Choral Conducting Workshop

What is this workshop?

This workshop will focus on techniques that are essential to choral conductors at all levels. After years of teaching, it's always nice to have a refresher on gesture and rehearsal pedagogy in a safe place. Topics include: body alignment, chironomy, the secret world of the prep gesture, the magic of the left-hand in fixing intonation, fermatas, teaching cycles, and more. All sessions are experiential and group-focused. There will also be opportunities for participants to get up in front of a choir and individually try gestures and methods with feedback from the clinicians

Whom does this workshop serve?

Open to conductors of any level. This workshop will provide applicable instruction and growth opportunities for K-12 choral music educators, church choir directors, community choir or youth choir conductors, collegiate music education students, or high school students interested in pursuing choral conducting.

Who are the clinicians?

Workshop clinicians include Featured Guest Clinician - Dr. John McDonald from McKendree University, and Host Clinician - Dr. Cory Boulton from Bradley University (See bios below).

Registration and Payment is due by
March 1, 2023

   Saturday, April 1, 2023
   9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
   Dingeldine Music Center
   75.00 - Includes lunch and cost of music

Make checks to Bradley University with "Choral Workshop" in the memo

Mail workshop fees to:
Bradley University
c/o Dr. Cory Boulton
1501 W. Bradley Ave
Peoria, IL 61625



Time Event
8:30 a.m. Registration/Refreshments
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Introduction and Gesture and Rehearsal Pedagogy Session #1
10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Gesture and Rehearsal Pedagogy Session #2
12:00 p.m. Lunch (provided)
1:30 p.m. Gesture and Rehearsal Pedagogy Session #3
2:30 p.m. Putting it All Together -Session #4 (featuring the Bradley Chorale)
3:30 p.m. Reading Session
4:30 p.m. Workshop Ends (Optional Happy Hour Gathering at The Field House in Campus Town)


Featured Guest Clinician - Dr. John McDonald

Photo of Dr. Cory Boulton

Dr. John McDonald is Assistant Professor of Music Education and Director of Choral Activities at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois where he conducts the Chamber Choir and Concert Choir, teaches courses in vocal music education, and applied private voice. He is also the conductor of the St. Louis Children's Choir Young Men's Chorus. John is a sought-after clinician, adjudicator, and conductor. He is actively involved in the choral community as a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Standing Committee on Communication and Education, the District 6 representative for Illinois ACDA, and the National Board of the National Collegiate Choral Organization. John has served since 2012 as the Music Production Coordinator for the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts summer program.

He holds a DMA in conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance where he studied with Dr. Robert Bode and Dr. Charles Robinson, an MM in conducting from East Carolina University studying with Dr. Andrew Crane, and a BME from Middle Tennessee State University. He previously taught choral music at Oakland High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

In 2022, John was selected as one of six conductors to represent the United States in the ACDA International Conductors Exchange Program with Germany. He lives in Swansea, Illinois with his wife Alyssa, and two sons, Tyler and Charlie.

Host Clinician - Dr. Cory Boulton

Photo of Dr. Cory Boulton

Dr. Cory Boulton is currently Director of Choral Activities, and Coordinator of Music Education, at Bradley University. She is extremely active as an adjudicator and clinician for honor choirs across the country including All-State, All-Region, and All-District Choirs. Prior to teaching at Bradley, Boulton was Coordinator of Music Education and Associate Director of Choral Activities at Western Connecticut State University. She has taught choir in the Texas and Illinois public schools, continues to sing professionally, and is a published researcher and presenter in the areas of choral sound, rehearsal approaches, and transformational leadership. She is also currently the ACDA Midwest Region Collegiate R&R Chair.

Her life's work emerged from experiencing a moment of sound so profound that her core-beliefs about choral singing were transformed. That transformation lead to her infinite search for how to not only re-create that sound for her students to experience, but how to teach others to re-create that sound and experience for their students: a search that lead to the discovery that choral sound is more than a combination of perfected musical, acoustical, and technical elements. The greatest contribution to a choir's sound is its unified intention to create a moment that will change the human spirit. And so, the mission continues as she works to define the exact phenomena that craft those moments, because, in the end, that change in the human spirit is the legacy left behind.

She holds a Ph.D. in Choral Music Education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, MME from Illinois State University, and BME from Millikin University.