Dr. Julie A. Skadsem

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Dr. Julie Skadsem is Associate Professor of Choral Music Education and Conducting at the University of Michigan where she conducts the Women’s Glee Club and teaches courses in conducting, choral techniques and vocal methods.  She has earned degrees in choral music education from St. Olaf College (B.A.), Florida State University (M.M.E.), and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (Ph.D.). Before coming to Michigan in fall 2006, Skadsem was Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Alabama where she taught courses in choir, conducting and music education, and was the Founding Director of the Birmingham Children’s Choir.  She taught vocal music (7-12) in Ironwood, Michigan and is an active clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor.  She is a member of the VoiceCare Network and is certified in Dalcroze eurhythmics, Orff-Schulwerk and Kodaly. Dr. Skadsem has performed regionally and internationally with the Women's Glee Club over the past five years.  Under her direction, Women’s Glee Club was able to complete yet another successful European tour in Vienna, Austria, as a participant and featured ensemble in the International Haydn Festival, as well as tours to South Africa, Canada, Brazil and Italy. Conference performances include the fall ACDA MI conference in 2011 and the Central Division ACDA Conference in 2012 and 2014. In addition to her choral work, Skadsem is also an active researcher.  Her research on choral conducting and rehearsal techniques has been presented at MENC, ACDA and the Southeastern Music Education Symposium, and is being published at the state, regional, and national levels.  She currently serves on the editorial board of the Southern Music Education Journal.

Ken Berg

For 28 years Ken served as the Director of Choirs and Fine Arts Chairman at John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham. The choirs at John Carroll consistently received highest ratings in district, state and national festivals under his leadership.  After retiring from teaching high school in 2005, Ken served for six years as the full-time Music Minister and Composer in Residence at Mountain Brook Baptist Church, also in Birmingham.  As of the summer of 2011, after serving as the part-time Music Director for 33 years, Ken now serves as the first full-time Music Director and Resident Composer for the Birmingham Boys Choir. ( Under his leadership the Choir has toured extensively throughout the United States as well as internationally in Costa Rica, Europe, Japan, and Canada.   Additionally, the Choristers of the BBC have sung for OAKE, MENC and ACDA State, Division and National conventions. Ken and his wife, Susan are the proud parents of two sons, Michael and David; both fine musicians in their own right, as well as BBC Alumni! Ken has served as a State and Southern Division officer with the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and has also served on the Training Courses Committee of the Royal School of Church Music in America.  Additionally he has taught Choral Arranging as an adjunct at his Alma Mater, Samford University. Ken often serves as clinician and adjudicator throughout the U.S.   His music is published with Bella Voce Press, LLC (, Alfred Music, Carl Fischer, Chorister’s Guild, Colla Voce, Fred Bock, Hal Leonard, Hinshaw Music, Kjos Music, MorningStar Music, Pavane Music, Santa Barbara Music Publishers and Walton Music.

All-State 9th & 10th Grade Mixed
Dr. Andrea Ramsey

Dr. Andrea Ramsey enjoys an international presence as a composer, conductor, scholar, and music educator. Her teaching experiences range from work with adolescent and children's voices to high school and collegiate voices. She enjoys regular opportunities to conduct all-state and divisional level honor choirs, festival events at Carnegie Hall, and serves as a principal conductor for the Pacific International Young Women's Choral Festival in Eugene, Oregon. Before leaping into full time composing and guest conducting, Andrea held positions in music education and conducting at The Ohio State University and the University of Colorado, respectively. An ASCAPlus award-winning composer, Andrea believes strongly in the creation of new works. Her compositions are available with traditional publishers and also through MusicSpoke, a digital sheetmusic marketplace. She enjoys residency collaborations with ensembles and festival choirs, some of which have included: the Allegro Choirs of Kansas City, Ithaca College, and the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans. As a scholar, she has presented for state, divisional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, the 6th Annual Symposium on Sociology in Music Education, as well as The Phenomenon Singing Symposium in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada. She has co-authored articles published in the Choral Journal, as well as the Journal of Research in Music Education. A native of Arkansas, she has experienced in her own life the power of music to provide a sense of community, better understanding of our humanity, and rich opportunities for self-discovery.

