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Texas Sings! Spring 2018 Newsletter

63rd Annual TCDA Convention Thursday-Saturday, July 26-28 • San Antonio, Texas

Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, Headliner Convocation Speaker

Ruth Dwyer, Conductor Elementary Honor Choir

Dr. David Rayl, Headliner College Division

Mary McDonald, Headliner Worship Service

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TCDA presents 3 Candidates for the TCDA Board of Directors President-Elect Dr. Randall Hooper Dr. Randall Hooper is the Director of Choirs and Vocal Activities at Texas A&M University-Commerce. He conducts the Men’s Chorus, the Chamber Singers and Chorale, oversees the master’s program in conducting and teaches undergraduate courses in conducting. Randy also taught high school choral music in Texas, and choirs under his leadership have performed in many venues including Carnegie Hall and SWACDA, as well as touring internationally. A composer and editor, Randy’s edition of the Sweelinck Psalm 100 is published by Carl Fischer Music, and he is a contributing author to the book Anthony Burgess and Modernity. In 2012 Randy was a guest conductor at the Festival Internacional de Música de Campina Grande in Brazil, and the following year, the A&M Commerce Chorale performed as the festival’s guest choir. Most recently, Randy conducted the A&M Commerce Men’s Chorus in a performance for SWACDA in Kansas City, MO. He is currently the Director of Music at Kavanaugh UMC in Greenville, TX. Randy served as the TCDA Vice President for the College/Community Division (2012-2014), and is a member of TCDA, TMEA, ACDA and NCCO. Randy earned a BME degree from Texas State University, a MM degree in choral conducting from Baylor University, and a DMA degree in choral conducting from LSU. If elected . . . I have been attending TCDA conventions for 29 years, and for all of these years the value of TCDA has been obvious to me. Its membership is connected through a common passion for creating art and instilling the next generation of musicians. TCDA is at the core of binding us together through this common goal. Each year I return home excited about new music, new ideas and teaching strategies, and with a renewed motivation and wholeness that comes from being around my colleagues. All that I gain from each convention is reliant on the membership. Through a formal reading session, a workshop, a concert or informal conversations with colleagues, the “take away” from TCDA is based solely on its members. We make TCDA what it is, and the greater value we place on the relationships fostered through TCDA, the greater value it has for us as individuals and as an organization. If elected, I will work to ensure that future choral conductors are guaranteed the same benefits I have been

Thomas Rinn afforded through TCDA. The responsibility of the board is to usher TCDA into the future without losing sight of its greatest purpose: to educate, support and inspire ourselves, the Texas Choral Conductors.

Dr. Mark Rohwer Dr. Mark Rohwer is the Director of Choral Activities at Flower Mound High School in Flower Mound, Texas. Mark has been at FMHS since its opening in the fall of 1999. Under his direction, Flower Mound High School choirs have received consistent Sweepstakes Awards at UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Evaluations. In addition, choirs from FMHS have been invited to perform at the TMEA Convention three times, as well as at both Divisional and National Conventions of the ACDA. Mark holds degrees in music education from Northwestern University, the Eastman School of Music, and The Ohio State University. If elected . . . TCDA has always been a mirror of the profession that I feel called to, and of the people I hold in the highest professional regard. Nothing inspires me more than seeing thousands of choral directors from all over the state showing genuine enthusiasm for finding new ideas for the rehearsal room, new music to add to their repertoire, and new colleagues with which to connect and brainstorm. Times change, and with it TCDA and the methodology the organization uses to reach its members needs to change, too. The next years will be clearly challenging, as technology and communication evolves so quickly that one can hardly keep up. Just because an idea or innovation is new, however, does not mean that a particular idea or innovation is good; the pace of the world often means that we jump on to the next big “thing” quickly in fear of missing out. I can’t say for certain that I know what challenges we will need to overcome, or go around, or rethink. I can say unequivocally, however, what I think the “soul” of the TCDA is: a group of passionate choral directors wanting to find the best choral music to give to those in our care, the best new ideas to fulfill our calling even better than before, and a cohort of like-minded colleagues and friends to lift us up and support us. This is who we are. And it means everything to me.

