Wednesday, March 7 • 3:00pm



Kaeli Porter, conductor



One of 10 choirs, Cascadia is the middle school treble choir of the Pacific Youth Choir and is composed of boys and girls in grades 6-8. This year singers come from twelve different cities to rehearse each week at Trinity Cathedral, where Pacific Youth Choir enjoys being “In Residence”. 

In an open, joyful, and nurturing environment, Cascadia singers develop vocal technique, music reading, and performance skills. In addition to our regularly scheduled PYC concerts, singers have the unique performance opportunity to sing regularly with The Oregon Symphony Orchestra in Family concerts and in great works as; The Britten War Requiem, Carmina Burana, and this past spring in Stravinsky’s Persephone with staging 

by Michael Curry of Lion King fame. Cascadia is thrilled to be making their first performance at NWACDA.


Kaeli Porter is proud to serve as the conductor of Pacific Youth Choir’s Cascadia and Girlchoir. Her positive and enthusiastic conducting has led her choirs to perform at the Oregon Music Educator's Association Conference, the 

Pacific International Choral Festival and to be featured by the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her role 

at PYC, Kaeli also teaches Choir at Wood Middle School, provides vocal direction for her school district's yearly 

musical and serves as the Soprano Section Leader and Assistant Director at St. Michael and All Angel's Church. She

is also proud to serve on the Board of Oregon’s ACDA Chapter. Kaeli holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education 

and a Teaching Certificate from the University of Oregon as well as a Master of Music in Conducting from Portland 

State University. 




ST. MARY’S ACADEMY Marian Singers

Kathryn Briggs, conductor


The Marian Singers of St. Mary’s Academy have been the school’s premier choir for nearly a century. The dedicated ensemble rehearses twice a week after school. A trailblazer for treble choirs, in 2008 the Marians were the first treble choir in state history to compete in the Oregon State Choir Championships at the 6A level, have since won numerous league titles and trophies, and in 2015 became the first treble choir in history to take the state title. In 2013, the Marians received the prestigious honor of performing at the Northwest NAfME conference. The choir has performed on stage at the Arlene Schnitzer Auditorium and Keller Auditorium, along with several other Portland venues, has travelled to New York, Seattle, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, and has been invited twice to perform for President and Mrs. Obama at the White House. They are thrilled to perform at the 2018 NW ACDA conference. 


Kathryn Briggs is in her 11th year at St. Mary’s Academy. Ms. Briggs was awarded the 2016 Oregon ACDA Podium Award for her contribution to the choral arts, was honored as a finalist in the OnPoint Excellence in Teaching Awards in 2011, and was the Mt. Hood Conference "Advisor of the Year"in 2009. Her research on movement in the choral rehearsal was published in the Choral Journal, she has authored lesson plans for NAfME and VH1 Music Studios, and she has presented at regional and state NAfME conferences. Her award winning choirs have performed across the country and in Europe, highlighted by the honor of twice being invited to perform in the White House for President Obama and the First Lady. She also conducts the University of Portland Women’s Chorale and is the current President-Elect of OMEA. It is Ms. Briggs' lifelong dream to meet Julie Andrews. 




Paul Klemme, conductor


The Willamette Master Chorus was founded in 1985 by Dr. Wallace Long at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. The group serves the mid-Willamette Valley as a non-profit community arts group. Its mission is to promote choral excellence through musical collaboration, education, and performance. The WMC has two recordings featuring commissioned works composed by Disney orchestrator and composer David Metzger. Through an annual series of concerts, the group frequently collaborates with schools and other arts organization in the mid-Willamette Valley. The chorus has performed with the Oregon and Newport Symphony Orchestras. At the 2016 International Choral Kathaumixw Festival in Powell River, BC, the group won second place in the mixed choir competition.


Paul Klemme has served as Artistic Director of the Willamette Master Chorus since 1998. Dr. Klemme is presently Director of Music Ministries at St. Paul's Episcopal Church and Adjunct Professor of Music at Willamette University, both in Salem, Oregon. He has advanced degrees in Choral Conducting and Organ Performance from the University of Michigan and the University of Washington. He has sung professionally with the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and Male Ensemble Northwest.




Wednesday, March 7 • 8:30pm



Mia Miller, conductor

Coro Pacifica, one of 10 choirs of the Pacific Youth Choir enjoys a wonderful and busy performance schedule in their regular PYC season concerts as well as frequent performances with The Oregon Symphony Orchestra. Additionally Coro Pacifica singers have had opportunities to perform with Oregon Ballet Theater, Whitebird Dance and other professional performing groups. Singers travel downtown from over 20 cities to rehearse weekly at Trinity Cathedral where Pacific Youth Choir is “In Residence”. Choristers of Coro Pacifica also sing in Pacific our SATB choir and can audition to sing for our select SATB Chamber Choir – giving them the opportunity to explore a variety of literature. Coro Pacifica is excited to be singing at NWACDA for their 4th ACDA performance. Previously they performed in regional conferences in Vancouver BC, Seattle, and for the 50th anniversary National ACDA Conference in Oklahoma City. 


