Meet Our Conductors
Working with world-class conductors is an important component of the Honors Performance Series. We are proud to work with an annually rotating group of acclaimed Honors Conductors.
Sally K. Albrecht
Conductor, 2018 and 2016 Middle School Honors Junior Choir (Carnegie Hall)
Sally K. Albrecht is a popular choral composer, conductor, and clinician, especially known for her work with choral movement. An annual recipient of the ASCAP Special Music Award since 1987, Ms. Albrecht has more than 325 popular choral publications in print, over 50 larger elementary songbooks and musicals, plus 15 choral movement instructional DVDs. Ms. Albrecht has directed and staged the half-time show singers performing during two Florida Citrus Bowls, and has conducted hundreds of honor choir events, including festivals at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and The Kennedy Center. For over three decades, she was the Director of School Choral Publications for two major educational music publishing companies. She has worked with literally thousands of teachers, presenting sessions at music conventions and workshops in over 40 states, Canada, Singapore, and Australia.
Dr. Jeffery L. Ames
Conductor, 2017 High School Honors Choir (Sydney Opera House), 2016 and 2012 High School Honors Concert Choir (Carnegie Hall), 2014 Middle School Honors Junior Choir (Carnegie Hall)
Dr. Jeffery L. Ames is a distinguished conductor, composer, and educator, currently serving as Director of Choral Activities at Belmont University. Prior appointments include Assistant Director of Choral Activities at Baylor University. Professor Ames holds a Ph.D. in Choral Conducting/Choral Music Education and a Master of Choral Music Education degree from Florida State University, as well as degrees from James Madison University. A highly-sought and experienced choral clinician, Dr. Ames is frequently asked to lead selective ensembles, including the National Youth Choir at Carnegie Hall and high school mixed and male choirs at the state conventions of both the ACDA and NAfME. He has performed and guest conducted internationally in many countries, including Italy, Germany and Costa Rica. He is currently the R & S Chairman of Ethnic and Multicultural Perspectives for the Tennessee ACDA, and holds the honor of being the first recipient of the National ACDA James Mulholland Choral Music Fellowship. With a reputation as a distinguished and well-respected composer and arranger, Dr. Ames’ music has been premiered by the National ACDA Conferences in Los Angeles and Miami, amongst others.
Dr. Edith A. Copley
Conductor, 2017 High School Honors Concert Choir (Carnegie Hall)
Edith A. Copley is a Regents’ Professor and Director of Choral Studies at Northern Arizona University, where she conducts the highly acclaimed Shrine of the Ages Choir. She additionally conducts the Master Chorale of Flagstaff that performs major choral/orchestral works each spring with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra (FSO). She has conducted more than 30 all-state choirs, and the ACDA and NAfME National Mixed Honor Choirs. She has also conducted international choral festivals in Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Luxembourg, Tasmania, England, Australia, China, Oman, and Turkey. Dr. Copley has received the NAU School of Music Centennial Teacher of the Year Award, Arizona Music Educator of the Year, Arizona ACDA Outstanding Choral Director Award, and others. She is an active member of NAfME, Chorus America, and the National Collegiate Choral Organization and has served the ACDA in various capacities over the last 20 years, including President of the Western Division and Arizona State President.
Steven D. Davis
Conductor, 2019 High School Honors Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall)
Steven D. Davis is a lauded, versatile, and cosmopolitan conductor who has inspired ensembles around the world. In constant demand as a guest conductor, he has conducted across four continents, working with ensembles in cities such as Bangkok, Beijing, Interlochen, Lisbon, Salzburg, Sydney, Tianjin, Vienna, and regularly conducts in his favorite city, Kansas City. Davis has worked to break down barriers as a conductor by leading performances across many genres. He is celebrated as a conductor of wind ensembles, orchestras, opera, ballet, and cutting-edge new music ensembles. In addition to conducting symphonic repertoire of historically significant composers, Davis is fervently committed to performing new repertoire. Davis currently serves as the Rose Ann Carr Millsap Missouri Distinguished Professor of Music and Professor of Conducting, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance.
