Choral Studies Alumni

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  • Jamie Bunce, D.M.A. ‘23

    Dr. Jamie Bunce is a conductor, singer, and arranger who began her career as a high school choral director in her home state of New Jersey. Active as a guest conductor, musical director, arranger, and clinician throughout New Jersey, Ms. Bunce has been featured in Chorus America for bringing early music into the high school choral classroom. Her ensembles have been featured at conferences, on demonstration recordings for outlets such as Oxford Music Publishing, and on national television. She has additionally served as Associate Director of the Princeton Girlchoir, conductor of the Wagner College Treble Choir, assistant director of Miami Collegium Musicum, and the Graduate Associate Conductor of the Frost Chorale. Her first love is singing, and she continues to do so with professional ensembles such as the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, Gallicantus, and Seraphic Fire.

    Dr. Bunce earned her DMA in choral conducting from the University of Miami Frost School of Music under the direction of Dr. Amanda Quist and holds degrees in music education and choral pedagogy from Westminster Choir College of Rider University and Mason Gross School of the Arts of Rutgers University. Her research interests include works by underrepresented composers of both early and new music, having authored the world’s first analysis and conductor’s guide for Sarah Kirkland Snider’s recent work, Mass for the Endangered. A community song and dance enthusiast, she also arranges early American folk repertoire for choral performance. This fall, Dr. Bunce is very excited to step into her new role as Assistant Director of Choral Activities at the Kansas State University School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

  • Victoria Nieto, D.M.A. '23

    Victoria Nieto is a Venezuelan choral conductor with experience working with children, youth, and mixed choirs. Over the past few years, Victoria has performed as both an ensemble singer and conductor in the United States, Europe, and Asia while pursuing her doctoral degree in choral conducting under the guidance of Dr. Amanda Quist at the Frost School of Music. As part of her professional training as a conductor, Victoria has participated in masterclasses and choral seminars led by Helmuth Rilling, Josep Vila, Peter Hanke, Alice Parker, and Dr. Jerry McCoy. 

    Growing up in Venezuela, Victoria was involved in El Sistema and collaborated with the Fundación Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, a non-profit institution founded by conductor Maria Guinand and composer Alberto Grau, both of whom became her mentors. Additionally, Victoria worked as an instructor for conducting workshops in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay as part of the sica para Crecer program, which utilizes music as a social tool to uplift children from underprivileged environments and enrich communities at large.

    During her time in the United States, Victoria presented "Venezuelan Choral Music" at the Missouri Choral Directors Association conference and was invited as a guest speaker at the University of Pennsylvania through their ACDA Student Chapter.

    In addition to her doctoral degree from UM, Victoria holds a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Missouri State University under the tutelage of Dr. Cameron LaBarr and a Bachelor of Music in Choral Conducting from the Universidad Nacional Experimental de las Artes in Venezuela.

    Currently, Victoria serves as the Director of Choral Activities at Hamilton College, where she conducts the Hamilton College Choir and Hamilton Voices. Her responsibilities also include teaching music appreciation classes, Caribbean Music, and aural training.

  • Scott AuCoin, D.M.A. ‘23

    Dr. Scott AuCoin is a conductor, performer, and composer of choral music and musical theatre. He served as Associate Conductor of the Master Chorale of South Florida where he led a sold-out community building performance of Codebreaker: The Alan Turing Story which was hailed by a reviewer for its, “overall precision of the choral singing.” He served as Choir Director at Marriotts Ridge High School in Howard County, MD, where his choirs received superior ratings at state and regional festivals and were invited to perform at prestigious venues such as the MD Governor’s Mansion and the National Gallery of Art. In addition, he has a deep connection to musical theatre and has been music director for a wide range of productions including The Drowsy Chaperone and Next to Normal.

    As a choral singer, Dr. AuCoin has sung with the University of Maryland Chamber Singers, the Westminster Choir, and the Frost Chorale across the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has also performed much of the choral symphonic repertoire with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic under such batons as Christoph Eschenbach, Helmuth Rilling, Marin Alsop, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Dr. AuCoin has written works for a wide range of ensembles and his most recent composition, “Light, my light” is currently available through Walton Music under the Amanda Quist Choral Series.

    He has studied conducting with Dr. Joe Miller, Dr. James Jordan, and Dr. Amanda Quist. Dr. AuCoin holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition and a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Maryland, College Park, a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Westminster Choir College, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Miami Frost School of Music.

    Dr. AuCoin currently serves as Interim Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Haverford College where he conducts The Chamber Singers of Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges and The Haverford-Bryn Mawr Chorale and Orchestra. This season the ensembles will perform works from a wide variety of composers including works by Joel Thompson, Elaine Hagenberg, and Adolphus Hailstork, and present the US premiere of Cassie To's Songs of the Reef.

