2021 CONDUCTORS

SANDRA SNOW

Conductor

 

As conductor, pedagogue, and scholar, SANDRA SNOW is widely acknowledged as one who brings singers of all ages and abilities to artful performance through an understanding of the music and its context in the world around them.  As Professor of Choral Conducting and Music education at the Michigan State University College of Music, the MSU Women’s Chamber Ensemble has appeared as featured performers at American Choral Directors Association conventions at state, regional, and national levels. As guest conductor, she travels extensively in North America and abroad.

In 2017 Snow created mirabai, a project-based professional women’s chorus. mirabai features alumna associated with the MSU Women’s Chamber Ensemble. mirabai was a featured ensemble at the Texas Choral Director’s Association conference in 2018. The inaugural recording, Ecstatic Songs, was released in 2018. mirabai will open the 2020 conference of the Southwest Division of the American Choral Director’s Association.

 

Snow is the Artistic Director of the CME Institute for Choral Teacher Education produced annually at MSU. Snow is author of the DVD "Conducting-Teaching: Real World Strategies for Success" published by GIA (2009), a resource for conductor-teachers at all levels of teaching. She edits the choral music series In High Voice published by Boosey & Hawkes.

 

Snow is a recipient of the Michigan State University William J. Beal Award for Outstanding Faculty, the MSU Teacher-Scholar Award, and the Dortha J. and John D. Withrow award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dr. André J. Thomas

Conductor Composer Author

ANDRÉ J. THOMAS, an Emeritus Professor of Music at Florida State University, former Owen F. Sellers Professor of Music, 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 the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). His international conducting credits are extensive. They include conductor/clinician for the International Federation of Choral Musicians' summer residency of the World Youth Choir in The Republic of China and the Philippines. He was also the conductor of the World Youth Choir's winter residency in Europe and a premier performance by an American
choir (Florida State University Singers) in Vietnam.

 

He has been the guest conductor of such distinguished orchestras and choirs as the
Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in England, guest Conductor for the Berlin Radio Choir and the North German Radio Choir in Germany, the Netherlands Radio Choir, The Bulgarian Radio Choir and Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony, China's People's Liberation Orchestra and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Since 1988, he has also served as Artistic Director of the Tallahassee Community Chorus.


Thomas has also distinguished himself as a composer/arranger. Hinshaw Music Company, Mark Foster Music Company, Fitzsimons Music Company, Lawson Gould, Earthsongs, Choristers Guild, and Heritage Music Company publishes his compositions and arrangements.

 

Dr. Thomas has produced two instructional videos, "What They See Is What You Get" on choral conducting, with Rodney Eichenberger, and "Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice" on adolescent voices, with Anton Armstrong. His recent book "Way Over in Beulah Lan".  Understanding and Performing the Negro Spiritual has quickly become a significant source in this area of study.


Various musical organizations have recognized Thomas. The African Diaspora Sacred Music honored Dr. Thomas as a Living Legend. In 2011, Thomas' dedication to and accomplishments in the choral arts was recognized by his peers in Chorus America when the organization presented Dr. Thomas with its Distinguished Service Award. In March of 2017, ACDA presented Thomas with its highest honor the Robert Shaw Award, and in November of 2017, NCCO (National Collegiate Choral Organization presented Thomas with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In January 2019,
he was inducted into the Florida Music Educator's Hall of Fame.


He is a past president of the Florida ACDA and the past president of the Southern Division of ACDA and the current President of National ACDA. Thomas has been appointed as Visiting Professor of Choral Conducting and Interim
Conductor of the Yale Camerata 2020-2022.