Essentials in Writing has teamed up with HEAV to offer an amazing choir opportunity for students 13 to 18 years old. Students will participate in monthly webinars with Mr. Stephens, our intern, and students across the region to learn about the art of choral singing. Students who pass the audition will receive rehearsal tracks (mp3 files) and sheet music. They will learn the music on their own under the guidance of choral conductor, Mr. Matthew Stephens. Weekly rehearsal times at home is required from late February to early June. The group will culminate in choral workshops at HEAV convention. Students will perform a choir concert in the theater, perform for the opening of the Saturday AM Keynote, and sing in the registration lobby.
Meet the Director
Matthew Stephens, the owner and author of Essentials in Writing, is the director of the HEAV2019 Choir. Stephens is in his final semester at Texas State University completing a Master of Music in Choral Conducting studying conducting with Dr. Craig Hella Johnson. In 2017-2018, Matthew served as Assistant Director of Men’s Chorus and Women’s Chorus. In Fall 2018, Stephens studied as the assistant director of University Singers with whom Stephens conducted the North American Premier of Dan Senn’s “Four Psalms Modal.”
Currently, Stephens serves as the Director of South Austin Academy of Vocal Arts in Austin, Texas. In December 2019, he graduated from Texas State University with honors earning a Master of Music Choral Conducting. For his conducting recital, Stephens conducted a performance of “Requiem for the Living” by Dan Forrest. Prior to moving to Texas, Stephens was a junior high and high school choral director. Stephens’ junior high choir earned district and state recognition with an invitation to sing at MMEA. They also sang for the Missouri Principal’s Annual Conference as well as a Christmas performance at the Missouri State Capitol. The choir was renowned locally for its vast choral repertoire, musicality, and consistent positive character awards. Stephens has also served as the Worship Choir director at Abundant Life in Springfield, MO.
He holds a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Missouri State University and a Master’s in Educational Administration from William Wood’s University. He is a certified teacher in Elementary Education, Middle School and High School English, and K-12 Music. Matthew is passionate about creating opportunities for students to participate in the choral experience!
Meet the Intern
Joung-A Yum (b.1988) is a choir specialist conductor, an accompanist, and a singer. She finished the music program at the Incheon Art High School in piano performance in South Korea and completed a bachelor’s degree from the Sookmyung Women’s University in the same major. Further, she completed her master from the Korea National University of Arts in Choral Conducting in 2016.
She has been enjoying to perform contemporary pieces and she always gets inspired by them. The ensemble group ‘Y&J’ that she established and worked from 2015 to 2017 focused on playing modern compositions. She managed the group project as an adviser conductor and pianist. It broadened her perspective as a musician enormously. Furthermore, she worked as a member of the Seoul Choral Musicians. Since the choir encompasses a wide range of repertories from authentic classical music to contemporary pieces, she experienced the various style of music.
Since she thinks that singing in the choir as a crucial member is one of the necessary qualifications as a conductor to understand the circumstances of the choir, she has never refused to sing in the choir when she has an opportunity. She has been singing not only the alto part but also take a solo on stage as a Mezzo-soprano. It delivered her a significant foundation in understanding music as a soloist. She always tries not to forget that admiring the sound of language itself and the beauty of poetry that is realized by music is the only thing that we never disregard in our life as a musician.
Registration opens February 26 and auditions must be submitted no later than March 13. THE SOONER THE BETTER!
Choir participants must be registered for convention to participate.
Registration is complete when the audition form (below) and the singing audition have been completed and submitted.
Watch the sample audition HERE
Print this sheet music
Using an iPhone or other mobile device, film your audition according to the directions below.
A. State your full name and age
B. Sing a major scale
C. Sing “Happy Birthday to You”
D. Sight read the sheet music you printed in Step 1
PLEASE NOTE: Auditions must be the voice alone without an instrument and no longer than 2 minutes.
Text your video to xxxxxxxx
Complete the audition form below.
PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR VIDEO AUDITION THE SAME DAY YOU COMPLETE THE FORM BELOW!
• NO REGISTRATION FEE (Essentials in Writing is sponsoring the event)
• Students who are 13 years old or older before January 1, 2020 may audition
• Students will be required to attend bi-weekly or monthly rehearsal webinars February to May where they will learn choral singing technique
• Music will be provided to all students
• MP3 rehearsal files will be provided to students to help them learn their vocal part
• Students will submit bi-weekly or monthly milestone audio/video check-ins to Mr. Stephens and the choral intern
• Students must attend the Choral Workshops and performances at HEAV convention (see details below)
The purpose of the audition process is to determine the vocal range of singers and their skill level related to: matching pitch, staying in tune, and reading music. This information will be used to choose music for performances that are in line with skill level.
Students 13 years old on or before January 1, 2020 may audition. Students will prepare the following and submit no later than March 13, 2020.
Students will complete the form on the website and submit an audition video to the number listed. Using an iPhone or other such device, students will record themselves:
1. Stating their full name and age
2. Singing a major scale
3. Singing “Happy Birthday to You”
4. Sight read music provided on the website for those who can (not required)
* Auditions may be no longer than 2 minutes
*All auditions must be with the voice alone with no music
Students will be provided sheet music and mp3 file to learn the music. Sheet music and mp3 files will be sent the first or second week of March.
Students will submit bi-weekly or monthly milestone audio check-in to Mr. Stephens and intern. (Instructions included)
Students will participate in bi-weekly or monthly webinar rehearsals March to May.
(Note: If students have a time conflict, they may watch the webinar rehearsal later and provide the requested feedback.)
Choral Workshops/Rehearsals and Performance
Three rehearsals will be held at the convention: Thursday evening, Friday morning, and Friday afternoon
Performances chosen by HEAV admin: 1) choir performance in theatre, 2) opening the AM Keynote, 3) registration lobby.
We are excited to provide students an opportunity to participate in an All-State like choir, singing challenging yet rewarding music for an audience as well as learn the art of choral singing.