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Poster Sessions

The following sessions have been selected as poster sessions for NCCO8, November 7 - 9, 2019, in College Park, Maryland. Join us for this year's Poster Session Breakfast where there will be a complimentary, healthy continental breakfast served. The session is Friday, November 8, 2019, 8:00a.

Oppression and Liberation: Voice of a Survivor

A Holocaust survivor, Petr Eben (1929-2007) endured religious oppression by the Communist regime and career suppression for rejection of the party. These life experiences coupled with the freedoms provided by the Velvet Revolution of 1989 emerge in Eben’s compositional voice, which materializes in a very earnest and sometimes raw compositional style. It is characterized by the juxtaposition of archaic forms with progressive harmonic language bathed in frenetic rhythmic energy. Eben’s story is a testament of resilience and courage in the face of despair, one much applicable for all of us. The poster session will provide participants with the critical nuggets of Eben’s history, compositional approach, and musical allusions in order to facilitate informed performances of his two most significant choral works: Missa adventus et quadragesima and Prager Te Deum 1989. Discussions will also include smaller works appropriate for collegiate ensembles.

Dr. Christopher Haygood, Oklahoma State University


Dr. Christopher D. Haygood serves as associate director of choral studies and associate professor of music at the Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music, Oklahoma State University, where he was named the 2018 Distinguished Professor of Music. Christopher has conducted choirs and appeared as a clinician across Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and as guest conductor of the National Choir of Taiwan in the National Concert Hall of Taipei. He has prepared choruses for collaborations with Helmuth Rilling, Andrea Bocelli, Jennifer Hudson, and The Tonight Show. Christopher has published numerous resource guides in the Teaching Music through Performance in Choir series and articles on performance and choral education in the International Bulletin of Choral Music. He appears internationally as a guest lecturer on choral intelligence strategies, melding the approaches of Dalcroze with singing and conducting gesture, and numerous topics on choral literature. Christopher's current research focuses on the music of Holocaust survivor Petr Eben and the confluence of Western and Eastern musical traditions observed in the music of New Zealand.

Official State Rhetoric: The Civic Motets of Adrian Willaert

This poster explores a body of Renaissance music essentially forgotten. Renaissance vocal repertoire is traditionally classified as either liturgical (Latin for Catholic, vernacular for Protestant) or secular (vernacular settings like chansons, madrigals). This taxonomy omits a genre that elucidates patronage bonds and intellectual trends of this era: settings of secular Latin texts.

Secular Latin-texted works are often what Albert Dunning calls “staatsmotetten,” or “civic motets.” Dunning defines staatsmotteten as works composed for a particular state ceremony, in the official language of that state. These works leverage the sacred weight of Latin to add gravitas to music for events such as diplomatic visits and military victories.

Five such pieces were included in a 1539 collection of Adrian Willaert’s five-voice motets. Willaert was head of music at St. Mark’s in Venice (a position later held by Gabrieli and Monteverdi), and was regarded by contemporaries as an almost perfect composer, serving as a model in treatises by Zarlino and others.

Willaert’s civic motets illuminate patronage ties that he maintained outside of Venice, sustaining connections with wealthy benefactors in Florence, Vienna, and Milan. They also serve as case studies of the intermingling of the sacred and the secular during the Renaissance.

Dr. Jonathan Harvey, Fitchburg State University


Jonathan Harvey is assistant professor of music and director of choirs at Fitchburg State University in Fitchburg, Massachusetts; music director of the Brattleboro Concert Choir in Brattleboro, Vermont; and music director of the Summer at Sem Music Festival in Kingston, Pennsylvania. He has previously held music director and teaching positions with universities, community music organizations, and churches in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Indiana.

An active scholar, Harvey has published research in journals such as The Choral Scholar and Choral Journal, and presented at conferences including the College Music Society National Conference, the Massachusetts Teachers Association annual conference, and the Massachusetts ACDA annual conference. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, The College Music Society, and Chorus America, and is the Collegiate Chair for the Massachusetts chapter of ACDA. He holds a DMA degree in conducting and musicology from the University of Connecticut, an MM degree in choral conducting from Indiana University, and a BA in music and philosophy from Earlham College.

