Panel Discussion II – Maestro as Professor
Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner, D.M.A. (Dean/Professor of Music, Wilfrid Laurier University)
Dr. Tiffany Chang (Assistant Professor of Conducting, Oberlin Conservatory & Associate Professor, Berklee College of Music)
Christin Reardon MacLellan (Director, University of British Columbia Concert Winds & Associate Conductor, Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble)
Nyadia Thorpe (Director of Choral Activities, Navarro College)
The first in her family to attend university, Cynthia Johnston Turner received her B.Mus and B.Ed from Queen’s University, a M.Ed. at the University of Victoria and a D.M.A. (Conducting) from the Eastman School of Music. She has received numerous teaching, research, and leadership awards.
Cynthia is currently Director of Bands, Professor of Music, and Artistic Director of “CCE” at the Hodgson School of Music, University of Georgia where she conducts the Hodgson Wind Ensemble, leads the MM and DMA programs in conducting, provides strategic leadership in diversity, equity, and belonging initiatives as well as innovative curriculum, and oversees the entire band program including the 400+ member Redcoat Marching Band. She is a sponsored clinician with Conn-Selmer.
Cynthia has guest conducted bands, new music ensembles, and orchestras at several universities and conservatories as well as state honor bands in the United States and abroad. She has recorded with the Innova and Albany labels and continues to actively promote commissions by today’s leading and emerging composers around the world with a focus on underrepresented voices. Cynthia spearheaded a community partnership between Athens HipHop artists, UGA composers, and the Hodgson Wind Ensemble, and the reimagining of ‘new music’ at UGA that embraces decolonization, the dismantling of musical “genre,” and anti-racism.
She was appointed Dean—Faculty of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, just outside of Toronto, July 1, 2021.
Conductor Tiffany Chang is recognized internationally as a leading artist with exceptional artistry, formidable versatility, and unshakable integrity. Awarded a 2020 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, she offers visionary leadership at Oberlin Conservatory and Berklee College of Music. Her innovative creativity, service-oriented philosophy, and determination to help others pursue purpose radically transform ensemble culture and bring refreshing perspectives to every organization she encounters.
Garnering significant attention at The Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute, Chang served eight seasons as Music Director/Conductor for the North End Music and Performing Arts Center’s Opera Project in Boston. She has also been engaged by BlueWater Chamber Orchestra, OperaHub, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, and Brookline Symphony Orchestra.
Chang’s other notable awards include The American Prize in Opera Conducting, Kahn Career Entry Award, holds a DMA in orchestral conducting from Boston University and degrees in cello performance, music education, composition, and music theory from Oberlin.
Christin Reardon MacLellan is the director of the University of British Columbia Concert Wind Ensemble and a sessional lecturer in the UBC School of Music. She is also the Associate Conductor of the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble as well as the Director of Education & Community Programs for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Christin is dedicated to supporting and advocating for quality music education in schools. She maintains an active schedule as an in-demand clinician, guest conductor, adjudicator, and guest speaker. Christin has presented workshops and her research at numerous conferences and symposia in Canada and the United States. As a director of the Coalition for Music Education in BC, she works closely with teachers, community members, and arts organizations to protect, promote, and advance music education in BC schools.
Christin has taught band, choir, and general music in the public schools of Manitoba. She earned her masters degree in music education from Indiana University, where she taught undergraduate courses in music education and was a university supervisor for student teachers. Christin’s research is published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, Music Educators’ Journal, and Canadian Winds. She is the recipient of the 2020 Canadian Music Educators’ Association Builders Award and the 2020 British Columbia Music Educators Association Distinguished Service Award.
Nyadia Thorpe is the Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Navarro College in Corsicana, TX. She conducts the College Chorale, Collegiate Chamber Singers, and the Sound Company Show Choir. She also teaches Sight-Singing & Ear Training, Music Appreciation, and maintains a voice studio for vocal music majors. She is active in her church as the Director of Music & Worship at the First Presbyterian Church, Duncanville where she also conducts the Duncanville Community Chorus. The DCC has been awarded the experience of performing in Carnegie Hall with Distinguished Choirs International New York in 2018.
Previously, Mrs. Thorpe served as the Choral Music Director at Howard Junior High in Waxahachie ISD and as Middle School Vocal Division Coordinator and Chairperson for the middle school choral events, including UIL and Solo and Ensemble contests for the Region 20 Middle School Vocal Division of the Texas Music Educators Association. In 2020, she founded a social media group, Black Women Composers and Conductors Network. She was also awarded recognition by Who’s Who in America in 2020 and received invitation to conduct in Carnegie Hall. Mrs. Thorpe is an active member of TMEA, ACDA, TTCCDA, and NAfME. She thoroughly enjoys choral conducting, adjudicating, and coaching choirs. Most of all, although she loves to work, she loves her family and values the time away from the podium that she can spend with her husband and sons.