The MidAmerica Experience:

Mike Allard

Mike Allard on Conducting in Carnegie Hall:
“There is No Higher Experience than Performing in the Grand Old Lady”

Michael Allard is the Orchestra Director for the Harmony Magnet Academy in Strathmore, California. Allard holds a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin (1991), an M.M.Ed. from Florida State University, (1978) and a B.A. from Colgate University (1976). Allard taught in Reno, Nevada from 1976-78 and is credited with founding the modern Las Vegas school system orchestra program (1979-87). He taught in the UT String Project from 1987-89 and at Punahou School in Hawaii (1989-91). Allard was tenured Associate Professor and Orchestra Conductor at University of the Pacific from 1991-2000. He has been honored for his work as a music educator by the Grammy Foundation, SBO Magazine, the U.S. Department of Education, and Tulare County Office of Education. Dr. Allard recently performed for the sixth time in Carnegie Hall. Here are is thoughts on the Carnegie Hall and MidAmerica Productions experience:

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J. Edmund Hughes

Conductor J. Edmund Hughes on the Confidence-Boosting Power of
Performing in Carnegie Hall

J. Edmund Hughes, Adjunct Professor at the University of Puget Sound, retired from the Chandler-Gilbert Community College Music Faculty in 2011 after a 40-year teaching career. He has been awarded the Arizona Outstanding Choral Educator Award (ACDA), Arizona Music Educator of the Year (AMEA), Lifetime Achievement Award (AMEA) and the first Lifetime Achievement Award granted by the University of Arizona’s Choral Music Department. A part-time composer, Ed has several choral compositions in print, published by Santa Barbara Music, Colla Voce Music, and Walton Music. We asked Dr. Hughes to share a little bit about his experience at Carnegie Hall and with MidAmerica Productions.

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Anne Klus

Conductor Anne Klus on the “Once-in-a-lifetime” Opportunity of Performing in Carnegie Hall

Anne Klus, Director of St. Paul Academy and Summit School (SPA) Choral Activities has performed with MidAmerica in Carnegie Hall four times since the company’s founding. This reflects not only the excellence of the choirs but also Ms. Klus’ success as a teacher who loves nothing more than “to see students connect with the spirit and intricate discipline of the musical arts.”

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Cory Mendenhall

Conductor Cory Mendenhall on how Performing in Carnegie Hall Encourages
Musicians to Pursue Excellence, Even after the Concert is Over

Cory Mendenhall, and his wife Aprel are the parents of four beautiful children. Mendenhall is in his seventh season as Director of Choral Activities and Performing Arts Department Chair at Maple Mountain High School in Mapleton, UT. He enjoyed a successful tenure serving in the same positions at Provo High School, and served as Conductor and Artistic Director of the Mapleton Chorale. In addition to his work at Maple Mountain, Cory works as Associate Dean and Conductor of Millennial Choirs and Orchestras. He also serves as organist for the Missionary Training Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and serves on various advisory music education councils. Mendenhall holds a master's degree in choral conducting from Brigham Young University and earned his bachelor's degree in choral music education from Utah State University. His mentors include Ronald Staheli, Will Kesling, Rosalind Hall, Jean Apploine, James Drake, and Douglas Bush. We asked him to share a little about his experience in Carnegie Hall:

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William Skoog

Conductor William Skoog Hails “Transformational” Experience
Performing in Carnegie Hall

William Skoog serves as professor and chair at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. Previously he taught at Bowling Green State University; Indiana/Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Southwestern Michigan College, Dowagiac, Michigan. He has been published in Choral Journal and Music Educators Journal. Mr. Skoog has conducted the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Symphony (Ohio), Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra (Indiana), Elkhart Symphony (Indiana), Prague Radio Symphony, and the Moravian Symphony and has led performances at international choral festivals in Lucerne, Rome, and Prague, and is due to conduct the Dublin Choral Festival in 2018. As a singer Mr. Skoog participated in the Robert Shaw Festival and Institute Singers under Robert Shaw, also performing with Sir Neville Marriner, André Previn, and Peter Schreier at Carnegie Hall. We asked him to share a little about his extensive experience, both as a conductor and a performer, in Carnegie Hall and with MidAmerica Productions:

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Scott Alan Youngs

Conductor Scott Youngs Shares Thoughts on the “Fantastic Challenge” of
Bringing Musicians Together in Carnegie Hall

Scott Alan Youngs is the Artistic Director of the Arizona Bach Festival, the Director of Music for All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Day School, and adjunct faculty at Arizona State University. As Director of Music for All Saints’ Episcopal Church, he conducts the Chamber Choir, the Senior Choir, the Women’s Chant Choir, and the Boy and Girl Choristers of the Day School. He is also  the principal organist. As a pianist and organist, he has appeared in recital throughout Western Europe, the United States, and South America. As choral conductor, he has toured with his choirs in England, Wales, Ireland, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany and Russia. He recently performed in Carnegie Hall on MidAmerica Productions’ 34th Season. Following are his thoughts on conducting in the historic hall:

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