The 2021 Fall Refresher was a success!
Thank you to all who attended. Save the date for next year: October 22nd, 2022!
Learn more about the Secondary Conference Sessions:
Dr. Brandon Boyd
University of Missouri
Session Title: "Every Time I Feel The Spirit": Traditional and Contemporary Performance Practice Considerations of Concert Black Spirituals and Gospel Music
Session Description: Music of the Black Spiritual and Gospel traditions has become a common element in choral programs across the country and the world. This session will feature a historical overview, vocal techniques, conducting considerations, and repertoire examples appropriate for choirs of all levels.
Dr. Brandon A. Boyd enjoys a versatile career as a conductor, in addition to appearing regularly as a composer-in-residence, collaborative pianist, and presenter for conferences, conventions, collegiate choirs, church choirs, choral symposiums, and festivals. He is the Assistant Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at the University of Missouri, where he conducts the MU Glee Club and Concert Chorale. In addition to his conducting duties at the university, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in choral conducting and choral music education.
As a proponent of choral singing to build community, his research interests include organizing choirs for the homeless, identifying the social and physical effects of choral singing on senior citizens, creating authentic field experiences for music therapy and choral music education students. For three years, Dr. Boyd co-directed three choral community partnerships in Florida: The Tallahassee Senior Choir, RAA Middle School Partnership Choir (university students and middle school singers), and the MTC Women's Prison Glee Club (university students singing with women housed in a correctional facility).
As an active composer and arranger, his music is sung regularly by ensembles throughout the United States and abroad. He is also the curator and editor of the "Brandon A. Boyd Choral Series," a choral series with Hinshaw Music Publications helping promote exciting and innovative works composed by both established and new composers and arrangers. His music also appears in MorningStar, GIA, and Kjos Music Press catalogs. In addition, he is the Executive Editor of Gentry Publications.
In 2017, he served as Santa Fe Desert Chorale’s Composer-in-Residence and Community Engagement Leader for their program Giving Voice to the Voiceless. The Chorale premiered a work commissioned by the SFDC, I Search, during their 35th Anniversary of the Summer Justice Concert Series. He served as assistant conductor, pre-concert lecturer, and guest pianist. He set to music a text written by "Poet V," a young participant in the Voces de Libertad program at the Santa Fe County Youth Development Center. His duties also included organizing and conducting the Interfaith Community Shelter Street Choir, thus creating a safe place for men, women, and children experiencing homelessness within the Santa Fe community. Other commissioning partners include Choirs of America Nationals for Top Choirs at Carnegie, Southwestern Adventist University, Florida State University/Tallahassee Community Chorus, New Mexico Music Educators Association, and the University of Nebraska-Kearney.
In the summer of 2019, Dr. Boyd was invited by Universidad Católica Boliviana - San Pablo of the Unidad Academica Regional Tarija to provide conducting workshops, in addition to serving as guest conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra, Sociedad Corla Andaluz, Symphonic Ochestra in a presentation of American music at the Historic "Casa de la Cultutura de Tarija" (Tarija's House of Culture). In that same year, he served as a guest professor at the Universidad Evangelica in Santa Cruz, Boliviana. The Partners of the Americas sponsored both university partnerships.
In 2020, he made his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Andre Thomas, as guest pianist for the Symphonic Gospel Spirit Concert. In that year, he also served as a guest clinician for the NAfME All-National Honor Choir.
He holds two degrees from Florida State University (Ph.D. in choral music education and M.M. in choral conducting) and earned a B.S. in music education (emphasis in piano) from Tennessee State University. He is a proud member of the American Choral Directors' Association (ACDA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM), American Guild of Organists (AGO), and Chorus America. Dr. Boyd also serves as a member of the National ACDA Composition Initiative committee.
Forthcoming highlights include appearances with the 2021 Missouri All-State Festival Chorus, 2021 Royal School of Church Music in America Conference, 2021 Trinity Church-Boston, 2021 Milwaukee Conservatory of Music, 2021 University of Southern Mississippi's Southern Invitational Choral Conference, 2021 ACDA Eastern Division's Directors' Chorus, 2021 Southwest Missouri All-District Honor Choir, 2021 Kansas City All-District Choir, The 2022 Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall Concert and the 2023 Kenosha Choral Festival.
Youth Chorus of Kansas City
Session Title: "Recruit All Year": Grow your program in less time, with less stress, and have more fun doing it
Session Description: "Building a program" doesn't need to be a stressful solo hustle. This session will feature counterintuitive recruiting strategies, as well as methods to generate buzz around your program, improve retention, and involve your greatest asset: your students.
Composer, director and clinician, Ryan Main writes music for choirs and bands at all levels. An award winning composer, his compositions are performed internationally and frequently featured at national and regional American Choral Directors Association Conferences, festivals, Carnegie Hall, and other distinguished events around the world.
His post-secondary education in music began at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri–Kansas City (2003-2006). There he received a bachelor of music in Music Composition, then pursued graduate studies at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University from (2006-2009) earning a Masters of Music in music composition and a Masters of Music in music education. His teachers at the Peabody Institute included Kevin Puts and Michael Hersch. He has also studied with composer Chen Yi.
Ryan is a sought-after honor choir director and clinician, and a regular presenter on topics such as leadership strategies, choral classroom engagement, composition processes, and choral literature. He has been a guest on the Choralosophy podcast, the Music (Ed) Matters podcast, the Choir Ninja podcast, and the Choral Catalogue podcast.
