6534 Choral Symposium

Join distinguished faculty and alumni from our college as they teach from their experiences. Explore new ways to work with male and female voices in a choral setting. Develop your ability to envision and create a choral music program that makes sense in the current educational environment, and build comprehensive musicianship that creates lasting results for the individual. Come prepared for a great week of singing, sharing and learning!

Instructors: Dr. Robert Sinclair, Robert Mohr, Michael Talamonti, Puja Ramaswamy, Ron Korbitz, Tim DeBoer & Chris Gleason



Robert L. Sinclair has served VanderCook College of Music as Director of Choral Activities since 2001.  His educational background includes three years at Luther College where he sang in the Nordic Choir under the direction of Weston Noble.  After transferring to Sam Houston State University, he completed his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Music degrees with B. R. Henson.  In December of 2000, Sinclair completed a Ph. D. in Curriculum and Instruction (Music Education) at the University of Missouri Columbia where he worked with Drs. David Rayl and Wendy Sims.

Dr. Sinclair has ten years of public school teaching experience and continues to work as an active choral clinician and adjudicator for junior high and high school students from across the nation and abroad including honor choirs in Japan and the Bahamas. Sinclair has presented sessions on conducting and educational pedagogy to the Music Educators Association in Texas, Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio, the Illinois Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), as well as the Central, Southwestern and Southern Divisions of ACDA. In January of 2010, he served as guest conductor for the Illinois All State Choir in Peoria. 

He is an active member of ACDA, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity, Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honors Fraternity, and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).  He currently serves the Central Division of ACDA as Repertoire and Standards Chair for Youth and Student Activities.


Robert Mohr graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Music in 1991 and a Master of Music Education from VanderCook College of Music in 2003. He is a frequent guest conductor, soloist, and adjudicator in Illinois. Mr. Mohr was the choir director at Herscher High School for fourteen years prior to taking the vocal music directorship at Crete Monee High School. He is now the director of the show choirs Faces and Cavaliers, directs the concert choir and teaches general music and music theory. 

During his time at Herscher High School his vocal program was part of the music department that won the State Sweepstakes program every year of his tenure. During his four years at Crete-Monee High School his show choirs were featured on the first ever Chicago’s ABC7 Show Choir Showdown. Both Faces and Cavaliers were part of the FAME National Show Choir Championship series and Show Choir Nationals.

In addition to his high school choral activities, Mr. Mohr is Director of Music Ministries at Peace Memorial United Church of Christ in Palos Park, Illinois.
Robert’s memberships include: Illinois Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association, Who’s Who Among American Teachers, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Mr. Mohr is most proud of his family; his wife Tracy and his eight year old twins, Ethan and Hayden.
Talamonti,_Michael_Headshot_Su14Michael Talamonti is a freelance show choir choreographer based in Chicago. This will mark his 10th year as a show choir choreographer, clinician and adjudicator.  He is a graduate of Illinois State University where he studied Nursing with a background in dance.  Currently, Michael choreographs and designs shows for mixed, unisex and junior high show choirs across the midwest.  His groups have received several top choreography awards at competitions all over the country.
Ramaswamy,_Puja_Headshot_Su14Puja Ramaswamy is the Director of Vocal Music at Eisenhower Junior High School in Darien, Illinois.  In addition to teaching four grade level choir classes, she directs three auditioned choirs, the spring musical, and the variety show.   Her choirs have had the opportunity to travel and compete in Nashville, St. Louis, and Hershey, PA. and have most recently received Division I ratings at the Illinois Grade School Music Association State Contest.


Ms. Ramaswamy graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in both Music and Philosophy in 2006.  In her time at UIC she also founded and conducted Lake Affects, a vocal jazz ensemble.  She attended VanderCook College of Music and completed her Master of Music Education in 2008.

Ms. Ramaswamy is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and the Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA).  She served as the MS Girls’ Honor Choir Chair for the 2014 ACDA Central Division Convention in Cincinnati and has worked with the CASA Tunes to Teens program to bring acappella resources to her school.  She is also a member of the Apollo Chorus of Chicago and has performed with them at various venues including Ravinia, Symphony Center, and the United Center.


Tim DeBoer has been the Director of Choral Activities at Joliet West High School in Joliet, Illinois since 2003.  In addition to teaching three curricular choirs, AP Music Theory, and Music Appreciation, Mr. DeBoer directs the Fall Opera Scenes, the Spring musical, and the jTunes--Joliet West¹s A Cappella pop group.  Mr. DeBoer¹s choirs have had the opportunity to travel and compete in St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Chicago, and recently were named "Grand Champion" at the Music in the Parks Festival in St. Louis. Mr. DeBoer earned a Bachelor¹s Degree in Music Education from North Park University where he studied under Dr. Rollo Dilworth and a Master¹s Degree from VanderCook College of Music where he studied under Dr. Robert Sinclair.
Chris Gleason earned his BME at UW-Eau Claire in 1997 and his Masters Degree from UW-LaCrosse in 2002. He has taught band in the East Troy School District and the LaCrosse School District. He currently teaches concert band and jazz ensemble at Patrick Marsh Middle School in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. The Patrick Marsh Middle School Band has commissioned composers such as Samuel R. Hazo (Blue and Green Music -2009), Brian Balmages (Sun Cycles – 2012), Michael Sweeney (Particles - 2013), Erik Morales (One Giant Leap - 2014) and John Mackey (TBA – 2015). He has been guest conductor of numerous camps and festivals in the Midwest. He is the past-chair of the Wisconsin Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance (CMP) Committee, chair of the Wisconsin State Middle Level Honors Band and chair-elect of the Wisconsin State Middle Level Honors Program. He has taught CMP Workshops at VanderCook College of Music, the Los Angeles Unified School District in California, The Total Music Educators Workshop, numerous school districts and state music conferences in the Midwest, and recently in Hong Kong. Mr. Gleason was the recent recipient of the Vi Miller Award for Excellence by Dane Arts. Mr. Gleason is the founder and organizer of the Band Festival at the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells. 
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Course Information

6534 Choral Symposium

3 graduate credits
Location: De La Salle Institute Bansley Alumni Hall

Click HERE for a campus map.

Tuition: $900 (includes $75 resource fee)
A $75 deposit is required at time of registration. Tuition balance is due in full by the first day of class.

July 14 - 18
Monday - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.


VanderCook College of Music

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

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