Conductor, 2019 Young Adult Honors Instrumental Ensemble (Carnegie Hall); 2018 Middle School Honors Band (Carnegie Hall)
Curt Ebersole has served as the Conductor/Music Director (John P. Paynter Memorial Chair) of the Westchester Symphonic Winds since 2008, fostering its exponential growth over the past ten years. He retired from Northern Valley Regional High School (Old Tappan, New Jersey) in 2013 after serving as Director of Instrumental Music for 31 years, and now teaches at The Masters School, in Dobbs Ferry, New York. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Music in Conducting degree from Northwestern University, where he studied conducting with John P. Paynter and clarinet with Larry Combs, and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Clarinet Performance from SUNY-Purchase, where he studied with Ben Armato. He has served as a guest conductor and clinician for numerous county, regional, and all-state student ensembles, and adult community ensembles across the nation, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and Symphony Space, and in Las Vegas, South Korea and Australia. His achievements include multiple teaching awards, ensemble and solo performances as a clarinetist and basset hornist, and speaking/clinic engagements with the Midwest Clinic, TEDxOneonta, and several state music education conventions and conducting symposia.
Dr. Eph Ehly
Conductor, 2018 Young Adult Honors Choir (Carnegie Hall), 2015, 2013, 2011, and 2010 High School Honors Concert Choir (Carnegie Hall)
Declared as “one of the most sought-after choral conductors/clinicians” in the American Choral Directors Journal, Dr. Eph Ehly has conducted over 80 All-State Choirs and more than 600 Festival Ensembles. As a conductor, author, lecturer, and clinician he has appeared in 48 states, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and various countries throughout Europe. Dr. Ehly retired from the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri-Kansas City after 27 years of service. He has additionally served at the University of Oklahoma and University of New Mexico, having supervised nearly 200 graduate students. Dr. Ehly is the recipient of numerous teaching and performance excellence awards and grants, including the Missouri Choral Directors Association Luther Spade Choral Director of the Year Award and the AMOCO Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award.
Dr. Lynne Gackle
Conductor, 2019 High School Honors Choir (Sydney Opera House), 2018 High School Honors Women's Choir (Carnegie Hall), 2014 High School Honors Concert Choir (Carnegie Hall)
Dr. Lynne Gackle currently is Associate Professor of Ensembles and Associate Director of Choral Activities at Baylor University, where she conducts the Baylor Bella Voce (Women’s Ensemble) and the Baylor Concert Choir, and teaches courses in choral literature and choral conducting. Lynne is an active clinician, conductor and adjudicator for choral clinics, honor choirs, workshops and festivals throughout the United States and abroad. Dr. Gackle has conducted All-State choirs in 28 states, several divisional ACDA honor choirs and two ACDA national honor choirs. Internationally, she conducted the Australian National Choral Association’s High School Women’s Choir in Brisbane, the Alberta Choral Federation’s High School Honour Choir in Calgary, the DoDDS-Europe Honors Music Festival Mixed Choir, (Wiesbaden, Germany), the Haydn Youth Festival in Vienna, and the Association for Music in International Schools (AMIS) International Women’s Honor Choir in Beijing, China. Dr. Gackle is an active author and editor, currently serving on the editorial board for the Choral Journal, and was awarded the Florida ACDA chapter’s Wayne Hugoboom Distinguished Service Award for dedicated service, leadership, and excellence.