With more than 30 years of choral education experience, Mia’s dedication and enthusiasm for working with young people is widely recognized. Mia is honored to be conducting for her 5th ACDA convention! In addition to PYC, Mia is a popular adjudicator and clinician. She has conducted the Oregon Music Educators Association, All-State Elementary Choir, Middle School Girl’s Honor Choir, and Colorado All State Middle School Girls Honor Choir. Mia holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music from the University of Oregon. She studied further in Stuttgart, Germany, while singing with outstanding choral directors Helmuth Rilling and Frieder Bernius. She continues conducting studies in workshops with Dr. Rodney Eichenberger. In 2015 Mia was awarded the Distinguished Alumna from the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance. In 2016 Oregon Symphony Orchestra awarded her the Schnitzer Wonder Award for work in building community for the next generation of musicians.




Steven Zielke, conductor


The Oregon State University Chamber Choir is the premier mixed chorus on the OSU campus. The auditioned choir consists of 38 students devoted to seeking excellence in singing and joy in artistic expression. The choir’s distinguished history includes such past conductors as Robert Walls, Ron Jeffers, and Kathryn Lehman and highlights a history of choral singing at OSU that remains a signature focus for the university. The choir has taken numerous international tours and has performed at state, regional, and national conferences, including a 2015 performance at the National Collegiate Choral Association. The membership reflects the emphasis on choral music education and vocal performance, but also represents academic disciplines from across the university. This past year, the choir and OSU Wind Ensemble released a new recording of David Maslanka’s Mass, which resulted from a West Coast premier of the work. This is the choir’s 3rd performance at a Northwest ACDA conference.


Steven M. Zielke, Director of Choral Studies at Oregon State University, Associate Director in the School of Arts and Communication is the Patricia Valian Reser Professor of Music. At OSU, Zielke directs the OSU Chamber Choir and teaches choral conducting. He earned his doctoral and master's degrees from Florida State University, studying with Andre Thomas and Rodney Eichenberger. He also received a B.M.E. from Friends University and taught middle and high school music in the Kansas public schools. Choirs under his direction have appeared at state, regional, and national conferences, including a 2015 performance at the National Collegiate Choral Association. He has been invited to deliver sessions at state, regional, and national conferences, including a session at the 2017 National ACDA conference on community singing. Zielke is a past-president of the Oregon ACDA, the artistic director for the Corvallis Repertory Singers, and the Director of Music at Corvallis First Congregational Church.




International Choir


Putni (“Birds”) was established in 1993 in Riga, Latvia, by eight professional singers and is lead by their artistic director, Antra Drege. It is today known as one of the premiere women’s vocal ensembles in the country. The group has won numerous prizes, including the Grand Prize at five international competitions. They are known for their innovative programming of traditional Latvian music, new compositions by internationally acclaimed Latvian composers, and also classical and early music composers from around the world. Putni has premiered over one hundred compositions, and recorded seven CDs. www.putni-ensemble.lv/home


Artistic leader of ensemble PUTNI Antra Dreģe is a conductor, singer and producer. Since 2014 she is the director of New Music festival Arēna. She was an artistic director and producer of Swiss – Latvian contemporary chamber opera diptych – Lysistrata, which was a part of Riga 2014 - European Capital of Culture program. She was a senior conductor at the 48th Latvian Culture Days festival in Adelaide (Australia), she was also an artistic director of concert Love Songs wich was a part of the 24th Latvian Song and Dance Festival, one of the biggest music festivals in Latvia. In 2011 she was an Artist in Residence in Switzerland. She often gives master classes in vocal training and has been a member of Juries under the State agency of Intangible Cultural Heritage. She has been singing in various professional ensembles, such as acoustic rock music chamber ensemble Marana, contemporary music and vocal jazz ensemble Riga Vocal Group as well as early music ensemble Canto. Antra Drege has been a soloist in various performances of A. Vivaldi and J.S. Bach cantatas in Latvia, France and Israel. In 1993 A. Dreģe became an artistic leader of professional vocal ensemble Putni with which she has won prizes and gained the Grand Prix in five international competitions and has given over 3000 performances in Latvia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, France and USA including a number of international festivals such as ERROBIKO FESTIBALA (France), YOUrope together, Oldenburg festival (Germany), IMAGES - foto, cinema, literature et musique, Etonnante Lettonie festival (France) and festival Un Printemps Français, Latvian New Music Days, International Organ Music festival (Latvia), Alpentoene festival, Forum Wallis (Switzerland), etc. 



