2019 Master Conductors

2019 Master Conductors


Sandra Snow
COA Nationals for Top Choirs
NYC + Carnegie Hall
March TBA, 2019

As conductor, teacher, and scholar, Sandra Snow’s work spans a wide variety of ages, abilities, and music. She holds appointments in conducting and music education in the Michigan State University College of Music, where she interacts with undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of conducting, choral pedagogy, and choral singing. In 2007 she was a recipient of MSU’s Teacher-Scholar Award, which recognizes devotion to and skill in teaching as well as scholarly promise.

Snow conducts the Michigan State University Women’s Chorale, an ensemble that has appeared at consecutive conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (the Central Division conference in 2008 and the National conference in 2009). She conducts All-State and honor choirs across the United States. Professor Snow conducted the 2012 MENC National Honor Choir at the Kennedy Center. She regularly presents at state conferences, headlining sessions for the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education.

Professor Snow is author of the DVD “Conducting-Teaching: Real World Strategies for Success” (GIA, 2009), a resource for conductor-teachers at all levels of teaching. In addition, she is a contributing author of Teaching Music Through Performance in Choirs, Vol. 3 (GIA, 2011) and Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success (GIA, in press). She edits the choral music series In High Voice by Boosey & Hawkes and is a member of the Choral Music Experience Choral Teacher Certification Board.


Eugene Rogers
2019 COA Nationals for Top Choirs
NYC + Carnegie Hall
April 11 – 13, 2019

Dr. Eugene Rogers is the associate director of choirs at the University of Michigan, where he teaches undergraduate conducting, conducts the Men’s Glee Club, the University Choir, and is the faculty director of the MPulse Vocal Arts Institute (a national high school summer program). His past appointments include Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Boys Choir of Harlem, Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, Illinois, and Anima Young Singers of Greater Chicago (formerly the Glen Ellyn Children’s Choir).

Rogers has appeared as guest conductor, adjudicator, and lecturer throughout the United States as well as Africa, Canada, Singapore, England, Portugal, Hong Kong, and Italy. Recently, Rogers served as a panelist for the National Endowment of the Arts and was one of three featured conductors and lecturers for Singapore’s Ministry Branch of Education Inaugural World Youth Choir Festival. His guest appearances include the Lisbon Summerfest Chamber Choir and Festival Chorus; VocalEssence and the Minnesota Public Radio Harmony in the Park; the British Columbia Music Education Association Honor Choir; the NAfME All-Northwest High School Mixed Choir; Westminster Chamber Choir (Florence, Italy and Princeton, New Jersey); Choral Music Experience (London, England); the 2007 and 2013 Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asia High Schools Biennial Music Festival (Singapore); the Rocky Mountains National Music Festival (Banff, Canada); the Oklahoma State University Choral Festival (Stillwater, Oklahoma); the Florida ACDA High School Mixed Honor Choir; the Salem, Oregon All-City Honor Choir; the Virginia Music Educators Association District X SATB High School Festival Chorus; the Alabama Middle School All-State Choir; the Illinois ACDA Summer Conference; the American Choral Directors Association North Central Division Middle School Honor Choir; Chorus America 2011 San Francisco Conference; 2012 Oregon All-State Mixed Choir; and the Vocalizze Youth Program in Lisbon.

In addition to his duties as a conductor, teacher, and singer, Rogers is co- artistic director of Portugal’s Lisbon Choral Festival and, in 2010 and 2011, was the artistic director of the Disneyland Hong Kong Winter Choral Festival. He currently serves on the boards of the Michigan American Choral Directors Association (College and University R & S Chair), the National Collegiate Choral Organization, the Imuka Singers, and the American Composers Forum, where he functions as editor for the ChoralQuest series.

Rogers completed his undergraduate degree in choral music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and his master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor).