  • Alexandra "Alex" Colaizzi, D.M.A. '23, B.M. '18

    Praised for her “vocally fierce” and “deep-toned” mezzo-soprano voice (South Florida Classical Review), Alex(andra) Colaizzi brings warmth and versatility to stages across the United States.

    Dr. Colaizzi performs with top-tier professional choral ensembles such GRAMMY® nominated Seraphic Fire and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. She has appeared as a performer and soloist with GRAMMY® award-winning vocal band Roomful of Teeth, and was recently featured with the John Daversa Jazz Orchestra for composer Justin Morell’s album, “All Without Words.” 

    She enjoys a wide array of solo performance opportunities from early music, opera, recital, and new works. On the operatic stage, she has performed in a wide range of staged works, most notably Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (Cherubino), Britten’s Albert Herring (Nancy), and Hindemith’s Hin und Zurück (Helene). As a recitalist, she has curated recitals of works by female composers. Most recently, she explored the life and vocal works of composer Ethel Smyth in recital. 

    In the 2023 season, she made her debut at the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.) as an alto soloist with The Choral Arts Society of Washington. 

    Dr. Colaizzi has trained and performed at programs around the country such as the Illinois Bach Academy, the International Baroque Institute at Longy School of Music, the Seraphic Fire Professional Choral Institute at Aspen School of Music, and the Amherst Early Music Festival. A lifelong student, she continues finding ways to further her education in performing and pedagogy for herself and her students. 

    She enjoys a varied career of performing, educating, and researching. As of 2023, she serves on the voice faculty at Miami-Dade College Kendall Campus and runs her own private voice studio in Miami, Florida.   

    Dr. Colaizzi holds a B.M. in music education from the University of Miami Frost School of Music and an M.M. in vocal pedagogy from the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis. She recently completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in vocal performance and pedagogy at the University of Miami Frost School of Music and is a proud double ‘Cane alum. 

  • Caroline Player, M.M. '22

    Caroline Player is the choir director at Langley High School in McLean, Virginia. During her first year at the school, she was awarded the 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year. Her students have been selected for the ACDA National Honor Choir, VA All-State ensembles, VA Honor Choir, and her ensembles have received superior ratings at their District Assessment. Caroline recently graduated with her Masters degree in Choral Conducting from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. While at Frost, she was the recipient of the Graduate School Association AELS Leadership Award in 2021 and served as the Assistant Conductor for the Miami Children’s Chorus. Additionally, she was accepted as a Seraphic Fire Singing Scholar for the 2021-2022 season and has taught private voice students and choir through both the MusicReach and Frost Prep organizations on campus. Before moving to Miami, Caroline served as the Choral Director at Warhill High School in Williamsburg, VA. In 2017, she attended the ACDA Southern Division Conference and received the Colleen Kirk Award, which is given to educators in their first through third years of teaching for their contribution to music education. Caroline graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors from James Madison University with an undergraduate degree in Music Education. She has actively sung as a core alto with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus, the Virginia Chorale, and Voce Chamber Singers.

  • Jami Lercher, D.M.A. ‘20

    Dr. Jami Lercher brings fourteen years of public school teaching experience in Iowa and Minnesota to her role as Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music in Berea, Ohio. Having taught elementary, middle, and high school vocal music, she is an advocate for music education for all. She currently conducts the Baldwin Wallace Treble Choir, teaches courses in choral methods, vocal techniques, and conducting, and supervises pre-service educators through their clinical practice.

    As a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, Lercher completed her master’s degree in the United Kingdom at the University of Wales, Bangor. Her thesis explored teaching singing to the hearing impaired and she partnered with the British charity Music and the Deaf to complete her research. She also studied Celtic music and discovered the rich choral traditions of Wales through her travels.

    Lercher’s doctoral research focused on the life and choral music of Morfydd Owen (1891-1918), a Welsh composer whose catalog of works remains vastly unpublished and unperformed. She also champions music from marginalized voices, particularly women, and seeks to bring attention to suppressed works through performance and study. Her edition of Vittoria Aleotti’s Surge Propera Amica Mea is currently published through Walton Music.

    An active performer, Lercher sang as a contracted singer with the Minnesota Chorale, where she also served as an assistant conductor. She served as the artistic director of the South Florida Jewish Chorale for two seasons and was the founding co-chair of the ACDA-Minnesota 9-10 Grade Treble Honor Choir. In 2022, she will conduct the North Dakota All-State Treble Choir.

    Lercher is an active member of ACDA, NCCO, and NAfME. She has presented at state and national conferences on programming diverse music from underrepresented composers, using repertoire to inform warm-up techniques, and selecting appropriate solo repertoire for choral singers. When not making music, she loves enjoying the great outdoors with her husband (Ryan) and daughter (Luci).

