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American Choral Directors Association

Women's Choir Repertoire & Resources Leadership

National Chair:  Phillip A. Swan (

Phillip Swan is Co-Director of Choral Studies and Musical Director for LU Musicals at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. Swan co-directs Cantala and Concert Choir, directs Hybrid Ensemble (jazz, early, contemporary and world music); teaches courses in conducting, musical theatre and music education; and coaches student organized a cappella groups.  He is active in the Appleton community, serving as artistic director and conductor for newVoices and is choir director at Appleton Alliance Church.  Swan received his BA in music education from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, MM in Choral Conducting from UT El Paso, and his DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Miami (Florida).  His doctoral essay is entitled, "In His Own Words:  The Choral Music of Eric Whitacre from 1991-2004."

Dr. Swan has been fortunate to work with international choirs; conducting the seventh annual Festival of Choirs in Muscat, Oman in 2010 and was selected to participate in the ACDA International Conductor Exchange Program in 2014; giving two lectures and conducting in a Regional Concert for the China Choral Association (Guangdong Provence), and working with 15 choirs in Zhongshan, Zhuhai, Donguang, and Shenzhen, China.  Awards include the 2016 Chorus America Award for Education and Community Engagement (newVoices programs on Human Trafficking and Alzheimer Disease/Dementia), the 2016 Morris D. Hayes Award (established in 1985 by the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association, it is reserved for those of outstanding merit who have shown a commitment to choral music, served the art and have made outstanding contributions to choral music in Wisconsin), the 2011 Lawrence Award for Excellence in Creative Activity, the 2008 Mrs. H. K. Babcock Award (given to an individual from the Lawrence community, who through involvement and interaction with students has made a positive impact on the campus community), South Dakota ACDA Encore Award, Outstanding Young Men of America, Who’s Who Among American Teachers, 1997 Northwestern University Summer Fellow, 2001 National ACDA graduate conducting competition finalist – San Antonio, Alpha Epsilon Lambda (graduate honor society) and Pi Kappa Lambda (collegiate national music honor society).  Swan is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, currently serving as the National Women’s Choir Repertoire and Resources Chair.  Other involvement has included serving as the North Central ACDA Women’s Choir R&S Chair, chairing the 2016 North Central ACDA collegiate ENGAGE event, Wisconsin Women’s Choir R&S Chair, program chair for the 2013 Wisconsin state conference, member of the state by-laws revision committee, WCDA summer Refresh! planning committee, and serving on the teaching staff for WCDA Next Direction. 

Swan has conducted Cantala in performances at the 2011 National ACDA conference in Dallas and the 2006 NC-ACDA conference in Omaha, and Cantala and Concert Choir at the 2014 NC-ACDA conference in Des Moines.  He was privileged to be included as a chapter author in the 2012 GIA book, Conducting Women’s Choirs (“The “Y” Factor in an X-Chromosome World”) and will be a featured author in the GIA series, Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir, Vol. 4 (“The Collaborative Conductor”), to be released in 2017. 

Central Division Chair:  Beth Holmes  (

Beth Holmes currently serves on the Millikin University choral staff in Decatur, Illinois, conducting the 70 member Millikin Women and teaching private voice. She holds a Masters Degree in Choral Conducting from Arizona State University and a Bachelors in 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 ACDA Convention Honor Choirs throughout the Midwest. Recent engagements include the ACDA North Central Division Collegiate Women’s Honor Choir as well as All State choirs in Wisconsin, Kentucky and Alabama. In March of 2016 she will conduct The National Festival Chorus in Carnegie Hall, New York City.

In addition to her collegiate responsibilities, Beth was the Artistic and Musical director of the Millikin University Children & Youth Choir Program for seven years. In this role she conducted the premiere ensembles and coordinated a tiered structure of four choirs and staff/conductors as well a system of student interns from the Millikin School of Music. In the past Beth has served as Women’s Choir R&S Chair in both Illinois and Iowa.

Eastern Division Chair:  Christine Howlett (