Joe Miller

Joe Miller is conductor of two of America’s most renowned choral ensembles: the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir.  He is also director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College of Rider University.  In addition to his responsibilities at Westminster Choir College, Dr. Miller is artistic director for choral activities for the renowned Spoleto Festival USA.

His 2014-2015 season with the Westminster Choir includes a concert tour of California, several national radio broadcasts, and their annual residency at the Spoleto Festival USA.  Dr. Miller has made three recordings with the Westminster Choir.  Their latest CD, The Heart’s Reflection: Music of Daniel Elder, has been hailed by Minnesota Public Radio’s Classical Notes as “simply astounding.”  His debut recording with the Westminster Choir, Flower of Beauty, received four stars from Choir & Organ magazine and earned critical praise from American Record Guide, which described the Westminster Choir as “the gold standard for academic choirs in America.”

As conductor of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Dr. Miller has collaborated with some of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, earning him critical praise. The New York Times wrote about Symphonic Choir’s performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Cleveland Orchestra,  “Joe Miller's Westminster Symphonic Choir was subtle when asked and powerful when turned loose.” Recent seasons have included performances with the Philharmoniker Berliner and Sir Simon Rattle; The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin; and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and Gustavo Dudamel.

Dr. Miller is also founder and conductor of the Westminster Summer Choral Festival Chamber Choir, a program that offers professional-level choral and vocal artists the opportunity to explore challenging works for one week each summer on the Westminster campus in Princeton.

Virginia Allen

Virginia Allen is the Assistant Dean for Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School, where she also teaches The Art of Teaching in the Music Studio and serves as Artistic Director of the Conducting Workshop for Music Educators. At Juilliard she previously served as Associate Dean for Administration, taught conducting, co-founded and conducted The Juilliard Trombone Choir, and served as Executive Director of the Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies. She currently teaches conducting at Teachers College, Columbia University and is Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Wind Symphony.  She has also served as Artistic Director of the Sun Valley Summer Music Workshops in Idaho, where she founded and conducted the Sun Valley Youth Orchestra.

Prior to teaching on the college level, Virginia enjoyed a 20-year career as a conductor and administrator in the U.S. Army Bands Program and achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel. As a pioneer for women in military bands she was the first woman to command and conduct an active duty military band that included women when she was appointed Principal Conductor of The U.S. Army Forces Command Band in Atlanta. As the Associate Conductor of The U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point, she was the first woman conductor of that historic organization, as well as the Cadet Glee Club and Cadet Band. She also performed on stages from the Hollywood Bowl to Europe as the first woman conductor of the Army's premier touring ensembles from Washington, D.C., The U.S. Army Field Band and The Soldiers' Chorus. Her military career included an assignment as the Department of the Army Staff Bands Officer in Washington, D.C., where she managed over 100 Army bands and band activities worldwide.

Virginia frequently guest conducts, adjudicates and teaches master classes in the U.S. and internationally. She conducted Joseph Alessi, Principal Trombonist of the New York Philharmonic, and The Juilliard Trombone Choir on a compact disc recording released by the International Trombone Association in 1999 and now available as Beyond the End of the Century through Summit Records. Virginia collaborated with Mr. Alessi again another Summit recording, Trombonastics.

As a composer and arranger, her music has been premiered, performed and recorded by members of the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Washington Opera Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, The Juilliard Trombone Choir, The U.S. Army Band, The U.S. Army Field Band, and The U.S. Military Academy Band. Her music has been published by Carl Fischer, Southern Music, Ludwig Music, and TRN Music. A member of ASCAP, she is a former board member for the Conductors Guild and the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE).

Virginia studied French horn and conducting and earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Music degree in Performance from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and a Diploma in Wind Conducting from the University of Calgary. She earned a Doctor of Education in the College Teaching of Music at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City, where her dissertation topic was Developing Expertise in Professional American Orchestra Conductors. Virginia also completed an internship in Performance Activities at Juilliard.

