Martha Shaw is the founding director of the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir Program and Professor of Music and Director of Choral Music Education at Reinhardt University in Waleska, Georgia. Under Dr. Shaw’s direction, the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir and Spivey Hall Tour Choir have been featured in performances for state, regional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, the national conference of the Orff-Schulwerk Association, and for the 2010 national conference of Chorus America. Because of the artistry and mature vocal sound exhibited by her choirs, she has received numerous invitations as a clinician and guest conductor throughout the United States, in Canada and in Korea. For thirteen years, Dr. Shaw served on the faculty at Shorter College which honored her as the 2008 recipient of its President’s Award for Teaching and Scholarship. She also taught at the University of South Carolina, where she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting with Larry Wyatt. Prior to her collegiate teaching, she was a music specialist for Atlanta’s Fulton County for 15 years. Studying with Donald Neuen, she earned a Master of Science in Music Education from the University of Tennessee. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Shorter College.
Michelle Herring is the assistant professor of choral/general music education at Columbus State University and the artistic director for the Voices of the Valley Children’s Chorus. Dr. Herring earned her Ph.D. in Music Education at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Previous degrees include a bachelor’s degree in Music Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas.
Prior to graduate work, Dr. Herring taught middle school choir for eight years in Austin, Texas, where she was recognized as “Teacher of the Year.” While teaching in the public schools, Dr. Herring was instrumental in transforming her campus into a Fine Arts Academy, preventing the school from possible closure. Her choirs received consistent superior ratings in festivals and contests during her tenure as well as many opportunities to perform with community choruses and religious organizations.
The Voices of the Valley Children’s Chorus at Columbus State University has achieved excellence under Dr. Herring’s direction. Voices of the Valley has been selected to perform for the West Georgia Choral Society’ Choral Festival in LaGrange, Georgia as well as the Columbus Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker. In addition to local performances, Voices of the Valley will collaborate with the Columbus State University Wind Ensemble in the spring of 2017.
Dr. Herring continues to be an active member in the choral music community as a clinician and performer having performed in choral organizations such as Conspriare (Austin, Texas) and the Dallas Symphony Chorus (Dallas, Texas). She currently performs with the Columbus State Choral Union, under the direction of Constantina Tsolainou, and the St. Thomas Episcopal Choir, under the direction of Rick McKnight.
Dr. Herring has served as the guest clinician for the GMEA Muscogee County Middle School Chorus as well as local middle schools and high schools in the Chattahoochee Valley. In addition, she has served as an adjudicator for state-wide festivals and contests and as a guest lecturer at Iowa State University, the University of North Texas, and Georgia State University.
Dr. Herring has presented research in a variety of state, national, and international venues, including Texas Music Educators Association conference, the Florida Music Educators Association conference, the Georgia Music Educators Association conference, the National Association for Music Education conference, the Society for Music Teacher Education conference, the Race, Ethnicity, and Place conference, and the Narrative Inquiry in Music Education conference. Additionally, she has published research articles in state, national, and international music journals.
Dr. Herring and her fiancé, Zach, reside in Columbus, Georgia with their dog, Tex. She is thrilled for the opportunity to be the guest clinician for the Georgia Music Educators Association’s Sixth Grade Honor Chorus!