Meet Our Headliner Clinicians for the 2017 AzACDA Summer Conference!
Dr. Karen Kennedy
Praised by the San Francisco Classical Voice for her “wizardry with voices” and named by the Honolulu Star Bulletin as “ … a popular and charismatic leader,” Karen Kennedy is currently the Director of Choral Studies at the University of Miami where she oversees a vibrant DMA and MM program in choral conducting. Previous to her appointment in Miami, she held positions as the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Artistic Director of the Honolulu Symphony Chorus, and Director of Choral Studies at Towson University.
In addition to her work in academics, Dr. Kennedy regularly enjoys leading festival performances, recently in notable venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Mormon Tabernacle, the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Sweden, St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, Canterbury Cathedral in England, and multiple venues in Austria. Upcoming engagements include a return to Carnegie Hall, a musical tour of Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague, and high school and collegiate all-state choirs throughout the country. Off the podium, Dr. Kennedy is passionate about leading workshops on innovative rehearsal technique, vocal pedagogy and the choral classroom, and music literacy, garnering invitations nationally and internationally for teaching residencies at established festivals and retreats.
Equally at home working with orchestra, Dr. Kennedy has conducted fine ensembles including the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, the New England Chamber Orchestra, the Miami Symphony, the Boca Raton Philharmonic, and the Symphony of the Americas. She has prepared choruses for a wide range of events, from performances on MTV to collaborations with the Cleveland Orchestra. NAXOS will release 2 recordings with her ensembles in spring of 2017, joining her featured choir performance on the Latin Grammy-winning album Loco de Amor.
Dr. Kennedy has received numerous awards for teaching, including the University of Hawai’i Chancellor’s Citation for Meritorious Teaching, Arizona State University’s Manzanita “Top Prof” Award, Butler University’s Faculty Distinction Award, and is a two-time recipient of the Lawrence Township Schools Superintendent’s Award. She is a past-president of the Hawai’i Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), founding member of the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO), a past Repertoire and Standards Chair for Collegiate Choirs in ACDA’s Eastern Division, and maintains an active student ACDA chapter at the University of Miami.
Tom T. Shelton, Jr. is a native of Greensboro, N.C. and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he earned both a Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music in Choral Conducting. He is Assistant Professor of Sacred Music at Westminster Choir College. Focusing on children’s and youth music at Westminster, he teaches classes in conducting, sacred music, music education and coordinates and conducts the Neighborhood Children’s Choir Program. In addition, he is the Director of Music for Children’s and Youth Choirs at Princeton United Methodist Church.
Mr. Shelton has a passion for music education in all areas: church, school and community. He taught middle school choral music in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County for 18 years. During that time he was selected Teacher of the Year for both Atkins Middle School and Kernersville Middle School. In 1999 the North Carolina Music Educators Association presented him with the North Carolina Middle School Music Teacher of the Year award.
Mr. Shelton is active with the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), currently serving as the National President-Elect. Other ACDA leadership positions have included Southern Division President (2011-2012), National R&S Chair for Middle School/Junior High Choirs (2007-2009) and North Carolina President (2005-2007).
Mr. Shelton has conducted festivals and honor choirs in 20 states as well as Hong Kong. He has conducted Choral Festivals in Carnegie Hall, Honor Choirs for the Central Division ACDA and Southern Division ACDA, as well as All State Choirs in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina and South Carolina. He is the Series Director for the Music for Young Voices Series with GIA Publications and has over 40 compositions published by Choristers Guild, Colla Voce Music, G. Schirmer, GIA Publications, Heritage Music Press, Hinshaw Music Company, Santa Barbara Music Press, and Walton Music.