2022 Summer Conference

July 10-13, 2022 – Peru State College


Conference Highlights

Reading Sessions in all R&R Areas
Conducting Masterclasses with Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt
Middle Level Honor Choir – Gretchen Harrison, National ACDA R&R Chair
All-State High School Honor Choir – Dr. Matthew Armstrong
All-State Show Choir – Connie Mulligan and Bobby Picker


NCDA All-State Concert Choir

July 10 – 12, 2022

2022 All State Concert Requirements

Information Sheet: HERE 

Audition Excerpt PDF: NCDA All-State Concert Choir excerpt 2022

Audition Excerpt Recording: Take Me to the Water

2022 All State Concert Choir Description

OPEN to all 2021-22 high school students (2021 freshmen through graduating seniors)

Join high school singers from around the state in an intensive honor choir experience. Students will be immersed in diverse repertoire, expert instruction, and high-level artistry in a beautiful setting on the campus of Peru State College.

2022 All State Concert Choir Clinician

Dr. Matthew Armstrong is director of choral activities at Wayne State College. He is an associate professor in the Music Department and leads the Concert Choir, Madrigal Singers, and Black and Gold. He teaches K-12 music methods, conducting, and choral literature.

Prior to his appointment at Wayne State,Armstrong enjoyed teaching music at all age levels from K-12 through college. His many years of experience, most of which were in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, public schools, included leading concert, chamber, madrigal, jazz, and show choirs. He has the distinction of receiving division I superior ratings with perfect ballots in each of these categories. In addition to his choirs earning numerous awards, Armstrong’s concert and jazz choirs have been selected to perform at regional and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association. While in Cedar Rapids, he did additional conducting and teaching at Coe and Cornell Colleges before being invited to serve as visiting assistant professor at his alma mater, Wartburg College.

An active musician, Armstrong has performed and recorded music with contemporary, jazz, and country flavors, and is a studio singer for choral demos. As composer and arranger, his works have been published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing and performed by numerous choirs including honor and all state festivals. His professional affiliations include the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education, and the National Collegiate Choral Organization. He has presented at regional ACDA and IMEA conferences and stays active as a clinician, adjudicator, and conductor of honor choir festivals.

Armstrong earned a BME from Wartburg College, where he served as president of the Wartburg Choir and was recognized with the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research or Performance beyond the Regular Requirements of Wartburg College: “Serenade” Men’s A Cappella Group. He also holds an MME from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago and has completed his DMA in choral conducting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Among his many influential teachers, he has studied choral music with Paul Torkelson, David Rayl, Robert Sinclair, Eph Ehly, and Peter Eklund.

NCDA Middle Level Honor Choir

July 10 – 12, 2022

2022 Middle Level Honor Choir Requirements

Information sheet: HERE

Audition Excerpt PDF: NCDA Middle Level Honor Choir excerpt 2022

Audition Excerpt Recording: Jubilate Deo

2022 Middle Level Honor Choir Description

OPEN to all students entering grades 7-9.

Join singers from around the state in an exciting honor choir experience! Students will be immersed in diverse repertoire, expert instruction, and high-level artistry in a beautiful setting on the campus of Peru State College.

2022 Middle Level Honor Choir Clinician

Gretchen Harrison

Recently retired from a 34-year public school music educator career, Gretchen Harrison is enjoying time filled with singing, playing piano and banjo, working with choirs all over the nation, and lots of cooking. Harrison is the choir director (emeritus) at Frontier Trail MS in Olathe USD 233.

Harrison earned a Bachelor’s in Music Education from Wichita State University and a Master’s in Music Education from University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has completed her Level III endorsement in CME (Choral Music Experience) program, along with other post-grad education experiences. She has served the choral community as National Chairperson for JHMS Repertoire and Standards for ACDA (2009-2015), Youth Coordinator for ACDA (2016-2019), and currently holds the position of ACDA National Chairperson for  Repertoire and Resources. Currently, Harrison is an Assistant Choir Director of Moto and Brio choirs with Allegro Choirs of Kansas City. She is also the Assistant Children’s Choir Director at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS. Harrison is married to a retired high school band director and is mom to Kellyn, a grad student in Choral Conducting at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Cole, a choir director in the Kansas City, KS, public schools.  Wynton, a yellow lab pandemic puppy, rounds out the family.

NCDA All-State Show Choir

July 10 – 12, 2022

2022 All-State Show Choir Requirements

Information sheet (including links to excerpts and recordings): HERE

2022 All-State Show Choir Description

We encourage all show choir directors to consider auditioning students for the All-State Show Choir. We proudly represent students from schools all over the state, and guarantee a rewarding and beneficial experience for our participants!

2022 All-State Show Choir Clinicians

Connie Mulligan is the vocal music/show choir director at the Mt. Zion Community School District.  She is the director of the award-winning, Mt. Zion Swingsations show choir along with Les Femmes, You’ve Got Male and the Junior High show choir, Sound System. Connie has been a music educator for over 25 years and has enjoyed returning to the Mt. Zion show choir family.  Connie first came to Mt. Zion as the director of the Swingsations in 1991, and teamed up with Roberta Vest the following year to start the unisex group, Les Femmes.  Connie is from the Central Illinois area and is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University. She has also directed other show choirs including the Sullivan Singers, the Pekin Noteables, Decatur’s Elite Energy, and the Chatham-Glenwood show choir program where she was instrumental in its inception.  She has been a part of the show choir community for nearly 30 years. Connie has worn many hats throughout her career and is grateful for the many opportunities and experiences . Some highlights include directing/choreographing for musicals-theater productions, summer camps and the Decatur Park Singers program along with serving as Company Manager for The Little Theater On the Square, owning a formal wear store and serving as an adjudicator/clinician for various Show Choir events.  Being able to share these experiences with her kids is the BEST part. Her son Sam (24) is a singer-songwriter/performer/choreographer based in Nashville and in addition to his first original album, he released new music January, 2022. Sydni (18) is following the commercial vocal music/performer path at Belmont University in Nashville, TN where she just completed her freshman year.


Bobby Picker currently works as a freelance choreographer and clinician across the US. In addition to Choreography, he serves as the Assistant for the Troy Buchanan High School show choirs. Lastly, Bobby serves as an Associate Producer for Heart of America.

Bobby is an Equity singer/dancer and has performed all across the United States. He has performed for Disney World, Universal Studios, Carnival Cruise Lines, The Muny St. Louis, Six Flags, Matt Davenport Productions, Holiday World, Entertainment Central, and many more! Bobby attended Webster University and Lindenwood University, where he studied Musical Theatre.

Nebraska Choral Directors Association (NCDA)