Clinician Bios

Clinician Bios and Photos

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  John Albrecht John Armstrong   Matthew and Shelly Armstrong Cathleen Britton   
Angela Broeker Michael Dennis Browne   Paul Carey Paul Caldwell
Clerestory Patricia Cahalan Connors Kathy Gedler Wes Hansmeyer
Roger Henderson Therees Tkach Hibbard Brad Holmes Sean Ivory
Margaret Jenks Carol Krueger Kyle Lechtenberg Jakub Martinec
Natalie McDonald   Kevin Meidl Annette Mitchell Stephen Paulus
David Puderbaugh David Rayl Christopher Russell Marcia Russell
Diane Skrobis Barbara Sletto Phillip Swan Randy Swiggum
Patricia Trump Rebecca Winnie Greg Zielke Kristin Zaryski

John AlbrechtJohn Albrecht, the North Central ACDA Repertoire & Standards chair for Music in Worship, is the director for music ministries at First Congregational U.C.C. in Appleton, WI. He holds degrees from Northwestern University (B.M.E.) and the University of Iowa (M.A. in choral conducting). He has taught senior high school vocal music in Iowa and Illinois, and worked extensively with private children's choruses. He previously served as director of music ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Glen Ellyn (IL), and at Worthington (OH) Presbyterian Church. Serving First Congregational since 2007, his work there has included starting a children's choir and a youth handbell ensemble, presenting major choral works with orchestra, and directing children's and intergenerational musicals. John is in his fourth season on the Appleton (WI) Boychoir staff, conducting the Junior Choir. (Back to top) (Back to Sessions/Clinician


Matthew ArmstrongMatthew and Shelly Armstrong co-direct choirs with Storm Ziegler at Cedar Rapids (IA) Kennedy High School. Previously, they taught at Wapsie Valley, Highland, Muscatine, Coe College and Cedar Rapids Washington High School. Jazz choirs under their direction have won the Iowa Jazz Choir Championships in 2008, 2010, and 2011. They also led their jazz choir to a performance at the 2011 ACDA National Conference in Chicago. Graduates of Wartburg College, Matthew and Shelly both served a year as president of the Wartburg Choir under the direction of Dr. Paul Torkelson. Matthew earned his M.M.E. from VanderCook College of Music, where he studied with Dr. Robert Sinclair. Shelly is a member of the Gospel Music Association, a board-certified music therapist, and an ASCAP song writer for Peck Music Group. Matthew and Shelly enjoy singing and recording with The Marshalls, a vocal trio that performs inspirational Shelly Armstrongmusic with contemporary, jazz, and country flavors. Their two children, four-year-old Norah and three-year-old Gabriel, also love to make a joyful noise. (Back to top) (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)




Cathy BrittonCathleen Britton has been a music educator for 35 years, the last 20 years at the high school level. A South Dakota native, she received her BFA and Masters degree from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD. Choirs under her direction have been selected to sing for state and divisional ACDA conventions and she is active as an adjudicator/clinician. Cathy has been actively involved in the South Dakota chapter of ACDA at all levels since 1988. She is currently the North Central Repertoire & Standards chair for high schools. Cathy received the SD-ACDA Encore Award in 1996 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. In 2010, Cathy was named National Federation of High Schools' South Dakota Outstanding Music Educator. Cathy is currently in her 10th year at O'Gorman High School in Sioux Falls, SD. (Back to top) (Back to Sessions/Clinicians) 



Michael Dennis BrowneMichael Dennis Browne is a professor emeritus of English at the University of Minnesota, where he taught for thirty-nine years. Browne has published several books of poetry, and his poems have been published in many magazines and anthologies. His awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bush Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation. Two of his collections have won the Minnesota Book Award for poetry. As a librettist, he has written many texts for music, working principally with composer Stephen Paulus. Their post-Holocaust oratorio, To Be Certain of the Dawn, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in music by the Minnesota Orchestra and issued as a CD in 2008 (BIS Records). Some of the best-known short choral works by Paulus and Browne include "The Road Home," "Pilgrim's Hymn," "Hymn for America" and "Hymn of the Eternal Flame." Their next collaboration, the church opera The Shoemaker, based on a story by Leo Tolstoy, will have its premier in February 2012 at the Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola in New York City as part of the series Sacred Music in a Sacred Space. (Back to top) (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)

