WOMEN CHORAL CONDUCTORS & CLINICIANS

*WOMEN CHORAL CONDUCTORS AND CLINICIANS YOU NEED TO KNOW*

Courtesy of Dr. Janet Galván

https://www.facebook.com/janet.galvan.520

I have been compelled to support female performers and highlight the fact that so many express power and strength. For this series, I am borrowing the unofficial title from Ruby Bridges, an American civil rights activist. She was the first Black child to attend the then all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the time of New Orleans school desegregation on November 14, 1960. When shown a picture of Vice President Harris walking with the shadow of Bridges as a child on the wall, Bridges called the picture “Shadows and Shoulders.” What a beautiful sentiment! And that is exactly how our careers and lives have developed – We stand in the shadows and on the shoulders of all the women before us who paved the way.

Dr. Janet Galván, recently retired Director of Choral Activities at Ithaca College, was recognized by her New York colleagues for her contribution to choral music when she received the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) New York Outstanding Choral Director Award. Dr. Galván was also awarded the Ithaca College Faculty Excellence Award in 2018 and 2007 and the 3rd Distinguished Alumni Award in Music Education and Choral Music from the University of North Carolina in 2016. Dr. Galván was Artistic Director of the Ithaca Children’s Choir until 2015.

Sought after as a guest conductor of choral and orchestral ensembles, Galván has conducted professional and university orchestras including Virtuosi Pragenses, the Madrid Chamber Orchestra, and the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra in choral/orchestral performances. She has conducted national, divisional, and state choruses throughout the United States for ACDA, the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME),and the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE). She has worked with ensembles of all ages, from adult professional choirs to children’s choirs. She has conducted choruses and orchestras in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Washington’s Constitution Hall, Minneapolis’ Symphony Hall, Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall, and Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center. She has conducted her own choral ensembles in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and Avery Fisher Hall as well as in concert halls in Ireland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Austria, Canada, and Spain. Galván was the sixth national honor choir conductor for ACDA, and was the conductor of the North American Children’s Choir which performed annually in Carnegie Hall. She was also a guest conductor for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in 2002.

Galván has been a guest conductor and clinician in in the United Kingdom, Ireland, throughout Europe, Canada and in Brazil as well as at national music conferences and the World Symposium on Choral Music. She was on the faculty for the Carnegie Hall Choral Institute, the Transient Glory Symposium, the Oberlin Conducting Institute, and the Curso de Dirección de Coro in Madrid.

Galván has been recognized as one of the country’s leading conducting teachers, and her students have received first place awards and have been finalists in both the graduate and undergraduate divisions of the American Choral Directors biennial National Choral Conducting Competition. Many of her former students are now conducting university and professional choirs and orchestras. In addition, she has been an artist in residence at many universities, leading masterclasses, working with the university choirs, and presenting sessions. Dr. Galván was a member of the Grammy Award-winning Robert Shaw Festival Singers (Telarc Recordings).

Galván has two choral music series and is the author of chapters in two books, Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, Volume 2 and The School Choral Program: Philosophy, Planning, Organizing and Teaching. She was also the series advisor to Latin Accents, a series with Boosey & Hawkes. She was also a contributing author to Choral Cookbook; Standards, MENC Publication on Strategies for Implementing the National Standards; and The Choral Conductor's Companion. A chapter of Working With Young Singers, Vol. 1, was devoted to an interview with Galván.

Galván has contributed articles to many professional publications. Mostly recently, she co-authored the feature article about Virtual Choirs with Matt Clauhs in the Choral Journal. Her article on the changing voice was published in the International Federation of Choral Music Journal in August of 2007 and was reprinted in La Circulare del Secretariat de Corals Infantils de Catalunga.

WOMEN CHORAL CONDUCTORS-The List.pdf

March 1 - Doreen Rao is a distinguished conductor and master teacher committed to the dynamic intersections linking choral artistry and music education. Recipient of the 2019 Robert Shaw lifetime achievement award from the American Choral Directors Association for her extraordinary contributions to choral music, Doreen’s seminal work has inspired generations of young singers, accomplished choral teachers and celebrated conductors.

During her formative association with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, she prepared the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus for concerts and recorded performances, winning four Grammy Awards and a Grand Prix du Disque with Sir George Solti, Margaret Hillis, Claudio Abbado and James Levine. As assistant conductor for the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Doreen’s apprenticeship with Margaret Hillis informed her orchestral and choral conducting with a legacy of deep musicianship and enduring professionalism.

Doreen founded and chaired the first ACDA National Committee for Children’s Choirs organizing an inspired divisional and state leadership across the country. She inspired and edited a massive choral repertoire for young treble and SATB choirs, published by Boosey & Hawkes as Choral Music Experience (CME). During the same period, she produced an innovative and on-going professional development curriculum dedicated to emerging conductors and choral teachers, founded as the CME Institute and Certification Courses in Choral Teacher Education.

The first woman to hold an endowed chair in conducting, Doreen carries the prestigious Elmer Iseler Chair in Conducting Emeritus at the University of Toronto in perpetuity. She founded and conducted the Faculty of Music MacMillan Singers and Bach Festival Singers for frequent concert collaborations with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Collaborating with the distinguished conductor and Bach scholar Helmuth Rilling, Rao led Canada’s International Bach Festival hosted by the University of Toronto in partnership with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the International Bach Academy Stuttgart. Doreen recently signed with GIA Publications in Chicago as Series Editor of the forthcoming Global Encounters for Young Choirs. She is the author of Circle of Sound Voice Education, a book that serves as the philosophical and practical foundation for her innovative mindfulness approach to conducting and teaching.

Maestra D'Walla Simmons-Burke has held teaching positions in Georgia, South Carolina and presently at Winston-Salem State University (North Carolina) where she is the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies for the Department of Music.

Simmons-Burke is the founder of four of the five choral ensembles currently existing within the Music Department at Winston-Salem State University (Winston-Salem State University Singin’ Divas; Schola Cantorum; Complesso Voce' and the renowned Burke Singers). The Winston-Salem State University Choir (aka Singing Rams) is one of the first student organizations founded at the university. The WSSU Choir has performed with the Gateways Symphony Orchestra; Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra, D'Vorak Symphony Orchestra, Colour of Music Festival Symphony Orchestra and the New England Symphony Orchestra and is well sought after for its performances of master choral works (i.e…Haydn's Creation; Handel's Messiah; Fauré’s Requiem; Rossini’s Stabat Mater; Orff's Carmina Burana; Mozart's Requiem; and Berlioz’s Te Deum), spirituals and world music. Maestra Simmons-Burke has conducted Gabriel Fauré's Requiem with the New England Symphony and Symphony Chorale at Carnegie Hall. She returned to Carnegie Hall to conduct the Winston-Salem State University Choir in a mini concert. Simmons-Burke has also performed internationally with her choral ensembles and as a guest conductor/lecturer in Prague, Czech Republic; Nassau, Bahamas; Accra, Cape Coast & Kumasi, Ghana - West Africa; and Pilanesberg, Cape Town and Johannesburg – South Africa. Maestra Simmons-Burke has conducted The 105 Voices of History Concert Choir as a National Conductor at The John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center and in Nassau, Bahamas. She is a recipient of the 105 Voices of History Kennedy Center Performing Arts Award. During her time with the 105 Voices of History, Simmons-Burke was the National Choral Coordinator and one of three conductors who lead the 105 Voices of History Concert Choir in their inaugural performance at the Grand Ole Opry.

Maestra Simmons-Burke's choirs have recorded and produced nine compact disks (In Silent Night; Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing; I Wanna Be Ready; Hold Fast To Dreams; Pieces of A Dream; Joy To the World; 20th Anniversary Celebration In Honor of D'Walla Simmons-Burke; My God is a Rock; The Gift of Peace). She has also produced three DVDs – Collaborative DVD with Singin' Black and White (Shout Hallelujah!: A New South Gospel Christmas); From Racism to Grace+ism and Stony The Road We Trod: Lifting Every Voice…Celebrating the Music of Roland M. Carter.

Under Simmons-Burke's baton, her choral ensembles have performed for and/or with such regional and national and international dignitaries as President George W. Bush; Kweisi Mfume; Susan Taylor; former North Carolina Governor James Hunt; Maya Angelou; Dick Gregory; Patti Austin; Harry Belafonté; Madame President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Pope John Paul II, to name a few. Her exceptional and diverse vocal and choral pedagogies are continuously demonstrated through the outstanding students she has produced. As a result, Simmons-Burke has been the recipient of several teaching awards such as the Winston-Salem State University Patterson Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, Winston-Salem State University Cedric Rodney Service Award and The John F. Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts 105 Voices of History National Conductor's Award. Formally, the Recording Academy, in partnership with the GRAMMY Foundation nominated Simmons-Burke for the Grammy's Music Educator of the Year Award. Simmons-Burke has also been the recipient of many community service and performance awards for her achievements in music.

Maestra Simmons-Burke is listed in Outstanding Young Women of America and has held memberships in many other organizations such as the Music Educators National Conference; the American Choral Directors Association; the National Association of African American Studies; the National Association for the Study and Performance of African-American Music; National Association of Negro Musicians; The Intercollegiate Musicians Association; the National Associations for African American, Asian, Hispanic, and Latino Studies; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., The Moles, and The Links, Inc.

Simmons-Burke has performed leading roles as a soprano in operas, such as Lost in the Stars; LaTraviata; Amahl and the Night Visitors; The Telephone; and The Old Maid and the Thief. She has also made numerous guest appearances as a conductor and adjudicator for high school and middle school All-State/All-County festivals, collegiate choral festivals and workshops. She is often sought after as a sacred music, social justice and multicultural music clinician/lecturer and soprano.

Having retired after thirty five years as Professor of Choral Music from San Jose State University, Dr. Charlene Archibeque continues to remain active in the choral field as clinician, guest conductor, adjudicator, teacher. As a teacher of teachers her choral workshops throughout the world are acclaimed as "practical, comprehensive, and insightful". Her summer workshops at SJSU and for many ACDA State and other University workshops attracted thousands of participants. She appeared on the faculty for Westminster's "Five Perspectives", twice at the Santa Fe "Perspectives", the Four Corners Workshops in Arizona, for both the Tennessee and Oklahoma Fine Arts Institutes, and for many Invitational Festivals. Some of her areas of expertise include conducting technique, vocal training in the choral rehearsal, musicianship skills, rehearsal technique, choral diction, blend and tone quality, as well as performance practices with historical perspective.

While serving as Director of Choral Activities at SJSU she successfully recruited an impressive number of talented singers and conductors to the University and guided several thousands in their choral studies. Over 80 conductors completed their Masters Degrees in Choral Conducting under her supervision and are now in positions of choral leadership throughout the United States, many as University Choral Conductors and Directors of Choral Activities themselves.

While at SJSU Dr. Archibeque conducted both the Concert Choir and the renowned SJSU Choraliers in hundreds of concerts, including preparing and conducting the choirs in over 160 major works with orchestra. For thirty years she collaborated with conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, George Cleve, Leonid Grin, and Samuel Cristler. For over twenty five years she provided the greater San Jose Community with a series of outstanding Scholarship Concerts at St. Joseph Cathedral, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for music scholarships and featuring many solo singers who have gone on to professional careers. Her choirs were selected to perform at twenty five Regional, Divisional, State, and National Conventions of the American Choral Directors Association.

Dr. Archibeque has served as Headliner, panelist, presenter, speaker, and clinician worldwide, including the World Choral Symposium in Rotterdam, Holland 1999, the National Federation of Music Societies in York, England 1989 (first woman and first American ), and the first National Australian Choral Symposium in Melbourne in 1986 as well as the International Music Worskhops in Lausanne, Switzerland and the USAREU in Berchtesgaden, Germany. She has conducted in many of the major concert halls of the world including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Royal Albert Hall, the Berlin Philharmonic and Shauspielhall with her own choirs and as guest conductor of various Honor Choirs.

The SJSU Choraliers under Dr. Archibeque recorded seven professional Compact Disks and completed sixteen concert tours to Europe, Mexico and Australia. Winners of seven of the most prestigious competitions in Europe, they were named "Choir of the World" in 1991 at the Wales Eisteddfod, winner of the famed Grand Prix in Tallin, Estonia 1994 and and winner in the Spittal, Austria competition among others. In Gorizia, Italy, 1996 Dr. Archibeque won the coveted Best Conductor award along with six other trophies including winner of the Folk Music Category.

Prior to 1970, Dr. Archibeque taught for thirteen years in San Diego at all levels of public school music and taught the first experimental program in team teaching at the junior high level. In Northern California she served as Minister of Music for the Burlingame Presbyterian Church.

During her teaching career she was asked to conduct All-State Choirs and Honor and Festival Choirs in forty four of the fifty states, six provinces of Canada, and for Divisional Honor Choirs of the Music Educators National Conference and the American Choral Directors Association. Named one of the top ten honor choir clinicians in America in the 1988 ACDA survey, she continues to enjoy directing and workshopping with choirs at all levels. Her rehearsals are acclaimed for keeping singers intellectually involved, constantly inspired to achieve deep levels of communication with the audience, and magically tuned in to their own highest capabilities.

Dr. Ann Howard Jones is professor emerita of Music at Boston University. During her twenty-two years as director of choral activities, she founded and conducted the Symphonic and Chamber Choruses, supervised conducting students in the Concert Chorus and Women’s Chorale, taught graduate choral conducting, and administered the MM and DMA programs in choral conducting. Her musicianship, integrity, and influence are present in every corner of the country through the numerous academic appointments of her former students, the transformative experiences of musicians under her baton and a generation of enthusiastic concertgoers.

Recognized as a distinguished clinician, adjudicator, teacher and conductor, Dr. Jones has led many all-state and regional choruses, workshops, and master classes in the U.S., Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. She has been invited to teach and conduct at the University of Iowa, the University of North Texas, Michigan State University, University of Missouri University of Miami, San Diego State University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Southern Methodist University, Westminster Choir College of Rider University, the University of Georgia, the University of Kentucky, the University of New Mexico, Syracuse University, Florida International University, and the State University of New York at Potsdam.

From 1984 to 1998, Dr. Jones was the assistant conductor to the late Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony choruses, where she was the assistant conductor for choruses, sang in the alto section, assisted with the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers, and helped to organize the Robert Shaw Institute. She sang and recorded with the Festival Singers both in France and in the U.S. The Festival Singers were also represented in annual performances of major works for chorus and orchestra at Carnegie Hall in a series of performance workshops. After Shaw’s death in 1999, Jones was invited to conduct the Robert Shaw Tribute Singers for the American Choral Directors Association conferences in San Antonio and Orlando.

Choruses at Boston University have been invited to appear at convention of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) in Boston, New York City and Providence. Jones has traveled with a group of BU graduate students to Venice and Padua, Italy, to perform and to study. A similar trip was made to Oslo and Bergen, Norway. In the spring of 2009, the graduate conducting students joined Jones at the national convention of ACDA in Oklahoma City, where she was invited to prepare and conduct the world premiere of Dominick Argento’s CENOTAPH.

Among the honors that Jones has received are the coveted Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching from Boston University, a Fulbright professorship to Brazil, and a lectureship for the Lily Foundation. At the ACDA national conference in 2011, she was named the recipient of the Robert Shaw Choral Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession, the highest award given by the association. In 2012 she received the Distinguished Service award from Chorus America, and in 2015 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Choral Arts New England.

María Guinand, awarded the 2009 Helmuth Rilling Prize by the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, is a Venezuelan choral music educator who has gained international renown through her work as a conductor, teacher, and advocate of the choral art. A leader in the development of choral music education in Venezuela, she has been instrumental in the development and success of the Fundación Schola Cantorum and the choral program at the Universidad Simón Bolívar. As part of her work at the Fundación Schola Cantorum, Guinand has taught hundreds of singers over the years and established an instructional system similar to that of the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela also known as FESNOJIV created by José Antonio Abreu. This system has allowed Guinand to impact the lives of many Venezuelan children through choral music, directly and indirectly. Furthermore, her work as a conductor of the Schola Cantorum and the Cantoría Alberto Grau has gained her numerous musical accolades, including a Grammy Award nomination in 2002 for Best Choral Performance for the recording of La Pasión Según San Marcos, composed by Osvaldo Golijov. In addition, María Guinand was a professor of music at the Universidad Simón Bolívar for over twenty-five years. There she taught an array of music courses and conducted the Orfeón Universitario Simón Bolívar; under her direction, this choir recorded and toured extensively. One of her most important contributions to this institution is the creation of the master’s degree program in choral conducting, which has given her national and regional visibility. As a leader and promoter of choral music, Guinand has been at the forefront of several organizations, including the Academia Bach de Venezuela, the International Federation for Choral Music, and the development of the Andean Project of Social Action through Music. This study documents and preserves a history of Guinand’s contributions within the field of choral music in Venezuela and abroad.

Composer, conductor, and teacher Alice Parker was born in Boston in 1925. She began composing early and wrote her first orchestral score while still in high school. Parker graduated from Smith College with a major in music performance and composition and then received her master’s degree from the Juilliard School, where she studied choral conducting with Robert Shaw.

Her life’s work has been in choral and vocal music, combining composing, conducting, and teaching in a creative balance. Her arrangements with Robert Shaw of folk songs, hymns, and spirituals form an enduring repertoire for choruses all around the world. She continues composing in many forms, from operas to cantatas, sacred anthems to secular dances, song cycles to string quartets. She has been commissioned by such groups as the Vancouver Chamber Chorus, the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, and Chanticleer. Her many conducting and teaching engagements keep her traveling around the United States and Canada.

In 1985, she founded Melodious Accord, Inc., a nonprofit group that presents choral concerts and sponsors workshops, symposia, and her many professional appearances. The Fellows programs have provided unique training for composers, conductors, and song leaders. She has made eleven acclaimed recordings with the Musicians of Melodious Accord, a sixteen-voice professional chorus. The group has received generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Copland Foundation, and the New York State Council for the Arts.

Alice Parker serves on the board of Chorus America and was honored by them and the American Guild of Organists and the Hymn Society in her seventy-fifth year. Her techniques have encouraged a generation of music teachers and choral conductors to think about music and the act of conducting in new ways. No less an authority than Robert Shaw himself has said of Parker that “she possesses a rare and creative musical intelligence.”

Now a resident of western Massachusetts, Parker has published books on melodic styles, choral improvisation, and Good Singing in Church. Five videos show her work with hymns and folk songs. She is the recipient of four honorary doctorates and the Smith College Medal. For more about Alice Parker, see www.aliceparker.com.

March 2 - Marguerite L. Brooks served for thirty-five years as chair of the conducting program at the Yale School of Music and director of choral music at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. As founding conductor of the Yale Camerata, one of Yale’s first campus/city arts collaborations, Brooks led hundreds of musical performances featuring some of the most innovative and wide-ranging programming in the field. She has long been a champion of new music by composers of a diverse array of gender, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. The Camerata and its chamber chorus have performed music from the middle ages to the present day, and the catalogue of composers ranges from Albinoni to Argento, from Palestrina to Pärt–along with Julia Wolfe, David Lang, Tawnie Olson, Aaron Jay Kernis, Caroline Shaw, Robert Kyr, Reena Esmail, and many more.

Brooks’s former students occupy positions of musical leadership at major churches and cathedrals around the world and in leading academic institutions. Among her students are the founding conductors of Grammy-nominated choirs Conspirare, Roomful of Teeth, and Seraphic Fire. Brooks has been active as a guest conductor, teacher, and clinician. She was a juror for the Eric Ericson conducting competition in Sweden, and has conducted, given master classes, taught, and adjudicated in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. She holds degrees from Mount Holyoke College and Temple University, and has served on the faculties of Smith and Amherst Colleges and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Brooks was cited by the Yale School of Music for cultural leadership in music, and has received alumni awards for distinguished work in her field from both Mount Holyoke College and Temple University. Presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Connecticut chapter of the American Choral Directors Association in 2016 and by Choral Arts New England in 2019, Brooks is proud to have been honored as a Woman in History by the Barnard School. In 2020 Brooks received the Helen Kemp Award for Lifetime Commitment to Excellence in Choral Music from the Eastern Region ACDA. The National Collegiate Choral Organization, of which Brooks is a charter member and an honorary life member, celebrated her retirement in 2020 by initiating the Marguerite L. Brooks Commissioning Fund for New Choral Music.

Dr. Rosephanye Dunn Powell has been hailed as one of America’s premier women composers of choral music. She has an impressive catalogue of works published by some of the nation’s leading publishers, including the Hal Leonard Corporation, the Fred Bock Music Company/Gentry Publications, Oxford University Press, Alliance Music Publications, and Shawnee. Dr. Powell is commissioned yearly to compose for university choruses, professional, community and church choirs, as well as secondary school choruses. Dr. Powell’s works have been conducted and premiered by nationally-renowned choral conductors, including, but not limited to, Anton Armstrong, Philip Brunelle, Bob Chilcott, Rodney Eichenberger, Tom Hall, Albert McNeil, Tim Seelig, and André Thomas. Her work has been auctioned by Chorus America and her compositions are in great demand at choral festivals around the country, frequently appearing on the regional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, as well as Honor Choir festivals. Dr. Powell’s compositions include sacred and secular works for mixed chorus, women’s chorus, men’s chorus, and children’s voices. Dr. Powell serves as Professor of Voice at Auburn University. She holds degrees from The Florida State University (D.M. in vocal performance, University Fellow), Westminster Choir College (M.M. in vocal performance and pedagogy, with distinction), and Alabama State University (B.M.E., summa cum laude). Dr. Powell served on the faculties of Philander Smith College (AR) and Georgia Southern University prior to her arrival at Auburn University in 2001.

Recent commission and premiere highlights include: Love Will Make A Way (SATB) premiered by the Metropolitan Youth Chorale of New York at Lincoln Center, NY; Get Busy (SATB) premiered and conducted by the composer at Carnegie Hall, NY; A Christmas Medley (SATB), commissioned and performed by multi-Grammy award-winning Chanticleer; When I Sing (SSA), commissioned by the American Composers Forum CHORALQUEST series; I Want to Die While You Love Me (SSAA), composed for the ACDA Women’s Choirs Commission Consortium; Gospel Trinity (SATB), commissioned by the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology and the Arts/Fuller Theological Seminary (CA) and premiered at the Lincoln Center, NY; With What Shall I Come (SATB), composed for the St. Olaf Choir celebration of the 25th anniversary of Dr. Anton Armstrong, conductor, and premiered at Carnegie Hall; and The Cry of Jeremiah, a four-movement sacred work for narrator, chorus, organ and orchestra, commissioned by the American Guild of Organists, premiered at the Lincoln Center, NY; Arise Beloved, commissioned by OurSong (Atlanta, GA) one of four works premiered as part of the group’s choral cycle “And Nature Smiled,” performed at the internationally-acclaimed Spivey Hall; Christmas Give, a suite of five songs for SATB and orchestra, composed for the Baltimore Choral Arts Society Christmas CD “Christmas at America’s First Cathedral” released by Gothic Records; and Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit, arranged for The Sofia Chamber Choir “Vassil Arnaudov”- Bulgaria, Southeastern Europe.

An accomplished singer and voice professor, Dr. Powell’s research focuses on the art of the African-American spiritual and voice care concerns for voice professionals (specifically, music educators, choral directors, and choral singers). She travels the country and internationally presenting lectures, song demonstrations, and serving as a workshop clinician, conductor, and adjudicator for solo vocal competitions/auditions, honor choirs, choral workshops and festivals. Recent commitments include Melbourne International Singers Festival (AUS); the New York State School Music Association (Rochester); the Georgia Music Educators Association Conference (Savannah); Middle Tennessee Vocal Association Treble Honor Choir (Nashville); the World Choir Games (Cincinnati, OH); the Italian Feder Gospel Choirs Workshop (Milan, Italy); Alabama Music Educators Association High School Honor Choir (Montgomery); Samford University (Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts) (Birmingham, AL); South Carolina Music Educators Association State Conference (Charleston); AGO National Conference (Nashville, TN); Summer Sing Choral Workshop and Tuning at Tahoe Music Directors Workshop (Lake Tahoe, NV); and Capital Area Music Association (Harrisburg, PA).

As a researcher, Dr. Powell’s recent articles include Keeping the “Choir” in Showchoir published in the Amercan Choral Directors Journal; William Grant Still: His Life and His Songs and The African-American Spritual: Preparation and Performance Considerations both published in the prestigious NATS Journal of Singing. She served as the editor and wrote the introduction for William Grant Still: An Art Song Collection which is published by William Grant Still Music.

Dr. Powell has received numerous awards including the “Living Legend Award” presented by California State University African Diaspora Sacred Music Festival in Los Angeles. She was listed in the first edition of the international publication Who Is Who in Choral Music. And, she has been included in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and Outstanding Young Women in America in recent years. Dr. Powell is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the College Music Society (CMS), the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and the Music Educators National Conference (MENC).

Dr. Edith A. Copley is a Regents’ Professor and Director of Choral Studies at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. She conducts the highly acclaimed Shrine of the Ages Choir (founded in 1933) and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting and graduate choral literature. The Shrine of the Ages Choir has performed at state, regional and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education, and Carnegie Hall. NAU choral ensembles under her direction have toured internationally to Western Europe, the Peoples Republic of China, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Bulgaria, Istanbul, Sweden, Estonia, and Latvia performing in many beautiful and historic venues.

Prior to her NAU appointment, she taught secondary choral music for seven years in the Midwest and four years overseas at the American International School in Vienna, Austria. She has also served as the assistant and interim principal conductor of the May Festival Chorus that performs with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops preparing choral/orchestral works for the late Robert Shaw, James Conlon, Jesus Lobez-Cobes, and the late Erich Kunzel.

In spring 2016, Dr. Copley retired as Music Director of the Master Chorale of Flagstaff (MCF). She led this auditioned 100-voice community chorus for 23 years. MCF performed three concerts each season as well as a major choral/orchestral work each spring with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra (FSO). Copley has conducted numerous major works with the FSO, including Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Bach’s B Minor Mass, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Duruflé’s Requiem and Britten’s War Requiem. In 1999 she served as the Resident Conductor for the FSO's 50th Anniversary Season.

Dr. Copley has served as the President of the Western Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), President of the Arizona ACDA, editor for the Arizona and Western Division ACDA newsletters, interest session chair for the 2011 and 2019 ACDA National Conferences, and has conducted the 2013 ACDA National Mixed Honor Choir in Dallas as well as the NAfME All-National Mixed Honor Choir in the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

Dr. Copley has received numerous honors, including NAU School of Performing Arts Centennial Teacher of the Year Award, Arizona Music Educator of the Year, Arizona ACDA Outstanding Choral Director Award, the Viola Award in Music from the city of Flagstaff, and the Weston H. Noble Award from her alma mater Luther College.

Dr. Copley has her own choral series with Santa Barbara Music Publications and is in high demand as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor in the US and abroad. She has conducted all-state choirs in over 30 states, and choral festivals in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Dr. Copley has conducted international choral festivals in Germany, the Netherlands, Tasmania, Japan, Luxembourg, Australia, China, Turkey, England, Poland, and Oman. She will serve as Artist-in-Residence for the Delaware Choral Academy in Aix-en-Provence, France in July 2019.

The choral conductor and teacher, Jean Ashworth Bartle won the 1977 Leslie Bell Scholarship (Prize), and the 1982 Sir Ernest MacMillan Scholarship, which enabled her to study with Sir David Willcocks and Margaret Hillis at Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ.

Jean Ashworth Bartle founded the Toronto Children's Chorus in 1978 in order to provide a children's choir for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Since then, under her direction, the Toronto Children's Chorus has received international acclaim and won many prestigious choral prizes. She has brought the music of Canadian composers to many audiences and expanded the choral repertoire by commissioning and promoting Canadian compositions.

Jean Ashworth Bartle was a teacher for the Toronto Board of Education 1966-1998, including a period as director of the music program at Howard Public School in Toronto from 1970 to 1989, and of the junior choirs at Kingsway Lambton United Church. She was also a member of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. She is highly active as a choral clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor throughout North America, Europe, Israel, South Africa, the Far East, and the Pacific Rim. She holds an annual choral conductors' symposium that attracts choir directors from around the world.

In 1986 Jean Ashworth Bartle was awarded the Roy Thomson Hall Award for her outstanding contribution to musical life in Toronto. In 1998 she was invested in the Order of Ontario, and also received the Order of Canada. In 2002 she received the Queen's Jubilee Medal in London, England, and in November 2003 she was awarded an honorary life membership in the Ontario Music Educators' Association. In 2004, an award named in her honour, the Jean Ashworth Bartle Music Education Award, was established at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto.

Jean Ashworth Bartle is the editor of three treble-voice music series: The Toronto Children's Choral Series (Gordon V. Thompson/Warner/Chappell); The Jean Ashworth Bartle Choral Series for Treble Voices (Hinshaw Music); and the Jean Ashworth Bartle Choral Series (earthsongs). She is also the author of two books: Lifeline for Children's Choir Directors .

Sigrid Johnson served as an artist in residence on the voice and choral faculty at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, for 32 years. During her tenure as conductor of Manitou Singers, the 100-voice chorus for first-year women at St. Olaf, Johnson inspired more than 3,200 young women. She has been a lecturer and guest clinician at choral workshops and all-state music festivals in over 30 states, and she continues to enrich the musical experience of countless singers of all ages across the country. Johnson is known for her skill at blending voices, perfecting tone and assisting with vocal production — both psychologically and physiologically. Johnson earned a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance from St. Cloud State University and a master of music degree in vocal performance from the University of Michigan. Prior to teaching at St. Olaf, she was on the voice faculty at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis and Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Johnson also served as the associate conductor of VocalEssence and as the music director of the Dale Warland Symphonic Chorus. She presented at the World Choral Symposium in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2002, in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2008 and in Puerto Madryn, Argentina in 2011. In October 2004, Mrs. Johnson was a featured lecturer and clinician at the Australian National Choral Directors National Conference in Adelaide. In 2006 she was a member of the esteemed jury for the Bela Bartok International Choral Competition in Debrecen, Hungary. She also maintained an active schedule as a guest conductor and clinician at choral festivals and all-state music festivals across the country and has conducted choral workshops in Australia. She has prepared symphonic choruses for Neemi Jarvi, Sir Neville Mariner, David Zinman, Stanislaw Skrowaczewsky, Gerard Swartz, Edo de Waart, and Leonard Slatkin among others.

March 3 - Joan Gregoryk, the founder and artistic director of the Children’s Chorus of Washington, is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of children’s vocal music. Gregoryk prepared the singers for their debut at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in November 1996 with The Washington Chorus in a performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony. She was invited by music director Leonard Slatkin to prepare the Chorus for four performances of Gabriel Pierné’s The Children’s Crusade with the National Symphony Orchestra and The Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center and at Carnegie Hall in November of 1997.

Gregoryk taught for many years at Chevy Chase Elementary School where her work with the school’s chorus won her acclaim within professional music organizations, as well as invitations to perform within the United States and Europe. She is in demand as a workshop leader and guest conductor throughout the United States and Canada. At universities, such as Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, she has taught music educator’s courses on children’s vocal development and the children’s chorus for many years. She has also been a seminar leader for Orff-Schulwerk, Kodály, and American Choral Directors and Music Educators chapters and is frequently invited to be a guest conductor for children’s choral festivals.

Gregoryk has been awarded numerous honors including Outstanding Arts Educator in the United States by the Rockefeller Brothers Funds Awards in Arts Education and the Maryland Outstanding Elementary Music Educator. She holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s of arts in music education, and is an Artist-Teacher associate at the Choral Music Experience Institute.

Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell a native New Yorker now living in Washington, DC is the only child and perfect blend of her mother, a registered nurse and her father, a classical violinist. Dr. Barnwell studied violin for 15 years beginning at age 2 ½, and majored in music through high school. With this background, she went on to earn the Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Speech Pathology (SUNY, Geneseo, 1967, 1968), Doctor of Philosophy in Speech Pathology (University of Pittsburgh, 1975), and the Master of Science in Public Health (Howard University, 1981). In 1998, Dr. Barnwell was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by her alma mater, SUNY Geneseo. She recently received the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL (2009) and the Virginia Theological Seminary (2011); and in 2012, all members of Sweet Honey In the Rock, were awarded the Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from Chicago Theological Seminary (2012).

For over a decade, Dr. Barnwell was a professor at the College of Dentistry at Howard University, after which she conducted community based projects in computer technology and the arts, and administered health programs at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center and at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. Dr. Barnwell joined Sweet Honey In The Rock® in 1979 and her training as a Sing Language Interpreter, led her to facilitated the group’s tradition of including a Sign Language Interpreter in the ensemble. After 34 years Barnwell retired from Sweet Honey In The Rock to pursue her other interests.

Dr. Barnwell appears as a vocalist and/or instrumentalist on more than thirty recordings with Sweet Honey In The Rock as well as other artists. She has, for the past thirty years spent much of her time off stage working as a master teacher and choral clinician in African American cultural performance. Her workshop “Building a Vocal Community®: Singing in the African American Tradition” has during the past twenty-eight years, been conducted on three continents, making her work in the field a significant source of inspiration for both singers and non-singers, a model of pedagogy for educators, and cultural activists and historians.

Dr. Barnwell has been a commissioned composer on numerous choral, film, video, dance and theatrical projects including Sesame Street, Dance Alloy of Pittsburgh, David Rousseve’s Reality Dance Company, The New Spirituals Project, GALA Festival Choruses, MUSE: Cincinnati’s Women’s Chorus, The Steel Festival: Art of an Industry (Bethlehem, PA, The King’s Singers in England. In 1996 she was awarded the Bessie Award for her score Safe House: Still Looking, commissioned by Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. The year 2001 saw the premiere of the work Suite Death, a setting of four poems by Langston Hughes for baritone, choir and orchestra, commissioned by the Plymouth Music Series in Minneapolis, MN. In Feb. 2003, the Choral Arts Society of Washington, DC premiered Truth Pressed to Earth Shall Rise, a choral work, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Most recently, she was commissioned by the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra and Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT to compose a musical setting for Marilyn Nelson’s epic poem Fortune’s Bones: The Manumission Requiem. This cantata premiered in Waterbury on May 9, 2009 and there have been three performances since. In 2011 Barnwell curated the year long FORTUNE’S BONES PROJECT® for the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland which featured public discussions and two performances of the cantata. Several other communities are now exploring how they might present the Project.

Barnwell’s music, published by Barnwell’s Notes, Inc. and distributed by The Musical Source, Washington, DC has been performed and recorded by numerous choral ensembles and individual artists as well as Sweet Honey In The Rock.

In addition to these endeavors, Dr. Barnwell is an actress whose credits include voice-over narration for film, video and radio productions including the NPR documentary: W.C. Handy’s Blues, appearances in the film Beloved, directed by Jonathan Demme, and the TV show A Man Called Hawk. She is producer of Sweet Honey’s twenty-fifth anniversary recording, ...TWENTY-FIVE..., and Endings and Beginnings: Sweet Honey In The Rock Community Chorus. Her workshop Building a Vocal Community® has been produced as a boxed instructional set: Singing in the African American Tradition. Volume Two of this set will be released in June 2009 marking the 25th year of the workshop and outreach to ever expanding audiences. She is editor of, Continuum: The First Songbook of Sweet Honey In The Rock. Her first children’s book, No Mirrors In My Nana’s House, illustrated by Synthia Saint James and published by Harcourt was released in 1998. A second children’s book, We Are One illustrated by Brian Pinckney and published by Harcourt is anticipated in spring of 2008. In October 2000, Sounds True released UM HMM, a feast of personal and traditional African American stories, poems and songs for children produced by Windhorse Productions. Four axioms have proven significant in Barnwell’s life. To whom much is given, much is required. As one door closes, another door opens. Everything matters. Say Yes!

Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt is Professor Emerita of Choral Studies at the University of Toronto where she held the Elmer Iseler Chair in Conducting. From 2013 – 2018, she was Artistic Director of Exultate Chamber Singers, a semi-professional ensemble in Toronto.

