Clinician for Massed Rehearsals
Karen Kenaston-French is Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Texas Arlington, where she conducts the A Cappella Choir, teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting, and heads the Vocal Area. Under her direction the UTA A Cappella Choir performed at the Texas Music Educators Association state convention (2014), appeared with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (2012 & 2016), and was named a finalist in the 2014 American Prize for Choral Performance for its CD, “The Road Home.” In February 2015 the choir served as Ensemble-in-Residence for the National Student Conducting Competition at the American Choral Directors Association conference in Salt Lake City, and in March 2016 will give an auditioned performance at the Southwestern Division Conference of ACDA in Kansas City.
Prior to her arrival at UTA, Dr. Kenaston-French served as Director of Choral Activities at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, where she led the Chamber Singers in two appearances at the Tennessee Music Education Association state conference, and in master classes with Chanticleer, Cantus, and Libby Larsen. She taught conducting at Southern Methodist University and the University of North Texas, and was director of music ministries at Plymouth Park United Methodist Church in Irving, Texas from 1986-1998. Dr. Kenaston-French has been guest conductor for honor choirs in Colorado, Tennessee, and for several TMEA region choirs. She cultivates a close connection with Texas high school programs, having conducted clinics for more than 80 choirs over the past six years, and runs the highly successful UTA All-State Choir Camp, which attracts 250 students each summer. She continues to share her experience in church music as a faculty member for SMU’s Church Music Summer Seminar and the Chorister’s Guild Midwinter Workshop.
Dr. Kenaston-French holds a B.A. in vocal performance from West Virginia Wesleyan College, M.M. and M.S.M. degrees in choral conducting from Southern Methodist University, and a D.M.A. in choral conducting from the University of North Texas, where she was named outstanding graduate student in conducting and ensembles and the Pi Kappa Lambda outstanding doctoral student. She studied conducting with Jerry McCoy, Mel Ivey, Lloyd Pfautsch, Jane Marshall, and Larry Parsons, and in 2011 was a conductor for the Choral/Orchestral Master Class of the Oregon Bach Festival, under Helmut Rilling and Jeffrey Kahane. Vocal studies include graduate work with Lynn Eustis at UNT and Linda Baer at SMU. Her article “The Teachings of Jean‐Antoine Bérard” was published in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Journal of Singing in November 2009. She sang in the Dallas Symphony Chorus from 1993-2003, and was in the first Robert Shaw Festival Chorus at Carnegie Hall in 1991.
Dr. John Wayman is Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he conducts the University Singers and guides our future choral music educators. Prior to his arrival to UTA, Wayman served as Music Education Coordinator and Director of the Concert Choir at Young Harris College in Georgia. Dr. Wayman has a BAMEd from Wayland Baptist University, a MMEd and Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. As a choral director, Dr. Wayman brings a wealth of information having taught all levels (elementary-college in Texas and Georgia) in a variety of settings. He is in great demand as an adjudicator and clinician, regularly working with school music programs and directing honor choirs throughout the nation.
Dr. Wayman’s areas of specialty consist of the male changing voice, music as an educational tool for the traditional classroom and the development of the preservice teacher. His research has been presented regularly at professional conferences in state (Texas Music Educators Association, Tennessee MEA and Georgia MEA), nationally (National Association for Music Educators, Society of Research for Music Education, Society of Music Teacher Educators) and international venues (International Society of Music Education [Greece and Brazil] , Research in Music Education [England], PASME [Uganda], and most recently working with the choirs and future music educators at the University of Internationalities in Chengdu, China). His work can found in the Journal of Research in Music Education, Teaching Music, Georgia Music News and Symposium on Music teacher Education: Enacting Shared Visions.
Soprano Section Leader
Robyn Hollimon is in her 27th year of teaching music in Texas and most recently completed her first year as Choral Director at Crowley HS. She was a high school Valedictorian and All-State Choir member before attending Baylor University where she graduated summa cum laude and was named Outstanding Woman Graduate in the School of Music.
Over the years Mrs. Hollimon’s choirs have earned consistent sweepstakes ratings, have won numerous festival honors including Festival DiVoce Grand Champion in 2013, and have performed at six TMEA and ACDA state, regional and national music conventions. Under her direction, approximately 500 students have been named to district and region choirs and just under 100 students have been named to All-State Choirs.
Mrs. Hollimon is an active Region conductor, adjudicator and choral clinician and a member of TMEA, TMAA, TCDA and ACDA. She served as Region 7 Vice-President from 2012-2014 and is in her eleventh year as Director of Music for Genesis United Methodist Church in Fort Worth. She has taught in summer youth programs for the University of Texas at Austin, Tarleton University, Baylor University, West Texas A&M University and UTA. She resides in southwest Ft. Worth with her husband Scott.
