When Hilary Apfelstadt was starting out in her career as a choral conductor, she remembers an audience member coming up to her after a concert and making a statement she has yet to forget.
"He told me, 'You don't conduct like a woman,'" she said. "He meant it as a compliment, but all I want is to be recognized because I'm a good musician, not because I'm of one gender or another."
Apfelstadt is professor of choral studies at Ohio State University, where she coordinates the graduate conducting program, conducts the OSU Chorale and Women's Glee Club, supervises the Mastersingers and teaches conducting and choral repertory classes.
Thursday, she will wrap up a two-week residency at Kansas University that has included rehearsing with the KU Collegium Musicum and KU Chamber Choir, consulting with graduate students on their performances, working with choirs at Lawrence High School and Free State High School, and giving lectures at KU.
Apfelstadt will conduct the KU Collegium Musicum and KU Chamber Choir at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1245 N.H..
The Collegium Musicum will perform "Come, Let's Rejoice" by John Amner; "Lobet den Herren, alle Heiden" by Gallus Dressler; "Sanctus in D Minor, BWV 239" by Johannes S. Bach; "Ave Regina coelorum" by Edwin Fissinger; "Magnificat" by Charles Theodore Pachelbel; "Magnificat" by Arvo Part; and "Gaudete" by Steven Sametz.
The Chamber Choir will present "A Hymn to the Virgin" by Benjamin Britten; "Missa Brevis" by Ruth Watson Henderson; and "Five Songs of the Newfoundland Outports," arranged by Harry Somers.
Apfelstadt said she found the KU singers "very bright."
"They sing well and are flexible, which I appreciate," she said. "They are used to covering a lot of music in a short amount of time."
Apfelstadt is one of several guest conductors who are visiting KU this year while the director of choral activities position is being filled. The position has been open since last spring, when Simon Carrington resigned.