A native Canadian, she has led her university choirs in performances at conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and at Podium, the national professional conference of Choral Canada. She has guest conducted numerous honors choruses and festivals through the U.S. and Canada, including more than 35 all-state high school choirs. She directed the 2014 National Youth Choir of Canada and has conducted choral festivals internationally. Her teaching experiences range from public school to community ensembles to church choirs.

During her significant career, Hilary Apfelstadt has mentored many young conductors. She has advised almost 90 graduate conducting majors, many of whom hold significant teaching and church positions. A former national president of ACDA, she serves on the Editorial Board for the ACDA Choral Journal. She has contributed chapters to several books published by GIA Publications: Wisdom, Wit and Will (Joan Conlon, ed.), Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success (Debra Spurgeon, ed.) and Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir, volumes 4 and 5. Her book on the life and work of Canadian composer Ruth Watson Henderson, I Didn’t Want It To be Boring (Toronto: Prism Publishers) won Choral Canada’s award for Outstanding Choral Publication in 2018.

A prolific author, Dr. Apfelstadt wrote two chapters in Wisdom, Wit and Will: Women Choral Conductors on Their Art (GIA, 2009), and also authored a chapter on Canadian choral music in Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success (GIA, 2012). She serves on the editorial boards of ACDA’s Choral Journal and the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing, and NCCO’s Choral Scholar; she is also Choral Editor of the Canadian Music Educator. A past national president of ACDA (2007 – 2009), she was a member of the Executive Committee through June 2013.

As conductor, pedagogue, and scholar, Sandra Snow is widely acknowledged as one who brings singers of all ages and abilities to artful performance through an understanding of the music and its context in the world around them. As Professor of Choral Conducting and Music education at the Michigan State University College of Music, the MSU Women’s Chamber Ensemble has appeared as featured performers at American Choral Directors Association conventions at state, regional, and national levels. As guest conductor, she travels extensively in North America and abroad.

In 2017 Snow created Mirabai, a project-based professional women’s chorus. Mirabai features alumna associated with the MSU Women’s Chamber Ensemble. Mirabai was a featured ensemble at the Texas Choral Director’s Association conference in 2018. The inaugural recording, Ecstatic Songs, was released in 2018. Mirabai will open the 2020 conference of the Southwest Division of the American Choral Director’s Association.

Snow is the Chair of the MSU Music Education Area and the Artistic Director of the CME Institute for Choral Teacher Education produced annually at MSU. Snow is author of the DVD "Conducting-Teaching: Real World Strategies for Success" published by GIA (2009), a resource for conductor-teachers at all levels of teaching. She edits the choral music series In High Voice published by Boosey & Hawkes. Snow is a recipient of the Michigan State University William J. Beal Award for Outstanding Faculty, the MSU Teacher-Scholar Award, and the Dortha J. and John D. Withrow award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dr. Lynne Gackle is the Director of Choral Activities at Baylor University and holds the Mary Jane Gibbs Professor of Music Chair. She conducts Baylor Bella Voce, Baylor Concert Choir, teaches choral conducting, choral literature and serves as the Director of the Ensemble Division. Prior to her Baylor appointment, Lynne taught at the University of South Florida, University of Mississippi and the University of Miami (FL). She received her education from LSU (BME) and the University of Miami (MM/PhD) in Coral Gables, FL.

She is an active clinician and conductor and has held various positions within the American Choral Directors Association, including President, Southern Division and ACDA-Florida and currently serves as the National President. She also served as the TCDA-VP of Collegiate/Community Choirs.

Gackle is the editor of Choral Artistry for the Singer (Walton Music/GIA) and the Lynne Gackle Choral Series (Colla Voce). Recognized for her research on the female adolescent voice, Lynne is the author of Finding Ophelia’s Voice, Opening Ophelia’s Heart (Heritage) and is a contributing author for other books published by GIA, Oxford, and Hal Leonard/McGraw Hill. She holds memberships in ACDA, TMEA, TCDA, and NATS.

March 4-Dr. Barbara Wesley Baker, internationally noted conductor and educator, conducted the Women's, Men's, Concert Chorale, Gospel, and Chamber Choirs at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Maryland, and for 24 years has directed the Gospel Choir at Colesville United Methodist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland. Her choirs won numerous first place trophies and received superior ratings at state, national and international festivals. Dr. Baker frequently presents sessions at national, division, and state conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, the Music Educators National Conference, and the American Orff-Schulwerk Association. She was a headliner at the Southwest Division MENC/TMEC conference on Urban Education in Dallas, Texas, June 2003. She also presented sessions at PERSPECTIVES Music Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico in June, 2003. She has conducted master classes at Ithaca College with Dr. Janet Galvan, Virginia Wesleyan College Church Music Workshop, the Toronto International Music Festival and the Choral Music Experience/British Choral Institute, Hertfordshire, England for Dr. Doreen Rao. Dr. Baker conducted the 2000 ACDA Eastern Division High School Honor Choir, and her Chamber Choir performed with Dave Brubeck at the 2000 MENC National Convention in Washington, D.C. She has guest-conducted state and regional honor choirs in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Mississippi, New York, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, and Virginia. Dr. Baker has taught and conducted secondary school students in Limerick and Dublin, Ireland for the Royal Dublin Society. Dr. Baker has taught at the Hartt School of Music Summer Session with Dr. Doreen Rao, McDaniel College, (formerly Western Maryland College) and at the Brightleaf Music Workshop at Duke University. For three years Dr. Baker was co-music director for The Choral Arts Society of Washington's Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Choral Tribute at the John F. Kennedy Center. Her Women's Choir performed on the 2003 program as a featured choir heard in January 2004 on the National Public Radio broadcast of last year's concert.

Dr. Baker earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; the M.A. degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, N.Y.; and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Maryland. While completing her doctorate, she was selected as an American Association of University Women Research Fellow. She has published articles in scholarly journals, including The College Music Society, and contributed material on Black Gospel music to several textbooks. She is a contributor to Teacher to Teacher, A Music Educator's Survival Guide (2004). She is editor of a new choral series with Alliance Music Publications and was honored as a 1998 Maryland Distinguished Woman in the Arts and as the Outstanding Secondary Vocal Music Teacher in Maryland in 1991. She is past president of the Maryland ACDA chapter and serves on the Advisory Board for the music education publication, Teaching Music. . She is married and is the proud parent of a former Yale varsity football player.

Nola A. Nahulu, Artistic Director, Celebrating her 34th Season. Hawai'i Youth Opera Chorus Director & Founder Ka Waiola O Na Pukanileo Ms. Nahulu is a native of Makaha, O'ahu and received her education from: Wai'anae Elementary School, Kamehameha Schools, Whitman College (B.A. Psychology), and University of Hawai'i Manoa (M.A. in Music Education, Choral).

Ms. Nahulu has been involved in the Choral Music scene of Hawai'i since 1979. The organizations she has been associated with have included the Unitarian Church, Bishop Memorial Church, Moloka'i Children's Chorus and the Kamehameha Alumni Glee Club. She is presently choral director for: Hawaii Youth Opera Chours since 1986, The Kawaiaha'o Church Choir since 1990, Hawai'i Opera Theater Chorus since 1990, the University of Hawaii Manoa Hawaiian Choral Ensemble since 1982, and the Pearl Harbor Hawaiian Civic Club since 1977. She served as interim choir director for the Honolulu Symphony Chorus in 2007 & 2008. She is the founder and director of the Kawaiolaonapukanileo ensemble since 1997 (an ensemble dedicated to the preservation of the Hawaiian choral music genre).

Her teaching endeavors have included: Our Redeemer Lutheran School, the Kamehameha Schools, the University Laboratory School where she was Music Department Chair & choir director from 1982 – 1995, she is a lecturer and conductor at UH Manoa Music Department directing the Hawaiian Chorus since 1982, she is an original collaborator and instructor in Ohana Komputer’s “Steps to Success Program” 2015 to present. This program works with at risk and low income island youth majority pacific island and Asian demographics. She is the Hawaiian music and cultural advisor in the STEPs program.

Ms. Nahulu became Artistic & Music Director for the Hawai'i Youth Opera Chorus in 1986. Since then the chorus has grown from twenty singers to 150 children in the core program grades K-12. The focus of the organization is that of Music Education. There are nine graded ensembles, optional hula, piano and vocal coaching as well as choral conducting internships available for high school and college students and other teachers. She conducts the High School, Select & Boy Choir ensembles. The organization serves an average of 1500 students each year through its various outreach projects including hosting 3 choral festivals and music education outreach in an average of 8-10 schools a year. She serves as a teaching mentor and choral clinician to music education students and multiple visiting guest ensembles each season. She is considered an authority on Hawaiian Choral Music.

Ms. Nahulu is a member of HMEA (Hawai'i Music Educator's Association), Treasurer for SGM (Society for General Music) and is past president for ADCA (American Choral Director's Association) Hawai'i Chapter. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Hawaiian Music & Dance Foundation, Hawaii Arts Center for Youth, and the Hawaii Alliance for the Arts.

“In honor of her many contributions, Nola received the YWCA Leadership Award in 2010, she was featured on the PBS “Long Story Short” program in 2011, she was named a Honpa Hongwanji Living Treasure in 2013, and she was awarded a Ho`okele Award by the Hawaii Community Foundation for excellence in nonprofit leadership in 2014.” She has received lifetime service and choral excellence awards from the Windward Choral Society and Honolulu Chorale in 2018. She is recognized by the Aha Hipu`u of the Hawaiian Benevolent Societies for her work in cultural preservation and excellence in 2019.

Dr. Sharon A. Hansen is Emerita Professor of Conducting and Choral Music at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. A dynamic and compelling conductor and master teacher, Hansen is active as a guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States and in Europe. She served as guest conductor for the Romanian National Radio Choir (Bucharest); the Gächinger Kantorei and Bach Collegium-Stuttgart; the Stockholm Conservatory Chamber Choir; the Moldavian and Oltenian Philharmonic Choirs (Iasì and Craiova, Romania); and taught at the University of Regensburg (Germany), where she served as Director of the Symphony Orchestra. She has presented master classes in conducting in Romania’s Academy of Music (Bucharest) and Ovidius University (Constanza), and was guest lecturer at the first and second annual Romanian National Choral Director’s Association Conferences in Sinaia. She led the first International Choral Conducting Master class in Bucharest in September 2003, returning in 2004 for the second such master class. Hansen’s collegiate and professional ensembles have appeared at Carnegie Hall, and at state, regional and national MENC and ACDA conventions. She has been privileged to serve as guest conductor and clinician with all-state choirs, music festivals, and honor choirs in more than thirty states.

From 1998-2013, Hansen served as Founder and Music Director of the Milwaukee Choral Artists, one of only a handful of professional women’s vocal ensembles in the country. MCA frequently collaborated with Present Music, Milwaukee’s internationally acclaimed contemporary music ensemble, most notably in the presentation of Olivier Messiaen’s “Trois Petites Liturgies pour la Presence Divine” with members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (Sharon A. Hansen, conducting). Equally well versed in early music, the Milwaukee Choral Artists also appeared three times in concert with the Boston Camerata, and performed with KITKA professional women’s ensemble. Hailed for its expressive singing, rich sound, and far-reaching musical repertoire, the ensemble performed music from more than forty world cultures in twenty-nine languages. The Milwaukee Choral Artists left behind a most impressive legacy of some fifty commissioned, premiered, and published new works.

Hansen enjoyed a long career as member of the Editorial Board of the Choral Journal, where, as founder and editor for “On the Voice,” she shepherded eighteen years of diverse articles on the subjects of vocal pedagogy and health. Hansen’s research on the voice has been presented at State, Regional, and National ACDA and NAfME Conventions; at the 2010 National NATS Convention; as well as in other local and national venues. Hansen is author of the book Helmuth Rilling: Conductor – Teacher, and author of an ACDA monograph titled The First Fifty Years: An Index of ACDA Convention Interest Sessions and Choral Journal Publications; Choral Textbooks; and Teacher Preparation Statistics 1959-2009, which chronicles the history of ACDA’s efforts in voice education, and features the best of the articles written for “On the Voice” since its inception. Her chapter on the status of female conductors in higher education, “Women, Conductors, and the Tenure Process: What’s Up in the Academy,” is found in the book Wisdom, Wit, and Will: Women Choral Conductors on their Art.

Hansen was a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Milwaukee Children’s Chorus; she also served on the Board of Directors for Milwaukee’s Early Music Now. In tribute to her influence on Southeast Wisconsin’s music scene, Hansen was the recipient of both the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Civic Music Association’s 2003 Award of Excellence in Choral Music. In 2010, she received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. In January 2014, she was presented with the Wisconsin Choral Directors’ Association highest meritorious honor, the Morris D. Hayes Award, presented to a choral conductor of “outstanding merit…who has demonstrated a commitment to choral music…and has made outstanding contributions to choral music in Wisconsin.” She has signature music series with both Santa Barbara Music Publishing and Hal Leonard Music Publishers. Her professional memberships include ACDA (American Choral Directors Association); Chorus America; IFCM (International Federation of Choral Music); NAfME (National Association for Music Educators); NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing); The VoiceCare Network; and The Voice Foundation, for which she was Treasurer and founding member of the Greater Milwaukee Area Chapter of the Voice Foundation, the United States’ first local chapter. Hansen recently served as Interim Director of Music and Arts at Pinnacle Presbyterian Church (Scottsdale AZ), a large church with a rich music tradition. She presently is Chorus Director for the Arizona Musicfest Festival Orchestra, and Membership Chair for the Arizona Chapter of the American Choral Directors’ Association.

Judy Bowers, Professor Emerita in the College of Music at Florida State University, currently lives in Monroe, LA and holds the Biedenharn Chair in Music as choral music education professor at the University of Louisiana, Monroe. At ULM, she has led a curriculum revision for undergraduate music education degree programs and established a three summer Master of Music Education program for practicing teachers. Across her career in music teacher preparation, Bowers has taught undergraduate and graduate classes for music education, and she conducted the Women’s Glee Club at FSU, and currently conducts the newly formed Bayou La Belle at ULM.

A belief that the teaching/learning process is a collaborative act has led Bowers to create multiple partnerships to enrich learning opportunities for university students which then provide positive changes for the school and community partners: Adopt-A-Choir, a high school/university connection for one concert during one semester; Raa Singers, part of a before-school program pairing university students with urban middle school students for multiple choral and instrumental classes, and, MTC Glee, a choir with FSU students partnered with women in a correctional facility. Bowers contributes to music teacher professional growth through presentations, publications, interest sessions, and school in-service; she models the choral pedagogy she teaches when conducting all state and honor choirs in the US, Canada, and Africa. In June 2014, Bowers was named a Lowell Mason National Music Education Fellow and was inducted into this society by the National Association for Music Education in Washington D.C.

Dr. Sharon J. Paul holds the Robert M. Trotter Chair of Music at the University of Oregon, where she currently serves as Interim Department Head of Music Performance and Director of Choral Activities. Her teaching includes graduate courses in choral conducting, repertoire, and pedagogy, along with conducting the internationally award-winning Chamber Choir.

In March 2020, Oxford University Press published Dr. Paul’s book, Art & Science in the Choral Rehearsal, which features many of the creative and evidence-based teaching strategies she has cultivated over her career.

The University of Oregon Chamber Choir has placed first or second in four international choral competitions, most recently winning first prize in the Chamber Choir category at the Grand Prix of Nations Competition in Gothenburg, Sweden in August 2019. Other international appearances include performing as part of Dr. Paul’s lecture demo “Conducting with the Brain in Mind: Techniques to Increase Singers Engagement in Rehearsal” at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona, Spain in 2017, where they also performed on the Circle Concert Series. In May 2015, the UO Chamber Choir was one of ten choirs worldwide invited to compete at the 14th International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf, Germany, where the ensemble received second prize overall, won a special prize for the best interpretation of the compulsory work, and was the only student group to achieve a Level I recognition for an “excellent performance at the international level.” The UO Chamber Choir won first prize at the 2013 Fleischmann International Trophy Competition at the Cork International Choral Festival in Cork, Ireland, and took top honors in two categories at the 2011 Tallinn International Choral Festival in Tallinn, Estonia. The Chamber Choir became a resident ensemble of the Oregon Bach Festival in 2014, performing each summer under conductors such as Helmuth Rilling, Matthew Halls, John Nelson, Jane Glover, and Joann Falletta. University of Oregon choirs under Dr. Paul’s direction have performed at the National Association for Music Education’s state and divisional conferences, and at ACDA Northwestern Division conferences.

Dr. Paul has presented interest sessions at regional, state, division, national, and international conferences. She appears frequently as adjudicator, clinician, teacher, and honor choir director throughout the United States and abroad, with recent appearances nationally in Minnesota, California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and internationally in Singapore, Estonia, Sweden, and England. In 2019, she received Oregon ACDA’s Podium Award for “outstanding contributions to the choral arts,” and in the fall of 2014 she received the University of Oregon’s Fund for Faculty Excellence Award.

Dr. Paul served as Artistic Director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus and conductor of Chorissima and Virtuose, the organization’s acclaimed performance ensembles, from 1992 to July 2000. Under her leadership, the chorus released four compact discs, premiered major works by composers such as Chen Yi and Jake Heggie, represented the United States at four international festivals, and performed at the California Music Educators Association’s state conference, the American Choral Directors Association’s Western Division conference, and the International Society for Music Education’s international conference.

Dr. Paul appeared on screen with members of Chorissima in the film What Dreams May Come, and conducted SFGC singers for the soundtrack of The Talented Mr. Ripley. In June 2000, the SFGC was the first youth chorus to win the Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence, a national honor presented by Chorus America. In the same year, they were also awarded an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.

From 1984 to 1992, Dr. Paul served as Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at California State University, Chico, where she directed a large choral program and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting, choral literature, and the humanities. In 1990, she embarked on a three-week tour of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union with the Chico State choirs, and in 1991 Dr. Paul received the Outstanding Teacher Award at CSU, Chico.

March 5-Dr. Diana V. Sáez is the newly appointed Director of Choral Activities at Towson University in Baltimore where she directs the TU Chorale, Women’s Choir and Choral Society. Before coming to Towson, Sáez was serving as Visiting Choir Director at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois where she conducted the College Choir and Madrigal Choir. Previously she served as Visiting Choir Conductor at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. Sáez also directed the Catholic University Women’s Choir for six years and served as artistic director of the World Bank-IMF Chorus in Washington DC for sixteen years.

Frequently invited as guest conductor, adjudicator and lecturer in the United States and abroad, she has presented interest sessions at national and regional ACDA conventions as well as in Puerto Rico and Argentina. She was guest conductor at the Festival Distrital de Coros en Bogotá, Colombia and has directed regional honor choruses in Virginia, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania.

As a leading specialist in the field of Latin American music, Sáez served as artistic director of Cantigas, a chamber choir that she founded with the mission to increase awareness and appreciation of Latin America and Spanish choral music. For 25 years Cantigas was a principal performer of Latin American music, with appearances at the ACDA Eastern Division Convention, Kennedy Center, Strathmore Center, museums and embassies, as well as international tours in Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Cuba. In 2014, the choir was awarded the Choral Excellence Award for Most Creative Programming by the Choralis Foundation in Washington, DC.

Dr. Sáez began her musical education at the Escuela Libre de Música in San Juan, PR. She earned a Master of Choral Conducting from Temple University, and a Doctorate in Musical Arts at the University of Maryland in College Park.

Her choral music and arrangements are published by Boosey and Hawkes and by the Roger Dean Publishing Company, a division of The Lorenz Corporation.

A sought after conductor and clinician all across the United States and internationally, Dr. Pearl Shangkuan is a professor of Music at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she directs choirs and teaches choral conducting and choral literature. She is also the chorus master (endowed Covenant Chair) of the Grammy-nominated Grand Rapids Symphony. Her performances and preparation of choruses consistently receive outstanding reviews for their combination of precision, artistry and passion. In addition to her Mosaic: the Pearl Shangkuan choral series for earthsongs, she serves as the music editor of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship choral series, published by GIA.

Her choirs have performed at national, division and state conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and other professional music conferences in the United States. Recent conducting engagements took her to Austria, South Africa, Hong Kong, and all across the United States. She has conducted honor choirs for several ACDA divisions and has been a headliner for various ACDA state conferences. She has led performances and given workshops all across the US and in Asia (China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and the Philippines), as well as in Austria, Australia, and Canada.

Dr. Shangkuan has served as guest faculty in prominent professional programs in the US including the Chorus America national conference conducting masterclass and its A Capella Conducting Masterclass, the University of Michigan Choral Conducting Symposium, the Westminster Choir College Summer Session among many others. She has conducted all-state, honor choirs and festivals in numerous states.

She has served on the National Board of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) as the president of the Central Division (2007-09), and as Michigan ACDA state president (2003-05). Prior to her appointment at Calvin College, Dr. Shangkuan taught at Rutgers University and at the Westminster Conservatory of Music of Rider University in New Jersey.

Recipient of the Grand Rapids YWCA's Tribute! Award for outstanding professional women, she is also a past recipient of its Woman of Achievement award. Dr. Shangkuan has also served on the national board of the Choristers Guild and the board of the New Jersey Music Teachers Association and the New Jersey ACDA. She is a member of the ACDA (American Choral Directors Association), Chorus America, IFCM (International Federation for Choral Music), and is a member of the Phi Kappa Lambda and Mu Phi Epsilon Music Honor Societies.

A student of pre-eminent American choral conductor and New York Philharmonic chorusmaster Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt, she received a Bachelor of Music in Church Music summa cum laude and Master of Music in Choral Conducting with distinction from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and a DMA in Choral Conducting from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Russian-American conductor Elena Sharkova is recognized nationally and internationally as an inspirational, versatile, and effective conductor, choral clinician, music educator, and lecturer. She has conducted professional, university, youth, and community choirs and orchestras in 17 countries across North America, Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. Elena has served as a jury member at numerous national and international music festivals and competitions. An expert on Russian choral music, Elena has lectured extensively on its repertoire and performance practices and conducted several U.S. premieres of Russian contemporary compositions.

Elena Sharkova regularly appears with professional artists; some of most notable conducting engagements include Kronos Quartet, actor Ryan Gossling’s rock play “Deadman’s Bones,” and spring 2012 series of performances with Grammy Award winning “orchestra of voices” male choir Chanticleer as one of the ensemble’s 2011-2012 Guest Music Directors. As a soprano, Elena Sharkova has performed and recorded with one of Russia’s finest professional choirs Lege Artis and appears on five studio CDs on SonyClassical label. As Artistic Director of Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale, Elena Sharkova has prepared and conducted the chorus in over 40 major choral-orchestral works such as Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Five Mystical Songs, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Poulenc’s Gloria, Brahms German Requiem and Nanie, Bruckner’s Te Deum, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and many others. Under Sharkova’s direction, Chorale presented complete performances of the monumental masterpiece of Russian liturgical music – Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil in 2008, and in 2011 premiered the new edition of Ippolitov-Ivanov’s All-Night Vigil, op. 43.

Regarded for her passion for non-Western, cross-genre, and multi-cultural music, Elena and Chorale delighted South Bay audiences with performances of such folk-inspired compositions as Navidad Nuestra and Missa Criolla by Argentinean composer Ariel Ramirez, Caribbean Mass by contemporary American composer Glen McClure, and jazz-inspired Mass in Blue by English composer Will Todd.

Artistic Director of the 250-voice strong Cantabile Youth Singers of Silicon Valley since 2004, Elena Sharkova conducts CYS’s top performing and touring choirs, Vocalise and Ensemble, and oversees all educational and performance aspects of the program. Under her direction, Cantabile made solo appearance on the legendary stage of Carnegie Hall in 2005 and 2010 and toured Estonia, Finland, Russia, and England.

Elena Sharkova was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she received an undergraduate degree in music education and piano, and a graduate degree in conducting from St. Petersburg State Rimski-Korsakov Conservatory. From 1988 to 1993, Elena served as Chair of the Choral Department of the Preparatory Music School at the Conservatory where she conducted four children’s choruses and taught the innovative Ogorodnov Method to graduate students. In 1996, Elena received her second graduate degree in conducting from Western Michigan University where she studied with Dr. Craig Arnold.

Elena has had a privilege to serve as guest conductor of all-state, divisional, and national honor choirs for American Choral Directors Association, Music Educators National Conference, Organization of American Kodàly Educators, Association for Music in International Schools, Manhattan Concert Productions, Music Celebrations International, Distinguished Concerts International and Heritage Festivals of Gold. Elena lives in San Jose with her wine-maker husband Tony Craig and their son Sasha.

Dr. Lynda R. Hassaler assumed the directorship of the renowned Capital University Chapel Choir in July, 1990, making her the first woman to head a choral program at a Lutheran college or university. Now celebrating her 28th year, she loves her role as Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities in the Conservatory of Music at Capital University, in Columbus, Ohio, where she directs the Chapel Choir, Choral Union, and a cappella ensemble, Philomel; and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting at Capital and Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Born and raised in Platte, South Dakota, (yes, people are from there!) she graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in conducting from Michigan State University.

Nurturing Capital University’s rich choral legacy, the choirs under her direction have received numerous invitations to perform for multiple music regional and national conferences and festivals, have been awarded gold medals in world choral competitions and have toured nationally and internationally. Dr. Hasseler is passionate about dynamic programming, creating concerts that “tell a story.” Her theme-based concerts feature classic and contemporary a cappella sacred and secular choral literature. Reflective of her commitment to perform music from a global perspective, performances under her feature diverse programming, staging, and a range of choral tone colors unified by a narrative theme. In partnership with Craig Courtney, she is co-editor of the Capital University Choral Series published by Beckenhorst Press and is a member of the Ohio Choral Directors Association board of directors. As a member of the Music for All National Artistic Advisory Committee, she is actively engaged with making music with young high school musicians.

On Leap Day, February 29, 2016, Dr. Hasseler made her conducting debut on Carnegie Hall stage, in performances of Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Ēriks Ešenvalds’ Trinity Te Deum. As a clinician and guest conductor, she performs regionally, nationally and internationally. She serves on juries for international competitions including most recently the 14th Concorso Corale Internazionale Choir Festival and Competition in Riva del Garde, Italy and in July, 2018 on the jurors panel for Sing Berlin! International Festival.

As a singer, Dr. Hasseler has performed, toured and recorded nationally and internationally with professional choral ensembles including the Robert Shaw Festival Chorus and the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus. She toured France with the Shaw Festival Chorus and appeared as a soloist. In addition to the concerts presented in France, she also has performed several works in Carnegie Hall with both ensembles. She shares Grammy honors with the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and Orchestra, which, under Helmuth Rilling’s direction, were awarded a Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance for their recording of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Credo.

Most recently, she, along with the Chapel Choir and Choral Union, and composer Jake Runestad, was awarded the 2017-18 American Prize, Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music. She recently had the honor of conducting the Chapel Choir in the premiere performance of the Brock Commission “A Silence Haunts Me” by Jake Runestad at the 2019 ACDA National Conference in Kansas City. In March, 2019 she shared the podium with guest conductor and composer Eric Whitacre on Mees Hall stage in a Gala concert celebration of 100 Years of Music at Capital University. In June, 2019, she will conduct the Chapel Choir in festival concerts in the Netherlands and Belgium featuring the music of Jake Runestad.

Above all, Dr. Hasseler loves making music with the students and community members in the ensembles she directs. A firm believer in the power of choral singing to open minds, soften hearts, and transform lives, she will tell you that making music in an engaged choral rehearsal, crafting an expressive phrase, and shaping beautiful choral tone with the “best students in the world” are some of the most meaningful moments life has to offer. None of those things can compete, however, with the joy of being a mom to twenty-one-year-old Hannah, the “best daughter in the world.”

Beverly Taylor, Professor of Music at University of Wisconsin-Madison (retired) and Director of the Madison Symphony Chorus, is a frequent guest conductor at festivals throughout the United States. She has been recognized by critic Richard Dyer (The Boston Globe) as a conductor who "has the crucial gift of inspiring people to give of their best, and beyond."

Ms. Taylor assumed the post of Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1995, where she is director of the Concert Choir and the Choral Union, and leads the graduate choral conducting program. From 1989-2012, she was conductor of the Boston Bar Association Orchestra, and for seven years the Music Director of the Back Bay Chorale, in which she conducted concerts with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and other professional orchestras. Their recording of Robert Kyr's Passion According to Four Evangelists is available on the New Albion label. She served as Assistant Conductor of the Madison Symphony Orchestra from 1996-2018.

In 1995, Ms. Taylor completed 17 years as the Associate Director of Choral Activities at Harvard University. In this position, she directed both the prize-winning Radcliffe Choral Society and the Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus. She led the groups on frequent domestic and international tours, directed a number of premieres of American music, and produced two recordings on the AFKA label.

As a guest conductor, Ms. Taylor has led the Artur Rubinstein Philharmonic Orchestra in Poland, the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, the Vermont Symphony, the Harvard Chamber Orchestra, the Madison Opera, the U.S. Air Force Band and Orchestra, the Harvard Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, and the Wellesley Chamber Singers. She worked with John Williams to prepare for a July 4th concert with the Boston Pops Summer Esplanade Chorus.

A graduate of the University of Delaware and Boston University, Ms. Taylor has studied with Gustav Meier, Paul Vermel, Andrew Davis, Helmuth Rilling, Robert Shaw, Margaret Hillis, and Herbert Blomstedt. She has received a fellowship with Chorus America and an orchestral fellowship at Aspen. She was a 2016 finalist for the American Prize in choral conducting, college division, and a 2017 recipient of the Emily Mead Baldwin Award in the Creative Arts at UW-Madison.

Ruth E. Dwyer is internationally recognized as a treble and children’s choir specialist and Kodály educator. She has been the guest conductor for the OAKE National Children’s Choir, numerous ACDA All-State Choirs and Honor Choirs. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Hoosier Hills Choral Festival in Southern Indiana and Philthrusong.org (Philanthropy Through Song) choral festivals supporting anti-drunk driving education. She is a frequent guest conductor with the MidAmerica Productions and the New England Symphonic Wind Ensemble. She has recently traveled to São Paulo, Brazil to teach and conduct the GRAN FINALE XIII Festival Nacional de Corais Infantis e Jovens.

Mrs. Dwyer has been a conductor and Director of Education with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir for 29 years. She is celebrating her 22nd year as the Artistic Director of the Columbus Indiana Children’s Choir, a co-operative effort of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. Her ensembles have performed for the Indiana Music Educators Association, the AOSA National Conference, in New York City’s Carnegie Hall and David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, across the USA and throughout Spain and Central Europe. She has prepared ensembles for performances with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Butler Nutcracker, Indianapolis Opera and numerous other organizations.

Mrs. Dwyer served the State of Indiana for 19 years as a public school music educator. Her teaching experiences include all levels of music instruction from 3 year old's to post graduate students. She has received the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Golden Baton Award, the IMEA Elementary Music Teacher of the Year, the Hoosier Musician award and the Indianapolis Public Schools Rising Star award. She is an accomplished choral composer, arranger and editor.

Mrs. Dwyer has authored two curriculum books for ICC and is a frequent guest author for the Hal Leonard choral textbooks series. She is composer and editor for the Ruth Dwyer Choral Series @ Colla Voce. Mrs. Dwyer also teaches at Butler University and works as a studio conductor for The Choristers Guild. Ruth E. Dwyer is a graduate of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She enjoys traveling, reading and gardening.

March 6-Nationally recognized as a leader in the field of youth chorus directors, Emily Ellsworth served as Artistic Director of Anima – Young Singers of Greater Chicago (formerly Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus) from 1996 – 2018. Under her direction, Anima won several national awards, including the 2014 Tribute Award from Chicago A Cappella, the 2013 ASCAP award for Adventurous Programming from Chorus America, the 2009 Dale Warland Singers Commissioning Award jointly given by the American Composers Forum and Chorus America, and the once-in-an-organizational lifetime Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from Chorus America (2008).

Ms. Ellsworth has additionally served as Lecturer in Music Performance at Northwestern University, conducting the University Singers, and as the advisor for the Opera Workshop choral series with Boosey & Hawkes publishers. She has served several times on the music panel of the National Endowment for the Arts, and has over 20 years of singing and teaching experience as a voice faculty member in various college and university settings. She has served the American Choral Directors’ Association as the Central Division Repertoire and Standards Chair for Children’s and Community Youth Choirs. In 2010, she was inducted as a National Honorary Member to the Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity.

In great demand as a guest clinician and conductor, Ms. Ellsworth has conducted all-state choirs and festivals in over 30 states, the Northwest, North Central, and Southwest divisions of the American Choral Directors’ Association, and the 2019 national children's honor choir for ACDA's 60th Jubilee. She has conducted Anima by invitation at three national conferences of ACDA, 2 national conferences of Chorus America, as well as concert tours to six continents. She has prepared various ensembles for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Bach Project, Grant Park Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, Ravinia Festival, Music of the Baroque, and Chicago Sinfonietta, working with conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Bernard Haitink, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Christoph Eschenbach, James Conlon, and Sir Georg Solti. As a conductor with Manhattan Concert Productions, she has conducted festival performances in Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls. International appearances have included festival choirs in Ireland; England, Hong Kong, Grand Cayman Island, Greece, and presentations for the national association of choral directors in Brazil.

Dr. Felicia Barber is the Director of Choral Activities at Westfield State University in Westfield, MA, where she conducts the University Chorus, Chamber Chorale and teaches courses in conducting and choral methods. Dr. Barber's research interests include choral teaching strategies, repertoire selection, diversity initiatives, as well as the performance practice of African American Spirituals. Her research has led to presentations across the United States and Canada.

Dr. Barber presents professional development to choral music educators in Massachusetts & and throughout the northeast. She also has presented at regional and state conferences, as well as at the Phenomenon of Singing, an International Conference held in Newfoundland, Canada. With additional presentations at the National ACDA Conference, Eastern Division ACDA Conference, Massachusetts Summer ACDA Conference, Connecticut ACDA Conference, Massachusetts Music Educators Conference, Florida Music Educators Conference, and the Westfield University Summer Institute for Music Educators. Dr. Barber is an active member of American Choral Directors Association (ACDA); serving on the National Diversity Committee, on the Eastern Division 2020 Conference committee, and is the current President of the Massachusetts ACDA board.

Dr. Barber often serves as a guest clinician for both high school and community ensembles. She has served as guest conductor for the Massachusetts Western and Eastern District High School and Jr. High Honor Choirs, NCCC Honor Choir in Connecticut, and Equity & Justice Program with Kansas City Community ensembles in Missouri. She serves as a guest conductor for several All-State ensembles including upcoming festivals in Louisiana and California, and previously in Vermont and Oklahoma.

Dr. Barber has served as Choral Lecturer for the summer master’s program at Gordon College for the past 4 years. Teaching choruses in Choral Conducting and Choral Music Education. The program offers MME degree for current music education practitioners and has students from across New England.

She is also excited to announce the release of her upcoming books: A New Perspective for the Use of Dialect in African American Spirituals: History, Context, and Linguistics. (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021); and Practical Companion Guide on AAE Dialect for Singers. (Companion Text: A New Perspective for the Use of Dialect in African American Spirituals: History, Context, and Linguistics. (New York: Amazon, 2021); both will be released Spring of 2021.

Dr. Barber holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance from Oral Roberts University, an M.M. in Music Education from Mansfield University, and a Ph.D. in Choral Music Education and Choral Conducting from The Florida State University.

Nationally recognized for her excellence in choral conducting, Dr. Iris S. Levine is founder and artistic director of VOX Femina Los Angeles, L.A.’s premier women’s chorus. Through her extensive experience with women’s choral literature, and innovative concert programming, Dr. Levine has charted VOX Femina on an impressive 22-year journey, building its prominence in the choral community by way of numerous appearances at ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) conventions and Chorus America conferences, and over 300 appearances throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Dr. Levine is the Dean of the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. Now in her 30th year at Cal Poly, Dr. Levine served as Department Chair and Professor of Music and conducted the Kellogg Chamber Singers, taught Beginning Conducting, Choral Conducting and Music Education courses. Dr. Levine earned her Doctorate in Choral Music from the University of Southern California under the tutelage of Rod Eichenberger and James Vail, and she holds a Masters degree in Choral Conducting from Temple University in Philadelphia, where she studied with Alan Harler.