Z. Randall Stroope
2019 COA Nationals for Top Choirs
NYC + Carnegie Hall
April 25 – 27, 2019

Z. Randall Stroope is one of the most active choral conductors and composers working today, conducting recently at the American School in Singapore, Canterbury Cathedral (England), Berliner Dom (Germany), Salzburger Dom (Austria), Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and National Presbyterian Cathedral (Washington, D.C.), Carnegie Hall (New York), and four performances at the Vatican in the past three years. He is also the Artistic Director for two summer music festivals in Europe.

Dr. Stroope has toured 21 countries with ensembles under his direction, including China, South Africa, Japan, and Russia. In 2013, he will conduct a tour of France and England with the Oklahoma State University Concert Chorale. Stroope has also directed 37 all-state choirs (Michigan and Florida in 2013).

As a composer, Stroope has published 125 musical works (instrumental, solo voice, and choral), and sells over a quarter million copies each year from his own catalog (zrandallstroope.com), as well as other U.S and English publishers. His We Beheld Once Again the Stars was recently performed by the Philippine Madrigal Singers in their win of the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing. In the United States, his works have been performed by the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Oregon Bach Festival, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Paul Hill Chorale (Washington, D.C.), and other esteemed ensembles. His composition teachers were Normand Lockwood and Cecil Effinger, both students of the famous French teacher/composer, Nadia Boulanger (student of Gabriel Fauré).

Dr. Stroope is the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where he conducts the Concert Chorale, Chamber Choir, and Women’s Chorus. He is also the head of the Choral and Vocal Studies Division and coordinates the undergraduate and graduate choral conducting program. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Stroope completed a Master of Music (Voice Performance) degree at the University of Colorado – Boulder, and Doctor of Musical Arts (Choral Conducting) degree at Arizona State University. He did post graduate work with Margaret Hillis, Chorus Master of the Chicago Symphony. As a recipient of the Australian-American Fulbright, he has also done work in western Australia. He and his wife, Cheryl (a junior high choral teacher), love to travel and spend time with their sheltie.


Joshua Habermann
2019 Aloha State Choral Festival
Oahu, Hawaii
March 29 – 30, 2019

JOSHUA HABERMANN is in his eighth season as the Music Director of the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. Since joining the ensemble he has broadened its repertoire to include not only a cappella literature but also choral-orchestral masterworks, and unique concert experiences that combine music, poetry and the spoken word. In 2015 the Desert Chorale was a featured performer at the national convention of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA) in Dancing the Mystery, a program featuring the poetry of Sufi masters Rumi and Hafiz.

Habermann has led honor choirs and choral festivals in North and Latin America, Europe and Asia. As a singer (tenor) he has performed with the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus (Eugene, Oregon), and Conspirare (Austin, Texas). Recording credits include three projects with Conspirare: Through the Green Fuse, Requiem, a Grammy nominee for best choral recording in 2006, and Threshold of Night, a Grammy nominee for best choral recording and best classical album in 2009.

In 2011, Joshua Habermann was named director of the Dallas Symphony Chorus, the official vocal ensemble of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, where he prepares the 185-voice chorus for classical and pops series concerts. Highlights with the DSO include performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Verdi’s Requiem, Berlioz’ Te Deum, and Britten’s War Requiem, which was performed for the ACDA national convention in 2013.

From 1996-2008 Habermann was assistant conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and professor of music at San Francisco State University, where under his direction the SFSU Chamber Singers received international engagements in Havana, Cuba, and undertook concert tours in Germany and the Czech Republic, and China. National invitations include the Waging Peace Festival in Eugene, Oregon, multiple appearances at the California Music Educators Convention, and an appearance at the American Choral Directors’ Association regional convention in 2008.

From 2008-2011 Habermann was Director of Choral Studies at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, where he led the graduate program in conducting, and directed the Frost Chorale. Notable projects in Miami included an appearance at the Florida ACDA convention, and collaborations with the New World Symphony and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas in music of Ives, Schubert and Beethoven. During this same period Habermann led the Masterchorale of South Florida in performances of masterworks such as Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Haydn’s Creation, and Mozart’s Requiem.

A native of California, Joshua Habermann is a graduate of Georgetown University and the University of Texas at Austin, where he completed doctoral studies in conducting with Craig Hella Johnson.


