A Celebration of Excellence
A Choral Artistry Experience
April 23, 2018
South Main Baptist Church
A Celebration of Excellence showcases outstanding high school varsity choirs in the beautiful sanctuary of South Main Baptist Church. Providing a high quality recording made by an expert audio engineer in a superb acoustical setting to each participating group is a priority. In this inaugural year, the concluding concert will be presented by the acclaimed University of Houston Moores School Concert Chorale under the direction of Betsy Cook Weber. In following years, the championship choir from the preceding year will present an honor concert at the end of the day prior to the awards ceremony.
Every participating choir will receive a special participation award. Additional awards will be presented to the championship choir and all commended performances.
This is a one-fee-per-group event. No fees will be assessed for individual performers.
Director of Choral Studies Emeritus
Texas Tech University
Artistic Director, San Antonio Chamber Choir
Professor Emeritus from Texas Tech University, and former choral conductor at Lawrence University, Bjella has distinguished himself as a conductor, clinician, choral pedagogue and choral arranger. He has been honored to have his choirs appear at the 2009 and 2013 National ACDA Conventions, as well as performances at Carnegie Hall, Orchestra Hall, and at TMEA conventions. In addition, Bjella’s graduate conductors also received finalist recognition in conducting competitions at two of the most recent National ACDA Conventions and one was awarded the Julius Herford Dissertation Prize.
It has also been his honor to conduct and present masterclasses throughout the world and over 400 festivals and workshops in 32 states. He is also active in the promotion of creative choral programming and is a contributing writer for the book, The Oxford Handbook of Choral Pedagogy(2017) with his chapter, The Art of Successful Programming: Study, Selection, and Synthesis.
Bjella also served as President of the WCDA (Wisconsin) and was awarded the prestigious Lawrence Excellence in Teaching Award (2007) and the Morris Hayes Lifetime Achievement Award (2013) from WCDA. Most recently, Bjella was the recipient of a 2017 Professing Excellence Award at Texas Tech University. Presently, he is the Artistic Director for the San Antonio Chamber Choir.
Director of Choral Studies, Emerita
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley – Brownsville
Canyon Lake, Texas
Dianne Brumley is Director of Choral Music Studies and Professor of Music Education, Emerita at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley – Brownsville. She was appointed in 2003 and was the first person to hold the position of Director of Choral Studies at the University. Brumley was the founding conductor of the University Master Chorale. During her ten-year tenure at UTRGV, the Master Chorale was selected to perform at the 2011 Texas Music Educators Association Convention and toured internationally. Brumley also served for 20 years as the founding Conductor and Artistic Director of the South Texas Chorale and Orchestra.
Brumley is a frequent guest conductor, clinician, motivational speaker and adjudicator throughout Texas and the United States. Currently, she serves as a choral music education consultant. Before her time with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Brumley was a successful choral music educator in public schools. Choirs under her direction were selected for honor performances at Texas Music Educators Association conventions, American Choral Directors Association regional and national conventions and a featured performance at the Texas Choral Directors Association convention.
Active in Texas choral music endeavors for many years, in 2011 Brumley was honored to receive the Texas Choral Excellence Award from the Texas Choral Directors Association.
Dr. Jerry McCoy
Regent’s Professor & Director of Choral Studies Emeritus
College of Music, University of North Texas
Artistic Director, Fort Worth Chorale & Chamber Choir
Jerry McCoy is a Visiting Professor of Music at Baylor University and Artistic Director/Conductor of the Fort Worth Chorale and Chamber Choir. The 2013 winner of the Texas Choral Directors Association’s prestigious Choirmaster Award, he is also Regents Professor of Music Emeritus for the University of North Texas, where between 2000 and 2015 he led the UNT choral program to national and international acclaim while serving as Director of Choral Studies and conductor of the A Cappella Choir. His graduates have been named to faculty positions in choral music at forty universities in the U.S., Mexico, and South Korea, and currently lead thirteen professional choirs in the U.S. and South Korea. From 2007 to 2015 he served as a member of the National Executive Committee for the 20,000-member ACDA, serving as the organization’s national president from 2009 to 2011. His work in the international choral community includes appearances in Austria, Canada, China, Cuba, France, Great Britain, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, and Venezuela. Guest engagements for 2016/17 include appearances in Canada, Alabama, California, New York City, and Texas.