aLL-STATE MIDDLE SCHOOL TREBLE
Joshua Pedde is the artistic director of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir (ICC), one of the largest and most respected children’s choir programs in the world. In addition to conducting ICC’s advanced treble choirs, Josh is also the artistic director of the Anderson Area Children’s Choir. During his nineteen years with the ICC, Mr. Pedde has been instrumental in growing the ICC’s Innovations program which provides free music education workshops to public and private schools throughout central Indiana. In addition, he has pioneered ICC’s Neighborhood Choir Academy within Central Iniana which provides a six to eight-week musical experience for students to explore the world of choral music which culminates in a performance with the ICC.
Mr. Pedde is a frequent conductor and clinician throughout the United States including the LCMS Worship Institute Children’s Choir, the WELS National Convention Festival and Children’s Choirs, Indiana Circle the State with Song festivals, the American Hymn Society, the National Conference of Pastoral Musicians, the National Disciples of Christ Conference, American Choral Directors Association all state choirs in Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, and New Mexico, and the Indiana Music Education Association Middle School honor choir. Mr. Pedde frequently is a consultant to churches on Liturgical Worship and Children’s Choir. In 2003 he premiered the work “The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies” by Irish composer Mary McAuliffe at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Founder and artistic director of the Coastal Song Choir Festival.
In addition to conducting at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center, Mr. Pedde was the backstage conductor for the premiere of the children’s opera, The Trio of Minuet. He recently prepared ICC’s most advanced treble choir for a performance at Shift: A Festival of American Orchestras at the Kennedy Center. He has conducted at numerous sporting events including the FINA World Swimming Championships, Indianapolis Fever, NCAA Women’s Basketball Finals, the RCA Tennis Championships, the 2008 U.S.A. Olympic Diving Qualifications, the 2012 World Choir Games, and Super Bowl XLVI. He has conducted choirs in performances at the Vatican and Canterbury Cathedral, in Austria, Canada, England, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, and Spain. In September, Mr. Pedde’s treble choir was a featured performer at the 50th National American Orff-Schulwerk Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Mr. Pedde is a member of the NAfME, ACDA, and IMEA. He is also a member of the ICDA where he served on the board. He also served as a solo and ensemble and organizational judge for ISSMA and as a clinician for IMEA’s ensembles. Mr. Pedde serves as chair for the Consortium of Indiana Children’s Choirs.
Mr. Pedde serves at Cornerstone Lutheran Church, Fishers, as director of worship and organist. He is the music director of the Carmel Community Choir and Orchestra. He is a member of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and the AGO. He has received training and certification in Orff-Schulwerk, Kodály, and First Steps methods of teaching. Mr. Pedde was an elementary music teacher in the Zionsville Public School system for five year before joining the ICC as a full-time conductor and from 2001-2005 Mr. Pedde was the Artistic Director of the Kokomo Youth Chorale.
Mr. Pedde earned his bachelor of music degree in vocal music education and a master’s degree in choral conducting from Butler University, where he was recognized for his outstanding work in elementary music and a DPM from Concordia Chicago.Josh delights in time spent with his wife, Laura, and children, Annabelle and Grayson.
aLL-STATE MIDDLE SCHOOL mixed
With a love of music as big as his last name, Tesfa Wondemagegnehu has been sharing joy and a vision for equity and justice through song for over a decade. Through a triumvirate of teaching, conducting, and performing, he has found a way to transform both students and audiences and to reach those seeking resolutions of peace, equality, and respect … through music.
Tesfa Wondemagegnehu serves as the conductor of the Viking Chorus and the Chapel Choir at St. Olaf College. He is also the guest artistic director of one of North America's Largest LGBTQ+ choirs, Minnesota's One Voice Mixed Chorus. Tesfa maintains an active voice studio and teaches Music & Social Justice with the goal of helping bridge the gap of social injustice through music, dialogue, and inspiring participants to take action in their communities. Wondemagegnehu most recently was the Director of Choral Ministries at Westminster Presbyterian Church of Minneapolis, where he co-founded the Justice Choir movement with noted composer Abbie Betinis. In the summer of 2018, Tesfa served as guest conductor of the children’s choir at the Aspen Music Festival, leading them in a week-long journey on the Justice Choir Songbook. Most recently, Tesfa completed an extended music and social justice residency with Dr. Andrew Clark and the Harvard University Glee Club.
Born and raised in Memphis, with an impressive collection of opinions on barbecue, Tesfa learned early on from one of his mentors that “Excellence is never an accident.” And, consequently, he has not left much to chance. Through the love and dedication of music teachers with whom he has studied, and an abundance of grit and determination, Tesfa has risen to be one of the most sought-after conductors and educators in the country and is on the cutting edge of music-related social justice movements throughout the United States.
