2008 Conference – Auditioned Choirs

Central Bucks High School-West Men’s Choir – Joseph Ohrt, conductor

The Central Bucks High School-West choirs comprise one of the most respected choral programs in the nation. They have presented close to two hundred and fifty world premieres and have performed at ACDA Regional And National Conferences; the Kennedy Center, Pentagon, and White House in Washington, D.C.; Carnegie Hall, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and the United Nations in New York; Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France; the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles; Orchestral Hall in Chicago; and the Toronto Centre for the Arts. Millions have seen the choirs in annual televised performances.

Dr. Joseph Ohrt serves as Director of Choral Activities at Central Bucks High School-West as well as Artistic Director of the American Youth and Children’s Choirs. He is an adjunct professor at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. He holds degree and certificates from Westminster Choir College, the University of South Carolina, the Choral Music Experience Institute, and the Kodály Musical Training Institute. His choirs have performed for many world leaders including: President Clinton, Presidents DeKlerk and Mandela of South Africa, President Havel of the Czech Republic, and Prime Minister Peres of Israel.

Cornell University Glee Club – Scott Tucker, conductor

Since the days of the Orpheus Glee Club more than one hundred and twenty-five years ago, the Cornell University Glee Club has been home to thousands of young men who have traveled from all walks of life, from music and medicine to agriculture and astronomy. Founded in 1868, it is one of the oldest groups of its kind in the country. The Glee Club has performed throughout the United States and in more than twenty countries, including the People’s Republic of China, Germany, the United Kingdom, the former Soviet Union, and Japan. The group has also performed live on NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR, and BBC. Recent tours to Brazil (2004), California (2005), and the Northeast (2006) have brought the music of the Glee Club to audiences across the nation and around the world. Each year the group hosts workshops for young men in New York high schools to foster awareness of men’s music at the collegiate level.

Since 1995, Scott Tucker has been the Priscilla Edwards Browning Director of Choral Music at Cornell University where he conducts the Cornell University Chorus, Glee Club, and World Music Choir. He also oversees the activities of the Cornell Chorale, Chamber Singers, and Sage Chapel Choir, and teaches courses in music theory and conducting. An active proponent of new music, Professor Tucker has commissioned and premiered more than fifteen new choral works in the past ten years. He serves as Repertoire and Standards Chair for Male Choirs in the Eastern Division of the American Choral Directors Association, and as a board member of the Intercollegiate Men’s Choirs and Musicians for World Harmony. Prior to coming to Cornell, Tucker was choral director of Milton Academy, and assistant conductor at Harvard University. He was also a paid tenor soloist at King’s Chapel, Boston under the direction of Daniel Pinkham. He received a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from the New England Conservatory of Music, a Bachelor of Music degree in trumpet performance from the New England Conservatory, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Tufts University.

Eastern Lebanon County Middle School Choral Ensemble – David F. Sheaffer, conductor

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Choral Ensemble offers auditioned students, selected from 260 chorus members, an opportunity in singing challenging, high quality music in a disciplined and demanding rehearsal environment. The chorus is comprised of treble singers and frequently participates in adjudication festivals including Music In The Parks and the Heritage Children’s Choir Festival. The ensemble has consistently earned Excellent and Superior Ratings and Best Overall Choir Honors at three Music In The Parks Festivals. The Pennsylvania Music Educators Association honored the group with an invitation to present a concert at the 2004 State Conference.

Mr. Sheaffer, a music educator for the Eastern Lebanon County Middle School since 1976, earned his Bachelor of Science and Masters Degree in Music Education from West Chester University. His choral groups achieved Excellent and Superior Ratings at the Heritage Children’s Choir Festivals, Best Overall Choir Awards at Music In The Parks, and presented concerts for three PMEA Conferences. Mr. Scheaffer has served as guest conductor for several choral festivals. In May, 2006, he was honored as ELCO School District’s Secondary Teacher of the Year. He was the recipient of the WGAL-TV Teacher Impact Award in April, 2007.

Greece Arcadia High School Select Women’s Choir – Kristy Kosko, conductor

Greece Arcadia High School Select Women’s Choir is an extra curricular ensemble which meets after school for approximately one hour weekly. All members participate in the Arcadia High School Select Choir or Girl’s Chorus. The Select Women’s Choir has received eight consecutive First Place, Gold and/or Superior ratings at Heritage, Classic and Festivals of Music Competitions as well as Best Overall Choral Ensemble. The ensemble was featured at the NYASSMA Winter Conference in 2001 & 2003 (Rochester, NY), 2003 MENC Eastern Division Conference (Providence, Rhode Island), 2004 ACDA Eastern Division Conference (Boston, MA, 2005 ACDA National Conference (Los Angeles, CA) and the 2006 MENC National Conference (Salt Lake City, UT).

