2017 State Choral Adjudicators
Dr. Kimberly Dunn Adams
Dr. Kimberly Dunn Adams is the Director of Choral Activities at Western Michigan University, where she directs the University Chorale, Collegiate Singers and Grand Chorus. She also directs the graduate program in choral conducting and teaches choral literature, choral conducting and advanced conducting. Under her direction, the University Chorale received 2nd place in the 2013 American Prize, released two albums and was invited to perform at two ACDA conventions and the Michigan Music Conference. Adams was previously the Director of Choral Ensembles at Mount Holyoke College. Adams is highly praised for her energetic, positive and insightful work as a guest conductor and is a sought-after clinician and adjudicator throughout the country and internationally.
With conducting experience at collegiate and secondary levels, Jessica Allen most recently conducted the University of Michigan Residential College Singers and prepared opera choruses for Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte, Handel’s Giulio Cesare, and Dead Man Walking by Jake Heggie. As assistant conductor of the University of Michigan Women’s Glee Club, she participated in the first annual International Women’s Choir Festival in Curitiba, Brazil, in 2015. Ms. Allen directed a select ensemble for women at Bowling Green State University and was appointed interim director of the University Women’s Chorus. Under her leadership, the choirs at the prestigious Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, collaborated with ensembles at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music and Kent State University. In 2011, Hathaway Brown students traveled to Hamburg, Germany, where Ms. Allen co-directed the World Education Alliance Choir at Stormarnschule. Jessica toured as a choral singer with Rider University’s Westminster Chamber Choir in Florence, Italy, in 2008. She has been selected for conducting master classes with Dennis Keene, Joe Miller, Harry Christophers, Anton Armstrong, Kathy Saltzman Romey and Simon Carrington. She is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting at the University of Michigan where she studies conducting with Jerry Blackstone.
Dr. Ryan Beeken
Ryan Beeken serves as Director of Choral Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he conducts the University Chorale, Chorus, and Chamber Singers and teaches graduate and undergraduate choral conducting. Beeken also serves as Artistic Director for the Blair Concert Chorale, whose mission includes fostering a growing appreciation of quality choral music for the population of south central Pennsylvania. He received Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Bachelor of Music Education degrees from Drake University and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts Degrees in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University. Beeken's choirs have performed at state, regional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and have been invited to perform for state and regional conferences for the National Association for Music Education. A frequent clinician and festival director, Beeken is regularly engaged as a conductor, clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States; since 2013, his engagements include more than 30 All-States and Honor Choirs in twelve states and many invited presentations for symposia across the United States and in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He has served on the executive committee of the American Choral Directors Association at the state and regional level and is currently serving as the District 3 President-Elect for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association.
Dr. Meredith Bowen
Dr. Meredith Bowen is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Radford University where she conducts three choral ensembles and teaches courses in conducting, vocal pedagogy and choral methods. Bowen recently was selected as one of three conducting fellows from a national competition by Chorus America and was a finalist for the 2014 choral conducting award from The American Prize. Her doctoral research focused on restoring music of seventeenth-century Italian nuns for contemporary women’s choruses. Eight restored editions are currently under review for publication. Previous to her appointment at Radford, Bowen taught K-12 general music, choir and band in Lansing, MI, and was the Artistic Director of multiple ensembles in Michigan including Sistrum - Lansing Women’s Chorus, Holland Chorale, Battle Creek Girls Chorus and Battle Creek Community Chorus. Bowen holds a B.S. in Music Education from West Chester University, an M.M. and a D.M.A. in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University.
Dr. Lynn M. Brinckmeyer
Dr. Lynn M. Brinckmeyer is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Music Education at Texas State University. During 2006-2008 she served as President for The National Association for Music Education (formerly MENC). Dr. Brinckmeyer recently published Advocate for Music with Oxford University Press and Wander the World with Warm-ups and Rhythm Rescue! with Hal Leonard. She is a co-founder and Artistic Director for the Hill Country Youth Chorus in San Marcos, Texas. She has conducted all state choirs and honor choirs, lectured, presented master classes and performed in forty-nine states in the United States and sixteen different countries, including China, Brazil, South Africa, Cuba and Morocco.
Robert Cindric teaches Middle School Choirs and K-4 General Music at Saline Public Schools where he has spent the last 17 years. He taught in the Milan Schools for 21 years as high school and middle school choir director, 7th grade head football coach and coordinator of computer technology and implementation for the district. The Milan Middle School Choir performed at the 1992 Midwest Conference. He serves as an adjudicator for choir and solo and ensemble festival and directs clinics and workshops.
A passionate supporter of the principles and activities of Michigan School Vocal Music Association, Bob served for 13 years on its executive board in the capacities of president, director of Summer Workshop and director of state events. He conducted Junior High SATB Honor Choirs (2006, 1993).
