COA Nationals – NYC June Faculty

Master Clinicians & Adjudicators

Andre J. Thomas

Andre J. Thomas

André J. Thomas, the Owen F. Sellers Professor of Music, is Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Choral Music Education at The Florida State University. A previous faculty member at the University of Texas, Austin, Dr. Thomas received his degrees from Friends University (B.A.), Northwestern University (M. M.), and the University of Illinois (D.M.A). He is in demand as a choral adjudicator, clinician, and director of Honor/All-State Choirs throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, New Zealand, and Australia.

Dr. Thomas has conducted choirs at the state, division, and national conventions of the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). His international conducting credits are extensive. They include conductor/clinician for the International Federation of Choral Musicians, summer residency of the World Youth Choir in the Republic of China and the Philippines, winter residency of the World Youth Choir in Europe, and a premier performance by an American choir (The Florida State University Singers) in Vietnam. He has been the guest conductor of such distinguished orchestras and choirs as the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in England, and guest Conductor for the Berlin Radio Choir in Germany.

Dr. Thomas has also distinguished himself as a composer/arranger. Hinshaw Music Company, Mark Foster Music Company, Fitzsimmon Music Company, Lawson Gould, Earthsongs, and Heritage Music Company publish his compositions and arrangements. Dr. Thomas has produced two instructional videos “What They See Is What You Get” on choral conducting, with Rodney Eichenberger, and “Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice” on adolescent voices, with our Master Conductor, Dr. Anton Armstrong.


Lynne Gackle

Lynne Gackle

Lynne Gackle is Professor of Ensembles and Associate Director of Choral Activities at Baylor University (Waco, TX) where she conducts the Baylor Bella Voce (Women’s Ensemble) and the Baylor Concert Choir. Dr. Gackle is an active clinician, conductor and adjudicator for choral clinics, honor choirs, workshops and festivals throughout the United States and abroad.

She has conducted All-State choirs in 28 states, several divisional ACDA honor choirs and two ACDA national honor choirs. Her choirs performed at American Choral Directors Association state, division, and national conferences and the Music Educators National Conference Biennial Convention. Internationally, she conducted the Australian National Choral Association’s High School Women’s Choir in Brisbane, the Alberta Choral Federation’s High School Honour Choir in Calgary, the DoDDS-Europe Honors Music Festival Mixed Choir (Wiesbaden, Germany), the Haydn Youth Festival in Vienna, and the Association for Music in International Schools (AMIS) International Women’s Honor Choir in Beijing, China.

Dr. Gackle has served as president of ACDA-Florida and the ACDA’s Southern Division. The Florida ACDA chapter awarded her the Wayne Hugoboom Distinguished Service Award for dedicated service, leadership, and excellence. She has also served in various R & S roles within ACDA, including National R & S chair for Children’s Choirs as well as Southern Division chair for Women’s Choirs. Currently, she serves on the editorial board for the Choral Journal. She is the editor of Choral Artistry for the Singer with Walton Music and the Lynne Gackle Choral Series for Colla Voce Music, Inc. She has written several articles for the Choral Journal and contributed to the MENC publication, Music at the Middle Level: Building Strong Programs. Dr. Gackle is the author of Finding Ophelia’s Voice, Opening Ophelia’s Heart: Nurturing the Adolescent Female Voice, published by Heritage Music Press.

Dr. Gackle received her BME from Louisiana State University and her MM and Ph.D. from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.


Patrick Freer

Patrick Freer

Dr. Patrick K. Freer is Professor of Choral Music Education and Interim Director of the School of Music at Georgia State University where he conducts the University Men’s Chorus and the Choral Union.  He holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and Teachers College, Columbia University.  He has guest conducted or presented in 36 states and 18 countries, including the 2014 Southwest Division ACDA Junior High Honor Choir. He will conduct 2014-15 honor choirs in China and Thailand and in the states of Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, New York, and Tennessee. His 2014-15 schedule includes research, presentations and/or teaching graduate courses in Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Singapore, Spain and Turkey, and in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

Dr. Freer is Academic Editor and Chair of the Editorial Committees for Music Educators Journal and has authored over 80 articles in most of the field’s leading national and international journals.  Publications include “Getting Started with Middle School Chorus” (named outstanding Academic Title by Choice) and the DVD series Success for Adolescent Singers.  His most recent publications include a chapter in the book “Perspectives on Males and Singing,” articles in the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Choral Journal, Middle Grades Research Journal, Arts Education Policy Review, and Philosophy of Music Education Review, and guest editing two issues of Choral Journal focused on male singing from middle school through college.


Sandra Babb

Sandra Babb

Sandra Babb is Assistant Professor of Music Education at Queens College, City University of New York, where she directs the Queens College Women’s Choir and provides instruction in choral methods and conducting. Dr. Babb also coordinates the choral ensembles of the Lawrence Eisman Center for Preparatory Studies in music at Queens College, and she is the Artistic Director of the Queens Youth Choir. She earned the B.M.E., M.M.E., and Ph.D. from Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. Her research interests include vocal tone development, critical thinking in music education, and English language learners in the music classroom. She is an active conductor and clinician, conducting honor choirs throughout the United States, as well as presenting at state, regional and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education. Dr. Babb is an active member of ACDA, NAfME, NYSSMA and CMS.

Your format for this festival does have a positive effect on the teachers choosing to attend your festival.

Dr. Andre Thomas, Florida State University