Join us for a day of discussion, musings, and masterclasses geared towards conductors, singers, and enthusiasts of Jake Runestad’s music.
Celebrated composer Jake Runestad joins Georgia State University and the University of Georgia Choral Departments in a residency rich with choral arts. Jake takes us all on a journey that dives deep into conducting mastery through interpretation, peruses new music, and explores the life of a composer.
Conductors & composer looking to gain wisdom and insight about Jake’s work are invited to join us for afternoon sessions featuring a Conducting Master Class, Reading Sessions on the composer’s work, and a Question & Answer session with Jake.
Pre-Registration is highly recommended to ensure your copies of the composer’s works are reserved. Professional Development Certification will be available for teaching wishing to obtain Professional Development Credit/Professional Learning Units.
Jake Runestad is an award-winning and frequently-performed composer of “highly imaginative” (Baltimore Sun) and “stirring and uplifting” (Miami Herald) musical works. He has received commissions and performances from leading ensembles and organizations such as Washington National Opera, VOCES8, the Swedish Radio Symphony, the Netherlands Radio Choir, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Seraphic Fire, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philippine Madrigal Singers, Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare, and many more. Jake’s visceral music and charismatic personality have fostered a busy schedule of commissions, residencies, workshops, and speaking engagements, enabling him to be one of the youngest full-time composers in the world. Considered “one of the best of the younger American composers” (Chicago Tribune), Jake Runestad holds a Master’s degree in composition from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University where he studied with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts. Has has also studied extensively with acclaimed composer Libby Larsen. A native of Rockford, IL, Mr. Runestad is currently based in Minneapolis, MN and his music is published by JR Music. Find out more at: JakeRunestad.com
The Jake Runestad composer residency is presented by the choral departments of the University of Georgia and Georgia State University.
Dr. Jennifer Sengin is the Associate Director of Choirs at Georgia State University where she conducts Choral Union and teaches conducting, choral literature, and choral methods. She currently serves as the Artistic Administrator of mirabai, a professional-level women’s choir, and as the Administrator of the Choral Music Experience for Choral Teacher Education course at Michigan State University. Dr. Sengin recently completed her DMA in Choral Conducting at Michigan State University where she also directed the Women’s Glee Club.
Prior to joining the faculty at GSU, she worked as the Director of Choirs at East Brunswick High School where she taught over 270 students in five choirs. Under her direction, the choirs performed at Carnegie Hall, the New Jersey State Theatre, and Princeton Chapel on the Princeton University Campus.
Dr. Sengin is an active guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and presenter. She recently provided sessions at the Iowa Music Educators Association Conference, Michigan Music Conference, and NAFME Eastern Division Conference. Dr. Sengin has published and contributed to articles in the Choral Journal and Tempo Magazine. She also served on the NJ ACDA Board.
Dr. Sengin holds degrees from The College of New Jersey (BM), Ithaca College (MM), and Michigan State University (DMA).
Dr. Deanna Joseph is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at the Georgia State University School of Music where she conducts the University Singers and leads the master’s program in choral conducting. In 2015, she was the recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Outstanding Teacher Award at Georgia State, where she was selected out of a pool of over 800 faculty. A recent review of her work states, “[t]he choir sings with great musicality, excellent intonation, clear diction, and a healthy and beautiful pallet of tone colors…” (The Choral Scholar).
In May of 2017, the University Singers under Dr. Joseph’s leadership won first place in the renowned Marktoberdorf International Chamber Choir Competition while on a concert tour of Austria and Bavaria. In May of 2013, the University Singers competed in La Florilège Vocal de Tours where the choir placed second overall in the mixed choir category and Dr. Joseph was honored with the Prix du chef de choer (conducting prize). The Georgia State University Singers have been invited to perform at two Southern Division conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and at two conventions of the Georgia Music Educator’s Association during Dr. Joseph’s tenure at GSU, and the Georgia State University Choirs have been hired to sing two productions of David Bintley’s Carmina Burana with the Atlanta Ballet: in 2013 (North American premiere performances) and 2017. The choir’s professional recording, Evening Hymn (Gothic Records), is distributed internationally by Naxos and is available for purchase or streaming on all the major music distribution outlets including Amazon, Spotify, iTunes, etc. The American Record Guide review states “There are no runts in the repertory litter…[and] [t]he Georgia State choir of 40 is very good at all of it: radiant as dusk approaches, but hushed and sensitive to the coming darkness as shadows deepen and fall.” The disk has been featured several times on National Public Radio’s program, With Heart and Voice.