Uncovering the Drama: Music-Text Relationships in Schubert’s Final Masses

Franz Schubert’s (1797–1828) final two masses, Mass No. 5 in A-flat, D. 678 and Mass No. 6 in E-flat, D. 950, exhibit mature compositional language and masterful usage of sophisticated harmonic devices. Utilizing original theoretical analysis and interpretations based on research by respected authors such as Richard Cohn, James Webster, and Lorraine Byrne Bodley, the presenters have investigated how both masses employ extended compositional techniques to highlight the inherent drama of the text. Theoretical analysis techniques such as neo-Riemannian theory, Weitzmann regions, and traditional tonal analysis, combined with observations regarding orchestration, texture, and form, uncover how Schubert conveyed personal meaning within these two settings of the mass. Bertram and Harp also provide insight into Schubert’s upbringing, religious beliefs, and mental state as he neared the close of his life, examining how his personal background—particularly in connection with his terminal diagnosis—influenced Schubert’s reading of the mass. The research is designed to aid musicians in gaining a deeper understanding of these two monumental compositions and to provide insight into the composer himself.

Mr. Aaron Harp


Aaron Harp is in the third year of a DMA in Choral Conducting and Literature at the University of Colorado Boulder. In his time at CU Boulder, he has served as the conductor of Collegiate Chorale and Men’s Chorus, as the assistant conductor of University Choir and University Singers, and as the vocal director of the Early Music Ensemble. Research for his degree focuses on historically-informed performance of Baroque repertoire and the facilitation of the solo singer in the choral rehearsal. Prior to beginning doctoral studies, Aaron taught high school and middle school choir in Texas for five years. He holds a Master of Music degree from the University of North Texas in vocal performance with an emphasis in choral conducting and a Bachelor of Music degree from Ouachita Baptist University in vocal performance. Aaron is in frequent demand as a soloist and chorister, specializing in the performance of early music. He has performed with many noted ensembles, including Santa Fe Desert Chorale, The Thirteen, Bach Society Houston, Dallas Bach Society, and Orpheus Chamber Singers. He has been featured in performances at the Bachfest Leipzig, Boston Early Music Festival, and Berkeley Early Music Festival.

Ms. Emilie Bertram


Emilie Bertram is a third year DMA student in Choral Conducting and Literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder, currently acting as conductor of the Women’s Chorus and assistant conductor of University Singers. Prior to beginning doctoral studies, Emilie taught in Minnesota, New York, and California for ten years, instructing piano courses, and general, vocal, and choral music. While in California, Emilie conducted the Bella Voce Women’s Chorus of Presentation High School. Under Emilie’s guidance, Bella Voce performed in San Francisco, Anaheim, Seattle, Vancouver, Ireland, New York City, and was a featured ensemble at the 2017 California ACDA State Convention. Emilie holds a BM degree in Secondary Vocal Music Education and Piano from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, where she studied under Dr. René Clausen, and received a MM degree from Ithaca College School of Music in Ithaca, New York, studying with Dr. Janet Galván. Emilie recently presented, “I Love This Piece….Now What? A Workshop on Effective Rehearsal Techniques” for the CU Boulder ACDA Collegiate Chapter, and “Collaborating with the Choral Ensemble” to the CU Boulder Collaborative Piano department. Her research interests center on conducting pedagogy and effective concert programming. Emilie resides in Colorado with her husband and twin boys.

