North Texas Choral Classic
The North Texas Choral Classic is a pre-UIL event designed for high school mixed, men’s and women’s varsity choirs. At this non-competitive event, two evaluators write detailed comments about the performance, followed by a 40 minute clinic.
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.
Lynne Gackle, Ph.D.
Professor of Ensembles
Director of Choral Activities
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
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
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.
Hebron High School
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.
Plano West Senior High School
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.
Dr. Carolyn Cruse
Associate Professor of Music Education
Associate Director of Choral Studies
Texas Tech University
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.
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
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.
$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.