Beth Holmes

Beth Holmes joined the music faculty of Millikin University in 1991, and currently serves on the Millikin choral staff conducting the Millikin Women and teaching private voice. A choir of 90 select voices, the Millikin Women involve students of every major. They tour regionally, host their own women’s choral festival and participate with the Millikin Union of Choirs in the annual Vespers at Millikin as well as in major choral/orchestral works.

Beth Holmes is an active guest conductor and adjudicator, having conducted District, All-State and ACDA Convention Honor Choirs throughout the Midwest. Recent conducting engagements include ACDA Honor Choirs for the Regional ACDA conference in Minneapolis and state ACDA conventions in Illinois, Florida, and Minnesota as well as All State choirs in Kentucky and Alabama.

A graduate of Kansas State University, Beth studied with Rod Walker. She received the Masters Degree in Choral Conducting from Arizona State University, studying with Douglas McEwen. From 1985 to 1991 she

served on the faculty at Luther College in Decorah, IA, as conductor of the Cathedral Choir and the freshman women, Pike Kor. Additionally, she taught a full studio of private voice. While at Millikin, Beth was appointed Artistic and Musical Director of the Millikin University Children & Youth Choir Program. In this role she conducted the Concert Youth Chorale and coordinated a tiered structure of four choirs, six staff/conductors and a system of student interns from the Millikin School of Music. She has been a member of state ACDA boards and has been the ACDA Repertoire and Standards Chair for Women’s Choir in both Iowa and Illinois. Beth maintains a private voice studio in her home.

Tim Sharp

Dr. Tim Sharp is Executive Director of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the world’s largest association of choral conductors, students, scholars, composers, and choral industry representatives. An active conductor, Tim is in his sixth season as Artistic Director of the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus, Tulsa, OK, where critics characterized his performances as having “stunning power” and “great passion and precision”. He is an active

guest conductor and choral clinician throughout the world.

Before coming to ACDA, Dr. Sharp was Dean of Fine Arts at Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, where he conducted the Rhodes Singers and MasterSingers Chorale. In 2003, Sharp’s conducting of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi won an Ostrander Award, Memphis’ annual award for excellence in theater. Prior to his position in Memphis, he conducted the Belmont University Chorale and Oratorio Chorus, Nashville, TN, where he received choral credits on the Grammy Nominated and Dove Award winning recording, A Glen Campbell Christmas.

Dr. Sharp’s choral compositions and arrangements exhibit his interest in conceptual programming as exemplified by the choral collection Salvation is Created (Lorenz), An Early American Service of Lessons and Carols (Hal Leonard), the young voices series including Christmas Messiah for Young Voices and Vivaldi’s Gloria for Young Voices (Integra Music Group) his own choral series through Gentry Publications, and his self-published bluegrass mass Come Away to the Skies: A High Lonesome Bluegrass Mass.

Tim received his education at Belmont University (BM); The School of Church Music, Louisville, KY (MCM; DMA); and studied further at the Aspen Music School, Aspen, CO; the NEH Medieval Studies program at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; throughout Belgium on a Rotary Scholarship; and at Cambridge University (UK), where he is a Clare Hall Life Fellow.

Thomas Bookhout

Dr. Thomas Bookhout brings to The Phoenix Symphony nearly 30 years of experience in the choral art, including leading symphony, opera, university, community, school, and church choruses. Since joining The Phoenix Symphony Chorus in 2012, he has prepared the Chorus for numerous performances on a wide range of literature, including Verdi’s Requiem, Estévez’s Cantata Criolla, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Handel’s complete Messiah, and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade To Music, as well as exciting performances in the Phoenix Symphony Pops Series. During his tenure, the Chorus has grown over 40%, and has enjoyed a reputation for its engaging rehearsals, its camaraderie, and its commanding performances.