Paul CareyPaul Carey is the choral music teacher and conductor of the North Carolina Governor's School, held each summer in Raleigh for six hundred of the state's finest students in ten different disciplines. Recently he has been featured as a guest conductor/composer/clinician for festival choirs in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Nebraska, as well as overseas in South Korea and Hong Kong. Carey studied music composition with Alfred Blatter and Ben Johnston at the University of Illinois. His graduate studies were at Yale University. Mr. Carey's compositions have been performed by choirs worldwide and at ACDA, MENC, OAKE, and AGO conventions across America. Rise Up, Emma Lazarus was the winner of the New York Treble Singers 2004 competition. Esta Tarde, mi bien (This Evening, My Love) was the winner of the Cambridge Madrigal Singers Competition in 2004. Carey's choral music is published by Oxford University Press, Walton, Roger Dean, Santa Barbara, Colla Voce, and Kjos. His music is also available directly at (Back to top) (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)


ClerestoryClerestory is the Bay Area's acclaimed nine-man classical a cappella ensemble. Veterans of San Francisco's finest vocal groups including Chanticleer, Clerestory's singers, from countertenor to bass, remain members of the Bay Area choral community and pride themselves on providing unparalleled performances to local audiences at progressive prices. Clerestory is named for cathedral windows that let in daylight; they tell the "clear story" of the music they sing through sophisticated performances grounded in decades of experience singing together. Clerestory is a tax-exempt non-profit organization that relies on public support to sustain its unique mission. The members of Clerestory are Jesse Antin, Chris Fritzsche, John Bischoff, Dan Cromeenes, Clifton Massey, Justin Montigne, Tom Hart, Jim Monios, and Kevin Baum. (Back to top) (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)

Patricia Cahalan ConnorsPatricia Cahalan Connors is the director of choral activities and chair of the department of music and theater at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. She conducts the Women's Choir, the St. Catherine Choral Society, and the Madrigal Singers, and teaches courses in conducting. She holds masters and doctoral degrees in choral conducting from Indiana University and the University of Iowa, respectively, and a bachelor of music education from Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana. Her conducting teachers included Don V Moses, Julius Herford and Helmuth Rilling. Dr. Connors has served as guest conductor/clinician for numerous choral festivals in Minnesota, Indiana and Iowa. She is the editor of several published choral works from the ospedali period of 18th century Italy. (Back to top) (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)

Kathy GedlerKathy Gedler is a vocal music instructor at Stilwell Junior High in West Des Moines, Iowa. She has been teaching vocal music at the Junior High/Middle School level since 1987. She received her Bachelor in Music Education degree with an emphasis in piano from Simpson College, and Masters of Arts in Education from Viterbo University (WI). Kathy has accompanied various levels of the Heartland Youth Choir since 2003, and plays for mass each week at St. Theresa's Church in Des Moines. She has served as Middle School/Junior High Repertoire & Standards chair for ICDA. (Back to top) (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)



Wes HansmeyerWes Hansmeyer teaches grades 6-12 choral music at Norris (NE) School District where he directs the 7th Grade Choir, 8th Grade Choir, Mixed Choir, Titan Singers, 68th Street Singers Show Choir, and Gold Show Choir. He co-directs the annual fall high school musical, a one-act play, and the spring 7th and 8th grade musical. Wes also directs the Lincoln (NE) Public Schools All City Girls Chorus. He earned a B.M.E. from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1996 and a Masters degree in educational leadership from Doane College in 2006. Wes received the 2011 Outstanding Music Alumni Award from Nebraska Wesleyan University. (Back to top) (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)


