A Choral Artistry Experience
A Celebration of Excellence showcases outstanding high school varsity choirs in the beautiful sanctuary of South Main Baptist Church, Houston. The focus of this new event is to provide a recording made by a highly skilled audio engineer in an exceptional acoustical environment. We wish to provide a showcase for choirs who are seeking a high-quality recording for archives or convention auditions. All participating groups are welcome to remain on site to enjoy other performances. The concluding concert which precedes the awards ceremony will be presented at 6:00 pm by the 2018 Honor Choir, Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Chorale under the direction of Shannon Carter.
A Celebration of Excellence
A Choral Artistry Experience April 23, 2018 South Main Baptist Church
Winner and 2019 Honor Choir Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Shannon Carter, Director
1st Runner Up Tompkins Chorale, Christin Reinartz, Director
2nd Runner Up North Shore Chorale, Enrique Collazo, Director
3rd Runner Up Porter High School, Cara Cavenaugh Woodard, Director
Best in Class, Tenor Bass Choir Oak Ridge Varsity Tenor Bass Choir, J. R. Smith, Director
Best in Class Treble Choir Kingwood Kapelle, Jason Watt, Director Benjamin O. Davis Varsity Women, Daryle Freeman, Director
Performance of Distinction Awards Cinco Ranch Chorale, Dorothy Wilson and Melanie Piche, Directors Conroe Varsity Tenor Bass Choir, Clay West, Director Dekaney Chorale, Melissa Cox, Director Elkins Knight Beats, John Richardson, Director Kingwood Park Ariso, Ben Fahnders, Director Magnolia Varsity Men, Jennifer Franz-Melady and Bonnie Hernandez, Directors St. John’s School Les Chanteuses, Brendan Emig, Director Summer Creek Chorale, Amanda Robison, Director James E. Taylor Varsity Chorale, Kevin Riehle, Director
This is a one-fee-per-group event. No fees will be assessed for individual performers.
Richard Bjella Director of Choral Studies Emeritus Texas Tech University Artistic Director, San Antonio Chamber Choir Appleton, WI 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.
Dianne Brumley 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 Dallas, Texas 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.
Kristina Caswell MacMullen Assistant Professor of Choral Studies The Ohio State University Columbus, OH
Kristina Caswell MacMullen serves as Assistant Professor of Music and Associate Director of Choral Studies at The Ohio State University, where she conducts the Symphonic Choir, the Women’s Glee Club, and instructs both undergraduate and graduate students in choral conducting, repertoire, and rehearsal pedagogy.
As an active adjudicator and clinician, Professor Caswell MacMullen has conducted All-State and honor choirs throughout the United States. Recent and future engagements involve students in Colorado, Texas, Alaska, Virginia, Ohio, and Nebraska. In 2011, she was runner-up in the National American Choral Director’s Association graduate level conducting competition. She was also selected as a Fulbright Fellowship Alternate to Slovenia. Her teaching and conducting is featured on the DVD “Conducting-Teaching: Real World Strategies for Success” published by GIA (2009), and her editions for treble choir are published by Musicatus Press, Boosey & Hawkes, and MusicSpoke.
Caswell MacMullen is a graduate of Michigan State University and Texas Tech University. Prior to her appointment at The Ohio State University, she enjoyed a diverse career as a public-school teacher, interacting with students in rural, suburban, and urban settings, elementary through high school. She has presented and co-presented interest sessions at state, regional, national, and international conferences.
Dr. John Ratledge Professor Emeritus, The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
John Ratledge (b. 1954), Professor Emeritus of The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, was the Conductor of University Singers, Area Coordinator of Graduate Choral Conducting, and Director of Choral Activities during his twelve-year tenure at The University. Ratledge made his European orchestral conducting debut in 1996 with the Filharmonia Sudecka of Walbrzych and Wroclaw, and Poland, and since then, he has conducted orchestras in France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, and Spain. During his tenure at Shorter College of Rome, Georgia, the Shorter Chorale distinguished itself nationally and internationally by giving the world premiere of the full orchestral version of the Duruflé Requiem in Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Greece and the organ version premiere of the same work in Bulgaria; the world premiere of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms in Poland, and the St. Petersburg, Russia world premieres of Handel’s Messiah in English and Corigliano’s Fern Hill. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Bassi Brugnatelli International Conducting and Singing Symposium held annually in Robbiate, Italy, and he is the editor of the new Javier Busto Choral Series of Carl Fischer Music Publishers. Ratledge currently is the Director of Music at First United Methodist Church in Tuscaloosa.
Z. Randall Stroope Director of Choral and Vocal Studies Doug and Nickie Burns Endowed Chair of Choral Music Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK
Z. Randall Stroope is an American conductor, composer. He is also the Doug and Nickie Burns Chair of Choral Music at Oklahoma State University, where he coordinates the vocal and choral conducting program. In the United States, he has conducted at most of the major concert halls, including Chicago Orchestra Hall, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Carnegie Hall (where he has conducted every year since 2001). He has conducted 45 all-state choirs, and numerous festival choirs in the United States. Internationally, Randall has directed in Hong Kong, Barcelona, Nova Scotia, Dublin and and Rome in the past year. He has 165 published musical works, including Four Spanish Sonnets of Garcilaso de la Vega, Conversion of Saul, Amor de mi alma, Christi Mutter (Stabat Mater), Go Lovely Rose. His composition teachers were Normand Lockwood and Cecil Effinger, both students of Nadia Boulanger, the famous French teacher (and student of Gabriel Fauré.) In the final analysis, Randall loves working with students and making a difference – that is the greatest contribution.