Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory began writing music together spontaneously in the early 1990s when they were both working with a community-based youth choir in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Fifteen years later, their work has earned a place in the standard choral repertoire, often performed and recorded by the world's finest ensembles. Their music has been telecast on PBS and A&E and performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. They have been commissioned by the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans, the Children in Harmony Festival at Walt Disney World, the Sing A Mile High Choral Festival in Denver and ACDA Southern Division. Their music has been featured at every national conference of ACDA for over a decade. In the past four years, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded three different commissioning projects, allowing them to create new works for American choruses. 

Paul Caldwell

Paul Caldwell is artistic director of the Youth Choral Theater of Chicago. In recognition of his work in this capacity, he and his chorus were awarded the 2006 Chorus America/ASCAP prize for Adventurous Programming. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Chorus America. In this capacity, he chairs Chorus America's Committee on Programs and Education and serves on the organization's Executive Committee. He was honored for his contribution to the choral community nationwide at the 2008 National Performing Arts Conference when he was selected as the recipient of Chorus America's Michael J. Korn Founders Award for Philanthropic Contribution to the Arts. His recent guest conducting engagements include the Jr. High Honor Choir for the 2010 ACDA Southern Division conference and the Festival Vocalizze in Portugal.


Sean Ivory

Sean Ivory directs the Grand Rapids (MI) Symphony Youth Chorus, an affiliate organization of the Grand Rapids Symphony. The ensemble maintains a heavy schedule of appearances with the orchestra (Carmina Burana, On the Transmigration of Souls) in addition to its independent concert series. Sean is also the choral director at Forest Hills Central High School and an affiliate artist with the Youth Choral Theater of Chicago. He lives in Grand Rapids with his wife Leah and their children, Emma, Samuel and Meredith. 


Carol Krueger

Carol Krueger 

is the director of choral activities at Emporia State University where she directs the A Cappella Choir, Madrigals, Community Chorus, and teaches in the music education department. An active clinician and guest conductor, Krueger has most recently conducted festivals and honor choirs in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Washington, Georgia, South Carolina, Kansas, North Dakota, and North Carolina. In addition, she has also 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 Nashville and Louisville, the MENC Southern Division Convention in Charleston, and MENC and ACDA state conventions throughout the United States. Krueger is also widely recognized for her work with music literacy. Oxford University Press publishes Krueger's book, Progressive Sight Singing. 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.


Stephen Paulus

Composer Stephen Paulus has been hailed as "...a bright, fluent inventor with a ready lyric gift." (The New Yorker) His prolific output of more than two hundred works is represented in many genres, including music for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensembles, solo voice, keyboard and opera. Commissions have been received from the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Houston Symphony and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, with subsequent performances coming from the orchestras of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, St. Louis, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Radio Orchestra. He has served as Composer in Residence for the orchestras of Atlanta, Minnesota, Tucson and Annapolis, and his works have been championed by such eminent conductors as Sir Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Christoph von Dohanyi, Leonard Slatkin, Yoel Levi, the late Robert Shaw, and numerous others.

Paulus has been commissioned to write works for some of the world's great solo artists, including Thomas Hampson, Hakan Hagegard, Doc Severinsen, William Preucil, Cynthia Phelps, Evelyn Lear, Leo Kottke and Robert McDuffie. Chamber music commissions have resulted in works for The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Friends of Music at the Supreme Court, the Cleveland Quartet and Arizona Friends of Chamber Music. He has been a featured guest composer at the festivals of Aspen, Santa Fe, Tanglewood, and, in the U.K., the Aldeburgh and Edinburgh Festivals.

As one of today's pre-eminent composers of opera, Paulus has written nine works for the dramatic stage. The Postman Always Rings Twice was the first American production to be presented at the Edinburgh Festival, and has received nine productions to date. Commissions and performances have come from such companies as the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Washington Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Berkshire Opera Company, Minnesota Opera, and Fort Worth Opera, among others, as well as many universities and colleges.

His choral works have been performed and recorded by some of the most distinguished choruses in the United States, including the New York Concert Singers, Dale Warland Singers, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Robert Shaw Festival Singers, New Music Group of Philadelphia, Master Chorale of Washington DC, Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and dozens of other professional, community, church and college choirs. He is one of the most frequently recorded contemporary composers with his music being represented on over fifty recordings.

