Kim Mann
Kim Mann

John Byun and Karen Kennedy will add their flare and philosophy to the 2019 National Choir Festival.

In describing his master class about movement for singers, Byun writes, “We are singers too! Opera, musical theatre, country, rock, jazz....all singers in any genre move when they sing. Why do choirs stand still when they sing? Choirs can sing freely and without tension through movement. The voice is connected to the body, we must release tension in our body to be able to sing properly.” John Byun, Riverside City College

“Whether I’m on the podium or part of an audience, I always rejoice in how a devoted group of individual singers can transform into one entity that is even greater than the sum of its parts. When we share each other’s diverse skill sets in a choral ensemble, we can reach musical and emotional heights beyond our offerings as solo performers. That which compels us to sing together speaks to our need for musical and personal connection, and so together we may then explore every element of our human experience through song. Our vulnerability to the power of music ultimately emboldens us to reach out, take in, comfort each other, activate for our causes, and spread joy. As I now wage the battle of my life against cancer, our universal choral family has become a crucial, positive force in my recovery. I continue to draw strength from the inspired performances, compositions, and spirit of community that defines us as choral artists. It is my honor to join Music for All this spring. Until we meet, I carry our songs in my heart.” -Karen Kennedy, University of Miami Frost School of Music

The Music for All National Choir Festival will take place in Indianapolis March 14-16, 2019
Learn more at https://choir.musicforall.org/

Lynda Hasseler, Capital University, OH, and Jason Max Ferdinand, Oakwood University, AL, will serve on the artistic panel for the 2019 National Choir Festival, March 14-16 in Indianapolis.

In these days of political, personal and spiritual disintegration, music is not a luxury but a necessity, not just because it is the universal language, but because it is the persistent focus of our intelligence, our aspirations, and our good will.’ Though written many years ago, Robert Shaw’s words speak directly to the struggles of our current culture. Never have we needed music more. The work of Music for All to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music is precisely what we need to inspire us to reach across the differences that divide and alienate us from one another. I am honored and excited to be serving this dynamic organization and making music with the many talented young musicians who will be participating in the 2019 National Festival! Together we will focus our intelligence, our aspirations, and our good will - and make the world a better place!” –Lynda Hasseler

After providing feedback to festival applicants during blind listening, Lynda Hasseler spoke to young leaders at 2018 Summer Symposium about working together to destigmatize mental illness and to support those who are battling depression and thoughts of suicide. View her presentation featuring Capital University Chapel Choir performing Please Stay by composer Jake Runestad here:

The Oakwood Aeolians under the direction of Jason Max Ferdinand provided a moving guest choir performance for participants of the premiere National Choir Festival. Hear the Aeolians in rehearsal here:

“My initial festival experience with Music for All was mind blowing. It renewed my faith in music advocacy and music education. The world needs more music. Music for All is helping to better lives and in so doing, making the world a better place. I cannot wait for the 2019 festival!” –Jason Max Ferdinand

Music for All is proud of their esteemed committees who teach and advocate for choral music throughout the year; See our current and past Artistic Choral Committees here.

Music for All is honored to have Dr. André J. Thomas as Guest Conductor and Stacey V. Gibbs as Composer-in-Residence for the 2019 National Choir Festival!

André J. Thomas, conductor, composer, professor and author, is the Owen F. Sellers Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Choral Music Education at Florida State University. He currently serves as president-elect for the American Choral Directors Association. Artist Director, Henry Leck, stated “It is with excitement and pleasure that I look forward to welcoming and co-conducting with the incredible Dr. Andre Thomas at the Music for All National Choir Festival 2019 in Indianapolis.  Dr. Thomas has been a friend for over 30 years … an icon … and a mentor to all of us in the choral profession. We are so honored to include him in this festival.”

Stacey V. Gibbs is a prolific and highly sought-after composer-arranger. Best known for arrangements of spirituals, he is highly acclaimed for his ability to infuse new energy into familiar works without sacrificing their authenticity or power. Lori Lobsiger, Choral Program Coordinator said, “Watching Gibbs interact with singers in 2018, the energy and encouragement he showered upon the young singers underscored his commitment to the support and development of young people through music.”  In preparing for the 2019 National Choir Festival, Gibbs announced, “I am elated to serve as composer-in-residence for the 2019 National Choir Festival, March, 2019.  We will present a commissioned composition titled ‘Music Helps Me Make It Through the Day’ for chorus, solo and orchestra.  Please mark your calendars and join us!”

