American Prize winner Allan Laiño, D.M.A. (“lah-EE-nyoh” or / la ‘ʔi njo / ) is a conductor, composer, singer, educator, and keyboard artist in the DC metro area. He serves as the Artistic Director of the Congressional Chorus, a multi-generational family of choruses that champion the diversity of American music. As a second-generation Filipino-American with wide-ranging musical influences, he aims to create an environment in which all voices can flourish.
He has prepared choral ensembles for the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop, BSO Pops and Jack Everly, National Symphony Orchestra Pops and Steve Reineke, Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience, and the Josh Groban Live National Tour. In 2018, he made his debut on the Kennedy Center stage as a choral conductor, collaborating with The Philip Glass Ensemble and The Washington Chorus in tribute to honoree Philip Glass at The Kennedy Center Honors. He returned to lead TWC in a choral feature for the NSO Pops holiday concerts. As Assistant Conductor for TWC, he stepped in on short notice to finish choral preparation and serve as substitute chorus master for the world premiere of Lera Auerbach’s ARCTICA with the NSO and Teddy Abrams. As Co-Conductor of the Sunday Night Singers in 2012, he earned First Prize at the World Choir Games in the Mixed Chamber Choir Champions Division. He is the 2018 winner of The American Prize—Community Chorus Division, and was a finalist in two categories for the 2020 American Prize in Composition.
Laiño served as a lecturer in choral music and conducting at the Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art at The Catholic University of America. He joined the faculty in the spring of 2016, serving as the Interim Director of Choral Studies that semester. The University Singers, under his baton, performed with the CU Symphony Orchestra for The Annual Christmas Concert for Charity at the National Shrine, a televised program broadcast to over 140 countries on EWTN. He also holds positions as Associate Conductor of The Washington Chorus, Director of Music Ministry at Western Presbyterian Church, an Artistic Director for Bridge, Associate Conductor for the National Children’s Chorus, and the College/University Resources & Repertoire Chair for ACDA's MD/DC Chapter.
During his doctoral studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, Laiño directed the University Chorale. He served as Assistant Conductor for the Chamber Singers when they performed Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor with the BSO under Masaaki Suzuki, Bach Cantatas 63 and 110 with the NSO under Helmuth Rilling, and were featured performers at the 10th World Choral Symposium, . He served as assistant conductor (La Bohème, Die Zauberflöte, Die Fledermaus) and chorus master (Idomeneo, La Bohème, and Die Zauberflöte) for the Maryland Opera Studio. As part of the MOS New Works Initiative, he conducted the East Coast premiere of Jack Perla’s opera Love/Hate in 2014.
Laiño is a former member of the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the resident professional chamber choir for which he has also guest-conducted in Masses. He has sung with groups such as Bridge, The Thirteen, the Yale/Norfolk Music Festival Chamber Choir, The Trinity Chamber Orchestra, the Sunday Night Singers, the Horizon Chamber Choir, and the Pacific Chorale.
In demand as a guest conductor and clinician, Laiño recently worked with the National Children's Chorus, Fauquier All-County Chorus, and the DC Honor Chorus.
Dr. Laiño completed his D.M.A. in Choral Conducting at the University of Maryland, College Park (2015). He earned his M.F.A in Choral Conducting (2009), and B.A. in Voice/Music (2006) at the University of California, Irvine.