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The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance Announces the Appointment of Dr. Steven Hankle as Dayton Philharmonic Chorus Director

DAYTON, OH (May 16, 2022) – The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Steven Hankle as Chorus Director of the Dayton Philharmonic. Hankle assumes this role as the DPAA bids farewell to Hank Dahlman, who will retire at the end of this 2021‒2022 season after 25 years at the helm of the DPO Chorus.  The Chorus is the DPAA’s official vocal ensemble that sings with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra when the DPO performs works that include a choir.

“I’m delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Hankle as the new Director of the Dayton Philharmonic Chorus,” said Patrick J. Nugent, President and CEO of DPAA. “We are grateful to have identified a Chorus Director affiliated, once again, with a local university. While Hank serves as the Director of Choral Studies at Wright State University, Steven is an inspiring leader in the choral program at the University of Dayton. We welcome his expertise in choral education and performance, and we cannot wait to see what Steven has in store for our talented chorus members in the upcoming season and beyond.”

“Hank Dahlman leaves big ‘shoes to fill’ at the Dayton Philharmonic Chorus, but I’m very excited that we’re able to pass the baton on to Steven Hankle,” said Neal Gittleman, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. “Steven, like Hank, is an excellent musician and a first-rate trainer of choirs. That’s so important with the Dayton Philharmonic Chorus coming out of a nearly two-year silence due to COVID-19. The choir had a wonderful coming-out-of-COVID party last weekend with Beethoven’s Ninth, so they’re poised and ready to enter the Steven Hankle Era. I look forward to lots of marvelous choral singing with the DPO next season.”

Steven Hankle is the Assistant Professor of Choral Music and Music Education at the University of Dayton, where he directs the premiere mixed ensemble, University Chorale, and the treble choir, Bella Voce. Under his direction, the University Chorale made an appearance at the Ohio Music Education Association Professional Development Conference in 2022, and in 2019, he prepared the University Chorale to perform J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Bach Society of Dayton.

Hankle is also a member of the choral faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (BLFAC) in Twin Lake, Michigan, where he serves as the music director of the Alumni Choir. During his time at Blue Lake, Hankle has prepared and conducted the Alumni Choir in performances of John Rutter’s Gloria and Johannes Brahms’s Liebeslieder Waltz Op.52.

Prior to his role at the University of Dayton, Hankle was choral and music education faculty at Penn State University (PSU) from 2012 to 2015, where he directed the University Choir. During his tenure, he prepared Johannes Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem for the PSU Mass Choir and PSU Philharmonic performances. His choir also undertook an international engagement in Nairobi, Kenya, where he co-conducted the Avoice4peace choir, which comprised singers from Kenya, Florida, and Texas.

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Steven Hankle is a graduate of San Francisco State University, where he studied choral conducting with David Xiques, Joshua Habermann, Susan McMane, and Vance George, and of Florida State University, where he completed his doctoral studies in choral conducting with Andre Thomas.

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is thrilled to welcome Steven to this leadership role with the DPO Chorus and to the DPAA team!


About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the greater Dayton community, with a mission to be the community’s indispensable source for traditional, diverse and innovative experiences in ballet, opera, and orchestral music. The vision of the DPAA is to transform lives through the power of music and dance. The DPAA offers a wide variety of performance and education programs, setting a new standard for artistic excellence. DPAA performances reach an audience of more than 90,000 people annually, and their rich arts education programming serves over 60,000 schoolchildren in 150 schools in the Miami Valley. These performances and education initiatives are made possible in part through major support provided by the Ohio Arts Council, Culture Works, the City of Dayton, Montgomery County and the National Endowment for the Arts.