  • Alexandra "Alex" Colaizzi, B.M. ‘18

    Praised for her "deep mezzo tones" (South Florida Classical Review), Alexandra "Alex" Colaizzi is on the rise as a performer of ensemble, early music, operatic, concert, and recital repertoire.
    As an ensemble musician, Alex is seen on the rosters of esteemed ensembles across the country such as the Santa Fe Desert Chorale (Dr. Joshua Habermann, Santa Fe, NM), GRAMMY® award-winning ensemble Roomful of Teeth (Brad Wells), and GRAMMY® nominated ensemble Seraphic Fire (Patrick Dupré Quigley, Miami, FL). She enjoys a wide variety of performance experiences, including operatic roles, early music cantatas, chamber music, and designing and performing themed recitals as an avid recitalist.

    Alex has had the privilege of acquiring training at top programs, including the Illinois Bach Academy, the International Baroque Institute at Longy, the Seraphic Fire Professional Choral Institute at Aspen School of Music, and Amherst Early Music Festival.

    In addition to performing, she finds equal passion in educating and conducting. Alex actively teaches both in-person and virtual private voice lessons from her studio in South Florida and holds a K-12 teaching license in music. Recently, she accepted the position of Artistic Director of the South Florida Jewish Chorale, where she has also served as Assistant Conductor and soloist. This season, Alex served as Artist-in-Residence at Southern Virginia University, working with the students of Dr. Kyle Nielsen.

    Alex hails from the South Florida area. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, and a Master of Music degree in vocal pedagogy from the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis.

    She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance at the Frost School of Music.

  • Jace Saplan, D.M.A. '17

    Dr. Jace Kaholokula Saplan served as the Interim Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. He held the same appointment at Hamilton College (on leave for the 2018-2019 academic year). Dr. Saplan received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, his Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University-Portland, his Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Oregon, and his Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting with cognates in Music Education and Ethnomusicology from the University of Miami Frost School of Music.

    Known for his work in celebrating the intersection between Hawaiian music and choral performance, he is the artistic director of Nā Wai Chamber Choir, a professional vocal ensemble based in Hawaiʻi dedicated to the preservation and propagation of Hawaiian choral music. Under his direction, Nā Wai has commissioned and mentored emerging Native Hawaiian composers and conductors, toured throughout rural Hawaiian communities, and led workshops on the performance of Hawaiian choral music at schools and universities throughout the country.

    Prior to his appointment to the University of Hawai’i and Hamilton College, Dr. Saplan served as the chorus master for the Frost Opera Program at the University of Miami where he prepared a number of contemporary works such as Golijov’s Ainadamar, Kuster’s Old Presque Isle (done in collaboration with the John Duffy Composer’s Institute and the Virginia Arts Festival), and a premiere work by Grammy-nominated composer Shawn Crouch. He also served as an instructor of choral music at Florida International University where he directed the FIU Master Chorale and taught courses in undergraduate and graduate choral conducting.

    His work in preparing choruses and as a festival clinician are vast, resulting in performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Hall, The Oregon Bach Festival, Old South Church (Boston), Church of the Holy Trinity (Philadelphia), La Madeline (France), and the Harrogate Music Festival (UK).

    Dr. Saplan’s research focuses on the performance practice of Queen Lili’uokalani’s choral compositions; multicultural perspectives in the choral rehearsal; intersections of choral pedagogy, gender, and sexuality in communities of color; and Native Hawaiian agency in music. His scholarship on these topics have also led him to lead clinics at the state, regional, and national level for the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Educators, National Collegiate Choral Organization, and the LGBTQ Studies in Music Education Conference. He is a frequent clinician and adjudicator for the state, regional, and national conferences and festivals.

  • Kyle Nielsen, D.M.A. ‘17

    Dr. Kyle Nielsen is the Director of Choral Studies at Southern Virginia University, where he was voted Professor of the Semester in Spring 2019 by the students and faculty. He conducts the Chamber Singers and Men’s Chorus, teaches Conducting, Choral Literature, and Applied Voice, oversees the Vocal Music Internship and Music Education programs. Previous to Southern Virginia, Nielsen completed the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. While at Frost, he led the university men’s chorus Maelstrom, taught in the Experiential Music Curriculum, directed marketing and recording services for the Choral Studies area, and was the assistant conductor for the internationally-acclaimed Frost Chorale.

    An active clinician and researcher, recent conference presentations have included the Western Division and National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in addition to a recent webinar with Chorus America. An excerpt of his dissertation research was recently published as a Case Study in the Eastman Case Studies series, titled “Kinnara Ensemble, A Project-Based Ensemble.” Upcoming engagements include the Utah State Large Choir Festival coupled with various high school clinics throughout the mountain west.

    Nielsen also collaborates with some of the country’s leading professional vocal ensembles. Recent positions include conducting fellow with Grammy-nominated Seraphic Fire in addition to Artistic Administrator for the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, where he coordinated all artistic contracting and operations. Additional appearances as a professional ensemble singer include the Piedmont Singers (Virginia), Schola Cantorum at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (Virginia), Brevitas (Utah), and Musica Judaica (Florida).

