Topher Keene is a speaker, author, coach, educator, musician, and mentor working to help the young (and young at heart) to overcome emotional barriers and embrace their creativity.
Topher runs a studio of passionate singing and acting students in Tempe, AZ, while offering lessons to students worldwide over video chat. He also performs for churches, schools, and community organizations as a singer, conductor, and speaker.
Topher serves as the Director of Education for the Grammy-Award Winning Phoenix Boys Choir, America's top boy's choir. He directs the younger choirs and also leads workshops in elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Arizona working with over 3000 students in dozens of schools.
He is director of the award winning Sweet Adeline's chorus Simply A Cappella. He directs the Fountain of the Sun retirement community chorus, an age 55+ chorus that has grown more than 50% in its first season and hosts multiple sold out concerts every season. He has previously served as choir director and worship leader in several churches. Keene formerly co-directed the International Championship Youth Barbershop Choruses: Sounds of the Mouth, featuring the Men's Ensemble, Women's Ensemble, and Mixed Ensemble.
Topher is a certified Kodály educator and serves as president of the Arizona Kodály Teachers Society and serves on the National Board of Directors as chair of the Technology committee and Membership committee.
Topher Keene co-founded ChoirUnlimited: a sheet music and choral resource publisher that provides singable, accessible, beautiful, innovative music by living composers. A single purchase comes with unlimited photocopying, recording, and performance rights.
Keene directed the Maine District III Elementary Honors Festival Chorus from 2012-2016. He has presented sessions for music teachers on teaching struggling singers, community singing, aural literacy for choirs, and conducting technique at the Massachusetts, Maine, and Arizona Music Educators Conferences. He has also presented at the American Choral Directors Association Voices United Conference in Virginia, the Eastern Division Kodály Conference in Pennsylvania, and the Western Division Kodály Conference in Utah.
Topher has a passion for musical theatre and leads many productions throughout Arizona. He is one of the music directors for the top summer program in AZ at the Phoenix Theatre, and has also directed productions with Act One Youth Theatre, Pinnacle Creative Arts, and a variety of other organizations. Topher is the music director for the Phoenix Theatre's "Musical Theatre Intensive", a 3-week training program for pre-professional musical theatre students.
He also has a passion for early childhood music and has led classes for 2-week to 5-year old children at the Musical Instrument Museum. He is currently developing his own early childhood curriculum for classes with the Phoenix Boys Choir.
Rockland District Middle School invited Keene to present a full school assembly entitled Singing Through Shame, an exploration of the power of music and the arts to help heal emotional wounds. Topher also loves working with music education majors, UMass Lowell's Collegiate NAfME chapter hosted a seminar on Directing Your First Musical. Western Connecticut State University hosted a workshop on Aural Literacy. Arizona State University hosted a workshop on helping singers who struggle to match pitch.
Keene previously served as director of the Dover-Sherborn Regional High School Choral and Musical Theatre programs. In his tenure at DSHS, choral enrollment increased more than 300%, and many students were accepted in auditioned festivals at the district, state and national level. In 2012 he founded the Dover Youth Chorale, a K-12 community choir bringing together singers of all ages. He has conducted productions of Children of Eden, Carousel, and West Side Story with full orchestra.
As the first undergraduate to complete the Kodály Certification program at the New England Conservatory in 2010 (4.0 GPA), Topher honed his passion for music literacy and voice-based pedagogy. His achievements at the University of Maine (Summa Cum Laude) are numerous and include serving as president of the student chapter of ACDA, conductor of the Collegiate Chamber Choir, assistant conductor of the Collegiate Chorale, University Orchestra, and professional choir Euphony, and chorus-master of the Opera Workshop. In his senior year, seeing a need for undergraduates to have experience conducting/rehearsing a live ensemble, Keene founded the Lab Choir: a group comprised of undergraduate conductors who each take turns rehearsing/conducting a piece of their own with the choir.
Topher Keene founded 3 community choirs, directed a church choir, and taught both middle and high school choruses in Maine before moving to Boston in 2011. In Boston he founded 2 additional choirs and the contemporary acappella group Out of Range. In 2015 he moved to Arizona and currently He has taught private voice for the last 7 years, having coached over 100 singers from ages 4-94. Beyond music, Topher has a deep interest in academia and tutors math, is a member of MENSA, and performs stand-up comedy while continuing to nurture passions for philosophy, psychology and physics.
Topher was featured on MTV's True Life in 2016, documenting his pursuit of genius and his acceptance to the Triple 9 Society, an exclusive high-IQ organization that only accepts those testing in the top 99.9% (1 in 1000) of intelligence in the world.
Topher is frequently interviewed for TV, radio, and podcasts. Some of his best interviews include:
- Choral Values on the Find Your Forte Podcast with Ryan Guth
- Everyone Can Learn to Sing on the Instant Authority Expert Podcast
- The Pathway To Genius on the Jake Sasseville Show
- Do The Right Thing, Right! on BlogTalkRadio
In demand as a guest conductor and clinician for school, church and community ensembles throughout the United States, Topher Keene is always open to new opportunities to share his love and passion for music with new singers.