Matthew Christopher Shepard is a professional conductor, church musician, and guest lecturer based in Kansas City. His unique career path has led him to concert halls conducting both professional orchestras and choirs, to collegiate and secondary school classrooms to guest conduct and lecture in musicology, and to communities of faith to lead both Christian and Jewish worship services. His intellectual curiosity, fearless programming, and magnetic leadership has made him one of the most sought-after conductors in the region.
Mr. Shepard is founder and conductor of Te Deum, which has established itself as one of the premier choral ensembles in the region. He is frequently engaged as a conducting clinician, most recently with the University of Kansas and Mid America Nazarene University, and in the summer of 2020 will be the director of the American Choral Director’s Association Kansas State Convention Honor Choir. With his growing reputation in the Early Music field, Mr. Shepard’s work and contributions to the field were featured in Early Music America, both in a highlight article in their electronic publication, and in a featured article in their monthly magazine. He has also been a recent guest lecturer in music history and performance practice at William Jewell College and Baker University. With Te Deum he has given period performances of great pillars of baroque music including Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri, J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion, and Bach’s B-Minor Mass.
As an orchestral conductor, Mr. Shepard has conducted several ensembles in the area, including The Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City, the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, and the Kansas City Baroque. He has also served as orchestra director at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. In the summer of 2018 he was invited to conduct the closing orchestral concert of the American Guild of Organists National Convention in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Mr. Shepard also serves as the associate director of music at Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kansas, where he leads adult choral and instrumental ensembles and leads their youth choir. Beginning his musical studies in woodwinds and voice, Mr. Shepard holds an undergraduate degree from William Jewell College and two master’s degrees, studying both choral and orchestral conducting at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. He has also studied as a fellow at the Conductors Institute at Bard College Conservatory and at the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Institute.