Previously, Dr. Bookhout was Chorus Master for the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, where he prepared the chorus for symphonic performances such as Britten’s War Requiem, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony, and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast; and for fully staged operas, including Carmen, Il Trovatore, and Die Fledermaus, earning notable reviews in the American Record Guide and Opera News. Bookhout also has been Music Director of the Taghkanic Chorale (succeeding Johannes Somary and Dennis Keene in that position), Director of Choral Activities at the University of Charleston, WV, and Director of Music at The Stony Brook School.

Dr. Bookhout is Director of Fine Arts and High School Principal at Scottsdale Christian Academy, whose choir performed in a MCP masterworks performance in 2014 at Carnegie Hall. He is Director of the Sanctuary Choir at Camelback Bible Church, which regularly performs major choral-orchestral works, has been featured in performance by the AZACDA, and has toured Poland. He also is an active choral clinician and adjudicator.

Dr. Bookhout holds advanced degrees from Arizona State University and the Eastman School of Music. His choral teachers and coaches have included Donald Neuen, Donald Bailey, David Stocker, Eric Nelson, Joseph Flummerfelt, Frauke Haaseman, and Dale Warland.

Sandra Peter

Dr. Sandra Peter teaches in the School of Music at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida.  She is also the conductor of the Stetson University Community School of Music Young Singers.  Dr. Peter recently completed 22 years of teaching at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, where she conducted Aurora (select first-year women) and Cathedral Choir (select second-year students, mixed voices).

In demand as a choral clinician and guest conductor, Dr. Peter has led All-State and honor choirs throughout the United States and abroad.  2013-14 engagements include events in California, Alaska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee and Florida.  She is an active member of American Choral Directors Association, the College Music Society, National Association for Music Education, and a charter member of The National Collegiate Choral Organization.  Dr. Peter has been invited to speak at national meetings of both NCCO and ACDA and several of her choirs have performed at regional ACDA conferences.  She is a contributor to Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success, released in 2012 by GIA Publications.  She is a published arranger with the Neil Kjos Company and MorningStar Music and co-editor of MorningStar’s Luther College Music Series.

Her experience includes many years conducting church choirs of all ages, most recently serving First Lutheran Church in Decorah.  She was also a founding member of the National Lutheran Choir.  A native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Dr. Peter holds degrees from Concordia College (Moorhead), University of Arizona and the University of Iowa.




Peter Boonshaft

Called one of the most exciting and exhilarating voices in music education today, Peter Loel Boonshaft has been invited to speak or conduct in every state in the nation and around the world. He holds Bachelor of Music (Summa Cum Laude), Master of Music Education in Conducting, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. Dr. Boonshaft was also awarded a Connecticut General Fellowship for study at the Kodály Musical Training Institute, from which he holds a Certificate. He is currently on the faculty of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where he is Professor of Music and Director of Bands. He is Conductor of the Hofstra University Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, professor of conducting and music education, and Director of the graduate wind-conducting program. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Boonshaft was on the faculty of Moravian College and the University of Hartford. He was Founder and Music Director of the Pennsylvania Youth Honors Concert Band and the Connecticut Valley Youth Wind Ensemble. In addition, he held the post of Music Director and Conductor of the Metropolitan Wind Symphony of Boston.

Dr. Boonshaft is the author of the critically acclaimed best-selling books Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise, as well as his first book for all educators, Teaching with Passion, Purpose and Promise. He is also co-author of Alfred Music Publishing’s new beginning method book series, Sound Innovations for Band and Sound Innovations for Strings, as well as Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development for Intermediate Concert Band and Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development for Advanced Concert Band. In addition, he is the author of Vaclav Nelhybel: His Life and

