Associate Professor, Adjunct, of Choral Conducting at Yale
University and conductor of the Camerata
Dr. Felicia Barber is the Associate Professor, Adjunct, of Choral Conducting at Yale University and conductor of the Camerata. In addition to teaching graduate-level choral conductors and aspiring undergraduate conductors, Dr. Barber is developing a new initiative designed to prepare Yale students to work with young musicians on choral music in school and church settings.
Previous to her appointment at Yale, Dr. Barber served as Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Westfield State University in Westfield, MA, where she conducted the University Chorus, Chamber Chorale, and Gospel Choir; as well as taught courses in conducting and choral methods for nine years. In addition to her position at Westfield, Dr. Barber also served as Choral Lecturer for the summer master’s program at Gordon College for five years. There she taught courses in Choral Conducting and Choral Music Education for the MME degree.
Dr. Barber, whose research interests include effective teaching strategies, fostering classroom diversity and incorporating equity and justice initiatives in choral curricula, and the linguistic performance practice of African American spirituals, has contributed to such periodicals as the American Choral Directors Association’s Choral Journal and is the author of A New Perspective for the Use of Dialect in African American Spirituals: History, Context, and Linguistics (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021).
An active member of American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), she has presented her research at state, divisional, and national conferences. Dr. Barber has also served the organization on the National Diversity Committee, the Eastern Division 2020 Conference committee, and is the current President of the Massachusetts ACDA board. In addition, she is regularly engaged as a guest conductor for youth and community festivals around the country; including several All State ensembles including Vermont, Oklahoma, California, as well as upcoming festivals in Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Rhode Island.
Dr. Barber earned a BM in Vocal Performance from Oral Roberts University, in Tulsa, OK, a MM in Choral Music Education from Mansfield University, in Mansfield, PA, and a Ph.D. in Music Education and Choral Conducting from The Florida State University.
Director of Choral Activities at the University of Arizona
Elizabeth Schauer (she/hers) serves as Director of Choral Activities at the University of Arizona, where she is recognized for her innovative and inclusive curricular approach. An award-winning educator, Dr. Schauer conducts Symphonic Choir and Arizona Choir, and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting, literature and methods with a student-centered focus to an international population of learners. She is in demand as an adjudicator, clinician, presenter and conductor throughout the United States, including for performances at Carnegie Hall and with numerous all-state and honor 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 Orchestra and the UA Philharmonic Orchestra. Repertoire embraces choral and choral-orchestral works 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 throughout the world, and have been accepted into respected graduate schools and programs for continued study. Dr. Schauer holds degrees from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Westminster Choir College and University of Michigan.
Chair and Professor of Choral Studies
Recognized as a visionary conductor and creative artist, Joe Miller maintains an active performance schedule. Miller currently serves as Professor of Conducting and Director of Choral Studies at CCM. In addition to his work at CCM, Miller is artistic director of choral activities for the renowned Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina, and since 2016 he has served as conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra Symphonic Choir.
Miller made his conducting debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2021, conducting Handel’s Messiah. Recent collaborations with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra have included premier performances of Kevin Puts’ The Hours with Renée Flemming, Kelli O’Hara and Jennifer Johnson Cano, along with premier performances in Carnegie Hall of Gabriela Franks’ Pachamama Meets and Ode. Past seasons’ engagements have also included Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra and Chorus and Poulenc’s Stabat Mater with the CCM Choirs and Philharmonia.
Featured works of the 2022-23 CCM season include performances for the ACDA National Conference, Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles, and a collaboration with the Cincinnati Ballet featuring the CCM Chamber Choir and choreographer Taylor Carrasco. The Philadelphia Orchestra season includes Rachmaninov Kolokolo/The Bells being recorded for Deutsche Gramophone, Handel’s Messiah and the Bruckner Te Deum.
After viewing a staged performance of Joby Talbot’s demanding Path of Miracles at the 2019 Spoleto Festival USA, D.C. Theatre Scene wrote, “Joe Miller is a fearless artist. His bold leadership and trust in these young singers enabled his choristers to forego the ‘stand and deliver,’ score-bound habits of their genre and ‘walk with him’ on this special journey. Not only did the singers need to memorize their parts, no mean feat, but follow his baton’s bid from any part of the auditorium and sing in any body position. Miller constantly challenged them in the process and inspired them to work confidently, well outside their comfort zone.”