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Bob earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in music education and psychology with a minor in physical education and an Master of Arts in music education with choral conducting emphasis. He taught at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp for 6 years, the Oakland Hills Music Camp for 14 years, the Summer Music Youth Camp of the University of Maryland for 4 years, the Baldwin-Wallace Summer Choir Camp and the All State Program at Interlochen. Bob has been the choir director and organist for the First Presbyterian Church in Saline for the past 40 years.
An accomplished conductor, Brian Clissold has had great success working with choirs, and more specifically, specializing in Children’s choirs throughout the Midwest. Currently, he serves as Artistic Director of The Celebration Singers (Cranford, New Jersey) and performs as a founding member of the professional New York based ensemble, Manhattan Chorale. He performs regularly in renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall and has sung numerous roles in oratorios, masses and operas. He boasts frequent appearances with the Battle Creek (MI) Symphony Orchestra and Butler University (IN) Symphony and is sought after as a clinician and adjudicator in Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey and New York.
Prior to moving to the Northeast, Brian led the Vivace Youth Singers of Fort Wayne (IN), the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir and the Fort Wayne Youth Symphony. From 2008 to 2010, Brian worked with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, establishing and conducting the Lebanon (IN) Regional Satellite Choir and working closely with Henry Leck and Ruth Dwyer. For 11 years, he served the Music Center of South Central Michigan as conductor of both the Battle Creek Girls’ Chorus and Community Chorus where he prepared numerous choral-orchestral works for performance. Clissold holds a BM in Music Education from Western Michigan University and a MM in Conducting from Butler University.
Dr. Erin Colwitz
Dr. Erin Colwitz, a native of Wisconsin, received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Minnesota. She later completed the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Southern California in choral music. Dr. Colwitz studied conducting with William Dehning, David Wilson, Magen Solomon and Claire McCoy.
In Minnesota, Dr. Colwitz was a full-time vocal and general music teacher at Centennial Middle School. As a professional singer, Dr. Colwitz was contracted to sing with the Dale Warland Singers (of Minnesota) in 1999. She can be heard on three of their albums, one of which was nominated for a Grammy: Dominick Argento’s Walden Pond (2003) on Gothic Records.
Dr. Colwitz is currently the Director of Choral Activities at Northern Michigan University. She conducts the Marquette Choral Society, University Choir and Arts Chorale, teaches Choral Methods and Music in Society, as well as specialty classes such as The Beatles: Their Music, Their Times. Past appointments include the University of Alabama in Huntsville, California State University, Fullerton and the University of Southern California. Dr. Colwitz is frequently a guest conductor, contest adjudicator and choral clinician throughout the U.P., Michigan, Wisconsin and the Southeast. She is also a member of ACDA, NCCO, CMS and Pi Kappa Lambda. Dr. Colwitz also serves on the Michigan ACDA board as the Membership Chair.
Dr. Gabriela Hristova
Dr. Gabriela Hristova is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Michigan-Flint Department of Music. She conducts the University Chorale and Chamber Singers, and teaches courses in choral and instrumental conducting and music performance. Dr. Hristova is the Artistic director and conducting faculty of the Department of Music’s Summer Vocal Academy of Music - a summer day camp for middle and high school students widely-recognized for its high level of vocal music instruction. Dr. Hristova is the past-president of the MI-State Board of the American Choral Directors Association. She is a performer, educator and promoter of choral music throughout the Midwest, conducting choirs of all ages, professional and amateur. She is sought as an adjudicator for competitions, vocal auditions, choral clinics and festivals.
Dr. Eric A. Johnson
Dr. Eric A. Johnson is the Director of Choral Activities at NIU and the Founding Artistic Director of Cor Cantiamo. Ensembles under his direction have performed at multiple national and division conventions for the National Collegiate Choral Organization, American Choral Directors Association and the Music Educator’s National Conference. He has served as a guest conductor at Avery Fisher Hall Lincoln Center (2013, 2009), toured internationally (England 2010 and 2006, Sweden and Denmark 2004, Poland 2002), and prepared choruses for collaborations with professional orchestras. Dr. Johnson has published music with Santa Barbara Music Publishing, served as a music editor for Earthsongs Publications, and has published articles in the Choral Journal. He is active nationally as a clinician and guest conductor for high school and collegiate honor choirs, most recently the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association Collegiate Honor Choir and the Wisconsin School Music Association Women’s All-State Choir.