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, the only authorized biography of the composer, a contributing author of The Music Director’s Cookbook: Creative Recipes for a Successful Program, and author of articles for Instrumentalist Magazine, the National Band Association Journal, Teaching Music, and Band Director's Guide. Dr. Boonshaft also holds the post of Band/Wind Ensemble Editor for the School Music News. Active as a proponent of new literature for concert band, he has commissioned and conducted over forty world premieres by such notable composers as Eric Ewazen, W. Francis McBeth, Johan de Meij, Fisher Tull, H. Owen Reed, Vaclav Nelhýbel, David Gillingham, Philip Sparke, Satoshi Yagisawa, Rossano Galante, Sam Hazo, Andrew Boysen, Brian Hogg, Robert W. Smith, David Holsinger, Stephen Melillo, Roland Barrett, and Jared Spears. Among the soloists who have appeared in performance with Dr. Boonshaft are John Marcellus, Maynard Ferguson, Harvey Phillips, The Boston Brass, Marianne Gedigian, Ed Shaughnessy, Lynn Klock, Don Butterfield, Dave Steinmeyer and the United States Air Force "Airmen of Note," Chester Schmitz, and the Vienna Schubert Trio.

Dr. Boonshaft was honored by the National Association for Music Education and Music For All as the first recipient of the “George M. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education," and has been awarded membership in Pi Kappa Lambda and Alpha Chi, as well as twice receiving the University of Hartford Regent's Award and that University's Outstanding Music Educator Award. He has received official proclamations from the Governors of five states and a Certificate of Appreciation from former President Ronald Reagan, as well as performing for former President and Mrs. George H. W. Bush, former President Bill Clinton, and for Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. His honors also include being selected three times as a National Endowment for the Arts "Artist in Residence,” three times awarded Honorary Life Membership in the Tri-M Music Honor Society, and being selected for the Center for Scholarly Research and Academic Excellence at Hofstra University.

Extremely active as a guest conductor, clinician and speaker for conferences, festivals, concerts and workshops nationally and internationally, he has guest conducted the NAfME (The National Association for Music Education) All-Eastern Band, NAfME All-Northwest Band, NAfME All-Eastern Directors Band, Goldman Memorial Band, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Band, U.S. Marine Band New Orleans, Western International Band Clinic, Prague Castle Guard/Czech Police Symphonic Band, and was named conductor of the NAfME National High School Honors Band. In addition, he has been an adjudicator and clinician for the Music For All/Bands of America National Concert Band Festival. He has served as a speaker for the Canadian Music Educators Association National Convention, NAfME National Conference, American Band College, Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, Music For All/Bands and Orchestras of America Symposium, Samuel Barber Institute for Music Educators, Music Education Center of America, East Asia Regional Council of Schools in China, Singapore Ministry of Education Band Conference, Conn-Selmer Institute, KIPP National School Summit, NESA Council of Overseas Schools Conference in Thailand, and as keynote speaker for the NAfME Northwest Division Conference, NAfME Southern Division Conference, European Music Educators Convention, National Convention of the American String Teachers Association, National Convention of the American School Band Directors Association, ACDA Western Division Conference, Maryborough Music Conference of Australia, National Conference of the Organization of American Kodály Educators, and numerous international, national, state and regional music education conferences.


Pearl Shangkuan

A sought after conductor and clinician nationally 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 chorusmaster (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 (ACDA) 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. In 2014, she was privileged to serve as a lecturer at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Seoul, South Korea, and as a jurist for the China International Chorus Festival in Beijing.

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.


Lee Nelson

Dr. Lee Nelson is the Patricia R. Zahn Chair in Choral Conducting and director of choral activities at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Recently honored with the 2012 John O. Chellevold Award for Excellence in Teaching and Professional Service, Nelson conducts the Wartburg Choir and Ritterchor (men’s choir). He also teaches conducting, applied voice and serves as artistic director of Christmas with Wartburg.

Dr. Nelson made his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall in 2011 and was invited to return in 2012 to conduct the National Festival Chorus. His national and international tours have earned overwhelmingly positive reviews. On the most recent tour of Hungary, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, local reviewers lauded Nelson’s innovative programming and the choir’s superior technique and choral tone. A sought-after conductor, Nelson has directed All State and honor choirs in Colorado, New York, Alaska, Mississippi, Nevada, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Arizona, Iowa, Nebraska, and Manitoba, Canada.