Tesfa has conducted and given masterclasses, workshops, and clinics both nationally and internationally. In 2017 he co-led the American Choral Directors Association’s national high school honor choir, working collaboratively with Eric Whitacre. In June of 2017, he was named the composer-in-residence for Choirs of America at Carnegie Hall, where he had the opportunity to conduct and lift over 600 voices in singing the world premiere of his composition May the Road. Wondemagegnehu made his Severance Hall debut in 2017, co-conducting with Cleveland Orchestra Chorus Master Dr. Lisa Wong a choir comprising high school students from the Cleveland area, and in 2016 he worked with Los Angeles Master Chorale artistic director Grant Gershon, co-conducting their 1,000 student honor choir in the majestic Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Tesfa holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance from the Florida State University and a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performing from the University of Memphis. While teaching high school, Tesfa was named Orange County Public School Teacher of the Year and received the Macy’s National Magic of Teaching Award. This award celebrated an innovative voice program started at Freedom High School in Orlando, where the class participants, who received free voice lessons and vocal coaching, obtained over $3 million in college scholarships from some of the most prestigious music schools in the country.
Tesfa’s time in Minneapolis began as the Assistant Artistic Director of VocalEssence while concurrently serving as the Manager of the Choral Works Initiative and the Choral Stream™ at American Public Media. During his tenure at APM, he was named founding artistic director of The Radio Choir from American Public Media.
Wondemagegnehu is the curator and editor of a new choral series with Hinshaw Music Publications and is celebrated as an accomplished arranger and composer. Many of his compositions have been performed by regional choirs and all-state choirs throughout the country.
Tesfa has been inspired by all of his students throughout his career. His latest prodigy, daughter Aïda Hope, born in 2017, is influencing him daily with new developments, all the while wrapping him around her tiny finger. It is still to be determined whether she will be a world-famous opera singer, a renowned conductor, or the ultimate grill master, but, nevertheless, she will be fierce.
American Public Media’s Vaughn Ormseth has this to say about Tesfa: “He believes choral music transformed his life, saved him, so his passion for it is on a cellular level. He loves the formal tradition of the art form, but plugs his own kind of electricity directly into it. He has a millennial’s impatience with systems.” And so, with music’s undeniable power and potential to save lives, and the impatience to wait for others to make change, Tesfa will continue to transform the world with his vision and determination in education, justice, and joy.
All-State 9th & 10th Grade Mixed
G. Phillip Shoultz, III
Known for an innovative pedagogy that nurtures community and makes room for singers of all ages and abilities, G. Phillip Shoultz, III, enjoys a multifaceted career as artist, educator, mentor, and speaker. Phillip is Associate Conductor | Director of Learning and Engagement for VocalEssence, where he oversees seven major community singing initiatives and recently founded the VocalEssence Singers Of This Age, immersive urban youth choral arts apprenticeship. He serves Good Samaritan United Methodist Church as Director of Music, Worship, and the Arts and frequently appears as a guest clinician, adjudicator, and consultant.
A native of Columbus, GA and graduate of William Henry Shaw High School, Phillip was a six-time Georgia All-State Chorus participant and earned degrees with High Honors from the University of Georgia and Georgia State University.
Phillip completed doctoral studies in conducting at the University of Minnesota and won the 2015 ACDA Graduate Conducting Competition in Salt Lake City. He has appeared as a Conducting Fellow with the Oregon Bach Festival, Chorus America, Choral Music Experience Institute, to name a few and has prepared choirs for performances in Canada, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Mexico, Russia and was named an ACDA International Conductors’ Exchange Program Participant.
During his time in Georgia, he taught Choral and General Music at Winder-Barrow Middle School where his work garnered school and county-level Teacher of the Year honors on three separate occasions by different organizations. Phillip also served as Artistic Director of the Gwinnett Choral Guild and the Atlanta Youth Choir, founding director of the Georgia Young Men’s Ensemble [part of the Grammy Award–winning Gwinnett Young Singers] and the Assistant Director for the professional chamber choir, Coro Vocati.
Phillip enjoys biking, boxing, weight lifting, and all things related to sports and food. A proud Board Member of the VoiceCare Network, he passionately advances the transformative nature of shared singing experiences. Phillip lives in St. Louis Park, Minnesota with his wife, Michelle, their six-year-old son, Malachi, and nearly two-year old daughter, Lydia Grace.
All-State Senior women
Beth Holmes currently serves on the choral staff at Millikin University in Decatur, IL, conducting the 65 member Millikin Women choral ensemble and is also a member of the voice faculty. She holds a Masters Degree in Choral Conducting from Arizona State University and a Bachelors in Vocal Music Education from Kansas State University, where she studied with Douglas McEwen and Rod Walker. Previously she conducted choirs and taught on the voice faculty at Luther College in Decorah, IA.
