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Young Voices 2008 Clinicians

Girls' Children's Choir

Liz Grefsheim

Elizabeth Grefsheim is co-founder of The Son-Sheim Music School and SONDANCE Studio in Spring Lake Park, Anoka and Maple Grove, Minnesota. Over eight hundred students study music in groups or private lessons at the school.

Ms. Grefsheim teaches group music experiences for children, private voice for all ages and is the director of the "Rainbow Kids," the school's performing choir. This choir has been on many Christian vocal recordings over the past ten years and has performed at state and national conventions.

Ms. Grefsheim directs choral festivals of all age levels and presents workshops and vocal/choral clinics throughout the United States. She is a frequent adjudicator for the Minnesota State High School League.

Ms. Grefsheim is Associate Executive Director and faculty member of The VoiceCare Network. She is an active member of NATS, MENC and ACDA.


Drew Collins

DREW COLLINS studied with René Clausen at Concordia College (Moorhead, MN), where he earned the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and was a member of the world renowned Concordia Choir. He completed the Master of Music degree in choral conducting at Boston University's College of Fine Arts, studying with Ann Howard Jones, Daniel Moe, Lukas Foss, Craig Smith and David Hoose. He recently began doctoral studies in choral conducting and composition at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Mark Gibson, Stephen Coker and Earl Rivers.

Mr. Collins began his career teaching music in the public schools (grades 6-12). He has taught choral music, conducting and music education courses at the collegiate level. He currently conducts the University of Cincinnati Men's Chorus.

Mr. Collins's interest in music education led him to present a session at the 2004 national convention of MENC, the United States' professional organization for music educators. He is in demand to lead reading sessions, clinics and workshops for professional organizations and schools. He is frequently asked to lead choral festivals for singers of all ages. In 2001, he served as Lead Artist in the Quad City Arts' MetroArts program, heading a project exploring the history and evolution of African-American music. Mr. Collins has penned articles and interviews for Choral Director Magazine, which also prints in each issue his repertoire forum.

His professional conducting work includes serving as Music and Artistic Director for Tempus (Boston, MA), Choir of the Lakes (Minneapolis, MN), and Trinity Concert Singers (Boston, MA). He has conducted performance tours with choirs in the continental United States and in Europe. He has served as assistant conductor for Elgin Choral Union, Trinity Choir, Boston University Choral Society, and Handel Oratorio Society. He has guest conducted at the AMC Mountains & Music Weekend and the presitigious MusicX new music festival where he worked with Michael Torke. He has conducted festival choirs in Maine, New Hampshire, Illinois, and Kentucky, most recently the Kentucky Junior High All-State Mixed Choir. All told, he has conducted symphonic, professional, early music, community, school, treble, male, church, collegiate, jazz, chamber, festival and changing voice choral ensembles.

In addition to his busy conducting schedule, Collins is an active composer, arranger and editor of choral music. He has served as composer-in-residence for Tempus and the Boston University Choral Society, and currently serves as Senior Editor of Neil A. Kjos Music Company. He is frequently asked or commissioned to write choral works, and several of his works are premiered each concert season. His music is found in the catalogs of Earthsongs, E. C. Schirmer, Hal Leonard, Kjos, Mark Foster, Odhecaton, and Walton Music Company. His choral series is published by Curtis Music Press.

Drew was a recipient of the F. Melius Christiansen Award in 1997. In 2003, he was named a fellow for Chorus America's inaugural A Cappella Conducting Workshop. where he studied with Charles Bruffy, Alan Harler, and Dale Warland. He has also appeared in masterclass with Harry Christophers and The Sixteen, Eric Whitacre and Stephen Darlington. His work as a composer and educator landed him a slot in the 2005 volume of Who's Who in America.

Junior High Girls Choir

Julia White

Julia J. White is the Artistic Director and Founder of the acclaimed Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Harrisonburg, VA, where she oversees the program of 200 students in five choirs and teaches courses on the child voice. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from DePauw University and a Master of Music degree from Westminster Choir College, Princeton.

In addition to her work in organ performance, choral conducting, and children's choirs Ms. White sang with the Symphonic Choir with Maestro Ricardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Maestro Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic. Ms. White has done post-graduate specialization in children's choirs at Westminster Choir College, the American Boychoir School, Royal School of Church Music, and Choral Music Experience Institute at Northern Illinois University, where she received Levels I-III certification and Artist Teacher Diploma. She has studied long term in Vienna, Austria, and England and has completed Level I of Kodaly training.

Ms. White served two terms as the ACDA Children's Choir Chair for Virginia and created the ACDA Virginia/Maryland Honors Choir in 1998 & 1999. She has been a frequent guest director and lecturer at festivals and universities in Virginia, Connecticut, Washington, DC, and Oklahoma, and has directed All-State Choirs including West Virginia (2002), Mississippi (2003), and Florida (2004). She received Governor's School awards in Richmond in 1998 and 2000, and received the Distinguished Artist-in-Residence title at Eastern Mennonite University in 2003.


Junior High Mixed Choir

Dan Jackson

Dan Jackson is Associate Professor of Music at Point Loma Nazarene University where he conducts the Point Loma University Choir. Jackson received a B.A. in music education, an M.A. in Choral Conducting and has earned a Doctorate in Theology and Worship Studies. Dr. Jackson was voted Music Educator of the Year for Central California in 1995, 1999,
and 2002. Under Dan Jackson's direction, his choirs have performed for seven C.M.E.A. state conventions, three Western Division A.C.D.A. conventions, two National M.E.N.C. conventions, and three National A.C.D.A. conventions.