Thursday, March 8 • 10:30am



Karen Porter, conductor


Cántico Singers is a small ensemble of vocalists based in Portland, Oregon, dedicated to high-caliber performances of choral music in a wide range of styles. Founded in 2008, Cántico integrates musicians from diverse backgrounds including jazz, alternative rock, marching band and musical theater. We showcase these disparate musical credentials with small group numbers and solo pieces in our concerts. Our eclectic repertoire includes Bach, Billy Joel, Rachmaninoff, Pentatonix, Eric Whitacre, Duke Ellington, and The Beach Boys. In addition to our concerts, Cántico performs at festivals, churches, and community events throughout the Portland area. We regularly give performance opportunities to high school and youth choirs, collaborate with other local musicians, and have even recorded backup vocals for a rap album. Rather than limiting ourselves by genre, we seek to share our passion for singing and make choral music fresh, compelling, and accessible to everyone.


Karen Porter holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Piano Performance from Brigham Young University, where she was actively involved in choral music and accompanied BYU Women’s Chorus. She has served as Assistant Conductor of Cántico Singers from its inception in 2008 and then as Artistic Director since 2010. She studied choral conducting at the graduate level with Dr. Ronald Staheli and has sung under the baton of such acclaimed conductors as Craig Jessop, John Rutter, Mack Wilberg, Jerrold Ottley and Ronald Staheli. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, the Portland area has been her home since 2006. When she isn’t waving her arms in front of a choir or demanding taller vowels, she can usually be found shuttling one of her four children off to music lessons or band rehearsals and enjoying Portland’s amazing food scene with her husband.



WEST SALEM HIGH SCHOOL Choir of the Titans

Kimberly McConnell, conductor


West Salem Choir of the Titans is a choir of integrity, talent, enthusiasm, a love for each other and for their music, and with a commitment to their craft. These hardworking students celebrate singing by working together to be the best they can be. The goal of the Choir of the Titans is to leave the listener of each performance emotionally changed. Kimberly McConnell, their Director, is daily inspired and energized by this ensemble. The Choir of the Titans has placed in the top four at the State Choir Contest the last five years, winning the championship in 2013. They are very honored to perform for the ACDA Convention. Their hope is to move you emotionally with their performance, and sing each song dedicated to the way the composer intended. 


Kimberly McConnell is in her 7th year of teaching at West Salem High School in the wonderful Salem-Keizer School District in Salem, Oregon. Kimberly received both her Bachelor and Master degrees from the University of Oregon. Mrs. McConnell began her career teaching High School in Southern Oregon, followed by 13 years as Director of Choral Activities at Lane Community College, then 5 years at South Eugene High School before coming to West Salem. Kimberly has eclectic musical taste and directs Men’s and Women’s ensembles, Concert Ensembles and Vocal Jazz. Her choirs have received top honors throughout her career. She feels honored her choir was selected to perform for ACDA.




Wallace Long, conductor


The Willamette Chamber Choir is a 44-voice ensemble open by audition to all Willamette students. They study and base their performances on a wide variety of literature selected from the Renaissance through the contemporary period. The group tours annually throughout the Northwest and is frequently invited to perform at music conventions and workshops held by the ACDA, Music Educators National Conference and OMEA. In 2003, Chamber Choir toured to South Africa at the request of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In fall 2005, the Chamber Choir had the honor of singing at a reception for Gen. Colin Powell. In May 2006, they traveled to New York City to perform Haydn’s “Mass in the Time of War” under the baton of Dr. Long in Carnegie Hall. The Chamber Choir’s most recent recording, “Stars,” was released in the fall of 2015 and the triple CD includes choral offerings from 2010-2015.


Wallace Long, Director of Choral Activities at Willamette University since 1983, is a frequent choral adjudicator, clinician and conductor of honor choirs throughout the Northwest; he has conducted all-states in Kansas and Wyoming. In February 2018 he directed the Texas Two Year College All State Choir at the TMEA Convention in San Antonio, TX. Choirs under his direction have performed for state conferences of OMEA, ACDA NW Regional Conventions, National ACDA, IAJE and MENC conventions and in 2003, toured to South Africa at the request of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Long has recently retired from 25 years of singing with Male Ensemble Northwest (MEN) performing in ACDA Nationals in DC and San Antonio. As a member of the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, he performed at Carnegie Hall, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and recorded in France. In 2006, Dr. Long conducted the Haydn’ Mass in the Time of War in Carnegie Hall.


