2018 Artistic Director: William Skoog
William Skoog joined the Rhodes faculty in 2009 as Professor of Music, Elizabeth Daughdrill Fine Arts Chair of the Department of Music, and director of choral studies. He most recently served as Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities at Bowling Green State University, directing the University Men’s Chorus, University Choral Society and Collegiate Chorale, and taught courses in undergraduate and graduate conducting and choral literature.
Choral ensembles under his direction have distinguished themselves at OCDA, OMEA, ACDA and MENC conference performances, and have performed at special events honoring William F. Buckley, Jr., and Generals Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf.
Skoog has conducted various university choirs with the Toledo Symphony (OH), the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra (IN), the Elkhart Symphony and Chorus (IN), the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Moravian Symphony Orchestra. He served as a featured artistic director and conductor of the distinguished Lucerne Choral Festival, Switzerland in 2008, conducting choirs from throughout the United States with the Santa Maria Orchestra from Lucerne. He has conducted European premieres of works by Dave Brubeck, and has prepared choruses for Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Edvard Tchivzhel, Stephan Sanderling, and Giordano Bellincampi.
His publishing credits include Music Educators Journal, Choral Journal and Cambridge Scholars Press (UK). He has presented at respected scholarly conferences including MENC, ACDA, and the International Conference on the Literature of War, Durrell School, Corfu, Greece. He has been selected to present a session on Men’s Chorus techniques at the 2012 Southern Division conference of ACDA in North Carolina. Skoog is a champion of new music, and choral ensembles under his direction have performed and premiered numerous pieces as part of the renowned New Music and Art Festival for Mid American Center for Contemporary Music, an international festival held at BGSU. They have performed compositions by Dave Brubeck, Samuel Adler, Chen Yi, John Harbison and Michael Cox, among others.
Skoog directs choral festivals at the regional, state, national and international levels, including the states of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, New York and Iowa. His additional conducting credits include the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra, Indiana Opera North, the Arvada Center Theatre Company, the Golden Youth Symphony, Littleton Chamber Orchestra, and the Elkhart (Indiana) and Longmont (Colorado) Symphonies and Choruses.
As a singer, he has participated by audition in the Robert Shaw Festival and Institute Singers under Robert Shaw, also performing by audition with Sir Neville Marriner, André Previn and Peter Schreier at Carnegie Hall.
2019 Artistic Directors: Joshua Oppenheim & Julie Yu-Oppenheim
Dr. Joshua Oppenheim is Co-Director of Choral Studies; and Associate Professor of Music at Kansas State University. He received his B.M. from Western Michigan University, his M.M. at the University of Mississippi, and his D.M.A. in Choral Conducting at the University of North Texas. His ensembles have been selected to perform at state, regional, national, and international conferences (2009, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018).
He has been engaged as guest conductor and clinician in Carnegie Hall (2014, 2016) ) the National Cathedral (2018) Singapore (2015,2018), and Dubai (2015); and had done additional study at Trinity College Cambridge, England.
He has presented interest sessions for conferences in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and the Western and Southwestern Region ACDA conferences.
Dr. Julie Yu is Co-Director of Choral Studies at Kansas State University where she is part of a team that oversees seven choral ensembles and teaches undergraduate and graduate choral conducting.
Dr. Yu holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the University of Central Oklahoma, Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Oklahoma State University, and the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from the University of North Texas.
Before joining the Kansas State faculty, Dr. Yu taught at Norman North High School in Norman, Oklahoma and San José State University.
She has conducted honor choirs in Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Germany. She has been featured as a conductor on the Octavo Series at Carnegie Hall and the National Cathedral. She has given presentations and her choirs have performed for the Kansas Music Educators Association, Missouri Music Educators Association, Oklahoma Choral Directors Association, the American Choral Directors Association and the European Music Educators Association Conventions. She is the Southwest American Choral Directors Association President Elect designate and a 2018 ACDA-International Choral Exchange Program Conducting Fellow to Kenya. She also serves as Artistic Director of the Flint Hills Masterworks Chorale, Co-Artistic Director of the K-State Summer Choral Institute, and the Vice President of the Flint Hills Children’s Choir.