Roger HendersonRoger Henderson holds a BA from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and a masters' degree in vocal performance and pedagogy from the University of Iowa. He has taught vocal music for 29 years, the last 22 in the Grinnell (IA) Community Schools. Henderson is past president of the Iowa Choral Directors Association and has been a presenter at the ICDA Summer Symposium and the Iowa Music Educator's Association annual conference. He is a founding member of the Iowa Comprehensive Musicianship Project team and has led various sessions for the project's summer music institute for music teachers. He served as a regional teacher-team leader for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, developing teacher assessments for national board certification in music education, and continues to train assessors reviewing candidate submissions for National Board Certification in music. Henderson recently received a Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award for outstanding service to music education in public schools, presented at Yale in June 2011.  (Back to top) (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)

Therees Tkach HibbardTherees Tkach Hibbard has served as conductor, adjudicator, and clinician for numerous choral organizations throughout Great Britain, Europe and North America; as well as Hong Kong and Oman. Her work as a movement specialist in the training of choral singers and conductors has created unique opportunities for her to collaborate with choirs and conductors from around the world. Her research on enhancing choral performance through movement training has led to the development of a comprehensive choral education philosophy of "BodySinging;" most clearly demonstrated through her work with the Oregon Bach Festival Youth Choral Academy. She is currently an associate professor of choral music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she directs the UNL Chamber Singers; and is also co-artistic director of Lincoln's newly established professional chamber choir, ABENDCHOR. (Back to top)  (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)

Kyle LechtenbergKyle Lechtenberg lives in Des Moines, Iowa, where he has served as director of the office for worship for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Des Moines since 2009. Educated and experienced as a vocal music teacher, parish music and liturgy director, and college campus minister, Kyle now brings his musical experience to his service in educating music ministers in rural and urban settings, working with the design and renovation of worship spaces, and collaborating on the planning of large-scale liturgical celebrations. His passion for interfaith dialogue is rooted in his family's diverse religious expressions and has been realized through the coordination of several interfaith and ecumenical prayer services and dialogues. Kyle holds a B.M.E. from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master of Theological Studies with a concentration in liturgical studies from the University of Notre Dame. (Back to top)  (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)

Jakub MartinecJakub Martinec, a renowned choral conductor in the Czech Republic, has performed with eminent orchestras, ensembles and musical personalities in some of the world's most famous concert halls, including Meistersingerhalle, Nürnberg (2005, 2009), Grace Cathedral in San Francisco (2004), Winspear Hall in Edmonton, Canada (2006), the Pantheon and the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome for the leaders of the Vatican (2009, 2010), and regularly at the Rudolfinum Dvorak Hall in Prague. With his choirs, he performed the opening concert of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (2006), and has appeared at numerous international music festivals including The Prague Spring Festival (2004, 2005), AmericaFest International Festival for Boys' & Men' Choirs including the sixth World Choral Symposium in Minneapolis (2002), Festival d'Ambronay (2006), Mitte Europa (2008, 2009), and the highly acclaimed World Festival of Singing for Men and Boys (Prague, Hradec Kralove, 2004, 2008). His recording of Britten's A Ceremony of Carols received a Recording of the Month award by the London-based Classical Music Web in 2004. (Back to top)   (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)

Natalie McDonaldNatalie McDonald is in her third year as vocal music director at Dallas Center-Grimes (IA) High School where she leads the two curricular choirs as well as two award-winning jazz choirs, directs musicals, and oversees the show choir. A growing program with over 150 students, musical groups under her direction regularly receive top ratings at State Contest as well as taking the lead in the areas of musical literacy and hand-sign solfeggio training. A graduate of Northeast Missouri State University (Truman State) with a B.M.E. in voice and piano, Mrs. McDonald has taught in the Los Angeles area as well as in Des Moines, IA. She is an in-demand accompanist and has worked as a staff accompanist at Drake University.
DALLAS CENTER-GRIMES HIGH SCHOOL, in central Iowa, has a long history of strong choral groups. The combined choirs total over 150 students out of a total 9-12 student population of 610. Freshman and sophomore women sing in a Treble Choir and all other singers are placed into a non-audition Mixed Choir. DC-G's vocal program includes the two core choirs as well as a strong show choir and two jazz choirs. Students experience a rigorous curriculum based upon musical literacy and solid vocal training. The sight-reading curriculum is taught using the hand-sign solfeggio system and bel canto-style singing. (Back to top)  (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)