Thursday, March 8 • 2:30pm



Patrick Ryan, conductor


The Delphian Choir is one of seven choirs at Great Falls High School, located in north-central Montana. The choir consists of 44 sophomores through seniors who strive to generate passion, creativity, integrity, and empathy with their audiences through unique programming of choral music. Delphian has performed at more than a dozen regional and national conference programs since the choir’s inception in 1959. Recent highlights of the Delphian Choir include the commissioning and world premiere of John Muehleisen’s Consolation: Requiem for Newtown, performing at the Northwest NAfME Conference in 2015, frequent performances with the Great Falls Symphony, and being part of a commission consortium and premiere of Timothy Takach’s seven-movement work, The Longest Nights. 


Patrick Ryan is a choral director at Great Falls High School, where he leads a thriving program of seven choirs and over 200 students. Mr. Ryan is the Vice-President of the ACDA Northwest Division, and a Past-President of the Montana Choral Directors Association. He enjoys guest conducting and teaching, recently presenting sessions for Alaska MEA, and conducting the inaugural KIMEA National Honor Choir in Seoul, South Korea. Choirs under Mr. Ryan’s direction have recently performed at NAfME Regional Conferences, earned 2nd and 3rd place nationally in the American Prize competition, and have commissioned works by composers John Muehleisen and Timothy Takach. Outside his professional life, Patrick enjoys officiating football and basketball for the Montana Officials Association and spending time with his amazing wife Lynn, and their three children, Kian, Kendall, and Kari.




Russell Christensen, conductor


Oregon State University Meistersingers, directed by Russ Christensen, is a 60 member men’s chorus. This auditioned ensemble, comprised of music majors as well as students from other majors across campus, performs each term, and frequently entertains at community, university, and sporting events. Meistersingers has toured the northwest, Canada, New York, and Hawaii. They have performed at numerous state and regional music conferences and are honored to have been invited to perform for the 2018 Northwest ACDA Conference in Portland.


Russell Christensen joined the Oregon State University Music Department in the fall of 2009. He is the director of the OSU Meistersingers men's chorus and teaches choral methods and choral conducting. Christensen holds a Bachelor of Arts in music education from the University of Oregon, and a Master of Arts in music education from Western Oregon University. Before coming to OSU, he taught high school choral music in Oregon for 30 years. Choirs under his direction have been selected to perform at national, regional, and state conventions, including the national ACDA convention in Miami in March 2007. During Christensen's 16-year tenure at Sprague High School in Salem Oregon, the school's Concert Choir placed at the ACDA/OSAA State Choir Competition every year including winning nine championships. In 2000, the Sprague music department was chosen as the National Grammy Signature School by the GRAMMY foundation. Christensen was named Oregon Music Educator of the Year for 2007 by the Oregon Music Educators Association. In 2004, The Oregon Symphony Association in Salem recognized him as Music Educator of the Year. He is also the first recipient of the Western Oregon University Alumni Excellence Award in Music. Russ is a frequent choral adjudicator and clinician in the state and is an active member of ACDA, OMEA, and Intercollegiate Men's Chorus Association.



Friday, March 9 • 10:30am



Rebecca Hollen, conductor


The Walker Concert Choir comes from one of Salem’s oldest middle schools and is made up of seventy-one auditioned 7th and 8th grade students, many of whom have been singing in a choir since the 4th grade. They perform in multiple locations around the city of Salem throughout the year and love sharing their music with anyone who will listen. Their dedication to excellence in their craft can be seen in that the past four years in a row they have brought home the first place trophy from Best in the Northwest. They are delighted to show you their work today and hope you come away inspired.


Becca Hollen has been teaching choir in the Salem Keizer School District for eight years, beginning her career at Claggett Creek Middle School and then spending the past seven years at Walker Middle School. She earned her BA in Music Education from George Fox University in 2009 and then received her MAT in 2010. In 2015 she was presented with Music Educator of the Year by the Oregon Symphony Association and in 2016 she was presented with a Crystal Apple award by the Salem Keizer Education Foundation. She is passionate about empowering middle school students to be impressive young adults that surprise the adult world with their maturity and professionalism. In her free time she loves to spend time with her husband Mat doing home improvement projects, pick flowers from her garden, and go running in Minto Brown Park with their goldendoodles, Zoey and Winnie.




Justin Wisness, conductor


The Governor John R. Rogers High School Concert Choir has a longstanding tradition of excellence. The school opened in 1968 under the direction of Richard O. Nace, the choirs’ founder. The choral program became known for its quality and consistency. Mr. Nace retired in 1992 from public school teaching and was followed by D. Patrick Michel who graduated from Rogers in 1972. Mr. Michel continued the success of the program, taking the Concert Choir to multiple conventions and always inspiring his students. In 2008, Justin Wisness, a 1997 Rogers graduate, followed Mr. Michel. Since 1968, the Concert Choir has received a superior at every contest it has attended. The RHS Concert Choir has traveled to Europe, Washington DC, New York City, San Francisco, and around the Northwest Region. The Concert Choir has been featured at state and divisional conferences last appearing at WMEA in 2016 and NWACDA in 2008. 