Thomas Rinn is currently in his 17th year of teaching choral music in Texas. He serves as Director of Choirs at Colleyville Heritage High School in the GrapevineColleyville ISD and is Director of Music at St. Alban’s Anglican Church in Arlington. Choirs under his direction receive consistent accolades at local and regional festivals and have performed as invited ensembles at TMEA in 2010 and 2018 and at SWACDA in 2018. Thomas happily strives to give back to the organizations that serve music education, having served as the TCDA High School VP, TMEA Region 5 Vocal Chair, UIL Choral Sight-Reading Committee Chair, and in numerous volunteer positions as a section leader and organizer for TMEA groups. Thomas is a frequent choral clinician, adjudicator, and presenter of teacher training nationwide with engagements most recently in Texas, Michigan, Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado. He holds a BME degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a MM degree from Florida State University. If elected . . . Having recently completed my term as the High School Vice President of TCDA, I have a clear and detailed understanding of the issues facing TCDA. The organization is in a time of transition as it seeks to be relevant and useful to a new generation of teachers while also upholding the strong traditions of its past. If elected President-Elect, my primary goal during my term will be to increase the relevancy of the organization to its membership. The role of TCDA must continue to evolve from that of a yearly new music reading clinic to a resource that supports the professional development of our membership year round. It is only through this increased engagement of current membership and outreach to the choral community not currently involved in TCDA that the organization can remain both financially sound and effective. I believe I hold the unique ability to bridge the traditions of the past with the needs of our future, and can help transform TCDA into an invaluable resource that will serve future generations of Texas choral directors.

TCDA presents 3 Candidates for the TCDA Board of Directors College/Community Vice President Dr. Joni Jensen

Dr. Jeb Mueller

Dr. Michelle Roueché

Dr. Joni Jensen is the Director of Choral Activities at Texas Woman’s University (TWU) in Denton, Texas. She conducts two TWU choirs and teaches voice and conducting. Joni is an active conductor, clinician, and arranger. The TWU Concert Choir, under her direction, has enjoyed several prestigious performances, most recently at the National Collegiate Choral Association Conference in 2017. Joni has published several pieces with Walton Music, including “El Vito,” a Texas All-State piece in 2014, and she is the editor of a new series at Hal Leonard for advanced women’s choral music. Joni is the Associate Musical Director of Millennial Choirs and Orchestras (MCO), a multi-location community organization. They released their album “Amazing Grace” in 2016, peaking at third on the Classical Album Billboard Chart. Joni earned a BME degree in vocal performance and pedagogy and a MM degree in choral conducting, both from Brigham Young University, and a DMA degree in choral conducting from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Jeb Mueller serves as Associate Director of Choral Studies at the University of Houston Moores School of Music where he conducts three choirs, teaches choral music education courses, and maintains a graduate conducting studio. Jeb is an active clinician, adjudicator, and conference presenter with engagements throughout the U.S. He recently conducted the Louisiana Men’s All-State Choir, and Alliance Music published his arrangement of Handel’s Scherzano sul tuo volto. Jeb’s choirs have been described as “stellar,” “inspired,” and singing with “mature line and a beautiful, vibrant tone.” Under his direction, UH’s Concert Women’s Chorus performed at the 2016 ACDA Southwest Division Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Jeb taught high school choral music in the Houston area for six years, and his choirs consistently earned superior ratings at contests and were twice chosen the Overall Best Choir at state and national choral festivals. He holds degrees from The University of Miami, The University of Texas at Austin, and Texas Tech University.

Dr. Michelle Roueché is the Director of Choral Studies at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Her choirs have been invited performers for several Georgia Music Educators conventions, two Southern ACDA conventions and the 2014 Southwestern ACDA convention. An active clinician and choral arranger, Michelle is represented by Walton Music and Treble Clef. Her compositions have been featured at ACDA and All-State conventions, and premiered by choirs across the globe. She has performed in Carnegie Hall under the baton of Robert Shaw and appeared as an Artist-in-Residence at North Carolina State University. Prior to UMHB, she served on the faculties of Brenau University (Georgia), Waldorf College (Iowa), and Arizona State University. Michelle also serves as the Director of Music at Woodway First United Methodist Church in Waco. She holds music degrees from Texas Tech, the University of Illinois, and Arizona State University, where she studied accompanying with Pavarotti’s accompanist, John Wustman, and conducting with Donald Bailey.

If elected . . . For many of us, TCDA is crucial to keeping our passion for choral music alive, bringing lasting friendships and keeping us relevant in our trade. What would we do without it? I would like to express gratitude to all who have served TCDA. Their immense efforts have enriched our membership and given us support, knowledge, and guidance. If elected Vice President of the College/Community Division, I will consider it an honor to follow such leadership, and keep the TCDA tradition thriving! It will be important to seek out the concerns of the membership to ensure that my efforts create the greatest benefit possible. Although in a position of leadership, I would consider myself a servant to you, the membership, to help you achieve your goals and perhaps even enrich your vision. Our work is that important! My involvement in both collegiate and community choral settings will inform me of the needs and trends in each arena, and assist us in finding opportunities for growth. Collaboration and communication are central to our success. Working together, I know we can positively impact our choral community.