Dr. Levine authored the chapter on “Working with the Women’s Community Choir” in the 2012 GIA publication: Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success. Dr. Levine is the editor for the Iris S. Levine Treble Choral Series with Pavane Publishing and is highly sought as guest clinician and adjudicator for choral festivals throughout the country.

Kathy Saltzman Romey is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Minnesota, where she oversees the graduate program in choral conducting and conducts choirs. She is also Artistic Director of the 200-voice symphonic chorus, The Minnesota Chorale, which serves as principal chorus for the Minnesota Orchestra. Known for her meticulous training of choirs, Romey has prepared the Chorale for performances with both the Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra under the baton of such acclaimed conductors as James Conlon, Nicholas McGegan, Bobby McFerrin, Roger Norrington, Helmuth Rilling, Robert Shaw, Leonard Slatkin, Osmo Vänskä, Edo de Waart, and Hugh Wolff. Romey has conducted the Chorale in regional, national and international forums and in performances with both the Minnesota Orchestra and Metropolitan Symphony. She also coordinates and presents the BRIDGES series, the nationally acclaimed education-outreach program of the Minnesota Chorale. Begun in 1994 to build musical and social bridges between diverse populations, BRIDGES is an annual initiative that harnesses the richness of global choral repertoire to engage cultural communities and raise awareness of pressing social needs. A passionate advocate of choral civic engagement, Romey documented the BRIDGES program in a co-authored chapter with two University of Minnesota conducting students for the book Wisdom, Wit and Will: Women Choral Conductors on Their Art, released by GIA Publications in 2009.

Romey has served as a staff member to the Oregon Bach Festival since 1984 and is principal chorus master of the 54-voice professional Festival Choir, which she prepares for annual Festival concerts, commissions, and recording projects. American and world premiere performances presented at the Oregon Bach Festival include major choral works by Tan Dun, Arvo Pärt, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sven David Sandström, and Mozart reconstructions by Robert Levin. Romey has assisted with ten recordings, including the Festival’s 2001 Grammy Award–winning CD of Penderecki’s Credo under the direction of Helmuth Rilling and the 2008 Grammy-Nominated CD of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony conducted by Osmo Vänskä with the Minnesota Orchestra and Chorale.

Active as a guest conductor, chorus master, and clinician throughout the United States and Europe, Romey has regularly prepared ensembles with the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart for special programs and tours in Germany, France, Poland, Austria, Switzerland and the United States. Currently, she serves on the faculty of the Junges Stuttgarter Bach Ensemble. This international choir and orchestra are assembled annually for the Stuttgart Bach Week, focusing on the study and presentation of major works by Johann Sebastian Bach. In addition to her work with the Bachakademie, Romey has prepared programs with the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Netherlands Radio Choir, Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus, and Grant Park Music Festival. 2012 marked her second appearance with the Berkshire Choral Festival.

Romey earned a B.A. in Flute Performance from the University of Oregon in 1979, and an Artistic Degree in Choral Conducting under Helmuth Rilling from the Frankfurt Musikhochschule in 1984. She returned to the United States and served as Director of Choral Activities at Macalester College from 1985-1992. She joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1992 and was recognized in 2006 with the University’s Arthur Motley award for exemplary teaching. She was also honored by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association with the 2002 Conductor of the Year award.

Dr. Sandra Peter is the Acting Director of Choral Activities at Stetson University (DeLand, FL) and conducts Choral Union and the Stetson Men. She recently served as a Guest Conductor for Magnum Chorum (Minneapolis, MN), Interim Director of Choirs at Florida Gulf Coast University, and Visiting Professor of Music at Macalester College. From 1991-2013, Dr. Peter taught in the music department and conducted choirs at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. She was a part of a team of colleagues that saw extraordinary growth to Luther's music program. During this time period choral participation increased from 350 singers in five choirs to 550 students in six choirs, and the program remains strong today. Her ensembles at Luther, Aurora (select first-year women, 100 voices) and Cathedral Choir (select second-year students, 100 mixed voices) toured annually, released recordings, commissioned pieces, and performed at conferences. For over twenty years Dr. Peter served on the artistic committee and conducted Christmas at Luther, an Emmy Award-winning event that is televised annually nationwide. She has conducted All-State and honor choirs in twenty U. S. states, as well as in Singapore and Oman. Recent teaching residencies include engagements at Syracuse University and Augustana University (Sioux Falls, SD).

Actively involved in the process of creating new music, her choirs have premiered works by Libby Larsen, Eric Whitacre, Stephen Paulus, Ola Gjeilo, Jocelyn Hagen, Shawn Kirchner, Kevin Jay Isaacs, Abbie Betinis, Timothy Takach, Edie Hill, Gwyneth Walker, Mack Wilberg, Aaron David Miller, Daniel Kallman, Ben Allaway, and Melba Williamson. A skilled choral arranger, Dr. Peter's works are published by MorningStar Music, Carl Fischer Music, and the Neil Kjos Company. She is also a contributor to Conducting Women's Choirs: Strategies for Success (GIA Publications, 2012). Luther College Aurora recordings, Finding a voice (2006) and Using our voice (2010) are available online.

Dr. Peter is an active member of American Choral Directors Association, the College Music Society, Chorus America, and a charter member of The National Collegiate Choral Organization. She has been invited to speak at national meetings of both NCCO and ACDA and has performed in and conducted ensembles at several regional and national ACDA conferences. Her experience includes many years conducting choirs of all ages at First Lutheran Church in Decorah, Iowa, and most recently serving as Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church in DeLand, FL. She was a founding member of the National Lutheran Choir. A native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Dr. Peter holds degrees from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN), University of Arizona and the University of Iowa.

Betsy Cook Weber (Choral Conducting, Division Head) is active internationally as a conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and lecturer. In the summer of 2013, Weber became the thirteenth person and first woman to receive the Texas Choral Director Association's coveted Texas Choirmaster Award. She is editor of the Betsy Cook Weber Choral Series with Alliance Music Publishing. Weber also serves as Director of the Houston Symphony Chorus, a post to which she was appointed in the Fall of 2014. In that role, she prepares choral-orchestral masterworks for some of the world's greatest conductors, including Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Christoph Eschenbach, and David Zinman. Choirs under Weber's direction, including the Moores School Concert Chorale, have been, or will be, featured at multiple state (TMEA 2002, 2005, 2008, 2013, 2017) and national conventions including the American Choral Directors Association national convention in Miami in 2007 and Minneapolis in 2017. Concert Chorale will also be a featured choir at the national convention of the National Collegiate Choral Organization in the fall of 2017. Internationally, Weber has led the Chorale to top prizes and acclaim at prestigious competitions in Wales, France and Germany, including a first-place finish as one of only ten choirs world-wide selected to compete in the famous International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf, Germany. The Chorale also won first place in their primary division in the Grand Prix of Nations in Magdeburg, Germany in 2015. Weber has prepared singers for Da Camera, for early music orchestras Ars Lyrica and Mercury Houston, and is also routinely called upon to prepare singers for touring shows, including Josh Groban, NBC's Clash of the Choirs, Telemundo's Latin Grammys, Star Wars in Concert, Andreas Bocelli, Legends of Zelda, It's a Wonderful World, Dreamworks, and Final Fantasy. Before coming to the University of Houston, Weber taught vocal music (K-12) in the public schools. She holds degrees from the University of North Texas, Westminster Choir College, and the University of Houston

March 7-Dr. Gloria Harrison Quinlan, a native of Houston, Texas, received the Bachelor of Music Education degree in Voice from Texas Southern University, the Master of Music in Voice from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Voice from The University of Texas at Austin. After a position as Assistant Professor of Music at Knoxville College in Knoxville, Tennessee, she was Associate Professor of Music at the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and later served as Chair of the Music Department. She also served as Chair of the Humanities and Fine Arts Department at Huston-Tillotson University, Austin, Texas, and is currently Professor of Music, Voice/Choral and Director of the Huston-Tillotson University Concert Choir.

She studied Voice with Ruth Stewart (Texas Southern University), Larry Day (Colorado State University) and the late Martha Deatherage (University of Texas), and coached with Gerard Souzay, the late Darryl Hobson-Byrd and the late David Garvey. Dr. Quinlan studied choral conducting with the late Ruthabel Rollins at TSU.

Dr. Quinlan has enjoyed success as a performer, in opera, as a soloist with ensembles, and as a recitalist, throughout the United States and the Caribbean. Significant performances include: Soprano soloist in a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Caribbean Chorale and Puerto Rico Symphony; Soprano soloist with the Austin Civic Chorus and Sinfonietta in a performance of the Brahms Requiem; Soprano Soloist with the Capitol City Men’s Chorus; and Soprano Soloist with the Austin Singers in a performance of the Brahms Requiem. She recently recorded with the Trombone Choir of The Butler School of Music, University of Texas at Austin. She has also performed with the Scott Joplin Orchestra of Houston, Texas.

Dr. Quinlan has received acclaim as a choral conductor. She founded the Concert Choir of the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Her choir at Huston-Tillotson University performed for President Jimmy Carter. President George W. Bush invited the Huston-Tillotson University Choir to perform at the opening of the Texas State Museum (a performance broadcast nationwide). Dr. Quinlan was also selected as the choir conductor for the Lady Bird Johnson funeral service. She served as Minister of Music for Ebenezer Baptist Church from 1997 to 2020. She served as a Regional Conductor for the 105 Voices of History Historically Black Colleges and Universities National Concert Choir in 2009 and 2010, and made her conducting debut at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in September, 2011, directing the 105 Voices of History. She also served as the Vocal Coach for the 105 Voices of History.

Her University choir performed the Duke Ellington Sacred Concert with an All Star Jazz Band in 2009 and 2010, in collaboration with the Austin Chamber Music Center. In 2009, members of her choir also appeared in a production and recording of Duke Ellington’s opera, Queenie Pie, in collaboration with the Opera Department of the Butler School of Music, University of Texas at Austin.

Honors include the Danforth Compton Fellowship, Graduate Opportunity Fellowship, and a Graduate Scholarship Award from General Conference, Seventh Day Adventist Church. She also received the Fine Arts Award as an outstanding Music Educator by the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Delta Beta Chapter, and the Outstanding Achievement in Fine Arts award from the National Women of Achievement, Inc. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Music Educators National Conference, Texas Music Educators Conference, American Choral Directors Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, Honorary member of Golden Key International Honour Society and NAACP Huston-Tillotson Chapter. Dr. Quinlan is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Dr. Quinlan and husband Quincy Quinlan make their home in Austin, Texas. They have one son, Mykal (and wife Krystle).

Dr. Amanda Quist is the Director of Choral Activities for the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. Dr. Quist was previously Chair of the Conducting, Organ, and Sacred Music Department, and Associate Professor of Conducting at Westminster Choir College. Dr. Quist is the recipient of Westminster Choir College of Rider University’s 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award, the 2018 Mazzotti Award for Women’s Leadership, and she is the Carol F. Spinelli Conducting Fellow. Dr. Quist was recently invited to be a conductor for the ACDA International Exchange Program, clinician for the 2019 ASPIRE International Youth Music Festival in Australia, juror for the Penabur International Choir Festival in Indonesia, and clinician for the Interkultur International Choral Festival. Westminster Kantorei, winner of the 2018 American Prize in College & University Choral Performance, has performed at the American Choral Directors Association’s (ACDA) Eastern Division Conference, Boston Early Music Festival, American Handel Festival, and Interkultur. The choir recently released its first commercial recording, Lumina, distributed by Naxos, which was hailed by infodad.com as a recording “sung with great beauty of sound and excellent articulation-a CD to cherish” and by National Medal of Arts recipient Morten Lauridsen as “superb, a splendid recording, highly recommended.” During her work with the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Dr. Quist collaborated with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Dresden Staatskapelle. She also serves as Chorus Master for the Philadelphia Orchestra Chorus. Dr. Quist’s role as Chorus Master for the premiere of Toshio Hosokawa’s opera Matsukaze at the Spoleto Festival USA and the Lincoln Center Festival garnered praise from The New York Times and Charleston City Paper, who described the chorus’ performance as “beautifully prepared, gripping,” a “gossamer web of voices” and “bridging the vocal and instrumental textures with perfect intonation.”

Dr. Quist was Director of the Westminster Vocal Institute, a highly regarded summer program for talented high school students, and Director of Choral Activities at San José State University. Her other honors include the James Mulholland National Choral Award and the Audrey Davidson Early Music Award. An active guest conductor and clinician, her recent and upcoming appearances include the NAfME All National Honor Choir, All State High School & Collegiate Honor Choirs throughout the country, and serving as a headliner for music conferences in the US and abroad. Dr. Quist is the National ACDA Repertoire & Resources Coordinator for Collegiate Activities, and her choral series is published through Walton Music.

For 2019-2020 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist, Alysia Lee, her role as an artist, arts educator, teaching artist and arts advocate, gives her a broad perspective of the arts ecosystem. Alysia's work has received national recognition for advancing access, equity, visibility, representation, and power-sharing between artists, organizations, and communities. Key to her method is leadership development, building strong partnerships, and intersectional approaches to engagement while centering artistic excellence, creativity, social justice, and multiculturalism.

She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Sister Cities Girlchoir (SCG), an El Sistema-inspired, girl empowerment, choral academy with programming in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey. Lee provided strategic oversight of the program growth from the 20-participant pilot to 300+ membership.

Alysia Lee is currently the education program supervisor for Fine Arts education for the Maryland State Department of Education where she shares her vision of statewide equity and excellence across five arts disciplines: music, dance, visual arts, theatre, and media arts. She is a proud member of the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE).

Recent recognitions include The Knight Foundation, Stockton Bartol Rush Foundation, National Association of University Women and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Recent speaking/writing engagements include Arts Education Partnership, Chorus America, Americans for the Arts, Maryland Citizens for the Arts, Maryland Music Educators Association, Maryland Theatre Educators Association and TEDX.

A Baltimore native, Lee is an alumna of Maryland schools, including George Washington Carver Center for Arts & Technology. She received a bachelor degree from University of North Carolina School for the Arts and a graduate degree from Peabody Conservatory. In 2011, Lee was selected from an international pool of applicants to the third cohort of the Sistema Fellowship at New England Conservatory. Alysia also completed Executive Education programs at Harvard University and La Salle University.

Joan Catoni Conlon taught at the University of Washington and the University of Colorado, retiring after more than 45 years of teaching at many levels. In Seattle, she conducted the Northwest Chamber Chorus for 25 years, whose singers performed all the Telemann choral cantatas she transcribed for her doctoral work—bless them!—in addition to major works. As director of graduate choral research at Colorado she worked with talented students, and enjoyed watching their curiosity and interests expand.

In 2001, she published Performing Monteverdi: A Conductor’s Guide, pursuing an abiding interest in his outrageous daring. In 2009, she edited and contributed to Wisdom, Wit, and Will: Women Choral Conductors on Their Art (GIA), with colleagues Hilary Apfelstadt, Marguerite Brooks, Sharon Hansen, Ann Howard Jones, Doreen Rao, Kathy Romey, Harriet Simons, Beverly Taylor, Joan Whittemore, Lori Wiest, and Sue Williamson. On two sabbaticals, she studied Hindustani classical vocal music in India.

Dr. Julie Yu is Co-Director of Choral Studies at Kansas State University, where she is part of a team that oversees seven choral ensembles and teaches undergraduate and graduate choral conducting.

She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the University of Central Oklahoma, Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Oklahoma State University, and the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from the University of North Texas. Before joining the Kansas State faculty, she taught at Norman North High School in Norman, Oklahoma and San José State University.

She has given presentations and her choirs have performed for conferences of the Kansas Music Educators Association, Missouri Music Educators Association, Oklahoma Choral Directors Association, the American Choral Directors Association and the European Music Educators Association. She is the Southwest American Choral Directors Association President and a 2018 ACDA-ICEP Conducting Fellow (to Kenya).

Interpreting choral music for diverse audiences in a way that is relevant to young people while maintaining the highest standards of music education and performance sums up the work of Robyn Reeves Lana. When not leading the Cincinnati Youth Choir, Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, over the last quarter of a century, Mrs. Lana has served as conductor and clinician across the United States and at internationally acclaimed venues such as The Forbidden City Concert Hall (Beijing), The World Expo (Milan), St. Peter’s Basilica (Vatican City), Minatomirai Hall (Yokohama). Internationally she has served as a clinician in Malacca, Malaysia; Singapore; Italy; Ireland; and China. Closer to home, she has been a featured guest conductor at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and Cincinnati’s Music Hall. She has served as clinician or guest conducted state and regional choral events in over 25 states. Lana has served on the choral faculty at Xavier University and has been a guest professor in the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s choral department.

Lana is the editor of a choral series with Santa Barbara Music Publishing. Her book, Voices in Harmony, published in 2017, is a collaborative effort that celebrates many successful philosophies in choral education. She also is also published in Chorister Guild’s The Chorister, Chamber Music America’s CMA Matters, and ACDA’s Choral Journal for which she also served as guest editor of the of three issues.

Achieving an extensive list of orchestral and operatic repertoire for children and praise from collaborating conductors including Craig Hella Johnson, John Adams, Louis Langrée, John Morris Russell, Robert Porco, Marcus Huber, James Conlon, Earl Rivers and Mark Gibson among others, Lana regularly prepares her choirs for collaborations with the Cincinnati Symphony, the Cincinnati Pops, the Cincinnati May Festival, Cincinnati Opera, and CCM choirs and orchestras. She prepared CYC for two Telarc label recordings with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra under the direction of the late Maestro Erich Kunzel.

Nationally, Lana has served ACDA as Children’s Choir and Community Youth Repertoire and Standards Chair and currently is the Co-Chair for ACDA Advocacy and Collaboration. She is also honored to serve on the Chorus America Board of Directors.

Robyn Reeves Lana earned her bachelor and master of degrees in Music Education with a Cognate in Voice and a concentration in choral conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She holds Level III Orff-Schulwerk Certification and has done focused study on children’s choirs at Butler University with Henry Leck.

Ms. Lana’s work has earned many awards including CCM’s Distinguished Alumna Award (2012), a gold medal in the World Choir Games (2012) placing first in the United States, the American Prize for Choral Performance (2015), the Chorus America ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming (2016), Chorus America Award for Education and Community Engagement (2018), and Cincinnati CityBeat’s Best Local Vocal Arts Group (2015 and 2017). Most recently she was celebrated in the book Imagineers • Impresarios • Inventors: Cincinnati’s Arts and the POWER OF HER which tells the inspiring stories of the formidable influence of women in the arts throughout Cincinnati’s dynamic history.

INTERNATIONAL-Choir and Orchestra conductor, pianist and singer, Digna Guerra is one of the most emblematic figures of the Cuban, and therefore Latin American, music scene. Since she was four, she starts with great skill to show her artistic vocation. Her first studies at the Coral School of Havana. Graduated from the very first course of Art Instructors with headquarters in the Hotel Habana Libre where she also begins a great work forging musicians and musical groups and all sorts of choirs. She studied at the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" in Berlin, Germany; graduating with honors in choral direction with Professor Horst Muller, piano with Eberhard Rebling and singing with Willie Feldman. She also continues in the specialty of Orchestral Direction.

Throughout her career she has created and advised numerous musical groups. She has been director of the Chair of Choral Direction of the National School of Art, Director of the Choir of the ENA, Director of the National Opera of Cuba, Director of the National Choir of Cuba, integrates the Scientific Methodological Council for the creation of the Higher Institute of Art. Actively participates in the development of curricula and programs of the choral conducting specialty. Under her tutelage many generations of students have graduated and has tutored numerous Degree Theses.

Since 1975, she has been the Director of the National Choir of Cuba, where she has displayed an important cultural work and dissemination of the most outstanding works of the universal repertoire; especially the Cuban choral work ranging from the polyphony of the fifteenth century to the most complex contemporary works that include highly advanced technical procedures of composition. In 1981, she founded the Chamber Choir Entrevoces, a group with which she has won numerous International Awards, highlighting the sound quality and the very refined degree of interpretation of works from the universal repertoire.

She held the position of Technical Deputy Director of the Cuban Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Leo Brouwer during the celebration in Havana of the 4th International Fair of the Cuban album "Cubadisco 2000". He has also recorded numerous soundtracks for cinema. Digna has lead master classes, workshops, courses of Choral Direction and has been jury in various festivals throughout almost all nations of the American continent as well as in Poland, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Spain and the former Yugoslavia.

She is vice-president of the Choral Federation of the Caribbean and member of the National Council of the UNEAC, of the World Federation of Choirs, of the Cuban Committee of the International Council of Music of UNESCO and of the Cuban Movement for Peace. The many, many prizes and recognitions she has received, are a small token of gratitude that scarcely show the immeasurable contribution that Digna Guerra has given to humanity.

INTERNATIONAL-Aida Swenson is one of Indonesia’s strongest forces of choral music development. As founder and conductor of the Indonesian Children’s & Youth Choirs Cordana, who have gathered international recognitions and awards, and have been invited to perform in major cities world wide. As a graduate of the Westminster Choir College, Princeton, USA and as a sought after clinician, Aida Swenson conducts numerous workshops and adjudicates national and international events. As a jury member Aida attended choir festivals world wide among others in USA, Canada, England, Germany, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Argentina, China, Latvia, Riminni-Italy and Africa.

Aida has spent many years traveling through out provinces of Indonesia creating and leading choirs, giving master classes, and training choral conductors. However, her professional activities include: Council Member of the World Choir Games for Indonesia; Member of the Advisory to INTERKULTUR’s World Choir Games; Chairman of the National Foundation for the Development of Choral Musician Indonesia; Member of Advisory of the Foundation of Church Music (YAMUGER); Member of the committee Asia Pacific Choral Symposium- IFCM; Artistic Director of National Christian Student Choir Competition in Indonesia and other international choir competitions. Aida is featured in the “World Who is Who in Choral Music”. Her personal commitment to her musical endeavors in Indonesia is not only centered on her vision in furthering the quality of children’s choral development. Aida is a pillar of change, of progression, and of energy to achieve unassailable quality in choral musician Indonesia and internationally.

INTERNATIONAL-“I was raised to be limitless… [and] I was born an artist.” These are the words of 27-year-old Ofentse Pitse, a woman who is carving her name into the history books. Pitse is the first black South African woman to conduct and own the first ever all-black orchestra, Anchored Sound.

The Mabopane-born architect believes her musical gift is a calling; her late grandfather Otto Pitse was also an orchestra conductor and trumpet player. She first played an instrument at the age of 12. She grew up in a single-parent home and her mom was always supportive of her endeavors. She fell in love with sounds from there and was exposed to many types of music, ranging from gospel to jazz. She credits her grandfather as well and believes she is his reincarnation. People have shown their appreciation and enthusiasm for a female orchestra conductor.

“Conducting is a whole different ballgame. You have to have a particular understanding, the mind and the spirit for each and every instrument. You have to have an understanding, you have to do a lot of research. "You have to have a certain kind of confidence to stand on that podium and lift a baton and conduct people who are looking at you saying, 'but she’s a woman', because they are used to these old men standing in front of them, conducting. You have to walk in there with a certain kind of reverence and confidence.”

Pitse is a forward-thinking and bold young woman and she credits her mentors for her classical music knowledge as she does not have a formal musical qualification. “My teaching was unconventional, nothing was on paper. The furthest I went in music was grade three or grade four and everything else was basically mentoring. Early this year, I reached out to two of the best conductors, one being Mr Thami Zungu, the head of music at TUT and Mr Gerben Grooten, the conductor of the UP philharmonic. These are amazing conductors… they have spent a lot of their time teaching and crafting this talent within me,” Pitse said.

In 2017, Pitse started a youth choir in a small classroom in Katlehong where she handpicked youth that were classically-trained from Soweto, Katlehong, Tembisa and Pretoria. “The common denominator among them was that they wanted to get an education and showcase their talent on the world stage and prove to their peers that they can attain their dreams,” she says. This drove Pitse to look for sponsorship and funding to help the children further their education. The choir then grew to become the orchestra. Pitse found through her research that there is no all-black orchestra in the world. She approached established classical musicians in various orchestras to boost the ensemble, which gradually grew from 8 to 19 to 40-piece symphony orchestra. “A lot of them thought I was crazy and some of them were like, 'we are as eager [to work with you]as we definitely see you as a leader and we want to follow what you’re doing.'”

Besides the orchestra being all-black, the other twist to it is that all the profits garnered from their various performances is to go straight into helping the members. Pitse used to take money from her salary to assist struggling members of the outfit with registration fees, printing, credit fees and any other needs they have while in university. The orchestra has been together for a few months. “It has only really been a few months, but it’s something that I really believe in, it’s a baby but a very strong baby.” The orchestra has a vocal coach who helps with training the members as though some are studying music at tertiary while others are pursuing other avenues, but still want to utilize their talents. Her vision for the orchestra is that they contribute in shedding light on African composers and propel each other and other young black youth to excellence. “I’m a believer in the black narrative and a believer in the black child.”

INTERNATIONAL-Karmina Šilec has brought freshness and originality to the world of vocal music, opening new spaces of expression, persuasiveness, intensity of experience, and communication. With “Choregie - vocal theatre” and its innovative interventions, she has opened wider artistic spaces and set trends towards complex multi-media events – productions performed on stages of festivals worldwide and broadcasted by the EBU and Eurovision. Each Choregie project signed by Karmina Šilec is an expedition into the field of the unknown and the unexplored. Artistically her projects are results of a thorough research of music, juxtapositioning different arts by merging the old and the contemporary, which creates new, exciting contexts. Within the uncompromising frame of the highest standards she continuously proves that vocal ensembles can be outstanding, versatile artistic bodies - superb instruments which are constantly opening up to new creative spaces. Her Choregie concept of vocal theatre was performed on stages worldwide – from Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall to the Theater Basel, Teresa Carreño Theatre in Caracas, and from Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Davis Symphony Hall San Francisco to Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. Her company Carmina Slovenica has been invited to art events of the highest esteem such as the World Music Days (organized by the ISCM), Ruhrtrienalle, Festival d'Automne á Paris, Moscow Easter Festival, Operndage Rotterdam, Dresdner Musikfestspiele, Melbourne Festival, the European Symposium on Choral Music (organized by the IFCM), Steirischer Herbst, Golden Mask Moscow, Holland festival, America Cantat, Prototype festival New York, etc. As conductor and director Karmina Šilec has projects with various companies and ensembles worldwide among them Theater Basel, SNG Opera Ljubljana, Radio Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, Slovenian National Opera and Ballet Maribor, Slovenian National Project Choir, ensemble ¡Kebataola! and many others. Karmina Šilec has received more than 20 of the highest international awards and special recognitions, among them the award by the ITI – International Theatre Institute "Music Theatre Now" in the category Music beyond opera, Golden Mask, the prestigious International Robert Edler Prize for Choral Music for her exceptional contribution to the world choir movement, and the Prešeren Found Award. There are few artistic teams in Slovenia as widely recognized in the international arena as can undoubtedly be said for Karmina Šilec’s outstanding ensembles Carmina Slovenica and ¡Kebataola!, together with the movements she created. With her boldness, provocativeness and erudition Karmina Šilec transformed various ensembles into superior artistic formations of the highest rank. She expanded the field of choral, chamber and solo singing to reach unimaginable extensions of the most complex creative space of an all-encompassing multi-form work of art. Based on thorough research she created a whole range of conceptual, stylistically and thematically perfected projects, among them Ultimate Collective Experience, Placebo, Was haben si gegen Bauern, gnädige Frau?, From Time Immemorial, Toxic Psalms, Vampirabile, Spixody, Who would think that the snow falls, Vertical Thoughts, CS Light, Rusalke, Pleading for Words, and others.

INTERNATIONAL-Remembering National Artist for Music Andrea O. Veneracion is the founder of the Philippine Madrigal Singers, Asia’s most awarded choral ensemble. An authority on choral music, she is recognized for spearheading the choral movement in the Philippines. She served as adjudicator in international music competitions.

She was born and raised in Manila, Philippines on July 11, 1928, and earned her Bachelor of Music degrees in Piano and Voice at the University of the Philippines Diliman graduating cum laude. She was a lyric soprano soloist in various Oratorio works and in the Opera Stage. She was an accomplished pianist and accompanist and was the accompanist of National Artist for Music, Jovita Fuentes for a number of years.

Later on, she continued to pursue her Master’s Degree in Voice at Indiana University School of Music – Bloomington as a Fulbright scholar, where she encountered the Indiana University Madrigal Singers which rallied the music of the Renaissance period. Upon her return to the Philippines in 1963, she established a singing group with the same idea. This group was initially exclusive of U.P. faculty members and students and became officially known as the University of the Philippines Madrigal Singers. She established a tradition for which the Madz, as they are fondly called, are known for: unlike most choirs, the Madz is seated in a semicircular formation without a conductor. The Choirmaster is at the left-most end of the circle who leads the group by giving their cues.

Prof. Veneracion with Madz 1996 the batch that won the 1996 Grand Prix in Tolosa, Spain. Under her direction, the Philippine Madrigal Singers won major awards in international choral competitions – Spittal, Austria; Arezzo and Gorizia, Italy; Neuchâtel, Switzerland; Debrecen, Hungary; Varna, Bulgaria; Tolosa and Cantonigros, Spain; and Marktoberdorf, Germany. In 1996, she led the Philippine Madrigal Singers to its victory in the 1996 International Choral Competition in Tolosa, Spain. This made them eligible to compete for the 1997 European Choral Grand Prix for Choral Singing and eventually won the title in Tours, France.

She is the founder and first conductor of the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music (AILM) Chorale. In 1997, she was awarded the TOFIL (The Outstanding Filipino) Award for Culture and the Arts For her contributions to the development of choral singing in the Philippines. In 1999, she was named National Artist for Music, the highest cultural award bestowed by the Philippine government for an individual. In 2001, she retired as the Choirmaster of the Philippine Madrigal Singers. She personally selected Mark Anthony Carpio, her Assistant Choirmaster at that time, to be her successor. The Madz turnover ceremonies were held in a special concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines coinciding with the launch of her biography “A Life Shaped By Music” by Marjorie Evasco. She continued to guide the Madz under Carpio’s direction by joining them in their tours: 2002 in North America, 2003 in Asia and 2004 in Europe. She was able to witness Carpio’s first international competition as Choirmaster (and the Madz’s first competition after 7 years) at the 2004 International Competition of Habaneras and Polyphony in Torrevieja, Spain, where the Madz won First Places for both categories.

INTERNATIONAL-Maria Elina Mayorga is the Director of the Arturo Beruti Choir since 1973. Between 1986 and 2017 he directed the Choir of the Catholic University of Cuyo. She was a Full Professor at the National University of San Juan. Until now, she has been developing an intense international activity as a panelist, jury, lecturer and guest director (Brazil, Chile, USA, Israel, Hungary, Mexico, etc.)

She is the founder and artistic director of the most important international choral events that take place in San Juan and that, with the support of the members of its choirs and the Government of San Juan, have positioned the province as a CHORAL POLE unparalleled in the rest of the country. Among them: San Juan Coral, international choir festival (founded in 1998), Ansilta, Contest and Choir Festival (founded in 2007), Sacred Music in San Juan, interreligious artistic encounter held in November 2012, Canto en Sol, festival for Children and Young Singers of America (founded in 2013), American Choral Forum (founded in 2015) and as of August 2016 presents a new choral project: SAN JUAN CANTA, INTERNATIONAL CHOIR CONTEST AND FESTIVAL. As Director of the Arturo Beruti Choir, she carries out an outstanding national and international activity. Among the most recent high-profile events, it is worth mentioning the concert tour to the People's Republic of China where they participated in four international choir festivals.

In November 2019, he went on a concert tour in Buenos Aires, with his successful concert in the Salón Dorado of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires occupying a very prominent place .During 2020, in times of pandemic, she has been summoned to speak at international symposia, cycles of invited professors at foreign universities, conferences and multiple activities related to the recognition of her career.

In 2001 the Sanjuanino Center for Culture declared her "Notable Personality 2001" . In October 2002 he received a distinction from the UPCN (Unión Personal Civil de la Nación) in recognition of his contribution to culture. In December 2003 he received a distinction from the Government of the Province of San Juan through the Undersecretariat of Culture, in recognition of his career. Identical distinctions have been received from the National Gendarmerie (2004), the Lions Club (2005) and the Municipality of Coquimbo and Casa de Chile in San Juan (2006). On March 8, 2007, on International Women's Day, she was declared "Illustrious Woman" by the Municipality of the City of San Juan.

INTERNATIONAL-Karen Grylls ONZM, is the Undergraduate Advisor and Associate Professor in Conducting and Head of Choral Studies at the University of Auckland. She has directed the Auckland Dorian Choir (1985-1998), assumed the position of Musical Director of TOWER NZ Youth Choir in 1989 and founded TOWER Voices NZ in March 1998. In addition to being the current Musical Director of both of these national choirs Karen also conducts the Chamber Choir at the University of Auckland and directs courses in choral ensemble skills.

Karen is much in demand as a choral clinician and has many CD recordings to her credit. Invitations to adjudicate have taken her to Australia, Singapore, Tolosa, Hong Kong, Gorizia, Xiamen and Marktoberdorf. In 1996 the University honoured her with a Distinguished Teaching Award in Music and in 1999 she received a New Year’s Honour (ONZM) for her services to choral music. Karen has recently been appointed to the board of the International Federation for Choral Music IFCM. In May 2005 she was awarded an Artistic Leadership Scholarship Award from Creative NZ to attend the Seventh World Choral Symposium in Kyoto. In 2006 she was awarded the KBB Citation for Services to NZ music from the Composers’ Association of NZ and the Lilburn Trust Award for services to NZ Music. Also in 2006, “Spirit of the Land”, recorded by TOWER Voices NZ, won the NZ Tui Award for the best classical album. She also held an appointment as Artistic Director of the Exultate Chamber Singers in Toronto, 2011-2013.

INTERNATIONAL-Dr. Nuria Fernández Herranz obtained her degree in Choral Conducting and Conducting Pedagogy at the Dániel Berzsenyi Tanárkepzö Föiskola in Szombathely (Hungary) with the highest honours and simultaneously she studied Choral Conducting at the Ferenc Liszt High Academy of Music in Budapest. She has a PhD in Humanities from the Carlos III University of Madrid where she designs and manages choral projects which are points of reference within the Spanish choral scene: the University Choir, the Children Program of Scenic Music (1999-2008) and the Choral Conducting Course.

She has taught choral conducting in higher education for over twenty years and many choral conductors have studied with Nuria Fernández. She is currently a choral conducting lecturer at the High Conservatory of Music in Castilla-La Mancha. She develops different projects that have become models in the Spanish choir scene

She is also artistic director and founder of VokalArs, a renowned and prestigious choir in the current choral scene. This group is characterized by the novelty of its artistic proposals and a concept of timbered sonority with its own personality. Her choirs have won various prizes, as well as national and international recognition. She has performed multiple premieres of choral and scenic music in main concert halls and she is frequently invited as member of jury to national and international choral festivals. She is also regularly invited to lead different artistic projects in Spain and abroad.

INTERNATIONAL-Dr. Ana Paulina Alvarez Sandoval completed her undergraduate studies at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana where she obtained the title of Music teacher studying with teachers Ricardo Jaramillo and Alejandro Zuleta. Subsequently, she obtained a master's degree from the University of Victoria, Canada, under the mentorship of Dr. Gerald King and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt. Her doctoral research focuses on the teaching and performance of choral music of Latin America. She was selected as one of eight “Conducting Fellows” making her Carnegie debut Hall in New York at the Transient Glory Conducting Symposium in February 2012, and as one of the five directors for the "2012 Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Conductors Symposium ”. She was also nominated for the "2014 Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting" which was awarded by the Leslie Bell Scholarship Fund and the Ontario Arts Council in Ontario, Canada. She is currently Director of the Music Department of the Faculty of Arts of the Pontificia Javeriana University and is director of the Javeriano Chamber Choir.

