Women's Choir Repertoire & Standards Leadership

National Chair: Iris Levine (irislevine@mac.com)
Iris Levine

Nationally recognized for her excellence in choral conducting, Dr. Iris S. Levine earned her Doctorate in Choral Music from the University of Southern California under the tutelage of Rod Eichenberger and James Vail.  She holds a Masters degree in

Choral Conducting from Temple University in Philadelphia, where she studied with Alan Harler.  Dr. Levine is Department Chair and Professor of Music at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. Now in her 24th year at Cal Poly, Dr. Levine conducts the Kellogg Chamber Singers and teaches Beginning Conducting, Choral Conducting, and Music Education curriculum.

Dr. Levine is the founder and artistic director for Vox Femina Los Angeles – L.A.’s premiere women’s choir. Through her extensive experience with women’s choral literature and innovative concert programming, Dr. Levine has charted Vox Femina on an impressive 17-year journey, building its prominence in the choral community through numerous appearances at the American Choral Directors Association conventions and over 200 appearances throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Dr. Levine is the choir director at Stephen S. Wise Temple, where her choral arrangements are often performed. She is also the National Chair of the ACDA Repertoire and Standards Committee for Women’s Choirs.  Dr. Levine authored the chapter on “Working with the Women’s Community Choir” in the 2012 GIA publication: Conducting Women’s Choirs:  Strategies for Success.  Dr. Levine is highly sought as guest clinician and adjudicator for choral festivals throughout the country.

Central Division Chair: Lisa Fredenburgh (lfredenb@aurora.edu)

  Lisa Fredenburgh is Director of Choral Activities and Music Department Chair at Aurora University in Aurora, IL.  She holds a DMA and two M.M degrees from the University of Arizona where she studied under Maurice Skones, Thomas Hilbish, Jerry McCoy and Kenneth Jenning. Her BA in music education was earned at Luther College, under Weston Noble.  She has held previous conducting posts at University of Central Missouri, Meredith College in Raleigh, NC and with the Opera Company of North Carolina and Capitol Opera Raleigh.

Fredenburgh often serves as guest conductor, lecturer and clinician locally, nationally, and abroad.  She has conducted All-State Choirs in Georgia, New York, Arkansas, and North Carolina.  She has conducted and taught master classes in the Dominican Republic, Panama, and in Bolivia.  She is a frequent presenter at national, regional and state level professional organizations in the fields of Women’s Choral Music, and the Music of Latin America.  She formerly served as National Chair for the Women’s Choir Repertoire & Standards Committee for the American Choral Directors Association and on the steering committee for the 50th Anniversary National Convention in 2009. 

Eastern Division Chair: Mary Jane Pagenstecher (maryjane.pagenstecher@holton-arms.edu)

Mary Jane Pagenstecher has been an arts educator for 30 years.  She currently directs four choral ensembles and is Director of Fine & Performing Arts at the Holton-Arms School, Bethesda, MD.  She is past president of the Maryland Choral Educators Association and former Women’s Chorus Chair for MD/DC ACDA.  Pagenstecher has presented widely on the use of movement in the choral rehearsal process.  She also presented a workshop/demonstration on developing treble sound at the 2011MENC Eastern Division Conference and participated in the High School Soundtable at the 2012 Eastern Division ACDA Conference.  Pagenstecher is also active as a choral festival adjudicator and guest conductor.

North_Central Division Chair: Rhonda Fuelberth(rfuelberth2@unl.edu)

Fuelberth  Rhonda J. Fuelberth is associate professor of choral music education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, School of Music where she serves as the Chair of Graduate Music Education. She earned her bachelor's degree in music education from Wayne State College in Nebraska, her master's degree in vocal performance from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and her Ph.D. in music education from the University of Missouri -Kansas City, Conservatory of Music, where she received a Chancellor's Interdisciplinary Fellowship and a Distinguished Dissertation Fellowship.

Dr. Fuelberth taught choral and general music in the Omaha, NE area and has worked with singers of all ages from children through adults. Currently at UNL, she teaches Choral Music Methods, Choral Conducting and Literature for School Ensembles,  Music in Special Education, Inclusive Music Education, College Teaching in Music, student teacher supervision, and University Women's Chorale. In recognition of her contributions to the teaching mission of the university, Dr. Fuelberth received the Hixson-Lied College Distinguished Teaching Award for 2010, and is a two time recipient of both the UNL Parents Association and UNL Teaching Council-sponsored Certificate of Recognition for Contributions to Students and the Mortar Board People Who Inspire Award. Under her direction, the University Women's Chorale has appeared for numerous state, regional, and national  conferences.

