MSVMA Choral Student Leadership Conference

Student leadership in the choral classroom provides the opportunity for emerging leaders to set the pace musically, organizationally and inspirationally within their choir community. Recognizing the potential of young people early offers them time to consider the type of leadership style that fits with their values and beliefs. Consciously considering the leadership styles that they are experiencing in their daily lives creates an awareness of effective leadership and its impact. MSVMA has created a conference experience designed to encourage and develop the leadership skills and knowledge of our high school and college student leaders.  MSVMA members will serve as facilitators for related sessions.


Provide an inspirational and educational experience for high school and college students focused on examining, developing and enhancing leadership skills. 


Students will:

  • Create a personal strategic plan for living leadership that includes specific goals.

  • Learn to communicate in ways that motivate and encourage listeners.

  • Explore the dynamics and the strategies of win-win negotiation and conflict solution.

  • Examine the power of teamwork and how to encourage collaboration in a group.

  • Evaluate personal leadership strengths and identify those areas that they wish to improve.

Students will apply these outcomes in their choral experience to: 

  • Lead effectively in formal and informal roles in their choirs, ensembles and sections.

  • Interact with peers and professionals from other schools and develop confidence in their skills as leaders and as followers.

  • Understand the art of singing in community and be able to articulate their standards of excellence to other singers.

  • Recognize the potential for their leadership roles in future ensembles at the university and community levels.

  • Connect with MSVMA mentors and gain an understanding of MSVMA and its mission.


High school directors may send up to ten students. Please complete the registration form and submit your payment by credit card or check by June 1, 2022.

Cost is $50 per student and will include CSLC Conference materials and lunch. 

Registration Form

Invoices and checks should be mailed to:

P.O. Box 1131
Big Rapids, MI  49307

Choir Director/School Responsibilities
Directors/Schools are responsible to provide one adult/chaperone for students attending. Since students will be involved throughout the day, contact information for the “chaperone” will be requested in case there is an emergency and they need to be reached during the conference. If the choral director is attending the CSLC, they can be listed as the “chaperone” on the registration form.

*Registration fees are non-refundable


Headliner: Dr. Matthew Arau,

Lawrence University Conservatory of Music

Dr. Matthew Arau is the Chair of the Music Education Department and Associate Director of Bands at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin where he teaches conducting and instrumental music education courses and is the conductor of the Symphonic Band, associate conductor of the Wind Ensemble, and guest conductor of the Symphony Orchestra.

In demand as a music teacher and speaker, Dr. Arau has presented on leadership, growth mindset, rehearsal techniques, and creating positive cultures at the following: the International Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Western International Band Clinic, numerous State and Regional Music Education Association Conferences, the American Choral Directors Association NextDirection Conference, the Conn-Selmer Institute, and universities, music camps, school districts, and schools in 25 states and 4 continents. Dr. Arau has taught student leadership in Singapore, Malaysia, Greece, and Cyprus. In February 2019, Dr. Arau delivered the keynote address at the Northwest NAfME (National Association for Music Education Conference) and he will deliver the keynote address at the National NAfME Conference in November 2019 in Orlando, Florida to all of the high school national honor ensembles. Dr. Arau also serves as a Conn-Selmer Education Clinician.

In addition, Dr. Arau conducts and clinics all-state bands and honor groups across the United States and around the world. He has conducted honor bands in Australia, Greece, Cyprus, and Malaysia, the Michigan All-State Middle School Honor Band, the Texas Region 26 Honor Band, and the South Carolina All-State Band. In 2020, Dr. Arau will be conducting the Utah All-State Middle School Honor band, and honor bands in Indiana, Montana, and West Virginia. The Instrumentalist, Bandworld Magazine, Make Music Inc., and Conn-Selmer have published his articles on leadership and teaching music. Dr. Arau draws on a deep reservoir of fifteen years of experience as a successful middle school and high school band director in Loveland, Colorado, where he led his groups at Loveland High School to numerous championships and pioneered the Leadership Symposium.

Dr. Arau holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting and Literature from the University of Colorado Boulder and a Master of Science in Music Education from the American Band College of Southern Oregon University. He graduated magna cum laude from Lawrence University, where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Music Education, Music Performance (Classical), Music Performance (Jazz Studies), and a Bachelor of Arts in Government. He resides with his wife, Merilee, in Neenah, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

9 AM - 4:30 PM

Michigan State University

College of Music

Billman Pavilion

Wendee Wolf-Schlarf

Choral Student Leadership Coordinator
(231) 933-7571


Michigan School Vocal Music Association

P.O. Box 1131

Big Rapids, MI 49307-1131

(231) 592 - 9344


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