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College's Professor DiOrio Named ‘Best Composer’ By Houston Press

Professor Dominick DiOrio, Houston Press' pick for Best ComposerLone Star College-Montgomery has the best—the Best Composer that is, as Dominick DiOrio, director of choral activities and associate professor of music, has been named Best Composer by Houston Press. The nomination came in September in Houston Press’ annual Best of Houston list.
“This award was a total surprise to me since I didn’t even know I was nominated,” said DiOrio. “Houston Press did a review of an opera I wrote, and I guess it came from that. It’s a wonderful surprise.”
According to Houston Press’ website, DiOrio was nominated for his recent work with Divergence Vocal Theater (DVT) where he wrote the music for Klytemnestra, an opera based on Greek mythology that debuted in April.
“The opera is told from the point of view of a Greek heroine waiting for her husband to return from the Trojan War,” explained DiOrio. “There were many people involved in the production, since it was the inaugural performance in DVT’s new space, Divergence Music & Arts at Spring Street Studios.”
DiOrio’s work with DVT is just one of his many professional associations that is trickling its way down to the students at LSC-Montgomery. As a member of the Houston Chamber Choir, where he regularly serves as a guest conductor in both rehearsal and performance, DiOrio is able to bring to campus professional guest artists, which allows the students to see where they could be in five to 10 years.
“It excites them and inspires them to keep going,” said DiOrio. “I’ll do anything I can to help them keep the end goal in sight. Our students are some of the most talented I’ve seen, and they are getting a very good musical education here at the college.”
And as a student himself, DiOrio should know.
After three years of study, DiOrio recently completed his doctor of musical arts degree from the Yale School of Music. His latest performance, Love and Loss, which featured LSC-Montgomery students and professional guest artists, was presented in October as the culminating recital for the degree.
DiOrio’s accomplishments are numerous. While completing his master’s degree from Yale University, DiOrio studied with Marguerite L. Brooks, Simon Carrington, and Jeffrey Douma. Then, in 2009, he traveled to Sweden to compete in the Eric Ericson Award, the top international competition for young choral conductors. And this summer, he traveled to San Francisco to take part in two conducting master classes in Chorus America 34th Annual Conference.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the major musicians in my field,” said DiOrio. “It’s good visibility for my career, and I always seek to serve as a model professional for the students I work with at the college.”
In the two years that DiOrio has worked at LSC-Montgomery, he has tripled the size of the choral department, instituted a four-course sequence in lyric direction for singers, and created the college’s first-ever opera program, which is now its third year.  
“Additionally, one of my goals is to grow the scholarship fund for our students,” said DiOrio. “We are always looking for donations, as even a small amount can do a lot for the students.”
For more information about the music program at LSC-Montgomery, visit www.LoneStar.edu/music-Montgomery.
For more information about DiOrio’s professional career, visit www.dominickdiorio.com.
LSC-Montgomery is located at 3200 College Park Drive, one-half mile west of Interstate 45, between Conroe and The Woodlands. For more information about the college, call 936.273.7000, or visit www.LoneStar.edu/montgomery.
With more than 75,000 students in credit classes for fall 2011, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, and the fastest-growing community college system in Texas. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Park, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.