    In addition to the University of Miami, Nielsen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Theatre from Southern Virginia University and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting as well as Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from East Carolina University.

  • Will Gotmer, M.M. '16

    Will Gotmer is an active church musician, choral conductor, and organist currently serving as the Director of Music at St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church in Atlanta, GA. Prior to St. Martin’s, he held the same position at Grace Episcopal Church in Gainesville, GA.  In addition to his role at Grace, he conducted multiple choral ensembles at the University of North Georgia and taught private organ lessons.

    A graduate of the University of Miami Frost School of Music, Will received his masters degree in choral conducting.  At Frost, he was a student of Dr. Karen Kennedy, directed the university’s chamber ensemble and select women’s chorus, and accompanied the select men’s ensemble. Will also holds a bachelors degree from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, where he studied organ with Ken Cowan.

    Will has recitaled locally throughout his career and enjoys an active role as a member of the American Guild of Organists and the Association of Anglican Musicians.  Outside of music, Will enjoys an active lifestyle and teaches yoga at a local studio in Atlanta.

  • Kathryn Kelly Longo, D.M.A. '14

    Kathryn Kelly Longo is the newly appointed Music Director at St. George's School in Newport, RI where she directs the vocal ensembles and oversees performing arts programming. Prior to her position at St. George's, she served as the Director of Choral Studies at Florida International University where she conducted the Concert Choir and Women’s Chorus, and taught graduate and undergraduate conducting courses. Under her leadership, the FIU Concert Choir performed in prestigious venues, including with the National Symphony of Cuba in Havana. While living in Miami, Dr. Longo worked as a clinician in many South Florida schools and conducted honor choirs in Broward and Collier counties as well as around the country. Longo holds a DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Miami, a masters degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Oregon, and dual Bachelor's degrees in Music and Music Education from the University of Connecticut.

  • Jeb Mueller, D.M.A. '12

    Jeb Mueller is Associate Director of Choral Studies at the University of Houston Moores School of Music where he conducts ManChoir, ManCorps, and Concert Women's Chorus; prepares opera choruses, and teaches choral music education courses. In addition to his teaching duties, Mueller is an active clinician, adjudicator, and conference presenter throughout the United States.
    Mueller taught high school choral music in the Houston area for six years. His choirs consistently earned superior ratings at contests and twice won state and national festivals. He received recognition for teaching success on multiple occasions, including a selection as a state semifinalist for HEB's Excellence in Education awards.
    Mueller has also served as a church musician. He created the Camerata Concert Series at Austin's First English Lutheran Church, conducted the University of Miami Chapel Choir, and worked as the Assistant Conductor for Houston's Central Presbyterian Church.
    Dr. Mueller holds degrees from the University of Miami, The University of Texas at Austin and Texas Tech University. He has studied with Joshua Habermann, James Morrow, Karen Kennedy, Kenneth Davis, Donald Oglesby, and Suzanne Pence. His training also includes master classes and/or lessons with such choral luminaries as Joseph Flummerfelt, Craig Hella Johnson, Ragnar Bohlin, Robert Porco, Vance George, Patrick Dupre Quigley, and Weston Noble.
    Mueller is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, National Collegiate Choral Organization, and the National Association for Music Education.

  • Beth Gibbs, D.M.A. '10

    Beth Gibbs, D.M.A. ‘10, in choral conducting, is an assistant professor of music and director of choral studies at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL. In addition to earning a D.M.A. degree from the Frost School of Music, she holds M.M. degrees in choral conducting and vocal performance from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, and the B.M.E. degree from Stetson University in DeLand, FL. Dr. Gibbs spent six years teaching at the high school level in Atlanta, GA. She majored in choral conducting at the Frost School of Music.

  • Cristian Grases, D.M.A. '09

    Cristian Grases joined the USC Thornton faculty in the Fall 2010 semester and is currently an associate professor of choral music and conductor of the USC Thornton Concert Choir. Born in Venezuela, he earned degrees from the Simón Bolívar University (MM) in Caracas, Venezuela, and the University of Miami (DMA). He has previously served as interim director of choral activities at Central Washington University; assistant professor in choral music at California State University, Los Angeles; and national coordinator of choirs for EL SISTEMA under Maestro José Antonio Abreu. He also served as conductor for the Women’s Chamber Ensemble of the University of Miami, was the assistant conductor of the Miami Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Eduardo Marturet, and the conductor of the Young Musician’s Orchestra. Additionally, he is an award-winning conductor and composer, and has been commissioned to write for several prestigious organizations such as the Piedmont Children’s Chorus and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. Numerous ensembles including the Los Angeles Master Chorale have performed his works.