A recipient of both Guggenheim and NEA Fellowships, Paulus is also a strong advocate for the music of his colleagues. He is co-founder and a current Board Vice President of the highly esteemed American Composers Forum, the largest composer service organization in the world. Paulus serves on the ASCAP Board of Directors as the Concert Music Representative, a post he has held since 1990.

Paulus' music has been described by critics and program annotators as rugged, angular, lyrical, lean, rhythmically aggressive, original, often gorgeous, moving, and uniquely American. He writes in a musical language that has been characterized as "...irresistible in kinetic energy and haunting in lyrical design." (Cleveland Plain Dealer) "Mr. Paulus often finds melodic patterns that are fresh and familiar at the same time....His scoring is invariably expert and exceptionally imaginative in textures and use of instruments." (The New York Times)   Photo credit:  Sharolyn Hagen.

Reviews: To Be Certain of the Dawn CD- Released February, 2009

Minneapolis StarTribune, February 28, 2009:
"The Minnesota Orchestra's recording of Stephen Paulus' oratorio To Be Certain of the Dawn is a major event. This is a momentous work receiving a stellar performance. It's a disc that lovers of contemporary choral music will want to have in their collection. There are too few recordings of the magnificent Minnesota Chorale. With any luck, their dazzling work here will change that. They are ably partnered by the Minnesota Boychoir, the Basilica Cathedral Choir and the Cathedral Choristers." –William Randall Beard

MinnPost, February 20, 2009:
"To Be Certain of the Dawn is a must-have recording for choral fans: The Minnesota Orchestra has just released its recording of To Be Certain of the Dawn, the acclaimed Holocaust memorial oratorio by Stephen Paulus that receivedits debut at the Basilica of St. Mary in 2005. ... [T]he recording creates a moment that is enveloping and deeply moving — heartbreaking in parts, actually — and there's little doubt that it is among the masterpieces of Paulus' long composing career. The recording involved massive resources: The Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Chorale, Minnesota Boychoir, the Basilica Cathedral Choir, the Cathedral Choristers, four soloists and a cantor. If you're a fan of Minnesota-made choral music, you'll want to have this disc in your collection." –David Hawley

David Rayl

David Rayl is professor of music, director of choral programs, and associate dean for graduate studies and research at the Michigan State University College of Music. Under his baton the University Chorale has appeared at the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association (2007), the Central Division convention of ACDA (2006), and the national meeting of the College Music Society (2002). He has also prepared the Chorale for five sets of performances with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Prior to joining MSU in 2002, he held the same position at the University of Missouri- Columbia for 12 years. He conducted the University Singers and Choral Union and taught in the undergraduate and graduate conducting programs. Under his direction, the University Singers sang at the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association (1995), at the 27th annual Florilège Vocale in Tours, France, (1998), and at Maggio Musicale in Florence, Italy, (2000). 

Rayl has appeared as guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator throughout the United States. He has led all-state choirs in Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Mississippi. He has presented or conducted workshops at the national conferences of MENC, NATS, and MTNA, the North Central Division Convention of ACDA, and the Iowa, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Wisconsin Choral Directors Associations. His international engagements include the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria; the V Festival di Musica Antica in Urbino, Italy; the VII Festival Internaçional de Música de Camera do Pará, in Belem, Brazil; the II Festival de Corais in Brasilia, Brazil; the Painel Unicanto de Regencia Coral in Londrina, Brazil; and the Classical Music Festival in Montreal and Quebec City, Canada.

Several of Rayl's articles and reviews have appeared in the Choral Journal, The Journal of the Conductors' Guild, and Fontes Artes Musicae. His editions of Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Nine Settings of the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary were published by A-R Editions of Madison, Wisconsin.

Rayl has also taught at Marymount College in Salina, Kansas, and St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. He is the former music director of the Chamber Singers of Iowa City (1985-1990) and the Quad City Mozart Festival (1987-97). He received particular notice for his performances of the choral, operatic, and orchestral repertoire of the 18th century, especially the works of Bach and Mozart. In 1993, Rayl received the Provost's Outstanding Junior Faculty award, recognizing teaching excellence among young faculty members at the University of Missouri-Columbia. In April 1996, he was named one of 10 recipients of the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. In 2009 he was one of the first recipients of the MSU College of Music's Dortha J. and John D. Withrow Award for Excellence in Teaching. Rayl holds a B.M. in voice from Illinois Wesleyan University; a M.M. from the University of Oklahoma; and a D.M.A. in choral conducting from the University of Iowa.