Conductor, 2018 High School Honors Choir (Sydney Opera House); 2017 and 2015 Middle School Junior Choir (Carnegie Hall)
Originally from the “Show-Me” state of Missouri, Greg Gilpin resides in Indianapolis, IN. He is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Music Education, K-12. Mr. Gilpin is a well-known, ASCAP award-winning choral composer and arranger with hundreds of publications to his credit. He is also in demand as a conductor for choral festivals, all-district and all-state choirs and is a member of MENC and ACDA. As Director of Educational Choral Publications for Shawnee Press, Inc., Mr. Gilpin oversees creation of the educational music products for this distinguished publisher. At home in Indianapolis, Mr. Gilpin is busy as a studio musician and producer in the recording industry. These projects include commercial jingles, CD projects, Broadway and Disney. He has worked musically with Ray Boltz, Bill and Gloria Gaither, Sandi Patty, David Clydesdale as well as principal pops conductor, Jack Everly and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Conductor, 2018 High School Honors Band (Sydney Opera House); 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013 High School Honors Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall); 2012, and 2011 High School Honors Band (Carnegie Hall); 2016, 2015, and 2014 Middle School Honors Junior Band (Carnegie Hall)
Jeffrey Grogan is an internationally-known conductor and teacher who has spent his career dedicated to the pursuit of his craft and nurturing musical excellence among young musicians. His humanistic leadership style, coupled with his command as a musical communicator, has earned him an impressive reputation with audiences and music programs both in the U.S. and abroad. Grogan considers his work with young musicians the cornerstone of his career. Grogan serves as Director of Orchestral Activities and Professor of Music at Oklahoma City University and Artistic Director of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras. Previously, Grogan lived and worked in the New York City Metropolitan area for eleven years. He served as Education and Community Engagement Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and as Conductor and Artistic Director of the NJSO Youth Orchestras, the InterSchool Orchestras of New York and the New Jersey Youth Symphony. Mr. Grogan has served as adjudicator, conductor, and clinician for many prestigious national and international festivals.
Conductor, 2014 High School Honors Band (Carnegie Hall)
Craig Kirchhoff is Professor of Conducting and Director of University Bands at the University of Minnesota, where he conducts the University Wind Ensemble and guest conducts in the University Opera Program. Mr. Kirchhoff has appeared as guest conductor, clinician, and lecturer throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, and Scandinavia. He has guest conducted the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra and has recorded with them on the Kosei Publishing label. In addition, Mr. Kirchhoff is past president of the College Band Directors National Association and is a member of the American Bandmasters Association, the National Band Association, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the Music Educators National Conference, and served as the founding editor and principal advisor of the College Band Directors National Association Journal. In addition to his work with collegiate-level performers, Mr. Kirchoff has acted as a high school clinician and guest conductor for all-state bands in California, Texas, Colorado, and his home state of Minnesota.
Conductor, 2019, 2015, and 2013 High School Honors Band (Carnegie Hall); 2017 High School Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall); Guest Conductor, 2010 High School Honors Band (Carnegie Hall)
Sharon Lavery is the Music Director of the Downey Symphony Orchestra and Ms. Lavery holds the post of cover conductor for the Pacific Symphony Orchestra of Orange County. She has led the La Jolla Symphony in concert, served as assistant conductor to the Pasadena Symphony, and, for many years, was associate conductor of the Herbert Zipper Orchestra of Los Angeles.
Ms. Lavery is also a member of the faculty at the University Of Southern California Thornton School Of Music where she serves as professor of conducting and resident conductor of the Thornton Symphony, Chamber Orchestra and Wind Ensemble. She has led the Thornton ensembles in concert on many occasions and dedicated seven years to her post as music director of the Thornton Concert Orchestra. Ms. Lavery has been active on a national and international basis as well. Her extensive career has led her to conduct in many concert halls across the United States, including Carnegie Hall in New York City, and she previously served as music director of the MUSE International Music Day festival in Chiba, Japan.