  • Matthew Tresler, M.M. '05, D.M.A. '08

    Matthew Tresler, M.M. '05, D.M.A. '08 is Academic Chair of Music at Irvine Valley College in Irvine, CA, where he is director of the Vocal and Choral Area. He has sung with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Conspirare, Seraphic Fire, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, True Concord, Bach Collegium San Diego, Spire Ensemble, Tesserae, Vox Humana, Golden Bridge, and others.  Solo work has included solos for the above ensembles as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Flagstaff Symphony, Corona del Mar Baroque Festival, Arizona Bach Festival, Early Music Hawaii, and as soloist around Southern California. He can also be heard on a dozen film soundtracks.

  • David Fiddle, D.M.A. '06

    David Fiddle is a man of many talents: author, conductor, composer, organist, designer, and accomplished chef. He has two doctorates in music: Julliard School, 1988 (organ), and the University of Miami, 2006 (choral conducting). Dr. Friddle has worked as a church musician in multiple denominations; a professional graphic designer for a NYC glossy magazine and a manufacturing company in Miami; adjunct faculty at the University of South Carolina Upstate; and as a line cook at restaurant Cibréo in Florence Italy. In addition to his varied professional activities, David found two gay men’s choruses – one in Greenville, SC and the second in Asheville, NC. In 1997 he managed the SC Gay Pride March, held in Greenville; the following year he oversaw public event for the NC Gay Pride March in Asheville. His dissertation Christus is published by Bärenreiter-Verlag of Germany, and he has had articles published in the Choral Journal, American Choral Review, Newsletter of the American Liszt Society and The American Organist. Dr. Friddle has conducted in seventeen states and Europe and has given organ recitals in the major cathedrals of England and around the United States. In June 2022 Lexington Books, a division of Rowman & Littlefield, will publish David’s two large studies of choral music in the nineteenth century: Choral Treatises & Singing Societies in the Romantic Age plus Sing Romantic Music Romantically. 

  • James K. Bass, D.M.A. ‘05

    James K. Bass, D.M.A Choral Conducting '05, is a GRAMMY-winning conductor and singer, is Director of Choral Studies in the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA and is the Artistic Director of the Long Beach Camerata Singers. In 2017, he made his Cleveland Orchestra solo debut singing with Franz Welser-Möst in Miami and in Severance Hall and was the bass soloist with the Aspen Chamber Orchestra, Xian Zhang conducting in 2018. Other engagements as a soloist include the New World Symphony with Michael Tilson-Thomas, The Florida Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Back Bay Chorale and Orchestra, Firebird Chamber Orchestra, and The Sebastians. He was the featured baritone soloist on the GRAMMY-nominated recording Pablo Neruda: The Poet Sings with soprano Lauren Snouffer, conductor Craig Hella-Johnson, and the GRAMMY-winning ensemble Conpirare. He is one of 13 singers on the GRAMMY-nominated disc A Seraphic Fire Christmas and appears on album recordings on the Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, Albany, and Seraphic Fire Media labels.

    He has prepared choirs for some of the most important conductors of our time including Sir Colin Davis, Sir David Willcocks, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gerard Schwarz, Giancarlo Guerrero, Marcelo Lehninger, and Robert Shaw among others.

  • Misty L. Bermudez, M.M. ’05

    Misty L. Bermudez, M.M. ’05, teaches Humanities and Music at Miami Dade College, Kendall Campus where she serves as the Coordinator for Classical Voice and directs the campus select choir, the MDC Kendall Chamber Singers. Ms. Bermudez has been the Artistic Director of the Civic Chorale of Greater Miami, an 80-voice community choir, since 2018. She is the first female Artistic Director in the group’s 50-year history.

    A founding member of Seraphic Fire, Miami's professional chamber ensemble, Ms. Bermudez performed, recorded, and toured extensively with the group and appears on both its Grammy-nominated albums. As a chamber artist, Ms. Bermudez has sung with the Grammy-winning ensemble Conspirare in Austin, Texas, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Spire Chamber Ensemble in Kansas City, and the Yale Choral Artists.

    As a soloist, Ms. Bermudez has been praised for her “standout” performances and for the “dark sweetness” of her voice (South Florida Classical Review, Palm Beach Post). Solo concert engagements have included performances with Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Opera Naples, San Antonio Symphony, The New World Symphony, Back Bay Chorale in Boston, Master Chorale of South Florida, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and Illuminarts in Miami.

    Ms. Bermudez served as a master teacher for the participants of the Professional Choral Institute, an initiative in 2011 and 2012 by Seraphic Fire, which aimed to educate talented pre-professional singers about the world of professional ensemble music. She was a panelist at the Women's Choir Festival at FIU for the session “Paths to Careers in Music Leadership,” with an emphasis on women's issues in March of 2017. In November of 2018, she was a guest coach with Seraphic Fire’s Ensemble Artist Program at UCLA. Ms. Bermudez is in demand as a visiting clinician for local high school music programs and for university music programs around the country.