Angela Broeker

Angela Broeker is director of choral activities at the University of St. Thomas where she conducts the Chamber Singers and Concert Choir and teaches undergraduate courses in choral conducting and choral methodology.  In her role as Associate Director of Graduate Programs in Music Education, she oversees the Kodaly, Orff, and Choral concentrations and teaches choral methods, choral conducting, and choral literature courses for students pursuing the MAME degree.  Since arriving at UST in 1999, Dr. Broeker's choirs have sung at the national ACDA convention in 2011, the Minnesota Collegiate Choral Festival in 2009, the North Central Division conference in 2008, ACDA-MN in 2004, and MMEA conventions in 2007 and 2001.

In addition to her university responsibilities, Dr. Broeker presents for national, regional, and state conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, the Music Educators National Conference, the Organization of American Kodály Educators, and the American Orff-Schulwerk Association. She serves as guest conductor for numerous honors choirs including all-state choirs in 15 states.  In 2011, 2008, 2003 and 1999 she conducted National OAKE Honors Choirs, and she conducted ACDA regional children's honors choirs for the North Central and Central Divisions in 2002 and 1996.

Dr. Broeker received her D.M.A. degree from the University of Oklahoma and her M.M. and B.M.E. degrees from Indiana University.  Her research interests include seventeenth-century vocal music suitable for treble choirs and authentic, respectful performance of music from diverse cultures.   She served as guest editor of the April 2006 Choral Journal and has written articles for the April 2006 Choral Journal, the July 2000 Music Educators Journal, the MENC Spotlight on Teaching Chorus, the spring 2008 Orff Echo as well as many local and regional music publications. The book she coauthored with Mary Goetze and Ruth Boshkoff, Educating Young Singers, was published in October, 2009. She lives in St. Paul with her dog and her husband-composer, Jay.

Brad Holmes

Brad Holmes conducts the University Choir and is the Director of Choir Programs at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. Dr. Holmes has overseen the growth of Millikin's choral program to five traditional choirs and a variety of smaller vocal ensembles involving more than 300 singers and seven choral/ensemble staff.

Under his direction, The Millikin University Choir has sung for three regional conferences and one national conference of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). The choir has again been invited to perform for this year's ACDA national conference in Chicago. The choir's recent tour to China and Taiwan will be followed in 2011 by a two-week excursion to Ireland and Scotland. 

Dr. Holmes' guest-conducting schedule has included All-State Choirs, ACDA Honor Choirs, district festivals and church music clinics throughout the United States. Internationally, he has received guest invitations in the Far East conducting choirs from Japan, Korea, China and the Philippines. This year he returns to England to conduct the Royal Free Singers of Windsor in a program of American music.

Margaret Jenks

Margaret Jenks is a graduate of the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, with degrees in music education and vocal performance. Her teaching and performing career has taken her from Freiburg, Germany to Eagan, Minnesota and to Waukesha, Wisconsin, where she taught at Butler Middle School and later at North High School. While at Butler, Margaret created the Bridge Ensemble, an innovative choir which gained attention for its unique approach of pairing gifted and talented students with cognitively disabled students. The Bridge Ensemble appeared by invitation at the January 2001 Wisconsin Choral Directors state convention, in a moving and memorable performance. 

Margaret has performed extensively as soprano soloist in such works as the Bach Magnificat, Haydn's Creation, and Handel's Messiah. Presently, she designs and teaches the introductory choir programs of the Madison Youth Choirs. In 2010, Margaret co-conducted the first ACDA Central Division Young Men's Honor Choir in Cincinnatti with colleague Randy Swiggum. She and Randy were invited to conduct the APAC Choral Festival in Seoul, Korea in 2009, and work with music teachers from across southeast Asia in a two-day conference focused on comprehensive musicianship. Margaret serves as the WCDA Repertoire & Standards Chairperson for Boychoirs and is a member of the Wisconsin CMP Team (Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance). 

Randy Swiggum

Randy Swiggum was artistic director of the Madison Children's Choir from 1996-2000, and currently conducts the Madison Boychoir's top ensembles. He is in his thirteenth season as music director of the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has enjoyed a diverse teaching career that has spanned elementary general music, high school choir, college orchestra, music theory and conducting. As composer, conductor, teacher, and advocate for young people in the arts, he has established a reputation for musical excellence and a commitment to music education through performance. 

