Jonathan Wall – Choir
Jonathan Wall is the director of choral & vocal studies at Southwestern Adventist University. Since arriving at Southwestern in 2009, Mr. Wall has developed the Southwestern University Singers into an elite international touring ensemble. Over the past five years the Singers have earned an international reputation as a premier choral ensemble, known for their variety filled programs, exquisite harmonies and expressive interpretation of text. The Singers have performed throughout the United States, with tours in Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland and Washington D.C. Internationally the Singers have performed throughout Puerto Rico, Canada, Slovakia, Austria and the Czech Republic. While on tour the Singers have been featured performers for the American Spring Festival (Prague), the 20th Anniversary of U.S. and Slovakian Diplomatic Relations (Bratislava), the U.S. Senate Bible Study (Washington D.C.), featured choir at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Denver), and guests of U.S. Ambassador Theodore Sedgwick, Rear Admiral Barry Black and NAD President Dan Jackson. This past March, the Singers were featured in the guest choir concert series at the Basilique Notre-Dame in Montréal, Canada and in the guest choir recital series at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, two of the most prestigious venues in North America. This fall the Singers were sponsored by Senator Brian Birdwell to present a special concert in the State Capitol rotunda in Austin, TX and also presented an evening concert in the historical St. Joseph's Parish in San Antonio. This May 2015, the Singers will travel to Italy, France & Switzerland representing Southwestern and sharing their passion for sacred choral music. The Singers perform every year at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, TX.
A leading baritone soloist, Mr. Wall maintains an active solo performance schedule that takes him around the country. As a choral clinician, Mr. Wall is an established and sought after festival conductor. He has has recently directed the Northern New England Music Clinic (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), the Tennessee/Kentucky Music Festival (2010) and the Southwestern Music Festival (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014), the Florida Festival for the Arts (2013) and the Atlantic Union Music Festival (2013) in Brooklyn, NY.
In addition to his responsibilities as director of choral & vocal studies, Mr. Wall is the founder and director of the Southwestern Recital Series, a concert series designed to feature students, faculty and guest musicians hosted on the campus of Southwestern Adventist University. The series has produced over 50 concerts since its premier. Mr. Wall is also the director of the Southwestern Music Festival that features a full Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra and a 400 member Festival Choir. Each year they perform at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas, home of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Since 2011, Jonathan Wall has served as the chairman of the Department of Music at Southwestern Adventist University.
Rudyard Dennis – Band
Rudyard Dennis is the Director of Instrumental Studies at Southwestern Adventist University, where he conducts the Wind Symphony, coaches the Southwestern Brass Ensemble and teaches conducting, music technology, and music education courses. Before coming to Southwestern, he served as Director of Instrumental Studies at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. A clarinetist, Dennis has performed extensively in California, the Northwest and the Midwest.
In 1995, as a Chapel artist, he released a commercially-produced album, titled Hymns and Classics, featuring him as a performer on clarinet, flute and recorder. It sold out. The release of a second commercial album featuring Dennis on the clarinet, titled The Lord Bless You and Keep You, is slated for release in June, 2013.
In 2001, Dennis completed an M.Mus. in Clarinet Performance at the University of Washington, where he studied with noted clarinet historian William McColl and served as principal clarinetist in the UW Symphony Orchestra. During that time he was a finalist in two UW Concerto Competitions. Dennis completed a DMA in Instrumental Conducting at UW in 2003. While finishing his doctorate in music at UW, he won the prestigious Beech Memorial Conducting Scholarship.
Dennis has directed both instrumental and choral programs. He has taught privately at all levels and served as an adjunct performance instructor at Pacific Union College and at Columbia College in Columbia, California. He has been twice nominated for Who's Who Among American Teachers. A sought-after clinician, Dennis conducts band clinics throughout the country. He and his wife Diem, Associate Director of Admissions at Southwestern Adventist University, make their home in Cleburne, Texas.
Marc Élysée – Orchestra
Dr. Marc Élysée is currently Assistant Professor at Southwestern Adventist University. His duties include teaching courses in Instrumental Conducting, Orchestration and Arranging, and Music History. As Director of Orchestral Studies, he conducts the Southwestern Chamber Orchestra, coaches chamber music ensembles and maintains a teaching studio of about twenty students.
Prior to joining the music faculty at Southwestern Adventist University, Dr. Élysée enjoyed a teaching position at James Madison University where he conducted the orchestras for the staged productions of the Opera and Musical Theater programs and taught several classes. Also an accomplished violinist, Mr. Élysée won a first prize at the music competition "Les tournois du royaume de la musique" hosted by the National Classical Radio Broadcast of France, his home country. He enjoys performing both as soloist and chamber musician and maintains an active concert schedule in addition to his engagements as orchestra conductor. Thus, in 2011 he was featured as guest violinist at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with the Madison Singers under the direction of Dr. Walders. In the last decade, he also appeared regularly on the Canadian television conducting members of the McGill Symphony Orchestra for special Christmas concerts and in performances featuring the great sacred works for choir and orchestra.
As a music educator, Dr. Élysée has worked for the pre-college String Program at Andrews University in Michigan, and established a successful Symphony Orchestra Program at Shenandoah Valley academy from 2007 to 2012. He is regularly invited to give clinics in high school music festivals and to adjudicate music competitions. Most recently he worked with the Spring String Thing Music Festival in Virginia, the Shenandoah County High School Music Festival, as well as the Mennonite School Council Music Festival.
He looks forward to the opportunity of working with young musicians from Texas and the neighboring states for the Southwestern Music Festival.