Music for All is proud to announce Georgia Southern University will host its 4th annual Southern Invitational High School Choral Competition and Festival in its second year of collaboration with Music for All.  After reviewing numerous applications and recordings, the music faculty of Georgia Southern will host 15 selected choirs from Georgia and South Carolina on October 18 and 19  in Statesboro, Georgia.

Over 400 students have the opportunity to receive evaluation from and work with master teachers Dr. Kent Hatteberg, Music for All Choral Artistic Committee Member and Director of Choral Activities at University of Louisville; Mr. Ryan Marsh, Music for All ENVOY member and Choral Director at Lafayette High School in Lexington, KY; and Dr. Sara Lynn Baird, Professor Department of Music, College of Liberal Arts, Auburn University.

Dr. Shannon Jeffreys, Director of Choral Activities, and Dr. David Langley, Assistant Director of Choral Activities at Georgia Southern will be joined by vocal/choral faculty to offer private voice instruction and many diverse sessions and activities. Georgia Southern University choral students will perform in concert for participating choirs as they continue to work hard to make memories for the high school students and directors. Dr. Jeffreys stated “We look forward to announcing all of our winners in mid-October and hope they will apply for the Music for All National Choir Festival in 2020!”

As a Music for All Affiliate Festival, each participating choir will receive a scholarship toward application for the 2020 National Choir Festival in Indianapolis where Artistic Director, Henry Leck will be joined by Guest Conductor, Elena Sharkova; Composer in Residence, Rosephanye Powell; Evaluator-Clinicians: Angela Broeker, Rollo Dilworth, Eric Stark, Ly Wilder, Brandon Boyd, Joseph Flummerfelt, Jason Max Ferdinand; and Guest Choir, the Oakwood Aeolians. Visit https://choir.musicforall.org/ for more information on the Music for All National Choir Festival.

Whitewater Camerata R. Prouty Eagle of Distinction
Whitewater Camerata, Richard Prouty, Director
Photo credit: Carolyn Bryan

The Southern Invitational, Music for All’s first choral Affiliate Regional Music Fesitval, took place last fall at Georgia Southern University.

Music for All Affiliate Choral Representative, Dr. Shannon Jeffreys, Director of Choral Activities at Georgia Southern and Dr. David Langley, Assistant Professor of Music Education at Georgia Southern led an exciting two-day choral experience for high school choirs from Georgia and South Carolina.

Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand, Music for All representative clinician and Director of Choral Activities at Oakwood University joined clinicians Kim Mann and Jeffrey Clayton to provide feedback to the participating choirs and conductors.

 Southern Invit. 17 Langley Ferdinand Mann Clayton Jeffreys
Pictured left to right: Dr. David Langley, Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand, Kim Mann, Jeffrey Clayton, and Dr. Shannon Jeffreys. 
Photo credit: Carolyn Bryan

Congratulations to all participants:

Grand Champion, Southeast Bulloch Advanced Chorus, Brent Whitaker, Director

1st place mixed, Johns Creek Chamber Choir, Shannan O’Dowd, Director

2nd placed mixed, Whitewater Chorale, Richard Prouty, Director

3rd place mixed, Cane Bay Cobra Chorale, William Bennett, Director

1st place non-mixed, Duluth Women’s Ensemble, Ivy Overcash, Director

2nd place non-mixed, Southeast Bulloch Women’s Choir, Brent Whitaker, Director

3rd place non-mixed tie, Savannah Arts Academy Bella Voce, Jared Register, Director

3rd place non-mixed tie, Cane Bay Women’s Chorale, William Bennett, Director

Eagle of Distinction Award, Whitewater Camerata, Richard Prouty, Director

Bradwell Institute Women’s Chorus, Monina Morris, Director

Islands High School Chorale, Bakara Nkenge-Hinds, Director

Maynard H. Jackson Concert Choir, Brandon Cash, Director

Savannah Arts Academy Chorale, Russell Watkins, Director

Whitewater Women’s Chorale, Richard Prouty, Director

Cane Bay Cobra Chorale Wm Bennett 3rd place mixed 
Cane Bay Cobra Chorale, William Bennett, Director
Photo credit: Carolyn Bryan

Savannah Arts Acad Bella Voce Jared Register 3rd place treble tie
Savannah Arts Academy Bella Voce, Jared Register, Director
Photo credit: Carolyn Bryan

October 18-19, 2018 will mark the next Georgia Southern Invitational, a regional affiliate of Music for All National Festivals, presented by Yamaha. Interested choirs can contact Shannon Jeffreys at Georgia Southern or Kim Mann at Music for All.

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