Jo Ann Antinone
Soprano Section Leader
Jo Ann Antinone is the Director of the LD Bell High School Choral Department. Mrs. Antinone was raised in Bryan, TX, and earned her Bachelor Degree in Music Education from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX, and her Master Degree in Choral Conducting from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. This is Mrs. Antinone’s 17th year of teaching. She is proud to have taught at Wilkinson Middle School in Mesquite and Euless Junior High in Euless before coming to LD Bell. Mrs. Antinone is often called upon as a guest conductor around the DFW Metroplex. This year she is performing with the choral ensemble Schola Cantorum. Mrs. Antinone is proud to serve as the TMEA Region 5 Chair-Elect and holds memberships in TMEA, TCDA, TMAA, as well as Pi Kappa Lambda. Mrs. Antinone serves as the primary instructor for the A Cappella, Varsity Women, Varsity Men, Choralier Men, and Bell System performance ensembles.
Alto Section Leader
Chi-Chi King has been the Head Director of Choirs at Keller High School for 21 years where her choirs have consistently won the Sweepstakes Trophy at UIL Concert and Sightreading Contests and 1st place trophies at music festivals in Texas, Florida, and California. Her choirs have also traveled to Europe where they performed in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, Bath Abbey in Bath, England, Sant Stefano al Ponte in Florence, Italy, Sant’ Agnese in Agone in Rome, St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, and Chartres and Rouen Cathedrals in France. Mrs. King served as the Region 2 Vocal Chair from 2010-2012. She has been a member of Schola Cantorum of Texas since 1984 and serves as the Soprano Section Leader of this performing group.
Mrs. King began her freshman year at Texas Tech University as a cello major. She decided to take voice lessons during summer school following her freshman year and felt an absolute kinship with the singing voice. When she appeared in her 1st opera production as a gypsy in Bizet’s Carmen, she was hooked. She sold the cello for a piano and never looked back. She has performed in many college and repertory musicals and operettas, and has sung as a soloist in many churches, weddings, and at other functions. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Texas Tech University, and a Masters in Music Education with Vocal Pedagogy Emphasis degree from the University of North Texas. Mrs. King has been nominated several times to Who’s Who Among American High School Teachers and received the UIL Sponsorship Excellence Award at Keller High School in 2000. In 2012, her Varsity Mixed Choir was asked to perform for the State Board of Education in Austin. And in 2013-2014, her Varsity Treble Choir, the Chanteurs, was selected to perform for the Texas Music Educators Association in San Antonio, a huge honor only given to a few choirs each year. She is also the recipient of the 2014-2015 Teacher of the Year for Keller High School. Mrs. King resides in Keller with her husband.
Alto Section Leader
Betsy Howerton, a Martin High School alumna, is in her ninth year at Martin as a choral director. While at Martin, she was honored to sing with the Chamber Singers at both the Texas Music Educators Association and the American Choral Directors Association Conventions in 2005. Mrs. Howerton graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with Honors from Texas Tech University. While at Tech, she studied voice under Kathy McNeil and choral methods under Dr. Carolyn Cruse, as well as performed with the University Choir under the direction of Dr. John Dickson at TMEA in 2008. She has conducted the Martin High School Chamber Singers as part of their 2013 ACDA and 2016 TMEA performances. She was selected as one of the Texas Exes 2012 Rapoport Rising Stars. Mrs. Howerton is a member of TMEA, TCDA, ACDA, and Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society. She currently serves as the TMEA Region V Secretary and the Region V Vocal Division Treasurer.
Tenor Section Leader
Joshua Brown is in his second year of doctoral studies at the University of North Texas and serves as the Director of UNT Men’s Chorus. In addition, Mr. Brown is the Director of Music at St. Philip Presbyterian Church in Hurst, and is the Artistic Director of the Coppell Community Chorale. Prior to beginning his degree, he was Director of Choirs at Coppell High School from 2012-2017 where his choirs were selected to perform at the White House (2014), Texas Music Educators Convention (2017), and Southwestern American Choral Directors Convention (2016). He has also served as an officer or committee member in TMEA Regions 16, 20 and 31, and is frequently called upon to serve as a choral adjudicator, clinician, or accompanist.
Mr. Brown holds a Bachelor’s degree from Dallas Baptist University and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Baylor University. While at Baylor, Brown was the graduate conductor of the Baylor A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers which culminated in a performance of the Schubert Mass in G with the A Cappella Choir and members of the Baylor Symphony Orchestra. In 2007, Mr. Brown was selected as one of eight National Graduate Semifinalists in the Choral Conducting Competition of the American Choral Directors Association. He has studied conducting with Dr. Anton Armstrong, Dr. Jeffery Ames, Dr. Donald Bailey, Mr. Stephen Heyde, Dr. Allen Hightower, Dr. Stephen Holcomb, Dr. Eric Wilson, and voice with Dr. Susan Wyatt. His professional affiliations include ACDA, TMAA, TMEA, TCDA, ATPE, and Chorus America.
