SMU Meadows School of the Arts is offering All-State Choir Camp this summer, June 9-11. Any high school choir students who are interested in auditioning for All-State choir through the Texas Music Educators Association are welcome to attend. During the three days of the camp, participants will be introduced to the all-state audition music, and they will participate in break-out sessions that will include topics such as: audition techniques, sight-reading skills, drumming, and games. The conductor for the event is Dr. Pamela Elrod Huffman, director of choral activities at SMU Meadows School of the Arts. Section leaders for the camp are Jesse Cannon II (Duncanville High School), Sarah Council (Plano West High School), Clorese Porter (Plano Senior High), and Joseph Tomkins (McKinney Boyd High School).
- Dates: June 9-11
- Thursday and Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- Saturday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- Saturday, 6:30-7:30 PM (informal concert)
- Cost: $250
- Includes: All-state music packet, parking, camp t-shirt, reusable water bottle, daily snacks, final day lunch, and final day supper
- Housing: There is no on-campus housing available for camp.
All-State Choir Camp Faculty:
Pamela Elrod Huffman (Director) conducting career spans all levels and includes positions in Texas, New York, Illinois, and Georgia. Since 2007, Dr. Huffman has served as the Director of Choral Activities at SMU, where she oversees the MM Choral Conducting program and directs the university’s choral ensembles. Prior to this appointment, she was Assistant Director of Choral Studies at Texas Tech University. Dr. Huffman holds BM and MM degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and a DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. An accomplished vocalist, she has appeared as a guest artist with numerous university, professional, community, and church choirs throughout the country. From 1988 until 1999, she sang with the late Robert Shaw, performing and recording with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, the Robert Shaw Choral Institutes, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and the Atlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus. Since 2003, she has been a member of the Grammy award-winning professional choral ensemble, Conspirare, under the direction of Craig Hella Johnson. Dr. Huffman is a sought-after choral workshop clinician, particularly in the area of the choral techniques of Robert Shaw. Her articles on Shaw’s warm-up and rehearsal techniques can be found on the website dedicated to the late maestro - robertshaw.website (http://robertshaw.website/new-page-40/).
Jesse Cannon (Section Leader) began teaching in 2011 and is currently the Director of Choral Activities/Secondary Choral Coordinator at Duncanville High School. Mr. Cannon holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Dallas Baptist University and a Masters in Music Education with an Emphasis in Choral Conducting from Mississippi State University.
He is currently the Vice-President and Vocal Division Chair for the Texas Music Educators Association. He also served in various capacities on the local, State, and national level with TMEA and American Choral Directors Association Region 20, most recently as Vocal Chair and President, and has been a member of several TMEA committees. He has also served as the Southwest ACDA Repertoire & Resources Chair for High School Mixed Choirs. He has been the recipient of several grants and scholarships for study and arts advocacy initiatives.
Under his direction, choirs have consistently earned superior ratings at regional and state contests, have been named Overall Outstanding and Grand Champion in choral competitions throughout Texas, and have rapidly expanded in enrollment to become one of the largest choral programs in the area. The Duncanville A Cappella Men’s Choir was invited to perform at the American Choral Directors Association 2021 National Conference.
He is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, American Choral Directors Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity.
Sarah Council (Section Leader) is the Director of the Plano West High School Choirs. She is in her sixteenth year teaching in Plano ISD. Both at Plano West and Shepton High School, choirs under her direction and co-direction have received many honors including 2019 and 2011 Texas Music Educators Association Invited Performing Choirs, 2014 SWACDA Invited Performing Choir, Best in Class at competitions, UIL Sweepstakes awards, and many students earning places in All-Region and All-State Choirs. In addition to her work at Plano West, Mrs. Council was honored to serve as the Vocal Chair for TMEA Regions 24 and 25 and Area B. Mrs. Council is a proud graduate of Baylor University. (Sic ‘em Bears!) She has served as the Soprano Section Leader for the Texas All State Mixed Choir, and has spent many summers as a section leader for All-State Choir Camps. She values her involvement in choral music education and adjudication professional organizations. Sarah is proud to have several former students enjoying careers in Music Education, Opera and Musical Theatre, and even more who are enjoying being lifelong musicians while pursuing other careers.
Clorese Porter (Section Leader) is in her fourth year as the head choral director at Plano Senior High School. For the past two years she was the head choral director at Grapevine High School and will begin her 16th year of teaching choral music. Choirs under Clorese’s direction have consistently received sweepstakes awards at UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contest, and her former AP Music Theory students have been highly successful earning college credit and scholarships due to her tutelage. Additionally, Mrs. Porter has served as musical director for the annual musicals including productions of “Grease”, “Singing in the Rain”, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and “Into the Woods”.
