Deidre Douglas, 2015 Women's Choir Conductor Deidre Douglas is in her twenty-fifth year of teaching in the Cypress Fairbanks School District in Houston, Texas. Ms. Douglas received her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Arts from Stephen F. Austin State University. There she was named the Presser Scholar and the Lenvill Martin Outstanding Music Graduate.
Ms. Douglas’ choirs have received numerous sweepstakes ratings in Contest and Sightreading, Best in Class and Outstanding Performance at festivals, and performed at the annual TMEA Convention. She has served on the Prescribed Music List committee and the choral textbook committee for Hal Leonard/Glenco. She was selected "Spotlight Teacher" at Labay Middle School in the 1999-2000, and as the 2012 "Spotlight Teacher" of Cypress Falls High School. In 2010, she was named the "Outstanding Music Alumna of the Year" at Stephen F. Austin State University.
Ms. Douglas is a frequent adjudicator, clinician and soloist throughout the state and surrounding states. She is a member of TMEA, TCDA, TMAA, Mu Phi Epsilon, Alpha Chi and Pi Kappa Lambda. Deidre and her husband, BJ, have two daughters, Rebekah and Leah.
Some of her favorite activities include working in her yard, cooking, sewing, and crafts. Two of her favorite sports are softball and basketball. She also enjoys watching action packed movies with actors: Steven Segall, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes, and Nicholas Cage—just to name a few.
Henry Leck, 2015 Men's Choir Conductor An internationally recognized choral director, Henry Leck is a former associate professor and director of choral activities at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1986 he became founder and artistic director of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, one of the largest children’s choir programs in the world. The touring choirs of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir have performed regularly for national ACDA, MENC, OAKE and AOSA conferences. Additionally, ICC tours internationally every year, having sung in prestigious concert sites throughout Great Britain, Greece, Scandinavia, Central Europe, South America, North America, Australia, New Zealand and China. In 2004, the choir performed in the Czech Republic and Russia, recording live with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra in the famed Pavel Slobodkin Center for Music. Mr. Leck founded the Indiana All-State Children’s Honor Choir and the Indiana Middle/Junior High School Honors Choir, and has conducted Mixed, Men’s, Women’s, Junior High and Children’s All-State Choirs and festival choirs in nearly every state. He is a frequent conductor of regional and national honor choirs, including the ACDA Southern, Southwest, North Central, Central and Northwest Divisional Honors Choirs. In the spring of 2003, he conducted the ACDA National Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir in New York City and on three occasions has conducted National Honor Choirs for OAKE.
Mr. Leck has conducted many international festivals including the Musica Mundi Tuscany Children’s Choir Festival in Montecatini, Florence and Rome, Italy; the Central European International Children’s Choral Festival; the International Children’s Choir Festival in Beijing, China and the Vienna Children’s & Boys Choir Festival with the Vienna Sangerknaben. He has conducted many times in Brazil, including the Curso Internacional de Regencia Coral in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he founded the ARCI Sao Paulo Children’s Honor Choir which he conducts every other year. Mr. Leck has served as a clinician for the Australian National Choral Association and the Royal School of Church Music. He is the artistic director of the highly acclaimed Pacific Rim Festival in Hawaii and the International Children’s Choral Festival in Canterbury and London, England. For eleven years, he has conducted the National Youth Choral Festival in Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Leck is widely known as a specialist in choral techniques, the child’s voice and the boy’s changing voice. He authored the choral section of Silver Burdett music textbooks for grades 4, 5 and 6. He has produced three teaching videos titled Vocal Techniques for the Young Singer, The Boy’s Expanding Voice: Take the High Road and Creating Artistry through Movement, Dalcroze Eurhythmics. He is a lead author for the choral textbook series published by McGraw Hill/Glencoe titled Experiencing Choral Music and is also the editor of two nationally known choral series published by Hal Leonard Corporation and Colla Voce, Inc./Plymouth.
