Last week the American Classical Music Hall of Fame announced its 2012 class of inductees. Included among the eight was choral icon Dale Warland. Maestro Warland, or "Dale," as he insists on being recognized, is still a leading figure in the field of choral music.

As artistic director of the Dale Warland Singers, Dale crafted a choral sound known for its warmth, depth and elegance -- traits that many of us consider when thinking of his very personality on and off the podium.

Since 2004, when he resigned from the organization that bore his name for more than three decades, he has maintained an active career as a teacher, composer and conductor.

Warland is not someone who boasts, and he is prone to keep news of this magnitude to himself, probably considering it to be an error on the Hall of Fame's end.

Yet, seeing his name and career highlights mentioned with the likes of Nadia Boulanger, Steve Reich, David Zinman and Emmanuel Ax is beautifully fitting. It is also a poignant reminder that his impact is felt and recognized well beyond this local community in which he thrives as an artist, mentor and man.


The writer is founding artistic director of the Singers.