Learning from Successful Learners: Teaching Sight-Reading to Choral Ensemble Singers

Few studies in the field of sight-reading research have investigated the training and perceptions of professional choral singers. In this study, 48 professional choral singers and conductors from the 2015 Oregon Bach Festival participated in focus groups to investigate their sight-reading training, perceptions on the importance of sight-reading skill, and thoughts on effective pedagogy for teaching sight-reading to undergraduate choral ensemble singers. Focus group data showed that the majority of participants developed proficiency in their sight-reading skills from instrumental study, aural skills classes, and on-the-job training. Sight-reading was listed as perhaps the single most important skill that a professional choral singer could develop. The data revealed two main strategies used to interpret pitches in the musical line: an intervallic approach and a harmonic approach. Participants described systematic score marking techniques and other approaches to accurately find their pitches and rhythms during rehearsals and during auditions. Ideas about how best to teach sight-reading in the undergraduate choral ensemble rehearsal included consistent practice, developing personal accountability, empowering students, combining different teaching methods, discussing real-life applications of becoming strong sight-readers, and examining the culture and purpose of choir at the university level.

Dr. Rachel Carlson, Shepherd University


Rachel Carlson, DMA, is the director of choral activities at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, where she conducts the Chamber Singers, Camerata soprano/alto choir, and Masterworks Chorale and teaches choral methods, conducting, and voice. She founded and serves as artistic director of Six Degree Singers, a community choir based in Silver Spring, Maryland, and serves as assistant conductor of the Washington Master Chorale. Dr. Carlson presents workshops and masterclasses in schools throughout the region and is in demand as a clinician, adjudicator, presenter, and guest conductor. In 2014, she was nominated for a Wammie (Washington Area Music Award) for best Classical Conductor/Director.

Dr. Carlson has toured the country and the world as a freelance professional choral singer and soprano soloist with many top professional ensembles, including the Oregon Bach Festival, True Concord Voices and Orchestra, Vox Humana, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Washington Master Chorale, Washington Bach Consort, Conspirare, Manhattan Chorale, and Germany’s Bach Ensemble Helmuth Rilling.

The Singable Missa: Comparing Factors of Vocal Difficulty in Josquin and Palestrina Masses

Conservative compositional features in early vocal music often result in music that is more technically accessible to performers. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina’s balanced vocal lines and characteristic restrained expression may allow for increased “singability” in comparison to his Renaissance counterparts. Josquin des Prez offers a convenient foil for such a comparison, with his contrary reputation for short imitative bursts, rhythmic energy, and variety.

Utilizing **kern music notation and the capabilities of the Humdrum Toolkit (Huron), over one thousand mass and mass movement vocal lines were parsed and examined on five pre-defined factors of vocal accessibility. These factors related to range, melody, and rhythm. Analysis revealed positive, expected outcomes on three of the five factors. In examining range, rhythmic variability, and frequency of stepwise motion, Palestrina’s vocal lines indicated a higher overall measure of technical accessibility than Josquin’s.

There are some new avenues for inquiry engendered by the design and results of the study itself, but the most fascinating implications for future work can be found by exploring the potential of the methods involved. Computer-assisted score analysis presents numerous possibilities for future creative projects in choral scholarship, education, and performance.

Ms. Sarah Bowe


Sarah Bowe is a conductor, educator, and soprano currently based in New England. She recently completed an appointment as Director of Choral Activities at Central Connecticut State University, where she directed the Chorale and University Singers, taught courses in conducting and methods, supervised student teachers, coordinated the undergraduate Music Education program, and advised the CCSU chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. She has also served as interim choral faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Ms. Bowe maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor and clinician, and in addition to conducting regional festivals, has provided clinics to choirs in the Northeast and South, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Louisiana, and Texas. As a vocalist, Ms. Bowe has regular professional engagements with Red Shift (LA) and Festina Cantorum (MA), and sings with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the symphony chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with Seraphic Fire as a participant in the Professional Choral Institute at Aspen Music Festival. Ms. Bowe holds an M.M. and B.M. summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and is a D.M.A. candidate in Choral Conducting at Louisiana State University.

