A graduate of the Juilliard School of music, Robert DeCormier's conducting engagements have taken him from Broadway and opera to numerous concert tours throughout the United States and Canada with the Robert De Cormier Singers, seventeen years as music director of the New York Choral Society, conductor and arranger for Harry Belafonte, and from 1978 until 2010, music director for the popular folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. From 1972 to 1977, he was an associate professor of conducting and ensembles at the Eastman School of Music. In 1993, he helped initiate the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus. In 2000, he founded and directed the professional vocal ensemble Counterpoint. The group performed in concerts across Vermont, in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Montreal. They offered a program of workshops and concerts with High School choirs throughout Vermont and beyond. Counterpoint has six recordings on the Albany Record label including When The Rabbi Danced, Shalom, Counterpoint Sings Noel, Christmas in Vermont, Missa Criolla and Let Me Fly. Legacy Live and An American Hallel recordings were produced by Counterpoint.
DeCormier has written several works, ranging from choral to Broadway and ballet scores. He also arranges extensively, from African-American spirituals to American and international folk songs. His recordings appear on Arabesque, Vox Turnabout, Book-of-the-Month Club, Newport Classics, Centaur, Command and Musical Heritage Society labels. Television credits include a choral series for the BBC, specials for Thames TV and PBS with Jessye Norman, and a CBS Emmy award winning special with Harry Belafonte.
He has served on the New York State Council on the Arts and been a member of the Choral Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2002, he was presented with the Vermont Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, and in 2006, De Cormier received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New England Choral Arts Foundation. He received an Honorary degree of Doctor of Arts from Middlebury College in 2007, and in 2011, an Honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Vermont. In the spring of 2014, he was recognized by a special resolution of the State of Vermont House of Representatives for his “remarkable career in the musical arts”.