Robert J. Ward currently serves as director of Choral Studies at The Ohio State University where he conducts the Men’s Glee Club and University Chorus. He also teaches courses in conducting and choral literature. Prior to his appointment at Ohio State, Dr. Ward was for sixteen years a member of the music faculty at Oklahoma State University. He has been honored with invitations to present concerts and lectures for National ACDA, National Collegiate Choral Organization. North Central Division ACDA, Central Division ACDA, International Kodaly Educators, Organization of American Kodaly Educators, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, as well as Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Utah, Arkansas, Louisiana, and West Virginia Choral Directors Associations. He is currently the editor of a choral series published by Santa Barbara Music Publishers.

Robert J. Ward

Julia Jenkins

Julia Jenkins Holt is the Vocal Music Director at Eisenhower High School in Shelby Township, MI. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music Education from Michigan State University and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Oakland University. Julia was named the Macomb County High School Teacher of the Year in 2014 and is very active in the Michigan School Vocal Music Association, serving as the Treasurer, State Scheduling Coordinator, and former Co-Manager of District 16. Julia has been the conductor of the Session 2 SSA Choir at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, MI for the past six years. She also conducted the 2016 MSVMA 6-7-8 SA State Honors Choir and shares her love of music with the Kindergarten through 5th grade students in Kensington Community Church’s Kaleo performing arts program. The choirs at Eisenhower have a history of receiving the highest ratings at MSVMA festivals and have performed in many venues including the Michigan Youth Arts Festival and Carnegie Hall. and Julia lives in Troy with her extremely supportive band director husband, Gregory, and their two budding musicians, Anna and David.

Reginal Wright is entering his 21st year of public school teaching. As an educator Reginal has earned many awards including Outstanding Teacher, Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and the Secondary Educator of the Year Award.

As a conductor, he is a sought after clinician in both Gospel and Classical genres. He has enjoyed the opportunity to conduct honor choirs for school districts throughout Texas and Oklahoma. He also serves as a clinician in many Texas All State Choir camps. Reginal’s compositions are designed cater to school and church choirs.

Reginal received both his Bachelor and Masters of Music Education Degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. He is currently the head choral director at Mansfield High School. His choirs are consistent Sweepstakes winners in both concert and sight-reading contests. Choirs under his direction also earn “Outstanding in Class” awards at National Music Festivals. In 2012 the Mansfield High School A Cappella Women’s Choir was honored as SWACDA Honor Choir. In 2018 the Mansfield High School Men’s Choir was honored as a TMEA Invited Choir.

Reginal Wright

Mica Bull

Mica Bull is in her 19th year as a choir director, private voice instructor, consultant, judge, and clinician in the Northwest Houston area.  Mica received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Louisiana State University in May 2002, where she studied with Dr. Kenneth Fulton.  This will be Mica’s second year teaching at Cy-Fair High School and has previously taught at Langham Creek High School, (her alma mater) and Klein Oak High School.  Prior to her work at the high school level, Mica taught at Cook Middle School. She had the honor of conducting the Cook Advanced Girls Choir at the 2010 TMEA Convention.  Mica has served on the U.I.L. Prescribed Music List Revision Committee, as well as in various roles for her region leadership.  Mrs. Bull has been a panelist, conductor, and contributor for workshops at conventions for the Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Choral Directors Association, as well as for various districts around the state.  Mica has also presented workshops for graduate students at Mississippi State University and continuing education for teachers at Sam Houston State University.  Mica was a section leader for the 2019 TMEA All-State Mixed Choir. Mrs. Bull is an actively sought adjudicator and clinician for U.I.L. Concert and Sight Reading Contests, Solo and Ensemble Contests, All-State Camps and All-Region Choirs.  Mica and her husband Aaron have two boys, Aaron Michael and Archer.  They enjoy watching sports, especially LSU football and Arsenal soccer.  They also enjoy crawfish boils and barbeques, spending time with family in Corrales, NM, and their annual beach trip to St. Augustine, FL.