Conductor, 2018 High School Honors Band (Carnegie Hall); 2019 and 2018 High School Honors Orchestra (Sydney Opera House); 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016 High School Honors String Orchestra (Carnegie Hall); 2018, 2017, and 2016 and 2014 Middle School Junior Orchestra (Carnegie Hall)
Kirt Mosier recently retired as Director of Orchestras at Lee’s Summit West High School in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and has also taught orchestration and arranging as an adjunct professor at UMKC Conservatory of Music in Kansas City. Not only is he a sought after composer, but also has twice won national composition awards. In 1993, his original work, Baltic Dance, won the National School Orchestra Association Composition Contest, and in 2004, American Reel won the 2004 Merle J. Isaac national composition contest. From 1990 to present, Mr. Mosier has conducted numerous orchestras throughout the United States and internationally. In addition, he has frequently served as keynote speaker at various conferences and events. Mr. Mosier has been the past orchestra vice-president for the Missouri Music Educators Association, and is currently the president-elect of American String Teachers Association for the state of Missouri. Mr. Mosier was also a quarterfinalist for the 2016 Grammy Music Educator of the Year award.
Dr. Kenneth Ozzello
Conductor, 2017 and 2014 High School Honors Band (Carnegie Hall), 2017 Middle School Honors Orchestra (Carnegie Hall)
Dr. Kenneth Ozzello is Director of Bands and Professor of Music at The University of Alabama. He holds the Bachelor of Music in Music Education and the Masters of Music in Conducting degrees from West Virginia University, and the Doctorate of Education from The University of Alabama. Dr. Ozzello is the conductor of the Alabama Wind Ensemble, which has performed at numerous national and regional conventions, toured internationally, and recorded several CDs. In 2012, Dr. Ozzello received the Morris Meyer Award recognizing outstanding contributions to student life at The University of Alabama. He has been published in the Teaching Music through Performance in Band series. Dr. Ozzello previously served on the staff of the West Virginia University band program, and as the Director of Bands at Jeannette High School in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area. Dr. Ozzello heads the graduate wind conducting program at Alabama, and maintains a busy national schedule of clinics and guest conducting engagements.
Conductor, 2012, 2011, and 2010 High School Honors Orchestra (Carnegie Hall); 2014 Middle School Junior Orchestra (Carnegie Hall)
Charles Peltz is the Director of Wind Ensembles at the New England Conservatory of Music and the Music Director of the Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Peltz serves as the Director of Orchestras at the Luzerne Music Center summer music. He formerly conducted both the Syracuse Symphony and the Buffalo Opera Company. His guest conducting includes acclaimed appearances in the Lincoln Center Festival in New York, the Cross Border Youth Orchestra of Ireland, the Pacific Symphony, New Jersey Ballet, Delaware Valley Philharmonic and numerous others. As an award-winning educator, Mr. Peltz has held positions at Harvard, Ithaca College and SUNY at Buffalo. He is a frequent conductor of youth festival orchestras and bands, including All State Orchestras. Mr. Peltz additionally records, to critical praise, on the MODE label, for which one recording won a prestigious “Palm d’or” award in France.
Dr. Jeffery Redding
Conductor, 2019 Young Adult Honors Choir (Sydney Opera House); 2019 High School Honors Women's Choir (Carnegie Hall); 2018 High School Honors Concert Choir (Carnegie Hall); 2017 Young Adult Honors Choir (Carnegie Hall)
Dr. Jeffery Redding is past Director of Choral Activities at West Virginia University and currently serves as Director of Choral Activities at West Orange High School in Florida. He has been featured as guest conductor at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and Orchestra Hall on numerous occasions. Dr. Redding has conducted several divisional and national ACDA National Honor Choirs, as well as All-State and Honor choirs in more than 25 states. In 2014, he was the only American adjudicator at the International Choral Festival, Verona, Italy. He is a member of ACDA, NAfME, FVA, NATS, and Chorus America. Currently, he is the State R&S Chair for High School Mixed Choir for Florida ACDA, and he was awarded the R. Wayne Hogoboom Distinguished Service Award for dedicated service, leadership, and excellence by the Florida Chapter of ACDA in November 2015. Dr. Redding holds a Ph.D. in Choral Conducting/Music Education and an M.M.E., both from Florida State University, and a B.S. in Music Education from Florida A&M University.
