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August 3-6, 2020.

EMPOWERING STUDENTS THROUGH CHORAL MUSIC

This choral workshop will help participants learn how to plan engaging programs of diverse repertoire.  The workshop will focus on conducting gesture that empowers singers to sing with more ease and more expressive tone, rehearsal techniques that are effective and empowering, and repertoire that is empowering.  Participants will receive instruction in score study that leads to better rehearsals, conducting gesture, and rehearsal techniques that improve vocal health, musicianship, and artistry.  Lead clinicians André Thomas and Janet Galván will be joined by Sean Linfors to create an inspiring week of exploring diverse repertoire for a variety of voicings.

Clinicians

André Thomas will be in residence for the first two days of the workshop.

André J. Thomas  is the recently retired Owen F. Sellers Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities, and Professor of Choral Music Education at Florida State University. He was appointed Professor of Choral Conducting and Interim conductor of the Yale Camerata 2020-2021. A previous faculty member at the University of Texas, Austin, Dr. Thomas received his degrees from Friends University (B.A.), Northwestern University (M. M.), and the University of Illinois (D.M.A). He is in demand as a choral adjudicator, clinician, and director of Honor/All-State Choirs throughout North America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand, Australia, and Africa.

Dr. Thomas has conducted choirs at the state, division, and national conventions of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). His international conducting credits are extensive. They include conductor/clinician for the International Federation of Choral Musicians’ summer residency of the World Youth Choir in China and the Philippines. He was also the conductor of the winter residency of the World Youth Choir in Europe, and a premier performance by an American Choir (Florida State University Singers) in Vietnam.

 He has been the guest conductor of such distinguished ensembles as the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in England, the Berlin Radio Choir and the North German Radio Choir in Germany, the Netherlands Radio Choir, The Bulgarian Radio Choir and Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony, China’s People’s Liberation Orchestra and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Since 1988, he has also served as Artistic Director of the Tallahassee Community Chorus.

 Thomas has also distinguished himself as a composer/arranger. Hinshaw Music Company, Mark Foster Music Company, Fitzsimons Music Company, Lawson Gould, Earthsongs, Choristers Guild, and Heritage Music Company publish his compositions and arrangements.

 Dr. Thomas has produced two instructional videos "What They See Is What You Get" on choral conducting, with Rodney Eichenberger, and "Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice" on adolescent voices, with Anton Armstrong. His recent book "Way Over in Beulah Lan’.  Understanding and Performing the Negro Spiritual" has quickly become a major source in this area of study.

 Thomas has been recognized by various musical organizations. The African Diaspora Sacred Music honored Dr. Thomas as a Living Legend. In 2011 Thomas’ dedication to and accomplishments in the choral arts were recognized by his peers in Chorus America when that organization presented Dr. Thomas with its Distinguished Service Award. In March of 2017 ACDA presented Thomas with its highest honor, The Robert Shaw Award, and in November of 2017 NCCO (National Collegiate Choral Organization) presented Thomas with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In January 2019 he was inducted into the Florida Music Educator’s Hall of Fame. 

 He is a past president of the Florida ACDA and the past president of the Southern Division of ACDA, and the current Vice President of National ACDA and the artistic Chairman of the 2021 National Convention.

Dr. Janet Galván will be the lead instructor for the last two days of the workshop.

Dr. Janet Galván, Director of Choral Activities at Ithaca College, was recognized by her New York colleagues for her contribution to choral music when she received the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) New York Outstanding Choral Director Award. Dr. Galván was awarded the Ithaca College Faculty Excellence Award for teaching, scholarship, and service in 2018. Galván was presented the 3rd Distinguished Alumni Award in Music Education and Choral Music from the University of North Carolina in  2016.

Sought after as a guest conductor of choral and orchestral ensembles, she has conducted professional and university orchestras including Virtuosi Pragenses, the Madrid Chamber Orchestra, and the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra in choral/orchestral performances. She has conducted national, divisional, and state choruses throughout the United States for ACDA, the  National Association for Music Educators (NAfME),and  the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE). She has worked with ensembles of all ages, from adult professional choirs to children’s choirs. She has conducted choruses and orchestras in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Washington’s Constitution Hall, Minneapolis’ Symphony Hall, Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall, and Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center. She has conducted her own choral ensembles in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and Avery Fisher Hall as well as in concert halls in Ireland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Austria, Canada, and Spain. Galván was the sixth national honor choir conductor for ACDA, and was the conductor of the North American Children’s Choir which performed annually in Carnegie Hall. She was also a guest conductor for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Galván has been a guest conductor and clinician in in the United Kingdom, Ireland, throughout Europe, Canada and in Brazil as well as at national music conferences and the World Symposium on Choral Music.  She was on the faculty for the Carnegie Hall Choral Institute, the Transient Glory Symposium, the Oberlin Conducting Institute, and Curso de Dirección de Coro in Madrid.

Galván has been recognized as one of the country’s leading conducting teachers, and her students have received first place awards and have been finalists in both the graduate and undergraduate divisions of the American Choral Directors biennial National Choral Conducting Competition. Many of her former students are now conducting university and professional choirs and orchestras.  In addition, she has been an artist in residence at many universities, leading masterclasses, working with the university choirs, and presenting sessions. Dr. Galván was a member of the Grammy Award-winning Robert Shaw Festival Singers (Telarc Recordings).

Sean Linfors holds a Ph.D. in Choral Music Education from Florida State University, and is an educator, conductor, and clinician.  A public school teacher for ten years in Richmond, Virginia, Newport News, Virginia, and Orlando, Florida, he led successful choral programs and was active in the leadership of the state ACDA.  He has presented on the topics of teaching for transfer in the choral rehearsal and on the use of solfege beyond sight-singing.  His recent articles relate to his dissertation research into the choral music of the American composer Stephen Paulus. 

While at Florida State, Linfors directed performances of graduate and undergraduate choirs and orchestras, the FSU Opera, and FSU Musical Theatre.  Recent performances include David Lang's Pulitzer Prize-winning Little Match Girl Passion, under the supervision of the composer; Sing for the Cure, for chorus, orchestra, and narrator; and Schubert's Mass in E-flat, with the Tallahassee Community Chorus.  While Linfors was the Associate Director of the Greater Richmond Children's Choir, the group was invited to perform at the National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association.  

Dr. Linfors is an active adjudicator and clinician for schools and choral organizations.  Recently, he has been invited to conduct choral festivals in Nairobi, Kenya, and Jakarta, Indonesia, and in fall 2016, he will begin teaching at Ithaca College as Visiting Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education.