North Texas Choral Classic

2020 Dates and Locations

North Texas Choral Classic East – March 28, 2020, Lake Highlands High School – Dallas, TX


North Texas Choral Classic West – April 4, Chisholm Trail High School  – Fort Worth, TX


The North Texas Choral Classic West and East are pre-UIL events designed for high school mixed, men’s and women’s varsity choirs. At these non-competitive events, two evaluators write detailed comments about the performance, followed by a 40 minute clinic.


Music Selection:
Two selections are performed from the choir’s UIL repertoire during the allotted 20 minute time slot. All three pieces may be performed. In keeping with the educational nature of the event, it is acceptable to perform portions of a longer work, or to perform on solfege or neutral syllables according to each choir’s stage of development in perfecting the repertoire. Each piece may be sung in its entirety at the discretion of the director.

A two person panel will provide detailed, written comments designed to facilitate the continuing preparations for a satisfying and successful UIL experience.

Following the performance, each choir will receive a 40 minute clinic.

Three sets of original scores, two for the evaluators and one for the clinician, are necessary.

A CD recording will be prepared for each performing group.

Concert attire is encouraged but not required.


Performance times are confirmed when the appropriate registration fees and registration forms are received. Clinicians are assigned according to director preferences when possible but will remain in a three-person rotation order throughout the day.

2018 Clinicians & Evaluators


Lynne Gackle, Ph.D.
Professor of Ensembles
Director of Choral Activities
Baylor University

Waco, TX

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

Gackle is the editor of Choral Artistry for the Singer  (Walton Music/GIA) and the Lynne Gackle Choral Series  (Colla Voce).  Internationally recognized for her research on the female adolescent voice, Lynne is the author of Finding Ophelia’s Voice, Opening Ophelia’s Heart in addition to contributing-author for other books published by GIA, Oxford, and Lead Author for Voices In Concert (Hal Leonard/McGraw Hill).   Gackle was awarded Baylor’s Outstanding Faculty Award in Research (2012).  She holds memberships in ACDA, TMEA, TCDA, and NATS.

Randall Hooper, DMA
Director of Choirs and Vocal Activities
Texas A&M University-Commerce

Commerce, Texas

Dr. Randall Hooper, DMA is the Director of Choirs and Vocal Activities at Texas A&M University-Commerce where he conducts the Men’s Chorus, Chamber Singers and Chorale while overseeing the masters program in choral conducting and teaching undergraduate courses in conducting. Dr. Hooper earned degrees from Texas State University, Baylor University, and Louisiana State University.  Prior to his position at Texas A&M University-Commerce, Dr. Hooper held similar positions at Tennessee Tech University, Georgia State University and taught high school choral music for eleven years in Texas. Choirs under Dr. Hooper’s leadership have performed in Carnegie Hall, by invitation for the Southwestern Division of the American Choral Directors Association, the Tennessee Music Educators Association Conference, the Georgia Music Educators Association, for the International Anthony Burgess Foundation Symposium in Liverpool, England, and the Festival Internacional de Música de Campina Grande in Brazil along with touring Germany, Austria, England and France. Dr. Hooper has served the Texas Choral Director’s Association as the College and Community Choir Vice President. He is also actively involved with church music.  He has served as music director for churches in Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Georgia and is currently the Director of Music of Kavanaugh UMC in Greenville, TX.

Z. Randall Stroope
Director of Choral and Vocal Studies
Doug and Nickie Burns Endowed Chair in Choral Music
Oklahoma State University

Stillwater , Oklahoma

Z. Randall Stroope is an American composer, conductor and lecturer. He has had recent conducting engagements at the Santa Maria sopra Minerva (Rome), Hong Kong, Barcelona, Singapore, Canterbury Cathedral (England), Berliner Dom (Germany), Salzburger Dom (Austria), St. John (Canada), Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), Carnegie Hall (New York), and seven performances for Mass at the Vatican. The Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Oklahoma State University, Randall coordinates the undergraduate and graduate choral conducting program. The OSU Concert Chorale has performed on the many conventions, including the 2016 Southwest ACDA in Kansas City and the 2017 National ACDA convention in Minneapolis. As a guest conductor, Randall directed 20 summer international music festivals in England, Germany, Spain and Italy, and conducted 41 American all-state choirs. He also taught summer sessions for FENIARCO (Italy National Choral Federation) last summer and again in 2018. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Randall completed a Master of Music (Voice Performance) degree at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Doctor of Musical Arts (Choral Conducting) degree at Arizona State University. He did post graduate work with Margaret Hillis, Chorus Master of the Chicago Symphony. As a recipient of the Australian-American Fulbright, he has also done work in Western Australia.