H. Robert Reynolds
2019 High School Honors Band (Sydney Opera House); Guest Conductor, 2013 High School Honors Band (Carnegie Hall); Conductor, 2010 High School Honors Band (Carnegie Hall)
Mr. Reynolds is a Principal Conductor at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, where he holds a professorship in his name. He previously served as the Henry F. Thurnau Professor of Music and Director of the Division of Instrumental Studies at the University of Michigan. For over 25 years, he has been the conductor of The Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings. During his distinguished career, he has conducted throughout the world at notable venues, including Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center (New York), the Kennedy Center (Washington, D. C.), Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), the Tonhalle (Zurich), and the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam). He has won the praise of many esteemed composers, including Aaron Copland, John Corigliano, and Michael Daugherty for his interpretive conducting of their compositions.
Dr. Elizabeth Schauer
Conductor, 2016 High School Honors Women’s Choir (Carnegie Hall)
Dr. Elizabeth Schauer is Associate Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Arizona. An award-winning educator, Dr. Schauer conducts the Symphonic Choir and University Community Chorus, and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting, literature, and methods. She has presented sessions at the national conventions of American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM) and College Music Society (CMS); regional conferences of ACDA, and state conferences of ACDA and National Association for Music Education (NAfME). In addition, her choirs have been invited and selected by audition to perform at local, state, and regional events of NAfME, ACDA, and College Music Society. Dr. Schauer holds degrees from University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, Westminster Choir College, and the University of Michigan.
Conductor, 2018 High School Honors String Orchestra (Carnegie Hall); 2017 High School Honors Orchestra (Sydney Opera House)
Jason Seber is the David T. Beals III Assistant Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, leading the Symphony in nearly 70 annual performances. Previous to his appointment with the Kansas City Symphony, Seber served as Education and Outreach Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra and Music Director of the Louisville Youth Orchestra. In addition to his professional conducting career, Mr. Seber is a passionate music educator. He served as Director of Orchestras at the Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS) in Louisville, KY from 2006 to 2013. Under his baton the YPAS Philharmonia appeared twice at the Orchestra America National Festival (2009 and 2013) and performed at the national American String Teachers Association (ASTA) Convention. He has also conducted and taught at Sewanee Summer Music Festival, the Baldwin Wallace String Camp, Music For All Summer Symposium, and numerous festivals and clinics across the United States. Seber earned his MM in Orchestral Conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music and his B.M. and B.M.E. from Baldwin Wallace University.
Dr. Tim Seelig
Conductor, 2017 High School Honors Women’s Choir (Carnegie Hall)
Dr. Tim Seelig started his career as a singer, making his European operatic debut at the Staatsoper in St. Gallen, Switzerland, and his solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall. In addition to serving as Artistic Director of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, he continues a busy guest-conducting schedule throughout the U.S. and across the globe. He is Conductor Emeritus of the Turtle Creek Chorale (which he conducted for 20 years), co-founded The Women’s Chorus of Dallas, and taught on the faculty at Southern Methodist University. Dr. Seelig holds four degrees, including the Doctor of Musical Arts and the Diploma from the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He has authored seven books and DVDs on choral technique, including several bestsellers. His recordings have been on Billboard Top Ten and iTunes Top Ten classical charts. He additionally holds the distinctions of having conducted the Guinness Book of World Records’ Longest Choral Concert, as well as having been selected as a Community Hero to carry the Olympic torch.
Conductor, 2019 High School Honors Concert Choir (Carnegie Hall)
André J. Thomas, the Owen F. Sellers Professor of Music, is Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Choral Music Education at Florida State University. 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 Music Educators National Conference (NAfME) and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). His international conducting credits include conductor/clinician posts across Europe, as well as in China, the Philippines, Vietnam. In addition to being a distinguished composer/arranger, he also produces instructional videos and has written a book that is now a key academic source on understanding and performing the Negro Spiritual. Thomas is a past president of the Florida ACDA, the past president of the Southern Division of ACDA, and the 2017-19 President Elect Designate of National ACDA.
The Honors Performance Series is proudly presented and operated by WorldStrides.