Dr. Kristina Caswell MacMullen
East and South Sites
As an active adjudicator and clinician, Dr. MacMullen has conducted All-State and honors choirs throughout the United States. Upcoming engagements involve students in Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. In 2011 she was runner-up in the National American Choral Directors' Association graduate level conducting competition. Other awards include selection as a Fulbright Fellowship Alternate to Slovenia, the Don and Kay Cash Fellowship and being named a graduate student of distinction for Texas Tech University in the areas of music and humanities. Her teaching and conducting are featured on the DVD "Conducting-Teaching: Real World Strategies for Success" published by GIA (2009). Dr. MacMullen earned bachelor of music education and master of music degrees from Michigan State University. She completed the doctor of musical arts degree at Texas Tech University. Prior to her appointment at The Ohio State University, Dr. MacMullen 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. Joey M. Martin
Dr. Joey M. Martin is Professor of Music, Director of Choral Studies and Associate Dean at Texas State University where he directs Texas State Chorale and teaches graduate courses in conducting, choral literature and rehearsal technique. He completed his 7-year appointment this spring as the National ACDA R&S Chair for College and University Choirs. Dr. Martin has conducted honor choirs and presented master classes and clinics in thirty-eight of the United States and nine countries on six continents. Under his direction, Texas State Chorale has toured in eight countries including South Africa and China and has performed for numerous conferences including TMEA, SWACDA, ACDA and the International Kodály Festival. In his spare time, he dreams of culinary school.
Dr. Nina Nash-Robertson
Dr. Nina Nash-Robertson is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Central Michigan University where she directs three choirs, teaches conducting and choral literature and was honored with a university award as Outstanding Faculty Member. She received her first musical training in Dublin, Ireland, where she earned awards for both singing and Irish Dancing. Upon arriving in the United States, she became the founding director of the award-winning Shamrock Irish Dancers. She holds degrees in Music Education, Voice and Conducting from Alverno College, the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Illinois. Dr. Nash-Robertson taught vocal music K-12 in Wisconsin, directed the Sheboygan (Wisconsin) Oratorio Chorus, and was assistant director of the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus. She also sang with the Florentine Opera Company and the Skylight Opera Company.
Dr. Amanda Quist
Dr. Amanda Quist is Associate Professor and Chair of Conducting, Organ and Sacred Music at Westminster Choir College. She conducts the Chapel Choir and Westminster Kantorei and teaches conducting. She is the recipient of Westminster Choir College’s 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award. Her choirs have been invited to perform at ACDA Conferences, Early Music Festivals and have toured Europe. She recently served as Chorus Master for the Spoleto and Lincoln Center Festivals. Dr. Quist is also Director of the Westminster Vocal Institute for high school students and was previously Director of Choral Activities at San José State University. Her other honors include the James Mulholland National Choral Award and the Audrey Davidson Early Music Award. An active guest conductor and clinician, her recent and upcoming appearances include the All State High School Honor Choirs of Texas, California, Tennessee, Vermont and Delaware, and the Georgia All-College Honor Choir. She serves as the National ACDA Repertoire and Resources Coordinator for Collegiate Activities.
Dr. Jonathan Reed
Dr. Reed is Professor of Music and Associate Director of Choral Activities at Michigan State University School of Music where he conducts the State Singers, the Men’s Glee Club and teaches courses in conducting at the undergraduate and graduate level. In 1999, the Associated Students of Michigan State University presented him with the Outstanding Faculty Award. He is a contributing author to GIA’s The School Choral Program and is series advisor for Boosey and Hawkes choral series entitled In Low Voice. Dr. Reed enjoys an active career as a clinician/conductor, conducting festivals and all-state choruses throughout the United States. He has conducted all state choruses throughout the United States, as well as honor choirs for the Northwest, Western and Southern Divisions of The American Choral Directors Association. His choirs have performed at divisional and national conferences of ACDA. He has presented interest sessions at two national conferences of ACDA (1999, 2005) and at numerous state ACDA conferences. He also has served ACDA as a state newsletter editor, a state president and divisional and national chair of the Repertoire and Standards committee on Male Chorus.
Proud New Orleans native Anthony Sears received his Bachelor’s degree in music education at Southeastern Louisiana University and earned his MM in choral conducting at Westminster Choir College where he studied with Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt. While at Westminster, he performed under such noted conductors as Helmuth Rilling, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Wolfgang Sawallisch and Kurt Masur. Sears went on to teach at Clearview Middle School (New Jersey) for six years and, during his tenure, was named conductor of the New Jersey Junior High State Honor Choir. In 2003, he returned to New Orleans to teach at Eleanor McMain Secondary School. Choirs under his direction while at McMain were invited to perform at the Louisiana Music Educators Association Conference and appeared with the Louisiana Philharmonic and the Louisiana Vocal Arts Chorale and sang at Carnegie Hall. After Hurricane Katrina demolished New Orleans, Sears taught briefly in Chapel Hill, North Carolina before returning home in 2007 to help rebuild his beloved city, one chorister at a time.
