ABOUT THE SERIES
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, 2023 and 2014 Middle School Honors Junior Choir (Carnegie Hall); 2022, 2016 and 2012 High School Honors Concert Choir (Carnegie Hall); 2022 High School Honors Choir (Musikverein); 2020 Young Adult Honors Choir (Carnegie Hall); 2017 High School Honors Choir (Sydney Opera House)
Dr. Jeffery L. Ames is a distinguished conductor, composer, and educator currently serving as Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music 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 holds the honor of being the first recipient of the National ACDA James Mulholland Choral Music Fellowship, as well as being the first African American to represent the U.S. in the ACDA International Conductor Exchange Program. 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.
Conductor, 2023 Young Adult Honors Choir (Sydney Opera House)
Christopher Aspaas serves as Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at TCU. At TCU, Christopher leads the Concert Chorale, TCU’s flagship mixed ensemble as well as the Frog Corps, TCU’s premier tenor-bass vocal ensemble. He also teaches coursework in basic conducting, choral conducting, choral literature, advanced choral conducting and oversees the graduate choral conducting program.
Christopher has travelled around the world as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and lecturer. He has conducted All-State Choruses throughout the country, as well as the British Columbia and Manitoba All-Province Honour Choirs. Christopher also previously led the All- Northwest Mixed Choir in 2015 and ACDA Southern Division Men’s Honor Choir in 2016. He also travelled to South Korea to headline the 35th Annual International Symposium on Choral Music and recently, Christopher led the 2018 AMIS Men’s Honor Choir in Berlin, Germany and the 2019 APAC Honor Choir in Shanghai, P.R.C. Christopher has produced more than forty arrangements and compositions for mixed choirs, and many of his works have been published. His latest commission premiered at the 2017 National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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, 2022 High School Honors Band (Carnegie Hall), 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.
Dr. Rollo Dilworth
Conductor, 2020 Middle School Honors Junior Choir (Royal Festival Hall), 2019 Middle School Honors Junior Choir (Carnegie Hall)
Dr. Rollo Dilworth is Professor of Choral Music Education and Chair of the Department of Music Education and Therapy at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance in Philadelphia, PA. He has conducted 50 all-state choirs, 6 regional honor choirs, and 5 national honor choirs.
Prior to his appointment at Boyer College in 2009, he taught at the collegiate and middle school levels. Dilworth holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH), a Master of Education degree in Secondary Education and Music from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a Doctor of Music degree in Conducting Performance from Northwestern University.
During his doctoral program, Dilworth was accepted into the composition studios of Robert Harris, Pauline Oliveros, and Marta Ptaszynska. Throughout his career, he has written or arranged African American spirituals, gospel songs, Broadway selections, art songs, vocal exercises, and a musical—all of which are frequently performed by school, church, community, university, and professional choirs across the world. He has published more than 200 compositions and arrangements and is an established author, having published and contributed to numerous textbooks.
Conductor, 2023 High School Honors Band (Sydney Opera House); 2020 High School Honors String Orchestra (Carnegie Hall)
Douglas Droste is Director of Orchestral Studies at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, where he conducts the Baldwin Wallace Symphony Orchestra and teaches conducting. He previously served as the Artistic Director of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and Director of Orchestras at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. At Ball State, Droste conducted the Ball State Symphony Orchestra (BSSO), opera productions, and oversaw the orchestral conducting program. The BSSO was selected to perform at the 2019 College Orchestra Directors Association National Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, as well as the Indiana Music Education Association Conference (2016, 2019), and as the featured orchestra at the Music for All National Choral Festival (2018, 2019).
Droste has guest conducted orchestras across the United States and internationally, including numerous youth and all-state orchestras, and has guest conducted at the prestigious Midwest Clinic. In 2014, Droste was invited, with jazz violinist Christian Howes, on a goodwill cultural exchange by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. He studied conducting at the Pierre Monteux School, the Oregon Bach Festival with Helmuth Rilling, as well as other prominent conducting seminars. His primary conducting mentors include Gary Lewis, Michael Jinbo, and Larry Rachleff. Droste holds degrees from The Ohio State University and Texas Tech University.