A Critical Edition of Selected Works of Sebastian de Vivanco

The poster contains images of original manuscripts and examples of transcriptions of seven works by Spanish composer Sebastián de Vivanco (c. 1551–1622) found in choirbooks in a monastery in Guadalupe, Spain. Six of these works have never been published in modern notation. The poster will also include an explanation of the editorial process. A video recording of a performance of four of these seven works will be available.

The seven pieces at hand contain simple contrapuntal devices, such as the paraphrase of a chant melody in the soprano in most of the Lamentations for Holy Saturday. The vocal writing is straightforward, yet provides many satisfying harmonic moments, including the use of cross-relations and augmented sonorities for textual expression. For these reasons, each of these seven pieces would make a solid artistic and pedagogic contribution to any collegiate choral concert program.

Dr. Miles Canaday, Whitman College


Miles Canaday is assistant professor of music at Whitman College, where he is the director of choral activities. Miles served as visiting director of choirs at William & Mary, and was previously the assistant conductor for the Eastman Chorale and the Eastman-Rochester Chorus. Before his work in western New York, he conducted collegiate, church and community ensembles across Colorado, including the Metropolitan State University of Denver Women’s Chamber Choir, the Laudamus Chamber Chorale of Fort Collins, and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Choirs in Aurora.

Miles graduated with a BA in music with honors from Harvard College, where he studied conducting with Jameson Marvin and Federico Cortese and was President of the Harvard Glee Club. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in conducting from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied under Dr. William Weinert. Miles completed a doctoral research project on the unpublished choral works of Spanish Renaissance composer Sebastián de Vivanco, and was the recipient of the Walter Hagen Prize in Conducting. Miles received a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from the Yale School of Music, studying with Profs. Marguerite Brooks and Jeffrey Douma.


Ahead of her time, Gena Branscombe (1881-1977) had a life was filled with family and music. Influenced early by the late German romantic style, she helped develop a 20th century American/Victorian musical voice, with a body of work encompassing 150 art songs, piano and chamber music, as well as choral works, all of which were readily available during her life. A renowned composer and conductor, after her death her richly melodic music was lost to history, mistakenly destroyed by her publisher, and largely forgotten despite its outstanding beauty.

From manuscript to performance, #BringingBackBranscombe was a three year journey and social media campaign of research and transcription that culminated in a 2019 performance of her masterwork Pilgrims of Destiny. The 21st century premiere of her choral drama addresses life, death, disappointment, disillusion, suffering, loss of the Pilgrims as they flee their land and board the Mayflower in hopes of a better place. A proud immigrant herself, Branscombe’s spirit and livelong advocacy for her fellow woman composers can now live into the 21st cent

Mr. Daniel Ryan, Clark University


Maestro Daniel P. Ryan is a prized multi-hyphenate musician acclaimed for his creative interpretation, nuanced conducting, and adventurous spirit. Ryan’s season highlights include two recognitions by the American Prizes, a third place award for collegiate choral conducting and a finalist for collegiate choral ensemble. Season highlights include premiering seven short operas with Opera Bites (Boston Opera Collaborative), Die Fledermaus (MassOpera), and the 21st century premiere of the lost masterwork Pilgrims of Destiny (Clark University Choirs) #BringingBackBranscombe. Just before the season started, he was in Czech Republic conducting the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra in selections from Bizet’s Carmen under the tutelage of world-renowned Russian conductor Alexander Polianichko. Other recent engagements include the workshop of White Snake Productions’ PERMADEATH, Brahms’ Requiem (Sine Nomine Choral Ensemble), MetroWest Opera, In Good Company Theatre, Berkshire Choral International, MITG&SP, and The Boston Conservatory. Additionally, Ryan currently serves as Director of Choral Activities and Opera Scenes at Clark University, Associate Conductor for VOICES Boston, Conductor for the Boston City Singers, and Faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp.

