After an open call for applications, the following ACDA members have been appointed to the following positions:
- Dr. Jenny Bent, Collegiate Choirs Coordinator
- Dr. Brandon Elliott, Two-Year Colleges Co-Chair
- Jack Cleghorn, Lifelong Choirs Coordinator
- Dr. Jennaya Robison, Music in Worship Chair
- Philip Brown, Senior High Choirs Chair
ACDA also wishes to thank the following leaders for their service in these positions as they rotate off the National Repertoire & Resources Committee. Thank you for your dedicated service to ACDA:
- Amanda Quist, Collegiate Choirs Coordinator
- Terre Johnson, Lifelong Choirs Coordinator
- Nathan Dame, Senior High Choirs Chair
- Bryan Black, Music in Worship Choir
Please find the bios for our new leaders below and feel free to reach out to them with your repertoire and resources needs! The contact information for all National Leadership can be found here.
Dr. Jenny Bent [she/her] is Director of Choral Activities and Associate Dean of the School of Arts & Humanities at Sonoma State University and Choral Director of the Santa Rosa Symphony. She holds degrees from Boston University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Bent’s contributions have been recognized through accolades including the 2019 CMEA Bay Section Outstanding Choral Educator Award and the 2023 CMEA Pearson/Scott Foresman/Silver Burdett Choral Educator Award. The San Francisco Classical Voice described her symphony chorus as “superb” with “excellent diction and well-controlled dynamics,” and her ensemble SonoVoce recently performed at the California All State Music Education Conference. Dr. Bent frequently serves as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and conference presenter and enjoyed working as Treasurer on the board of CCDA. Her previous role as host of “The Choir Loft” on KRCB-FM, the Sonoma County NPR affiliate, allowed her to engage with a wider audience to promote the love and appreciation of choral music.
Dr. Brandon Elliott enjoys an expansive career as a conductor-educator, musician, arts leader, and consultant. He is the Founder & Artistic Director of Choral Arts Initiative (CAI), an award-winning choral ensemble based in Orange County, California. With CAI, he has premiered over 100 works in the past 11 years. Equally passionate about teaching and mentoring, Brandon begins his tenth year of full time community college teaching and choral directing with a move to Saddleback College, having previously served at Moorpark College. Brandon recently worked as the Repertoire and Resources Chair for Community and Professional Choirs with the California Choral Directors Association (CCDA). He holds degrees from California State University—Fullerton, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and the University of Southern California. He volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) where he advocates for abused and neglected children placed in the foster system. Learn more at brandon-elliott.com.
Jack A. Cleghorn presently serves as Choirmaster and Organist of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In his role, Mr. Cleghorn coordinates a vibrant music program consisting of youth choirs, an adult choir, professional schola, and handbells. Mr. Cleghorn received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from the College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, and his Master of Music at Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ. JAC has continued his studies at the University of Oxford as a Conducting Fellow at the Conducting Institute at Oxford, Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Gstaad Menuhin Festival Academy, Gstaad, Switzerland, and the Eastman School of Music. Mr. Cleghorn is a regular collaborative accompanist for local choirs and all-region clinics. He also serves as the Sub-Dean of the Northwest Arkansas American Guild of Organists and as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas.
Dr. Jennaya Robison is the Artistic Director of the National Lutheran Choir (Minneapolis, Minnesota). In demand as a conductor, clinician and soprano throughout the United States, Robison has presented at national, regional, and state ACDA, NAfMe, and NATS conferences and has served as an invited conductor and clinician for numerous All State festivals, honor choirs, and worship/music events. In academia, Robison served as Director of Choral Studies in the Conservatory at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and has held previous positions at Luther College. She has conducted and taught courses in choral singing and global connection in the United States, Namibia, South Africa, Germany, and Italy. Her compositions, arrangements and editions are published by Pavane Music, Kjos Music, Morningstar Music, National Music Publishers, and she serves as editor for the National Lutheran Choral Series through Morningstar Music.
Philip Brown is the high school conductor for Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs and choir teacher at Totino-Grace High School. Choirs under his direction have performed multiple times at state, regional, and national ACDA and NAfME conferences. His choirs have received numerous awards and recognition along with collaborating with a wide variety of choirs and artists.
Philip has been recognized for his creative programming by VocalEssence, presenting at several music conferences on topics from student engagement, repertoire and commissioning, and quick-hit rehearsal methods. He has been recognized several times by The American Prize and was a recipient of the ACDA-MN Young Director of the Year. He was the featured community member of Eden Prairie, Minnesota in 2019 by Eden Prairie Lifestyle Magazine. He’s been the Repertoire and Resources Chair for ACDA-MN for several years and was a state honor choir chair. Philip is an active adjudicator and guest conductor. He is excited to serve ACDA as the Senior HS R and R Chair!