In December 2011, Nelson and the Wartburg Choir were invited to perform at the White House Holiday Concert Series. While in Washington, D.C., the choir also performed at the Washington National Cathedral for a worldwide simulcast of the Bethlehem Prayer Service. Most recently, Nelson was a featured conductor at the 2012 North Central American Choral Directors Association convention, where he conducted Stephen Paulus’ Holocaust oratorio To Be Certain of the Dawn with more than 360 musicians from six states.

Prior to his appointment at Wartburg College, Nelson served on the faculty at St. Cloud State University, where he received the SCSU Professional Achievement Award in 2008.  Earlier in his career, Nelson received the Outstanding Young Choral Conductor of the Year, awarded by the Minnesota American Choral Directors Association, and won the 2005 National ACDA Conducting Competition in Los Angeles, California.

In addition to his work at Wartburg College, Nelson also serves as music director and conductor of the Metropolitan Chorale, a 100-voice community choir based in the Cedar Valley. Nelson has led the ensemble in a performance of choral/orchestral masterworks by Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Mozart, Leonard Bernstein, Felix Mendelssohn, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Franz Joseph Hayden, and Carl Orff.

Karen Kennedy

Praised by the San Francisco Classical Voice for her “wizardry with voices” and named by the Honolulu Star Bulletin as “ . . . a popular and charismatic leader,” Karen Kennedy recently joined the faculty at the University of Miami as Director of Choral Studies. Previous to her appointments in Miami, she held positions as the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Hawai’i, Artistic Director of the Honolulu Symphony Chorus, and Director of Choral Studies at Towson University.

In addition to her work in academics, Dr. Kennedy regularly leads festival performances in large venues, most recently in Carnegie Hall, the Mormon Tabernacle, the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Sweden, St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in Rome, Italy, as well as those in venues throughout England and Scotland. A popular All-State Honor Choir

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clinician and festival director, Dr. Kennedy maintains an active schedule of performances nationally. Upcoming performances include the All-State Choirs of North Carolina, Hawai’i, Delaware, and California, in addition to festivals in Washington D.C., Colorado, Texas, and Virginia.

Dr. Kennedy has received numerous awards for teaching, including the University of Hawai`i Chancellor’s Citation for Meritorious Teaching, Arizona State University’s Manzanita “Top Prof” Award, Butler University’s Faculty Distinction Award, and is a two-time recipient of the Lawrence Township Schools Superintendent’s Award.

Julie Yu

Julie Yu co-teaches Collegiate Chorale, Concert Choir, Graduate and Undergraduate Conducting, In-a-Chord, K-State Singers, and Women’s Glee Club. She also teaches History of School Choral Music, Choral Ensemble Techniques, and Advanced Choral Rehearsal Techniques. As Co-Director of Choral Studies, she oversees seven choral ensembles, Music Education, and Choral Conducting courses. She is also Co-Director of the K-State Summer Choral Institute. Her choirs have been selected to perform at the Kansas Music Educators Association convention and the American Festival of Music in 2009 (Vienna, Austria and Prague, Czech Republic) and 2011 (Italy).

In 2007 she was the featured speaker/clinician at the European Music Educators Association Convention in Naples, Italy and in 2009 was the conductor for the European Music Educators Association Honor Choir in Oberwesel, Germany. She has also conducted numerous honor choirs and festivals in California, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. She serves as the Repertoire and Standards Chairperson for the Southwest Division of the American Choral Directors Association. Her service to Kansas State University has included positions on the Course and Curriculum Committee, Departmental Committee on Planning, Merit Salary Committee, and four faculty search committees. She also serves on the K-State Presidential Appointed Board for Student Publications.







Deanna Joseph

Dr. Deanna Joseph is 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. She is also the artistic director of the Atlanta Summer Conducting Institute (ASCI), a weeklong masterclass for conductors that takes place annually during the first week of June.