Justin Wisness is in his 15th year of teaching and 10th year at Rogers High School in Puyallup, Washington. He is a proud graduate of Rogers High School and Western Washington University. Justin is currently finishing his Masters in Music Education Degree at Central Washington University. Choirs under Mr. Wisness’ direction have toured to New York City, San Francisco and around the Northwest Region, including a performance at the MENC Northwest Convention in 2006 in Portland and the 2016 WMEA convention in Yakima. Mr. Wisness served as a co-conductor with Patrick Michel of the Washington Ambassadors of Music Choir in 2008, 2010, and 2012 on their tour to Europe. Mr. Wisness is sought after as a guest clinician and conductor. 




David Brown, conductor


Charles A. Sprague High School, located in southwest Salem, is a four-year high school with an enrollment of 1,800 students. The school is named for Charles A. Sprague, a former governor of Oregon and editor of the Oregon Statesman Newspaper in Salem. The school opened in the fall of 1972 and is now one of six public high schools in the Salem-Keizer School District. The Sprague Concert Choir is made up of the most advanced sophomore, junior, and senior vocalists at the school. Since its inception over 30 years ago, the choir has won numerous titles at state and regional festivals and has made multiple appearances at regional and national ACDA conventions. In addition to a busy performing calendar the Concert Choir tours every other year. In recent years the choir has toured in Hawaii, Los Angeles, and most recently, New York City where they performed on stage at Lincoln Center.


Dr. David Brown is the choral director at Sprague High School where he is in his eighth year. During his tenure at Sprague the choirs have seen top-place performances at the state choir contest, toured in various places across the country, and last year were honored to receive a first place award in The American Prize national musical competition. Brown holds a doctorate degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Music Education, also from the University of Arizona and a Master's degree in Educational Administration from Northern Arizona University. Dr. Brown has studied conducting with Jo-Michael Scheibe, Maurice Skones, Edith Copley, Weston Noble and Bruce Chamberlain. Dr. Brown has served as a guest conductor and clinician for professional and educational ensembles in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Georgia, South Carolina, and Oregon. Dr. Brown is a member of MENC and ACDA and has served in various leadership positions in both organizations.




Timothy Fitzpatrick, conductor


The WWU Advanced Treble Chorale is a select ensemble of music majors and music minors. They perform a variety of diverse repertoire, including American sacred and secular folk music, gospel and spirituals, and contemporary choral music. Their concerts often feature music from different cultures, notably Estonia. Twice, they have been selected to perform at the Northwestern American Choral Director’s Division Conference and are regarded as one of the finest collegiate level treble choirs in the region.


Timothy Fitzpatrick, Professor of Choral Music Education, has taught at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington USA, since 2003. He directs the WWU Advanced Treble Chorale, the University Treble Choir, and University Tenor/Bass Choir. He also teaches choral methods, mentors music education students, and remains active as an accompanist. Professor Fitzpatrick’s career includes solo and concerto piano performances, private voice instruction, and church music ministry. He is active as a choral, vocal, and piano adjudicator and founded the Bellingham Chamber Chorale. His choirs have toured the USA, Canada, and the Baltic States. Recently, Fitzpatrick spent a year in Estonia studying choral literature, music education, and choral performance traditions.



Friday, March 9 • 4:00pm



Charlotte Reese, director


The Edmonds-Woodway Mello-Aires is an auditioned vocal jazz ensemble made up of 18 singers, rhythm section and sound techs in grades 9-12. As part of a comprehensive jazz program that features two jazz choirs, three jazz bands, and multiple jazz combos, Mello-Aires students have several performance opportunities throughout the year, both as an ensemble and as soloists. The Mello-Aires embrace and strive to carry on the rich northwest vocal big band tradition.


Charlotte Reese earned her BA & BM from the University of Washington. She went on to get her MA in Jazz Performance from the Leeds College of Music while teaching at the University of York. Since 2007 she’s been the choir director at Edmonds-Woodway High School and for the last several years at its feeder middle schools: College Place & Madrona. From 2011-2015 she served as the Jazz R&S Chair for WA ACDA. She enjoys accompanying and arranging and sings with Last Call and the Ensign Symphony and Chorus.