Rachel Forester
Choral Director
Hebron High School

Carrolton, Texas

Rachel Forester is the Director of Choral Activities and Department Chair for Fine Arts at Hebron High School. Ms. Forester has taught at Hebron High School since the school opened in 1999.  Prior to her appointment at Hebron High School, she opened The Colony High School also in Lewisville ISD. Ms. Forester holds a Bachelor of Music Education, with an emphasis in voice from Oklahoma Baptist University.  She has completed master’s courses for music education and counseling at Oklahoma State University, the University of North Texas and Texas Women’s University.  Ms. Forester is a member of Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Choral Directors Association and Texas Music Adjudication Association.  She is also listed as one of Marquis Who’s Who of American Women.  Ms. Forester is a frequent judge for Texas UIL contests and has served in leadership roles for TMEA and TCDA. Under her direction the Hebron HS A cappella Choir performed as a TMEA invited choir in 2015 and was named the Grand Champion ensemble at Festival di Voce in 2016. The Hebron Treble Chorus has recently been named a SWACDA performance group in Oklahoma City in March of 2018.

Kathy Hackett
Plano West Senior High School

Plano, Texas

Kathy L. Hackett is the Director of Choral Music at Plano West Senior High School and the Leader of the West Cluster Choral Feeder Program in which she oversees seven schools. She has had the joyous opportunity to teach in a variety of high schools including Liberty and Kingwood, Texas, Atlanta, Georgia, Kansas City, Missouri, as well as Plano. The PWSH Choral program has grown from two choirs to six choirs establishing a rich tradition of excellence.

Ms. Hackett has recently served the State as the Choral Vice President of Texas Music Adjudicators Association training teachers in UIL procedures, rules, and rubrics for judging competitions in concert and sight-reading. She has developed and presented workshops in various areas for music conferences.  She has served as a guest clinician, conductor, and adjudicator throughout the State of Texas as well as in the Southeast, Colorado, and Alaska. Ms. Hackett has served as the All-State Choir Organizer and All-State section leader on several occasions for TMEA and was the 2014 recipient of the Texas Choral Directors Association Choral Excellence Award for Teaching.

The West Choirs, under her direction, have received consistent Sweepstakes and first divisions at UIL and festivals, received a Grammy Award of Education, and have placed numerous students in the All-Region and All-State Choirs. Her choirs have performed for TMEA and the Southwest ACDA conferences. She takes great pride in the number of students who have made a career in music.

Ms. Hackett and her husband, Paul, have two wonderful sons, Kevin and Stephen.

2019 NTCC East Clinicians & Evaluators


Allen Hightower
Professor of Music
Director of Choral Studies
University of North Texas

Denton TX

Allen Hightower is the Director of Choral Studies at the University of North Texas. At UNT, Allen serves as conductor of the A Cappella Choir and the Grand Chorus, and oversees a comprehensive choral program that includes seven choral ensembles. Dr. Hightower leads the master’s and doctoral programs in choral conducting.

Prior to his appointment at UNT, Dr. Hightower was the first holder of the Weston Noble Endowed Chair in Music, at Luther College, where he served as conductor of the renowned Nordic Choir and Artistic Director of Christmas at Luther. As Luther’s Director of Choral Activities, he gave leadership to a choral program that included four conductors, six choirs, and over 530 singers.

From 2000-2010, Dr. Hightower served as Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Sam Houston State University. During his tenure, the SHSU Chorale performed for the 2007 National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association, the 2010 Southwestern Division of ACDA, and the 2003, 2006, and 2010 conventions of the Texas Music Educators Association. From 1992-1996 he was Director of Choirs at Odessa Permian High School, and led the PHS Kantorei and Chamber Orchestra in performance at the 1996 Texas Music Educators Association convention.