In May of 2013, the University Singers competed in La Florilège Vocal de Tourswhere they placed second overall in the mixed choir category and Dr. Joseph was honored with the Prix du chef de chour. Additional honors from 2013 include an invited performance at the Georgia Music Educator’s Association annual conference and the North American premiere of David Bintley’s Carmina Burana with the Atlanta Ballet.

Dr. Joseph is an active guest conductor and clinician and has conducted all-state and honor choirs in more than ten 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.

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.







Joshua Oppenheim

Dr. Joshua Oppenheim has been Co-Director of Choral Studies at Kansas State University since 2008.  Prior to that, he was on faculty at the Crane School of Music in New York. He received his B.M. from Western Michigan University, his M.M. at the University of Mississippi, and his D.M.A. in Choral Conducting at the University of North Texas.   His choirs have performed by invitation at the New York State School Music Association Conference, the Kansas Music Educators Association Conference, the American Choral Directors Association Southwestern Conference, and the National Collegiate Choral Organization Conference.  He has presented sessions at numerous ACDA conferences in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina as well as the Western and Southwestern ACDA conferences.







Sandra Snow

As conductor, teacher, and scholar, Sandra Snow’s work spans a wide variety of ages, abilities, and musics. She holds appointments in conducting and music education in the Michigan State University College of Music, where she interacts with undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of conducting, choral pedagogy, and choral singing. In 2007 she was a recipient of MSU's Teacher-Scholar Award, which recognizes devotion to and skill in teaching as well as scholarly promise. Snow conducts the Michigan State University Women’s Chorale, an ensemble that has appeared at consecutive conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (the Central Division conference in 2008 and the National conference in 2009). She conducts All-State and honor choirs across the United States. Professor Snow will conduct the 2012 MENC National Honor Choir at the Kennedy Center and is principal guest conductor of the 2012 Crossroads Children’s Choir Festival. She regularly presents at state conferences, headlining sessions for the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education.

Professor Snow is author of the DVD "Conducting-Teaching: Real World Strategies for Success" (GIA, 2009), a resource for conductor-teachers at all levels of teaching. In addition, she is a contributing author of Teaching Music Through Performance in Choirs, Vol. 3 (GIA, 2011) and Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success (GIA, in press). She edits the choral music series In High Voice by Boosey & Hawkes and is a member of the Choral Music Experience Choral Teacher Certification Board.





James Rodde

James Rodde, Endowed Chair and Director of Choral Activities at Iowa State, conducts the Iowa State Singers, the 130-voice Statesmen men’s choir, teaches choral conducting and literature, and oversees a program of roughly 400 undergraduate choristers.  His choirs have toured internationally and have been honored with performances at ACDA National Conventions (1993, 1997, 2005, 2009) and NCCO National Conventions (2008, 2011).  An active clinician, he has led numerous festival ensembles, including several All-State and divisional ACDA honor choirs.  As a conducting mentor, one of his students won the 2005 ACDA National Undergraduate Conducting Competition.  Dr. Rodde is also the Artistic Director of two community ensembles, the Ames Chamber Artists and Des Moines Choral Society.  From 1985 to 2000 he served at the University of North Dakota, where he was honored with the Fine Arts Faculty Award for Teaching.  A native of Minneapolis, Dr. Rodde’s chief mentors were Leland Sateren, Dale Warland, and Don Moses.


Jefferson Johnson

Dr. Jefferson Johnson is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Kentucky where he conducts the University Chorale and Men's Chorus. He also teaches advanced choral conducting, choral methods and literature, and directs the graduate program (MM and DMA degrees) in choral music. A native of Atlanta, Johnson received the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Georgia (magna cum laude, 1978), the Master of Music from the University of Tennessee (1981), and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado (1992). While living in Atlanta, Johnson was also a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus conducted by Robert Shaw.