  • Ken Wakia, M.M. '05

    Ken Wakia from Nairobi, Kenya graduated from the Frost School of Music with a Master of Music in Choral Conducting in 2005. He was the Cultural and Educational Affairs Specialist at the American Embassy in Nairobi, running more than two dozen cultural and educational exchange programs between the peoples of Kenya and the United States, including the Fulbright program. Wakia majored in choral conducting at the Frost School of Music.

    He is also the founding director of the Nairobi Chamber Chorus which was selected to perform for the Queen of England’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations at Windsor in May 2012. This choir consists mainly of university students from the various universities in Nairobi. 

  • Sydney Guillaume, B.M. ‘04

    Praised by the Miami Herald for their “impressive maturity and striking melodic distinction”, Sydney Guillaume’s compositions are known to be intricate, challenging, and yet highly spirited. They promote human values and are full of heart and passion. Many of his choral works, most with original poetry by his father Gabriel T. Guillaume, have fostered an awareness of the beautiful Haitian culture and continue to serve as an ambassador for his native country. In 2016, he was inducted into the 1804 List of Haitian-American Change Makers, a prestigious list named in honor of Haiti’s year of independence that “recognizes Haitian-Americans in the United States who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and success in their profession and proven themselves to be forces for change in their communities.” In 2017, he was honored by the top music school in Haiti for his “great contribution in the expansion and the promotion of the music and culture of Haiti around the world.”

    Guillaume’s compositions continually enthrall choirs everywhere and have been performed around the world. They have been featured at numerous conferences and international festivals like the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the World Choir Games, and Ireland’s Cork International Choral Festival.

    Nearly all of his choral compositions have been commissioned works. He’s written for renowned choirs such as the Grammy-award nominated Seraphic Fire, the Westminster Chorus, the University of Miami Frost Chorale, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, the Illinois Wesleyan University Collegiate Choir, the Saint Louis Chamber Singers, and the Miami Children’s Chorus.

    Guillaume also writes film music, having written original film and documentary scores for the Los Angeles-based company Loyola Productions.

    He is an active member of the choral community as a composer, singer, clinician, and conductor. In 2013, he conducted the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 12 Honor Choir and, more recently, the 2017 Connecticut Southern Region Honor Choir. He has also presented at several symposiums and conferences, both domestically and abroad. Most recently, he presented at the 2016 West Virginia ACDA Conference and the FORO CORAL AMERICANO in Argentina.

    Since 2013 he has been the conductor of Imbroglio Sextet, a group of musicians from Haiti, Spain, Bolivia and the United States. The group met in Haiti at the École de Musique St. Trinité summer camp, where they all volunteer as music teachers. As the director of the sextet, he has toured through Texas, Louisiana, Armenia, Great Britain, and Spain.

    His recent activities as a conductor also include the 2019 Florida All-State Middle School Treble Chorus, the 34th annual Idaho State University Choral Invitational Festival, the 2018 Maine All-State High School Mixed Chorus, an all-Guillaume concert at New York City’s Lincoln Center, the 2018 Virginia District 12 High School Mixed Chorus, and concerts with the Imbroglio Sextet at Carnegie Hall and at the 2018 ISME World Conference in Azerbaijan.

    Sydney Guillaume graduated from the University of Miami in 2004, where his works were performed by the Miami University Chorale conducted by Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe. Originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, he currently resides in Portland, Oregon, where he continues to work as a full-time composer, conductor, and clinician, and frequent workshops his music with university and high school choirs throughout North America via Skype.

  • Mandy Scott, M.M. '01

    Mandy Mikita Scott is in her eighteenth year of teaching, and her thirteenth at her alma mater, Rockford High School, where she is Director of Choirs and teaches around 200 students daily in four ensembles. She feels privileged to be on a team with her husband, Jed Scott, who directs the Rockford Aces and volunteers much of his time to support the choir program, and Renee Vande Wege, who directs the Rockford Freshman Choir.

    Mandy studied at Western Michigan University with Joe Miller and Steve Zegree and received her Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Miami with Jo-Michael Scheibe. She is grateful that her choirs have had the opportunity to perform in Carnegie Hall, the National Cathedral, the World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia (where they earned Gold Medals in their categories), and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy. Her choirs have also performed at both the ACDA-Michigan Fall Conference and the Michigan Music Conference.

    The Rockford Choirs actively commissions new choral works, and under her direction, the choirs have commissioned over 30 compositions and arrangements, including works from Z. Randall Stroope, Andrea Ramsey, Alice Parker, Michael McGlynn, and many others.