Madrigals of Johann Hermann Schein: Unearthing German Secular Music

The 16th century madrigal genre, particularly works from Italy, England, and their French chanson counterparts, remains a staple of the choral canon, performed by choirs of all levels. Yet, similar works from Germany are conspicuously absent both in research and performance. This session overviews the development of the madrigal and other Italianate genres in late-Renaissance and early-Baroque Germany through the rhetorical and musical analysis of Johann Schein's secular compositions.

Schein's Diletti Pastorali Hirtenlust collection, written in 1624 for five voices and continuo, shows text setting, poetic themes, and musical language illustrating the connection to works of Italian madrigal masters Monteverdi, Lasso, Gabrieli, and German contemporary Heinrich Schütz. His self-authored texts demonstrate knowledge of Petrarchan poetry conventions adapted to German. By bringing focus to this neglected region of choral repertoire, greater understanding can be gained about Germany's role in madrigal composition and the merit of these works.

The session includes new performance editions of selections the Diletti Pastorali collection with translation and information on further collections in this genre by Schein that are accessible for performance from 2-year college to graduate-level ensembles.

Ms. Angelica Dunsavage


Angelica Dunsavage is currently a third-year doctoral student in Choral Conducting with a minor in Music Education at the University of Arizona, where is the conductor of the Faculty/Staff Choir. During her time at UA, she has studied with Dr. Bruce Chamberlain, Dr. Elizabeth Schauer, and Dr. Miguel Ángel Felipe.

Outside of the university, Angelica remains active as the director ofmMusic at St. Mark's Presbyterian Church, and the Tucson Masterworks Chorale. Her article, Changing the Role of Conductor, recently appeared in the AZACDA Antiphon, and her current research includes secular music of the early German Baroque era, in particular works of Johann Hermann Schein. She remains in demand as a clinician, vocal teacher, professional chorister, and mezzo-soprano soloist.

Prior to her DMA, Angelica has served in church, community, and public-school teaching positions in the Ohio and Pennsylvania areas. Angelica received her MM in Choral Conducting at Bowling Green State University under Dr. Mark Munson and Dr. Sandra Stegman, and her BS in Music Education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, under the direction of the late James C. Dearing.

The Use and Treatment of Shape-note Tunes on Contemporary Choral Literature

Contemporary composers have employed the tunes and harmonizations of the American shape-note tradition broadly over the last 50 years as source material for their choral arrangements. The shape-note tunes lend themselves to varied and creative treatment in part because the harmonized hymns disregard some of the established rules of composition, leaving composers free to express their own musical idiom. This poster will focus on an examination of six arrangements (Wondrous Love by Alice Parker, The Road Home by Stephen Paulus, Long Time Travelin' by Abbie Betinis, Hark I Hear the Harps Eternal by Mark Hayes, Big Sky by Seth Houston, Wayfaring Stranger by Michael Engelhardt) written from 1960 to 2018. This American tradition has shaped these choral compositions, employing a variety of compositional techniques, such as using the tune as cantus firmus in a polyphonic setting, keeping the original pentatonic shape-note melody but using non-chord tones and chord clusters in harmonization, setting the tune polyphonically with Latin chant to a dubstep accompaniment, and several others. In conclusion, the simplicity of the shape-note tunes' melodic interest and harmonic structure have given composers material that showcases the creativity and idiosyncratic compositional traits of contemporary composers.

Ms. Sally Kelley


Sally Kelley is in her last year of coursework at Ball State University studying choral conducting and entrepreneurial music. She has conducted BSU’s Choral Union ensemble for 3 semesters and has been assistant conductor for the BSU Statesmen, Women’s Chorus, and Chamber Choir. Before pursuing her doctorate, she taught as adjunct faculty for Middle Tennessee State University for 6 years, served as assistant director and accompanist for the Murfreesboro Community Men’s Chorus, and music director for her church. This past summer she was Conducting Scholar and assistant music director for Voces8’s international music festival at Milton Abbey. She currently resides in Muncie, Indiana and serves as director of choirs for Hazelwood Christian Church.

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