Wendell Nisly • Oasis Chorale Conductor
Wendell grew up on the plains of Kansas in a singing family and in a singing church, a heritage he values deeply. His parents were great fans of Handel’s Messiah, singing it almost annually, and thus Wendell cut his teeth both on great hymns and on choral music.
His first formal musical training was at Wichita State University, where he completed a Bachelor of Music Education degree. He then took a position as a teacher at Pilgrim Christian High School, and in 2003 was invited to be guest conductor for the newly-formed Oasis Chorale. After teaching and conducting for a number years, he became thoroughly convinced of his own ignorance of the finer points of the choral art, and so he and his wife moved to Harrisonburg, Virginia where he completed a Masters in Choral Conducting at James Madison University.
He still lives in Virginia with his wife Jeanene, who is a key asset in his musical and teaching career. She is an invaluable team member as they work together to juggle the various duties of teaching at Calvary Christian Academy, being academic dean of the Shenandoah Christian Music Camp, and conducting Oasis. They also sing with Renaissance, a local choral ensemble.
Wendell is keenly interested in exploring how music may function in its God-given role, not only as a means of corporate religous expression but also in our daily lives. He believes that often music has become an end in itself, robbing it of its ability to speak well as a mediator of worship and of the lives we live. He is excited to be able to work with Oasis to unleash the creativity we as humans have been given in the image of our Creator, to our delight and to His honor.