Jerry McCoy is currently a Visiting Professor of Music at Baylor University and Artistic Director/Conductor of the Forth Worth Chorale and Chamber Choir. Winner of the 2013 Texas Choral Directors Association's prestigious Choirmaster Award, he is also Regents Professor of Music Emeritus for the University of North Teas, where between 2000 and 2015 he led the UNT choral program to national and international acclaim while serving as Director of Choral Studies and conductor of the A Capella Choir. His graduates hold forty-nine full-time positions with universities, professional choirs, and churches in the U.S., Mexico, and South Korea.
From 2007 to 2015, Jerry McCoy served as a member of the National Executive Committee of the American Choral Directors Association, serving as the organization's national president from 2009 to 2011. His work in the international choral community has included appearances in Austria, Canada, China, Cuba, France, Great Britain, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, and Venezuela. Guest engagements for 2016-2017 include appearances in Canada, South Korea, Alabama, Delaware, California, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas.
Julie McCoy, soprano, enjoys a career that combines singing and teaching. She has performed as guest soloist with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Texas Camerata, Denton Bach Society, Orchestra of New Spain, Tulsa Ballet, and New Orleans Opera. She is also an active recitalist and professional ensemble singer.
At the invitation of the U.S. State Department, Ms. McCoy and pianist Cynthia Cortright served as Artistic Ambassadors in a four-week tour to Israel, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Syria. As a member of Conspirare Chamber Choir, she sang on the Grammy-nominated recordings Threshold of Night (2009) and The Poet Sings: Pablo Neruda (2015), the 2012 recording Barber: American Romantic, 2016's Considering Matthew Shepard, and as a soloist on Sacred Spirit of Russia, winner of the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance. As a member and soloist, Ms. McCoy performed and recorded with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in France and New York for nine years. The Festival Singers are featured on several releases from Telarc Recording Company, including Amazing Grace, Evocation of the Spirit, Liebeslieder Waltzes and Appear and Inpsire.
Mc. McCoy holds the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. A dedicated teacher of singing, she has taught at the University of North Texas, Texas Christian University, Oklahoma State University, and is in her twelfth year at Texas Wesleyan University in Forth Worth, TX.
Dr. John Feierabend is considered one of the leading authorities on music and movement development. He is a professor of Music and the Director of Music Education at the Hartt School of the University of Hartford and is a past President of the American Kodály Educators. A music educator for over thirty years, he continues to be committed to collecting, preserving and teaching the diverse folk music of our country and to using that folk music as a bridge to help children understand and enjoy classical music.
In addition to serving as the lead scriptwriter for the Van Cliburn Foundation's "Musical Awakenings" program of classical concerts for children, Dr. Feierabend promotes music education through frequent presentations in the United States and abroad. He is the author of more than 60 books, recordings and DVDs including the popular "First Steps in Music" series and the "Conversational Solfege" curriculum materials. Founded in 2012, the Feierabend Association for Music Education works to preserve Dr. Feierabend's research and pedagogical techniques through teacher training and certification in both First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege.
Dr. Robert G. Hasty is the Music Director of the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra and the conductor of the Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonia at the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University where he also serves as the Associate Dean of Orchestras.
A noted researcher in music cognition, Dr. Hasty authored the book "Critical Listening While Conducting" and has been invited to speak on this topic internationally. As a conductor, Dr. Hasty has performed with the All-American College Orchestra at Walt Disney World, Beijing Youth Orchestra, Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, Irvine Youth Symphony, Merit Symphony Orchestra, National High School Music Institute Orchestra, Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, NU Opera Theater and the NU Contemporary Music Ensemble. He is sought after as an honor orchestra conductor, and is a member of the conducting and music education faculties at the Bienen School of Music.