An active member of the American Choral Directors Association and MENC: The National Association for Music Education, Dr. Fuelberth currently serves as Repertoire and Standards Chair for Women's Choirs for the North Central division of the American Choral Directors Association, and as Past-President for the Nebraska Choral Directors Association. Previously she served as President and Collegiate Repertoire and Standards Chair for the same organization. Her music research has focused on singer response to conducting gesture, technology resources for assessment in choral classrooms, teacher training, and music education for special populations. She has presented and published research at the state, regional, national and international levels of the Music Educators National Conference, the International Society for Music  Education and the American Music Therapy Association. Her publications appear in the Bulletin for the Council for Research in Music Education, Music Education Research, the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing, and the Southeastern Journal of Music Education.

Northwestern Division Chair: Katherine FitzGibbon (klf@lclark.edu)

Katherine FitzGibbon is Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and the Head of Faculty at the Berkshire Choral Festival in Sheffield, Massachusetts. She has served as Director of Choral Activities at Clark University, Interim Director of Choirs at Cornell University, and has conducted undergraduate choirs at Harvard University, Boston University, and the University of Michigan. She is Dr. FitzGibbon has been Assistant Conductor of the professional ensemble Boston Secession, Chorusmaster of the Windsor Symphony Chorus in Windsor, Ontario, guest conductor of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, and a staff conductor at the Rome Opera Festival in Rome, Italy. Dr. FitzGibbon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Princeton University, Master of Music degree in conducting from the University of Michigan, and Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting at Boston University.

Southern Division Chair: Lori Hetzel (lori.hetzel@uky.edu)

Lori Hetzel

  Dr. Lori Hetzel is the Associate Director of Choral Activities and professor of Choral Music Education at the University of Kentucky where she conducts the Women's Choir and the a cappella group "Paws and Listen." She also teaches graduate and undergraduate secondary methods courses and undergraduate conducting. In conjunction with the undergraduate choral methods courses, she has pioneered a unique partnership program with a local high school. As a result of this program the choral music education students at the University of Kentucky are receiving "hands on" experience and immediate feedback early in their curriculum. Among her many accomplishments, she was the recipient of the University of Kentucky award "Great Teacher of the Year" in 2000 and has published articles in College Music Symposium and Southeastern Music Education Journal.

The UK Women’s Choir has been invited to perform at both MENC and ACDA Southern Division Conventions and in 2003 were featured at the ACDA National Convention in New York City.  Additionally the choir has toured internationally including performances at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris and St. Stephens Cathedral, Vienna.  In 2008 the choir was featured at both the ACDA Southern Division Convention, Louisville and the MENC National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In June 2009 the choir took their second international tour with performances at St. Peters Basilica, Rome and St. Marks Cathedral, Venice.

A native of Wisconsin, Dr. Hetzel received her B.A. degree in Music Education, Summa cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. She received her M.M. degree from the University of Missouri - Kansas City Conservatory, where she studied conducting with Eph Ehly. Her D.M.A. degree is in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University with Charles K. Smith. An active clinician and guest conductor, Dr. Hetzel has most recently conducted All-State and Honor choirs in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Wisconsin, Tennessee and South Carolina.

Southwestern Division Chair: Janice Vlachos (janice.vlachos@bvsd.org)

Janice Vlachos is currently in her sixteenth year as a choral director at Fairview High School.  She received her B.M. at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.  Ms. Vlachos is a member of CMEA and ACDA and is currently serving as the Southwest Regional ACDA R & S High School Chair for women’s repertoire and standards.  Janice directs four choirs, teaches AP theory and is the director/producer of the fall musical.  Janice had the privilege of singing with Kantorei under the direction of Dick Larsen from 2000-2004, and for three years was a member of Soltane Voce, the Denver Brass Choir. She is currently a member of the Colorado Conductors Chorus under the direction of Dr. Larry Kaptein. Ms. Vlachos resides in Erie with her husband, Dean, and their two children, Eleni, 10, and Nikolos, 9 years old.

Western Divsion Chair: Jennifer Tibben (jennifertibben@gmail.com)

Tibben  Jennifer Tibben currently maintains an active private voice studio in the Reno area and serves as the choir director at Damonte Ranch High School.  She is also a member of the faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno, serving as a voice instructor. She served as Director of Choral Activities at UNR from July 2008 – June 2010.  She received her MM in Vocal Performance from UNR in May 1997.  She received her BA from Gustavus Adolphus College, May 1992, with majors in music and biology.

As a conductor, Jennifer serves as the Artistic Director and conductor of Bella Voce, a select community women’s choral ensemble.  She has received a Sierra Arts Foundation grant for her work with Bella Voce.  Jennifer founded Orfeo, a new community men’s chorus, in the fall of 2010.  She also currently conducts the adult choir at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd and serves as the chorus director for the Reno Philharmonic Chorus.  Jennifer has sung opera roles with UNR Lyric Opera, as well as with Nevada Opera.  She has also served as soloist with the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Reno Baroque Ensemble and with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra.  She is a frequent recitalist in the area.  She lives in Reno with their two delightful children, Grace (12) and Noah (9).