If elected . . . My admiration for the people and mission of TCDA runs deep, so I feel strongly about contributing to its ongoing success. If elected College/Community Vice President, I will work with my fellow board members to celebrate TCDA’s past while positioning it for a thriving present and future. The best teachers constantly re-evaluate their work in order to meet their students’ needs, and I believe the same concept should guide TCDA’s efforts. Innovation and flexibility will play critical roles in our long-term success, especially given the world’s rapid digitalization. Therefore, I want to focus our convention’s interest sessions on experiences that cannot be Google-searched or found on a publisher’s website. Since choosing to run for office, I have sought the opinions of numerous TCDA members; while they express respect and gratitude for TCDA, many feel our summer convention would benefit from some fresh ideas. They want more social gatherings that allow our membership to network with their colleagues, so I would explore that as well as other possibilities that would meet their needs. TCDA plays an important role in our profession, and if elected, I will work determinedly to ensure its continued leadership.

If elected . . . After living and teaching in various parts of the country, I was eager to come home to Texas! We are blessed with an extraordinary legacy of choral excellence unlike any other place I’ve seen. First, I would like to use this opportunity to acknowledge my high school choir director, Dr. Richard Watkins, and my beloved mentor, Dr. Donald Bailey, for providing me with such an outstanding foundation. I am so grateful for my Texas training and for TCDA! As Social Media (or perhaps anti-Social Media) tends to isolate us from the real world, TCDA provides a crucial opportunity to build community, grow strong relationships, and replenish our musical souls. If elected Vice President for the College/Community Division, I will strive to give back to the organization that has given me so much. I want to help promote music that we are excited to share with our students, explore strategies that make our teaching responsibilities more manageable, and continue the wonderful legacy established by all the previous TCDA officers.

TCDA presents 2 Candidates for the TCDA Board of Directors Church Vice President Sid Davis

Robert Stovall

Sid Davis is the Director of Music and Fine Arts at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Houston, where he oversees a program including music for children, youth and adults as well as the Rotunda Theatre and Art Gallery. Sid is a published composer/arranger and a Melodious Accord Fellow, studying under Alice Parker, as well as having toured with Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians as a soloist and instrumentalist. He enjoys traveling as a clinician for choral workshops around the country. Sid graduated from Centenary College of Louisiana and did graduate work at the University of North Texas.

Robert Stovall has devoted thirty-three years to the Texas Public School System as well as four years in the Private Education arena. Robert is a Past President of TMEA. He is in his third year as the Director of Music and Worship Arts at First United Methodist Church in Fort Worth. While in the education field, his choirs were awarded UIL sweepstakes, festival grand champions, and convention performance invitations, including five invitations to perform at the TMEA convention. In 2015, Robert was recognized by his peers with the TCDA Choral Excellence Award. He has served his profession in several capacities, including TCDA, ACDA, TMEA, TMAA, and most recently, the Texas Music Administrators Conference. He is an active adjudicator, speaker, clinician, and conductor on the state and national levels. His responsibilities at FUMCFW include conducting four of the many performing ensembles provided in the music department. This includes the parent ensemble, Choral Union. A native of West Texas, Robert graduated with BME and MME degrees from Angelo State University.

If elected . . . I am honored to be nominated for the office of Church Vice President for TCDA. I would like to offer my congratulations to Dan Baker and other members of the board as they have worked diligently to keep Texas the foremost choral state in the nation. If elected, I will strive to bring together ensembles from all walks of choral music - church choirs, college and university, as well as public and private school, so that singers of all types can benefit from shared knowledge about this unique musical and community building art that we enjoy. I would hope we can continue to move away from compartmentalizing into “school choirs” or “church/synagogue choirs” or even professional vs. amateur organizations, and work to “cross-pollinate” so that everyone learns from everyone. Choirs who lead worship in churches and synagogues form the grass roots of our art, both in terms of bringing people into music and creating life-long supporters of choral music in all its forms. If elected, let’s work together and do all we can to support faith-based choral organizations.