Scott Shuler, NAfME Immediate Past President for 2012-214, is the Arts Education specialist in the Connecticut Sate Department of Education. He has served as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for the Simsbury Public Schools, taught 3 - 12 instrumental and general music and conducted church choirs in Michigan, Delaware, and Wisconsin. He has taught music education courses at several universities including the Hartt School, Eastman School of Music, and New England Conservatory, and served as Associate Professor and Coordinator of Music Education at California State University, Long Beach.
Dr. Shuler has authored many publications, served on NAfME's UPDATE editorial board, and presented countless workshops on topics such as music program development and assessment, teacher preparation, advocacy, and the role of the arts in middle schools. He was a member of the task force that developed America's National Standards in music, helped design and interpret the 1999 federal arts education survey and 1997 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in the Arts, co-chaired the Council of Chief State School Officers SCASS multi-state arts assessment consortium, and served as president of the National Council of State Supervisors or Music. He earned his Mus. at the University of Michigan, his M.S. at the University of Illinois, and his Ph.D at the Eastman School of Music.
Dr. Christopher Azzara
Pianist, arranger, author, and educator, Christopher Azzara has made important contributions to advancing the understanding of creativity and improvisation in the music learning process. An innovator in the area of music teaching and learning, Dr. Azzara is Professor and Chair of Music Education and Affiliate Faculty of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music.
Teaching and performing internationally, he is the author of numerous articles, arrangements, and books, including Developing Musicianship Through Improvisation, Creativity In Improvisation, and Jump Right In: The Instrumental Series (GIA). His arrangements for instrumental and vocal ensembles include A la nanita nana for choir and chamber orchestra or piano (Oxford), and Concert Selections for Winds and Percussion (GIA). His research and publications are concerned with meaningful relationships among listening, creating, improvising, reading, composing, and analyzing music in vocal and instrumental settings. Dr. Azzara’s work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Research in Music Education, the Music Educators Journal, Early Childhood Connections, and in The New Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning (MENC/Oxford). He performs as a soloist and in various ensembles, including the Chris Azzara Quartet, and has played on and produced many studio and educational recordings. In Rochester, he performs with free-lance musicians, members of the Eastman School of Music faculty, and members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. An active teacher and clinician, he has taught and performed extensively throughout the United States, and in Canada, the Caribbean, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Japan, and Australia. He has presented clinics and workshops in a variety of settings, including TEDxRochester, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and leading music schools in this country and abroad.
Christopher Azzara is a native of Virginia and attended public schools in Fairfax County. After receiving the Bachelor of Music degree from George Mason University, he taught instrumental music in the Fairfax County Public Schools and performed as a pianist in the Washington D.C. area. He later received a Master of Music and a Ph.D. in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music. Prior to joining the Eastman faculty, Dr. Azzara was a professor at The Hartt School of Music, Dance, and Theatre of the University of Hartford, CT.
Kenneth Trapp teaches general music K-6 in Stratford, CT. He is also an adjunct Professor of Music Education at the Hartt School, University of Hartford, and at Gordon College in Wenham, MA. Ken has contributed chapters to two textbooks on the topic of developing aural skills; Engaging Music Practices; A Sourcebook for Middle School General Music, 2012, and The Development and Practical Application of Music Learning Theory, 2005. He is also a professional musician who performs in many ensembles both locally and nationally. Through years of study, Ken has used his knowledge of ensemble performance, harmonic awareness and improvisation to develop activities and materials for students of all ages to become successful playing the ukulele. He is committed to the challenge of bringing aural comprehension to young music learners.
Lillie Feierabend is known for her work with young children and instilling a love of music within them. This is her twelfth year as faculty at the University of Hartford Magnet School and her thirteenth as a director for the Connecticut Children's Chorus. She received the 1998 Teacher of the Year Award from her district for her innovative and inclusive music programs.
In 2008, Lillie again received her district's Teacher of the Year Award and Outstanding Elementary Music Educator Award from the Connecticut Music Educators Association. Lillie is a frequent clinician at local, state and national conferences, speaking on many aspects of early childhood music.