Kevin MeidlKevin Meidl is artistic director of the Appleton Boychoir, and founder/principal conductor with the Badger State Girl Choir. He is choral director and chair of the performing arts department at West High School in Appleton., WI. Dr. Meidl has conducted honors and all-state choirs throughout the country and is in demand as a guest clinician and adjudicator. He has presented at national conventions of MENC and ACDA and delivered keynote addresses at professional music gatherings across Midwest. In November, 2010, he presented an address to the 19-country international symposium on community singing held in Newcastle, England. Meidl has served ACDA in numerous positions at the state and division level since 1984, including WCDA and NC-ACDA president. He holds degrees from Lawrence University, Northwestern University, and Boston University. (Back to top)  (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)



Annette MitchellAnnette Mitchell Annette Mitchell holds a Masters degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a B.M.E. from Chadron State College (NE). She teaches K-4 general music at Norris Elementary School, Firth, NE, and also directs the 5th Grade Choir. Annette is a member of Music Educators National Conference, Nebraska Music Educators Association, and the Nebraska Choral Directors Association  




David PuderbaughDavid Puderbaugh is assistant director of choral activities at The University of Iowa, where he conducts Camerata, teaches graduate choral literature and undergraduate choral conducting, advises D.M.A. theses, and assists in administration of the choral program. Dr. Puderbaugh holds a B.M.E. from Drake University (IA), an M.M. in choral conducting from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a D.M.A. in choral conducting and pedagogy from The University of Iowa. Puderbaugh also is music director of Chamber Singers of Iowa City. His current research interest centers on Estonian choral music, a fascination that resulted in a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct dissertation research on that country's national song festivals during the Soviet occupation. He served as consultant for the educational DVD release of the documentary film "The Singing Revolution" (Sky Films Incorporated, 2008) as well as the making of its sequel, "Songs of Defiance" (in production). Puderbaugh is interested in bringing the Baltic region's vast choral treasury to the United States through performance as well as the creation of performing and critical editions. (Back to top) (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)


Christopher RussellChristopher J. Russell is the director of choirs and performing arts department chair at East Ridge High School in Woodbury, Minnesota. He earned a B.S. in music education from Northwestern College, a M.A. in music education with a choral emphasis at the University of St. Thomas, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He has also worked toward a M. Div. at Bethel Theological Seminary. Dr. Russell has served on technology committees in two school districts and has presented sessions on the use of technology in education (general, music, and choral) at various music and technology conferences. He authors a blog on the subjects of technology education and integration at Russell is a lyric tenor and tubist, having performed with the Woodbury Community Theater, the Minnesota Chorale, and the Minnesota Opera. In his spare time, Russell enjoys riding his Victory Motorcycle and spending time with his family.  (Back to top)  (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)

Marcia RussellMarcia Russell has taught choral music in the Platteville (WI) School District since 1997, teaching seven years at Platteville High School before moving to the middle school. She graduated magna cum laude from Lawrence University with a Bachelor of Music degree in voice performance and general/choral music education. Ms. Russell conducts Choristers, one of the three choirs in the Platteville Children's Choirs, and Con Gioia, one of the nine choirs in the Madison Youth Choirs. An active member of ACDA and MENC, Ms. Russell has held many leadership roles and is a member of the Wisconsin CMP team. She has chaired NextDirection: The National Conference for High School Students Considering Careers in Choral Music. She is currently serving as chair of the Middle Level Boys Honor Choir for the North Central ACDA conference. Ms. Russell is an active adjudicator and clinician for regional middle level honor choirs. She received the WCDA Outstanding Young Choral Director Award in 2003. (Back to top)  (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)