If elected . . . Through the years, TCDA has experienced many challenges and meaningful changes, and our organization has expanded into a most impressive assembly of educators and musicians. I am extremely honored to be considered for the Church Division Vice President of TCDA. Many before me have served in this capacity and given us wonderful experiences due to their devotion to church music and the importance it serves in our organization. If I am elected, I too, will pledge my time and devotion to our organization. There are discoveries to be made concerning our full-time church musicians as well as directors who take on church responsibilities in a parttime role. If elected, I look forward to exploring these opportunities and sharing with the membership new ideas that can be beneficial in developing meaningful worship experiences. Bringing fresh and appropriate ideas to TCDA is the key to providing an uplifting and meaningful worship experience. While providing appropriate music and curriculum in our churches is a challenge, it is my goal to provide our members with these assets. Working with the board and the membership, we will strive to better equip our church musicians and educators by providing supportive activities, music, and experts in the field of worship and music. Giving our membership an opportunity to gain experience in optimum and appropriate worship is a worthy goal, and I pledge to provide such an experience. I look forward to the challenges and am grateful for the opportunity to serve.

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TCDA presents 2 Candidates for the TCDA Board of Directors Elementary Vice President Angela Brill

Katy Flowers

Angela Brill is an Elementary Music Teacher with over 35 years’ experience in both public and private schools. She returned to public school teaching after 29 years and is currently a K-4 music teacher in Conroe ISD at Powell Elementary in the Woodlands. Angela began her career at Barbers Hill Elementary, where she taught for six years before moving to St. John’s School in Houston. Her choirs and students performed twice as an invited Elementary Honor Choir at TMEA. In addition, her students performed in a classroom demonstration and have been placed in TCDA, ACDA, and OAKE Honor Choirs. Angela presented a workshop at TCDA in 2013, “It’s All About the Singing.” She holds memberships in TCDA, ACDA, TMEA, and OAKE. She earned an undergraduate degree in Music from Hardin Simmons University and a MM degree with Kodály certification from Sam Houston State University

Katy Flowers is an Elementary Music Specialist for Midway ISD, where she is in her second year teaching 5th grade music at River Valley Intermediate School. Prior to that, she taught K-4th grade music at South Bosque Elementary School for 10 years. A music educator for 26 years, Katy has experience at all levels, elementary through high school, in districts throughout Central Texas. During her years in Midway ISD, she has been awarded grants from the Midway Education Foundation to bring innovative technologies to her classroom, and she was a member of the first Midway Wired cohort for technology. Katy has coached UIL Music Memory for many years, and served as both Campus and District Coordinator for the Elementary UIL Academic Meet in Midway. Katy also serves as the Associate Director of Music and Worship for Woodway First United Methodist Church, where her responsibilities have included directing choirs for children and youth, handbell ensembles for all ages, and coordinating weekly worship services. She is a member of TCDA and TMEA, and holds a BME degree from Texas Tech University.

If elected . . . I am excited and honored to be nominated for the office of TCDA Elementary Vice President. I love teaching music and bringing the joy of singing to my students. I have attended TCDA conventions for many of the last 30 years. In addition to finding new music for my choirs, I have grown as a musician by attending honor choir rehearsals and other workshop sessions. How boring our teaching would be if we were to teach the same songs with the same techniques every year. If elected, I want to encourage music teachers to attend TCDA. It is one of the best ways that we can learn and grow in a different atmosphere. A former student wrote to me, “When I first came to this school I wanted nothing to do with singing, but as you can tell, now 80% of my life is singing, dancing and acting. By next year it will probably be 110% of my life. I have never had a voice lesson, but you have changed my life so much.” I wish for us to have this effect on all of our students. If elected, I will concentrate on sessions that offer meaningful ideas for bringing the love of singing to the elementary music classroom and to our elementary choirs. I would be honored to serve as your TCDA board member.

If elected . . . A second-generation music educator, I had the privilege of seeing my father, Nick Boltz, serve as President of TCDA many years ago, and I am so very honored to be nominated for office in the same organization he served with such pride. I have many fond memories of attending TCDA conventions as I grew up, and I learned early on that the summer conventions are crucial times for renewing connections with colleagues, brushing up on skills for the coming year, and getting excited by new music and new ideas. If elected Elementary Vice President, I will gladly accept the challenge of working alongside the other board members to continue to offer innovative and excellent experiences for the membership of the Elementary Division.