Elizabeth “Raye” Hurley is beginning her 18th year as the choir director at Franklin County High School in Frankfort, KY. Hurley attended the University of Kentucky where she received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree studying under the direction of Dr. Lori Hetzel and Dr. Jefferson Johnson.  She received her Masters in Education from Georgetown College and is a National Board Certified Educator in Early Adolescent/Young Adult Vocal Music. Hurley directs six vocal performing ensembles at FCHS and sponsors a student-led pop ensemble.  She also teaches several sections of Piano as well as a Private Voice Studio at FCHS.  In the current school year, she teaches 120 different students in choir and/or voice studio, and 60 students in Piano teaching just under 20% of the school’s overall population in one day.

Raye currently serves her state as the KY-ACDA Vice-President, having already served as President from 2017-2019. In that role, she annually coordinated All-State Events, Summer Professional Development, HS Conservatory and helped facilitate the All Collegiate Choirs. Additionally, she serves KMEA (NAfME) as an adjudicator for both All State and Lg. Group Assessment. Mrs. Hurley was nominated and elected the 2016-2017 KMEA District 7 High School Music Teacher of the Year.  Hurley began and continues to coordinate a partnership program with UK utilizing DMA candidates who teach private lessons after school weekly at FCHS. She is frequently mentoring music education majors from colleges and universities in and around central Kentucky having served as a supervising teacher for over 25 different placements. One of her most prized accomplishments is starting the KYACDA High School Summer Choral Conservatory, in which students apply to participate for a 3-day music education intensive. The event is geared towards students who are interested in pursuing choral music education at the post-secondary level and exposes them to a myriad of opportunities giving them a “glimpse of that freshman/sophomore year(s) experience” throughout the conservatory experience, including: conducting, theory, private voice, piano, score study, all state preparation and collegiate professors for multiple schools.

Raye resides in Frankfort, with her husband, Brandon, who is also an educator. They have two daughters and two sons: Logan (14), Ella (10), Jace (4) and Bentley (3).  The Hurley family are very busy in their community serving on multiple boards and remain active in their church family, serving in the music ministry program.

Elizabeth “Raye” Hurley

New Mexico ACDA Summer Workshop

Saturday, August 1st

(Dr. Robert Ward)
8:30-10:00am – You don’t teach someone how to play golf: a potpourri of resources for your next rehearsal

Choral directors must always plan rehearsals with the following question at the forefront of their mind: “What will I do today to improve their basic musicianship?”  This session will offer aural-skills games that can enjoyably enhance the education of a singers aural imagination.   

(Julia Holt)
10:00-11:30am – Teacher to Techie – How to Create a Virtual Choir

Teachers all across the country have been expected to turn into technology wizzes to create virtual versions of what we used to do on a daily basis. This session will walk through the steps of creating a virtual choir project that anyone (yes, anyone!) can accomplish. Participants will be given access to instructions, google forms, etc. that can be altered for use. Examples will be shown of every step of the process with a variety of options. Programs will be Mac based, but the general principles can apply to any platform.

(Dr. Robert Ward)
11:30am-1:00pm – Enunciation and Pronunciation:  We are responsible for both!

We naively assume that because English is the native language of many American choral directors, we have a command of the nuances of the language—or even the correct pronunciation of words.    This session will focus on often-overlooked elements of English diction.

(Reginal Wright & Mica Bull)
1:30-3:00pm – To Thine Own Self Be New

Self renewal and self care are very important topics to explore in our profession. We must have awareness of how we are doing mentally, physically and emotionally for us to be the most effective teachers we can be. We also need to be able to reinvent ourselves to remain fresh and energized. Bull and Wright will share some ideas and thoughts on how they balance work, home and personal life while maintaining an acute awareness of self.

(Dr. Robert Ward)
3:00-4:30pm – The Elevator to Success is Broken: You Have to Take the Stairs

A well-designed process is a down payment on a quality product.  This session will look at designing learning sequences to help students most efficiently and effectively learn the repertoire you have selected.

(Raye Hurley)
4:30-6:00pm – BULLSEYE: Learning Targets in the Choral Classroom

How do you communicate what you want students to know and do every day in your classroom? Is it written, do you email it ahead of time, do you announce it at the start? We know as educators that pacing in the classroom is a direct connection to organization of the instruction. This session is designed to make sure you can “talk the talk” that is often expected of us by administrators and targeting it for the choral setting. After all, we want to make sure we hit the bullseye when it comes to our students achieving greatness!!!