Baylor Grad Student Semifinalist For National Conducting Competition

  • News Photo 3946
    Josh Brown
  • News Photo 3947
    Josh Brown
Jan. 10, 2007

Contact: Dick Veit, School of Music concert and promotions manager, (254) 710-3991

Joshua Brown, a Baylor University graduate student from Madisonville, was recently selected as a semifinalist in the Graduate Student Conducting Competition for the National Convention of the American Choral Directors' Association. The semifinals and finals will take place this March in Miami.

Brown is one of eight selected from the 64 graduate students, who applied from across the United States. For the competition, Brown will conduct/rehearse the University of Northern Iowa Chamber Singers and will be judged on a variety of conducting techniques. Four of the eight semifinalists then will advance to the final round, where a winner will be selected.

Other universities which will be represented by semifinalists include Auburn University, Eastman School of Music, Houghton College, Ithaca College, Sam Houston State University, University of Michigan and Yale University.

"This competition will be a way for me to develop my conducting skills even further," Brown said. "I will have eight minutes to make as much progress and music as I can. Each time I stand before a choir, I see it as a chance to become a better conductor, as well as a person. I look forward to the comments from the judges and the growth that will take place."

Brown is in his first year of graduate studies in choral conducting at Baylor, where he serves as teaching assistant to Dr. Donald Bailey, professor of conducting and The Mary Gibbs Jones Professor of Music. Brown received his bachelor of music in church music magna cum laude from Dallas Baptist University, where he studied conducting with Dr. Stephen Holcomb.

"Although I am in the beginning of my second semester, the School of Music at Baylor has already been quite academically stimulating," Brown said. "This year I am Dr. Bailey's only student, which means that he concentrates a substantial amount of his energy on helping me develop. I also get to conduct nearly all of the five excellent choral ensembles that we have at Baylor during my course of study."

In addition to studying with Bailey, Brown has the opportunity to receive instruction from the other members of the Baylor conducting faculty, including Jeffery Ames, Barry Kraus, Stephen Heyde and Eric Wilson. This spring, Brown also will take a class from Dr. Anton Armstrong, The Harry R. and Thora H. Tosdal Professor of Music at St. Olaf College in Minnesota and conductor of the famed St. Olaf Choir. The recipient of Baylor's Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, Armstrong will teach in residence at Baylor this spring and summer.

"It is a thrilling time to be studying music at Baylor," said Brown, who aspires to conduct and teach at the collegiate level.

Founded in 1959, the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) is a nonprofit music-education organization whose central purpose is to promote excellence in choral music through performance, composition, publication, research and teaching. In addition, ACDA strives through arts advocacy to elevate choral music's position in American society. ACDA membership consists of approximately 18,000 choral directors who represent more than 1 million singers across the United States.

For more information, call the Baylor University School of Music at (254) 710-3991.

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