March 8-Dr. Lynnel Joy Jenkins is Artistic Director of the Westrick Music Academy and choral teacher at the Timberlane Middle School of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District in Pennington, New Jersey. Dr. Jenkins’ varied conducting and teaching experience ranges from the elementary to collegiate level. Previous to these appointments, she served as Assistant Professor of Music Education at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and Conductor of the Resident Training Choir at the American Boychoir in Princeton, New Jersey. She has also served as Associate Music Director of the Temple University Children’s Choir in Temple University’s Music Preparatory Division and music specialist at the Haverford School in Haverford, Pennsylvania.

Jenkins is a choral music educator of international stature, having lectured and conducted in China, Hong Kong, Iceland, South Africa and Switzerland. She has conducted honor choruses for one national, four divisional and several state conferences for the American Choral Directors Association, two national conferences for the Organization for American Kodály Teachers, numerous all-state choruses and choral festivals, and presented interest sessions and reading sessions for these professional music associations.

She has developed and implemented choral programs inspired by the pedagogy and philosophy of Kodály. Her approach to choral pedagogy is shared in a chapter she wrote for the “School Choral Program: Philosophy, Planning, Organizing, and Teaching” published by GIA. Jenkins has served on the teaching staff for Kodály Certification Programs at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas and Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey.

Jenkins was inducted into the Music Education Alumni Hall of Fame and presented the Alumni Merit Award by Westminster Choir College for her contributions to the field of music education. She earned degrees from Westminster Choir College of Rider University (B.M.), Temple University (M.M.) and University of Arizona (D.M.A.), and at the first two institutions was awarded the Elaine Brown Conducting Award. She holds a certificate in Kodály pedagogy from Westminster Choir College of Rider University and level two Orff-Schulwerk certification.

Described as “a bubbling stream of a voice, remarkably smooth down into a resonant, rich low register” (SF Chronicle), Dr. Ollie Watts Davis earns superlatives wherever she sings. Since her New York debut at Carnegie, she has appeared with many of the nation’s leading orchestras, including the San Francisco, Minnesota, Houston, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Dallas Symphony orchestra; in opera with the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival; the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; Des Moines Metro Opera; Opera Theatre of Springfield; and Illinois Opera Theatre; and internationally for performances and classes in North, Central, and South America; Europe; Africa; and Asia.

Dr. Davis is passionate about performances of historic significance, and has performed in prestigious venues in Pakistan, Costa Rica, France, and throughout the United States. Recent presentations include I’m a Stranger Here Myself, as part of the exhibit, With Firmness in the Right: Lincoln and the Jews at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield (IL), where she also presented The Concert that Shook the Establishment, a re-creation of Marian Anderson’s 1939 Easter morning concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. She completed a residency at the University of Arkansas as a performing artist and master class clinician and was featured in the PBS documentary The Caged Bird Sings, on the life and music of African American composer Florence Price. She has released two recordings as conductor and soprano with the Black Chorus at the University of Illinois and is featured on Rootsongs, with the Jupiter Quartet. These come in addition to her solo recording of spiritual arrangements, Here’s One, which was featured on National Public Radio.

Recent creative activity includes presenting at the National Association of Teachers of Singing 75tth Anniversary Transatlantic Pedagogy Tour to Germany, in addition to concerts and classes in West Virginia, Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, and Chicago. In 2019, she directed the 14th Black Sacred Music Symposium and the 3rd Black Chorus at Illinois Summer Youth Music camp at Illinois. Current year engagements include guest artist appearances in Chicago, Peoria, and Indianapolis; and as Master Teacher for the National Association of Teachers of Singing Intern Program at the University of Dayton (Ohio). In addition to her concert career, Dr. Davis uses her voice for important work as the writer of the mentoring curriculum, Talks My Mother Never Had With Me, and as a passionate mentor for young singers with StudiO: the Ollie Watts Davis Institute for Vocal Arts.

Ollie Watts Davis is the Suzanne and William Allen Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Illinois and serves as Professor of Voice, Provost’s Fellow, and Music Director and Conductor of the Black Chorus. In 2019, she was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award; her second Campus Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2014; the Illinois Student Senate Teaching Excellence Award in 2012; and was named a University Scholar in 2008, one of the highest honors bestowed upon a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois. Other awards include the UI College of Fine and Applied Arts Outstanding Faculty Award, a Recognition Award from the UI Alumni Association, and the Bronze Medallion of Honor by the UI Women’s Association, where she was recognized as a woman who through example and service has used her talents to enrich the lives of others.

Additional awards include the Charles E. Walton Award presented by the Vivian G. Harsh Research Society of the Chicago Public Library for her inestimable contributions in 2016 ; the “Key to the City” for her musical contributions to the cultural life of Champaign, Illinois in 2015; the National Association for the Study and Performance of African American Music National Award in 2013; and the 40 North Lifetime ACE Award in 2012, which honors her accumulated successes for continued, outstanding support of the arts in the Champaign-Urbana community. Dr. Davis is a national honorary member of Sigma Alpha Iota; and holds honorary membership in the National Society of Arts and Letters, and Phi Theta Kappa.

Dr. Andrea Ramsey enjoys an international presence as a composer, conductor, scholar, and music educator. Her teaching experiences range from work with adolescent and children's voices to high school and collegiate voices. She enjoys regular opportunities to conduct all-state and divisional level honor choirs, festival events at Carnegie Hall, and serves as a principal conductor for the Pacific International Young Women's Choral Festival in Eugene, Oregon.

Before leaping into full time composing and guest conducting, Andrea held positions in music education and conducting at The Ohio State University and the University of Colorado, respectively. An ASCAPlus award-winning composer, Andrea believes strongly in the creation of new works. Her compositions are available with traditional publishers and also through MusicSpoke, a digital sheet music marketplace. She enjoys residency collaborations with ensembles and festival choirs, some of which have included: the Allegro Choirs of Kansas City, Ithaca College, and the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans.

As a scholar, she has presented for state, divisional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, the 6th Annual Symposium on Sociology in Music Education, as well as The Phenomenon Singing Symposium in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada. She has co-authored articles published in the Choral Journal, as well as the Journal of Research in Music Education. A native of Arkansas, she has experienced in her own life the power of music to provide a sense of community, better understanding of our humanity, and rich opportunities for self-discovery.

Dr. Peggy Dettwiler is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pennsylvania, where she conducts the Concert Choir, Festival Chorus, and Chamber Singers, and teaches choral conducting and methods. Before coming to Mansfield, she was a graduate assistant conductor to Donald Neuen at the Eastman School of Music, where she received a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Conducting. She also has a Master of Music Degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Master of Music Degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Dettwiler is past president of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the ACDA and is currently serving as the President-Elect for the Eastern Division of the American Choral Directors Association.

Dr. Dettwiler has been a guest conductor and lecturer throughout the United States, working with singers of all ages from university, public school, church, to community choruses. Prior to coming to Mansfield in 1990, she was Director of Choral Activities at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas, and Choral Director at Mt. Horeb High School in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. She has developed two pedagogical DVDs entitled, “Developing a Choral Color Palette” and “Sing in Style,” and has given these presentations at numerous ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) and NAfME (National Association for Music Education) Conventions. Dr. Dettwiler received the 2010 Elaine Brown Award for Choral Excellence from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and was awarded 2nd place both in 2011 and 2013 for The American Prize for Choral Conductors. She made her conducting debut in Carnegie Hall in January of 2014 and presented an interest session at the World Choral Symposium in Seoul, Korea, in August of 2014. Dettwiler received the Presidential Coin for Excellence from General Francis Hendricks, President of Mansfield University and was designated “2015 Honored Artist of the American Prize.” In 2016, she served on the jury for the World Choir Games in Sochi, Russia, and was one of ten conductors from seven countries, who participated in the course, CONDUCTING 21C: Musical Leadership for a New Century, held in Stockholm, Sweden. In January of 2017, Dettwiler served as Artistic Director for the concert, “Of War, Peace, and the Power of Music,” held in Carnegie Hall and sponsored by Performing Arts Educators.

The Mansfield University Concert Choir, which she has conducted for twenty-seven years, has been invited for twenty consecutive years to perform at state, regional, national, or international choral conventions. In 2008, the Concert Choir won the World Championship in the Gospel & Spiritual Category at the World Choir Games in Graz, Austria. In 2011, the Concert Choir won first place and two second-place prizes at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales, and was awarded the 2011 American Prize in Choral Performance for the College/University Division. In 2012, the Concert Choir won three gold medals at the World Choir Games in Cincinnati, Ohio, including second place in the Mixed Youth Choir Category. In 2014, the Choir gave their debut performance in Carnegie Hall as a part of the Performing Arts Educators 8th-Annual Invitational, and received three gold medals, including 2nd and 3rd place awards at the 2014 World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia. The Concert Choir has performed in sixteen countries during their seven European Tours.

Rebecca Rottsolk is the Artistic Director of RainShadow Chorale on the Olympic Peninsula. She served as artistic director for the Northwest Girlchoir from 1982 until 2001, building the Choir into one of the most respected youth choral organizations in America. Now retired, Rebecca frequently presents workshops on girls’ voices, conducting and rehearsal techniques, inspirational teaching and techniques for maximizing performance. She enjoys a national reputation as guest conductor and clinician, conducting many all-state and regional festival choruses including 2010 California Women’s All-State Choir, 2008 Indiana Women’s All-State Choir, 2007 Choral Perspectives, 2006 Colorado Women’s All-State Choir, 2006 NWACDA Children’s Honor Choir, 2006 Idaho All-State Children’s Choir, 2005 Texas MEA Women’s All-State Choir and the 2002 & 2004 Pacific International Children’s Choir Festivals.

Rottsolk adjudicates for Heritage Festivals and Worlds of Fun Festivals and edits a choral series for Alliance Music Publications. She currently conducts two adult community choirs on the Olympic Peninsula and is the director of Mirinesse Women’s Choir in Seattle. Mirinesse was honored to perform at the 2009 National ACDA Convention in Oklahoma City. Rebecca Rottsolk received her Bachelors of Music from St. Olaf College, her M.A. from Pacific Lutheran University, and her CME Artist-Teacher diploma in 1992. The 1997 recipient of the Washington ACDA Award for choral leadership, Ms. Rottsolk also served as National R&S chair for Children’s choirs from 1998-2004.

Dr. Susan Brumfield is Professor of Music Education at Texas Tech University, and holds a Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Oklahoma. She is known throughout the United States and Europe as a clinician, consultant, author, composer, arranger and choral conductor. Dr. Brumfield is the author Jean Ritchie'sKentucky Mother Goose, a book and CD memoir with American folk legend Jean Ritchie, which features rare and never-before-seen illustrations by Maurice Sendak.

Other publications include Hot Peas and Barley-O: Children's Songs and Games from Scotland and Over the Garden Wall: Children's Songs and Games from England. Dr. Brumfield is currently working on Giro Giro Tondo: Children's Songs and Games from Italy. She is a contributing author for John Jacobson's Music Express Magazine and McGraw Hill's Music Studio.

An internationally recognized expert in the Kodály approach, Dr. Brumfield is the author of First, We Sing! Kodály-Inspired Teaching in the Music Classroom (Hal Leonard), a set of Kodály-based of curriculum and resource materials for K-5 music. This comprehensive series includes the Teacher's Guide, Teaching Strategies for Primary Grades, Teaching Strategies for Intermediate Grades, Practice Activities for Rhythmic and Melodic Elements and First, We Sing: Songbooks One and Songbook Two. Forthcoming volumes include Songbook Three, Active Listening in the Music Classroom and Songs for Reading and Writing. Other ancillary materials include applications for interactive whiteboard, student workbooks and classroom materials.

Founder and Artistic Director of The West Texas Children's Chorus, Dr. Brumfield is also in frequent demand throughout the world as a commissioned composer and guest conductor. Her choral music is published with Hal Leonard Music, Colla Voce Music and BriLee/Carl Fischer, and includes more than forty titles. With four choirs consisting of singers from Kindergarten through college, the West Texas Children's Chorus organization serves children throughout the South Plains area, and serves as a teaching lab for TTU Music Education students. In addition to performances with the Texas Tech University Choirs, the Lubbock Chorale and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, the choirs have performed at the Texas Music Educators' Conference, national conferences of the Organization of American Kodály Educators and the Amerian Orff Schulwerk Association, and has been featured in concerts at Carnegie Hall and other prestigious venues in NYC. The choir travels throughout the US on its bi-annual tours. For more information about The West Texas Children's Chorus, please visit www.wtccsings.com.

Dr. Brumfield was honored in both 2012 and 2014 with the Texas Tech University College of Visual and Performing Arts Award for Outstanding Research, and as a two-time finalist for the President's Book Award. In 2015, Dr. Brumfield was the recipient of the Louisiana Tech University Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award.

Tuesday March 9-Cheryl Dupont is the Artistic Director of the New Orleans Children's Chorus and Youth Chorale. Although she is known throughout the United States for her work with children's choirs, Cheryl is equally experienced at working with mixed choirs on the high school, college and adult levels. She previously taught at Benjamin Franklin High School for thirteen years and served as Interim Director of Choral Activities at the University of New Orleans for the 1999-2000 academic year. Mrs. Dupont has also served as an Instructor of Voice at the University of New Orleans, Womens' Chorus Director at Loyola University of the South, and as Associate Conductor of the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans. Other experience includes teaching and conducting on the elementary level and in churches. Her choirs have won numerous awards in music festivals throughout the South, and have appeared at state and regional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association (Savannah in 1992, Knoxville in 1994, and Orlando in 2000), the national convention of the Organization of American Kodaly Educators in 1998, and several times at Carnegie Hall. The New Orleans Children's Chorus toured Italy in the summer of 1996 under her direction and made their solo debut at Carnegie Hall in New York in June of 1997.

Mrs. Dupont is in demand as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator. She has conducted all-state choirs or other statewide festivals in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Kentucky and New Jersey, and conducts frequently in Louisiana, Florida and other southeastern states.

She holds the Bachelor of Music Education degree in Piano and Voice and the Master of Music Education degree in Conducting Performance, both from Loyola University of the South, and the Artist-Teacher Diploma from the Choral Music Experience Institute. She is now a Teaching Associate for the Choral Music Experience Institute, working in the field of advanced training of choral teacher/conductors. Cheryl is the director of the Choral Music Experience certification course held annually in North Carolina. In addition, she is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Crescent City Choral Festival, an annual choral festival for children throughout the United States, which is in its fifth successful year.

Mrs. Dupont has assumed many leadership roles on the district level of the Louisiana Music Educators Association. An active member of the American Choral Directors Association, she served from 1993- 1999 as Southern Division Repertoire and Standards Chairperson on the National Committee on Children's Choirs. She is the founder and chairperson of the Louisiana ACDA Elementary All-State Honor Chorus. Cheryl is a member of the Organization of American Kodaly Educators and was selected for inclusion in "Who's Who Among American Teachers." She presently serves as President of the Association for Choral Music Education.

A native of Washington, DC, Dr. Diane White-Clayton holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in music composition from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a B.A. degree in music from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri with emphases in composition, voice, and piano. As a rotary scholar, she studied classical piano at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, performing solo gospel concerts throughout Europe as an Ambassador of Goodwill.

Affectionately known as “Dr. Dee,” Diane travels extensively as a vocalist, pianist, composer, conductor, workshop clinician, and speaker. She has held numerous positions at universities, colleges and churches across the country including Artistic Director with the Washington Performing Arts Society; Artist-in-Residence and Assistant Director of African-American Student Development at Appalachian State University; Artist-in-Residence at Westmont College; Composer-in-Residence at Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Scholar-in-Residence at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa; Loyola Marymount University; and Choral Conductor at the New Christ Memorial Church under legendary gospel great, Pastor Andraé Crouch. For thirteen years, she was a choral conductor at the 6,000-member Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, California under the headship of internationally esteemed, Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, where she founded the acclaimed Sacred Praise Chorale.

Dr. Dee works as a vocal clinician consultant with the Disney Performing Arts Conservatory in Anaheim, California. Possessing a three-and-a-half octave range, Diane weaves her high operatic soprano voice with her soulful gospel roots in her self-produced recordings. As a composer, her works have been performed at such venues as the John F. Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, with her most popular piece being a choral work entitled “Clap Praise” which has been featured across the globe. Whether arrangements of African, Korean or African-American folk songs, her arrangement of the Hatikvah, her atonal classical works, or her inspirational sacred or gospel songs, Dr. Dee’s compositions and performances demonstrate a mélange of the power of gospel music, the technique of classical music and the colors of jazz.

An inspirational speaker and author, Dr. Dee combines an inviting genuineness with humor, eloquence and faith. Dr. Dee is a member of the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles. She is founder and CEO of BYTHAX, a company committed to supporting artists in sacred and in secular arenas, through Christian counsel, mentoring, and networking with publishing, workshops, vocal coaching and live performances. She is the artistic director of the famed Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers, known for their international influence as classical performers of Negro Spirituals. And she is the founding director of “Dr. Dee & the BYTHAX Ensemble,” a gifted, musically-diverse, professional vocal ensemble. BYTHAX stands for “Bringing You Talented, Heavenly-minded Artists with eXcellence!” Diane is the author of “Journey to the Altar,” an encouragement for single women who are waiting for that special love, inspired by her own story. Diane is happily married to her best friend and business partner, Joe Louis Clayton, former recording and touring Motown R&B percussionist.

Dr. Nicole Lamartine strives in every musical experience to illuminate meaning and impact of the commonalities of being human. She is passionate about creating innovative, engaging, diverse, and meaningful choral performances for ensemble members and audiences alike. As the Sorensen Director of Choral Music at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Dr. Lamartine conducts the flagship choir, UCSB Chamber Choir, integrates relevancy into graduate choral studies at the MM and DMA levels for 21st century conductors, and teaches studio conducting and voice.

As a clinician and guest conductor of three international honor choirs and nine All-State choirs, Dr. Lamartine seeks to positively impact the next generation of choral musicians all over the world. An avid champion for music education, she has headlined music conferences in the US and Hong Kong and is a recognized expert in females conducting male choirs, rehearsal technique, and anatomy and movement for conductors. Her YouTube channel, “The Choral Eye,” contains self-produced videos written as a resource for choral musicians and educators. Dr. Lamartine has had abundant opportunity to commission and premiere new works from leading composers. It is imperative to bring the experience to her students of bringing a new piece to life under the guidance of the living composer.

She conducts Chor Anno (Washington) providing choral music educators in the NW a creative outlet for ensemble singing. An active performer, she has sung professionally with Conspirare, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and Colorado Bach Ensemble. As a voice teacher committed to building marketable skill, Dr. Lamartine’s students have been admitted to prestigious doctoral programs and sung on stages in Europe and the US. She is an active vocal adjudicator and has given masterclasses across the US.

Prior to joining the UCSB faculty, from 2008-2020 Dr. Lamartine was Professor and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wyoming where her choirs were honored to sing at several national and regional conferences and where she won the University of Wyoming’s highest teaching award, the Ellbogen Award for Meritorious Classroom Teaching. In service to the profession, Dr. Lamartine has served the American Choral Directors Association as President of the Northwestern region. She holds world, national, and state records in powerlifting, demonstrating that creativity is intertwined with strength of body and mind.

International Conducting: 2018 TAISM Honor Choir, Muscat, Oman, 2017 UW Collegiate Chorale in the Tolosa Choral Contest, Spain, 2017 AMIS Men’s Honor Choir, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2016 Visiting Conductor, Beijing Conservatory, China, 2014 DoDDS Mixed Honor Choir, Wiesbaden, Germany, 2014 Visiting Conductor, International Conductor Exchange Program, Beijing, China

Conference Headliner: 2020 Conference Headliner, AMIS Music Educators conference, Hong Kong, 2020 Washington Music Educators Association, Yakima

All-State and Regional Conducting: 2021 Idaho Mixed All-State Choir, 2020 Oregon Middle TB All-State Choir, 2019 Colorado Middle TB All-State Choir, 2018 Minnesota TTBB All-State Choir, 2017 Oregon Men’s All-State Choir, 2017 Alaska Mixed All-State Choir, 2016 Washington SSAA All-State Choir, 2016 Montana Mixed All-State Choir, 2014 NW ACDA Men’s Honor Choir, Seattle, 2014 Wyoming Mixed All-State Choir

Commissions and Premiers by: Craig Hella Johnson, Libby Larsen, Jennifer Higdon, Gerard Schwarz, Forrest Pierce, Gabriela Lena Frank, John Muehleisen, Karen Thomas

Conference performances with University of Wyoming Choirs: 2020, NW ACDA: Collegiate Chorale, 2017, NW NAfME: Collegiate Chorale, 2015, NW NAfME: The UW Singing Statesmen, 2012, NW ACDA: The UW Singing Statesmen, 2011, NCCO: Collegiate Chorale, 2011, NW NAfME: Collegiate Chorale

Research Interests: Anatomy and Physiology, Mental Focus, Rehearsal Technique, Females Conducting TTBB (Men’s) Choirs

Professional Singing: Conspirare, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Colorado Bach Ensemble

Service: President, NW American Choral Directors Association (2016-2018), President, Wyoming ACDA (2009-2013), National Board, National Collegiate Choral Organization

Dr. Jing Ling-Tam is a professor of music who has garnered international recognition in North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Ling-Tam has conducted over 35 All-State Choirs and numerous American Choral Directors Association national and divisional honor choirs. An innovative and much sought after clinician/master teacher, she has been featured as a headliner at prestigious international, national, regional, and state choral conferences.

As director of choral studies at the University of Texas at Arlington, her choirs performed at national and regional ACDA conferences, Texas Music Educators Association Conferences, and toured in the US, Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Austria. Ling-Tam served as associate conductor, chorus master, and principal coach pianist for the Ft. Worth Opera Association for 16 seasons, and was on the faculty at the American Institute of Musical Studies, Graz, Austria for 11 summers.

Ling-Tam’s other credits include conducting the Taipei Symphony, the Coro de Madrigalistas of Mexico, and presenting workshops and lectures for the Children’s Palaces of NingBo, Xiamen and GuangZho in China; Festival 500, the Ontario Vocal Festival & Choral Conductors' Symposium, Podium 2008, the 2006 International Youth Choral Festival, and the 2007 and 2009 Salzburg Pedagogical Institute Winter Workshops. Ling-Tam also served on juries for the 2007 Third World Children's Choral Festival, , the Spittal an der Drau 45th International Choral Competition in Austria, and the 2008 World Choir Games in Austria.

She conducted the 2010 Australian National Choral Association’s Honor Choir and was a member of the international jury for the 2010 World Choir Games in China. Ling-Tam serves on the board of Chorus America.

Kim Nazarian is a world renowned performing Grammy nominated jazz artist, educator and clinician. Besides her work as a sought-after solo vocalist, she has been performing all over the world with the vocal group “New York Voices“ (NYV) for more than 30 years. She is a jazz voice teacher via Skype for Vocal Jazz Majors at Ithaca College and she shares her perspectives on music and life as a musician through teaching private students in clinics, workshops, jazz camps and masterclasses, as well as through festival adjudication and guest conducting for singers on all levels in the US and abroad.

Nazarian was recognized as one of the top 50 most influential Armenian artists in 2012 and inducted into her High School’s Hall of Fame. She is the lead vocalist for the Latin influenced jazz ensemble “El Eco“, led by Argentinian drummer and composer Guillermo Nojechowicz, and sang as a guest vocalist on the latest CD of Gabriel Espinosa in 2018.

Besides many recordings of NYV, Kim Nazarian can be heard in many different projects as a soloist. In 2015 she released her solo CD entitled “Some Morning“ with remarkable guests including Paquito D’Rivera, Gary Burton, John Pizzarelli and Sean Jones. Her record was met with critical acclaim stating: “This set sets the gold standard for Jazz vocalists“ from Midwest Records, Chris Spector and Best Jazz Vocal CD 2015 from W. Royal Stokes, Jazz Historian and Critic.

Kim is proud to be one of the featured voices on Bobby McFerrin’s “VOCAbuLarieS“ CD that gathered three Grammy nominations. She also collaborated with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and the Manchester Craftman’s Guild on a concert tour dedicated to the late, great Ella Fitzgerald.

Nazarian’s work as a lyricist can be heard on the NYV CD’s and in other projects throughout the world, e.g. with Brazilian composer Ivan Lins and the Metropole Orchestra. Most notably, Nazarian wrote “World of Possibilities“, the title track to the accompanying CD of Bill Strickland’s best selling book “Making the Impossible Possible“.

Kim Nazarian is a dedicated teacher of vocal technique and the art of ensemble singing and a highly valued clinician at numerous vocal festivals, including all over Europe. She has been representing the USA as a judge for the International A Cappella Competition “vokal.total” in Graz, Austria since 2011 and was a member of the 2017 jury at Vocal Asia. Touring the globe over the last 30 years, Kim Nazarian has given concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, to name a select few. Furthermore, Kim has conducted several All State Choirs in the US for NY, Arizona, Colorado, Washington and Maine. Kim Nazarian is a magna cum laude graduate of Ithaca College and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. When not making music, she loves to be home in Oberlin, Ohio with her husband and son on her 6.5-acre farm…….cooking and gardening.

Dr. Angela Kasper was recently hired at Western Washington University where she teaches four choirs and undergraduate courses in choral methods and global music traditions. Before this appointment, she was Director of Choral Activities at the University of St. Thomas for 20 years and Westminster College in Pennsylvania for six years.

After serving in Director of Choral Activities positions and fulfilling the expectations of these positions as per university and professional guidelines, Dr. Kasper has returned to her first love: choral pedagogy. She is rediscovering and redefining for herself what makes a meaningful choral experience and how best to place this evolving view at the center of her work with her own choirs and the professional development opportunities she provides for other choral educators. No longer bound to a choral ideal that was espoused during her own university education, Angie is exploring the choral community as a place to expand cultural awareness while experiencing the world’s group singing traditions. Collaboration with culture bearers and traveling abroad for her own study help her realize how little she knows about the vast subject she teaches!

Dr. Kasper is passionate about sharing what she has learned over the course of her career with other practicing choral teachers. In her work with master’s degree students, she hopes to empower young conductors to recognize and celebrate their unique strengths while encouraging them to lead with authenticity and vulnerability. In teaching undergraduate music education students, her goal is to help these future educators understand that collaborative choral rehearsals with ample time for student voice, student leadership, and student input into artistic interpretation are a much more enjoyable and just approach to ensemble music making than is the podium-driven model.

Angie is so fortunate to have met and worked with many young people while conducting honor choirs throughout the United States and abroad. Whether it be fourth graders in Indiana or high school students in the United Arab Emirates, she considers every experience to be a reminder of our shared humanity and the power of music to unite us. As she continues this work, Dr. Kasper is focused on inclusive enrichment activities that can serve all students regardless of economic status and experiential level.

Angie is forever grateful to all her teachers and mentors, including Dr. Mary Goetze, Mr. Robert Porco, Dr. Dennis Shrock, Dr. Karen Howard, Julie Schnepel, Dr. Jean Sinor, Shekela Wanyama, and Tim Fitzpatrick. Mostly though, she is grateful for her mom who gave up her own dream of being a choral director in order to raise a family in a manner that would allow her daughter to realize that dream instead.

March 10-This season marks Elise Bradley’s eleventh year as Artistic Director of the 300-member Toronto Children’s Chorus. A passionate musician, award-winning conductor and educator, and internationally respected adjudicator and clinician, Ms. Bradley served for many years as the Head of Department, Music, at Westlake Girls’ High School in Auckland, New Zealand. She was also a soloist and member of New Zealand’s national Chamber Choir, Voices NZ.Since arriving in Toronto in 2007, Ms. Bradley has garnered praise for her artistry and for her deep commitment to children and the art of treble choral music. She has led the Chamber Choir on eight international tours – Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany (2009), Brazil and Argentina (2011), Sweden (2012), South Africa (2013), Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland (2015), Boston and New York City (2016), Bahamas (2016) and Spain, to perform at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona (2017) – and three provincial tours: Ottawa (2012), Montreal and Ottawa (2013), and Halifax, Truro, and Amherst (2014). In late June 2018, she will travel with the Chamber Choir to St. John’s, Newfoundland, to perform once again at ‘Podium’, Choral Canada’s biennial national conference.

Under her direction, the choir’s latest CD, Sounzscapes: From Our Lands, was named ‘Outstanding Choral Recording’ by Choral Canada in 2014. She has also commissioned Canadian composers to write new works to be premiered by the Toronto Children’s Chorus and has prepared the Main Choir to perform as guests of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Youth Orchestra, Opera Atelier, the Bach Consort, Soundstreams, and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

Ms. Bradley receives many invitations to work with choirs and present at conferences around the world, including Choralfest 2017 hosted by the Australian National Choral Association (Brisbane), Dozan wa Awtar children’s choir (Amman, Jordan), the inaugural New Zealand National Children’s Choir (Auckland), the IFCM World Choral Expo (Macau, China), Kokopelli Choirs (Edmonton, Alberta), and Gondwana Voices (Sydney, Australia). In August 2017, she was honoured to be invited by Choirs Ontario to serve as conductor the Ontario Youth Choir during its celebrated tour to Ottawa, Cobourg, and Toronto, and next March she looks forward to adjudicating and conducting choirs in Hong Kong.

Dr. Kiana Day Williams (‘05 BME, '08 MME) is an Assistant Professor of Music/Director of Choirs at Texas Southern University, where along with teaching lecture courses and Applied Voice, she conducts the TSU University Choir as well as the TSU Concert Chorale. Prior to TSU, Dr. Williams served as Director of Fine Arts at the historic Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston, TX, where her responsibilities ranged from leading Praise & Worship during worship services, conducting four of the church’s nine choral ensembles, directing the church’s community orchestra, and producing the church’s Christmas and Easter theatrical productions.

A native of Jackson, MS and 2001 graduate of Callaway High School, Dr. Kiana Day Williams graduated Magna cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music Education with Piano emphasis degree from JSU and went on to receive a Master of Music Education with Vocal Emphasis from JSU, graduating with a 4.0 GPA. She has also received the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Music Education with a Minor in Choral Conducting from the University of Houston in Houston, TX (’18).

During her tenure as a student at JSU, Dr. Williams was a dedicated member of the Sonic Boom of the South Marching Band and JSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble, student conductor for the JSU University Choir and Concert Chorale, an inaugural member of the Lady Tigers Soccer Team, Chaplain for the Gamma Rho chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and was honored by her peers to be selected to reign as Miss Jackson State University 2004-2005.

Kiana’s teaching career began in Jackson, MS at Forest Hill High School where as Director of Choral Activities at Forest Hill High School, she rebuilt a struggling choral program and created a musical theatre curriculum, ultimately resulting in multiple superior-rated choral ensembles from 2006-2008. Additionally, during her tenure at Forest Hill, Kiana served as an arranger for the school’s marching band.

Upon moving to Houston, TX, Dr. Williams served as Lecturer of Music in the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston from 2008-2017, teaching courses for music majors and non-majors. She was also choral director at G.W. Carver High School for Technology, Engineering, and Performing Arts in Aldine ISD for the 2013-14 school year, with the Women’s Varsity Choir receiving superior ratings at the state level of choral competition. Dr. Williams also served as Music Director and Orchestra Leader for the school’s 2014 production of Lin Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, which received the 2014 Tommy Tune Award for Best Orchestra.

Along with music teaching, Dr. Williams has served as a Program Manager for Houston Grand Opera as well as a Community Music Director at Theater Under the Stars (TUTS). A stellar vocal performer in her own right, Dr. Williams performs often at various venues and events in Houston, including being the guest artist at House of Blues’ World Famous Gospel Brunch and performing the National Anthem for Black Heritage Night at the 2018 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo held in NRG Stadium. Dr. Williams lives in Humble, TX with her husband Calvin Williams, 2-year-old son Arian Noah and 15-month-old daughter Ariah Noelle.

Dr. Mary Hopper, Professor of Choral Music and Director of Performance Studies at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, conducts the Wheaton College Men’s Glee Club and the Women’s Chorale and is a frequent conductor for the Wheaton Opera production. Both of her choirs have appeared on ACDA conferences. The Women’s Chorale has been invited to sing at two National Conferences (Salt Lake City and New York City) and four Central Division Conferences. The Men’s Glee Club appeared on an Illinois ACDA State Fall Conference and Illinois Music Educator’s Conference under Dr. Hopper’s leadership.

Dr. Hopper is currently the National President for ACDA and was the conference chair for the ACDA 2015 National Conference in Salt Lake City. She has served ACDA on the state and division levels as Central Division Women’s Choir R & S Chair, Illinois State Treasurer, Illinois State President and Central Division President. Dr. Hopper holds degrees from Wheaton College and the University of Iowa, where she studied with Don V. Moses. Before coming to Wheaton, Dr. Hopper taught both junior high and high school choral music in the Chicago area and choral conducting and voice at the University of Minnesota (Morris).

Also an active church musician, she presently serves as Minister of Music at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Warrenville, IL. Most of Dr. Hopper’s research and publications have dealt with repertoire and women’s choirs. She co-authored the article “Teaching with Standards: Repertoire in the Age of Glee” published in the Choral Journal February 2011. She presented an interest session at the National ACDA Conference in 2011 titled “Expanding the Repertoire: Uncovering a Neglected American Music Genre: Black Composers Writing for Women’s Voices.” As a result of this research, the Wheaton College Women’s Chorale produced a recording of music for women’s voices by Black composers titled “Lead Gently, Lord.”

Dr. Hopper has contributed a chapter on “Community in Women’s Choirs” to Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success published by GIA. She has been honored by Wheaton College with a Senior Teaching Achievement Award and the Distinguished Service of Alma Mater Award. In 2014 Illinois ACDA awarded Dr. Hopper the Harold A. Decker Award in recognition and appreciation of the significant contribution she has made to choral music.

Bishop Chantel R. Wright is an internationally celebrated choir director and the founder of Pneuma Ministries International. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Bishop Wright started her career as an award-winning choral conductor and received her formal education at Vander Cook College of Music, where she earned her BA degree in Music Education. As part of her undergraduate studies, Bishop Wright had the privilege of studying in London, England, with Ian Pleeth and traveled throughout Europe as a soloist. She started her professional career in Atlanta, Georgia, where she served on the music staff of Ebenezer Baptist Church — home of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – and as an educator in Dekalb County Public Schools. After seven years of service, Bishop Wright relocated to New York City and hit the ground running as the new Director of the Girls’ Choir of Harlem. Bishop Wright lent her talents to working with the youth of Queens, New York, as the Artistic Director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra Youth Gospel Choir, an honor bestowed on few women.

Chantel gained valuable experience as an orchestral conductor, which then inspired her to establish her own non-profit organization, Songs of Solomon: An Inspirational Ensemble, Inc. Almost immediately, Songs of Solomon flourished and was soon featured on major television networks and went on to win at competitions often times competing against adults. The Songs of Solomon ensemble also had the privilege of sharing the stage with American Idol winners, Kelly Clarkson and Fantasia Barrino, and served for five years at the US Tennis Open. Under Chantel’s leadership, The Songs of Solomon ensemble also performed with award winning recording artist, Elton John at Radio City Music Hall, sang with opera great, Jessye Norman at the Greenbrier Country Club. Jessye Norman was also the curator of the Honor Choral Music Festival conducted by Dr. Craig Jessop at the world famous Carnegie Hall, where today, the Ensemble is a mainstay. The ensemble has worked tirelessly over the past eighteen years under Chantel’s guidance and has garnered national and international acclaim.

Songs of Solomon was the featured chorus for the musical “Violet” on the Tony Awards. Songs of Solomon was selected to be a part of the inaugural Lip Sync Battle with Jimmy Fallon on network television. Having recently completing their recording project, “Variations of the War Cry,” Songs of Solomon is actively engaged across the United States and abroad as ambassadors of love. The Ensemble has been selected to present the work of 22nd Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, I Will Tell You the Truth from her book of poetry, Wade in the Water. The letters that were written by slaves and former slaves will be debuted at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Being totally committed to the spiritual, intellectual and artistic growth of today’s youth, Chantel knows that the only way to shape a generation of spirited, world class musicians is to work in conjunction with the education system. She then went on to establish The Songs of Solomon Academy for the Arts – an organization that directly serves New York City students in leadership, instrumental, vocal music appreciation. Since its inception, the program has given an impressive number of students from the Tri-State area, performance opportunities that rival professional artists around the world. The Academy maintained an artistic partnership with Professional Performing Arts School, the Harlem School of the Arts and now serves students at the elementary school level. As part of Chantel’s love for young people, she has also been actively involved in secured detention centers in the New York area and has continued to work with Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections project for youth in detention centers. To date Songs of Solomon have been consistently for the past four years were awarded the Neon Arts grant through the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice and Probation. Through “Let’s Burn: Culinary Arts Explosion, Debutante Cotillion and Songwriting Workshops, justice involved youth are equipped with real time experiences that better equip them to move back into the community. Chantel’s Songs of Solomon Academy for the Arts plans to implement The Sounds of Hope Chorale — a trial choral program aimed at fostering an appreciation for music and creating a safe haven for detained youth in secured and unsecured detention centers in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan. The Chorale is poised to roll out the program nationally. Bishop Wright is often times found at the table when conversations are taking place that shape the most viable outcomes for the underserved and justice involved.

