SCOTT FARTHING - EXTENDED BIO
Scott Farthing is a Southern California based conductor, composer, pianist, vocal pedagogue, stage director and actor with a professional career spanning over thirty years. Dr. Farthing has conducted All-State choirs, regional honor choirs, as well as college, church, high school and junior hight choirs throughout the country as a guest clinician. He is most noted for his choral compositions which are featured in choral standards lists across the United States.
Scott began playing the piano at the age of three and first started playing in the store window of a local music shop. By the age of eight, he would go with his mother to her job at a local nursing home and spend his days playing the piano and singing with the residents.
At an early age, he learned the power of music to affect lives, memories, and most importantly cue emotional response. At the age of eleven, Farthing answered an ad by a local theatre troupe seeking a piano accompanist. He was hired. At the age of thirteen, he answered an ad of the local light opera company needing singers, he got hired. By high school, Farthing was gigging Scott Farthing throughout the Washington D.C. Area, playing and singing for events ranging from the Lighting of the National Christmas Tree at the Pageant of Peace, events at DAR Constitution Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the National Cathedral.
While still in high school, he was selected to be a soloist with the acclaimed National Christian Choir performing with them on tours to Israel and Europe as well as the Christian Performing Artist Fellowship singing at the Kennedy Center. While at Friends University, he held the honor of being the accompanist and arranger for the “The Singing Quakers” where he had the honor of accompanying them on tours throughout the United States and Europe Through his work at Friends University, he had the honor of being on the music staff of the Music Theatre of Wichita working for five seasons as a pianist, coach, and arranger (Big River, Paint Your Wagon, Desert Song, Gypsy, Into the Woods, Singin’ in the Rain, Seven Brides, Good News!, Anything Goes, Sweet Charity, Phantom, Gigi, Annie, Damn Yankees, West Side Story, Hello Dolly!, The Secret Garden, South Pacific, Will Rogers Follies).
Farthing also had the opportunity to work at the Crown Uptown for the great Phyllis Diller in her one woman show Almost Bionic, as well as musically directing many shows for the Wichita Children’s Theatre, Wichita Center for the Arts, and the Crown Uptown. Farthing also began a long association with the United Methodist Church having positions at Aldersgate UMC and Kechi UMC from 1990 through 1997. He had the privilege of being the Musical Director for the Kansas Conference of the United Methodist Church for several years as well as teaching and consulting local congregations in strategies of developing creative worship experiences.
He also had the honor of being the Musical Director for the Conference of Bishops at the invitation of Bishop Fritz Mutti. During this time, Farthing collaborated with the writing/directing team of Rev. Michael and Cindy Marion with many of their projects including Where the Heart Is, Trash, and Trees for Life. Dr. Farthing studied in the Voice and Piano Performance programs at Catholic University, University of Maryland and Friends University. He holds both the Masters and Doctoral degrees in Music from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he had the privilege of being both the accompanist and assistant director for all the choirs under the mentorship of Eph Ehly and Charles Robinson.
In 2001, Dr. Scott Farthing assumed the responsibilities as Professor of Music at the University of La Verne in La Verne, California. While at ULV he taught several voice classes, private voice, musical theatre, conducted the choral ensembles and was the Chair of the Department of Music. In 2005, he was honored by the students, administration and faculty with the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. He also had the privilege of musically directing Little Shop of Horrors, Naughty Marietta, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Children of Eden, Marat Sade, and composed a score for Steven Kent’s production of Midsummer Night’s Dream and Brechtfest with Weill. In addition to his work at ULV, he taught in the Classical Voice program at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Los Angeles.
In 2005, Farthing was appointed Professor of Music at Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, California, a position that he still holds. While at Saddleback, Farthing has taught all levels of voice class, Applied Music, Choirs, Musical Theatre, Honors Humanities, Honors Music Appreciation, and served as the Chair for the Department of Music. He continues working on collaborative projects with the Theatre and Dance Departments and has directed productions including Legally Blonde, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Godspell, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors and She Loves Me.
He also directs the Opera 101 outreach program where he has directed productions of The Medium, The Goose Girl, The Telephone, Mitridate, Gallantry, The Old Maid and the Thief, The Elixir of Love, and Dido and Aeneas. Farthing has also conducted or accompanied Honor Choirs across the country at the local, regional, and national levels including Alabama All-State, Nebraska All-State, Missouri AllState, National ACDA Junior High Honor Choir, Southwestern Regional All-State, National Honor Choirs at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as many District Honor choirs. Dr. Farthing previously held the position of Director of Music at the Anaheim United Methodist Church for many years and oversaw a vibrant music program that included ten paid College Staff Singers for the Chancel Choir considered by many to be one of the finest church choirs in the area. Farthing is currently Music Director at St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California.
In addition to his work in Academics and Music, Farthing has become a noted speaker and writer.
In May 2018, he was keynote speaker at the annual Serving With A Purpose conference held in Ontario, California, where he spoke about teamwork.
With invitations to speak at churches and community groups, he has encouraged people with insight to approaching their lives with confidence and inspiration by using their stage fright and fear of failure as a motivation and weapon for success. Farthing holds memberships in the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Music Association of California Community Colleges and the American Choral Directors Association.