Bass Section Leader
Jeremy Crozier is in his 15th year as a choral music educator and his 5th year as Director of Choral Activities at Haltom High School in Birdville ISD. He received his Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Simpson College in May of 2002. While at Simpson he was cast in several performing roles, worked as the Undergraduate Choral Assistant, and studied conducting with Dr. Robert L Larsen. Previous to accepting his current position, Mr. Crozier taught in Plano ISD and Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD as a high school associate choral director. Mr. Crozier received his Masters Degree from the University of Texas at Arlington in Educational Leadership and Policy studies in May of 2008. Choirs under his direction have consistently earned sweepstakes awards at UIL and earned “Best in Class” awards at various competitions throughout the United States. In 2012 he conducted the Trinity HS A Cappella Choir as part of their TMEA Honor Choir performance. He has served TMEA Region 5 as vocal chair, chair elect, treasurer, and has served on the facilities committee for the TMEA convention. Mr. Crozier holds professional affiliations with TMEA, ACDA, TCDA, ATPE, Lambda Chi Alpha, and Phi Mu Alpha.
Bass Section Leader
Reginal Wright was born March 11, 1976 in Henderson, Texas. His life as a musician began in his middle school band as a trombonist. Reginal is in his 14th year of public school teaching and his 6th year as Choral Director at Mansfield High School. As an educator Reginal has earned many awards including Outstanding Teacher, Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and a nomination for UIL Sponsor Excellence.
Reginal has performed music in Vienna and Salzburg, Austria as well as Munich Germany and throughout the United States. As a conductor, he is a sought after clinician in both Gospel and Classical genres. He has enjoyed the opportunity to conduct Honor Choirs for many school districts throughout Texas and Oklahoma. He also serves as a clinician in many Texas All State Choir camps.
Reginal is also an aspiring composer, writing music that caters to school and church choirs. His first published piece “Hosanna” was recently published by Carl Fisher music.
Reginal received both his Bachelor and Masters of Music Education Degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches Texas. He is currently the head choral director at Mansfield High School. His choirs are consistent Sweepstakes’ winners in both concert and sight reading contests. Choirs under his direction also earn “Outstanding in Class” awards at National Music Festivals. In 2012 the Mansfield High School A Cappella Womens choir was honored as SWACDA honor choir. He is a member of Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, American Choral Directors Association and Music Educators National Conference. Reginal resides in Arlington with his wife Renetta, son Gabrien and daughter Reece.
Soo Hong Kim
Dr. Soo Hong Kim, a lyric soprano, performed major rolls in many professional opera companies such as Dallas Lyric Opera, Fort Worth Opera and Shreveport opera. She made her New York debut as soloist in Mozart’s Vespers at Lincoln Center. She has also received many awards and recognition as the winner in competitions such as the Metropolitan Opera Guild Audition (Southwest Region winner) and the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards (National winner, Mary Wolfman Award). The Hemphill-Sorantin Competition named her the overall winner of the competition and the vocal division winner. Early recognition of Dr. Kim’s abilities earned her the International Rotary Club Scholarships and the Dallas Opera Career Development Grant. In addition to her many solo recitals and guest artist presentations, she has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival, with the San Angelo Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and the Texas Wind Symphony. As a clinician, Dr. Kim has presented master classes and lecture recitals through the local, national and international venues every year. She presented a lecture recital at the Texoma Regional NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) conference and performed as the soprano soloist for Messiah with Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in 2013. Dr. Kim has recitals invitations at various universities nationwide for the upcoming year. Her directing career took an international venue in the summer of 2013. She was invited to Southern Young Artist Opera Project, a summer opera program in Taiwan, where she served as a voice faculty and directed the production of Dido and Aneas by Purcell. Dr. Kim serves as a regular adjudicator at Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest and NATS student auditions. Graduated from the University of North Texas with the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance, Dr. Kim has been teaching at University of Texas at Arlington since 1998. In addition to applied voice lessons, she teaches Vocal Literature, Vocal Pedagogy and directs the Opera/Music Theatre workshop.
