Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt is Professor Emerita of Choral Studies at the University of Toronto where she held the Elmer Iseler Chair in Conducting. In 2013, she received the Inaugural Teaching Excellence Award from the Faculty of Music. While in Toronto, she was artistic director of Exultate Chamber Singers, a semi-professional ensemble, from 2013 – 2018. Exultate frequently commissioned and performed works by Canadian composers.
A native Canadian who was raised in Nova Scotia, Hilary Apfelstadt has led her university choirs in performances at national and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and at Podium, the national professional conference of Choral Canada. She has guest conducted numerous honors choruses and festivals through the U.S. and Canada, including more than 35 all-state high school choirs. She directed the 2014 National Youth Choir of Canada and has conducted choral festivals internationally. Her teaching experiences range from public school to community ensembles to church choirs, and with all ages, pre-school through adult.
During her significant career, Hilary Apfelstadt has mentored many young conductors. She has advised almost 90 graduate conducting majors, many of whom hold significant teaching and church positions. A former national president of ACDA, she serves on the Editorial Board for the ACDA Choral Journal. She is a prolific author, having written many articles on choral pedagogy and repertoire, as well as chapters of several books. She is co-editor of Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, v.5, published by GIA (2019), and a contributing author to Volume 4 of the same series. Her book on the life and work of Canadian composer Ruth Watson Henderson, I Didn’t Want It To be Boring (Toronto: Prism Publishers) won Choral Canada’s award for Outstanding Choral Publication in 2018.
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.
Dr. Lynn M. Brinckmeyer is Professor of Music, Associate Director of the School of Music and Director of Choral Music Education at Texas State University. During 2006-2008 she served as President for The National Association for Music Education (formerly MENC). Other past offices include: President for the Northwest Division of MENC, Music Educators Journal Editorial Board, and Washington Music Educators Association General Music Curriculum Chair. In addition to chairing the Eastern Washington University Music Department for six years and conducting the EWU Concert Choir, Dr. Brinckmeyer received the Washington Music Educators Association Hall of Fame, the MENC Northwest Division Distinguished Service Award and Eastern New Mexico University’s Outstanding Alumni Award.
Dr. Brinckmeyer recently published The Wonder of Music with John Jacobson. Other books include: Rhythm Rescue!, Wander the World with Warm-ups, The Wonder of Music with Hal Leonard Publishing and Advocate for Music with Oxford University Press. She founded the Eastern Washington University Girls’ Chorus while teaching at EWU. She also served as Artistic Director for the South Hill Children’s Chorus in Spokane, Washington. Dr. Brinckmeyer is a co-founder and Artistic Director for the Hill Country Youth Chorus in San Marcos, Texas.
Dr. Brinckmeyer’s degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Education and Master of Music Education from Eastern New Mexico University, and a Ph.D. in Music Education from The University of Kansas. In New Mexico she taught elementary music and middle school choir, then moved to higher education in the Pacific Northwest. At Texas State University Dr. Brinckmeyer teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in choral music education, and she directs the Texas State Women’s Chamber Choir. Each summer Dr. Brinckmeyer teaches classes for Will Schmid’s World Music Drumming workshops. She has conducted all state choirs and honor choirs, lectured, presented master classes and performed in forty-nine states in the United States and 20+ countries, including China, Brazil, South Africa, Cuba and Peru.
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.
Betsy Greene teaches elementary general music and chorus in Burlington, Vermont. She earned her B.M.Ed. from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam and her M.M.Ed. from the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford. Betsy is both Kodaly (Hartt School of Music, U. of Hartford) and Orff-Schulwerk (U. of St. Thomas) certified. She received the Outstanding Arts Advocate Award (1998) from the past Vermont Arts Alliance and the Music Educator of the Year Award (2008) from the Vermont Music Educators Association. Betsy is a founding member of the Feierabend Association for Music Education and is currently serving as Past-President (2019-2021). She is a certified teacher trainer for both First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege 1 & 2. She is a frequent presenter of workshops and undergraduate courses for First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege throughout Vermont and New England. She is co-author for First Steps in Music with Orff Schulwerk: Sing, Say, Dance, Play (GIA Publications, 2017) and Feierabend Fundamentals: History, Philosophy and Practice (GIA Publications, 2018).
Rachel Grimsby is a passionate educator, with experience teaching elementary general music and choral music. In 2002 she earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from East Carolina, and in 2010 graduated from the University of Hartford's Hartt School of Music with a Master of Music Education. Rachel is a Ph.D candidate at Michigan State University where she is a graduate teaching assistant, oversees undergraduate student teachers, and serves with the community engagement program. Her research interests include music and language acquisition in students with disabilities, how much may benefit those with language delays, professionakl development for in-service teachers and course work for undergraduates teaching music to students with disabilities. Rachel is the co-author of two publications; First Steps in Music with Orff Schulwerk, and Feierabend Fundamentals: History, Philosphy, and Practice. She has also been published in the Orff Echo and recently had an article accepted to the Journal of Teacher Music Education. Rachel is fully certified in Kodaly, Orff, and holds GIML Elementary I and II certificates. She is also a teacher trainer for both Frist Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege Level 1 and 2. Rachel is a member of AERA, AOSA, OAKE, NAfME, and is a founding member of the Feierabend Association for Music Education. She lived with her husband and two children in Lansing, Michigan.
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.
Dr. Benjamin Klemme
Benjamin Klemme leads an active career dedicated to engaging audiences and performers of all ages with the transforming power of orchestral music. As Music Director of the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association, he conducts the organization's flagship ensemble—the Vermont Youth Orchestra—and provides artistic leadership and vision for programs that serve over 300 students in grades 1–12 from across Vermont and neighboring states. Before coming to Vermont, Klemme served as Associate Conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Music Director and Conductor of the Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles, Orchestra Conductor at Augsburg College (Minneapolis), and Concert Orchestra Conductor at the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies. Previously he has held conducting posts at the National Repertory and Cleveland Pops Orchestras, University of Minnesota, Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association, and MacPhail Center for Music. His guest conducting appearances include performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Quad City Symphony Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, and University of Minnesota Opera Theatre.
Klemme earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Minnesota, where he was a James Sample Conducting Fellow. He holds a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Northern Iowa. His principal conducting teachers include Mark Russell Smith, Carl Topilow, Louis Lane, Rebecca Burkhardt and Ronald Johnson.
Klemme's passion for and commitment to music education is displayed through his work both on and off the podium. As Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, he connected community members throughout southeast Iowa and northwest Illinois with opportunities to hear, perform, and engage with orchestral music in traditional and innovative contexts. In New Mexico, he helped bring classical music to life for elementary and middle school students as Artistic Advisor and Outreach Concert Host for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival's "Music In Our Schools" program, and chaired the music department at New Mexico School for the Arts, a statewide, public, boarding high school for the arts. In Ohio, he co-founded the Scordatura Chamber Orchestra, a Cleveland-based ensemble designed to support classroom learning objectives in language arts, math, science, and social studies through interactive orchestral performances.
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.