Miller’s ensembles have performed throughout the world, giving concert tours in Italy, Germany, Austria, France, England, China and Spain, as well as participating in the World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona. His choirs have toured extensively throughout the US performing for the American Choral Director’s Association National and Regional Conferences, and including groundbreaking performances of Julia Wolfe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Anthracite Fields at the historic Roebling WireWorks as part of Westminster’s Transforming Space project.
Miller has been praised for his recordings. American Record Guide‘s review of Frank Martin: Mass for Double Choir stated: “This is gorgeous singing … with perfect blend, intonation, diction, ensemble and musicality.” The Heart’s Reflection: Music of Daniel Elder was hailed by Minnesota Public Radio’s Classical Notes as “simply astounding.” Miller’s debut recording with the Westminster Choir, Flower of Beauty, received four stars from Choir & Organ magazine and earned critical praise from American Record Guide, which described the Westminster Choir as “the gold standard for academic choirs in America.”
Miller has collaborated with some of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, earning him critical praise.
André J. Thomas
André J. Thomas
Associate Artist with the London Symphony Orchestra & President of the American Choral Directors Association
André J. Thomas is an Associate Artist with the London Symphony Orchestra. He served as Visiting Professor of Conducting and Interim Conductor of the Yale Camerata. (2020-2022). Thomas is an Emeritus Professor of Music at Florida State University. He previously served as a faculty member at the University of Texas, Austin.
Dr. Thomas received his degrees from Friends University (B.A.), Northwestern University (M. M.), and The University of Illinois (D.M.A). He is in demand as a choral adjudicator, clinician, and director of Honor/All-State Choirs throughout North America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand, Australia, and Africa.
Dr. Thomas has conducted choirs at the state, division, and national conventions of the Music Educators National Conference (NAfME) and the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). His international conducting credits are extensive. They include conductor/clinician for the International Federation of Choral Musicians’ summer residency of the World Youth Choir in the The Republic of China and the Philippines. He was also the conductor of the World Youth Choir’s winter residency in Europe and a premier performance by an American choir (Florida State University Singers) in Vietnam.
He has been the guest conductor of such distinguished orchestras and choirs as the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in England, guest Conductor for the Berlin Radio Choir and the North German Radio Choir in Germany, the Netherlands Radio Choir, The Bulgarian Radio Choir and Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony, China’s People’s Liberation Orchestra and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. From 1988-2019, he also served as Artistic Director of the Tallahassee Community Chorus.
Thomas has also distinguished himself as a composer/arranger. Hinshaw Music Company, Mark Foster Music Company, Fitzsimons Music Company, Lawson Gould, Earthsongs, Choristers Guild, and Heritage Music Company publishes his compositions and arrangements.
Dr. Thomas has produced two instructional videos, “What They See Is What You Get” on choral conducting, with Rodney Eichenberger, and “Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice” on adolescent voices, with Anton Armstrong. His recent book “Way Over in Beulah Lan’. Understanding and Performing the Negro Spiritual” has quickly become a significant resource in this area of study.
Various musical organizations have recognized Thomas. The African Diaspora Sacred Music honored Dr. Thomas as a Living Legend. In 2011, Thomas’ dedication to and accomplishments in the choral arts was recognized by his peers in Chorus America when the organization presented Dr. Thomas with its Distinguished Service Award. In March of 2017, ACDA presented Thomas with its highest honor the Robert Shaw Award, and in November of 2017, NCCO (National Collegiate Choral Organization presented Thomas with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In January 2019, he was inducted into the Florida Music Educator’s Hall of Fame. In 2022 he was presented with the Award of Excellence from the Southern Region of ACDA. Yale School of Music presented Thomas with the Simon Samuel Sanford Award. It is their highest honor in the School of Music.
He is a past president of the Florida ACDA and the past president of the Southern Division of ACDA and the current President of National ACDA.