Diane SkrobisDiane Skrobis is the founder/director of the Children's Choir of Waukesha, a choral program including five choirs spanning grades 1 through 12, and "The Singing Tree," a pre-school music and movement program involving parent and child beginning with new-born babies through age 6. Diane has taught all grade levels from pre-school through adult. She has taught in the Kettle Moraine, Waukesha, and Whitnall School Districts as well as at Carroll College and Pius High School. She is currently Director of Music at St. Jerome Catholic Church in Oconomowoc. She is an active member of ACDA and OAKE. Mrs. Skrobis' students have sung in local, state, district, and national honor choirs for the past 22 years. She has conducted state honor choirs in Wisconsin, Indiana, Georgia, and Mississippi and lectured on children's choirs and early childhood music at Alverno College, Lawrence University, Carroll College, as well as at state and district music conferences. (Back to top)  (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)

Barbara SlettoBarbara Sletto is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Heartland Youth Choir, a civic organization that serves over 200 Central Iowa singers. Prior to her work with the Heartland Youth Choir, she was the Artistic Director of the Iowa Youth Chorus and the Des Moines Children's Choruses. Under her direction, choirs have performed for National Kodaly and Orff Conferences, and regional MENC conventions. Barbara is the director of the Drake Chorale at Drake University. She founded the Annual Women's Choral Festival for the Chorale giving the singers opportunities to work with guest conductors and women across the state of Iowa. Sletto completed her Masters of Arts in Music Education with a Kodaly emphasis from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is also trained in Orff and Dalcroze methodology. An active composer specializing in literature for treble choirs, her compositions are published with Colla Voce and Alliance. (Back to top)  (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)


Phillip SwanPhillip A. Swan, associate professor of music, is the co-director of choral studies at Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, and musical director for Lawrence musicals. Swan co-directs the Concert Choir and Cantala, a women's choir who performed at the 2011 Chicago ACDA National Conference. He also teaches courses in conducting, musical theatre and music education, and supervises student teachers. Active in the Appleton community, Swan is the Artistic Director/Conductor for the White Heron Chorale. He received his Bachelor of Arts in music education from Concordia College, Moorhead (MN); a Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of Texas at El Paso; and has completed all coursework for the Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting at the University of Miami (Florida). In June 2011, Swan was selected as one of seven conductors to represent the United States in the International Conductor Exchange Program. Swan serves as the WCDA Women's Choirs R & S chair. (Back to top)  (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)


Rebecca WinnieRebecca Renee Winnie is the choral music director at Homestead High School. Before coming to the Mequon-Thiensville School District in 1988, she taught high school choral music in three suburban Chicago communities. Ms. Winnie received her Bachelor of Music degree in choral and instrumental music education and her Master's degree in choral conducting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was awarded the 2002 Civic Music Association of Milwaukee Certificate of Excellence in Choral Music Instruction, the 2003 Mequon-Thiensville Outstanding Educator, and is a 2004 Herb Kohl Education Fellowship recipient. Ms. Winnie has served on the Wisconsin School Music Association CMP (Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance) Committee since 1997 and especially enjoys the adventure of searching for diverse and powerful music to study with her students.  (Back to top)  (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)

Greg ZielkeGreg Zielke has been professor of music at Grace University, Omaha, NE, since 1991 where he directs the Grace Chorale, the Masterworks Chorus, and the Chamber Singers. In addition, he teaches conducting, choral methods, church music, and private voice. Under his direction, Grace choirs have performed across America and taken concert tours to Australia and Europe. Dr. Zielke has been conductor and artistic director for the Omaha Symphonic Chorus since 2002. He received the B.A. in music education from Tabor College, the M.M.E. from Wichita State University, and the D.M.A. in conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). In his role as church musician, Dr. Zielke enjoys conducting choral festivals and leading workshops on music and worship. He serves as director of music and worship at Community Bible Church in Omaha. He also serves as chair of the Repertoire & Standards committee for Music and Worship for the Nebraska ACDA. (Back to top)  (Back to Sessions/Clinicians)