6516 In the Beginning: Establishing Clarity and Ownership in the High School Choral Music Program


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This course closely examines how to increase engagement for singers through mastery of choral music fundamentals and clarity in the rehearsal process. Learn how to establish a series of priorities that will allow your students to enjoy choir rehearsals and feel empowered by their own contributions. Knowledge of the voice and body, breath management, blend, balance, precision, intonation, repertoire selection, and conducting gestures are among the areas of focus. Creating an arc of creative activity from the first day until the last day of each semester and academic year is also covered in depth. This course includes a clinic featuring the Princeton High School Concert Choir with director Brandon Crawford.

Instructor: Dr. T.J. Harper

Harper,_TJ_headshot_2015_CROPT. J. Harper is Associate Professor of Music and the Director of Choral Activities & Music Education at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. He is the 2014-2015 Professor of the Year and recipient of the Joseph R. Accinno Teaching Award. He conducts the college’s three choral ensembles: I Cantori, Concert Chorale and the Oriana Women's Choir. He teaches courses in Conducting, Secondary Choral Methods, Applied Conducting, and Applied Voice.

´╗┐Choirs under the direction of Dr. Harper have performed at the 2014 National Association for Music Education (NAfME) National In-Service Conference in Nashville, TN, the 2013 American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) New England Collegiate Choral Conference in Keene, NH, the 2012 ACDA Eastern Division Conference in Providence, RI, the 2011 NAfME Eastern Division Conference in Baltimore, MD, and the 2010 Rhode Island Music Educators Association (RIMEA) Spring In-Service Conference.

Dr. Harper maintains an active schedule in the US and abroad as a guest conductor, clinician, and jury member. Recent international engagements include Thailand, Argentina, China, Sweden, Germany, South Korea, Spain, and Italy.

Dr. Harper is the Director of the ACDA International Conductors Exchange Program (ICEP). He is the President of the Rhode Island Music Educators Association (RIMEA). He is the immediate Past-President of the Rhode Island chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. He is the Rhode Island State Representative and founding member of the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO). Dr. Harper is also the Artistic Director of The Chamber Singers of New England.

Dr. Harper’s research interests have led to funded research projects in Germany, France, and South Korea. His publications have appeared in the ACDA Choral Journal, the International Federation of Choral Music (IFCM), the NAfME Online Choral Forum, the RIMEA Music Education Journal-RIMER, and he is also a contributing author to Student Engagement in Higher Education: Theoretical Perspectives and Practical Approaches for Diverse Populations. (Routledge)

Dr. Harper received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California where he graduated with honors. He received the Master of Arts in Choral Conducting from California State University, Northridge and the Bachelor of Arts degree and Choral Conducting from California State University, Fresno. As a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, MENC, ACDA, Chorus America, NCCO and the International Federation of Choral Music (IFCM), Dr. Harper is an advocate for the promotion of undergraduate education and choral music in the public schools and institutions of higher education.


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Course Information

6516 In the Beginning: Establishing Clarity and Ownership in the High School Choral Music Program
1 graduate credit
Tuition: $320, due in full with registration
Dates: April 9-10
Location: VanderCook(3140 S. Federal St.)
Room: 130


Fall MECA Online Courses
All Fall MECA online courses
are generally held from
Sept. 20 through Dec. 12, 2021,
unless specified.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m.  
on September 17, 2021

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VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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