2018 Summer Conference – July 26-28, 2018

The 2018 TN-ACDA Summer Conference will again be held in Murfreesboro, the geographic center of Tennessee, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and First Baptist Church. Our clinicians are Dr. Eric Nelson (Emory University) and Dr. Judy Bowers (University of Louisiana-Monroe). This year’s conference will feature the Inaugural Tennessee ACDA 7th-9th Grade Summer Honor Choir! Sessions with Dr. Nelson will take place throughout the day on both Friday and Saturday of the conference. Sessions with Dr. Bowers will take place on Friday. On Saturday, Dr. Bowers will rehearse the Honor Choir for an evening culminating performance at First Baptist Church.


Dr. Eric Nelson is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at Emory University. He is also the conductor and Artistic Director of Atlanta Master Chorale. Dr. Nelson’s choirs have performed throughout the world, including London, Rome, Krakow, Berlin, Leipzig, Prague, Moscow, Seoul, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Sydney Opera House. He has conducted choirs at eight American Choral Directors Association conventions, including the Emory Concert Choir’s performance at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall for the National ACDA Convention in 2011 and the Atlanta Master Chorale’s performance at both the Southern Regional Convention in 2014 and the National Convention in 2017. In May 2017, he will be leading the Emory Concert Choir on a performance tour to Spain and Portugal.His ensembles are characterized by the performance of repertoire in a wide variety of styles and for their ability to fuse technical precision with warmth of musical expression. He appears regularly as clinician, lecturer, and guest conductor for honor choirs, conventions, symposiums, workshops, and all-state choral festivals.Dr. Nelson’s choral compositions and arrangements are sung regularly by ensembles throughout the United States. He is the editor of the “Atlanta Master Chorale Choral Series,” a division of Morningstar Music Publishers. His compositions are also published by Colla Voce, Augsburg Fortress, and ECS. He holds degrees in voice and conducting from Houghton College, Westminster Choir College, and Indiana University.

Dr. Judy Bowers, current holder of the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Chair in Music Education at the University of Louisiana Monroe, is known for creating community learning partnerships that focus on teacher preparation goals. Bowers plans to address professional development at ULM for undergraduate music majors, contribute to creation of a summer graduate music program for teachers, and reach out to partner with public schools for shared projects and undergraduate field experiences. She accepted this position after 27 years of teaching undergraduate/graduate courses in choral music education at Florida State University. Bowers has received multiple Excellence in Teaching awards at FSU, and has been awarded the Wayne Hugoboom Distinguished Service Award from the state ACDA Chapter of Florida. As a choral educator, she is an active conductor of all-state and honor choirs across the United States and Canada, and in 2014 conducted the East Africa Middle School Choral Festival in Tanzania. Bowers frequently presents workshops and clinics for teachers, and her research interests include developmental choral groups and community learning partnerships; the most recent partnership paired university glee club singers with women in the Gadsden Correctional Facility (MTC Glee) for shared rehearsals and a concert each semester. Bowers has professional research publications in JRME and CRME, and has contributed multiple chapters to textbooks devoted to middle school choral topics. Professor Bowers holds music degrees from Louisiana State University (Ph.D.) and Texas Tech University (B.M.E.). In June 2014, Judy Bowers was named a Lowell Mason National Music Education Fellow and was inducted into this society by the National Association for Music Education in Washington D.C.