Conductor, 2022, 2020, & 2018 Middle School Honors Junior Band (Carnegie Hall); 2020 Middle School Honors Junior Orchestra (Royal Festival Hall); 2019 Young Adult Honors Wind Ensemble (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, 2022 High School Honors Treble Choir (Carnegie Hall), 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 is the Director of Choral Activities at Baylor University and holds the Mary Jane Gibbs Professor of Music Chair. She conducts Baylor Bella Voce, Baylor Concert Choir, teaches choral conducting, choral literature and serves as the Director of the Ensemble Division. 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, Festival Choirs and Clinics in more than 30 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 Honor Choir in Calgary, the DoDDS- Europe Honors Music Festival Mixed Choir, (Wiesbaden, Germany), the Haydn Youth Festival in Vienna, the Association for Music in International Schools (AMIS) International Women’s Honor Choir in Beijing, China and in Luxembourg and the Honors Performance Series High School Honors Choir at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia. 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. She has held various positions within the American Choral Directors Association, including President, Southern Division and ACDA-Florida, National R & S Chair for Children’s Choir, Southern Division Chair for Women’s Choir and recently served as the TCDA-VP of Collegiate/Community Choirs.
Conductor, 2023 High School Honors Concert Choir (Carnegie Hall); 2019 Middle School Honors Junior Choir (Royal Festival Hall); 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 Angela Brown, Ray Boltz, Bill and Gloria Gaither, Sandi Patty, David Clydesdale as well as principal pops conductor, Jack Everly and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Conductor, 2023 High School Honors String Orchestra (Carnegie Hall); 2022 High School Honors Orchestra (Musikverein); 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, 2023 Middle School Honors Junior Orchestra (Carnegie Hall)
Stephen Lawrence-Carroll is the Director of Orchestral and Music Theory Activities at North Atlanta High School in Atlanta, Georgia where he also serves as the Fine and Performing Arts Department Chair. Mr. Lawrence-Carroll was named the 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year and was subsequently named the 2018-2019 High School Teacher of the Year for the Atlanta Public School System. Amongst his many awards he was also named the 2018-2019 Educator of the Year by the American String Teachers Association Georgia Chapter. Mr. Lawrence-Carroll has presented sessions at the Georgia Music Educators Association Conference, the Texas Music Educators Association Conference and the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Conference. Currently Mr. Lawrence-Carroll serves as the State Orchestra Chair for the Georgia Music Educators Association and is responsible for organizing the Georgia Conference and the Georgia All-State Orchestra. He holds the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Loyola University New Orleans and Master of Music Education from the University of Georgia.
Conductor, 2023, 2019, and 2018 High School Honors Orchestra (Sydney Opera House); 2023 Honors Wind Ensemble (Carnegie Hall); 2022 High School Honors Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall); 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016 High School Honors String Orchestra (Carnegie Hall); 2018 High School Honors Band (Carnegie Hall); 2018, 201, 2016, and 2014 Middle School Junior Orchestra (Carnegie Hall)
Kirt Mosier is the conductor of the Lee’s Summit Symphony and has been the artistic director for the Kansas City Youth Symphony. Mosier also serves on the national board of Music for All. He was an adjunct professor for the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory where he taught orchestration and he also had a distinguished career as Director of Orchestras with the Raytown and Lee’s Summit School Districts in Missouri. 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 and also also writes annually for many publishers and fills commissions throughout the world. Mr. Mosier has been the past orchestra vice-president for the Missouri Music Educators Association, and president of the 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. Jessica Nápoles
Conductor, 2022 & 2020 Middle School Honors Junior Choir (Carnegie Hall), 2019 High School Honors Women's Choir (Carnegie Hall)
Dr. Jessica Nápoles is an Associate Professor of Choral Music Education and Conductor of the Concert Choir at the University of North Texas. A native of Florida with a Cuban-American background, Dr. Nápoles received her Bachelor of Music Education, Master of Music Education, and PhD in Music Education from Florida State University. Prior to her appointment at UNT, she taught at the University of Utah for 11 years.