Julie Liston Johnson
Julie Liston Johnson is currently finishing her DMA at The University of North Texas where she also held teaching fellowships in voice. Originally from St. Paul, MN, she received her Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School where she held two teaching fellowships and was later hired on the adjunct faculty teaching sight-reading. Ms. Liston Johnson made her Carnegie Hall debut with the solo in Fauré's Requiem and her international debut premiering John Zorn’s La machine de l’etre at the Angelica Festival in Bologna. Julie has sung as a soloist and professional chorister with many professional groups, including Voices of Ascension, Trinity Church Wall Street, and the Orpheus Chamber Singers. A frequent performer in the Metroplex, recent highlights include Handel's Messiah both as part of the Highlander Concert series in Dallas and at Broadway Baptist in Fort Worth; Dona Nobis Pacem with Craig Jessop conducting; John Rutter’s Requiem with the composer conducting; and singing the American premiere of Bob Chilcott’s St. John Passion, also with the composer conducting. Recent opera roles include, Donna Anna from Don Giovanni and Dido from Dido and Aeneas. While on full fellowship with Aspen Music Festival, Ms. Liston Johnson won the concerto competition with The Queen of the Night's vengeance aria from Die Zauberflöte and was also featured singing Gilda in Rigoletto.
David Grogan has performed extensively throughout the Southwest to critical acclaim. The Dallas Morning News hailed Mr. Grogan as the “perfect Christus” after a performance of the St. Matthew Passion with the Dallas Bach Society. The Albuquerque Tribune, in reference to a performance of Messiah with the New Mexico Symphony, said, “David Grogan had all the range and power required of the part, sounding like the voice of doom in ‘The people that walked in darkness’ and the light of revelation in ‘The trumpet shall sound.’” A recent performance of Elijah had critics praising his ability to “move easily from stentorian declamation to lyrical aria.” Another critic said that he “….brought an impressive vocal power to the lead role of Elijah, and his rich emotive gift set the level for the other chief performers.” He has performed as a soloist with many Dallas area arts groups including the Dallas Bach Society, Texas Baroque Ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Singers, Mesquite Civic Chorus, and the Allegro Artists, as well as at several Texas universities. Recent performances include Elijah with the New Mexico Symphony, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Arlington Master Chorale, and the Beethoven Missa Solemnis with the Plano Civic Chorus. Grogan looks forward to his performance of the Brahms Requiemunder Helmuth Rilling this fall.
Grogan joined the faculty at the University of Texas Arlington in the fall of 2009, first as visiting professor and in 2010 as tenure-track Assistant Professor of Voice. In addition to providing private vocal instruction for voice majors, Grogan teaches vocal pedagogy, voice class, and choral methods. His background in choral music education is extensive, including experience directing programs in both private and public schools across the metroplex. As choir director at Dallas Christian School from 1996 to 2000, Dr. Grogan increased choir participation from 15 members to 115, and took the choir to one of the first TPSMEA competitions. He has taught voice and served as assistant choral director in some of the most prominent programs in the area, including at Arlington High School under Dinah Menger, and Manor Middle School under Tommy Haygood.
Grogan holds Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degrees from Texas Christian University, where he studied voice with Sheila Allen and pedagogy with Vincent Russo. His love of choral music was solidified under the tutelage of the late Ronald Shirey, who taught Grogan much of his musicality. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy in 2010 from the University of North Texas, where he studied voice with Jeffrey Snider, pedagogy with Stephen Austin, and worked closely with Lyle Nordstrom in the early music program. Dr. Grogan’s dissertation was on the vocal pedagogy of Frederic W. Root, who was an American vocal pedagogue of the 19th century. A shorter version of the dissertation was published in the January 2010 Journal of Singing under the title, “The Roots of American Pedagogy.”
Mason Barlow is the currently the head director of the Arlington High School choral department, where he was previously an assistant director at the school for three years. Upon his graduation from college, he was hired by the Nacogdoches School District and taught at McMichael Middle School. During his time there he built the choir program from 50 to 110 students and took the choirs to the UIL Concert and Sightreading contest—a first for the school.
While at Arlington High, Mr. Barlow co-directed the Colt Chorale Varsity Men in their performance at the American Choral Directors Association’s 2013 national convention with his colleague, mentor and friend-Dinah Menger. The varsity choirs have received consistent sweepstakes awards at the UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest under his direction. He also directs the Chamber Singers and Choraliers, who won Grand Champion at the Lonestar Show Choir Invitational in 2013.
Mr. Barlow received his Bachelor of Music degree from The University of Texas at Arlington and studied voice with Dr. Samuel Savage. He was the founding President of the UTA chapter of the Texas Collegiate Music Educators Association. While at UTA, Mr. Barlow sang with the A Cappella choir and Chamber Singers under the direction of Jing Ling-Tam. He toured with the choirs in Austria and Canada, as well as throughout Texas. Mr. Barlow has performed regionally in musical theater and has been in musical productions such as The King and I, My Fair Lady, Camelot, and The Music Man.
He is currently serving as Vocal Chair-Elect for Region V. Mr. Barlow is a member of TMEA, TCDA and PTA.