    Mandy was the Michigan High School SSAA State Honors Choir conductor in 2014 and has served terms on both the MSVMA Full Board as High School Repertoire chair and Executive Board as the Director of Sight Reading and Music Selection. She has also served on the ACDA-Michigan Board.

    Most of all, Mandy has had fabulous choral opportunities in her career thanks to her incredible husband and family. Together they have spent time with legendary choral composer Alice Parker on her farm in Massachusetts, hosted The Real Group in Rockford, and written poetry with her youngest, Daniella, for an Andrea Ramsey composition ("I'll Be With You"). Mandy and Jed have three children, Owen, Julian, and Daniella.

  • Carol Krueger, D.M.A. ‘00

    Dr. Krueger formerly served as the Director of Choral Activities at Valdosta State University, Emporia State University, and Florida Southern. She also served as the Associate Director of Choral Activities at the University of South Carolina and the University of Montevallo. A native of Wisconsin, Krueger received her bachelor's degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and both an M.M. and D.M.A. in Choral Conducting from the University of Miami.

    An active clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor, Krueger has most recently conducted festivals and honor choirs at the collegiate, high school, and middle school levels in Maryland, Arkansas, South Dakota, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, Kansas, New York, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Washington, Georgia, South Carolina, North Dakota, Indiana [2021] and Kentucky [2021]. In addition, Dr. Krueger served as the guest conductor of the North-North Central ACDA Middle School Treble Choir (Milwaukee, 2020( of Vivaldi’s Gloria in Carnegie Hall (2010), the Adult Chancel Choir, and Chamber Singers at Montreat Presbyterian Association of Musicians Conference (2010), and multiple performances of Epcot’s Candlelight Processional and Massed Choir Program (2005). She is looking forward to conducting the SSAA High School Kentucky All-State in 2021.

    Krueger has presented interest sessions at the American Choral Directors National Convention in New York, the OAKE (Kodaly) National Convention in Charlotte, the ACDA Southern Division Conventions in Mobile, Nashville, and Louisville, the Southern Division MENC Convention in Charleston, the North Central Division ACDA in Madison, the Eastern Division ACDA in Providence, the Eastern Division NAfME in Hartford, as well as interest sessions or workshops in twenty-eight states (Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Oregon [2020], and Colorado [2021]. Krueger is also widely recognized for her work with music literacy. Oxford University Press publishes her book, Progressive Sight Singing.

  • John Warren, D.M.A. '99

    John F. Warren is a Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Syracuse University, where he conducts choirs, and teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in conducting choral literature, and rehearsal techniques. During his sixteen-year tenure, Syracuse choirs have performed at two-state and three Eastern Region American Choral Director Association Conferences, including Rochester, New York in 2020, and toured throughout the Northeast United States and Canada, as well as Europe and South America. In 2017, the Syracuse University Singers performed for the National Conference of the National Collegiate Choral Organization in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 2015, Singers won the Grand Prix at the Florilegé Vocal de Tours in France, which entitled them to compete in Varna, Bulgaria in May 2016 as a finalist in the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing. Dr. Warren traveled back to Varna to judge the 2017 International Choir Competition. The choir’s first album, Mysteries and Wonders is readily available. Dr. Warren is a regular guest conductor with Symphoria, the professional orchestra of Syracuse, New York.

    He was the NYACDA Choral Director of the Year in 2016 and is a 2011 recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award from the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. Prior to coming to Syracuse, Dr. Warren was the Director of Choral Activities at Erskine College in South Carolina, where he was awarded the Younts Excellence in Teaching Award in 2005.

    Dr. Warren serves ACDA on the International Activities Standing Committee and is NYACDA Vice President. Dr. Warren has lectured, adjudicated, and conducted festival choirs throughout the Eastern United States, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cuba, and France, and has published research in the Choral Journal and the International Choral Bulletin.

  • Lynne Gackle, M.M. '84, Ph. D. '87

    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. Prior to her Baylor appointment, Lynne taught at the University of South Florida, University of Mississippi, and the University of Miami (FL). She received her education from LSU (BME) and the University of Miami (MM/Ph.D.). Lynne is an active choral clinician and conductor, nationally and internationally. She has conducted All-State, Festival Choirs, and Clinics in more than 30 states, several Divisional ACDA honor choirs, and two ACDA national honor choirs. Her choirs have also performed at American Choral Directors Association state, regional, and national conferences as well as at the Music Educators National Conference Biennial Convention (currently known as NAFME). 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 as well as Luxembourg, and the International Honors Performance High School Honor Choir at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia. For the past 20 years, she has served as guest conductor for various National Honor Choirs at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

    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. The Florida ACDA chapter awarded her the Wayne Hugoboom Distinguished Service Award for dedicated service, leadership, and excellence. Dr. Gackle currently serves as the National President for ACDA.