Dr. Nápoles is currently serving on the Steering Committee for the National ACDA, as Assistant Conference Chair and previously as the Honor Choir Coordinator. She is an active conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, frequently engaging in guest conducting opportunities locally, regionally, and nationally. In addition, she is a well-known researcher, with numerous publications in scholarly journals. She is currently serving a 6-year term on the editorial boards of the Journal of Research in Music Education, the premier research journal in music education, and the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing, the ACDA research journal.
Dr. Jason Noble
Conductor, 2023 High School Honors Band (Carnegie Hall)
Dr. Jason Noble is the Assistant Professor of Music Education at Lehman College, The City University of New York, and concurrently serves part-time as Director of Instrumental Music Education Studies at New York University. Noble holds degrees from Columbia University, New York University, and University of Miami and is in high demand as a guest conductor, lecturer, band program consultant, curriculum consultant, and music performance adjudicator. He brings a twenty-two-year career of national and international excellence in secondary and university band education, creative music curricular reform, and progressive music education.
Having served as conductor of the Columbia University Wind Ensemble, Noble has garnering global acclaim, leading the commission of new works by diverse composers. As a member of the NYU Core Music Education Faculty, he conducts the NYU Wind Symphony, teaches instrumental conducting, and prepares future music educators. He has conducted dozens of featured concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and at many of the finest concert halls across the world from Sydney and Vienna to Beijing.
Dr. Kenneth Ozzello
Conductor, 2022 Young Adult Wind Ensemble (Musikverein); 2020, 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, 2023 High School Honors Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall); 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, 2023 High School Honors Choir (Sydney Opera House); 2022 and 2017 Young Adult Honors Choir (Carnegie Hall); 2020 and 2018 High School Honors Concert Choir (Carnegie Hall); 2019 Young Adult Honors Choir (Sydney Opera House)
Dr. Jeffery Redding is the current Director of Choral Activities at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Previously he has had appointments as the Director of Choral Activities at West Virginia University and 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 American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Honor Choirs, as well as All-State and Honor choirs in approximately 40 states. In 2014, he was the only American adjudicator at the International Choral Festival in 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 was also the recipient of the 2019 GRAMMY Music Educator Award™ – awarded annually to one outstanding music educator in the United States. 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.
Conductor, 2020 Middle School Honors Junior Orchestra (Carnegie Hall)
Conductor Michelle Rofrano enjoys a versatile career in both opera and orchestral repertoire. She has led productions with The Glimmerglass Festival, the Crane School of Music, Westminster Choir College, DC Public Opera, the Oberlin in Italy opera festival, and the New Jersey Opera Project. She has also served as both assistant and cover conductor for opera productions with The Juilliard School, The Glimmerglass Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and Opera Birmingham. The 2020-21 season will see Rofrano conduct the world premiere of chamber opera Virgula Divina by Karen Brown at Pittsburgh Festival Opera; Le nozze di Figaro with Tri-Cities Opera; and La Traviata with City Lyric Opera. In addition to her work in the operatic field, Rofrano has recently led orchestra concerts with the Spoleto Festival USA orchestra and CJMEA youth orchestra. She is also Music Director and Co-Founder of the NYC-based socially conscious orchestral collective, Protestra. Rofrano studied conducting at the Peabody Conservatory, and counts Marin Alsop, Joseph Colaneri, Gustav Meier, and Markand Thakar among her conducting mentors.
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, 2022 and 2018 High School Honors String Orchestra (Carnegie Hall); 2019 Middle School Honors Junior Orchestra (Royal Festival Hall); 2017 High School Honors Orchestra (Sydney Opera House)
Jason Seber is the David T. Beals III Associate Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, leading the Symphony in nearly 70 annual performances. He also serves as cover conductor for Michael Stern and guest conductors on the Classical series. Prior to his appointment with the Kansas City Symphony, he served as Education and Outreach Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra and Music Director of the Louisville Youth Orchestra. He also served as Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and the National Repertory Orchestra and has collaborated in performances with artists ranging from Jinjoo Cho, Christopher O’Riley, Conrad Tao, Lisa Vroman, and Joyce Yang to Boyz II Men, Peter Cetera, Melissa Etheridge, Ben Folds, Brian Stokes Mitchell, My Morning Jacket, and Doc Severinsen.