Bishop Wright has been sought out as a choral clinician nationally and internationally. For two consecutive years as the choir master for the Harare International Festival of the Arts in South Africa, as well as the Roma Gospel Festival in Rome, Italy. Chantel is a mainstay at the Ithaca Gospel Music Festival and is now presenting the Gospel at colleges and universities in the United States. As an initiative for aspiring artist, the government of the island of Bermuda engaged Chantel to do a series of workshops and a culminating festival. Most recently, Bishop Wright served at the Fede Gospel Festival in Barcelona, Spain.

Chantel is a recipient of the New York Times Teachers Who Matters Most Award, The Ebony Ecumenical Ensemble Community Service Award, and the Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist Community Service Award and is a member of the Riverside Club for Education. Recipient of a service award from The Administration for Child Services.

Chantel remains committed to building a literate music community, and also lends her time to the vocal music department of the Steinhardt School of Music at the New York University since 2008. She has recently joined the team at SAG-AFSTRA as the East Coast Sight-Singing Director, and continues her efforts to lift students and music teachers through her work with Metropolitan Opera. Moreover, she serves young people nationally and internationally through the arts organization partnerships, her uncompromised passion to see humanity win.

The highest calling in her life is to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As a licensed and ordained Bishop, within the Christ Centered Ministries Assembly, she is responsible for Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Utah. Bishop Wright has established Pneuma Ministries, International where peoples’ lives are being changed. She was anointed by the late Kenneth H. Moales Sr. and opened the church and preached her first sermon simultaneously. In addition to her work in Harlem, she is a minister for the nations with the Wednesday night Pentecost Service where worshipers from all over the world converge for a blessing from God. Bishop Wright facilitates Safe Conversations workshops all over the country to enable dialogue that yield solutions to deep conflict. She is a Choral Union president of the Thomas Dorsey National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses where she is on the national board of directors, and can also be found on WLIB as the host of “The Hour of Power.” Bishop Chantel R. Wright resides in New York City.

Dr. Pamela Elrod Huffman’s conducting career spans all levels – from elementary and secondary schools to university, symphonic, and church choirs – and has included positions in Texas, New York, Illinois and Georgia. Since 2007, Dr. Huffman has served as the director of choral activities at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, where she oversees the M.M. Choral Conducting program and directs the University’s choral ensembles.

An accomplished vocalist, Huffman has appeared as a guest artist with numerous university, professional, community and church choirs throughout the country. From 1988 until 1999, she sang with the late Robert Shaw, performing and recording with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, the Robert Shaw Choral Institutes, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and the Atlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus. Since 2003 she has been a member of the Grammy Award-winning professional choral ensemble, Conspirare, under the direction of Craig Hella Johnson.

Huffman regularly serves as a choral clinician and adjudicator in Texas and throughout the United States. In addition, she is a sought-after workshop clinician, particularly in the area of the choral techniques of Robert Shaw. Her articles on Shaw’s warm-ups and rehearsal techniques can be found on the website dedicated to the late maestro, http://robertshaw.website/yyy Huffman holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Texas at Austin and a D.M.A. in choral conducting from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. She is a member of TCDA, TMEA, ACDA, NCCO, Chorus America and Pi Kappa Lambda, and is Past President of TCDA.

Education: D.M.A. in Choral Conducting, University of Illinois, 2001, M.M. in Choral Conducting, University of Texas at Austin, 1982, B.M. in Music Education, University of Texas at Austin, 1979

Research: Hull House Music School; Eleanor Smith (composer, music educator); Chicago choral music, 19th and early 20th centuries; Robert Shaw rehearsal techniques

Professional Experience: Over 30 years of conducting and teaching experience at all academic levels; professional singer

Teaching: Meadows Chorale; Meadows Concert Choir; Diva Dolce; graduate choral conducting; graduate choral literature; graduate choral techniques

Publications: Essential Building Blocks: The Rehearsal Techniques of Robert Shaw, The Choral Warm-ups of Robert Shaw

Dr. Deanna Joseph is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at the Georgia State University School of Music where she conducts the University Singers and leads the master’s program in choral conducting. In 2015, she was the recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Outstanding Teacher Award at Georgia State, where she was selected out of a pool of over 800 faculty. A recent review of her work states, “[t]he choir sings with great musicality, excellent intonation, clear diction, and a healthy and beautiful pallet of tone colors…” (The Choral Scholar).

In May of 2017, the University Singers under Dr. Joseph’s leadership won first place in the renowned Marktoberdorf International Chamber Choir Competition while on a concert tour of Austria and Bavaria. In May of 2013, the University Singers competed in La Florilège Vocal de Tours where the choir placed second overall in the mixed choir category and Dr. Joseph was honored with the Prix du chef de choer (conducting prize). The Georgia State University Singers have been invited to perform at two Southern Division conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and at two conventions of the Georgia Music Educator’s Association during Dr. Joseph’s tenure at GSU, and the Georgia State University Choirs have been hired to sing two productions of David Bintley’s Carmina Burana with the Atlanta Ballet: in 2013 (North American premiere performances) and 2017. The choir’s professional recording, Evening Hymn (Gothic Records), is distributed internationally by Naxos and is available for purchase or streaming on all the major music distribution outlets including Amazon, Spotify, iTunes, etc. The American Record Guide review states “There are no runts in the repertory litter…[and] [t]he Georgia State choir of 40 is very good at all of it: radiant as dusk approaches, but hushed and sensitive to the coming darkness as shadows deepen and fall.” The disk has been featured several times on National Public Radio’s program, With Heart and Voice.

Dr. Joseph is an active guest conductor and headline clinician and has conducted all-state and honor choirs in more than twelve states. She is a frequent conductor of choral-orchestral repertoire and has led performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven Mass in C, Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Creation and Lord Nelson Mass, Schubert’s Mass in A-flat and Bruckner’s Mass in D Minor. She has prepared choirs to sing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Opera, and Andrea Bocelli. One of her small ensembles was featured on a 2016 episode of “The Walking Dead”.

Dr. Joseph’s research in the area of 19th-century choral-orchestral performance-practice has led to invited presentations on the topic at several division conferences of the American Choral Director’s Association and at the national convention for the National Collegiate Choral Organization. In October of 2012, she was selected as one of 25 presenters from ten countries to speak at the Lund Choral Festival in Sweden.

Prior to her appointment at Georgia State University, Dr. Joseph served on the faculties at Smith College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Dr. Joseph holds conducting degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where she was awarded the Walter Hagen Conducting Prize. She is the founder and artistic director of the Atlanta Summer Conducting Institute (ASCI), a weeklong, summer conducting master class that draws conductors from across the country.

March 11-Dr. Zanaida Stewart Robles is a fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion in music education and performance. Authentic interpersonal connection and relationship-building are core principles of her teaching and performance methods. Born, raised, and educated in Southern California, she is in demand as a vocalist, conductor, clinician and adjudicator for competitions, festivals, and conferences related to choral and solo vocal music. She serves on the national

board of the National Association of Negro Musicians and is chair of the board of directors of Tonality, a non-profit organization that promotes peace, unity, and social justice through choral music performance in Los Angeles. Zanaida holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the USC Thornton School of Music, a Master of Music degree from CSU Northridge, a Bachelor of Music degree from CSU Long Beach, and she is a graduate of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.

As a performing arts instructor at Harvard-Westlake Upper School in Studio City, CA, Dr. Robles conducts the Chamber Singers, Jazz Singers, Bel Canto Treble Choir, and Wolverine Chorus for tenors and basses. She is also the director of music at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena, CA where she oversees the Neighborhood Chorus, Neighborhood Bells, and the new Neighborhood Youth Choir. Dr. Robles served for 5 years as music director for “Project Messiah” with Street Symphony – an organization that engages communities directly affected by homelessness and incarceration in LA County through performances, workshops and teaching artistry. While studying at the University of Southern California (USC), she conducted the USC Thornton University Chorus for two years. Prior to this, she worked at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) for 7 years where she was the director of classical choirs and taught vocal fundamentals, sight singing, and music theory. Under her direction, the LACHSA Classical Choirs performed for numerous festivals, concerts, and special events at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and in other venues throughout Southern California.

As a concert soprano soloist, studio vocalist for film and television, and professional ensemble singer, Dr. Robles has sung throughout the United States, and in parts of Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. Her film, television, and video game credits include “Glee,” “Tinkerbell: Pirate Fairy,” “Godzilla,” “Minions,” “Creed,” Lego Movie,” “Despicable Me 3,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Venom,” “Smallfoot,” “Frozen 2,” “Underwater,” “Mulan,” and “Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War.”

Since coming to Reinhardt University in fall 2012, Dr. Martha Shaw has led the University’s choral programs to new heights of excellence, just as she did in her previous position at another Georgia university and in her role as artistic director of Spivey Hall Children’s Choir Program. This spring Dr. Shaw received the Reinhardt University United Methodist Exemplary Teaching Award. The award, voted on by her faculty colleagues throughout the University, goes to a faculty member who exemplifies excellence in teaching; civility and concern for students and colleagues; commitment to values-centered education; and, service to students, the institution and the community. A graduate of Shorter College (BME), University of Tennessee (MS) and the University of South Carolina (DMA in Conducting), Martha Shaw is a highly regarded clinician and guest conductor through the U.S. and around the world. Thank you, Dr. Shaw, for all you do to encourage and support your students, alumni, faculty colleagues and the entire Reinhardt University community.

Dr. Mary Breden is Professor Emeritus of Music at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. A member of the music faculty at LMU since 1992, Breden has also taught in both the choral and music education programs at San Jose State University and The University of Texas at Austin.

At Loyola Marymount, Breden served as department chair from 1994-2014. As supervisor of the Choral Conducting Concentration, she has taught such courses as Choral Conducting and Choral Methods. Under her leadership the LMU Concert Choir, Women's Chorus, and Consort Singers have appeared in a variety of venues throughout California, as well as New York City, Boston, Portland, Seattle, Tucson and Phoenix. The ensembles have also appeared at ACDA Western Division Conventions, toured with Michael Crawford and appeared with him on his PBS special Michael Crawford... Music of the Night. Internationally, Breden has conducted the LMU Choruses in concerts throughout Italy, Germany, Austria, and France, and she has appeared as a guest conductor in Brussels, Belgium.

Active as a choral clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor, Breden is a Past President of the Western Division of the American Choral Directors Association. She has volunteered on the Education and Community Outreach Committee for the Los Angeles Master Chorale and is a member of the Southern California Vocal Association, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, and the International Federation of Choral Music. She has articles and choral reviews published in The Choral Journal, professional publication of the American Choral Directors Association.

Mary Breden received her M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in Choral Music from Arizona State University where she studied conducting with Douglas McEwen. Her undergraduate studies began at the Munich, Germany campus of the University of Maryland, with private piano studies in Munich and in Wiesbaden at the Wiesbadener Konservatorium. She completed the B.A. and B.M. degrees in piano performance at Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles where she studied conducting with Paul Salamunovich, and was, for several years, his accompanist with the choruses at Mount St. Mary's, Loyola University, and Loyola Marymount University.

Dr. Sandra Babb is assistant professor of choral music education at Oregon State University. She received her Bachelor of Music Education, Master of Music Education, and Ph.D. in music education from The Florida State University. She currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the Professional Music Teacher Education Program and conducts Bella Voce, the premier women’s choir. Her research interests include choral tone development and best practices in pre-service music educator training. She has presented research and interest sessions at state and national conferences, including the National Association for Music Education, the American Choral Directors Association, the Texas Music Educators Association, and the New York State School Music Association. Dr. Babb has published articles in the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing and the Choral Journal, and she is a contributing author for the K-12 choral textbook series Voices in Concert.

Prior appointments include: the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, CUNY in Queens, NY; the Gulf Coast Girl Choir in Tampa, Florida; and the Pasco County Public Schools in New Port Richey, Fla. Her choral ensembles have performed for the Florida, New York, and Southern Division conferences of the American Choral Directors Association. She is in frequent demand as a clinician and conductor for honor choirs throughout the United States.

Dr. Babb is an active member of the National Association for Music Education, the American Choral Directors Association and the College Music Society. She is the advisor for the OSU chapter of NAfME and has served as the Youth and Student Activities Repertoire & Standards Chair for NY-ACDA. She is a member of the National Music Honor Society, Pi Kappa Lambda, and was a recipient of the Mainstream Teacher of the Year Award by the Pasco County School District Council for Exceptional Student Education.

Sarah Elizabeth Charles is a vocalist/composer based in New York City. She has worked and studied with artists such as Christian Scott, George Cables, Geri Allen, Nicholas Payton and Sheila Jordan and has released three critically acclaimed albums with her band, SCOPE between 2012 and today. As the active vocalist in a number of bands (including SCOPE, Ajoyo, duo with Jarrett Cherner, Jesse Fischer's projects and Transient Beings) Charles has performed at many venues throughout her career. These have included The White House, Carnegie Hall, the first annual Culture Summit in Abu Dhabi, The Kennedy Center, the Rose Theatre with Jazz at Lincoln Center and many more. She has also had a commissioned composition performed at The National Gallery in Washington D.C. via The Canales Project "Hear Her Song" initiative.

In addition to her performances, Charles is an active educator as well. She works as a teaching artist with Carnegie Hall’s Sing Sing Correctional Facility and Future Music Project youth workshops, has a private lessons studio in New York City, is an adjunct professor at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music teaching a course she designed called "Jazz and Gender" and has developed an early childhood music education program with Rise2Shine, a non-profit organization based in Fond Parisien, Haiti. In 2019, she was one of five recipients of the Yale School of Music's Distinguished Teaching Artist Award. In 2020, she was selected to be one of five members of the Joe's Pub Working Group, as a recipient of the New York City Women's Fund grant in support of her band's fourth album to be released in 2021 and as a recipient of Chamber Music America's New Jazz Works grant.

Charles' musical output has been described as a “genre of one” (DownBeat Magazine), “soulfully articulate” (NY Times) and “an unmatched sound” (Jay Z’s Life+Times). Her critically acclaimed sophomore project, “Inner Dialogue”, released in 2015 on Truth Revolution Records, features her band along with co-producer/special guest Christian Scott. Her third album, "Free of Form" is now available everywhere on Ropeadope/Stretch Music and features SCOPE as well as Scott as co-producer/special guest. One can only look to the future for more unique and boundary pushing music from this one of a kind artist.

Conductor/music educator Dr. Barbara M. Tagg is a retired member of the music education faculty at Syracuse University (S.U.) where she was conductor of the S.U. Women’s Choir for twenty years, and Founder/Conductor Emerita of the Syracuse Children’s Chorus (SCC) in residence at the university for thirty years. She is author of BEFORE THE SINGING published by Oxford University Press, and continues to guest conduct, adjudicate, and consult.

Dr. Tagg was the first nationally elected ACDA Repertoire & Standards Chair serving two, four-year terms following her tenure as Chair of the ACDA National Committee on Children’s Choirs, a position she held for eight years. During her tenure as National R&S Chair she guest edited three focus issues of The Choral Journal devoted to children’s choirs, repertoire and standards, and American music respectively, and numerous articles. As a former ten-year board member of Chorus America she continues to serve on various committees and initiatives.

Throughout her career Dr. Tagg has guest conducted treble honors choirs, all state choirs, festivals, and presented workshops for universities and choral organizations throughout the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, and China. She has presented concerts, research papers, and workshops in Greece, Great Britain, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, and China. She has prepared choirs for Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Dave Brubeck, Fabio Machetti, Daniel Hege, Doreen Rao, and the late Christopher Keene, Calvin Custer, and Gregg Smith. She prepared SCC for annual concerts with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra for twenty-six years.

She has commissioned and/or premiered over ninety works for children’s and women’s choirs. With SCC she twice received the Chorus America/ASCAP Award for Adventuresome Programming. Distinguished composers in residence for premieres with her choirs have included Libby Larsen, Bob Chilcott, David Brunner, Francisco Núñez, Jim Papoulis, Nick Page, Shawn Crouch, Gerald Cohen, among others, and the late Stephen Paulus, Calvin Custer, Liu Zhuang, and Gregg Smith.

For many years she was artistic director of the Keynote Arts Associates Children in Harmony Festivals in Orlando, FL, and the Adirondack Children’s Chorus at the Adirondack Festival of American Music in Saranac Lake, NY. She has been honored by ACDA, Syracuse University, the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, the Society for New Music, and DisneyWorld. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, Sigma Alpha Iota, holds the Choral Music Experience Artist-Teacher Certificate, and is a currently a member of the Gregg Smith Singers board of directors and an honorary board member of the Ernst Bacon Foundation.

Friday March 12-Mollie Stone serves as Choral Conductor and Lecturer at the University of Chicago, Co-Director of Chicago World Music Chorus (www.chicagoworldmusic.org), Co-Director of the Augsburg / Twin Cities Global Harmony Choir, and as a teacher for Village Harmony (www.villageharmony.org).

Stone lectures and gives workshops on Black South African choral music, working to promote the work of Black South African composers, conductors and choirs. Stone strives to teach singers how to create more informed and authentic performances of Black South African traditional folk songs, political songs, religious songs, and songs that address the struggle against HIV / AIDS.

Stone created the teaching DVD/Booklet Vela Vela, and, along with partner, Patty Cuyler, the Raising the Bar series, which consists of teaching tools to help musicians learn to perform choral traditions from South Africa, the Republic of Georgia, and Bulgaria, more authentically.

In Vela Vela, viewers can hear each song performed, learn individual voice-parts, dance movements, pronunciation, and background information directly from South African singers. There are also interviews in which South African singers talk about the power of music in their lives. In the Raising the Bar series, Stone and Cuyler show how high foreigners can raise the bar in their performances of music from other cultures with coaching from master teachers, Matlakala Bopape. from South Africa, Shergil Pirtskhelani of The Republic of Georgia, and Elitsa Stoyneva of Bulgaria

Dr. Kathy Bullock is an educator, scholar, singer, accompanist, arranger and choral conductor who specializes in gospel music, spirituals and classical works by composers from the African diaspora. A Professor Emerita of Music from Berea College, Berea, Kentucky, she currently teaches, performs, and conducts workshops and other programs on African American music throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa.

Dr. Bullock earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in Music Theory from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and a B.A. in Music from Brandeis University, MA. At Berea College she taught Music Theory, African-American Music, World Music, and other courses in music and general studies. She also directed Berea’s Black Music Ensemble, a choral ensemble that specializes in African American sacred music, developing a small student-run ensemble into an accredited, diverse, and exciting course that averaged seventy students each semester. Additionally, Dr. Bullock designed and led new international study courses in Ghana, Zimbabwe, and Jamaica. In her role as administrator she actively participated in the college’s governance structure throughout her tenure; she was chair of the department, and member of primary governance committees. Dr. Bullock received many acknowledgements for her contributions to Berea College. In particular, she was awarded the highly coveted Seabury Award for teaching, and was later made an Honorary Alumni of the college. Although she has now retired from fulltime teaching, Dr. Bullock recently joined the faculty of the University of Kentucky, School of Music as an adjunct, teaching and providing master classes in African American music.

Dr. Bullock’s presentations include workshops on spirituals and gospel music and explorations of musical connections between African American culture and West African and Appalachian cultures. Other research areas include the Music of the Civil Rights Movement, and African American Women’s Contributions to the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Dr. Bullock teaches and performs at schools, universities, churches, community organizations, throughout the US, educational programs such as the Kentucky Humanities Council, and singing camps such as the Swananoaa singing camp in North Carolina and workshops in Findhorn Foundation in Forres, Scotland. Recently, Dr. Bullock was the first artist at the John C. Campbell Folk School to teach about Appalachian and African American Musical Connections. Other research projects include the completion of an edition of art songs by contemporary African-American composers.

In response to the 2020 pandemic Dr. Bullock created a series of inspirational videos online, performing songs of faith and hope. Indeed in all of her work, Dr. Bullock shares infectious joy and inspires heartfelt connections as she celebrates the transcending power of love and spirit through music.

Dr. Mihoko Tsutsumi is a native of Japan. She graduated from the Osaka College of Music as a voice performance major. In 1989, Dr. Tsutsumi moved to Montreal, Canada and studied English and voice at McGill University for two years. She then relocated back to Japan in 1991. In 2000, Dr. Tsutsumi traveled overseas to the United States to receive her Master’s in Music Education at Columbus State University in Georgia.

She then traveled to Florida in 2004 to complete her Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting at Florida State University; as well as her Ph.D. in Music Education with an emphasis in Choral Conducting under the direction of Dr. Andre Thomas. After obtaining her Ph.D. in summer of 2007 at Florida State University, Dr. Tsutsumi joined the faculty of the University of Florida as the director of the Men’s Glee and Women’s Chorale, and supervisor of the Gospel Choir; as well as teaching conducting. Dr. Tsutsumi was also the conductor of the Chancel Choir and Orchestra at the Trinity United Methodist Church of Gainesville.

Dr. Tsutsumi joined the faculty of SUNY Oswego in fall 2013. She has been directing Festival Chorus, State Singers, Women’s College Chorus, and Opera Chorus and teaching applied voice lessons and choral conducting. She is the only Japanese female choral conductor who holds Ph.D. in Choral Music and conducting choirs in the United States. Therefore, I have been invited to give lectures about Japanese Choral music.

She will be visiting the Westfield University, MA on April 6th to give an interest session about Japanese Choral Music.

She started teaching a GLS100 class from this semester and took the students to Japan during the spring break. She is planning to keep doing this every year. She is not only a choral conductor but also a vocal coach and piano accompanist.

Dr. Melissa Morgan is the Assistant Professor of Choral Music in the department of Media, Arts, and Performance at the University of Regina. Her responsibilities include conducting the auditioned, Chamber Singers, and the non-auditioned Concert Choir in addition to teaching courses in vocal diction and choral conducting. An active conductor, she is frequently asked to serve as a clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor with high school, children’s choirs, and church choirs throughout Canada. Previous to her appointment at the University of Regina, Dr. Morgan was the Pfeifer Memorial Chair of Music at Luther College High School and the founder and artistic director of the former community ensemble, Prairie Chamber Choir.

As a researcher and scholar, Dr. Morgan has contributed articles to Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, Vol. 5. She is also published in the Canadian Music Educators Journal, and the American Choral Directors Association monthly publication, Choral Journal. She has done significant work to promote choral art music by Prairie composers. Her recording, Wake the Grain: Choral Art Music from the Prairies, which was created to celebrate and honour composers from the Prairie region with a hope to encourage and support new Canadian music, can be found on Spotify and Apple Music.

In October 2017, Dr. Morgan was named as one of CBC Saskatchewan's Future 40 under 40 recipients. Her choirs have won numerous awards including, receiving second place in the Choral Canada National Competition for Amateur Choirs, chamber choir category. On several occasions, she has prepared choirs to perform with the Regina Symphony Orchestra. In addition, her choirs have received invitations to perform on the stage of Lincoln Centre, and at events including, the Association of Canadian Choral Communities, Podium Conferences, and several provincial and national music festivals and ceremonies.

Originally, from Regina, Saskatchewan, Dr. Morgan holds a Doctorate of Music Performance in Choral Conducting from the University of Toronto, a Master of Music Performance in Choral Conducting from the University of Western Ontario, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Regina. She is also an Associate of the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT) in piano, voice, and flute.

Dr. Cara Tasher has served as Director of Choral Studies at the University of North Florida since 2006. She conducts the Chamber Singers, alternates conducting Osprey Treble Chorus and Chorale; teaches the choral conducting curriculum; oversees the Jacksonville SINGS! Initiatives including the Choral Invitational, Summer UNF Conductor’s Studio, Summer Vocal Artists, Refugee Chorus; and oversees the choral program and its leadership team. At UNF, she was awarded the 2010 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, the 2016 Outstanding International Leadership Award, and in 2019, received a faculty scholarship grant for her work with the Jacksonville SINGS! Refugee Chorus and inclusion training. In addition to her work at UNF, she collaborates frequently as Director Huesped with the Opera de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and guest conducts around the globe. She has performed and recorded with conductors Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, James Levine, Robert Shaw and Sir Georg Solti. Tasher has been professionally associated with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Conspirare, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Portugal's Vocalizze Festival, Trinity Choir-Wall Street, Xavier University, and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. Her training took place in the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus, at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, University of Texas at Austin, Paris IV-La Sorbonne, and Northwestern University. Dr. Tasher is highly active within the American Choral Directors Association, International Federation of Choral Music, and the National Collegiate Choral Organization in various leadership capacities. Proficient in several languages, Tasher's engagements as singer, conductor, master teacher, and adjudicator, have brought her to over ten states and twenty countries for concerts, competitions, festivals, and workshops. Global and cultural competency is a focal point of Tasher’s teaching, and in addition to performing a wide variety of repertoire in many languages, she tours internationally with her choral ensembles on a regular basis to provide international exchange opportunities.

Conductor-teacher Dr. Kristina Caswell MacMullen has devoted her career to sharing music and inspiration with students and audiences. Her collaborations with fellow musicians continue to confirm her abiding hope for the future and an unflagging belief in the power of choral music.

Currently, MacMullen serves as an Associate Professor of Choral Conducting at the University of North Texas where she conducts the University Singers, Kalandra, and instructs both undergraduate and graduate students in conducting and rehearsal pedagogy. Prior to her appointment at UNT, Kristina spent eight years on the faculty of The Ohio State University. While at OSU, her interdisciplinary work earned her the Sir William Osler Award for Humanism in Medicine.

MacMullen believes that great potential lies in choral performance and creative communication. She strives to guide her students, as they desire to impact the world they will inherit for the better. Creative projects include interdisciplinary performances addressing human trafficking, the Kubler-Ross stages of grief, play theory, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, female archetype exploration, American song, civic engagement, and the nature of tears.

As an active adjudicator and clinician, MacMullen has conducted All-State and honors choirs throughout the United States. She has presented and co-presented interest sessions at state, regional, national and international conferences. Recent and upcoming engagements involve students in New Mexico, Michigan, South Carolina, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, and Texas. Her teaching and conducting is featured on the DVD Conducting-Teaching: Real World Strategies for Success published by GIA (2009). Her editions for treble choir are published by Boosey & Hawkes, Musicatus Press, and MusicSpoke.

MacMullen earned both the Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degrees from Michigan State University. She completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Texas Tech University. Kristina has enjoyed a diverse career as a public-school teacher, interacting with students in rural, suburban, and urban settings, elementary through high school. She also sings with the professional ensemble Mirabai.

March 13-Dr. Lori Hetzel is the Associate Director of Choral Activities, Associate Director of the School of Music, and professor of Choral Music Education at the University of Kentucky where she conducts the UK Women’s Choir and the ever-popular a cappella group “Paws and Listen”.

In addition to her conducting duties, Dr. Hetzel supervises student teachers and teaches undergraduate methods and choral conducting courses where she has pioneered a unique partnership program with area high schools allowing undergraduate students to begin classroom teaching early in their curriculum and gain true “hands on” experience. Hetzel is a contributing author to the new textbook Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success.

Among her many academic accomplishments, she was the recipient of the University of Kentucky “Great Teacher of the Year” award in 2000, a finalist for the Provost Awards for Outstanding Teaching in both 2009 and 2010, and the winner of the Robert K. Baar Choral Award in 2011 – “given to one choral director in the state who exhibits outstanding leadership in choral music and promotes music education in the state of Kentucky.” Lori Hetzel received the Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Wisconsin/Green Bay, the Master of Music from the University of Missouri/Kansas City and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University.

Outside of the university, Dr. Hetzel serves as Artistic Director of the Lexington Singers Children’s Choir and conducts the LSCC Chamber Choir. The Lexington Singers Children’s Choir was formed to provide specialized choral opportunities for the children of central Kentucky and now offers four select choirs in which children can participate. The group performs not only in the greater Lexington area but has also presented concerts with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir - Kantorie, the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir (Atlanta), the Central Illinois Children’s Choir, and at the Kennedy Center as part of the “Our Lincoln” concert presented by the Kentucky Arts Council. They are often seen in collaboration with other area musical groups including the Lexington Singers, Lexington Philharmonic, UK Opera Theater and the UK Choirs.

Hetzel is serving her second term as Repertoire and Standards Chair for Women’s Choirs, ACDA Southern Division.

Australian born conductor Dr. Heather J. Buchanan is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Montclair State University, New Jersey, USA, where she conducts the 160-voice Chorale, 60-voice University Singers, and 24-voice Vocal Accord. Choirs under her direction have won critical acclaim for their “heartfelt conviction,” “new-minted enthusiasm and vibrancy,” being a “marvel of diction, tuning and rhythm”, “impeccable dynamics and diction,” “vibrant sound,” and for singing with the “crispness and dexterity of a professional choir.” Over the last decade the Montclair State choral program has developed an enviable reputation for artistic excellence and creative programming in the US and Europe. Dr. Buchanan’s choirs have collaborated with a variety of renowned artists and composers including Meredith Monk, Mícheál ÓSúílleabháin, Joseph Flummerfelt, the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory Choir, the Studiochor of the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria, and composers Tarik O’Regan, Robert Livingston Aldridge, Chen Yi, Sarah Hopkins and Martin Sedek. The MSU Chorale’s masterwork performances with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra include Verdi Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mahler Symphony No. 3; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Howard Shore’s Academy Award winning score The Lord of the Rings Symphony under the batons of Neeme Järvi, Jacques LaCombe, and John Maucceri. The University Singers recorded Songs of Ascension with Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble on the prestigious ECM label under legendary producer Manfried Eicher, released May 2011. This collaboration was included in the Producer of the Year section of the 2012 Grammy nominations.

Dr. Buchanan holds degrees from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University (Australia), Westminster Choir College of Rider University (USA), and a PhD from the University of New England (Australia). A licensed Andover Educator, she specializes in the teaching of Body Mapping and somatic pedagogy for musicians. Her guest conducting highlights include the 2007 Dvorák Festival in Prague and Vienna, the World Premiere performance of Madison’s Descent, preparing the opera chorus for the regional premier of Elmer Gantry, and the US premiere of a new production of A Ceremony of Carols with famed British choreographer Richard Alston and his dance company in December 2012 for Benjamin Britten’s centennial. Dr. Buchanan’s publications include co-editing the landmark GIA choral series Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, the DVD Evoking Sound: Body Mapping & Gesture Fundamentals, and octavos in the Evoking Sound Choral Series (GIA). A vibrant teacher, dynamic performer, and passionate musicians’ health advocate, Dr. Buchanan is in demand as a guest conductor, somatic educator, and choral clinician in the US and abroad. She resides in Princeton Junction, New Jersey with her husband Peter and daughter Paige.

Award-winning composer and singer Mari Esabel Valverde (b. 1987) has been commissioned by the American Choral Directors Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Seattle Men’s and Women’s Choruses, and Boston Choral Ensemble among others and has appeared with Dallas Chamber Choir, Vox Humana, and EXIGENCE (Detroit). She was a featured composer at the 2016 Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses Festival, where her “Our Phoenix” was premièred by six collective ensembles from the United States and Canada. Her works are published by earthsongs and Walton Music and self-published.

Fluent in Spanish and French, she actively studies Brazilian Portuguese and Swedish. She has translated numerous vocal works and documents including a phonetic guide of Ravel’s opera L’Enfant et les Sortilèges. Based in North Texas, she taught voice at the high school level for over six years. Her former students have participated in All-State Choirs and State Solo Competition. She currently teaches singing and transgender voice training with TruVoice Lessons. She holds degrees from St. Olaf College, the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the American Composers Forum, and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.

RESIDENCIES:

  • Artist-in-Residence, St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, March 2019-workshopped the tenor-bass choir on an original work; visited with students in the “Music, Gender, and Sexuality” and “Choral Literature” courses; presented “Believe My Story: An Intersectional Talk on Consent and Shame”; was interviewed in a “Community Conversation on Trans Identity”; met with wellness peer educators and Sexual Assault Resource Network student advocates for an informal training on transgender health; and performed “Transvocality: An Exposé of My Musical Journey,” a half-voice, half-composition recital.

  • Featured Guest-Presenter, Transgender Voices Festival, St. Paul, Minnesota, April 2018-taught private voice lessons to transgender and non-binary singers; presented “Expanding Definitions of ‘Woman’: Singing Authentically” and instructed transgender women in speech and singing in an open voice coaching; and sang a classical set in an all-transgender cabaret

  • Artist-in-Residence, West Valley College, Saratoga, California, October 2017-workshopped mixed choir on an original work; clinician for chamber singers; assisted in music theory and musicianship courses; spoke to music majors on the profession; and led a “campus conversation” on social justice, privilege, and intersectionality

  • Artist-in-Residence, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana, November 2015-workshopped mixed and women’s choruses on three original works; led a voice masterclass for two studios; taught private voice and composition lessons; and led formal discussions on LGBTQ-related professional and social justice matters.

Dr. Jessica Nápoles is an Associate Professor of Choral Music Education at the University of North Texas. She teaches undergraduate coursework in choral methods, conducts the Concert Choir, and mentors graduate students in research. Dr. Nápoles served as Interim division chair for Conducting & Ensembles in 2019-2020 and Interim division chair for Music Education in Fall of 2020. A native of Florida with a Cuban-American background, Dr. Nápoles taught middle school chorus in the public schools of Miami and Orlando, FL. She received her Bachelor of Music Education, Master of Music Education, and PhD in Music Education from the Florida State University. Prior to her appointment at UNT, she taught at the University of Utah for 11 years.

Dr. Nápoles is an active conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, frequently engaging in guest conducting opportunities locally, regionally, and nationally. She has conducted All State and honor choirs in Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Utah. She has conducted the Southern, North Central/Central, and Western division honor choirs for the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). In 2019, Dr. Nápoles made her Carnegie Hall debut as choral conductor for the WorldStrides OnStage Honors Performance Series. She was asked to return in 2020 and again in 2021.

In addition to her conducting invitations, Dr. Nápoles is a well known researcher, with numerous publications in journals such as the Journal of Research in Music Education, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, and the International Journal of Music Education. She is currently serving 6-year terms on the editorial boards of the Journal of Research in Music Education, the premier research journal in music education and the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing, the ACDA research journal. Her research interests include music teacher education, testing practitioner practices empirically, expressive conducting, and teacher talk. She has presented at conferences on these topics nationally and internationally.

Dr. Nápoles is meaningfully engaged with the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) at the national level. She is currently a member of the Research Standing Committee. Additionally, she served as Assistant Conference Chair for the 2019 Kansas City Conference and previously as the Honor Choir Coordinator for the 2015 conference in Salt Lake City and the 2017 conference in Minneapolis. For the 2021 conference, she has again been asked to serve as Assistant Conference Chair. In Spring of 2021, Dr. Nápoles led the writing team in drafting a COVID-19 task force for ACDA.

Publications

  • Nápoles, J., & MacLeod, R. B. (2020). Clifford K. Madsen Contributions to Music Education and Music Therapy. Love of Learning. Routledge.

  • Nápoles, J. (2020). Teacher Talk. In The Choral Conductor’s Companion (Ed. Brian Winnie). GIA Publications.

  • Springer, D. G., Silvey, B. A., Nápoles, J., & Warnet, V. (2021).-Effects of tonic drone accompaniments on the intonation of collegiate wind instrumentalists. Journal of Research in Music Education, doi: 10.1177/0022429420974389. Advance online publication.