University of Kentucky choirs under Johnson’s direction have performed at fourteen conventions of choral music educators, including national conventions of American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO), Music Educators National Conference (MENC), and Intercollegiate Male Choruses (IMC).  Most recently the UK Men’s Chorus was featured in performance at the 2011 ACDA National Convention in Chicago.  The UK Chorale has toured extensively with recent performances in Paris (Cathedral of Notre Dame, Chartres Cathedral, American Cathedral, and Cathedral of La Madeleine), Washington, D.C. (The Kennedy Center), the Bahamas (private performance in the Presidential Palace), and New York City (Carnegie Hall).  The UK Choirs have collaborated with numerous artists including The King Singers, violinist Mark O’Connor, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and tenor Ronan Tynen.  Each June UK hosts a national workshop for choral directors called the Summer Choral Workshop.

Dr. Johnson is presently Music Director of the Lexington Singers. The 180-voice community chorus annually performs major works with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. The Singers have toured internationally, most recently to Brazil, France, Italy, and Austria.  In 2000 the chorus performed Mozart’s Requiem with the Vienna Mozart Orchestra in the famous Hofburg Palace and sang the evening mass at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. In 2003 the chorus performed in St. Marks Cathedral in Venice and sang mass at St. Peters Basilica in Vatican City. In 1999 the Lexington Singers celebrated its 40th anniversary with a performance in New York City as Johnson made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting the Singers and orchestra in Faure’s Requiem.

Dr. Johnson’s recently released video "Ready...Set...Sing!"  is published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing. It has been featured at music educators’ conventions from Ohio to Hawaii. In addition, Johnson maintains an active schedule as an adjudicator and guest conductor for high school and collegiate choirs throughout the United States. He has conducted honor choruses in 30 states and has appeared as a featured clinician at ACDA or MENC conventions in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Paul Rardin

Paul Rardin joined the faculty of Temple University as director of choral activities in 2011. He conducts the Concert Choir, teaches graduate conducting, and oversees the six-choir program at Temple’s Boyer College of Music and Dance. He previously taught at the University of Michigan and Towson University, where his choirs appeared with the Kirov Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Baltimore Choral Arts Society. Under his direction the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club performed at the 2010 American Choral Directors Central Division Convention.

Rardin has served as a guest conductor for all-state choirs in fifteen states, for divisional honor choirs for the ACDA and Music Educators National Conference, and for Manhattan Concert Productions at Lincoln Center. He has presented clinics for state, regional, and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association. His engagements for 2013-2014 included conference presentations to Texas Choral Directors Association, New Jersey ACDA, and Oklahoma Music Educators Association, as well as all-state choirs in Illinois, Florida, and Arkansas

Rardin is a graduate of Williams College and the University of Michigan, where he received the M.M. in composition and the D.M.A. in conducting. He has studied conducting with Theodore Morrison, Jerry Blackstone, and Gustav Meier, and composition with Leslie Bassett, George Wilson, and Robert Suderburg. He has also participated in conducting master classes with Helmuth Rilling, Charles Bruffy, and Dale Warland. His arrangements of spirituals

and folk songs are published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and his articles, many on the topic of contemporary music, have appeared in the ACDA publications Choral Journal, Troubadour, Resound, and Bel Canto.

Rardin lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife, Sandy.

Peppie Calvar

Peppie Calvar is Assistant Professor and the Assistant Director of Choral Activities at the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University. His duties include directing the Hendricks Chapel Choir, teaching music theory, and choral literature. His first performance of Holidays at Hendricks was broadcast on WCNY and its radio and television affiliates throughout the region. Dr. Calvar holds degrees from the University of South Carolina, Georgia State University and East Carolina University. He performs frequently as a baritone both as a soloist and as a chorister.

Recent highlights include singing for high Mass at The Vatican, the Society for New Music, and Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood CA. A frequent guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator, he has worked most recently Music Educators Associations in New York, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and high schools, colleges, churches and civic organizations nationwide. He has performed as a percussionist before the American Bandmasters Association, as a member of Central Winds, and as a soloist for the Charlotte Symphony. He has collaborated in Jazz recordings as a vocalist, percussionist and pianist. An accomplished composer, he has received commissions from the Syracuse Children’s Chorus, and the Charlotte Symphony, and The Firebird Arts Alliance among others.