All-State Senior women
Dr. Elizabeth R Schauer

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Dr. Elizabeth Schauer accepted an appointment as Associate Director of Choral Activities at the University of Arizona in fall 2004.  An award-winning educator, Dr. Schauer directs Symphonic Choir and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting.  She is in demand as an adjudicator, clinician, presenter and conductor throughout the United States, including recently for performances with the National High School Women’s Honor Choir at Carnegie Hall, and the Connecticut and New Mexico All-State Choirs.  Choirs under her direction have been selected by audition and invited to perform on local, state and regional conferences of American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), College Music Society (CMS) and American Guild of Organists.  In addition, her choirs have been featured on the ACDA National YouTube Channel and the Community Concerts Series of KUAT-FM Classical Radio, and are regularly invited to collaborate, notably with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Arizona Symphony and the UA Wind Ensemble.  Repertoire embraces choral and choral-orchestral masterworks of the western canon from the Middle Ages through the present, up to and including new works dedicated to and commissioned for her ensembles, as well as the music of our time and from a variety of cultures.  She has presented sessions at the national conferences of ACDA, Presbyterian Association of Musicians and CMS; regional conferences of ACDA, and state conferences of ACDA and NAfME.  Former students are active as music educators at public and private schools, churches, colleges and universities through the country, and have been accepted into respected graduate schools and programs for continued study.  Dr. Schauer just completed her term as President of Arizona ACDA, and holds degrees from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Westminster Choir College and University of Michigan.

All-State Senior men
dr. Matthew Oltman

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Dr. Oltman is music director emeritus of the Grammy Award-winning male vocal ensemble, Chanticleer, and artistic director emeritus of the New York-based Empire City Men’s Chorus. He currently serves as associate professor of voice and conductor of the Conservatory Choir at Shenandoah University, where he teaches courses in choral conducting and literature, and assists in the leadership of conservatory’s dynamic vocal/choral division. He is also the associate director of CORO and leads the CORO/Simpson College summer master’s program in choral conducting. Oltman first joined Chanticleer in 1999, singing in the ensemble until his appointment as music director in 2009. As a singing member, he appeared on 12 albums and toured extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He expanded the ensemble’s repertoire and attracted a younger, tech-savvy audience during three critically acclaimed seasons as the ensemble’s music director, which included over 300 concerts in more than a dozen countries. In addition, he helped launch the Chanticleer Live in Concert (CLIC) recording label and was the editor of the Chanticleer Choral Series, published by Hinshaw Music. Dedicated to the creation of new choral music, he has facilitated commissions from composers such as Stephen Paulus, Mason Bates, Steven Sametz, Jan Sandström, Peter Michaelides, Roxanna Panufnik, and Ilyas Iliya, as well as Vince Peterson, who arranged the choral/indie pop sensation, “Cells Planets.” Oltman has served as lecturer in music at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln; guest director of choral activities at the University of California, Berkeley; and guest lecturer in music at Texas State University. He is a regular guest conductor at the Choral Chameleon Summer Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and the Taiwan Youth Festival Chorus in Taipei. He has conducted All-State choruses in Texas and Georgia and made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut in 2014, as part of the DCINY concert series. Oltman is well known for his connection to Franz Biebl’s ubiquitous choral setting of the “Ave Maria.” His experience performing, conducting and recording the piece over two decades led him write a history and analysis in 2017. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Oltman earned a Bachelor of Music. in vocal performance from Simpson College, a Master of Arts in music from the University of York in England, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

All-State 11th & 12th grade mixed
Dr. Craig Zamer

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Dr. Craig Zamer is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Tennessee Tech University where he directs a non-auditioned Concert Choir and the Tennessee Tech University Chorale, TTU’s top auditioned choir. Dr. Zamer also teaches undergraduate courses in choral conducting, choral literature, and secondary choral methods. Dr. Zamer received his Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Virginia Tech University. He also holds the M.M.E. and Ph. D. degrees in Music Education and Choral Conducting from The Florida State University. Before his graduate work he taught high school choral music at Stone Bridge High School in Loudoun County, Virginia. In 2017 Dr. Zamer debuted in Carnegie Hall conducting choirs from Tennessee and Mississippi in a performance of Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo with full orchestra. Dr. Zamer has been an invited clinician, conductor, and adjudicator in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee, and Virginia. Dr. Zamer has conducted abroad in Austria, China, the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.