Vijay Singh, director


Vocal Jazz 1 is the premiere jazz vocal ensemble at Central Washington University. CWU has two vocal jazz ensembles involving over 45 student instrumentalists and vocalists. The CWU Jazz Program has a strong tradition of producing exceptional jazz educators and emphasizes pedagogy, performance, composition, and arranging. Professor Vijay Singh, Director of Vocal Jazz 1 since arriving at CWU in 1999, has established a national presence as a jazz educator/composer/arranger and has consistently featured this group at regional and national IAJE, ACDA, and MENC/NAfME conventions. Vocal Jazz 1 recently performed at the national ACDA conferences in Chicago, IL in 2011 and Salt Lake City, UT in 2015, and the JEN conference in Atlanta, GA 2013. CWU is recognized as one of the first vocal jazz programs in the nation dating back to 1947, and alumni include such jazz education luminaries as John “Coach” Moawad, Hal Malcolm, Dave Barduhn, Frank DeMiero, Gary Hobbs, Chris Bruya, Michelle Weir, Dave Cazier, and Bruce Babad.


Vijay Singh, Professor of Music at Central Washington University, has garnered international attention for his eclectic compositions, arrangements, workshops, and performances. Vijay’s music is performed by groups in both Choral and Jazz idioms with over 170 published pieces. He frequently composes on commission for some of America’s finest choirs and jazz vocal ensembles. An active Bass-Baritone soloist, he has performed with the Robert Shaw Chorale, Male Ensemble Northwest, Choral Cross Ties, David Byrne (Talking Heads), Clark Terry, numerous orchestras, and the award winning a cappella jazz quartet Just 4 Kicks. Vijay’s CWU student ensembles have performed at national conferences for ACDA, MENC, IAJE, and JEN. A former ACDA National R&S Chair for Jazz, Vijay is a 15-time ASCAP Composer Awards recipient, strong

advocate for music education, and has guest conducted All-State Honors Choirs in over 26 states. Vijay’s “MASS with Orchestra” received its world premiere at Avery Fischer Hall/Lincoln Center in New York City May 30th, 2011. Vijay received CWU’s highest faculty award, the “Distinguished University Professor for artistic achievement”, in 2012. He enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, and fishing.




Kelly Kunz, director


Last Call is a community based vocal jazz ensemble from the greater Seattle area. Kelly Kunz, the founder and director, has had the great fortune of growing up with some of the greatest vocal jazz educators of the era. These educators included John Moawad from Central Washington University, Phil Mattson, and Kelly’s own father and high school choir director, Jack Kunz. All these men influenced Kelly’s upbringing and helped fuel and nurture his passion for music. Most of Last Call’s members are local choir teachers. The group was born from a desire to continue singing jazz in an ensemble setting after college. Many of Last Call’s members are graduates of Central Washington University, which has a long-standing tradition of excellence in the Pacific Northwest. Last Call continues to explore different musical boundaries within vocal jazz. The group’s mission is to provide the same inspiration for a younger generation.


Kelly Kunz grew up in Redmond, Washington. From the time he was about three years old, he would often sit around singing songs while his father accompanied him on the piano. With his younger siblings, Kevin and Colleen, they would do the dishes all the while singing songs in three-part harmony. Kelly has a B.A. and a M.A. in Music education, getting both degrees from Central Washington University. Currently, Kelly is on staff at Bellevue College where he coordinates the Recording Arts program. Over the years, Kelly has developed a reputation as one of the finest vocal jazz directors in the country, directing award winning jazz choirs, doing workshops, clinics and adjudicating on a regular basis. Aside from being musical director and one of the founding members of Groove for Thought, Kelly works as a mixing engineer and producer on various projects through his own production studio.



Friday, March 9 • 8:30pm


UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING Bel Canto Women’s Chorus

Holly Dalrymple, conductor


Bel Canto Women’s Chorus is the all women's choral ensemble at the University of Wyoming. Made up of music majors and non-majors, Bel Canto represents an academically diverse cross section of the University of Wyoming. The women of Bel Canto are dedicated to musical excellence and strive to create beauty in community through outreach and service. Bel Canto is non-auditioned and open to all women at the university. We offer a safe space for academic and musical growth, emotional and physical support, and opportunities for community service. 


Dr. Holly Dalrymple is Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at the University of Wyoming. She conducts Bel Canto Women’s Chorus, Laramie Civic Chorus, and teaches vocal and choral methods and pedagogy. She has directed middle school and high school choral programs in Richardson, Plano, and Pflugerville, Texas. Prior to joining the UW music faculty, she served as the Artistic Director of Tapestry Singers, the women’s chorus of Austin, and as Associate Conductor for the Denton Bach Society and the Dallas Arts District Chorale. Dr. Dalrymple is a frequent festival clinician, with focus on teaching the young female voice and leading women’s choirs. She earned a doctoral degree in choral conducting with a related field in voice performance from the University of North Texas, a master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor of music education from Texas State University.