Kristy Kosko currently works for the Greece Central School District in Rochester, NY. She is in her ninth year as Director of Vocal Music at Greece Arcadia High School where she directs the Women’s Chorus, Select Choir, Men’s Ensemble, Select Women’s Choir, and Voice I-IV. Under her direction, the Select Choir and Select Women’s Choir have earned eight consecutive Gold Medals at Heritage, Classic and Festival of Music Competitions, as well as Best Overall Vocal Music Program and six adjudicator awards. She has been recognized by the Greece Central School District with an Outstanding Achievement Award for her work with The Greece Arcadia High School Select Women’s Choir.

The King Philip Singers – Marc L. Kaplan, conductor

The King Philip Singers are a select ensemble made up of 7th and 8th grade students from King Philip Middle School who are auditioned each September. The ensemble was created to give gifted 7th and 8th grade singers an extraordinary vocal experience. They rehearse after school with a focus on expanding vocal skills from the elementary choral program and “Sixth Dimension”, King Philip’s select sixth grade choral ensemble. The King Philip Singers have been recognized as the Connecticut Music Educators Association Middle School Choral Honors Ensemble and the Middle School Choral Winner of the Student Music Awards sponsored by Downbeat Magazine. In 2005, they performed at the MENC Eastern Division Conference in Baltimore, MD, the Connecticut state ACDA Conference in 2006, and as a demonstration choir at the 2007 ACDA National Conference in Miami, Florida. They have performed with the Hartford Symphony, Connecticut Choral Artists, the Hartford Chorale, and throughout the state of Connecticut.

Marc Kaplan currently teaches middle and high school instrumental and vocal music throughout the West Hartford public school system. He received a B.A. in Music and Political Science from The George Washington University in 2000. Ensembles under his direction have been selected to perform regionally and nationally at conferences for the Connecticut Music Education Association, the Music Educators National Conference, the American Choral Directors Association and have place first in the Down beat magazine student music awards. Marc made his professional debut with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in April 2005 and since that time, his choirs have been featured guest performers with the Orchestra, Connecticut Choral Artists and the Hartford Chorale.

New Jersey Youth Chorus – Patricia Joyce, conductor

The New Jersey Youth Chorus, founded in 1992, is an auditioned choral program for children in grades two through twelve, divided into three ensembles: Advanced (grades 7-12), Intermediate (grades 4-6), and a Musicianship Class (grades 2-3). The Chorus performs a wide range of choral literature from music of the classical masters to international folk music and gospel. The Advanced Chorus performs frequently with many professional ensembles, including several appearances with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. They have also sung with Ronan Tynan, Canadian Brass and appeared on The Today Show. The Advanced Chorus has also participated in numerous festivals.

Patricia Joyce, Founder and Artistic Director of the New Jersey Youth Chorus, received her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Marywood College in Scranton, PA, and her Master of Music degree from Westminster Choir College. Ms. Joyce has completed certification in Kodaly Methodology from the Kodaly Musical Training Institute. She has conducted the Central New Jersey Elementary Honors Choir, the North Jersey Junior High Women’s Honors Choir, and the Vermont Children’s Choir Festival. She is the Repertoire & Standards Chair for the NJ Division of the American Choral Directors Association.

The Princeton Girlchoir: The Semi-Tones – Rebecca Elpus, conductor

The Semi-Tones is the intermediate training ensemble of the Princeton Girlchoir consisting of girls ages nine to twelve. Founded in 1989 by Janet A. Westrick, the Princeton Girlchoir (PGC), located in Princeton, NJ, was established to give middle school girls an exceptional choral education and a positive social experience. Since its inception, Princeton Girlchoir Choirs have toured such places as Italy, Germany, Newfoundland, and Hawaii. The Semi-Tones, directed by Rebecca Elpus, rehearse ninety minutes once a week to prepare for various performing engagements.

Rebecca Elpus earned her Bachelor of Music degree from The College of New Jersey where she studied choral music with noted composer/conductor Michael D. Mendoza. She recently completed her Master of Music degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she studied choral conducting and pedagogy with internationally-known children’s choir specialist Judith Willoughby. Ms. Elpus is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association and was a delegate to the International Federation for Choral Musics Sixth World Symposium. In addition to her duties with the Girlchoir, she is the director of choral music at Timberlane Middle School in Pennington, New Jersey.

Radcliffe Choral Society of Harvard University – Jameson Marvin, conductor

Founded in 1899, the Radcliffe Choral Society is the women’s choir of Harvard University. Beginning in 1913, they began a tradition of collaboration with the Harvard Glee Club and Boston Symphony Orchestra, lasting more than fifty years. Under Jameson Marvin’s leadership since 1995, RCS has undertaken four international tours (Europe, South America, South Africa, Costa Rica), singing repertoire drawn from seven centuries, including commissioned works (Stephen Paulus, Carole Barnett, Hilary Tann). RCS frequently hosts Choral Festivals for high school and college choirs, with publishers, composers, and speakers including Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Director, Women and public Policy Program at Harvard University

In 2007-2008 Jameson Marvin celebrates his 30th year as Director of Choral Activities at Harvard University. He conducts the Radcliffe Choral Society, Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, and Harvard Glee Club. Since 1978, Dr. Marvin has expanded a choral environment rich enough to attract thousands of students, from the beginning singer to the advanced musician. His choral ensembles have risen to be among the premier collegiate choruses in America. Dr. Marvin received a BA in Music Theory-History from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and MA in Conducting from Stanford University, and a DMA in Choral Music from the University of Illinois.