  • Nápoles, J., Silvey, B. A., & Montemayor, M. (2020). The influences of facial expression and conducting gesture on college musicians’ perceptions of choral conductor and ensemble expressivity. International Journal of Music Education, https://doi.org/10.1177/0255761420926665. Advance online publication.

  • Nápoles, J., & Silveira, J. M. (2020). Preservice and in-service teachers’ perceptions of pacing. Journal of Music Teacher Education, 29(2), 64-77. https://doi.org/10.1177/1057083719882702

  • Nápoles, J., Springer, D. G., & Silvey, B. A., & Adams, K. (2019).-Effects of pitch source on pitch-matching and intonation accuracy of collegiate singers. Journal of Research in Music Education, 67 3), 270-285. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022429419863034

  • Silvey, B. A., Nápoles, J., & Springer, D. G. (2019). Effects of pre-tuning vocalization behaviors on the tuning accuracy of college instrumentalists. Journal of Research in Music Education, 66(4), 392-407. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022429418806304

Guest appearances

• Guest Conductor, World Strides Honors Performance Series National Honor Choir, Carnegie Hall

• Guest Conductor, North Central/Central TTBB ACDA Honor Choir (2020)

• Guest Conductor, Maine All State Chorus (2018, 2019)

Other appearances

• Conference Headliner, Wyoming Music Educators Association (2021)

• Invited Scholar in Residence, Louisiana State University (2020)

• Conference Headliner, Missouri Choral Directors Association (2019)

Sophia Papoulis serves as Associate Conductor for the award-winning Young People's Chorus of New York City, and has conducted choruses in a number of the city's most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the 92nd Street Y, Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, and Symphony Space.

Sophia has prepared choruses for national and international radio and TV appearances, recording sessions, collaborative performances with such artists as the New York Pops, Meredith Monk, and the Kronos Quartet, and for performances not only in NYC, but also in major venues throughout North America, Asia, Europe, and South America.

In addition to her work at YPC, Sophia is the Creative Director for the Foundation for Small Voices (FSV), bringing choral, songwriting, and mentorship programs to children nationally and internationally. Together with her husband Jim Papoulis, composer and FSV founder, she aligns her passion for sparking joyful musical experiences with Jim's founding vision of providing access to these artistic endeavors to young people from all walks of life. Together they travel and work with young people and choral educators alike, sharing their combined, ever-evolving knowledge in creation, composition, world music, pedagogy, curriculum, and conducting.

Dr. A. Jan Taylor, educator, pianist, singer and choral conductor, is Director of Choral Music Activities at Prairie View A&M University. A native of Houston, Texas, she received the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Houston, the Master of Arts degree from Prairie View A&M University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Houston.

Prior to her appointment at Prairie View, Taylor taught general music, piano, and trained choirs in elementary, middle, and high schools in the Houston Independent School District. She has served as adjudicator and choral clinician for numerous choral competitions, festivals, and regional choirs across the state of Texas. As an authority on the African-American spiritual, Taylor frequently lectures on the performance practices and preservation of the genre.

She is the founding director of Intermezzo, a professional vocal chamber ensemble, and has traveled throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia as a singer with such premier professional choral ensembles as the Houston Chamber Choir and the Houston Chorale. As Assistant Conductor of the Houston Symphony Chorus from 2003 until 2006, she assisted in preparing the chorus for world-class conductors in performances of such choral-orchestral works as Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, the Verdi Requiem and Leonard Bernstein’s Kaddish Symphony. She has prepared choruses and collaborated with such renowned conductors and composers as Barbara Baker, Roland Carter, Nathan Carter, Moses Hogan, and Adolphus Hailstork. For the Houston Ebony Opera Guild, she coaches and accompanies singers, and conducts the Guild’s Chorus in performances of spirituals, African-American concert music, and operatic works. Dr. Taylor has conducted the “105 Voices of History” HBCU National Choir in performances at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, TN, the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Under Dr. Taylor’s direction, the Prairie View A&M University Concert Chorale and PV Chamber Singers have performed to critical acclaim throughout the United States and abroad, including performances at the Texas Music Educators Association convention, and the International Festival Wratislavia Cantans, a prestigious music festival for choirs and orchestras in Poland. Her choirs have performed with the Houston Symphony, the Acadian Symphony, and have collaborated with several professional and community choruses in the Greater Houston area.

Taylor is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Chorus, and holds memberships in the Texas Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, and Sigma Alpha Iota, a music fraternity for women.

Dr. Pamela J. Perry is Professor of Choral Music Education, Emeritus at Central Connecticut State University where she was on the faculty from 1990-2013. She was the founding director of the CCSU University Singers. This ensemble has given concert tours in Germany, Hungary, France, Spain, Puerto Rico, China and Japan, and frequently performs and lead in master classes at MENC and ACDA conferences. Before coming to CCSU, Dr. Perry was the Director of Choral Activities at the Hartt School, University of Hartford. She is a frequent guest conductor at regional and all-state choral festivals, and serves as an adjudicator and clinician through the country.

As a music educator Dr. Perry is active as a consultant in many public school systems – working with music faculty on professional development topics, and working with school choral groups. She has been an education consultant for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and for the Orange County Public Schools in Orland, FL. Dr. Perry has published articles on choral music education in the Choral Journal and International Journal of Women Composers.

She has been the recipient of several teaching awards, most notably the Connecticut ACDA “Conductor of the Year” in 1994, membership to the “Excellence in Teaching” Honor Roll at CCSU in 1996, 2007, and 2008, and received the CCSU Distinguished Service Award in 2006.

Dr. Perry attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois for her undergraduate degree in music education. She holds a Master of Science in Music Education from the University of Illinois, and a Doctor of Music Arts degree from the Hartt School, Hartford, CT.

Sunday March 14-Krista Overby (born Krista Bridges, June 17, 1980) is an American gospel artist. Her singing career launched around the tender age of 6 in following her dad, Pastor Leander Bridges to many revivals. She comes from a long line of talented singers dating back to her grandfather, Arthur Ray Bridges, who was a member of a legendary Mississippi gospel group consisting of 5 brothers, The 5 Gospel Singers. She and her 2 brothers are all gifted musicians. Her melodious sound was unleashed and became even more refined as she studied voice as a high school junior under the instruction of Mrs. Wanda Saul. She was one of the few who believed in Krista's ability and has continued to support her over the years. She also studied under the great composer and conductor, Dr. Raymond Wise. Krista holds degrees in Music Education from Jones County Junior College, and a BA in vocal performance from the University of Southern MS where she continues to perform in musical stage productions. Her versatile style ranges from her favorite, which is praise and worship; to hymns, traditional and contemporary gospel, and even opera.

In her professional career, Krista is an experienced choral director, pianist and vocal coach. She has accompanied her brother, Leander Bridges, II to Carnegie Hall with the award-winning Laurel High School gospel choir for 2 consecutive years in 2013 and 2014. She formerly served as the school district’s choral instructor. Under her direction, this choir did its first live recording in May, 2016. Krista conducts church choir workshops and voice lessons. 2011 was a groundbreaking year with the debut release of her self-composed project, For His Glory, one of her greatest accomplishments. Also in that year, she accompanied Dr. Wise abroad to Czech Republic for the Prague Gospel Showcase where she sang a stellar rendition of Hallowed Be Thy Name and received a standing ovation and encore presentation. Krista and her family frequently travel to Trinidad on mission trips where she continues to break barriers worldwide for the Kingdom of God.

In 2014, her passion and purpose took her to Ithaca, NY twice where she performed the nostalgic gospel of 12 Gates in the City livestream at Ithaca College collaborating with conductor, Stan Spottswood and the Ithaca College choir and orchestra. In 2016, she released her 2nd project entitled God Is Real, dedicated to her grandmother, and with the bonus track, The Grace of God. She has opened for gospel artists such as Jekalyn Carr and William Murphy, III, Paul Porter, Shirley Caesar, Beverly Crawford, Vanessa Bell-Armstrong, Yolanda Adams, JJ Hairston, Rance Allen, Paul Morton, Jonathan Nelson, Marvin Sapp, and Tamela Mann just to name a few.

Krista expounded upon her career as a soloist in the Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration filmed and broadcast on the MS Public Broadcast Channel. She appeared in the Motown Revue, Elvis Revue, and Christmas Cabaret with the Natchez Music Festival, In February 2018, Krista appeared in the gospel stage play, Church Hurts at the Historical Saenger Theater in Hattiesburg, MS, and the lead role in the stage play, I Hate My In-laws, as well as the lead role in the gospel stage play Well Worth the Wait. Most importantly, she humbly serves wholeheartedly at her church, Springhill M.B. Church, Ellisville, MS where she is the Music Director/Worship Leader and has been for twenty years. Krista McKenzie continues to shine her light in every arena and in any capacity. As a devoted mother to her 3 children, it is imperative that she makes a positive impact by being a true vessel and a great role model to her family as well as the generation of millennials who greatly admire her. She is recently married to the man of her dreams and is currently completing her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy.

Marianna Parnas-Simpson graduated with a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Russia. She founded the award-winning St. Petersburg Girls’ Choir, KAMERTON, which she directed for ten years before coming to the United States.

Since 1999 Ms. Simpson has taught at Parker Elementary School, a Houston ISD magnet school for music. In 2005, she was named Teacher of the Year by her fellow teachers at Parker Elementary. In 2006, Marianna founded Treble Choir of Houston, a youth choral ensemble. Her choirs have been selected to perform at Carnegie Hall, TMEA, OAKE and National ACDA multiple times. She has conducted numerous children’s chorus festivals and workshops in the United States and internationally. From 2008 to 2010 Ms. Simpson served as the Artistic Director of the summer program for the American Boychoir in Princeton, NJ. Her latest international engagement was conducting several children’s choruses in Shanghai, China. Additionally, Marianna is a founding member of the highly acclaimed professional choral ensemble, Houston Chamber Choir.

The UMKC Conservatory is pleased to welcome Dr. Jennaya Robison as Raymond R. Neevel/Missouri Professor in Choral Music and Director of Choral Studies, Fall 2020. Dr. Robison joins UMKC as one of the leading choral directors in North America, and is consistently in demand as a clinician both nationally and internationally. She has presented at ACDA and NATS conferences and is a national leader of choral artistry, pedagogy, and innovation. She has held previous positions at Luther College, the University of Arizona, and the University of New Mexico, as well as at community orchestras in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. As a public-school educator, she has taught in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota and has an active performance career as a soprano soloist and chorister.

As a soprano, she has sung as a soloist with the Grammy award-winning True Concord, Tucson Symphony, Arizona Opera, Scottsdale Arts Orchestra, Scottsdale Symphony, St. Andrews Bach Society, Phoenix Youth Symphony, Tucson Masterworks Chorale, Rochester Choral Arts, Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque. As a chorister, she has sung as a member of the Arizona Choir under the direction of Bruce Chamberlain, Las Cantantes under the direction of Bradley Ellingboe, the Dale Warland Singers in Minneapolis, Minnesota under the direction of Dale Warland, and in the Nordic Choir of Luther College under the direction of Weston Noble.

She is in demand as a conductor, clinician, and soprano throughout the United States. She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona, the Master of Music in conducting and voice from the University of New Mexico, and the Bachelor of Arts in music from Luther College. She is currently the coordinator of Collegiate Repertoire and Standards and director of Student Activities for the North Central chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. Her choral series is published with Pavane Music.

A native of Hong Kong, Dr. Jenny Wong is currently the Associate Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale. In addition to the regular season, Wong has conducted performances of Peter Sellars’ staging of di Lasso’s Lagrime di San Pietro at the Melbourne International Arts Festival in Australia, the Festival Internacionale Cervantino and the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico, and in the United States. As chorus master, Wong has prepared choruses for Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic, Susanna Mälkki, Eric Whitacre, María Guinand, and Music Academy of the West, including the U.S. premier of Tan Dun’s Buddha Passion. Most recently, Wong was Assistant Producer of the Master Chorale’s latest album, Eric Whitacre’s The Sacred Veil with Signum Classics.

This season, Wong will be conducting Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Kate Soper’s Voices from the Killing Jar with Long Beach Opera, in collaboration with WildUp. Other recent engagements and positions have included the Grammy-winning ensemble Phoenix Chorale in Phoenix, Arizona, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, new opera Sweet Land by Du Yun and Raven Chacon with opera company The Industry, directed by Yuval Sharon and Cannupa Hanska-Luger, as well as the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, where she prepared choruses for the Stockton Symphony, and All Saints Church Pasadena, California.

Wong won two consecutive World Champion titles at the World Choir Games (China, 2010) and the International Johannes Brahms Choral Competition (Germany, 2011), conducting the Diocesan Girls' School Choir from Hong Kong. She has been a conducting fellow for the Oregon Bach Festival, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Distinguished Concerts International New York and Hong Kong SingFest, by which she conducted the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and Hong Kong City Chamber Orchestra. In Hong Kong, Wong founded and directed her own female youth chorus, Flow Women’s Voices in 2012.

Wong received her Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music from the University of Southern California, where she also taught choral conducting, was conductor of the USC Apollo Men’s Choir, and assistant conductor of the Donald Brinegar Singers. She earned her undergraduate degree in voice performance from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has given lectures on Chinese choral music and is an active clinician for choirs. As a singer, Wong sang back-up for Elton John at the 2013 Emmy Awards and for Barry Manilow.

POSITIONS

2020 - present, Associate Artistic Director, Los Angeles Master Chorale, 2017 - present, Associate Conductor, Los Angeles Master Chorale, 2019, Interim Artistic Director of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, 2016 - 2017, Assistant Conductor, Los Angeles Master Chorale, 2017 - 2018, Interim Choirmaster, All Saints Church, Pasadena, 2015 - 2016, Visiting Instructor of Choral Activities, University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, 2012 - Present, Founder and Director, Flow Women's Voices, Hong Kong, 2014-2015, Teaching Assistant, University of Southern California, 2012-2013, Assistant Conductor, University of Southern California Apollo Men's Chorus, 2012-2013, Assistant Conductor, Don Brinegar Singers, 2009-2011, Music Director, Diocesan Girls' School, Hong Kong.

Giselle Wyers is the Donald E. Petersen Endowed Professor of Choral Music at the University of Washington, where she conducts the award-winning University Chorale and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in choral conducting and music education. University Chorale’s latest CD, Resonant Streams (on the MSR Music Recordings label) received recognition by Gramophone magazine last spring. Her semi-professional chorus, Solaris Vocal Ensemble, specializes in the performance of contemporary American choral literature. Their premiere album Floodsongs on the Albany Music label, won the American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music in 2017-18. As a guest conductor, Wyers has led high school honor choirs and all-state choruses in New York (Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center), Georgia, Missouri, Louisiana, Connecticut, Nebraska, Texas, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, and Vancouver, Canada. She has conducted semi-professional ensembles across the United States and in Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, and Sweden. Wyers is in demand for Zoom lectures during the pandemic with Res Diversa Chamber Choir (Chile), Western Washington University (a three-week composition crash course), University of Iowa, Northern Illinois University, Montana State University, and with the Mastersingers of Milwaukee (Wisconsin). Her appearance with Kansas and Nevada All-States will take place during the 2020-21 academic year.

Wyers is a leading national figure in the application of Laban movement theory for conductors. She has served as guest lecturer in conducting at Sweden’s Örebro Universitet, European Festival of Church Music (Germany), Latvian Academy of Music, Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College, Westminster Choir College, University of Iowa, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Portland State University. Wyers’ choral works are published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing Company as part of the "Giselle Wyers Choral Series," and have been performed across the United States, South America, Canada, Australia, Cuba, and numerous European cities. Her latest premiere was a 30-minute choral cycle entitled And All Shall Be Well, commissioned by the Vashon Island Chorale. In 2020, four new choral works will premiere across the United States. She is also committed to mentoring scholar-writers in the field, and serves on the editorial board of ACDA’s Choral Journal.

Dr. Betsy Burleigh is the Thomas R. Kasdorf Professor of Choral Conducting and chair of the Choral Conducting Department at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Equally at home in the professional world and in academia, Burleigh served as music director of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh for 10 years. She led the Mendelssohn in performances of Brahms’ Requiem, Bach’s B-Minor Mass, Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, and Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor, and prepared the choir for numerous performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and Manfred Honeck.

As a guest conductor, Burleigh has led the PSO, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Akron Symphony, Canton Symphony, and Handel Society of Dartmouth College. In 2016, she prepared the Tanglewood Festival Chorus for performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons, and, in 2012, she prepared the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus for performances at the World Choir Games with the Cincinnati Pops.

No stranger to the world of opera, Burleigh spent four years as chorus master for Cleveland Opera, where she served as music director for A Little Night Music. She also conducted the Cleveland Public Theater’s production of Ulmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis. During the course of her professional life, Burleigh has served as assistant director of choruses for The Cleveland Orchestra, where she prepared the chorus for all summer performances at the Blossom Festival, coached German and French diction, and oversaw the chorus for the Deutsche Grammophone recording sessions of Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette, Pierre Boulez conductor. Other positions have included directing Boston’s Chorus pro Musica, the Providence Singers (RI), Akron Symphony Chorus, Canton Symphony Chorus (OH), and the Mastersingers of Lexington (MA).

Burleigh’s academic life has included teaching at Tufts University, Clark University, Longy School of Music, Southeastern Massachusetts University (now University of Massachusetts Dartmouth), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as Cleveland State University, where she achieved the rank of full professor.

Acclaimed for her oratorio conducting, Burleigh’s Chorus pro Musica performance of Haydn’s Creation was praised in The Boston Globe as an “expansive, poetic reading” and in the Boston Phoenix as “a stirring and elegant, lilting and expansive performance.” Her rendition of Orff’s Carmina Burana was called both “nuanced” and “hair-raising” by The Boston Musical Intelligencer. She won the 2000 Northern Ohio Live Achievement Award for best classical/opera performance for Ulmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis and conducted The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus on an Emmy Award–winning concert for the 9/11 Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Burleigh earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree with distinction from Indiana University, a Master of Music in Choral Conducting degree with distinction from the New England Conservatory of Music, and a doctorate in choral conducting from Indiana University.

March 15-Dr. Elizabeth Schauer (she/her/hers), Director of Choral Activities, has served on the University of Arizona faculty since 2004. An award-winning educator, Dr. Schauer directs Symphonic Choir and Arizona Choir, and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting, literature and methods. She is in demand as an adjudicator, clinician, presenter and conductor throughout the United States, including for performances at Carnegie Hall and with all-state choirs including Maine, Connecticut, New Mexico and Georgia.

Choirs under her direction have been selected by audition and invited to perform on local, state and regional conferences of American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), College Music Society (CMS) and American Guild of Organists. In addition, her choirs have been featured on the ACDA National YouTube Channel and the Community Concerts Series of KUAT-FM Classical Radio, and are regularly invited to collaborate, notably with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Arizona Symphony and the UA Wind Ensemble. Repertoire embraces choral and choral-orchestral works from the Middle Ages through the present, up to and including new works dedicated to and commissioned for her ensembles, as well as the music of our time and from a variety of cultures.

She has presented sessions at the national conferences of ACDA, Presbyterian Association of Musicians and CMS; regional conferences of ACDA, and state conferences of ACDA and NAfME. Former students are active as music educators at public and private schools, churches, colleges and universities throughout the country, and have been accepted into respected graduate schools and programs for continued study. Dr. Schauer holds degrees from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Westminster Choir College and University of Michigan.

Dr. Lisa A. Billingham, Professor of Choral Music Education at George Mason University, conducts the University Chorale and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in choral music education. Under her direction, the University Chorale was honored to accept an invitation in Fall 2009 to perform for the Virginia Music Educators Conference. The University Chorale often performs with the Mason Symphony Orchestra and the University Singers. Members of the University Chorale toured Nairobi, Kenya in March 2019 and performed with Dr. Billingham for her Carnegie Hall Debut in May 2019.

She is the advisor for the GMU student chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). She is the Past-President for the Virginia State Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and is a planning committee member and campus liaison for the Annual Voices United Conference hosted by VA, MD-DC and DE chapters of ACDA . She was the National Chair for Communication and Education for ACDA. She is also an active member of the Faculty Senate.

Dr. Billingham’s research interests include the incorporation of Laban Movement Theory in conducting pedagogy and the choral rehearsal. She is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst from the Integrated Movement Studies Program at the University of Utah and incorporates that theory with her private conducting students. Dr. Billingham is active as a clinician for conferences and choirs throughout the United States and Europe. She has presented for ACDA, VMEA, three Regional ACDA conferences and at the International Society for Music Education (ISME) Conference in Bologna, Italy and Porto Alegre Brazil. Her text The Complete Conductors Guide to Laban Movement Theory is available from GIA Publications.

Dr. Billingham holds a DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona, an MM in Choral Conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and a BME in Choral Music Education from Indiana University (Bloomington). Her conducting mentors include Bruce Chamberlain, Eph Ehly, James Jordan, Maurice Skones and Volker Hempfling.

Dr. Elizabeth Swanson is the Associate Director of Choral Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is honored to serve as the conductor of the University Choir, which was founded in 1938 by Warner Imig. A passionate educator, Swanson also teaches courses in conducting at the undergraduate level, applied lessons in conducting at the graduate level, and serves on master’s and doctoral committees.

Swanson maintains an active schedule as guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator throughout the United States with most recent appearances as the conductor of the inaugural Montana State University Women’s Vocal Festival in Bozeman, MT as well as festivals and honor choirs in the Denver-area. Her conducting students have reached the final round in ACDA student conducting competitions and have been hired at leading universities upon graduation.

Nationally, Swanson is on the Executive Board of the National Collegiate Choral Organization as Acting Chief Editor of Publications. In this capacity, she edits NCCO’s peer-reviewed journal, The Choral Scholar, and curates NCCO’s highly selective choral music publication, the NCCO Choral Series, which is distributed by the ECS Publishing Group. Swanson previously served on NCCO’s Executive Board as Secretary and as an associate editor of The Choral Scholar.

Prior to her appointment at CU Boulder, Swanson lived in New York City and was the Director of Choirs at Nyack College School of Music in lower Manhattan. Under her direction, the Nyack College Chorale performed in renowned venues such as David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and St. Paul’s Chapel at Trinity Church Wall Street, and toured domestically. While in New York City, Swanson also served as an arts administrator at Manhattan Concert Productions, a New York City-based company that produces concerts at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and The Apollo.

A noted mezzo-soprano, Swanson sang professionally for four seasons with New York City-based professional choir Manhattan Chorale, an ensemble for which she was also the manager for three seasons. As a member of Chorale Le Chateau, Swanson took part in a collaboration with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in a performance of Marsalis’s Abyssinian Mass, conducted by Damien Sneed. Swanson has also been a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus and Grant Park Chorus.

Swanson has also been a member of the conducting faculty at The University of Chicago, North Park University, and Ithaca College and has served as a conductor of choral ensembles at Northwestern University and Roosevelt University (Chicago College of Performing Arts). Swanson has been published in the Choral Journal. Her dissertation was a qualitative analysis of August 4, 1964, an oratorio by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, with the libretto by Gene Scheer.

Swanson earned degrees from Northwestern University (DM Conducting), Ithaca College (MM Conducting), and St. Olaf College (BM Vocal Education).

Deborah A. Mello, founding director of the Children’s Chorus of Sussex County, is the recipient of the Master Teacher Award from the New Jersey Music Education Association, the New Jersey Governor’s Award for Arts in Education, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Master Teacher Collaborative Award, sponsored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. In May 2007, Debbie was one of fifty music educators in the United States to receive the inaugural Distinguished Music Educator Award from Yale University.

As a member of the American Choral Directors Association, Debbie has served on the Repertoire & Standards Committee for Children’s Choirs as New Jersey State Chair, Eastern Division Chair and National Chair. She currently serves as Membership Chair for the New Jersey ACDA State Board. A recipient of the Artist Teacher certificate from the Choral Music Education courses founded by Doreen Rao, Deborah has been a Teaching Associate in the CME courses taught in the United States, Canada, and in Europe, including England, Sweden, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

She has conducted several All-State and Honor choirs in various states including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Maine and Kentucky. Debbie was the guest conductor of the 2018 Music Fest, sponsored by the Portland Girlchoir with invited choirs in Portland, Oregon. Most recently, she was guest conductor for Virginia District 13 Middle School Honor Choir. In addition to conducting, Deborah has presented numerous workshops on elementary music education, music curriculum, children’s choirs, choral repertoire, and choral conducting for the New Jersey Music Educators, New York American Choral Directors Association, Massachusetts Choral Directors Association, Louisiana Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education (NAfME), National American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and Oberlin Conservatory. She was a featured presenter at the ACDA National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri this past February.

In collaboration with New Jersey composer, Jill Gallina, Debbie has written All-American Sing-Along Songs, a collection of patriotic songs and companion lesson plans, and For the Boys, a collection of songs that boys love to sing with background information and companion lesson plans. She has authored articles published in the New Jersey Music Educators Journal, the Eastern Division American Choral Directors Newsletter, and has an article coming out in the 2019 June/July ACDA Choral Journal.

After thirty-two years of teaching public school, Deborah retired as Director of Choral Activities at Randolph High School in Randolph, New Jersey. Currently, Deborah serves on the faculty of Montclair State University in the choral music education program. Debbie often teaches summer sessions and most recently was the featured headliner along with Paul Rardin at the 2018 Gordon College Summer Workshop in Massachusetts. In addition to teaching, she serves as the Junior Choir Director at Christ Episcopal Church in Newton, New Jersey.

Dr. Wendy K. Moy is a dual assistant professor of music education in the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the School of Education at Syracuse University. Moy teaches undergraduate and graduate coursework in music education, conducting, rehearsal techniques, choral literature, and directs the Crouse Chorale in the Setnor School of Music.

Prior to joining Syracuse University, Moy was an associate professor of music at Connecticut College from 2013-2020, where she was the director of choral activities and head of music education. From 2012-2013, she was an instructor at Tacoma Community College, serving as the director of choral activities and teaching courses in music education. Before moving to the East Coast, Moy conducted the University of Washington Women’s Chorus and the Seattle Pacific University Chamber Singers. She also taught orchestra, choir, and jazz choir at the secondary level in the Edmonds School District from 1999-2010. Her ensembles were invited to perform at the Northwest Music Educator and Washington Music Educator Association Conferences.

Moy is the co-founder and co-artistic director of the professional chamber ensemble, Chorosynthesis Singers. They recently released on the Centaur Records label Empowering Silenced Voices, a 2-CD collection of new music on themes of social consciousness and established the Empowering Silenced Voices Database for Socially Conscious Choral Music. Chorosynthesis Singers was selected to be in residence as Choral Scholars at Santa Monica College and as Dayton Artists-in-Residence at Connecticut College. A strong advocate for collaboration and new music, Moy has premiered/commissioned numerous new works by established and emerging composers. She also sings soprano in Chorosynthesis Singers and CONCORA. Moy has also served as the director of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Chorus and the artistic director of the Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus. A violinist since age four, she was a violin coach, chamber music coordinator, and assistant conductor with the Cascade Youth Symphony Organization. Moy studied orchestral conducting with Eric Hanson and Nikolas Caoile with additional coaching by Kenneth Kiesler. She recently made her conducting debut with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

Moy is a frequent clinician and guest conductor with ensembles of all levels. Passionate about mentoring and inspiring young musicians, she has conducted the Rhode Island All-State Senior High School Chorus, Connecticut Eastern Region High School Honor Choir, Heartland High School Honor Choir, Northshore Junior High Honor Orchestra, and Edmonds Elementary Honor Choir. In June 2017, she served as assistant conductor for a performance of Tyler’s Suite at Lincoln Center. Selected as an American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) International Conducting Fellow, Moy made her international conducting debut with the Coral da Universidade Federal da Gazzi de Sá at the Festival Paraibano de Coros in João Pessoa, Brazil. She soon followed this with her Asia conducting debut in Shenzhen, China.

Moy's research focuses on the culture of singing communities and the cultivation of social capital in successful choral organizations. She has presented her ethnographic research on the Seattle Men's Chorus, the largest gay men's chorus in the world and the largest community chorus in North America, at conferences sponsored by the ACDA; College Music Society; GALA Choruses; National Association for Music Education (NAfME); and Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research. Oxford University Press will soon publish her study in Together in Music: Participation, Co-Ordination, and Creativity in Ensembles. Moy has also presented on fostering equity, diversity, and culture in the choral rehearsal and performance through the music of social consciousness at the Chorus America and the National Collegiate Choral Organization Conferences. She writes for the NAfME Music in a Minuet blog and has been interviewed for featured articles in The Choral Journal, The Voice of Chorus America, and Teaching Music Journal on the subjects of entrepreneurship and culture-building in the choral arts.

Moy's honors include being selected to participate in the National Endowment for the Humanities Bach Institute in Germany, the Westminster Chamber Choir with Joe Miller, the Tallis Scholar Summer School with Peter Phillips, the Carnegie Hall Choral Institute/Transient Glory Symposium as a conducting associate with Francisco Nuñez, and the Yale/Norfolk Chamber Choir under the direction of Simon Carrington. She was named the 3rd place winner of The American Prize in Choral Conducting, professional division in 2017. Under her co-direction, Chorosynthesis Singers was named the 2nd place winner of The American Prize in Choral Performance, professional division with a special citation for Extraordinary Commitment to New Music in 2018.

Moy is the vice president/co-founder of Chorosynthesis, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform the culture of American choral music through collaboration, sustainability, innovation, and excellence. She serves on the ACDA Standing Committee on International Activities and evaluates grants for the National Endowment for the Arts and Chorus America. Moy holds a bachelor of arts in music education (vocal/choral and instrumental emphasis) from Seattle Pacific University, a master of music education from Westminster Choir College, and a doctor of musical arts in choral conducting (music education cognate) from the University of Washington.

Dr. Kelly A. Miller is Associate Professor and Coordinator of Music Education at the University of Central Florida where she conducts the SoAl (Women’s) Chorus, SoAl (Women’s) Ensemble, and TeBa (Men’s) Chorus. She has taught introduction to music education, secondary choral methods I and II, music learning theory and assessment, conducting, music and the student with exceptionalities, conducting, and graduate classes in music education, while coordinating and supervising student teachers through their junior and senior internships. Prior to her appointment at UCF, Miller taught at Western Illinois University as Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education, where she conducted the Concert Choir and Vocal Jazz Ensemble. She conducted the Women’s Glee Club at Michigan State University for three years and taught choral music at the high school level for thirteen years in Michigan, Florida, and Nebraska. While in Orlando, Dr. Miller founded the choral/vocal program at Timber Creek High School, served as District 8 Chair for the Florida Vocal Association, and received her National Board Certification in secondary choral music. Before directing choirs, Miller was a concert band director for grades five through twelve, instructing marching band, jazz bands, music theory, and a little elementary general music in Nebraska.

In addition to her choral directing and teaching, Dr. Miller has maintained a private voice studio and is in demand to lead choral workshops on leadership and communication, the choral/instrumental director as voice teacher, choosing choral repertoire and running effective rehearsals, restorative practices for the choral conductor/teacher, creating artistry, student ownership, and team building. Dr. Miller frequently serves as a clinician and festival adjudicator. She has been invited to conduct regional and state honor choirs and present conference sessions in Ireland, Hawaii, West Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New York, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Florida, and Michigan. Dr. Miller has performed at state, divisional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and at the Nebraska Music Educators Association Convention. She is currently a member of the professional women’s ensemble, mirabai and the semi-professional mixed choir, Voci del Cuore, and she is presently serving as the President-Elect of the Florida ACDA.

Miller holds the D.M.A. degree in choral conducting from Michigan State University, the M.M. degree in music education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and the B.A. degree in music education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Judith Willoughby is the former Artistic Director of Canterbury (OKC) Youth Voices (CYV) and the Wanda L. Bass Professor of Conducting and Choral Music Education at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University. As a guest conductor, conference headliner and clinician, Willoughby worked with youth, collegiate, adult choruses and orchestras throughout the USA, as well as in the world’s major concert halls in the United States, Canada, eastern and western Europe, the Caribbean, Australia, Russia, China, Hong Kong and the Universidad Pontifica Javeriana in Bogota, Columbia. She was an active honor choir conductor for the American Choral Directors Association, conducting honor choruses for national, divisional and numerous state conventions, presented concerts and taught at leading universities and conservatories in the United States including Yale University, Eastman School of Music’s Summer Institute, Westminster Choir College, and has prepared youth and adult choruses for performances with renowned maestros Eugene Ormandy, Ricardo Muti, and in Oklahoma, her colleague Dr. Randi Von Ellefson and maestro Joel Levine. As a choral music educator, Willoughby’s career began in the Philadelphia public schools. Her concert work with children and youth commenced when she founded and developed the Temple University Children’s Choir in Temple University’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians, leading that chorus to international prominence, notably, at the Oregon Bach Festival under the baton of Helmut Rilling and five tours to Puerto Rico. Prior to her appointments in Oklahoma City, Professor Willoughby was a tenured faculty member at Northwestern University (IL). Her interest in public policy’s intersection with arts education and performance resulted in service on many panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and its partner agencies, as well as national foundations in the private sector, regional and state arts agencies. Willoughby served on the board of Chorus America for nine years, including two terms as secretary and was active on that organization’s conducting taskforce. She is a National Arts Associate of the Alpha Zeta chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, served on the Music Advisory Board for the Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, and has been honored by Pennsylvania’s chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, during it fiftieth anniversary celebration, for her past service as president of Pennsylvania ACDA. Willoughby has been an editor for a choral series published by Alliance Music, has contributed to articles published in ACDA’s Choral Journal and the Chorister, wrote a chapter for the Choral Director’s Cookbook published by Meredith Music and was on the editorial board for two Chorus America publications: Leading the Successful Chorus and Conductors Count: What Chorus Boards, Music Directors and Administrators Need to Know. She authored a chapter in Way Over in Beulah Lan’: Understanding and Performing the Negro Spiritual by Dr. Andre Thomas, published by Heritage Music Press. Professor Willoughby, along with Dr. Andre Thomas, is the subject of a published book, written by Gerald Knight, “Two African-American Choral Conductors: Eroding Misconceptions Through Excellence”. Professor Willoughby earned degrees from Northwestern and Temple Universities, studying music education and piano with Gui Mombaerts, graduate studies at Temple University with Natalie Hinderas, choral conducting with Elaine Brown and instrumental conducting with Max Rudolph. Now retired, Professor Willoughby lives in Maryland, close to her daughter and her sister. Her legacy continues through the students she trained so well at OCU and they now lead the Canterbury Youth Voices program that she grew into the premier children’s chorus in Oklahoma City.

March 16-Dr. Therees Tkach Hibbard serves as the director of the Manitou Singers and St. Olaf Chamber Singers. She is presently an Associate Professor of Music at St. Olaf College where she teaches choral conducting, choral literature, and voice. She holds a bachelor of music honors degree in voice and music education from Longwood University, Virginia; a master of music degree in voice and choral conducting from Colorado State University; and a doctor of musical arts degree in choral conducting and vocal music education from the University of Oregon School of Music. She has conducted choirs ranging from young children to professional singers; and has served as adjudicator, workshop leader, and guest conductor for numerous choral organizations throughout Great Britain, Europe and North America; as well as Greece, Hong Kong and Muscat, Oman. Dr. Hibbard has worked as a choral conductor, singing tutor and senior lecturer at several United Kingdom colleges and universities in the London area including the London College of Music, the Royal College of Music Junior Department, and Roehampton University where she served as Programme Convener for the M.A. in choral music education, establishing the first BBC Singers Conducting Master Class Residency program. She has also served as a tutor for the Choral Conductors Training Course for the Association of British Choral Directors that she helped develop and implement throughout the United Kingdom. Dr. Hibbard was the artistic director of the Choir and Chamber Choir of the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in London; both non-audition ensembles made up of students, faculty, staff, and alumni who presented three major choral/orchestral concerts each year. Highlight performances have included the Bach “St. John Passion” and B Minor Mass, Requiems of Brahms, Mozart, and Verdi, Elgar’s “The Dream of Gerontius,” Rachmaninoff’s Vespers, and Fanshawe’s African Sanctus, as well as premiering a variety of new compositions and chamber works during her eight years of tenure with the choirs.