Dr. Joseph is an active guest conductor and headline clinician and has conducted all-state and honor choirs in more than twelve states. She is a frequent conductor of choral-orchestral repertoire, and has led performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven Mass in C, Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Creation and Lord Nelson Mass, Schubert’s Mass in A-flatand Bruckner’s Mass in D Minor. She has prepared choirs to sing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Opera, and Andrea Bocelli. One of her small ensembles was featured on a 2016 episode of “The Walking Dead”.
Dr. Joseph’s research in the area of 19th century choral-orchestral performance-practice has led to invited presentations on the topic at several division conferences of the American Choral Director’s Association and at the national convention for the National Collegiate Choral Organization. In October of 2012 she was selected as one of 25 presenters from ten countries to speak at the Lund Choral Festival in Sweden.
Prior to her appointment at Georgia State University, Dr. Joseph served on the faculties at Smith College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Dr. Joseph holds conducting degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where she was awarded the Walter Hagen Conducting Prize. She is the founder and artistic director of the Atlanta Summer Conducting Institute (ASCI), a weeklong, summer conducting master class that draws conductors from across the country.
Daniel Bara is the John D. Boyd UGA Foundation Professor of Choral Music and the Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia where oversees seven university choral ensembles as well as the graduate choral conducting program. His university choirs have performed by juried invitation for state, regional, and national conventions of ACDA, MENC, and IMC. In spring of 2014, The UGA Hodgson Singers won the Grand Prix at the International Choral Competition Ave Verum in Baden, Austria and performed at the ACDA Southern Division Convention in Jacksonville, FL. His former MM and DMA conducting students now hold collegiate conducting appointments at Susquehanna University, New England Conservatory, Miami University of Ohio, University of Idaho, William Jewell College, as well as heads of church and school choral music programs throughout the country.
Prior to his appointment at UGA, Dr. Bara was the Director of Choral Activities at East Carolina University, where he received the UNC Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award and the Robert L. Jones Award for Outstanding Teaching, and released two internationally distributed choral recordings, Greater Love (2007) and Eternal Light (2010) with Gothic Records. In 2001was a winner of the Walter Hagen Conducting Prize given at the Eastman School of Music, and the ACDA National Student Conducting Competition (Graduate Division) awarded at the National Convention in San Antonio, TX.
Dr. Bara is a past-president of NC-ACDA, has held the Artistic Directorship of the New York State Summer School of the Arts – School of Choral Studies (2007-2009), and has served as conductor of the World Youth Honor Choir at Interlochen Arts Camp (2004-2006). He is in regular demand as a guest conductor and clinician, having conducted all-state and honor choirs in 17 states and Carnegie Hall, and has served as a clinician for conferences sponsored by ACDA, AGO, and other school and church musical organizations.
Dr. Bara holds the DMA degree in conducting from the Eastman School of Music, organ and conducting degrees from the University of Michigan, and is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy. He is the Repertoire and Standards Chair for Youth and Student Activities for the Southern Division Chapter of ACDA and has served on conference planning committees for the 2012 and 2016 Southern Division conferences. At UGA, Dr. Bara conducts the UGA Hodgson Singers, the University Chorus, and oversees the graduate conducting student recital choir, The Repertory Singers.
J.D. Burnett enjoys a varied career as a conductor, singer, and teacher. He is Associate Professor of Music and Associate Director of Choral Activities at the University of Georgia Hugh Hodgson School of Music, where he conducts the Men’s and Women’s Glee Clubs and the Collegium Musicum, and teaches courses in choral literature and conducting. Additionally, he is Artistic Director and Conductor of the Kinnara Ensemble, a professional chamber choir based in Princeton, New Jersey.
Formerly, he served as Assistant Director of the Dallas Symphony Chorus, conducted New Jersey Youth Chorus Young Men’s Ensemble, was Associate Conductor of the Masterwork Chorus of New Jersey, and was Acting Director of Choral Activities at Montclair State University. His earlier posts include Interim Director of Choral Activities at San Jose State University, Artistic Director of the New Jersey Chamber Singers, Music Director of the Houston Masterworks Chorus, and Founder/Conductor of Men’s Consort Houston. Burnett taught on the choral music faculty at Kingwood High School in suburban Houston. He also served as Choral Editor at McGraw-Hill, Inc.
Dr. Burnett did undergraduate study at Stanford University and Oklahoma State University. He holds advanced degrees in choral conducting from Westminster Choir College and the University of North Texas. As a professional choral singer, Burnett has performed seasons, concerts, and recordings with the Stillwater Chamber Singers, Cantare Houston, The Santa Fe Desert Chorale, The Robert Shaw Festival Singers, Fuma Sacra, the Choir of Trinity Church Wall Street, the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, and Conspirare.