John Dickson
Director of Choral Studies
Edward G. and Catherine M. Galante Chair for Choral Music Education
Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge, LA

John Dickson is the Edward G. and Catherine M. Galante Chair for Choral Music at Louisiana State University. As Director of Choral Studies, he conducts the A Cappella Choir and supervises the masters and doctoral programs in choral conducting. He is also the conductor of Coro Vocati, one of Atlanta’s most accomplished professional chamber choirs.

As a conducting pedagogue, Dr. Dickson has presented master-classes before the Association of British Choral Directors and the Russian State Music Conservatories of St. Petersburg and Moscow. Beginning his 40th year as a collegiate choral conductor, his choirs and workshops have been featured throughout the U. S. and Europe. A Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge University, Dr. Dickson sang with Sir David Willcocks and The Bach Choir; a second post-doctoral fellowship allowed him to serve as David Hill’s assistant conductor. He is the Founding Director of the Oxbridge C. S. Lewis Choral Institute.

Dr. Betsy Cook Weber
Professor of Music
Director of Choral Studies
University of Houston Moores School of Music

Director of the Houston Symphony Chorus

Houston, TX

Dr. Betsy Cook Weber is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music and is also active internationally as a conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and lecturer. Weber also serves as Director of the Houston Symphony Chorus. In that role, she prepares choral-orchestral masterworks for some of the world’s greatest conductors. HSC recently concluded performances with the Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Litomysl Festival Orchestra in the Czech Republic.

Choirs under Weber’s direction have been featured at multiple state (TMEA 2002, 2005, 2008, 2013, 2017) and national conventions (ACDA 2007 and 2017 and NCCO 2017). Internationally, Weber has led choirs to top prizes at prestigious competitions in Wales, France and Germany.

Weber routinely prepares singers for Houston’s early music orchestras Ars Lyrica and Mercury Houston, as well as preparing singers for touring shows, including Josh Groban, NBC’s Clash of the Choirs, Telemundo’s Latin Grammy’s, Star Wars in Concert, Andreas Bocelli, and Harry Potter

In 2013, Weber became the 1st woman to receive TCDA’s Texas Choirmaster Award. She is editor of the Betsy Cook Weber choral series with Alliance Music Publishing

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 (Princeton, NJ), and the University of Houston.


Carolyn S. Cruse
Associate Professor of Music Education
Associate Director of Choral Studies
College/Community Vice-President, TCDA
Texas Tech University School of Music

Lubbock, TX

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, Vocal-Choral Pedagogy, and Curriculum and Practicum in Music Education. Dr. Cruse is also active with the TTU Summer Master of Music Education program.

Dr. Cruse serves as a clinician and festival adjudicator, and has conducted All-State and Regional Honor Choirs and presented workshops in Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, and St. John’s, Newfoundland (Canada). The TTU Women’s Chorale performed for the 2012 SWACDA, in the Meyerson Symphony Center, in Dallas, TX. As a singer/performer, she is a member of the new professional level women’s ensemble, “mirabai,” conducted by Dr. Sandra Snow, and recorded a CD with the ensemble, for release in March 2018.

Dr. Cruse is a contributing author for the Hal Leonard/McGraw Hill Choral Textbook, “Voices in Concert,” and she currently serves as the College/Community Choirs Vice-President of TCDA. Her degrees are from Michigan State University (PhD-Music Education), Westminster Choir College (MM-Conducting), and the University of North Texas (BM-Music Education). Dr. Cruse taught choral music for nine years at both the junior high and high school levels in Richardson and Plano, TX. She is passionate about music teacher education and dedicates her time and efforts to prepare and nurture future music educators in all contexts.