Ethan Sperry, conductor


Since its founding in 1975, the Portland State Chamber Choir has earned over 30 medals and awards at international competitions, including being the first American choir ever to win the Grand Prix at the Seghizzi International Competition for Choral Singing in Italy in 2013 and the Bali International Choral Festival in Indonesia in 2017. The Chamber Choir’s 2012 recording A Drop in the Ocean was a finalist for the American Prize; their 2014 recording, Into Unknown Worlds, was named a “Recording to Die For” by Stereophile - the first student recording to receive this distinction; and their most recent recording The Doors of Heaven: Music of Eriks Esenvalds occupied the #1 spot on iTunes Classical, Amazon Classical and the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart: all firsts for a University chorus. The Chamber Choir is particularly honored by the invitation to perform at ACDA in their home city.


Hailed by The Oregonian for providing “the finest choral concerts in Portland in recent memory,” Ethan Sperry is the Barre Stoll Professor of Choral Music and Director of Choral Activities at Portland State University, and Artistic Director and Conductor of Oregon Repertory Singers. Sperry began studying conducting at the age of eight, cello at the age of twelve, and singing at the age of eighteen. He earned a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Harvard College and Masters and Doctoral degrees in Choral Conducting from the University of Southern California. Ensembles under his direction have toured twenty foreign countries and performed at major venues in the United States including The Hollywood Bowl, The Kennedy Center, The Washington National Cathedral, and the United Nations. A prolific arranger and composer, Dr. Sperry is the editor of the Global Rhythms series for earthsongs music, and his pop music arrangements are published by Hal Leonard.




Richard Nance, conductor


The Choir of the West is the premier choral ensemble at Pacific Lutheran University. The choir was founded in 1926, and was the third Lutheran college choir to tour extensively throughout the United States. Choir of the West has toured Europe, Scandinavia, Japan and China, and has been selected to appear at several ACDA regional and national conferences, most recently the 2013 ACDA National Conference, held in Dallas. On the international stage, Choir of the West won gold awards at the 2011 Harmonie Festival (Lindenholzhausen, Germany), and in 2015 won the mixed choir and sacred music categories, as well at the Anton Bruckner Prize at the Anton Bruckner Choir Competition in Linz, Austria. The choir was featured with conference headliner Simon Carrington at the 2015 National Collegiate Choral Organization Conference, and performed in the North American premieres of Sven-David Sandström’s Matthauspassion (2016) and Ēriks Ešenvalds’ Nordic Light Symphony (2017).


Richard Nance came to Pacific Lutheran University in 1992, where he conducts the Choir of the West and Choral Union. Nance’s choirs have performed at two ACDA National Conferences, six ACDA Division Conferences, the 2011 Harmonie Festival in Lindenholzhausen, Germany (two gold awards and one silver), the 2014 Florence International Choral Festival (winner in two categories and for outstanding conductor), the 2015 Anton Bruckner Choral Competition in Linz, Austria (winner in two categories and the Anton Bruckner award), and at the 2015 National Collegiate Choral Organization Conference. Nance received the 2011 and 2013 “American Prize” for Choral Conducting, and the 2013-2014 Faculty Excellence Award for Research at PLU. He has served ACDA as Washington state and Northwestern Division president. Nance’s choral works are published by Walton Music, Hinshaw Music and Colla Voce Music. He composed the prestigious Raymond W. Brock Commission (2002) for the American Choral Directors Association.



Saturday, March 10 • 10:00am



Jason Saunders, conductor


The Graham-Kapowsin High School Concert Chorale is an auditioned mixed ensemble, composed of 10th–12th grade students with a dedication to performing outstanding choral repertoire. The Concert Chorale has been the premiere choir at Graham-Kapowsin since the school opened in 2005. It is one of six vocal ensembles in a vibrant music department, which serves nearly 500 students and employs five music teachers. Many students in the choir also play in an instrumental ensemble. The Concert Chorale has performed at a variety of festivals and competitions, including the Anaheim and Seattle Heritage Festivals, where they garnered top awards. The choir previously appeared at the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) Conference in 2008 under the direction of Andrea Klouse, and has been invited to perform at the 2018 WMEA Conference in Yakima. Their 2018 Northwest ACDA invitation marks the first ACDA conference performance by a choir in the Bethel School District. 


Jason Saunders is the Director of Choirs at Graham-Kapowsin High School in Graham, Washington. He is currently in his fourth year of teaching. In 2015, he was selected for the Washington ACDA Outstanding Emerging Choral Director award. An active composer, Jason has received commissions, awards, and performances from choral ensembles across the United States. He was a finalist in the Young New Yorkers Chorus 10th Annual Competition for Young Composers, and in 2012 he placed second nationally in the choral composition competition of The American Prize (student division). His works are published by Walton Music, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and Colla Voce. Jason holds a Master of Music in Choral Music from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor of Music Education from Pacific Lutheran University. He studied conducting with Donald Brinegar, Jo-Michael Scheibe, Brian Galante, and Richard Nance, and composition with Greg Youtz, Jeffery Parola, and Morten Lauridsen.