Her work as a movement specialist in the training of choral singers has created unique opportunities for her to work with choirs and conductors from around the world. Her research on enhancing choral performance through movement training has led to the development of a comprehensive choral education philosophy, most clearly demonstrated through her work with a broad range of vocal ensembles including the Oregon Bach Festival’s Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy, The Animato Choir of Lesvos, Greece, and The American Boychoir. In addition to her work as a conductor, she has also performed professionally as both vocal soloist and chorus member in London and the United States. She has sung for composers and conductors such as Aaron Copland, Helmuth Rilling, Mistlav Rostropovich, and Sir David Willcocks; and has had the opportunity to premiere works by Arvo Pärt, Krystof Penderecki, and a vocal chamber piece by Shostakovich conducted by Rostropovich in Carnegie Hall. She has been a member of the Oregon Bach Festival Berwick Chorus for many years, and while under the direction of Helmuth Rilling, were recipients of the Grammy award in 2000 for their performance of CREDO by Penderecki. Prior to her appointment to the St. Olaf faculty, she served for ten years as Associate Director of Choral Activities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dr. Meredith Bowen is the Director of Choral Activities at Radford University in Radford, VA, where she conducts three ensembles and teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in choral conducting, vocal pedagogy, choral methods, choral literature, and supervises student teachers. She serves as R & R Chair for Youth and Student Activities and was recently voted president-elect for Virginia ACDA. She is an inaugural singer of and Artistic Administrator for mirabai, a professional women’s ensemble, and is on faculty for the Choral Music Experience Institute and the Virginia Governor’s School for the Visual and Performing Arts and Humanities.

Bowen is an active guest conductor, clinician, and presenter. Her recent conducting invitations include all-state honor choirs in Michigan, Virginia, and Kansas; and honor choirs in Alaska, Alabama, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. She was one of six conductors selected to represent the United States by the 2018 American Choral Directors Association International Exchange Program in Nairobi, Kenya. She is slated to co-conduct an honor treble ensemble at Carnegie Hall with National Concerts. Bowen’s two current scholarship interests are restoring, publishing, and performing music written by 17th-century women and the impact of socially-conscious programming. She presented her research on restoring convent music at the National American Choral Directors Association Conference and contributed an article on the same subject in the Choral Journal. Four of her restored editions are published by Boosey & Hawkes and two editions appear on the mirabai ‘s inaugural recording, “ecstatic songs.”

Previous to her appointment at Radford, Bowen taught K-12 general music, choir, and band in Lansing, MI, and was the Artistic Director of multiple ensembles in Michigan including: Sistrum - Lansing Women’s Chorus, Holland Chorale, and the Battle Creek Girls Chorus. Bowen holds a B.S. in Music Education from West Chester University, an M.M. and a D.M.A. in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University.

Elizabeth Núñez is the Associate Artistic Director of the award-winning Young People’s Chorus of New York City, founded by YPC Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez in 1988. She is also a conductor, choral clinician, soloist, and founding artistic director of The SoHarmoniums Women’s Choir. At YPC, an organization renowned for its diversity and supreme level of artistic excellence, she created and directs the acclaimed the Cantare chorus and serves as vocal coach for choristers in all six YPC divisions, ranging in age from 8 to 18, in rehearsals, performances, and for international tours to countries on four continents.

In addition, she is the director of the YPC School Choruses program, which every year brings YPC’s unique music education program to more than 1,100 children in New York City public schools. In 2014, Elizabeth created WIT: Women Inspiring Tomorrow, a mentoring initiative bringing YPC’s high school girls together with its alumnae and women across varying professions. Since joining the YPC in 2004, Elizabeth has led the Cantare chorus at international choral festivals in Kathaumixw, British Columbia; Llangollen, Wales; and at the Adolf Fredrik Choral Festival in Stockholm, Sweden, where Cantare was the first American choir ever invited to participate in this international choral event. In summer 2015, she helped lead YPC to five gold medals in the Golden Gate International Choral Festival.

As a sought-after choral clinician, Elizabeth has been invited by choral organizations across the country to give workshops and performances. Among them are the New York City Department of Education, Distinguished Concerts International, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, New York City School for Strings, NYSSMA, and the Norfolk Chamber Choir and Conductor Workshop of the Yale School of Music. Elizabeth most recently conducted the 2016 OAKE National Children’s Honor Choir. At a previous Organization of American Kodály Educators national conference, where she conducted Cantare, KONY News wrote, “the entire room of music educators leapt from their seats, moved to give a standing ovation in the middle of the performance.”

Elizabeth conducts at venues large and small throughout New York City, from Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center to Le Poisson Rouge and the Metropolitan Museum, as well as on national television, most recently on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. As the artistic director of SoHarmoniums, an intergenerational chorus of women from ages 20 to 80, Elizabeth conducts the ensemble in repertoire ranging from traditional classical to folk music and works by contemporary composers in such New York City venues as Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, and Carnegie Hall. Elizabeth received a Bachelor of Music Education at Lee University and a Master of Music Education from the University of Oklahoma. She is a member of the Choral Music Experience artistic faculty at Ithaca College.

A native of Fayetteville, NC, Dr. Connie McKoy is Marion Stedman Covington Distinguished Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the UNCG School of Music, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate music education courses. She holds a BM in Music Education from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and MM and PhD degrees from UNCG. She has 19 years of public-school teaching experience as a general music teacher, choral director, and band assistant.

Her research, which has been presented nationally and internationally, has focused on music teachers’ cross-cultural competence, and culturally responsive pedagogy in music. Her work has been published in The Journal of Research in Music Education, The Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, Music Education Research, The Journal of Music Teacher Education, and the International Journal of Music Education. She has served previously on the editorial review committees of the NAfME publications The Music Educators Journal and Update: Applications of Research in Music Education and currently, Qualitative Research in Music Education. In 2017 and 2019, she was an invited participated in the Yale Symposium on Music in Schools and contributed to the 2017 document, The Declaration on Equity in Music for City Students. Dr. McKoy is co-author of Culturally Responsive Teaching in Music Education: From Understanding to Application, published by Routledge.

She is an active clinician for state, regional, and national music education organizations, is certified in Level III of Orff Schulwerk pedagogy and has taught recorder for Levels I-III. She is a past president of the North Carolina Music Educators Association, and past chair of the Society for Music Teacher Education, an affiliated society of the National Association for Music Education.

Dr. Sonja Sepúlveda is Director of Choral Activities and professor of music theory at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and conducts the Salem Chamber Choir, Chorale, and SuperTonix. She came to Salem College following positions at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky and Brewton Parker College in Mt. Vernon, Georgia.

Graduating from Winthrop University with Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degrees, Sonja Sepúlveda earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of South Carolina where she studied under Dr. Larry Wyatt and Dr. Carol Krueger. She received the William H. Nolte Graduate Assistant Teaching Award from the University of South Carolina in 2006 for her work in conducting and teaching. While working on her doctorate at USC, she conducted Carolina Alive and the Renaissance Singers.

Sonja Sepúlveda is former SC Choral Festival Chairman and served as SC All-State Chairman for four years. She also served as her state ACDA Chairman for Jazz and Show Choirs. Her choirs have toured Europe, Mexico, and Canada and have performed concerts for the National Cathedral, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Center, South Carolina Music Educators Association (SCMEA), National American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Southern Division ACDA, and the Music Educators National Conference (MENC). She conducted, as well sang choral parts for the ABC mini-series, North and South. Sonja Sepúlveda sang with the Robert Shaw Festival Chorus for eight years, as well with the Carnegie Hall Chorus in 2000 and 2002. She is well known for her work with youth choruses and is in demand as a choral adjudicator and clinician.

In 2006, she founded the Palmetto Voices, a choir of alumni students from Western Kentucky University, University of South Carolina, Brewton Parker College, Salem College and Sumter High School. The choir strives to preserve the legacy of the Negro Spiritual and share the vision that this unique American choral art form is for everyone. She is married to Juan Sepúlveda and they have two sons, Dru and Brys.

Since 1989, Dr. Jo Ann Miller has been director of choral activities at North Dakota State University where she conducts the Concert Choir and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting and choral literature.

Her involvement in the American Choral Director’s Association includes North Dakota state president, newsletter editor, repertoire and standards chair for the university level, audition chair for the 2006 North Central convention, program chair for the 2008 North Central convention and search committee member for the national executive director. She served as North Central division president from 2006 through 2008 and is currently the national treasurer and member of the Executive Board from 2009-2017.

As director of choral activities at NDSU, her choirs tour regularly overseas and throughout the United States. The Concert Choir has been invited to perform at national, regional and state music conventions, including the 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016.North Central American Choral Directors Association conventions and the 2001 national ACDA convention in San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. Miller is the artistic director of the NDSU Baroque Festival and the chorus master of the Fargo Moorhead Symphony Orchestra. She was named a University Distinguished Professor in 2009, the highest honor awarded to faculty at NDSU, and in 2013 was awarded the Faculty Lectureship. She earned her degrees from NDSU, the University of North Dakota, and the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music.

She is an active clinician and guest conductor throughout the United States.

The NDSU Concert Choir tours regionally during spring break every year and internationally every three years. In 2012 they were awarded the first prize Golden Cross at the Zadar, Croatia International Choir Competition. They also record annually with more than 30 compact discs. Since 2000 the Concert Choir has participated in the NDSU Baroque Festival with annual performances of Handel’s Messiah. D.M.A., Univ. of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music, M.Ed., University of North Dakota B.S., North Dakota State University.

Dr. Carol Krueger formerly served as the Director of Choral Activities at Valdosta State University, Emporia State University, and Florida Southern. She also served as the Associate Director of Choral Activities at the University of South Carolina and the University of Montevallo. A native of Wisconsin, Krueger received her bachelor's degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and both an M.M. and D.M.A. in Choral Conducting from the University of Miami.

An active clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor, Krueger has most recently conducted festivals and honor choirs at the collegiate, high school and middle school levels in Maryland, Arkansas, South Dakota, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, Kansas, New York, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Washington, Georgia, South Carolina, North Dakota, Indiana [2021] and Kentucky [2021]. In addition, Dr. Krueger served as the guest conductor of the North-North Central ACDA Middle School Treble Choir (Milwaukee, 2020( of Vivaldi’s Gloria in Carnegie Hall (2010), the Adult Chancel Choir and Chamber Singers at Montreat Presbyterian Association of Musicians Conference (2010), and multiple performances of Epcot’s Candlelight Processional and Massed Choir Program (2005). She is looking forward to conducting the SSAA High School Kentucky All State in 2021.

Krueger has presented interest sessions at the American Choral Directors National Convention in New York, the OAKE (Kodaly) National Convention in Charlotte, the ACDA Southern Division Conventions in Mobile, Nashville and Louisville, the Southern Division MENC Convention in Charleston, the North Central Division ACDA in Madison, the Eastern Division ACDA in Providence, the Eastern Division NAfME in Hartford, as well as interest sessions or workshops in twenty-eight states (Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Oregon [2020], and Colorado [2021). Krueger is also widely recognized for her work with music literacy. Oxford University Press publishes her book, Progressive Sight Singing.

March 17-Dr. Jennifer Sengin is the Associate Director of Choral Activities at Georgia State University where she conducts the Women’s Chorus and Choral Union and teaches graduate choral literature, graduate and undergraduate conducting, undergraduate choral methods, and supervises student teachers. Under her direction, the Women’s Chorus recently performed at the Georgia Music Educators Association Conference in January, 2020. Dr. Sengin is very passionate about recruiting. In collaboration with the Director of Choral Activities, she has worked to increase enrollment in the choral program at GSU. Dr. Sengin was named a semi-finalist for The American Prize in Conducting–college/university division in February, 2021.

An active guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and presenter, Dr. Sengin has conducted honor choirs in Georgia, Florida, New Jersey, Michigan, and New York, and presented sessions with the Dublin Youth Choir Singers (Ireland), NAFME Eastern Division Conference, ACDA Central/North Central Division Conference, Georgia Music Educators Conference, Florida Music Educators Conference, and at the Virtual mirabai Women’s Leadership Retreat among others. Dr. Sengin frequently provides presentations on recruiting and retaining singers, score study and rehearsal strategies, movement as a rehearsal strategy, and building community in the choral rehearsal in both virtual and in-person settings.

Dr. Sengin currently serves on the National Board of the National Collegiate Choral Organization, the R&R Chair for Youth and Student Activities on the GA-ACDA Board and as Faculty/Administrator of the Choral Music Experience for Choral Teacher Education course at Michigan State University, and has taught additional courses at Michigan State and Central Connecticut State Universities. She has published and contributed to articles in the Choral Journal and Tempo Magazine, and currently sings in The American Prize-winning ensemble, mirabai, under the direction of Sandra Snow.

Dr. Sengin earned her doctorate at Michigan State University, where she studied with Drs. David Rayl, Sandra Snow, and Jonathan Reed. At Michigan State, Dr. Sengin directed the Women’s Glee Club and led several large-scale recruitment events. She earned a Master’s degree from Ithaca College, where she studied conducting with Dr. Janet Galván and Lawrence Doebler and holds a Bachelor’s degree from The College of New Jersey.

Dr. Tram Sparks is Associate Professor of Practice at the USC Thornton School of Music. Prior to her work in Los Angeles, Sparks was Associate Professor and Associate Director of Choral Activities at Temple University Boyer College of Music & Dance, where she taught from 1999-2009. Dr. Sparks taught graduate and undergraduate courses in choral literature, conducting, and aural theory, and conducted the Concert Choir, University Chorale, Women’s Chorus and University Singers over the course of her ten years at Temple University. In addition to her appointment at Temple, she has served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Dordt College (Sioux Center, Iowa) and Director of the Choral Program at St. Joseph’s University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

A native of Vietnam and a child refugee of the Vietnam War, Sparks’s earliest musical training was in Okinawa, Japan and subsequently, at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Pre-College Division, where her studies included lessons in piano, solfege, eurythmics, and choral music (singing in a children’s choir). Sparks earned the Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and the Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Temple University. Her piano training, with the late Harvey Wedeen and David L. Stone, follows in the pedagogical lineages of Adele Marcus, Isabelle Vengerova, Josef Lhevinne, and Nicholas Slonimsky.

Sparks holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from Yale University. While at Yale, she completed certificate program studies in Music, Worship and the Arts at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and thereafter, served as music director in various churches and synagogues in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Sparks’s research interests center around two areas and the subtle interplay between them – conducting technique rooted in modern dance theory and movement analysis; and a contextual understanding of chirognomy, its forms and functions, in contemporaneous early communities of worship.

Honors, Awards & Competitions: Merit Award for Teaching and Creative Activity (Temple University), Presidential Summer Research Fellowship (Temple University), The French Award (Yale Institute of Sacred Music, The Richard De Long Prize (Yale Institute of Sacred Music), Edward Stanley Seder Scholar (Yale Institute of Sacred Music)

Academic degrees: DMA, Yale University School of Music, 2003, MMA, Yale University School of Music, 1998; MM, Temple University Boyer College of Music and Dance, 1995, BM, Temple University Boyer College of Music and Dance, 1993

Karen Burke is a singer, music director, choral conductor and composer in the field of African-American vocal music.

As an authority on the history and performance practices of Gospel music, she has worked with major choral ensembles and organizations including the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Youth Choir, Toronto Choral Society and Ontario Choral Federation, as well as numerous schools and church congregations. In 1988, she co-founded the Juno Award-winning Toronto Mass Choir and continues to serve as their principal director, touring nationally and internationally.

A prolific composer and arranger of Gospel repertoire, Professor Burke has written many original songs for the Toronto Mass Choir’s CDs. Her work on the concert stage and in the recording studio includes collaborations with such leading lights as Alvin Slaughter, Jean Ashworth Bartle and Jackie Richardson.

Professor Burke is the founding director of the York University Gospel Choir. She joined the faculty in York’s Music Department in 2005.

Dr. Carolyn Cruse is Associate Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music Education at Texas Tech University, where she conducts the TTU Women's Chorale and teaches undergraduate music education courses including choral techniques, choral conducting, and vocal/choral pedagogy. Dr. Cruse is also active with the TTU Summer Master of Music Education program, teaching an intensive course each summer on topics related to choral rehearsal strategies, vocal/choral pedagogy, adolescent voice development, and choral conducting.

Dr. Cruse frequently serves as a clinician and festival adjudicator, and has been invited to conduct All-State and Regional Honor Choirs and present workshops in Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Texas, the Symposium on Singing and Song in St. John's, Newfoundland (Canada) in October 2015, and the Colorado All-State Women's Choir in February 2016. In addition, the TTU Women's Chorale performed for the 2012 Southwestern Division Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, TX. As a singer/performer, Dr. Cruse has been a member of the Westminster Choir (NJ), and has performed in ensembles for several National and Divisional Conferences of ACDA. She recently performed an inaugural concert and recorded a CD with the newly formed professional women's ensemble “mirabai,” conducted by Dr. Sandra Snow.

Dr. Cruse is a contributing author for the new Hal Leonard/McGraw Hill Choral Textbook Voices in Concert, and she currently serves as the College/Community Choirs Vice-President of TCDA. She holds a Ph.D. in Music Education from Michigan State University, a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey, and a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas. Prior to her appointment at Texas Tech, Dr. Cruse taught choral music for nine years at the Junior High and High School levels in Richardson and Plano, TX. She lives in Lubbock, TX with her husband Rob and their two dogs Riley and Maya, and enjoys cooking, movies, and boxing conditioning classes. Dr. Cruse is passionate about music teacher education and dedicates her time and efforts to prepare and nurture future music educators in all contexts.

Dr. Lisa Wong is an Associate Professor of Music at The College of Wooster, where she co-chairs the Music Department, directs the Wooster Chorus, and teaches courses in conducting, choral literature, and music education. In addition to her duties at the College, Dr. Wong is Director of Choruses for The Cleveland Orchestra. In this capacity, she oversees all choral performances with the Orchestra, and prepares the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus for performances with Franz Welser-Möst and all guest conductors.

Under Dr. Wong’s direction, the award-winning Wooster Chorus has been selected to perform at the Central Division Conference of the American Choral Directors Association, and selected three times to perform at the state conference of the Ohio Music Education Association. Wong has premiered thirteen new works with the Wooster Chorus, including Jake Runestad’s Ner Ner.(2015)

Dr. Wong has worked with students of all levels, ranging from pre-kindergarten through college. Prior to her appointment at Wooster, she was active as a music educator for sixteen years in public and private schools in New York, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. A strong advocate for music education, Dr. Wong remains active as a clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator. She regularly serves as a Music Panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and works as an adjudicator for Festivals of Music. She has presented her work at several music conferences and is frequently invited to work with students and educators in clinics and workshops. In 2013, she was invited to Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya as a part of Tunaweza Kimuziki, and in 2015 was selected as a conductor for Conducting 21C: Musical Leadership for a New Century in Stockholm, Sweden.

Dr. Wong has a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from West Chester University, and Master of Music and Doctor of Music degrees in Choral Conducting from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Coreen Duffy is director of choral activities at the University of Montana School of Music, where she conducts Chamber Chorale and University Choir, teaches conducting, choral methods, and supervises student teachers. Duffy is an active clinician and composer; her works are published by Walton Music, ECS, and Pavane and featured in ACDA sessions. A specialist in Jewish choral music, Duffy has co-designed special performance/interest/worship sessions dedicated to Jewish repertoire at two National ACDA conferences (“ACDA Shabbat,” 2011; “Jewish Choral Music,” 2013) and has presented on the subject at national and international conferences, including in Hannover, Germany in 2019. Duffy founded the Second Avenue Jewish Chorale, which performed under her direction at Florida ACDA; she served two terms as R&R Chair for Ethnic and Multicultural Perspectives for Florida ACDA. She currently serves as NW ACDA R&R Co-Chair for World Musics and Cultures, as well as NW Division Representative for the NAfME Council for Choral Education, and on the Editorial Board for NCCO’s The Choral Scholar.

March 18-Dr. Caron Daley is Director of Choral Activities at the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she conducts the Voices of Spirit and Pappert Chorale and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting. Choirs under her direction have performed across the Northeast, including an invited performance at the 2019 National Collegiate Choral Organization Conference. A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, she has held past conducting appointments with the University of Toronto, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, National Youth Choir of Canada, Salem Academy and College, and St. Michael's Choir School.

Caron's research explores the application of embodied practices to choral and conductor pedagogy. She is published in Anacrusis, Canadian Music Educator, Research Memorandum Series of Chorus America, Teaching Music through Performance in Choir Vol. 4 and Vol. 5, Choral Journal, Journal of Singing, and The Choral Scholar. Her current research investigations explore (1) the impact of hand gestures on the learning and retention of non-native phonemes for singing and (2) injury prevention strategies and curricular implications in conducting.

Caron holds a D.M.A. (Choral Conducting) from the University of Toronto, an M.M. (Choral Conducting) and M.A. (Vocal Pedagogy) from The Ohio State University, an Artist Diploma (Voice) and B.M. (Music Education) from Western University, and an A.R.C.T. (Voice) from the Royal Conservatory of Canada. She currently serves as President of the American Choral Directors Association of Pennsylvania.

Passionate about conductor education, Caron founded the Halifax Choral Conducting Institute in 2013, a summer training program that attracted participants and clinicians internationally. In 2019, the HCCI inaugurated a Women's Conducting Intensive, the first of its kind in Canada. In 2021, Caron leads a new conducting program at Duquesne, Choral Kaleidoscope, in collaboration with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.

Areas of Expertise: Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Conducting Pedagogy, Teaching Women Conductors, Vocal Pedagogy, Injury Prevention

Penelope Cruz is currently the choir director at White Plains High School. Under her direction, the White Plains High School Choir has performed at Carnegie Hall, for the New York State School Board Association, at Penn State University, and at various festivals and competitions where they have received highest ratings. Penelope Cruz is the President for ACDA Eastern Region.. She is a member of the inaugural National ACDA Diversity Initiatives Committee for which she made contributions to the Choral Journal and as part of an ad hoc committee on audition guidelines for honor choirs and auditioned choirs.

For the Eastern Division, Cruz has been Program Chair (2016 and 2020) and Honor Choirs Chair (2012 and 2014), where she initiated the Latino Repertoire and Chinese Repertoire Honor choirs. She has served as NY State President (2014-2015) and as Repertoire and Standards chair for both Women’s Choirs and Multicultural and Ethnic Perspectives. She serves on the American Choral Directors' Association New York Board as the Repertoire and Standards Chair for Multicultural and Ethnic Perspectives, as member of the NYSSMA Diversity Committee, and as Area All State Choruses Co-Chair for Westchester County.

A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and Eastman School of Music, Ms. Cruz has taught at the elementary, middle school, and high school level in the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, and New York and has sung professionally in opera, musical theater, and in choirs. Ms. Cruz was selected in 2005 and 2010 for the National Endowments for the Humanities Summer Teachers' Institutes, traveling to Vienna to study Mozart and to Germany to study Bach. She has served as a clinician for multiple professional choral and music education conferences. She has conducted elementary, middle, and high school choirs, children’s community choirs, and festival choirs.

Dr. Ramona Wis is the Mimi Rolland Endowed Professor in the Fine Arts, Professor of Music, and Director of Choral Activities at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. She conducts the Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and Women’s Chorale and teaches courses in conducting, music methods, and servant leadership.

An active festival conductor, clinician, writer, and public speaker, Dr. Wis has presented workshops across the country and in Canada, including presentations for the British Columbia Music Educators Association, the International Conference of the Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, GALA Choruses, the Tennessee Arts Academy, American Choral Directors Association, and the Illinois and Ohio Music Educators Associations. Her book, The Conductor as Leader: Principles of Leadership Applied to Life on the Podium has quickly become a leadership classic among conductors and music teachers, as well as those interested in leadership outside the music profession.

Dr. Wis has served as President of the American Choral Directors Association in Illinois and on both ACDA and IMEA executive boards. She has sung under Robert Shaw, James Levine and Margaret Hillis, and has conducted and performed in professional, theatrical, community, and academic settings for more than 35 years. Dr. Wis is also a 200-hr. Certified Yoga Teacher (CYT/RYT), continuing her work on the body/mind connection.

Linda R. Hall, a native of Baltimore, taught music education in The Baltimore Public School System for 32 years. Her inspiration was fueled by music educators: Spencer Hammond, Dorothy Marshall, the late Lois Wright and the late Dr. Nathan Carter. She served as choral director of the Baltimore City College High School in Baltimore, Maryland for 26 years.

Under Ms. Hall’s direction, the City College choirs delighted audiences from the White House and abroad; in Verona, Italy at The International Choral Music Days Festival, The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Milan, as well as, tours in Rome, Tuscany, Spain and France. The choirs performed extensively along the eastern seaboard concertizing, competing and participating in numerous festivals where they consistently won superior ratings, awards and trophies for their performances. Ms. Hall was privileged and honored to have the opportunity to conduct the City College Choir at the Carnegie Hall National High School Choral Festival as a guest of Dr. Craig Jessop, former conductor of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Ms. Hall has prepared choirs for numerous performances with The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and co-directed works with The Baltimore Choral Arts Society and the Morgan State University Choir. Hall also served as conductor and clinician for The Annual Ithaca College Gospel Festival. She has conducted Honors Choruses in MD, DC and VA and The ACDA Voices United Summer Conference festival chorus, where she was privileged to share the stage with Weston Noble. Another highlight of Ms. Hall’s career was the opportunity and the good fortune to work with the Washington Performing Arts Society – Men and Women of the Gospel, and conduct the world premiere of INDABA! written by and performed with Sweet Honey in the Rock. She enjoys opportunities to perform as a clinician, consultant, adjudicator and conductor. Ms. Hall has also served as The ACDA Eastern Division and State and Division Repertoire and Standards Chair for Senior High School and maintains her membership with ACDA and NAfME. She has served as Minster of Music for many churches and most recently the music director of The St. John Baptist Church Cathedral Choir in Columbia, MD and Minister of Music at Metropolitan United Methodist Church in Baltimore, MD.

Among the many awards Ms. Hall is grateful to have received are the ‘Alumnae of Excellence’ Award from her alma mater, Shenandoah University, the Excellence Merit Achievement Initiative for Maryland’s Minority Students Award, the Baltimore City Council’s Teacher of the Year Award, and the Outstanding Teacher Award from Baltimore City Community College. In addition, she received the Teacher Recognition Award from Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth and was the honoree for The BSO (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) and The Soulful Symphony in partnership with Magic 95.9 and WWIN–FM, “Honoring Those Who Inspire the Young and Gifted”. Most recently, she was the recipient of the Excellence in Music Education Award in Baltimore City and the Iota Phi Lambda- Apple for the Teacher Award. She has shaken hands with two presidents, performed for four and received citations from the governors, several mayors, city council, and many other notable officials. The greatest reward, however, comes from working with those who have a passion for singing and a talent waiting to be developed!!

Ms. Hall received her BME from Shenandoah University (then, Shenandoah Conservatory of Music) and her MA from Morgan State University

Dr. Nancy Menk holds the Mary Lou and Judd Leighton Chair in Music at Saint Mary's College where she is celebrating her 36th year as professor of music and director of choral activities. She also serves as chair of the Department of Music and teaches graduate conducting at the University of Notre Dame. At Saint Mary's College, Professor Menk conducts the Women's Choir and the Collegiate Choir, teaches conducting, and prepares the Madrigal Singers for the annual Christmas madrigal dinners. Under her direction, the Women’s Choir has performed on tour throughout the United States and it regularly commissions, performs, and records new works for women's voices for their series on the ProOrgano label. Menk also serves as conductor of the 110-voice Northwest Indiana Symphony Chorus.

Menk serves regularly as a guest conductor and choral adjudicator throughout the United States. She has conducted All-State Choirs in Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, North Dakota, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. In August 2011, she served as guest conductor for the Hong Kong Youth Music Camp Chorus. In 2014, she appeared at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, conducting music by American composer Gwyneth Walker for women’s voices and orchestra. In March 2019, she made her seventh appearance at Carnegie Hall, conducting a program of works for women’s voices and orchestra by Michael Haydn, Johannes Brahms, Ralph Vaughan William, Libby Larsen, and Ola Gjeilo. In 2017, she became the first woman to program and conduct a subscription concert of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra.

She holds the BS and the MA degrees in music education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the MM and the DMA degrees in Choral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Dr. Katherine FitzGibbon is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Lewis & Clark College, where she conducts two of the three choirs, teaches courses in conducting and music history, and oversees the vibrant voice and choral areas. Her work blends a focus on challenging repertoire performed in historically, politically, and culturally informed ways with a deep sense of connection with performers and audience.

At Lewis & Clark, she has conducted music ranging from medieval chant to the American premiere of a work for symphonic chorus and Javanese gamelan. In 2014, she was an inaugural winner of the Lorry Lokey Faculty Excellence Award, honoring “inspired teaching, rigorous scholarship, demonstrated leadership, and creative accomplishments.” In December of 2019, she won the David Savage Award, given to a faculty member whose “vision and sustained service to the College have advanced the general academic and intellectual welfare of our community of teacher-scholars.”

Dr. FitzGibbon founded Resonance Ensemble in 2009, a professional choral ensemble presenting powerful programs that promote meaningful social change. Resonance amplifies voices that have long been silenced, and they do so through moving, thematic concerts that highlight solo and choral voices, new and underrepresented composers, visual and other performing artists, and community partners. With Resonance, she has collaborated with the Portland Art Museum, Oregon Symphony, Kingdom Sound Gospel Ensemble, Third Angle New Music, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Lauderdale and Hunter Noack, poet/performer Renee Mitchell, the Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra, and local actors, composers, visual artists, and dancers. Resonance has been described as “one of Oregon’s most valuable musical resources” (Oregon Arts Watch) and “one of the Northwest’s finest choirs” (Willamette Week). In June of 2019, Chorus America honored Dr. FitzGibbon with the prestigious Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal in recognition of her work with Resonance Ensemble. Chorus America’s press release noted, “As founder and artistic director of Resonance Ensemble, FitzGibbon has captained a bold organizational shift—from its original mission exploring links between music, art, poetry, and theatre, to a new focus exclusively on presenting concerts that promote meaningful social change.” With Resonance, she has commissioned significant new works by composers Renee Favand-See, Melissa Dunphy, Joe Kye, and Damien Geter.

Dr. FitzGibbon has also served on the faculty of the summertime Berkshire Choral International festival and conducted choirs at Harvard, Boston, Cornell, and Clark Universities, and at the University of Michigan. She has directed secondary school choral programs, guest conducted honor choirs, and adjudicated solo and choral competitions, and she serves on the board of the National Collegiate Choral Organization.

A lyric soprano, Dr. FitzGibbon is a frequent recitalist and performer of early through new music, having performed with Friends of Rain, Third Angle New Music Ensemble, Cappella Romana, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Clark University’s Faculty Recital Series, the Boston Secession Artist Series, Cornell University Mid-Day Music, and recitals at the Berkshire Choral Festival. On the concert stage, she has sung solos with ensembles including the Windsor Symphony, Berkshire Choral Festival, Boston Secession, Kings Chapel Concert Series, Ocean City Pops Orchestra, Boston University Chamber Chorus, and University of Michigan Early Music Ensemble, in works from Schütz to world premieres.

March 19-Dr. Kimberly Dunn Adams is the Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at Western Michigan University, where she directs the University Chorale, Collegiate Singers, Grand Chorus, and graduate program in choral conducting. She also teaches choral literature, choral conducting, and advanced conducting.

Adams has earned numerous accolades throughout her career. Under her direction, the University Chorale at Western Michigan University received 2nd place in the 2013 American Prize, a national music competition. In the same year, Chorale was featured in an award-winning, nationally-aired commercial for the university. In spring of 2014, the same choir, with Adams conducting, premiered Paul Lansky’s cantata, Contemplating Weather, and recorded the piece for Bridge Records. That album was released in spring of 2015 and is available through iTunes, Amazon, and other international retail distributors. Under her direction, the WMU Chorale was selected to perform at the Michigan ACDA State Convention, the Michigan Music Conference, and the ACDA Regional Conference in Chicago. University Chorale’s latest album, Ex corde, was released in June 2016 and is available internationally for purchase and streaming. In 2015, Adams was named a Conducting Fellow in the ACDA International Conductors Exchange Program with Sweden. She has presented at World Choral Symposium in Spain and Nordic Choral Conference in Sweden (with Dominick DiOrio of Indiana University), the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) conference, the Michigan Music Conference, and MSVMA’s Summer Workshop. She guest conducted and given workshops to choirs in several countries and multiple U.S. states. As a graduate student, she received 2nd Prize at the American Choral Directors Association national conducting competition.

From 2006–11, Adams was the Director of Choral Ensembles and Lecturer in Music at Mount Holyoke College, where she taught conducting and directed the Glee Club, Chorale, and Chamber Singers. She has previously conducted the University of Wisconsin-Madison Masters Singers and Women’s Chorus, Yale Marquand Chapel Choir, Yale Repertory and Recital Choruses, and Oberlin Women’s Choir. In addition, she has served as Assistant Conductor for the Yale Camerata, the Madison Choral Union, the University of Wisconsin Concert Choir, and the University of Wisconsin Opera Theater. Adams has also enjoyed her time as a music director at churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Connecticut.

Adams holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from Oberlin College and a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied voice with Lorraine Manz and conducting with Hugh Floyd. She received the Master of Music degree in choral conducting from the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Marguerite Brooks and Simon Carrington. Adams earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting with a minor in music theory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying with Beverly Taylor and Bruce Gladstone. Additionally, she participated in the Oregon Bach Festival conducting master class with Helmut Rilling and was a fellow in orchestral conducting at the Conductor’s Institute at the University of South Carolina with Paul Vermel.

An active member of the American Choral Directors Association, Adams has served as the Massachusetts ACDA Repertoire & Standards Chair for Women’s Choirs and the South-Central-Lower Area Representative for Michigan ACDA. She is currently the College & Student Activities Chair for Michigan ACDA. She is also a member of the Michigan School Vocal Music Association, Chorus America, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, and is President of WMU’s Pi Kappa Lambda Chapter. Adams is highly praised for her energetic, positive, and insightful work as an honor choir conductor and is a sought-after guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator.

Dr. Elisa Macedo Dekaney is dually appointed by the School of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University to teach graduate and undergraduate courses in the areas of choral music, music education, music research, and world music. Additionally, in 2014 she joined the prestigious core faculty for the Renée Crown Honors Program.

Along with her husband Joshua Dekaney, Elisa Dekaney has been the founder and director of Samba Laranja: the Syracuse University Brazilian Ensemble since 2001. Under their direction, Samba Laranja performs regularly for k-12 schools across Central New York and for events in the community and on campus. The group has also performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City four times since 2010 and has been awarded two Syracuse Area Music Awards for Best Recording Other Style in 2011 and 2015 for the recordings Native Orange and Pathways, respectively.

From 2003 to 2011, Dekaney was music director and conductor of the Syracuse University Oratorio Society, an auditioned choir that performed regularly with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. Recently, she has been the conductor for the Syracuse University Concert Choir and the Syracuse University Women’s Choir.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dekaney earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance at the Seminário Teológico Batista do Sul do Brasil and a bachelor’s degree in communication from Universidade Federal Fluminense. She continued her studies in the United States, earning a master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City under Eph Ehly and a Ph.D. in choral music education from the Florida State University under André Thomas, Judy Bowers, Clifford Madsen, and Rodney Eichenberger.

Dekaney has been an active researcher, clinician, and choral conductor in the United States and abroad. Her scholarly research focuses on aesthetic response to Brazilian music, choral repertoire from the global community, International Phonetic Alphabet, clinical simulation, and thin-slice methodology. Her studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Research in Music Education, Research Studies in Music Education, The Choral Journal, International Education, Music Educators Journal, Contributions to Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, and Update. Carl Fischer and BriLee have published her choral arrangements of Brazilian folksongs co-written with Lon Beery, and her book, co-authored with Deborah Cunningham, Travel On and On: Interdisciplinary Lessons on the Music of World Cultures, is published by Rowman and Littlefield Education and the National Association for Music Education.