Deke Sharon
2019 Aloha State Choral Festival
Oahu, Hawaii
March 29 – 30, 2019

Born in San Francisco, Deke Sharon has been performing professionally since the age of 8, and as a child toured North America and shared the stage in operas with the likes of Pavarotti. Heralded as “The Father of Contemporary A Cappella,” he is responsible for the current sound of modern a cappella, having created the dense vocal-instrumental sound in college, subsequently spreading it around the world.

Deke produces “The Sing-Off” worldwide (USA, Netherlands, China, South Africa), which had the highest ratings of any new, unscripted television show in the US in 2009, and was the third highest rated show on NBC in 2010. In addition, Deke served as arranger, on-site music director and vocal producer for Universal’s “Pitch Perfect” & “Pitch Perfect 2” starring Anna Kendrick & Rebel Wilson.

Deke founded the Contemporary A Cappella Society while in college, and is responsible for many seminal a cappella programs, including the CARAs (Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, ICCAs (International Championship of College A Cappella), BOCA (Best of College A Cappella Compilation), the first contemporary a cappella conferences (the A Cappella Summit), the Contemporary A Cappella League, the professional ensembles Voasis and Vocalosity, and Camp A Cappella.

He is also contemporary cappella’s most prolific arranger, having arranged over 2,000 songs, with many of them in print worldwide with Hal Leonard/Contemporary A Cappella Publishing. He has written 3 books: “Acappella Arranging” (2012), “A Cappella” (2015) and “The Heart of Vocal Harmony” (2016). He is also the vocal orchestrator for the Broadway’s first a cappella musical: In Transit (2016).

As the founder, director and arranger for the House Jacks for almost 25 years, the original “Rock Band Without Instruments,” Deke shared the stage with countless music legends, including Ray Charles, James Brown, Crosby Stills and Nash, Run DMC, The Temptations, LL Cool J and the Four Tops, and performed for luminaries including President Bill Clinton. The House Jacks have eight albums, and dozens of international tours to their names, including multiple appearances Carnegie Hall, and performed the Monday Night Football Theme with Hank Williams Jr. in 2011.

He has produced dozens of award winning a cappella albums (including Straight No Chaser, Committed, Nota, Street Corner Symphony and the Tufts Beelzebubs), created a cappella groups for Disneyland and Disneyworld, and frequently tours the world teaching a variety of topics to students and professional singers. His voice can be heard in commercials and video games, including “Just Dance Kids 2.” He is one of only 20 honorary members of the Barbershop Harmony Society since 1938, as well as an honorary member of BYU Vocal Point, and received CASA’s lifetime achievement award in 2016. You can see him on television on Lifetime’s “Pitch Slapped” (aka “Pitch Battle” in the Philippines, and “A Cappella Battle” in Israel).


John Byun
2019 Aloha State Choral Festival
Oahu, Hawaii
March 29 – 30, 2019

John Byun received his Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of California, Irvine and his Masters in Choral Conducting from California State University, Long Beach. He is the director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Riverside City College, where he directs the Chamber Singers and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Mr. Byun is also the artistic director of the Temecula Valley Master Chorale and the Riverside Master Chorale.

He has been the guest conductor for several district honor choirs, the SCVA Men’s Honor Choir, the Central California Women’s Honor Choir, Texas Honor Choir Region 9, the Clark County, NV Honor Choir, and adjudicator for the Kiwani Choral Festival in Vancouver. The RCC Chamber Singers have performed at the ACDA Western Divisional Conference in Tucson and the National Conference in Chicago and at the NCCO (National Collegiate Choral Organization) national conference in Colorado. They often have opportunities to perform with special guest artists such as Don Shelton (member of the Hi-Lo’s), Grammy Award Winner Jon Secada and as chorus for the Star Wars in Concert. Mr. Byun recently launched the John Byun Choral Series with Pavane Publishing, O vos omnes by Richard Burchard and O Nata Lux, Born of Light by Kevin Memley and Witness by Stacey Gibbs.