Many of his choral compositions are published by Colla Voce Publications and performed worldwide. His recording of his Mass of Reconciliation for chorus, soloists and jazz orchestra is currently available on CDBaby and other digital music retailers. He annually serves as reader for the AP exam in Music Theory and recently served as producer on the premiere recording of Antonio Lotti’s Gloria No. 1, a collaboration between the VOX Choral Ensemble and the NC Baroque Orchestra.  Calvar is an active member of NAfME, NCMEA and NYSSMA as well as ACDA and ASCAP.

Hugh Floyd

Hugh Ferguson Floyd is Professor of Music at Furman University and director of the renowned Furman Singers. He has the honor to be the first recipient of the Bingham L. Vick, Jr. and Judith S. Vick Professorship in Music. Prior to his appointment at Furman, Dr. Floyd served as the Director of Choral Studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He also served as Director of Choral Activities and voice instructor at the famed Interlochen Center for the Arts, and a guest lecturer at the Eastman School of Music, and Yale University. In 2010, he was named Artistic Director for the New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Choral Studies.

Prior to his appointment at Furman, Dr. Floyd served as the Director of Choral Studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College.  At Oberlin, Dr. Floyd conducted the Oberlin College Choir, the Oberlin College Singers, the Oberlin Musical Union, and, in rotation, the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra.  The Oberlin College Choir performed regularly with the Cleveland Orchestra, sang for the American Choral Directors Association Convention and with the renowned Kronos Quartet.  Dr. Floyd was also chorus master for the Oberlin Opera Theater.

Dr. Floyd frequently serves as a guest conductor and clinician and has conducted All-State choirs in Maryland, New Jersey, Tennessee, and both North and South Carolina as well as regional honors choirs around the country. He has been a choral clinician for Festival Disney at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida since its inception in 2005.

At home with orchestral conducting, he was chorus master for the Akron Symphony, conducting Messiah, Christmas Pops, and Carmina Burana.  He was conducting assistant with the Charlotte (North Carolina) Symphony and director of the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte, chorus master for the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Symphony, and chorus master and conductor in residence at the Brevard Music Center.  He has prepared choirs for such eminent conductors as Robert Shaw Margaret Hillis, Robert Page, Franz Welser Möst, and Robert Spano.

Dr. Floyd is a graduate of Furman University, the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan.


Gary Lewis

Gary Lewis is the Director of Orchestras and Professor of Music in the College of Music at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is also Music Director and Conductor of the Midland-Odessa (TX) Symphony Orchestra.  At Colorado Mr. Lewis conducts the University Symphony Orchestra and oversees the entire orchestra program.  He also leads the graduate program in orchestral conducting, including both the masters and doctoral level.

As a strong advocate of music education, Mr. Lewis has presented many in-service workshops for public school educators, as well as numerous presentations at state and regional music education association conferences.  In addition, he has conducted All-State Orchestras in Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, New Jersey, Michigan, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming, the Honor Orchestra of America and during the next two years, the Minnesota All-State and the ASTA National High School Honor Orchestra.  In 2010 Mr. Lewis played an important role in the creation of the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras and continues to serve as the founding Artistic Director of the organization and conductor of the Symphony Orchestra.

Lewis has served on the faculties of Texas Tech University, The Ohio State University, The University of Michigan, and Abilene Christian University.  He received the Master of Music degree in conducting from Texas Tech University and the Bachelor of Music Education degree from The University of Oklahoma. His post-graduate work includes participation in the Pierre Monteux School for Orchestral Conductors and the Tanglewood Conducting Seminar.

Mr. Lewis is equally at home with professional, university, and youth ensembles.  In addition to his regular posts at the University of Colorado, with the Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra and the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras, he regularly conducts productions for Ballet Lubbock and appears as a guest conductor with professional orchestras.