Mississippi American Choral Directors Assocation

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Meet Our 2019 Clinicians

All-State Mixed Honor Choir

Dr. Christopher Aspaas

Christopher Aspaas serves as Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at TCU. Christopher received his Ph.D. in Choral Music Education at The Florida State University in Tallahassee, his M.M. in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University in East Lansing, his B.M. in Voice Performance from St. Olaf. Christopher has served on the faculties of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington and Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

At TCU, Christopher leads the Concert Chorale, TCU’s flagship mixed ensemble as well as the FrogCorps, TCU’s premier male vocal ensemble. He also teaches coursework in basic conducting, choral conducting, choral literature, advanced choral conducting and oversees the graduate choral conducting program.

His travels as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator and lecturer have taken Christopher to Alabama, Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ontario, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and three times to the Sultanate of Oman. He has conducted All-State Choruses in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin as well as the British Columbia and Manitoba All-Province Honour Choirs. Additionally, Christopher led the All-Northwest Mixed Choir in 2015 and ACDA Southern Division Men’s Honor Choir in 2016. Christopher recently travelled to South Korea to headline the 35thAnnual International Symposium on Choral Music and lead the 2018 AMIS Men’s Honor Choir in Berlin, Germany.

Christopher has produced more than forty arrangements and compositions for mixed, men's and women's choirs. His works are published by Augsburg Fortress, earthsongs, Hal Leonard, and Aspen Hill Music, a publishing house Christopher co-founded with his wife Nancy in 2013. One of his recent commissions, Do Not Ask Me to Remember, premiered at the 2017 National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


All-State Women's Honor Choir

Dr. Jonathan Rodgers

Jonathan Rodgers has been directing choirs in the school and church for over fifteen years. His choirs have performed at state MEA conferences and collectively he has led over twenty-five extended choir tours across the U.S. and internationally. Rodgers is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, and the National Association for Music Education. As a clinician and presenter, Rodgers has been a guest conductor for honor choirs in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana. He has also presented sessions at National ACDA Conventions, state MEA conventions in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia, and other conferences including Baylor University’s Alleluia, YouthCUE Choirs Inc., and Student Music Metro. Rodgers is on the editorial team for ACDA’s division of Music in Worship and is a member of the repertoire review committee for Choral Journal. He is active as a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lambda, and as a “Friend of the Arts” in Sigma Alpha Iota. 

Currently, he is Minister of Music and Worship Arts at Hunter Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. He oversees a seven-member worship arts staff and a ministry that involves over 1,000 people in choirs and instrumental ensembles ranging from preschool to senior adult. Prior to this position, Rodgers was Assistant Professor of Choral Music at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. 

Rodgers earned the Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Master of Music in Church Music degrees from Samford University, studying conducting and church music with Milburn Price and Paul Richardson. He completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Southern Mississippi, studying conducting with Gregory Fuller and John Flanery. His scholarly research and dissertation examines the choral singing tradition of Estonia and, specifically, the choral folksongs of Estonian composer Cyrillus Kreek. While at Southern Miss, Rodgers was assistant director of the Women’s Chorus and assisted with the flagship ensemble, the Southern Chorale, as rehearsal assistant and accompanist.

In addition to his conducting and scholarly activities, Jonathan is an active pianist, church musician, and composer. His works have been published with Walton Music, Pavane, and Colla Voce and performed by churches, high schools, and colleges at honor choir festivals and ACDA conventions across the nation—even Carnegie Hall. Jonathan has been married to his wife Alicia for sixteen years, and they have four children: Savannah, Leighton, Brooks, and Gabe.


All-State Honor Showchoir

Jennifer Toney, Choreographer

Jennifer Toney is a full-time freelance choreographer, clinician, and adjudicator. Each season she  travels across the country choreographing elementary through collegiate show choirs. Jennifer is the founder & director of Front & Center Productions which proudly hosts SHOWSTOPPERS Show Choir Camps in schools across the Midwest each summer. These week long day camps/fundraisers invite students to participate in a fast paced, challenging and exciting show choir experience. In just 7 summers, SHOWSTOPPERShas helped schools earn over $30,000 for their music programs.

Jennifer has choreographed productions of Beauty and the Beast,How to Succeed,BARK!,Anything Goes, andSeussical the Musicalas well as judged show choir competitions around the nation.  Jennifer was a Presidential Scholar Graduate of Millikin University where she studied dance and participated in the Millikin Concert Choir and received her masters degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago. She is so exited to be working with these amazingly talented All State performers!

 


John Baker, Vocal Clinician

John Baker retired in 2012 as the choral director at Enterprise High School in Enterprise, Alabama, where he taught for 27 years. During his tenure at Enterprise High School Mr. Bakers choirs performed and competed across the country as well as traveling abroad to England, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Switzerland and China. Students from the choral department participated in 6 overseas tours. 

Choirs from Enterprise High School have been invited to sing for State and Regional conventions of the Alabama Music Educators Association as well as the American Choral Directors Association. They have given two performances in the East Room of the White House and were the featured choir at the nationally televised “Lighting of the National Christmas Tree” where they were accompanied by the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own”.

Mr. Baker is the Past President of the Alabama Music Educators Association and the Alabama Vocal Association. He has served as a clinician for Show Choir Camps of America and keeps a busy adjudicating schedule during choral performance assessment and show choir competition season.

John Baker received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Auburn University and the Masters of Music Education from Troy University.  He started his teaching career in Americus, Georgia before moving to his Hometown of Enterprise, Alabama. 

John and his wife Kim  have four sons. Brad, Chris, Mitchell and Robert. Daughters in-law Alison and Meg and two grandchildren Hayes and Avery. John is proud to work with Southeastern Performance Apparel as their Music Education Consultant.