SMU Large School All-State Choir Camp

SMU Meadows School of the Arts is proud to offer All-State Choir Camp for the third consecutive year. 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. Section leaders for the camp are Christopher Ahrens (McKinney North High School), Jesse Cannon II (Director of Vocal and Elementary Music for Fort Worth ISD), and others to be announced.

  • Dates: June 6 – 8
  • Times: Thursday and Friday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. and 3 p.m. (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.

*Inquire about a discount for schools sending 10 or more participants

Register Here

When you arrive at the landing page for this link, scroll through the calendar and select June 6 to see the link to the All-State Choir Camp registration form. 

All-State Choir Camp Faculty

Christopher W. Ahrens, Bass Section Leader, joined the faculty of McKinney North High School as Choir Director in 2015. Prior to that, he served as the Choir Director at Vines High School in Plano, TX, and Assistant Choir Director at Plano Senior High School. Ahrens received both a Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music in choral conducting from Texas Christian University, where he performed and studied under the direction of Ron Shirey, Dr. Sheri Neill and David Brock. In addition to being an active clinician and adjudicator throughout the state of Texas, he serves as the Assistant Director of the TCU All-State Choir Camp each summer. He served TMEA as Region 25 Vocal Division Chair twice and is currently the Region 24 Vocal Division Chair.

Ahrens was honored as the 2013 Teacher of the Year for Vines High School and went on to receive the Excellence in Teaching Award from Plano Independent School District. Choirs under his direction have consistently been successful at UIL and other competitions around the U.S. The Vines Chorale Women were selected to perform under Ahrens’ direction at TMEA in 2014, and he had the pleasure of co-directing the PSHS Varsity Women at the ACDA National Convention in 2007 and at TMEA in 2009. Ahrens serves as the Youth Choir Director and Tenor Section Leader at Transfiguration Episcopal Church in Dallas. His wife Kimberley is the choir director at Robinson Middle School in Plano ISD, and they reside in McKinney, TX with their children Katie and Camden.

Jesse Cannon II, Tenor Section Leader, is Director of Vocal and Elementary Music in Fort Worth ISD. Prior to working in Fort Worth, he was Director of Choirs in Duncanville ISD. Recently elected President-Elect of the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), Cannon currently serves as Vice President and Vocal Division Chair for TMEA. He also served in various capacities on the local, state, and national levels, including TMEA Region 20 President and the American Choral Directors Association’s (ACDA) Southwest ACDA Repertoire & Resources Chair for High School Mixed Choir.

Choirs under Cannon’s direction have consistently earned superior ratings at regional and state contests, have been named Overall Outstanding and Grand Champion in choral competitions throughout the U.S., and have rapidly expanded in enrollment to become one of the largest choral programs in the area. His choirs performed at the 2020 TMEA Convention and at the 2021 National Convention of ACDA.

Under Cannon’s direction, the Duncanville High School Choir was recognized by The American Prize and The Foundation of Music Education Mark of Excellence as a National Winner. In addition, Cannon was recognized in 2022 as a Music Teacher of Excellence by the Country Music Association Foundation, as Duncanville High School Teacher of the Year in 2021, and was awarded the Grammy Signature School Award for the Duncanville High School Choral Department. He is an active Region Clinician and adjudicates several times each year for the UIL Concert & Sight-Reading Contest. Cannon holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Dallas Baptist University and a Master of Music Education with an emphasis in choral conducting from Mississippi State University. 

Rebecca Morgan Baker, Collaborative Pianist, has had a long and varied career as church musician, educator, entrepreneur, and collaborative pianist, as well as choral conductor at all levels. After retiring from Dorian Business Systems, she continues collaborating with North Texas choirs, bands and orchestras. A highlight of her career was accompanying the All-State Mixed Choir - twice! From January 8 through May 10 of this year, she and her husband Michael circumnavigated the world on a Viking World Journey!

Brian Bentley, Collaborative Pianist, has a Bachelor of Music 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. Bentley completed additional coursework in sacred music at SMU Perkins School of Theology. He joined the faculty of Meadows School of the Arts as an adjunct lecturer in fall 2015. Upon completion of his graduate studies, Bentley served for three years as a staff accompanist for the divisions of music and dance at Meadows School of the Arts. Bentley is an adjunct professor of music at University of Dallas, where he conducts the UDChorale, the UDSchola, and teaches a course on the history and theory of Gregorian chant. In addition, he serves as music consultant for Cistercian Abbey - Our Lady of Dallas and is the founding director of the Schola Cantorum Stellæ Solæ, an ensemble dedicated to the study and singing of Gregorian chant.

Jimmy Emery, Collaborative Pianist, serves as Director of Music Ministry at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas. He also serves on the staff of Dallas College as Fine Arts Specialist/Collaborative Piano Specialist and is the owner of Elegant Piano Dallas. Emery earned Bachelor of Music degrees in piano performance, piano pedagogy, and music education and a Master of Music degree in music education, summa cum laude, from Southern Methodist University.

Bona Coogle, Alto Section Leader, serves as the Director of Choirs for the Coppell Choir program. Born in South Korea and raised in The Woodlands, TX, Coogle received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Education with a Certificate of Recognition in Vocal Performance from the University of Texas at Austin. She was previously the Director of Choirs in Round Rock ISD in Austin. While in Austin, she performed with the Austin Symphonic Chorus and the Grammy Award-winning choral ensemble, Conspirare Symphonic Chorus. She has performed with the Dallas Symphony Chorus and served as the Section Leader for 2022 TMEA All-State Mixed Choir and 2023 TMEA All-State Mixed Choir. In addition to leading the choir program at CHS, Coogle serves as the Region 31 Secretary for the Texas Music Educators Association and as the assistant Choir Director for the GDCS Youth Chorus.

Cathy Koziatek, Soprano Section Leader, began her career as a choral music educator in 2000 and is currently the associate director of choirs at Walnut Grove High School in Prosper, TX. She has served as both head director and associate director at various schools including Plano West Senior High School and Lovejoy High School. Choirs under her direction have sung at the Texas Music Educators Association convention and have been selected to sing at Southwest ACDA. Her choirs have been consistent sweepstakes winners at UIL Concert & Sight-Reading Competition, and many of her students earned placement through audition in the Texas All-State Choir. Koziatek received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Vocal Performance with related fields in Music Theory and Vocal Pedagogy from the University of North Texas where she later earned her K-12 music certification. Outside of school, Koziatek enjoys creative pursuits, reading, and spending time with Kiki and Sunshine, her Havanese.



For further information about SMU Music Educators Workshops, or to register for one of these classes, visit; or contact Julie Scott, Lisa Beyer or Courtney Wilson at