2015 COA Festival | West Division Faculty

Dan Forrest

Dan Forrest | Composer-in-Residence

Dan Forrest (b. 1978) has been described as “a composer of substance” (Columbus Dispatch), whose works have been hailed as “…magnificent, very cleverly constructed sound sculpture” (Classical Voice), and “superb choral writing…full of spine-tingling moments” (Salt Lake Tribune). Since its first publication in 2001, Dan’s music has sold more than a million copies, and is already firmly established in the repertoire of choirs in the U.S. and abroad.

Dan’s choral works have received numerous awards and distinctions, including the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer’s Award, the ACDA Raymond Brock Award, a Meet The Composer grant, the ALCM Raabe Prize, and many others. His commissioned choral works have been premiered in major venues around the world, ranging from the World Choral Symposium (Argentina) to Izumi Hall (Osaka, Japan) to Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and ACDA conventions. His new Requiem for the Living is quickly becoming his best-known work, having received overwhelming acclaim since its premiere, and is scheduled for dozens of upcoming performances across the US and abroad, including multiple performances in Carnegie Hall.

Dan is highly active in the choral publishing industry, both in concert choral music (maintaining a choral series in his name with Hinshaw Music) and in church choral music (serving as associate editor at Beckenhorst Press), and has published with more than a dozen publishers. Dan holds a doctoral degree in composition from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in piano performance. His academic background includes several years as a professor and department head (music theory and composition) in higher education. More information about Dan and his music can be found at www.danforrest.com.


Brad Holmes

Brad Holmes | Master Clinician

Dr. Brad Holmes has been Director of Choir Programs at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois since 1991. During this time, Dr. Holmes has overseen the growth of the choral program to four traditional choirs and a variety of smaller vocal ensembles involving more than 300 students and five conductors. In addition to conducting the University Choir, Dr. Holmes teaches classes in conducting and choral methods. He is artistic director for Millikin’s annual Christmas Vespers, an event that attracts more than 6,500 people annually. Under his direction, the Millikin University Choir has performed before both regional and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association. Dr. Holmes’s extensive guest conducting schedule has included All-State choirs, ACDA Honor Choirs and District festivals as well as church music clinics throughout the United States. Internationally, he served as Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College in Cambridge, England. He has conducted choirs in 35 countries in Europe, South America, East Asia, the South Pacific and Australia..