Mr. Leck is certified as a Kodály instructor and is an active member of ACDA, OAKE, MENC, AOSA and Pi Kappa Lambda. In 1992 he was named the “Outstanding University Music Educator of the Year” by the IMEA. Mr. Leck received his training from the University of Wisconsin, the University of Colorado and Indiana University where he received a master’s degree in choral conducting. Each year he teaches his conductor’s workshop entitled Creating Artistry at venues across the country.
Mike Ross, 2015 Treble Choir Conductor Michael Ross is the first full-time Artistic Director of the Madison Youth Choirs. He was previously the Music Department Chair and Vocal Music Teacher at Madison West High School. Michael was the Tallis (training choir) instructor for the former Madison Boychoir for ten years. He has both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music Education from UW-Madison, where he studied with Robert Fountain, Beverly Taylor, Julia Koza, and Anthony Barresi. Michael has also taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Summer Music Clinic, conducted the University Chorus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and led the former Basso Continuo choir of the Madison Boychoir.
Michael has extensive accompanying and music directing experience, including having been accompanist for both the Madison Boychoir and Madison Children's Choir, department accompanist for the University of Wisconsin-Madison choral program, and music director for several University of Wisconsin-Madison Summer Theatre productions.
Michael has been active in state music organizations, having been the choral chair for the Wisconsin Music Educators Association, accompanist for the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association's Next Direction conference, and both section leader and accompanist for various WSMA and WCDA State Honors Choirs. Michael is a member of the Voice Care Network, and has been named several times to "Who's Who Among America's Teachers".
2015 TREBLE CHOIR CONDUCTOR -DR. JILL BURLESON BURGETT Dr. Jill Burleson Burgett is Director of Choral Music Ed/Associate Director of Choral Studies at UNC, conducting the Women’s Glee Club and Prima Voce Chamber Ensemble, and teaching choral methods and conducting. Her doctorate is from Ball State University, where she was the Don Neuen fellowship recipient and subsequently served as Associate Director of Choral Activities. She holds an MM degree (choral conducting) from Ball State and a BM degree (magna cum laude) from Heidelberg University. For nearly twenty years, Burgett conducted choirs at the middle and high school level in the Indiana public schools. She has served on the Indiana and Colorado ACDA boards and Central Division ACDA board as College and University R&S Chair, and she is currently the President of the Colorado Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. Burgett is an active festival clinician and conference speaker. She is published in Choral Journal and New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Conducting venues include Prague, Vienna, Budapest, London, and Paris, and a Rome concert tour taking place March 2014.
2015 WOMEN'S CHOIR CONDUCTOR- DR. DAVID BRUNNER David L. Brunner is acclaimed as one today's most active and
versatile conductors and composers. His wide and varied expertise
embraces all ages in professional, university, public school, community,
church and children’s choruses. Dr. Brunner is Professor of Music and
Director of Choral Activities at the University of Central Florida,
where he conducts the University Chorus and Chamber Singers, teaches
courses in conducting, and coaches composition students. In both 1995
and 2000 he received a College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award and in 1995 the University Excellence in Teaching Award, UCF’s highest teaching honor. His choirs have appeared at state and
divisional conventions of both the American Choral Directors Association
and the Music Educators National Conference.
known for his compelling and dynamic work with singers of all ages,
David has conducted women's, mixed and men's All-State and regional
honor choirs throughout the United States at the elementary, middle, and
high school levels. An inspired teacher, he is also a popular
clinician at choral festivals and educational workshops in thirty-four
U.S. states, Canada, the U.K., Europe, Australia and Japan. David Brunner's music resonates with imagination, lyricism and
vitality. His compositions have been performed worldwide by children's
choirs, middle and high school singers, college, community and
professional choirs. The New York Times has referred to him as a
notable figure in choral music, a "prolific choral writer whose name
figures prominently on national repertory lists." (24 April 2003). Brunner holds degrees from Illinois Wesleyan University and
Northwestern University in choral music education and conducting and the
Doctor of Music Arts in Choral Literature and Conducting from the
University of Illinois. In addition, he has studied with Robert Shaw,
and with Helmuth Rilling in conducting master classes at the Oregon Bach
Festival. Dr. Brunner is a Past-President of the Florida chapter of
the American Choral Directors Association.