Director of the Dallas Symphony Chorus • Music Director of the Sante Fe Desert Chorale This workshop will feature a discussion on programming multicultural music and will include a reading session of music from Asia, Polynesia and the Pacific Rim. Joshua will also discuss performance practice of Latin American music, with practical tips on how to perform this music with singers of any background. SATURDAY, APRIL


1:00 - 5:00 PM

LAKE HIGHLANDS HIGH SCHOOL DALLAS, TEXAS To register, go to or call 512-474-2801 $30 for members; $40 for non-members


TCDA Convention HIGHLIGHTS Exhibit Hall Hours: Friday, July 27 9 am – 6 pm Saturday, July 28 9 am – 4 pm

Registration Hours: Thursday 10:00 am – 6:30 pm Friday 7:30 am – 5:00 pm Saturday 7:30 am – 10:00 am TCDA will again offer

Complimentary Child Care


New Teacher Academy Thursday, July 26 8:30 am – 6:00 pm

v Join us for the


Thursday, July 26 5:30 – 6:30 pm Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem conducted by Dr. Kenny Sheppard

v Don’t miss the popular


Thursday, July 26 6:30 – 9:30 pm

Performance by mirabai Dr. Sandra Snow, Conductor Friday, July 27 4:30 – 5:30 pm This professional level alumna choral ensemble-inresidence at the Michigan State University College of Music was founded by Artistic Director Dr. Sandra Snow. A project-based ensemble, mirabai seeks to enhance artistic expectations of women’s choral singing by connecting powerful music of women, past and present, and performing, commissioning, and recording new and innovative music that expresses the rich emotional terrain of a woman’s life. Repertoire from the inaugural recording, “All I Was Doing Was Breathing,” will be featured at the TCDA Convention.

Dallas Street Choir Saturday, July 28 10:15 am Founded by Dr. Jonathan Palant, the Dallas Street Choir offers a musical outlet for those experiencing homelessness and disadvantage. Through community engagement and performance, the choir improves the way society views homelessness; and a creative, engaging, safe environment better equips these individuals to find a job, housing, and improve their overall lifestyle. In addition to presenting concerts, the group has performed at the Winspear Opera House, the George W. Bush Presidential Library, the Dallas City Performance Hall, and Carnegie Hall. Dr. Palant is on the faculty at the University of Texas at Dallas and is founder and conductor of Credo.

Headliner, College/Community Division

Worship Service Friday, July 27 Church Service 7 – 8 pm

Don’t miss Dr. David Rayl, Michigan State University, presenting two clinics entitled “Reasonable Romantic Repertoire for Voices and Instruments” and “Gesture Matters: Communicative Conducting for More Effective Rehearsals and Better Performances.”



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Composer, Artist, Clinician, and former sacred music editor for the Lorenz Corporation in Dayton, Ohio, Mary McDonald will lead the congregation at this year’s Worship Service in singing “God of Our Fathers.”

Featuring internationally recognized treble and children’s choir specialist Ruth Dwyer, Conductor and Director of Education with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and Artistic Director of the Columbus Indiana Children’s Choir. Mrs. Dwyer will be accompanied by Jimmy Baas, choral composer and Assistant Choir Director at Arlington HS in Arlington, TX.

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2018 TCDA Elementary Honor Choir Saturday, July 28 4:30-5:30 pm

Jimmy Baas


TCDA Closing Convocation Saturday, July 28 10:15 AM Director of Choral Ministries at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, Tesfa Wondemagegnehu will lead our Convocation. He will also offer a clinic entitled, “Performing to IMPRESS vs. SINGING to Inspire,” open to all divisions.

Renew TCDA membership today to receive the pre-convention issue of “Texas Sings!” which will include a full schedule of events!

TCDA Important Reminders & Dates: • Honor Choir Audition Deadline is March 24. • Renew membership today to receive the pre-convention issue of Texas Sings! • Remember to VOTE. On-line voting opens in May. • Housing Deadline is June 22 for contract rates. • Scholarship Application Deadline is March 31. • TCDA Award Nominations Deadline is April 15. • First-year teachers joining TCDA receive 50% convention discount! • Interested in Board service for 2019-2020? Submit your name, contact information, and brief bio by April 17 to Sharon Lutz, TCDA Executive Director, at • There will be NO High School Student Leadership Day at the 2018 convention. However, TCDA will offer four High School Student Leadership Days in 2018 in four Texas locations. Check the website for information and registration.

In Memoriam. Please let us know of colleagues who have passed on. Information may be submitted on-line.

2018 TCDA Convention • July 26-28 • Henry B. Gonzalez Center • San Antonio, Tx

TCDA Spring 2018 Newsletter  
TCDA Spring 2018 Newsletter  

TCDA Spring 2018 Newsletter featuring candidates and highlights for convention