Ryan is passionate about quality music education for all. He founded and serves as artistic director of the Youth Chorus of Kansas City, a non-profit organization serving youth of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds throughout the Kansas City metro area. In addition, he remains engaged with aspiring composers, maintaining mentoring relationships with young creators.
Ryan is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Missouri Choral Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He currently serves on the National Association for Music Education's Council on Music Composition.
Nixa High School
Session Title: "The Engaged Singer": Creating expressive, full-bodied performances that will engage singers and audiences
Session Description: Many choirs struggle with communicating expressively. However, studies show that a visually expressive ensemble will come across as more engaging for their audience. Having a “full bodied” performance can bring a choir’s singing to the next level and create an engaging performance for an audience member. Through storytelling, movement, games, and imitation, this session discusses strategies to make your singers visually engaging for their next performance.
Daniel is a choir director at Nixa High and Nixa Junior High School. Daniel is an active conductor, clinician and presenter throughout the country. Daniel has received accolades for his work as a teacher, being named Teacher of the Year for Springfield Public Schools and Southwest Missouri (also a finalist for the state TOTY award), Springfield Rotary Award for Outstanding Community Service, honoree for Springfield Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, quarterfinalist for the GRAMMY National Music Educator Award, and the recipient of the Missouri Choral Directors Association Podium Award.
Daniel’s speaking engagements include presenting for TEDx, presenting for regional and National ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) conferences, and other choral workshops nationally. Daniel's Choral ensembles have won music festivals and have received numerous invitations to perform at the Missouri Music Educator Association Conference, Southwest American Choral Directors Association Conference, the National Conference for MS/JH Choral Music, and the National American Choral Dirhectors Association Conference
Learn more about the Elementary Conference Sessions:
Rolling Ridge Elementary, Olathe, KS
Youth Chorus of Kansas City
Session Title: "The Choir Toolbox": Take-and-use tools to start or build a choir, energize rehearsals, and reach your choir’s potential
Session Description: From starting a choir in your school, to running an engaging rehearsal, to helping your students recognize and realize their potential: this nuts and bolts presentation will provide you with resources, repertoire, and inspiration to take back and use immediately.
Bethany Unruh is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Conservatory of Music and Dance, where she received a Bachelors of Music Education. She serves as the director of Prelude, a 3rd-6th grade ensemble with the Youth Chorus of Kansas City.
She teaches music and directs the Supersonics Choir at Rolling Ridge Elementary School in the Olathe School district. Previously, she taught music and directed the Special Chorus at Manchester Park Elementary in the Olathe School District, serving students in grades K-5. During her tenure at Manchester Park, her students performed with distinction at the Kansas Music Educator’s Association state conference.
Bethany is an active member of the American Choral Director's Association, the National Association for Music Education, and the Kansas Music Educator’s Association, and most recently her song "Be Who You Are" was selected for the JW Pepper's Editor's Choice distinction.
John Thomas School of Discovery, Nixa, MO
Session Title: "Tried and True Treble Lit": Finding quality literature to fit and engage your singers, along with great choral warm-ups
Session Description: Are you looking for pieces to fit your treble choir? Wondering how to make pieces accessible for your choir? This session will feature tips for picking music for your next concert. BONUS: Fun Choral Warm-Ups!
Taylor Shaeffer is in his seventh year of teaching, five of which have been in elementary music. He currently teaches in Nixa, Missouri at John Thomas School of Discovery (JTSD). JTSD is a public STEAM school that serves students kindergarten thru sixth grade. Taylor has a degree from Missouri State University in Music Education and a Masters degree in Education Administration from William Woods University. He is also Kodaly Level 1 certified through Evangel University.
Taylor has had two groups perform at the Missouri Music Educator's Association Conference, in 2017 with the Reed Academy 6th Grade Select Singers and 2019 with the JTSD Treble Choir. Recently, Taylor has been invited to conduct multiple honor choirs throughout the nation. In addition to his work as a conductor, Taylor is currently serving as SCMMEA Elementary Vice-President and previously served as Vice-President on the board of Boys Choir of Springfield. Taylor has three goals for his students when they leave his program: that they love music, can sight read music, and sing with good tone.
Prairie Ridge Elementary, DeSoto, KS
Session Title: "Sing and Play to Start the Day": Start your day with a smile as you incorporate singing games, movement, and improvisation into your rehearsal
Session Description: In this session we will explore how to take a song that might typically be used in the general music classroom and repurpose it for community building and warmup with your choir. We’ll explore content appropriate for upper elementary and beyond and you’ll walk away with songs to use and adapt for many different settings.
David Row loves teaching music to kids! A Nebraska native and Midwesterner at heart, David now lives and teaches in the Kansas City metro area for the DeSoto Unified School District. He holds a Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory, completed three levels and a master course in Orff Schulwerk training, and has extensive experience with critical thinking in the arts.
David is an active clinician and has presented workshops at state and local conventions across the United States and Canada. On his blog, MakeMomentsMatter.org, David shares ideas about classroom content, management, lesson plans, critical thinking, and more. Search for “Make Moments Matter: A Music Education Podcast!” wherever you download podcasts or catch up with David every week on his “Musical Mondays” LIVE videos on Facebook.