As part of her service to the choral music education profession, Dekaney has served for several terms as the New York State American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Repertoire and Standards Chair for Ethnic and Multicultural Music. Additionally, she served for four years as chair of the Special Research Interest Group in Learning and Development of the National Association for Music Education. From 2012 to 2016 Dekaney was the Repertoire and Standards Chair for Ethnic and Multicultural Perspectives for the Eastern Division ACDA. In 2016, she became Repertoire and Resources Chair – Encompassing Genres with the ACDA Eastern Division. In 2006 Dekaney was awarded the Paul and Veronica Abel Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Choral Performance, and in 2015 she received the Tiffany Award for Outstanding Service to the Cause of Music, both awarded by the Civic Morning Musicals. In 2007, the College of Visual and Performing Arts honored Dekaney with an Outstanding Faculty Award. In 2011 she was a Curt Silberman Seminar Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., where she engaged in advanced Holocaust studies.

Education: Ph.D., Florida State University, M.M., University of Missouri-Kansas City, Conservatory of Music, Bachelor’s degree, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Bachelor’s degree, Seminário Teológico Batista do Sul do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Karen P. Thomas, composer and conductor, is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Seattle Pro Musica. Her compositions are performed and broadcast throughout the world, by groups such as The Hilliard Ensemble, NOTUS, and the Vocal Consort of Brussels. Her works are published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing and Karen P. Thomas Music, and have been featured at numerous festivals and conferences.

A prize-winning composer, she has received grants from the NEA, The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and Meet the Composer, among numerous others. Among her many commissions are works for the Harvard/Radcliffe Choirs, the Grand Jubilee in Rome, the American Guild of Organists, the Pacific Chorale, Chorus Austin, and the Association of Anglican Musicians.

As a conductor, Ms. Thomas has produced eleven critically-acclaimed CDs, and received the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and the ASCAP-Chorus America Award. She has appeared as guest conductor at international festivals in Europe and North America, and the NPR radio show Saint Paul Sunday. She received a 2018 Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award and the 2012 Outstanding Choral Director Award for Washington State, and currently serves on the boards of Chorus America and the American Choral Directors Association (NW Division).

Dr. Elise Hepworth is Professor and Director of Choral Activities and Music Education at Missouri Western State University in Saint Joseph. She teaches choral literature, choral conducting, K-6 and 7-12 music methods courses, and conducts the MWSU Concert Chorale and the MWSU Renaissance/Chamber Singers, recently performing at the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference/In-Service in January 2018. She is a member of Kantorei of Kansas City, performing with the ensemble at the 2019 ACDA National Conference in Kansas City, and is the founding director of the Robidoux Chorale, a semi-professional chamber ensemble in Saint Joseph.

Dr. Hepworth is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University (B.S.Ed.), The University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music (M.M.E.), The University of Mississippi (D.A.), and the New Zealand School of Music (G.Dip.). Additionally, she is nationally certified in the pedagogies of Orff Schulwerk and Zoltan Kodaly.

She currently serves as Repertoire and Resources chair for the Missouri Choral Directors Association, as well as the Advancing Music Education Chair and co-chair of the Advocacy Network Council for the Missouri Music Educators Association. She also holds a membership with the National Association for Teachers of Singing.

Dr. Hepworth was recently awarded the Foundation for Teaching Excellence by Missouri Western State University, the Mayor’s Award for Arts Educator of the Year and the Shine On Award for the community of Saint Joseph, and the MCDA Northwest District Outstanding Director for the year 2016. She is serving as Missouri Western State University’s faculty senate president for 2019-2020, and is an avid performer, clinician, and presenter at state, national, and international conventions.

She lives in Saint Joseph with her husband, Matt, and their two cats, Abby and Alex.

Brittney Boykin (B.E. Boykin) is a native of Alexandria, Virginia and comes from a musical family. At the age of 7, she began piano lessons and continued her studies through high school under the tutelage of Mrs. Alma Sanford. Mrs. Sanford guided her through various competitions, such as the NAACP’s ACT-SO competition where she garnered 1st place for 3 consecutive years in the local competition. Also, in the spring of 2007, Ms. Boykin was awarded The Washington Post “Music and Dance Award.”

Ms. Boykin pursued her classical piano studies at Spelman College under the leadership of Dr. Rachel Chung. During her time at Spelman, Ms. Boykin was the student accompanist for the Spelman College Glee Club for all 4 years. While being an active student in the music department, she also attended classes to pursue her interest in composition. These classes challenged her musical imagination, and she began to compose and arrange a number of choral compositions. Her compositions quickly became popular, including her arrangement of “Go Down, Moses” and a setting of “Ave Maria.” In fact, both of these arrangements were performed and recorded by the Spelman College Glee Club during her sophomore, junior and senior years. During her tenure at Spelman College as a student, Ms. Boykin also won 1st place at the 2009 James A. Hefner HBCU Piano Competition at Tennessee State University and traveled abroad to perform in the Grumo Music Festival in Grumo, Italy during the summer of 2010.

After graduating Spelman College in 2011 with a B.A. in Music, Ms. Boykin continued her studies at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. She continued to compose music during her time at Westminster and was awarded the R and R Young Composition Prize just a few months shy of graduating. In May of 2013, Ms. Boykin graduated from Westminster Choir College with a M.M. in Sacred Music with a concentration in choral studies.

Ms. Boykin’s choral piece, “We Sing as One,” was commissioned to celebrate Spelman College’s 133rd Anniversary of its founding at the 2014 Founders Day Convocation. She has also been featured as the conductor/composer-in-residence for the 2017 Harry T. Burleigh Commemorative Spiritual Festival at Tennessee State University. Ms. Boykin’s instrumental and choral works are currently being published and distributed through her own publishing company, Klavia Press.

She is currently the Assistant Director of the Spelman College Glee Club, as well as the Director of the Treble Choir at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Additionally, Ms. Boykin is also the newly appointed Interim Director of Choral Activities at Agnes Scott College. She is currently PhD candidate at Georgia State University with an emphasis in Music Education.

Morna Edmundson is one of Canada’s best-known choral conductors with a strong reputation for excellence. Passionate since childhood about choral singing, she obtained degrees and diplomas in vocal music in Vancouver, Bellingham, and Stockholm, Sweden where her teachers included Eric Ericson.

In 1987, she co-founded Elektra Women’s Choir with Diane Loomer, a treasured partnership that lasted 22 years. In 2009, Morna became Elektra’s sole Artistic Director, continuing the choir’s strong leadership role in concert presentation, commissioning, recording, and mentorship.

In addition to her work with Elektra, Morna is the Artistic Director of EnChor, a Vancouver-based, auditioned, mixed choir for mature voices. For 14 years Morna shared her love of quality repertoire with a new generation of singers in her role as Associate Artistic Director of Coastal Sound Music Academy, where she was Music Director of the mixed-voice Youth Chamber Choir.

Morna has adjudicated in North America and Asia, conducted honour choirs in several states, co-directed the American Choral Directors Association National Women’s Honour Choir, and gives frequent workshops with choirs of all ages.

In 2000 she was presented with the Healey Willan Award for outstanding service to the BC Choral Federation, an organization she serves as a member of the Willan Council. In February 2009 Morna was a recipient of the BC Community Achievement Award, which recognized her gifted organizational talent, leadership by example, and her encouragement of others to pursue their musical and choral goals. In June 2011 Morna received a Vancouver YWCA Woman of Distinction award in recognition of her work with Elektra. Since 2013, she has served as a Board member of Chorus America, the advocacy, research, and leadership development organization that gives voice to the choral field. In 2020, she joined the board of Choral Canada as its President Elect.

Acclaimed conductor, pianist, singer, producer and non-profit leader Josephine Lee has made a widespread impact in the fields of music and education through an array of engagements across the globe. Ms. Lee has worked with a sterling roster of local and international artists and currently serves as President and Artistic Director of the United States’ preeminent youth choral organization, Chicago Children’s Choir.

Delivering a “sensuous and bluesy” performance (The New York Times), Ms. Lee recently sang in the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize finalist Ted Hearne’s Place, which received a Grammy nomination for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance and played to critical acclaim at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival. Other recent artistic engagements include a collaboration with Peter CottonTale on the viral work Together in Google’s Year in Search video (2020) and performance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (2021), an Obama Foundation feature called A Chorus of Hope (2021), a conducting debut with members of the National Philharmonic at Strathmore and Grammy Award-winning artist Lisa Fischer and her band Grand Baton (2019); a collaboration with Chicago Children’s Choir and Bobby McFerrin & The SpiritYouAll Band at Ravinia Festival (2019); the development and world premiere of Long Way Home (2018), a fully staged theatrical work with the Q Brothers Collective; the co-creation of the original world musical Sita Ram with David Kersnar of Lookingglass Theatre (2003, 2006, 2012); an original suite for piano and cello, Ascension, commissioned by Ballet Chicago (2017); an original piano composition, The Good Goodbyes, commissioned by Frank Chaves and River North Dance Chicago (2012); a collaboration on Chance the Rapper’s debut studio album The Big Day (2019) as well as a collaboration on his Grammy Award-winning Coloring Book, for which Ms. Lee led choruses in studio recordings and tour performances in 2016. In 2015, Ms. Lee founded Vocality, a festival chorus comprising Chicago Children’s Choir alumni as well as young vocal artists from a wide array of communities within and surrounding the city of Chicago whose mission is to exemplify the highest level of choral singing with an emphasis on excellence and diversity within its membership. Vocality made its premiere in July 2015 at Ravinia Festival in a concert performance of Porgy and Bess with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Bobby McFerrin. Vocality returned to Ravinia Festival in July 2018 in a new staged production of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS under the direction of Marin Alsop as well as the encore production in July 2019, which was filmed for a national PBS broadcast to be released in 2020. Ms. Lee’s past orchestral engagements include those with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Orchestra, Lyric Opera Orchestra, Oregon Symphony and Sphinx Virtuosi. Future engagements include the development of a new theatrical work by J. Nicole Brooks, David Kersnar and Chicago Children’s Choir Composer in Residence W. Mitchell Owens III.

In her role as President and Artistic Director of Chicago Children’s Choir (CCC), Ms. Lee has revolutionized the field of youth choral music through cutting-edge performances of diverse repertoire and innovative collaborations with world-class artists. Through her vision and leadership, Ms. Lee has doubled the number of students served to 5,000, tripled the organization’s budget and established CCC as one of Chicago’s premier cultural institutions, solidifying partnerships with renowned arts organizations, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Ravinia Festival and Grant Park Orchestra and directing new works that capture the pulse of contemporary life in the global age.

In recognition of her leadership of Chicago Children’s Choir, Ms. Lee received the Kennedy Center’s National Committee for the Performing Arts Award for Arts Advocacy in 2018, the Roman Nomitch Fellowship in 2012 to attend the Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program and was awarded the Jesse L. Rosenberger Medal in 2014 from the University of Chicago. Ms. Lee was recently featured in “The Transformative Power of Music,” a segment on Oprah Winfrey Network’s acclaimed show, Super Soul Sunday. Ms. Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from DePaul University and a master’s degree in conducting from Northwestern University.

March 20-Dr. Marla Butke recently retired from Otterbein University where she directed the Women’s Chorale and taught General Music and Choral Methods, holds degrees from Miami University, Wright State University and The Ohio State University. She is a Master Teaching Artist with the American Eurhythmics Society and serves as the President of the Board of AES. Dr. Butke regularly presents Dalcroze Eurhythmics workshops throughout the United States and internationally, including presentations in Spain, China, and England, and for the American Choral Directors Association National and Central/North Central Regional Conferences, as well as other national and state music education conferences. Dr. Butke and Dr. Frego wrote Meaningful Movement: A Music Teacher’s Guide to Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Music is Elementary Press, published in 2016, as well as numerous journal articles individually and collaboratively on the topic of Dalcroze Eurhythmics.

Joan Szymko* (b.1957) is a composer and conductor from the Pacific Northwest. With a catalog of over 100 published choral works, her music is performed by ensembles across North America and abroad. Abundant lyricism, rhythmic integrity and a vigorous attention to text are hallmarks of Szymko's diverse and distinctive choral writing. Fresh and inspiring, her text selections are as notable as her music. Especially significant is Szymko's contribution to the body of quality literature for women's voices. Her music is frequently heard at regional, national and international choral festivals and competitions. Since 2003, her music has been presented at every National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association. The ACDA recognized Szymko's lasting impact on the choral arts in America by selecting her as the recipient of the prestigious Raymond W. Brock Memorial Commission in 2010. Szymko has presented sessions at both regional (Northwest) and national ACDA conferences. She was honored to have been invited to present at the (canceled) 2020 World Symposium on Choral Music in Aukland, New Zealand.

Composing for vocal ensembles is an extension of Szymko's creativity as a choral director. She has inspired community and church choirs in Seattle and Portland for over 40 years. Her passion for the singing voice, an embodied approach to sound, a dedication to craft and artistry, and her insistence on quality texts—all relate to her experience as a conductor and are reflected in her choral compositions. In addition to self published works, her music appears in the catalogs of Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Roger Dean Publishing, Oxford University Press, Walton Music, earthsongs,Treble Clef Press and Yelton Rhodes Music. She was a founding member of the Independent Music Publishers Collective. She has been commissioned by all manner of choral ensemble: professional, community, academic and children’s.

Szymko was born in Chicago, the youngest of five children in a devout Catholic home where faith, education and the arts were core values. She began piano study at age eight, led liturgical music at Mass, sang in her high school choir, but most importantly she was an avid listener to a great diversity of music during her formative years. She began her focus on choral studies at the Chicago Musical College at Roosevelt University and received a B.S. in Music Education (1979) at the University of Illinois (Urbana) with a vocal/choral emphasis. She left for Seattle following graduation and soon began arranging and composing music to fill the repertoire needs of the progressively leaning women's and church choirs she directed there in the 1980's and early 90's. During her first decade as a choral professional, she expanded her knowledge of conducting and vocal pedagogy by way of numerous workshops and summer sessions. A year of composition study at the University of Washington (1988) and a successful musical theater collaboration, (Cradle and All 1990), solidified her determination to continue the pursuit of a career in music with an emphasis on composition.

In 1993 Szymko was invited to Portland, Oregon to take on the leadership of Aurora Chorus, a 100 voice women's community chorus. Soon after arriving in Portland, she founded the select women's choir, Viriditas Vocal Ensemble. She composed prolifically for this group as well as for Aurora Chorus and several of Szymko's best known early works were premiered by these two ensembles. With Viriditas (1994-2002) her mission was to provide an exceptional, eclectic choral experience for both singers and audience. Performances explored connections between music and ritual, unique collaborations, and were aimed at bringing down the "fourth wall" between performers and audience. She began and maintains a fruitful collaborative relationship with Robin Lane and Do Jump! Movement Theater (since 1994) and performed her music with the company in Portland, on Broadway, at the Kennedy Center and Geffen Playhouse in LA. (1995-2005).

Szymko composed her first large-scale work for chorus and orchestra when commissioned by Eugene Vocal Arts to both create the libretto and compose a work focusing on those faced with the tragedy of Alzheimer's dementia. ”Shadow and Light” for mezzo-soprano, tenor, soprano, SATB chorus and 30 piece chamber orchestra was premiered in April 2016 to great critical acclaim. This notable hour-long addition to the choral-orchestral repertoire will be made available by Joan Szymko Music in 2017.

Szymko continues to live and work in Portland, Oregon. She served on the choral faculty at Portland State University as director of Vox Femina (2013-15) and after 26 season recently retired as Artistic Director of Aurora Chorus. As a visiting artist and clinician, she has workshopped her music with choirs in a variety of educational and community settings across the US and in the Netherlands. (*pronounced: SHIM-koh)

Dr. Mitos Andaya Hart (she/her/hers) teaches undergraduate conducting, graduate choral literature, assists with graduate conducting, and directs the Temple University Singers and Temple Voices. Prior to her appointment at Temple, she served as Associate Director of Choral Activities at the University of Georgia where she directed ensembles in early music, jazz, women’s, chamber, and symphonic chorus repertoire. There she was awarded one of the university’s highest honors, the Richard B. Russell Undergraduate Teaching Award, and twice received the Student Government Association Award for “Outstanding Commitment to Students and Academic Excellence.”

Andaya Hart has taught choral music and vocal jazz at the university level in the United States, South Africa, and Australia. She taught at the Center of Jazz and Popular Music with Darius Brubeck at the University of Natal (now University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa) forming the first university vocal jazz ensemble in the country, and at the Elder Conservatorium of Music in Adelaide, South Australia. She served as guest conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Choir in Amsterdam and Arnhem in 2007; conducted the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir in concert at the Lund International Choral Festival in Sweden; and conducted the Netherlands Chamber Choir, Netherlands Radio Chorus, in Haarlem in 2005. She conducted at the 2005 Transient Glory Choral and Chamber Music Festival in New York and worked with Pulitzer Prize winning-composer, David Del Tredici. In 2004, she prepared ensembles for the BBC Philharmonic conductor/Scottish composer, James MacMillan, for his Georgia residency. She was selected to study with Marin Alsop at the Colorado Symphony Orchestra Workshop in 2003, Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival in 2003 and 2004, Simon Halsey and André Thomas in Haarlem, Netherlands in 2005, and Frieder Bernius in Varese, Italy in 2006. Her conducting teachers at the University of Kansas were Simon Carrington and orchestral conductor, Brian Priestman.

Her ensembles have been invited to perform throughout the United States such as at the Boston Early Music Festival, Southern American Choral Directors Association Conference, and the UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival. Her choirs have also traveled and performed in England, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Portugal and Spain. She served on the conducting faculty of the Westminster Chamber Choir with Westminster Choir College of Rider University and has served as a member of the judges panel for the International A Cappella Festival in Leipzig, Germany. In 2010, she served as the clinician and guest conductor for the First Kenyan Choral Directors National Conference hosted by Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya and in 2013 for the First Busan Choral Academy in South Korea. She has conducted various honor choirs and all-state choirs in Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and continues to serve as a national clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor for festivals.

Andaya Hart has Renaissance and other editions published with Alliance Music Publications, and jazz compositions and arrangements with UNC Jazz Press and Hal Leonard. She served as the chair for Jazz Repertoire and Standards for the Georgia American Choral Directors Association, is active in the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, and the International Federation of Choral Music. She served on the National Board of the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) as Vice-President, President-Elect, then as President culminating in the 2015 National Conference in Portland.

Since 2014, Andaya Hart has been the Artistic Director of PhilHarmonia, a Philadelphia-based chamber choir which has commissioned and premiered works including Melissa Dunphy’s American DREAMers based on texts by young American Immigrants and DACA recipients.

She is married and proud to live in a multigenerational and multi-pet home, raising her grade-school son. Education: BME, K-12 certification, University of Northern Colorado, MM, choral conducting, University of Kansas, DMA, choral conducting, University of Kansas

Dr. Marcela Molina has been affiliated with the Tucson Girls Chorus since 2006, first serving as Artistic Director and taking the helm as Executive Director in 2011. Under Dr. Molina’s guidance, the Tucson Girls Chorus has grown significantly in both programming and community engagement. With her leadership, the TGC has transformed into a collaborative organization that creates access to inclusive programming for youth, and provides resources to music educators and support to their classroom all year-round.

In 2011, she was an honoree in Tucson's 40 under 40 for her significant achievements and contributions in her profession and community. In 2014, Dr. Molina was one of eight in the state of Arizona chosen as a Cox Hispanic Heritage Month honoree and in 2016 she was selected as finalist for the Woman of Influence Awards in the category Arts and Culture Champion. In 2017, under Molina’s leadership, the Tucson Girls Chorus was awarded the 2017 Copper Cactus award for Charitable Business sponsored by the Tucson Metro Chamber.

Born in Bogotá, Colombia Dr. Marcela Molina holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and the University of Arizona. She has contributed articles to Antiphon, the official online publication of the Arizona Choral Directors Association (AzACDA) and the book Teaching through Performance in Choir, Volume 2. She was named 2019 Choral Director of the Year by AzACDA and often serves as a clinician and guest conductor at choral festivals.

Dr. Molina serves on the boards of the Arizona Choral Directors Association and Chorus America. She also serves as part of the DEI standing committee of the ACDA Western Division and the advisory group to The Choral Commons.

Dr. Merrin Guice Gill is the Director of Choral Activities at Bethel University. Dr. Guice Gill directs the Bethel Choir and Chamber Singers. She also teaches private voice. Dr. Guice Gill has previously taught on the campuses of Buena Vista University, The University of Wisconsin, and Miami University Ohio, Hamilton Campus. Her choral work has led her to conduct throughout the United States as well as in Canada and Europe. She was selected as one of ten International Conductors to participate in the Sarteano, Italy Choral Conducting Workshop with Simon Carrington and Brian O'Connell where she directed a choir of professionals. Along with choral work Dr. Guice Gill has significant experience conducting orchestras. She was the assistant conductor for the Agnes Scott Community Orchestra in Georgia, worked as a conductor with the Stoughton Opera Company in Wisconsin, and was awarded a young artist award for Conducting by the Madison Symphony Orchestra, which she subsequently led in performance.

Dr. Guice Gill's ensembles are given a vast array of valuable experiences. Her university choirs have toured throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. They have worked with composers Morten Lauridsen and Stacey Gibbs at College Honor Choir presentations. She has led her choirs in receiving National and International awards and recognitions, including: first and second place prizes in the "Riva Del Garda International Choral Competition", Silver Medal at the "World Choir Games" and as finalists in the "American Prize for Choral Performance". Dr. Guice Gill has conducted at the Liechtenstein Palace in Prague, various venues in Italy, The Arnoff Center in Cincinnati, and her choir has performed under. Guice Gill's direction at Carnegie Hall in New York. She is a frequent guest clinician at high schools and colleges for both voice and choral studies.

Dr. Guice Gill's scholarship, which focuses on 20th century text setting, has been presented at both regional and National Conferences and published in various journals including the National Collegiate Choral Organizations publication, The Choral Scholar. She was the recipient of the Rockefeller Brothers Education Grant and Curriculum Award and several other grants in education and research.

As a trained soprano Dr. Guice Gill has performed with several opera companies and in a variety of venues including: Cincinnati Opera, "Mostly Mozart Festival" at Lincoln Center, Madison Overture Center and most recently as a soloist for a debut concert for composer Stacey Gibbs at Carnegie Hall. Dr. Guice Gill frequently performs lecture recitals and maintains a successful vocal studio. Dr. Guice Gill's students have gone on to acceptance at selective graduate programs for voice, conducting and directing including University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign, Arizona State, and University of Texas Austin and James Madison University.

Dr. Guice Gill is a member of American Choral Director Association, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Phi Beta Kappa International Honor Society, and National Collegiate Choral Organization, in which she is a National Board Member.

Courses Taught: Choral Conducting, Private Voice, Bethel Choir, Chamber Singers, Festival Choir. Awards: Riva Del Garda International Choral Competition First and Second Place Honors, World Choir Games Honors, Finalist American Prize Choral Performance.

Dr. Catherine Sailer is Director of Choral Studies at the University of Denver, and conductor of the Lamont Chorale, Lamont Women’s Chorus, and The Evans Choir. She is also Associate Conductor of the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. Dr. Sailer has collaborated as conductor or chorus master with singers William Warfield, Marilyn Horne, Josh Groban, and Chance the Rapper, and conductors Branwell Tovey, Matthew Halls, Ed Spanjaard, Eric Whitacre, Victor Yampolsky, Marius Szmolij, Stephen Alltop, David Amram, Tan Dun, David Fanshawe, Yannick Nezet-Segun, Robert Spano, Hans Graf, Jeff Tyzick, and Marin Alsop. Other conducting credits include work with the Millwaukee Symphony Chorus, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony, Central City Opera, Beijing Symphony, the National Opera of China, Cabrillo Contemporary Music Festival Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Madrigal Vocale, Rhineland-Pfalz International Choir, Shanghai International Choral League, Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. Dr. Sailer is active as a conductor of honor choirs and festivals around the world, including multiple appearances at Carnegie Hall through DCINY, and KI festivals in Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic. She is also in demand as conducting teacher, having presented masterclasses for SWACDA, Sing a Mile High Choral Festival, National ACDA Children’s Choir retreat, Shanghai Conservatory, Shanghai Normal University, Florida State University, and upcoming masterclasses at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, and Lund University, Sweden.

She was named the winner of Chorus America’s Robert Shaw Fellowship Award, won first place in the ACDA Conducting Competition, and was awarded a special citation in the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music. Under her direction, the Lamont Chorale has won First Place in The American Prize for Choral Performance, and Second Place in Barenreiter’s Marten Jansson Choral Competition, and performed for state and regional conferences for the National Association for Music Educators and the American Choral Director’s Association.

Sailer received her Doctor of Music with honors in conducting from Northwestern University and the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in piano and choral conducting from the University of Denver. Further studies were with Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival, Leonard Slatkin at the National Conducting Institute and the National Symphony Orchestra and Kennedy Center, and as a conducting fellow with the Dale Warland Singers, Kansas City Chorale, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. She has served as State President and College and University R&R chair for Colorado ACDA, and was selected by national ACDA to represent the US on the International Choral Exchange Program to Shanghai, China.

Dr. Leslie J. Blackwell is the Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music and Music Education at Kennesaw State University where she has directed choral activities since 1998. Dr. Blackwell’s duties include conducting the KSU Men’s Ensemble, KSU Chorale, and KSU Chamber Singers as well as teaching advanced choral conducting and literature. A native of Georgia, Blackwell received the Associate of Arts degree from Gordon Junior College (1982), the Bachelor of Music in Music Education from West Georgia College (1984), the Master of Music from Georgia State University (1991), and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kentucky (2002).

Choirs under Dr. Blackwell’s direction have performed at National, Regional, and State conferences of the American Choral Directors Association as well as numerous Georgia Music Educators Association State Conventions. In 2010 Dr. Blackwell presented Songs of South America for the American Choral Directors Association with the KSU Chamber Singers, featuring music of South America based upon her choral research and work in Argentina. In October 2013 the KSU Chamber Singers were selected to perform at the National Collegiate Choral Organization 5th National Conference. Most recently, the KSU Chamber Singers performed at the 2018 Georgia Music Educators Association State Convention and have been selected to sing at the American Choral Directors Association Southern Division Conference in March 2020.

Recognized for her work with men’s voices, Dr. Blackwell is sought after as a guest conductor for All-State Men's Choirs. Conducting engagements include the 2013 Georgia All State Men’s Chorus, 2016 Alabama All State Men’s Chorus, 2017 Tennessee All State Chorus, and in 2018 both the Kentucky and South Carolina Men’s All State Choirs. Dr. Blackwell served six seasons as the Artistic Director of the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus, and at KSU established the annual KSU Male Chorus Day, bringing upwards of 200 high school male students to campus. Under Dr. Blackwell’s direction the KSU Men’s Ensemble, a non-auditioned ensemble, has achieved prestigious accomplishments on a State, Regional, and National stage appearing at the American Choral Directors Association Southern Division Conference in 2014, 2016, and at the National Conference American Choral Directors Association in Dallas, Texas, 2013.

Influential musicians with whom Dr. Blackwell has worked are Robert Shaw, Ann Howard-Jones, Yoel Levi, Norma Raybon, John Haberlen, David Maslanka, Ola Gjeilo, Ethan Sperry, Brian Schmidt, and Jefferson Johnson. In addition to her commitments at Kennesaw State University, Dr. Blackwell is active as a clinician and adjudicator and holds memberships in MENC, GMEA, and ACDA. She has served as the Repertoire and Standards Chair for Men’s Choirs, Georgia ACDA. Currently, Dr. Blackwell is the Artistic Director and Founding Director of the Kennesaw State University Community & Alumni Choir.

Cheryl Anderson is the Director of Choral Activities at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California. She took up the baton as conductor of the Chorus in 1991. In her tenure at Cabrillo College, her ensembles have performed at all levels of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and the National Association for Music Educators (MENC); she has lead Interest Sessions at four Divisional Conferences, and she has served on the ACDA Western Division Board as National Repertoire & Standards chair. Having served as Bay Area Representative, California, ACDA Executive Board and Chair of the Composition Competition, Ms. Anderson has most recently served as President of the Western Division of the American Choral Directors Association.

Conductor Cheryl Anderson was named the 2018 Artist of the Year by the Santa Cruz County Arts Commission. In 2018 Cheryl was in her 26th year as Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Cabrillo College. During her time at Cabrillo she has taught a variety of music, as well as serving as the Conductor of Cabrillo Symphonic Chorus, Cantiamo! and the Cabrillo Chorale, Cabrillo Opera, which she founded, Cabrillo Youth Choir Project, of which she is the Founder/Artistic Director, Music Education Faculty at San Jose State University. The various choirs under Cheryl's direction have sung concert tours all over the world, including the Vatican in Italy, Carnegie Hall in New York, and tours through California performing with Lou Harrison his masterwork La Koro Sutro and the internationally famous Incheon City Chorale from South Korea at Davies Symphony Hall. In addition to her elementary and secondary school teaching, she has served on the faculties of Transylvania University, Colorado State University, University of Northern Colorado and the University of California, Santa Cruz in choral/ vocal music, music education and music theory.

Cheryl has been a professional soloist and chorister her entire career and conducted professionally both choirs and orchestras throughout the world. She sang for a number of years with Robert Shaw and was a Conducting Fellow and singer with Helmuth Rilling and the Oregon Bach Festival. She has served and still serves on the state, divisional, and national Boards of American Choral Directors Association since 1992 and was President of Western Division ACDA 2010-11. She has received numerous awards and among her most cherished are Gail Rich Award, 2008, and Cabrillo Board of Trustees "Cheryl Anderson Day- Decembers, 2016." She is a member of American Choral Directors Association, National Federation for Music Education, National Association of Teachers of Singing, National Collegiate Choral Organization, and International Federation of Music Education.

March 21-Dr. Deborah Chandler is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Louisiana at Monroe where she directs the Concert Choir and the Chamber Singers and teaches choral literature, conducting, and serves as advisor to all graduate conducting majors. She also is musical director and conductor of the Monroe Symphony Chorus, the Louisiana Lyric Opera, and is the host of “Vocal Vibes” on KEDM radio. She also serves as Minister of Music at Northminster Church in Monroe.

Dr. Chandler received her Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education/Conducting at Florida State University in 2004 where she also received her Master in Music Education. She received her Bachelor of Music Education at Valdosta State University in 1981. For over eighteen years, she served as a Director of Music in the Presbyterian Church (USA) denomination. She also taught music history and chorus at Tallahassee Community College.

At Florida State, Dr. Chandler studied with Dr. André Thomas, Rodney Eichenburger, Dr. Judy Bowers, and Dr. Kevin Fenton. She is conductor emeritus of the Tallahassee Civic Chorale and a member of the American Choral Directors Association, Music Educators National Conference, Pi Kappa Lambda, Alpha Chi Honor Society, and an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Phi and Tau Beta Sigma.

In 1993, She received the Guardian Ad Litem Exemplary Service Award and the Corinne Holleman Gridley Achievement Award in 1996. A music scholarship was established anonymously in her name at Florida State University in 1994. In June 2003, She was chosen as one of ten conductors selected internationally to study with German conductor, Helmuth Rilling, at the Oregon Bach Festival. She was also selected in 2004 to conduct with Maestro Rilling at the first Toronto Bach Festival at the University of Toronto. She also remains active as a clinician, guest conductor and adjudicator. Deborah is currently the chairperson of the Louisiana American Choral Directors Association Repertoire and Standards for colleges and universities. In March of 2011, Dr. Chandler was awarded the Outstanding Service to the Arts Award for Northeast Louisiana by the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council.

Dr. Marie Bucoy-Calavan has conducted a diverse range of ensembles, from primary and secondary level choirs, to community, collegiate, and professional choruses and opera productions.

Bucoy-Calavan finished her Bachelor of Arts in Music and Master of Music in Choral Conducting at California State University, Fullerton, serving as the Graduate Assistant Conductor of both the University Singers and Chamber Choir, under the direction and mentorship of Dr. Robert Istad. She completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting at University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, where she directed the University of Cincinnati Men’s Chorus and taught introductory courses and private lessons in conducting for undergraduate students.

She has prepared and performed with symphonic choruses under the batons of Carl St. Clair, Bramwell Tovey, John Williams, Eric Whitacre, Keith Lockhart, John Mauceri, Steven Mercurio, Louis Langrée, John Nelson, and John Alexander in distinguished venues, including Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood Bowl, and the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary. Bucoy-Calavan has continued her conducting training with Robert Porco, Mark Gibson, Craig Hella-Johnson, Patrick Dupré Quigley, Ragnar Bohlin, Jerry Blackstone, Paul Rardin, Jacques Lacombe, David Hayes, Arthur Fagan, William Dehning, and Elmer Thomas.

Bucoy-Calavan has conducted various opera performances, including California State University, Fullerton’s full production of Gaetano Donizetti’s Elixir of Love and University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory's Undergraduate Opera production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

In addition, Bucoy-Calavan placed second in the 2013 American Choral Directors Association National Choral Conducting Competition, held in Dallas, Texas.

Bucoy-Calavan also appears as a guest clinician and conductor for honor choirs and masterclasses, both regionally and nationally. Most recently, she was invited to serve a residency teaching conducting and American choral music at the Hochschule für Musik und Theatre in Munich, Germany. She served as the Assistant Conductor of the May Festival Chorus, the symphonic chorus for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Currently, in addition to her position as Director of Choral Studies at The University of Akron, Bucoy-Calavan is both Director of Akron Symphony Chorus and Artistic Director of Summit Choral Society, a choral organization that consists of the Masterworks Chorale and the four-choir Children’s Choir Program.

She serves on the National Board of Directors for Chorus America and as University Repertoire and Resources Chair for the state organization, Ohio Choral Directors Association.

Roberta Jackson and Debra Burgess have led the Portland Symphonic Girlchoir, widely acclaimed by composers, conductors, music educators, and audiences, to its current status as one of the finest youth choirs in North America. Roberta received her Masters Degree from the University of Colorado; Deb received her B.A.E. Degree from Pacific Lutheran University. Both have been awarded the distinguished Artist Teacher Diploma from the Choral Music Experience Institute, working with Dr. Doreen Rao. Deb has served on the NW and OR ACDA Board of Directors as R & R Chair for Children and Youth and currently teaches music, grades K – 8, at St. Thomas More School. As Girlchoir’s Vocal Coach, she presents fall and spring solo clinics and trains nearly 40 % of its members as soloists each season. Both conductors are frequent presenters at Chorus America conferences, OMEA conferences, and at Oregon, Northwest Division and National ACDA Conferences and Roberta was awarded the 2018 Oregon ACDA Podium Award. Their article, “The Better C: Building Community Through Collaboration” appeared in the March 2016 issue of The Choral Journal, publication of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and they were privileged to be included as chapter authors in the 2017 GIA book, Working With Young Singers: Educational Philosophies of Expert Children’s Choir Conductors.

Dr. Melissa Arasi, assistant professor of music and music education coordinator, arrived at Reinhardt University two years ago and has already made a lasting impact on her students. “I wish for all my students to have an authentic understanding of what makes a good teacher and the understanding that the teacher is the most influential part of a child’s education. They can oftentimes make or break a child’s future.”

Arasi received a Bachelor of Music Education from Shorter College, a leadership certification from the University of West Georgia, and a Master of Music Education, as well as a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning in Music Education from Georgia State University. With a full career in education, Arasi taught 14 years, and then supervised the performing arts teachers in Cobb County for 16 years. She taught at Georgia Tech, where she created a Women’s Choir, and she currently conducts the Atlanta Women’s Chorus. Arasi has also done research on the benefits of lifelong learning and said, “This continues to be my passion as I believe our world is a better place when people pursue their joy and continue to learn throughout life.”

“Dr. Arasi is well-informed, kind, knowledgeable, insightful and helpful to every student. As a music education major, I know that any question or dilemma that I have can be solved by Dr. Arasi,” said sophomore music education and vocal performance major Slade Searcy. “Having been the Cobb County Supervisor of Performing Arts, as well as a former music educator, she has so much experience managing and teaching both students and teachers alike.”