2015 MEN'S CHOIR CONDUCTOR -DR. ANDREA RAMSEY Dr. Andrea Ramsey is an Assistant Professor of Conducting and Associate Director of Choral Studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Prior to her appointment at CU, Andrea taught choral music methods courses, undergraduate conducting, and conducted the University Chorus at The Ohio State University. She holds a Ph.D. in music education from Michigan State University, where she was a University Distinguished Fellow and conducted the MSU Chamber Choir and assisted with the Women’s Chamber Ensemble. Her conducting teachers included Dr. David Rayl, Dr. Sandra Snow, and Dr. Jonathan Reed. Additionally, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Arkansas Tech University and a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Kansas where she served as a graduate teaching assistant and conductor of the KU Men’s Glee Club, the first female to do so in the 120+ year history of the organization.
As a composer, Dr. Ramsey continues to serve as composer-in-residence to the Allegro Choirs of Kansas City (an upbeat energetic youth choral program serving singers in grades 2-12) where she served as an assistant conductor for two years. A native Arkansan, Andrea has thirteen years of teaching experience with children’s, public school and university choruses. Her choral program in the Bentonville Public School district in Northwest Arkansas at Washington Junior High School grew to include approximately 375 students in grades 7-8. The choirs were twice invited to perform for the Arkansas All-State Music Conference. As a guest conductor, she has conducted all-state choruses and honor choirs in Missouri, Louisiana, Georgia, Virginia, and Arkansas. She looks forward to work this year with choirs in New York, Mississippi, Kentucky, Arkansas, West Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
2014 Women's Choir Conductor - Laura Farnell Laura Farnell is an active choral composer, clinician, accompanist, and adjudicator who resides in Arlington, Texas. After graduating summa cum laude from Baylor University with her Bachelor of Music Education in Choral Music (with a piano emphasis) in 1998, Laura taught elementary music in Mansfield, Texas for two years. She then taught for eight years at Boles Junior High in Arlington ISD, during which time the choir program earned numerous UIL sweepstakes awards. In 2004 she received an Excellence in Education Award as the Arlington Independent School District's outstanding junior high teacher of the year.
Laura especially enjoys working with middle school students, as well as composing and arranging for this age group. She is represented by Alliance Music Publications, BriLee Music, Hal Leonard Corporation, Heritage Music, Kjos Music Press, and other publishers. She is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, and The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. She and her husband, Russell, and their son, Ryan, attend First Presbyterian Church of Arlington.
2014 Men's Choir Conductor - Dr. Patrick Freer Patrick K. Freer is associate professor of choral music education at Georgia State University in Atlanta, offering programs at the baccalaureate, masters and PhD levels. He holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Freer is a frequent guest conductor for all-state choruses and has made over 85 presentations at regional, national and international conferences. He has guest conducted or presented in 32 states, Brazil, Canada, England, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands and Spain. Dr. Freer has conducted several concerts in Carnegie Hall and made his Lincoln Center debut in June, 2012 with a concert in Avery Fisher Hall. He currently conducts the Georgia State University Men's Chorus and Choral Union. The Men's Chorus performed for the 2012 national meeting of Intercollegiate Men's Choruses, Inc., and was a national semi-finalist for the 2012 American Prize in Choral Performance.
Dr. Freer is academic editor and chair of the editorial board for Music Educators Journal, the most widely circulated music education journal in the world. His major publications include Getting Started with Middle School Chorus (2nd Edition) which was named a 2010 "Outstanding Academic Title" by the Choice journal for university librarians; TIPS: The First Weeks of Middle School Chorus; and the critically acclaimed DVD series Success for Adolescent Singer. He is on the editorial and review boards for the International Journal of Music Education, Psychology of Music and Middle Grades Research Journal. His articles are published in most of the field's leading national and international journals, including the Choral Journal, Arts Education Policy Review, International Journal of Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, Music Education Research, Music Educators Journal, Philosophy of Music Education Review,Research Studies in Music Education, Revista Internacional de Educación Musical, Southwestern Musician, Teaching Artist Journal and UPDATE: Applications of Research in Music Education.