A passionate advocate for a richer learning experience in choir, band, and orchestra, he has served as chair of the Wisconsin CMP (Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance) Project, now in its 32nd year. He is a frequent guest conductor of orchestral and choral festivals; a presenter at MENC, ASTA, and ACDA conferences; a conductor of opera and musical theatre; music director of over thirty stage works; and has conducted successful performance tours to Europe, Canada, Brazil, Iceland, and throughout the U.S. As a writer, Swiggum has served as music critic for the Milwaukee Journal, author of the book Strategies for Teaching, and co-author of Shaping Sound Musicians.

John Armstrong

John Armstrong holds degrees from the Crane School of Music and Ithaca College. He was choral director at West Genesee High School, Oswego High School and LeMoyne College, and is the former conductor of Elmira Choral Society and the Syracuse Vocal Ensemble. John has worked extensively with music teachers and choral directors to raise music literacy standards at all levels throughout the Northeast and Midwest. He frequently appears as a guest conductor for all-county, area all-state and festival choirs, and is active as clinician, author and composer for choral seminars, workshops, and graduate courses. He has appeared as clinician for MMEA, NYSSMA, ICDA, VMEA and PMEA, and was keynote speaker for the 2009 WMEA State Conference. Mr. Armstrong runs an online "Solfeggio Support Group," which includes more than 400 choral directors who are dedicated to developing successful music literacy programs for singers in their classes and choirs. 

John has been successful as a finalist and first-prize winner at the Ithaca College Choral Composition Contest, and he has been the winner of the Iowa Choral Commissioning Competition. He has written commissioned works for a variety of church, school, college, and community choirs, has composed fourteen a cappella choral settings of Emily Dickinson poems, and he recently premiered "Deus, Creator Omnium" for double choir at St. Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines. John has choral works in print with BriLee Music; his book, The Solo and Ensemble Singer, was published by Warner Bros., and "The Reading Choir Singer" is now available. He maintains an active website at www.armstrongmusicliteracy.com.

Kristin Zaryski

Kristin Zaryski is the director of the Michigan State University Children's Choirs: the Preparatory Choir, the CMS Singers, and the MSU Children's Choir. She also serves as the area chair of choirs.

Ms. Zaryksi received her Bachelor of Music in music education with an emphasis in piano and organ studies at Ithaca College in New York, and the Master of Music in choral conducting at Michigan State University. Ms. Zaryski also has a Level I certification in choral music experience. Before joining the Community Music School staff, Ms. Zaryski taught middle and high school vocal music in Orlando and upstate New York, was a conductor and accompanist for the Ithaca Children's Choir, and was an assistant conductor for MSU choirs. Ms. Zaryski was also a member of the MSU Women's Chamber Ensemble, MSU Chorale, and is currently the music director at the University United Methodist Church in East Lansing. 

Patricia Trump

Patricia Trump teaches K-5 music at Monroe Elementary School in Des Moines. She has taught vocal music and directed school choruses for over 35 years. Ms. Trump received her BME and MME degrees from Drake University and completed her Level III Orff certification at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN.

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Trump is a member and past president of the Des Moines Choral Society. She is active in Orff-Schulwerk and currently serves as treasurer of the Greater Des Moines Chapter. She has presented workshop sessions on a variety of topics, in cluding sessions on Classroom Management for Music Teachers as part of Drake University's Summer Symposium.

When Iowa Youth Choruses was founded in 1982, Ms. Trump was the organization's first accompanist and later served for three years as director of the Preparatory Choir. In 2001 she was selected to conduct the 5th and 6th Grade Iowa Opus Honor Choir, and in 2003 she conducted the elementary honor choir for the Northwest Chapter of the Iowa Choral Directors' Association. She frequently serves as accompanist for the Des Moines Elementary Honor Choir.

Since 2005 Ms. Trump has been a member of the teaching team for the Iowa Comprehensive Musicianship Project and in that capacity has led sessions on comprehensive musicianship for ICDA, IMEA, SAI and the Drake Summer Music Symposium. She also serves on the Grand View College Music Department Advisory Committee, and on the board of directors for the Heartland Youth Choirs.

Ms. Trump is currently participating in a partnership with Drake University to provide live classroom experience for students in elementary music methods classes. Under the leadership of Drake professor Tom Sletto, Monroe Elementary has become a Professional Development School for novice music educators.