Seber is sought-after as a guest conductor across the world. Highlights from his 2017-18 season include leading the Honors Performance Series Orchestra in concerts at the Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall, and return engagements with the Colorado Symphony and Houston Symphony.
Dr. Tim Seelig
Conductor, 2020 High School Honors Treble Choir (Carnegie Hall); 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.
Dr. Gary Seighman
Conductor, 2023 High School Honors Treble Choir (Carnegie Hall)
Gary Seighman is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Trinity University where he oversees a comprehensive choral program and teaches courses in conducting and music education. Under his direction, Trinity’s choral ensembles have garnered regional and national accolades with invited performances at conferences including TMEA, the College Music Society, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, frequent international touring, and most recently, 2022 Finalists for the American Prize. Recent professional engagements include Nashville, New York City, Taipei, Vienna, London, and Dublin. Dr. Seighman holds degrees from Westminster Choir College, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Maryland.
Dr. Robert Taylor
Conductor, 2019 Middle School Honors Junior Band (Carnegie Hall)
Dr. Robert Taylor is Professor of Music and Director of Bands at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where he teaches, conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and serves as Chair of the Woodwind Brass and Percussion Division. He maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor and has collaborated with a wide range of international artists—from brass virtuosi Allen Vizzutti, Gail Williams, Jeff Nelsen, and Daniel Perantoni; to composers Jodie Blackshaw, Michael Colgrass, John Corigliano, David Maslanka, Joel Puckett, Alex Shapiro, Frank Ticheli, and Dana Wilson; to jazz and pop performers Ingrid Jensen, Manhattan Transfer, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
As a passionate advocate of music in the schools, Dr. Taylor is in high demand as a festival adjudicator, rehearsal clinician, and guest conductor throughout North America and internationally. He received the Master of Music and Doctor of Music degrees in conducting from Northwestern University, where he studied with Mallory Thompson, and the Bachelor of Arts degree in Trumpet and Music Education from Humboldt State University.
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.
Dr. Gregory X. Whitmore
Conductor, 2023 Middle School Honors Junior Band (Carnegie Hall); 2022 High School Honors Band (Musikverein)
Dr. Gregory X. Whitmore is an Assistant Professor of Instrumental Music Education at The California State University Fullerton School of Music, teaching in the Instrumental Music Education Program, supervising student teachers, and conducting the CSUF Symphonic Winds. In addition to his work in higher education, he’s in his ninth season as Music Director of the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble (Irvine, CA). In 2017, Dr. Whitmore was named the Second Place Winner of the 2017 American Prize in Conducting. Before working in higher education, he spent 13 years as Director of Bands at Cathedral City High School (Cathedral City, CA), which performed as the showcase ensemble during the 2008 California Band Directors Association Annual Convention under his direction.
A native of Ypsilanti, Michigan, Dr. Whitmore received his bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education from The University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He received his master's degree in music with an emphasis in wind conducting from California State University Fullerton, studying under Dr. Mitchell Fennell. Dr. Whitmore also holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in music and music education from Columbia University (Teachers College).
Conductor, 2022 & 2019 Middle School Honors Junior Orchestra, 2020 High School Honors Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall)
Angela Woo is Director of Instrumental Music and Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica, CA. Ms. Woo is also the inaugural Music Director of Pacific Symphony Youth Concert Band which makes its debut during the 2022-23 season; this ensemble is a part of Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles, one of the largest pre-professional music training programs in the nation. She holds the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Piano Performance, Master of Education, and Master of Fine Arts in Conducting from UCLA. She also holds a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Cal State Northridge.
Ms. Woo enjoys an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator with numerous honor groups, conducting symposia, and music festivals throughout the country and internationally. She first earned international acclaim as a conductor in Mexico City and most recently conducted the 2018 State Honours Ensemble Program at the Queensland Conservatorium (Griffith University) in Brisbane, Australia. Ms. Woo has been recognized and honored by several local and national organizations, including being named a 2012 Legion of Honor Laureate by the John Philip Sousa National Foundation.
The Honors Performance Series is proudly presented and operated by WorldStrides.