Clorese Porter is a proud graduate of Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School in Fort Worth and attended Texas Christian University, earning a Bachelor of Music in Education degree. While at TCU she was a member of the Women’s Chorus, Choral Union, and Concert Chorale and participated in performances for the TMEA and SWACDA conventions and at Carnegie Hall. Clorese also has a master’s degree in music education from the University of North Texas. Clorese is a member of TMEA, TCDA, TMAA and the 2010 recipient of TCDA’s Distinguished Young Director Award.
Joseph Tomkins (Section Leader) Celebrating his twelfth year at McKinney Boyd High School, Mr. Tomkins conducts A Cappella, Meistersingers, Boyd’s vocal jazz and pop ensemble Fusion and also serves as Fine Arts Department Chair for McKinney Boyd High School as well as Secondary Vocal Lead for McKinney ISD. Prior to his appointment at Boyd, Mr. Tomkins taught across town at McKinney High School as well as Kleb Intermediate School in the Houston area. In 2018 Mr. Tomkins was honored to be selected as McKinney Boyd's Teacher of the Year and went on to be selected as McKinney ISD's Secondary Teacher of the Year. In August of 2018, Mr. Tomkins was chosen by Region 10 as one of the three finalists from over 80 school districts for 2019 Secondary Teacher of the Year. Originally from the United Kingdom, Mr. Tomkins is a graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Choral Music Education and was later named their Young Music Educator of the Year in 2012. While at SMU, Mr. Tomkins sang under the baton of Dr. Alfred Calabrese and studied voice with renowned mezzo-soprano Virginia Dupuy. Mr. Tomkins has also completed coursework in music education at Dallas Baptist University where he studied choral conducting with Dr. Stephen Holcomb.
While teaching is his first love, Mr. Tomkins also enjoys performing as a guest soloist throughout the DFW area and has performed as a principle in various operas in addition to performing in a choral setting at such venues as St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England and Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Becky Baker (Collaborative Pianist) has had a long and varied career as a pianist, educator, conductor, accompanist/coach, church musician and entrepreneur. Originally from Elizabethtown, New York, she received her BM in Music Education and Performance from Ithaca College, and two MM degrees (Choral Conducting and Collaborative Piano) from Southern Methodist University. Following ten years of Community College teaching, she served as head choral director at Wylie High School in the Wylie ISD, and at Armstrong and Murphy Middle Schools in Plano ISD. Retiring from teaching in May of 2005, she has continued her active professional accompanying schedule for numerous high schools, middle schools and professional musicians in North Texas. She enjoyed accompanying the Texas All-State Mixed Choir, in both 2018 and 2019. She and her husband Michael continue to nurture and enjoy the talents of their two children, Samuel and Rachel.
Sharon Bailey (Collaborative Pianist)
Brian Bentley (Collaborative Pianist) a native of Dallas, has a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Oklahoma Baptist University and Master of Music degrees in Choral Conducting and Piano Accompanying from Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. Brian serves as Adjunct Lecturer on the faculty of Meadows School of the Arts, and as an adjunct professor of music at the University of Dallas. In addition, Brian is the founding director of the Schola Cantorum Stellæ Solæ, an ensemble dedicated to the study & singing of Gregorian chant.
Jimmy Emery (Collaborative Pianist) has served as Director of Music Ministry at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas, since 2006. His deep commitment to the values of artistic excellence, passionate worship, and authentic relationships guides his approach to ministry, helping to shape a nurturing atmosphere in which the church’s diverse musical ensembles flourish.
As a devoted collaborative performer, Jimmy has served sixteen seasons on the artistic staff of the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas and has performed numerous concerts with The Texas Voices and other professional choral ensembles. He regularly provides coaching for the School of Creative Arts, Entertainment and Design at Dallas College as an adjunct music specialist and as principal collaborative pianist for the Brookhaven campus. He is proudly connected with Trekorda, a highly regarded network of collaborative musicians founded by Jesse Fry. Through this valued association, and through his own musical agency, Elegant Piano Dallas, Jimmy provides extensive accompanying support for secondary choral, instrumental, and musical theater programs throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Jimmy is a summa cum laude graduate of the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, where he earned a Master of Music Education with a concentration in Choral Conducting and a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, Piano Pedagogy, and Music Education.
For further information about SMU Music Educators Workshops, or to register for one of these classes, visit admission.smu.edu/portal/musicworkshops; or contact Julie Scott, Lisa Beyer, or Courtney Wilson at email@example.com.