Dinah Menger
Director of Choral and Elementary Music
Department of Visual and Performing Arts
Fort Worth Independent School District

Fort Worth, TX

Dinah Menger is in her fourth year as the Director of Choral and Elementary Music for the Fort Worth Independent School District. Before coming to Fort Worth ISD, she taught at Baylor University for 2 years directing the Women’s Choir, the Chamber Singers, and the contemporary a cappella group “VirtuOSO”. She also taught Music Appreciation and Conducting. Before her appointment at Baylor, Dinah spent 18 years as the Director of Choral Activities at Arlington High School in Arlington ISD. Varsity choirs under her direction performed at the 2007 and 2013 national American Choral Directors Association Conventions and the 2005 and 2009 Texas Music Educators Association Conventions. Her Arlington High Chamber Choir was selected to perform at Carnegie Hall by the Kurt Weill Foundation and this same choir won the 2010 Madrigal Festival in San Antonio. Her ensembles have toured Italy, Ireland, and Scotland. Dinah is the Past President of both the Texas Music Educators Association and the Texas Music Adjudicators Association. She is a past Chair of the Texas UIL Prescribed Music List Committee. She is an active Region Clinician and adjudicates several times each year for the UIL Concert & Sight Reading contest.

2019 NTCC West Clinicians & Evaluators


Dianne Brumley
Director of Choral Studies Emerita
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley – Brownsville

Canyon Lake, TX

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.

Kristina Caswell MacMullen
Assistant Director of Choral Studies
The Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio

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.

John Wayman
Assistant Professor
Choral Music Education
University of Texas at Arlington

Arlington, TX

John Wayman is the Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he conducts the University Singers and helps guide future choral music educators. He is in great demand as a conductor, adjudicator, and clinician; regularly working with school music programs and directing honor choirs throughout the nation. He earned his graduate degrees from Texas Tech University and undergraduate degree from Wayland Baptist University. Prior to his position at UT Arlington,  Dr. Wayman held similar positions at Young Harris College and the  University of Georgia. The changing male voice and teacher preparation is the focus of his research. He regularly presents at the state (Texas MEA, Tennessee MEA, andGeorgia MEA), national (National Association for Music Educators, Society of Research for Music Education, Society of Music Teacher Educators) and international venues (Greece, Brazil, England, Uganda, China and most recently in Scotland and Ireland).


Denise Eaton
Retired HS and Collegiate Choral Director
Editor, Carl Fischer & BriLee Music
Choral Consultant

Kingwood, TX

Denise Eaton is a music educator. She recently resigned after five years at Sam Houston State where she served as the Conductor of the Sam Houston State University Women’s Choir, taught Secondary Choral Methods and coordinated the annual summer choral workshops for the Institute for Educational Development. Prior to SHSU, Denise taught high school choir in Texas for twenty-nine years.  Choirs under her direction have performed at four TMEA conventions and 1 SWACDA convention.  Chamber choirs under her direction have won the prestigious American Classic Madrigal Festival an unprecedented six times.   Denise has been the Choral Editor for Carl Fischer Music Publication, LLC and BriLee Music Company since 2011.
An active clinician and conductor, Mrs. Eaton has conducted over thirty Texas region choirs and regional or All-State choirs in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee.  Known for her innovative teaching styles, Mrs. Eaton has presented over forty workshops in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma and Iowa.
Mrs. Eaton is the co-author of four sight reading books: SMART (Sight Reading Made Accessible Readable and Teachable), SMART Minor, published by Alliance Music and InSight Singing, and STEPS  (Steps to Enhance Performance/Reading Skills) published by Carl Fischer.

Cheryl Wilson
Director of Choirs, Ret.
Garland High School
TMAA Vocal Vice President

Dallas, TX

Cheryl Wilson has spent 37 years of teaching at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. She has spent the last 24 years at Garland High School and has recently retired after 18 years at her present position as the Director of Choirs.  During her tenure, the A cappella Choir and the A cappella Women have been names a TMEA Invited Choir on four occasions along with her A Cappella Choir from Lyles Middle School, also in the Garland Independent School District.  In July of 2015, the Texas Choral Directors Association presented Ms. Wilson with the Texas Choral Excellence Award.  This award recognizes her contributions to music education, mentorship, inspiration to colleagues and students, and advocacy for the future of choral singing.  Ms. Wilson is a frequent clinician and adjudicator with professional affiliations including TMEA, TCDA, and ACDA.  She presently serves as the Texas Music Adjudicators’ Association (TMAA) Vocal Vice President.



$295 – one group
$590 – two groups
$885 – three groups

A $100 non-refundable registration fee per group which will be applied toward the total fees.

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