Ruth E. Dwyer is internationally recognized as a treble, youth and children’s choir specialist and Kodály educator. Mrs. Dwyer has been the guest conductor for the OAKE National Children’s Choir, numerous All-State and Honor Choirs, and the National Children’s Choir at Lincoln Center and for MidAmerica Productions at Carnegie Hall.Mrs. Dwyer is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Hoosier Hills Choral Festival in Southern Indiana and of Philthrusong, Inc. (Philanthropy Through Song) a non-profit organization supporting anti-drunk driving education and traumatic brain injury research through choral performance. Mrs. Dwyer has been a director with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir (ICC) since 1988 and ICC Director of Education in 1996. She is also the Founder and Artistic Director and of the Columbus Indiana Children’s Choir, (CICC) a 22 year co-operative effort of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. This is one of the longest standing arts collaborations in Indiana. Her work with ICC/CICC has allowed her to tour throughout the United States and abroad. Her choirs have performed for the Indiana Music Educators Association, the AOSA National Conference, in New York’s Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls, Spain, across the USA and throughout Central Europe. She has prepared choirs for performances with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Indianapolis Opera, the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and the Butler University production of Nutcracker. Mrs. Dwyer’s work with ICC/CICC includes curriculum development, mentoring the teaching staff, conducting 4 choirs and teaching in the First Steps program.
Prior to her fulltime position with ICC, Mrs. Dwyer served the State of Indiana for 19 years as a public school music educator. She has received the IMEA Elementary Music Teacher of the Year, the Hoosier Musician award, the CIP Golden Baton award and the IPS Rising Star award. She has taught master classes for the IU Jacobs School of Music, Butler University, University of St. Thomas, Drake University and Silver Lake College. Mrs. Dwyer also works as a studio conductor for Chorister’s Guild. She is an accomplished composer, arranger, choral editor and author. Her works can be found in the Ruth Dwyer Choral Series at Colla Voce, ICC Teacher Resources on line and with the Hal Leonard and Brock music publishers. Ruth Dwyer earned both her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Indiana University where she majored in music education and voice. While attending Indiana University she also received her Kodály certification under the guidance of Mary Goetze and Jean Sinor. She enjoys a good up of coffee, visiting with family, gardening, reading, sailing and hiking in the mountains.
Craig Denison, Men's Choir
Craig Denison is Associate Director of Music Education and Choral Music at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Before that, he served as Artistic Director of Florida’s Singing Sons Boychoir, and director of the Master Chorale at Florida International University. He taught for many years at Saint Mark’s Episcopal School as Director of Vocal Music. Dr. Denison has also served as Music Director for the Colorado Children’s Chorale and Associate Music Director and Conductor of The American Boychoir. His chapter on boychoir pedagogy is in the Oxford Handbook of Choral Pedagogy.
Dr. Denison has prepared choirs and acted as vocal coach for numerous international orchestras, opera companies, and a number of world and North American premieres. He currently serves as the American Choral Director’s National Chair for Repertoire and Standards in Boychoirs. Dr. Denison founded the Schola Cantorum at Westminster Choir College of Rider University as Assistant Professor of Conducting. A sought-after conductor and clinician, Dr. Denison is a regular guest conductor of Honor and All-State Choruses. He also presents and conducts regularly at the state and national level for ACDA, NAfME, and their affiliates. Dr. Denison has prepared boys for numerous opera productions including The Magic Flute, The Turn of the Screw, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Carmen, La Boheme, Turandot, Tosca, Summer and Smoke, Hansel and Gretel, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Street Scene, and Gloriana with opera companies as diverse as Central City Opera to Los Angeles Opera to Florida Grand Opera. He has prepared choirs and soloists for the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Symphony, New World Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, and the BBC Proms.
His television and movie work includes Dexter and Interview with the Vampire. Dr. Denison earned his Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Miami. He holds a Master of Music degree with Distinction from Westminster Choir College and a Bachelor of Music degree from Houghton College, Magna Cum Laude. In addition to youth singing, Dr. Denison’s research agenda include statistical models in music psychology, community music, and signature/emerging choral pedagogies.
Dr. Frank F. Eychaner, Mixed Choir
Dr. Frank F. Eychaner came to Texas in 2014 as the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Before coming to Texas, Eychaner was the Director of Choral Studies and Music Education at Colorado Christian University, a position he held from 2006-2014. He also held positions at Centennial High School in Boise Idaho from '94-2000 and at Treasure Valley Community College in Oregon from 2001-2005. He received his education at Central Washington University where he was a teaching assistant to Geoffrey Boers and at the University of Kentucky where he studied with Jefferson Johnson and co-conducted the University Chorale and Men’s Chorus that appeared at the 2006 National Convention of NAfME.
Groups under Eychaner’s direction have been invited to perform at state and regional conventions including Southwest ACDA in 2008 and 2014, Colorado MEA in 2006, 2010 and 2014, Utah MEA in 2013 and the Oregon MEA in 2006. He has guest conducted in many states including California, Colorado, Wyoming, Texas and Missouri. He conducted the Kentucky Jr. High Allstate choir in 2014 and the 2015 Korean International School Honor Choir in Seoul, South Korea.
Dr. Eychaner has presented over fifty sessions at state and national conferences on a broad spectrum of choral pedagogy topics from voice building and repertoire to rehearsal techniques and artistry. Eychaner has published many journal articles on choral techniques and pedagogy and has over seventy published and unpublished compositions and arrangements. He is writing a book on choral pedagogy that will be published with GIA Publications.