Temple University Concert Choir – Alan Harler, conductor

The Temple University Concert Choir has won the praise of critics, the public and the musical world alike. The Temple University Concert Choir is committed to the performance of new American choral music and has presented many Philadelphia premieres including Robert Moran’s Hagoromo, Alfred Schnittke’s Requiem, Arvo Pärt’s Passio Nostri Jesu Christi Secundum Joannem and music of Temple composers Jan Krzywicki, Cynthia Folio, Jay Krush, Richard Brodhead, and Maurice Wright. In recent years, the Concert Choir has performed in major concert halls in the Republic of China, Hong Kong, Venezuela, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Laura H. Carnell Professor of Music and chair of Choral Activities, Alan Harler is in his 25th season as conductor of the Temple University Concert Choir and his 19th season as music director of the 130-voice Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. A champion of new American choral music, Mr. Harler has commissioned and premiered 35 works since 1990. Before coming to Temple University Mr. Harler chaired the choral departments at the University of Massachusetts and Indiana University. Mr. Harler has prepared choruses for many leading conductors, including Riccardo Muti, Klaus Tennstedt, Charles Dutoit, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Zubin Mehta, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and Loren Maazel.

The University of Maryland Chamber Singers – Edward Maclary, conductor

Organized in 2001, the Chamber Singers have quickly established themselves as one of the premier choral ensembles in the metropolitan Washington DC area. In recent seasons they have performed the St. Matthew Passion with Helmuth Rilling and the National Symphony Orchestra, the Christmas Oratorio under the direction of Kenneth Slowik and with their music director Edward Maclary, the B minor Mass. They were also the featured ensemble for the opening concert of the MENC Conference in Baltimore in 2005 with an all 20th century program of Copland, Britten and Orban. They renewed their collaboration with the National Symphony in 2007 with performances of Messiah in December.

Director of Choral Activities at the University of Maryland School of Music since 2000, Edward Maclary was named Professor of Music in 2006. He conducts the Chamber Singers and University Chorale, oversees the School’s seven choral ensembles and directs the graduate program in conducting. His choirs have performed throughout North America, appearing in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and Severance Hall. He has conducted ensembles by invitation for the American Choral Directors Association and the Music Educators National Conference. Edward Maclary has prepared choruses for conductors such as Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling and Ivan Fischer. Recognized as an outstanding teacher and clinician, he maintains and active schedule as a guest conductor around the country.

University of Delaware Chorale – Paul D. Head, conductor

The UD Chorale is quickly becoming one of the most highly regarded college choirs in the Eastern United States. The choir is composed of 60 members, a third of which are non-majors representing every college within the University. In recent years, the choir has made appearances on both regional (Pittsburgh, 2002) and national (Los Angeles, 2005) conferences of the American Choral Directors Association. They have also performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and Verizon Hall in Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Arts. In April 2007, the Chorale traveled to Sweden, Finland, and Estonia, where they received the First Place Grand Prix award in the Estonian International Choral Competition.

In addition to directing the University Chorale and Schola Cantorum, Paul D. Head also teaches choral methods, literature, and conducting along with the supervision of vocal/general student teachers at the secondary level. Dr. Head is a native Californian where he taught in the public schools for eight years prior to pursuing graduate study at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. This year denotes Dr. Heads tenth year at the University of Delaware as Director of Choral Studies where he is also the recipient of the 2005 Excellence in Teaching Award, a prestigious recognition granted for only four professors each year.

William Hall High School Choraliers – Lorraine Cetto, conductor

The Choraliers are a select mixed-vocal ensemble of 18 students directed by Lorraine Cetto. Their repertoire spans a wide range of musical styles and includes classical, medieval, jazz, pop, and barbershop. In the fall they are featured in the Madrigal Dinners and in the spring perform in the Pops and Jazz Show which travels to Europe every other year. The Choraliers placed first at the Berklee Jazz Festival for Vocal Jazz in 2003 and were chosen Best of A Cappella in 2002 CD.

Lorraine Cetto is in her 22nd year as Director of Choral Activities at Hall High School in West Hartford, Connecticut where she conducts and oversees eight choirs. With music degrees from Anna Maria College, University of Connecticut and the Hartt School of Music, Ms. Cetto has worked as a guest conductor throughout New England. She is past President of Connecticut ACDA and currently R&S High School Chair for Eastern Division. She received the Outstanding School Educator in 2003 from the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut and was named Choral Director of the Year for Connecticut ACDA in 2004.