Jeffrey Faux: Passion-driven conductor and musician, touching the heart, soothing the soul
I have truly been inspired by the zealous and passion-driven music of Jeffrey Faux. Jeff gently pulls the heartstrings of anyone who experiences his artistic talent. Jeff is gifted not only in music and conducting. His love of classical music has led him to write inspiring articles on the history of classical music. He devotes his time to teaching and mentoring others. I am honored to serve the community alongside Jeff.
Formerly the Artistic Director and conductor of the Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers, Jeff has collaborated with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, the Southwest Florida Symphony, the Gulf Coast Symphony, Opera Naples, Gulf Shore Opera, and the Charlotte Symphony. In 2010 the chorus was invited to perform with the "Star Wars" in Concert tour at Germain Arena. On September 11, 2011, Jeff conducted the Naples Philharmonic with the Naples Philharmonic Chorale and the Mastersingers in a concert remembering the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. Jeff made his European conducting debut conducting the Fauré Requiem with the Orchestra Orchestre Symphonique Bel’Arte of Paris at L’eglise de la Madeleine, where Fauré wrote the work.
He is also the Director of Sacred Arts at First Presbyterian Church in Bonita Springs where he oversees a large program that includes ten vocal and instrumental ensembles. The choir has a recording, Great Hymns of the Faith available online, and has performed in Florence Italy, Barcelona Spain, and Paris France.
He is a graduate of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. He served as an adjunct instructor of Music Education at Westminster Choir College and graduated from Michigan State University with a Masters in Choral Conducting and is pursuing a doctorate in Worship Studies at the Institute for Worship Studies.
"The simple motive of two notes becomes the driving motive of the famous ‘Ode to Joy’ melody. Sometimes the first pitch of the two-note pair is on the strong beat, and sometimes the second is. Each note shares equally is expressing true joy through brotherhood." Jeff Faux
Watch Jeff Faux conducting the Fauré Requiem
at La Madeleine Church in Paris
What is your favorite Beethoven musical work? And why?
This is hard to choose, but if I must I would say the 9th Symphony. I sang it as a high school singer at the New York State Summer School of the Performing Arts and it was that experience that uncovered my passion for choral music.
I love the work because in it he uses music to reach beyond ‘entertainment’ and truly explores the artistic power of the symphony. When the fourth movement quotes the previous three as if to ask “what is it that brings true joy?” Ultimately the answer is true brotherhood. When the baritone soloist sings the word ‘Freude’ he sings two pitches side by side. The simple motive of two notes becomes the driving motive of the famous ‘Ode to Joy’ melody. Sometimes the first pitch of the two-note pair is on the strong beat, and sometimes the second is. Each note shares equally is expressing true joy through brotherhood.
How has Beethoven’s master artistry inspired or influenced you as a creative?
By studying Beethoven I began to understand how art can be a tool to express things in a way that words alone sometimes cannot.
Beethoven was a man of great faith who saw music as a medium that could be experienced anywhere. What are your thoughts on the power of the arts to transform lives?
The arts represent an opportunity to recreate your own story, to start again. This is a picture of grace, to erase the past, create something new that will honor and praise God because he is the source of love demonstrated through his grace.
What is your creative talent, craft, and/or profession?
I am a choir director at First Presbyterian Church of Bonita Springs.
How did you get started on your creative journey?
My first musical experience was playing guitar at Catholic Masses when I was in middle school.
Where are you now on this journey?
I am serving God with all my heart, mind, and strength by facilitating worship services that allow worshippers to fully praise and commune with God.
What are some of your accomplishments?
I have two articles published in the Choral Journal. One on the Brahms Requiem and another on the Fauré requiem. Last summer I was invited to conduct the Fauré Requiem at La Madeleine Church in Paris where Fauré wrote the work. I have been the conductor of the Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers.
How do you connect your art to your faith?
Art is my opportunity to give a gift to God in response to his gift of grace given so freely to me.
What can you as an artist inherently do to make a difference in the world today?
Mirror the truth of God in art and in all I do.
Copyright 2020, William S. Barnett