Dr. Tim Sharp
Tim Sharp is Executive Director of the American Choral Directors Association, the world’s largest association of choral conductors, teachers, students, scholars, composers and choral industry representatives. Dr. Sharp has pursued an aggressive agenda of strategic planning and progressive and innovative initiatives to keep the American Choral Directors Association energized and relevant in the 21st century. He represents choral activity in the United States as a member of the Board of the International Federation for Choral Music, and is Vice-President of Musica International. Sharp appears regularly as guest conductor and clinician throughout the world, with recent performances in Thailand, Austria, Greece, Italy, Ireland, and China. He is in his ninth season as conductor and artistic director of the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus.
Dr. 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 at the MSU College of Music where she interacts with undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of conducting, choral pedagogy, and choral singing. Snow conducts the Michigan State University Women’s Chamber Ensemble, a group that has appeared as featured performers at American Choral Directors Association conferences (Central Division 2014; National Conference 2009; Central Division 2008; MI-ACDA 2007).
East & South Site
Bruce Snyder taught the singing students in Michigan schools for 35 years. Retired from Bloomfield Hills Schools, he is still active as a church musician and maintains a small voice studio. He has served on the boards of the MSVMA, the Michigan ACDA and several church-related organizations. He was honored to receive distinguished service and master teacher awards from Bloomfield Schools, chosen to conduct MSVMA Honors Choirs and elected MSVMA Teacher of the Year by his colleagues.
Dr. Sandra Frey Stegman
Sandra Frey Stegman, graduate of the University of Michigan and former public school teacher; active in music education and choral studies; has conducted various university ensembles and performed as music director and conductor of the Waterloo (Iowa) Metropolitan Chorale; conducts Collegiate Chorale and University Women’s Chorus; served as music educator and consultant to schools and communities in North Queensland, Australia; toured abroad as an assistant director with the Ohio Honors Chorale; directed the Toledo Opera Children’s Chorus and conducted the All-State Intermediate Choir in Interlochen, Mich.; founded the Junior Choral Society and Cantare, which performed under her direction at state and division music conferences (ACDA and MENC); active as a clinician, consultant and guest conductor, appeared as conductor of the Ohio Ambassador Choir for 2009 and 2011 European tours, conductor of the 2001 OMEA District 1 Middle School/Junior High Honors Festival and conductor of the 1998 American Choral Directors Association Central Division Junior High Honor Chorus; scholarship and research has included: presentations at the 2008 International Society of Music Education Conference, the 2005 International Conference on Arts and Humanities, the 2000 MENC National Convention and the 1998 College Music Society Annual Conference, articles in the Council of Research in Music Education Bulletin, Journal of Research in Music Education, Music Educators Journal, Choral Journal and the Journal of Music Teacher Education and author of Student Teaching in the Choral Classroom.
Dr. James Watson
Jim Watson is the Director of Music Programs at Defiance College, Ohio, working as head of the choral ensembles. He conducts the Chamber Singers and the Choral Union, while remaining active in the classroom. He completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting at the University of South Carolina, where he served as Instructor of Music Theory and Choral Ensemble Assistant. Jim is active as adjudicator, clinician, and scholar. As conductor, he recently led the Ohio premiere of Dan Forrest's Jubilate Deo. His broad research interests include choral repertoire selection and gender issues in conducting. He presented workshops at the Michigan Music Conference, Midwest Christian Educator's Convention and South Carolina Independent School Association. Recently, he assisted Larry Wyatt at the American Choral Directors Association Southern Division and National Conferences to introduce a commissioned work by J.A.C. Redford.
Lindsay Wills, choral conductor and soprano, maintains an active private voice studio, serves as an adjudicator and clinician for the Michigan School Vocal Music Association and performs as a soloist. Completing her B.A. in Vocal Music Education at Michigan State University in 2003, she graduated with Honors. Ms. Wills previously has served as the choral director at DeWitt High School and Junior High. Following her tenure in DeWitt, Ms. Wills served as associate choral director at Traverse City West Senior High and director of choirs at Traverse City West Middle School. Ms. Wills has presented sessions on women’s choirs at the Michigan Music Conference and on two-part gems as well as vocal technique in the choral classroom at the Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) 2013 and 2016 Conferences. Ms. Wills served as a vocal solo clinician at the MSVMA adjudication clinic and looks forward to conducting the MSVMA SA State Honors Choir in 2019. Ms. Wills recently completed her M.A. in Counseling at Western Michigan University. Residing in Traverse City, Ms. Wills has two beautiful children, enjoys canoeing, camping and spending time with her friends and family.
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