Dr. Jackson has conducted honor choirs throughout the United States. Most recently he conducted the A. C. D. A. Southern Division Honor Choir and the California All-State Honor Choir. He was the choral conductor and clinician at the Oklahoma Institute of the Arts in June 2005. In 2006, Dan Jackson will conduct the Tennessee All-State Honor Choir and be a guest conductor for the Vancouver, British Columbia Church Music Conference.

Jackson's ensembles have toured overseas on numerous occasions, performing over 100 concerts in England, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Romania, South Africa and Vendaland. In addition to a successful career of twenty-two years in secondary education and four years at P. L. N. U, Dr. Jackson has taught for Columbia University's doctoral program in music education.

Dan Jackson resides in San Diego with his wife Connie and two sons. Dr. Jackson's most honored moments in his career of twenty-six years are giving countless young people a life changing opportunity to create and give beauty to their world though the art of choral music.

Young Voices 2006 Clinicians

Barbara Sletto- Girls' Children's Choir

Barbara Sletto Is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Heartland Youth Choir, a civic organization that serves over 150 Central Iowa singers. The choir is divided into five leveled choirs with students ages 6-18. The program focuses on music literacy, healthy vocal development, and character building.

Prior to her work with the Heartland Youth Choir, Barbara was the Artistic Director of the Iowa Youth Chorus, the Des Moines Children’s Choruses, the Anderson Area Children’s Choir of Anderson, Indiana, and the Lakes Treble Choir of Minnesota. Under her direction, choirs have performed for National Kodaly and Orff Conferences, regional Music Educators National Conferences, and American Choral Director’s Association conferences in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

As a specialist in the voices of youth, Barbara frequently serves as a guest conductor for high school and elementary festival choirs and honor choirs. She has guest conducted for numerous All-State choirs as well as various summer choir camps throughout the United States including; the International Music Camp, the Wisconsin Summer Music Clinic, the Indiana Choral Director’s Summer Music Institute, the Virginia Kodaly Summer Music Camp, the Drake School of Music Summer Camp, the Heartland Choral Camp, and the International Music Institute.

Barbara 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. She is a frequent clinician for music educators throughout the United States and teaches a Kodaly certification course at both Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi and Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Barbara has fulfilled twelve commissioned works for treble choirs including commissions for Iowa and Indiana All-State choirs. Her compositions are published with Plymouth Music Company, Colla Voce Publishing, and Alliance Publishing Company. Barbara has served on the Board of Directors for numerous music organizations including: the National Organization of American Kodaly Educators, the Midwest Kodaly Music Educators of America, the Indiana Choral Directors Association, the Indiana Music Educators Association, and the Iowa Choral Director’s Association.


Ken Berg- Boychoir

Ly Tartell - Junior High Girls Choir

Ly Tartell enjoys an active schedule as a performer, teacher and writer. Her solo talents have been highlighted in big band, small group and orchestral settings.   She performs annually with the Birch Creek Music Performance Center Academy Band in Egg Harbor WI and sings on choral publishing demos for Shawnee Press, Alfred Publishing and Choristers Guild. Ly sang for the Walt Disney Corporation as a member of the groups Vocalworks and Disney's All-American College Jazz Band Singers where she performed with such legendary artists as Joe Williams, Toni Tennille, Marilyn McCoo, Dianne Reeves, Diane Schuur, Rosemary Clooney, and was featured on the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon with Maureen McGovern.  


As an educator, Ly directed the vocal jazz, women's, and mixed choirs at Purdue Musical Organizations (Purdue University – West Lafayette, IN) from 1997-2003.   Her ensembles have been featured at the International Association for Jazz Education Convention.   She is in demand as an adjudicator and clinician throughout the country and has served as a vocal clinician for Showchoir Camps of America.   Her arrangements have been performed by high school and university ensembles in internationally. She received her BM from the University of Miami (FL) and her MM.   Ly resides is Bloomington IN with husband, Joey, and daughter, Jamie.


Jeffery Ames- Junior High Mixed Choir

Dr. Jeffery L. Ames, Assistant Director of Choral Activities at Baylor University, holds a Ph.D. in Choral Conducting and Choral Music Education and a Master of Choral Music Education degree from Florida State University, and a Bachelor of Music degree, with at double major in Vocal Performance and Piano Accompanying, from James Madison University.

His prior appointments include Director of Choral Activities at Edgewater High School and Lincoln High School in Florida. During his tenure at Lincoln High School, several advanced choirs performed at state ACDA conventions and at Carnegie Hall.

Dr. Ames is a sought after adjudicator, clinician, accompanist and composer. As a choral clinician, Dr. Ames conducted the inaugural Florida Male All-State Chorus and has performed internationally in the countries of Italy and Costa Rica. As an accompanist, he has performed with well-known conductors such as André Thomas, Anton Armstrong, Allen Crowell, Dan Krunnfusz, and Bradley Ellingboe.

Dr. Ames' compositions are published with Colla Voce Music and Walton Music Corporation. His music has been premiered by the Florida American Choral Directors Association, the Florida Music Educators Association, the Southern Division of ACDA, and most recently in 2005 at the National ACDA Conference in Los Angeles.

Dr. Ames is the first recipient of the ACDA 2004 James Mulholland Choral Music Fellowship, is listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers, was named the Ida S. Baker Distinguished Minority Educator of the Year in 2000, is a member of Phi Kappa Lambda National Honor Society and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.



Shirley Ellison