Holmes is an active guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator, having conducted District, All-State and Honor Choirs throughout the Midwest. Recent engagements include the ACDA North Central Division Collegiate Women’s Honor Choir (Minnesota), Next Directions Choral Conference (Wisconsin), and All State choirs in Wisconsin, Kentucky, Alabama and Florida. In 2016 and 2017 she conducted The National Festival Chorus in Carnegie Hall, New York City. Recent clinician opportunities include presenting headliner sessions on vocal techniques, choral methodology and repertoire for summer music teacher conferences at the Tennessee State ACDA Conference and Hillsdale College Barney Charter Initiative Conference, and workshops for the Montreat Conference on Worship and Music (North Carolina.)
In addition to her collegiate responsibilities, Beth acted as the Artistic and Musical director of the Millikin University Children & Youth Choir Program for seven years.In this role she conducted the premiere ensemble (Concert Youth Chorale) and coordinated a tiered structure of four choirs and staff/conductors as well a system of student interns from the Millikin University School of Music.Beth has served as Women’s Choir ACDA Repertoire and Standards Chair, both for the Central Division of ACDA and at the state level in Iowa and Illinois.She most enjoys working with young talented singers and teachers to create moments of musical excellence.
All-State Senior men
All-State 11th & 12th grade mixed
Jefferson Johnson is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Kentucky where he conducts the University Chorale and Men's Chorus. He also teaches advanced choral conducting, choral methods and literature, and directs the graduate program (MM and DMA degrees) in choral music. A native of Atlanta, Johnson received the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Georgia (magna cum laude, 1978), the Master of Music from the University of Tennessee (1981), and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado (1992), where in 2017 he was the third recipient of the “Distinguished Choral Alumnus Award.” While living in Atlanta, Johnson was a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus conducted by Robert Shaw.
University of Kentucky choirs under Johnson’s direction have performed at more than twenty conventions of choral music educators, including national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO), Music Educators National Conference (MENC), and Intercollegiate Male Choruses (IMC). Most recently the UK Chorale performed at the 2016 ACDA Southern Division Convention in Chattanooga; the UK Men’s Chorus was featured in performance at the 2015 ACDA National Convention in Salt Lake City, the 2013 NCCO National Convention in Charleston, SC, the 2012 ACDA Southern Division Convention in Winston-Salem, and the 2011 ACDA National Convention in Chicago.
The UK Chorale, a select mixed choir, has toured extensively with recent performances in Paris (Cathedral of Notre Dame, Chartres Cathedral, American Cathedral, and Cathedral of La Madeleine), Washington, D.C. (Kennedy Center), the Bahamas (private performance in the Presidential Palace), and New York City (Carnegie Hall). The Chorale has collaborated with numerous artists including The King Singers, violinist Mark O’Connor, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and acclaimed conductor/composer James Burton. In 2015 the UK Chorale became the first university choral ensemble in the world to perform the soundtrack for the ground-breaking film 2001: A Space Odyssey with music by Gyorgy Ligeti.
Johnson is presently Music Director of the Lexington Singers. The 180-voice multi-generational community chorus annually performs major works with orchestras. The Singers have toured internationally, most recently to Spain, Brazil, France, Italy, and Austria. In 2019 they will have a concert tour to South Africa. In 2000 the chorus performed Mozart’s Requiem with the Vienna Mozart Orchestra in the famous Hofburg Palace and sang the evening mass at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. In 2003 the chorus performed in St. Marks Cathedral in Venice and sang mass at St. Peters Basilica in Vatican City. In 1999 the Lexington Singers celebrated its 40th anniversary with a performance in New York City as Johnson made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting the Singers and orchestra in Faure’s Requiem. The Lexington Singers returned to Carnegie Hall in 2014 for an acclaimed performance with bluegrass super group “Dailey and Vincent.”
In 2019 Johnson was conductor of the TTBB Honor Choir at the ACDA National Convention in Kansas City, and in 2018 he conducted the SATB Honor Choir at the first-ever joint conference of the Central and North Central Divisions of ACDA held in Chicago. His instructional video "Ready...Set...Sing!" is published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing and has been featured at music educators’ conventions from Ohio to Hawaii. Johnson maintains an active schedule as an adjudicator and guest conductor for high school and collegiate choirs throughout the United States. He has conducted honor choruses in 33 states and has appeared as a featured clinician at ACDA or NAfME conventions in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
In March of 2017 Johnson’s graduate student, Cameron Weatherford, won first place in the ACDA National Conducting Competition. In December of 2013 the acoUstiKats, a select ensemble from the UK Men’s Chorus, were chosen as finalists on NBC’s a cappella competition “The Sing Off.” Johnson has an editorial series with Hinshaw Music and National Music Publishers. The University of Kentucky choral program is featured in a soon-to-be-published book called “Rehearsing the Choir.” His article The What, Why, and How of Young Adult Male Choirs appeared in the Choral Journal in 2012. He resides in Lexington, KY with his wife Karina and sons Kyler and Evan.