals in Ravenna, Bologna and Assisi in Italy.
In addition to his duties as a conductor, Eric Riley is also a very active organ recitalist. Riley’s recent performances include the Saint-Saens “Organ” Symphony (No. 3) with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra and conductor Stuart Malina, a dedication concert on the re-built organ at Camp Hill United Methodist Church, an all-Mendelssohn program at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Harrisburg, a Messiaen performance for Market Square Concerts, and a Bach Marathon performance for Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC. The Harrisburg, PA Patriot-News called Riley’s performance with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra “…a stirring performance…” and went on to say, “…Riley was spot-on.” (Sunday, October 3, 2010)
A veteran of multiple European performance trips, Eric Riley has performed in Italy for the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, the International Festival of Choral Singing in Castillione del Lago, the Festival of World Music in Perugia, CoroFest Umbria, the Assisi Music Festival, the Ravenna International Organ Festival at S. Vitale and VOCI E ORGANI DELL’APPENNINO in Bologna. Most recently he performed organ concerts in Linguaglossa and at the Cathedral in Caltanissetta on the island of Sicily, and conducted the Market Square Singers in concerts in Assisi, Florence, Lucca and Pistoia. After his concert in Lizzano, il Resto del Carlino in Bologna, Italy proclaimed, “Lizzano enchanted by Riley,” and went on to say, “…from Vivaldi to Langlais, Riley enchanted the audience with magic at the organ.” (Giovedi, 26 Giugno, 2008) In 1993 Eric Riley won Second Prize in the Flint International Organ Competition and was a finalist in the Naples International Organ Competition and the Fort Wayne National Organ Competition (USA). Eric Riley is a First Prize winner in the Arthur Poister Memorial Scholarship Competition (Syracuse, NY) and a two-time Poister Prize winner while at Syracuse University.