Heather Garbes, director


Named for Ester Mägi – known as the “First Lady of Estonian music” – the Mägi Ensemble is a women’s vocal ensemble that performs compositions from the Baltic region. The ensemble has recently participated in events ranging from the Latvian National Song Festival to College Music Society’s national and regional conferences and has performed at Seattle Mariners games, Baltic and Scandinavian community celebrations, and as guest artists with many regional choirs. The ensemble has released two CDs, Baltic Sounds and Musica Baltica. Upcoming appearances include singing for the opening of the Baltic Studies conference at Stanford University and selection as a featured ensemble for the Sacred Concerts of the Latvian National Song Festival, the first non-Latvian choir to be given that honor. The Mägi Ensemble is an affiliated artist and resident ensemble of Thomsen Chapel at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle. Learn more at www.magiensemble.com.


Heather MacLaughlin Garbes is the founder and artistic director of the Mägi Ensemble, a women’s vocal ensemble that performs and records Baltic music. She also serves as affiliate assistant professor in the University of Washington Department of Scandinavian Studies, where she helped develop and continues to maintain the UW Baltic Choral Library, the first collection of its kind in the United States. Dr. Maclaughlin Garbes is an active presenter and has recently appeared in that role at conferences with the American Choral Directors Association, College Music Society (national and international), the Library of Congress, and the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies. As a conductor, she has worked with numerous collegiate and community ensembles across the United States; she currently conducts the Finnish Choral Society of Seattle and works with the Seattle Estonian Choir and the Seattle Lithuanian choir, Vakarai. Learn more at





Scott Anderson, conductor


The Idaho State University Chamber Choir is a select undergraduate collegiate choral ensemble open to all students of the University by audition. Chamber Choir members rehearse twice per week and are selected based upon exemplary levels of musicianship and artistic commitment. Representative choral literature from the early Renaissance through the Twenty-first Century may be studied during the course of a semester. International tours have included performances in more than 25 countries and seven international choral festivals. The group you now hear is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students, and alumni of the ISU Chamber Choir.


As Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, Scott Eric Anderson has led the Choral Program at Idaho State University for 23 years. Choirs under Dr. Anderson’s direction have performed at local, state, regional, national, and international events, including the 2014 Northwest Division Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Seattle, WA. The ISU Chamber Choir toured the British Isles in May 2016, performing in such historic spaces as St. Giles Cathedral, Worcester Cathedral, Durham Cathedral, Lady Chapel and Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. Anderson is the Artistic Director of the Idaho International Choral Festival, which will be held for the ninth time on the campus of Idaho State University and in Pocatello area churches from July 9-14, 2019. Scott currently serves as President of Idaho ACDA and regularly appears as clinician and guest conductor around the Northwestern United States.




Geoffrey Boers, conductor


The University of Washington Chamber Singers is the UW’s longest-standing choral organization, formed in the early 1930s. The group flourished and gained international recognition under the leadership of its conductors Gerald Kechley, Rodney Eichenberger, and Joan Conlon. The current Chamber Singers consists of graduate and advanced undergraduate music majors studying choral conducting, vocal performance, music education, as well as many students from programs across campus. They have been featured at many festivals, conventions, and workshops, including NWACDA, Musicfest Canada, and at the national conventions of the American Kodaly Educators, National Association of Schools of Music, and American Musicological Society. In relationship with the UW’s nationally recognized Baltic Studies program and Baltic Choral Collection, the Chamber Singers have travelled to the Baltic five times, and will return again in 2019. The choir has just released its first professionally produced CD “…behold again, the stars” on Centaur Records.


Geoffrey Boers is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Washington in Seattle, a program widely recognized as forward thinking, vibrant, and forward thinking. Under his direction, the graduate choral program has developed a singular mission: to nurture the whole student as conductor-teacher-servant-leader-scholar. Through his teaching he is exploring the evolution of conducting gesture and rehearsal pedagogy and their connection with the emerging neuroscience of mirror neurons, empathy, perception, learning, and personal transformation. His exploration has led to new thoughts about conducting and teaching with regard to breath, movement, artistry, personal awareness, and cultural development. His work has led to the development of mentorship for local cohorts of teachers across the United States and Canada. Most recently he has developed a level-based Choral Literacy Rubric, a system for development of musicianship, assessment, adjudication, and repertoire grading. It is now being BETA tested in five states and provinces.

Choirs that performed for the 2018 conference in Portland, OR

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