Dr. Afonso is Director of Vocal and Choral Studies at California State Univ. Stanislaus, where he is active as a conductor/educator. He has been recognized for his research and performance of Brazilian choral music and continues to present workshops and lectures about the Latin American choral repertoire.
A composer, arranger, and editor of choral music, his compositions and arrangements reflect his Afro-Brazilian musical heritage, and are characterized by skillful vocal and rhythmic writing. His works are published by Earthsongs and Alliance Music Publications.
Dr. Afonso has performed with choral groups in Brazil, U.S., and Europe, and has previously taught music at the Conservatório Brasileiro de Música, Universidade do Rio de Janeiro (UNI-Rio), and Doane College, Nebraska. In 1988, he won the first prize and the best performance of Villa-Lobos work award at the Concurso Villa-Lobos de Canto Coral, a national choral competition sponsored by the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro. Dr. Afonso is strongly committed to the performance of new music and has premiered several choral works in the last few years, including Michael Mitchell’s I Will Praise the Name of God with a Song (1997), Deborah Kavasch’s Amor (2001) and Feather on God’s Breath (2003), John Marvin’s Ophélie (2003), and John Hillebrandt’s A Clear Midnight (2004). In 2001 he was appointed conductor of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra Chorus and has prepared choral masterworks with the ensemble.