    Gackle has written several highly cited articles for the Choral Journal. She is also the editor of Choral Artistry for the Singer (Walton Music/GIA) and the Lynne Gackle Choral Series (Colla Voce Music). Internationally recognized for her research on the female adolescent voice, Lynne is the author of Finding Ophelia’s Voice, Opening Ophelia’s Heart: Nurturing the Adolescent Female Voice (Heritage Music)). She has also served as a contributing-author for other books published by GIA including Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success and Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir, Vol. 4 and Vol. 5. Additionally, she has published articles for Oxford Press and was a Lead Author for Voices In Concert (Hal Leonard/McGraw Hill). Most recently, she was a contributing author to the Oxford Handbook for Singing (Oxford, 2019). Gackle was awarded Baylor’s Outstanding Faculty Award in Research (2012). She holds memberships in ACDA, TMEA, TCDA, and NATS.

  • Jim Papoulis, M.M. ’82

    Jim Papoulis, M.M. ’82, was named Frost School of Music 2004 Distinguished Alumnus. He composes, orchestrates, and conducts music for dance, film, symphonies, quartets, pop bands, gospel, and choirs. Paploulis’ distinctive style combines contemporary sounds with musical traditions from around the globe. His award-winning compositions are known for exploring new modes of musical communication by connecting classical and traditional forms with non-Western sounds and computer technology.

    Papoulis explores and creates sound for a global community. He has worked with such diverse international artists and ensembles as Tokyo String Quartet, Moscow Philharmonic, and London Philharmonic to Aretha Franklin, Faith Hill, Shania Twain, and Maroon 5. He has created original music for UNICEF, Dance Theater of Harlem, and Alvin Ailey Dance Company. His works have been performed by San Diego Pops Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Blue Man Group, and at Carnegie Hall and Epcot.

    As an orchestrator, Papoulis’ works have been performed by The Paris Opera, Celine Deon, Christina Aguilera, Patti Labelle, Tony Bennett, and Natalie Cole, among others. His work with Martha Wash earned him two top spots on the Billboard Dance charts, with Listen to the People, and Feel the World Dancing.

    Papoulis is the founder of Amphion Music in Manhattan, a full-service music production company specializing in composing and recording original music and orchestrations for several major corporations in retail, food, auto manufacturing, television, and business. As co-founder of The Foundation for Small Voices music project, Papoulis conducts songwriting workshops with children’s music programs in China, South America, Africa, Russia, Europe, and throughout the U.S.

  • Sally K. Albrecht, M.M. '79

    Sally K. Albrecht, M.M. ‘79, is the Director of School Choral & Classroom Publications for Alfred Music, a position she has held for over 20 years. She currently has over 325 popular choral publications in print and over 50 larger works, including musicals, songbooks, and cantatas. Her recent works include “Sing a New Song,” a 2-part work for the 2012 Georgia All-State Elementary Choir (which she guest conducted), "A Pocketful of Rhymes" which was premiered in Spring 2012 by the Rowan County Honors Choir along with the Salisbury (N.C.) Symphony, and a musical setting of “Non Nobis, Domine” which was premiered by the Kanawha County Junior High Chorus under her direction. Her newest holiday children’s musical Fiesta, The Legend of the Poinsettia, and her songbook/program Creepy Creatures are now available from Alfred. She was a performance major at the Frost School of Music.

  • Gary Fry, B.M. '76

    Frost School of Music's 1990 Distinguished Alumnus Gary D. Fry, B.M. ‘76 is an Emmy-winning Chicago based composer, arranger, producer, and music educator. He has a 19-year affiliation with the Chicago Symphony with more than 100 commissions during that span. He is also an artistic consultant and arranger for the Dallas Symphony and Chorus. He is the most-performed living composer with nearly 100 works for the renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. His work has also been performed by the Dallas Symphony and Colorado Symphony orchestras, the pops orchestras of Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, and New York, and the American Jazz Philharmonic. Fry’s extensive background in choral music has led to several commissions from academic and professional vocal ensembles across the country.

    For more than 20 years, Fry has also been one of the nation’s foremost commercial producers with over 2,500 nationally broadcast radio and television commercials for McDonald’s, Sears, Kellogg’s, United Airlines, and hundreds of other major national advertisers. He won a 2006 Emmy Award for his original work for WBBM-TV (Chicago).

    Fry is passionate about music education and music for children. Since 2012, he has served as Festival Artists Director for the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation “Rhythms of One World,” featuring annual concerts at the United Nations in New York and Geneva, as well as prestigious concert venues.

    Gary joined the company of Chicago’s Provision Theatre as a composer. He composed music for their Jeff-nominated production of Spoon River Anthology, as well as incidental music for the plays Shaw vs. Chesterton and the 2014 world premiere of Jacob by Timothy Gergory.

    Fry’s resume includes positions on the faculty of the University of Miami, Northwestern University, and Midwest Young Artists, where he conducted vocal ensembles and taught classes in music theory and composition.