By Jane Lethlean

In his first year as vocal music instructor at Highland, Jeff DeLay is enjoying being part of a long-standing tradition of vocal music at the college. He has been directing choirs for 22 years, and teaches voice and piano.

“The enjoyment of music is bringing beautiful sounds together,” DeLay said. “My vision is to discover the music that will be an achievable challenge for each ensemble and to help the student enjoy doing their best.”

DeLay is the director for Highland’s Chamber Singers and the Royal Scots. 

He comes to Highland from the College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL, where he served as an adjunct faculty member teaching music literature and directing choral ensembles similar to those at Highland. He likes to teach voice to music majors and non-majors of a variety of skill levels, teaching traditional art music repertoire, as well as musical theatre, jazz, and other styles.

In addition to his adjunct faculty experience, his experience as an educator and performer includes classical vocal performance, jazz and popular music, piano accompaniment, music composition, and general teaching music.

He also has been involved in some works as a freelance musician. He directed the Lake County Swedish Glee Club, as well as the Chicago Swedish Mixed Chorus. Also, he was the Director-in-Chief for the 2012 convention of the American Union of Swedish Singers. He has also worked as a youth and choir director at his church, preparing youth for major choral performances and teaching them music appreciation, vocal technique, and harmony.

He earned his bachelor of arts degree in music from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, focusing on sacred music and composition. He has a master’s degree in music in vocal performance from North Park University in Chicago.

With his expansive music knowledge, experience using audio software for editing and recording, as well as composition and notion software, DeLay said, “I am pleased to be part of a music program that has set the bar high.”