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. Performing across the United States in venues in Vermont, Massachusetts, Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico & Washington DC to International tours to Puerto Rico and May 2013 to the Czech Republic, the Singers have established a reputation for exceptional choral music.
This past year, the University Singers were privileged to be the musical guests for the Society of Adventist Communicators Convention in Albuquerque, NM and the NAD Year-End Meetings in Washington, DC. While in Washington, DC, the Singers were the guests of retired Rear Admiral and Senate Chaplain Barry Black and were the featured performers for the weekly Senate Bible Study.
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. In the past five years he has 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). In the spring of 2013, he will direct the Southwestern Music Festival, the Atlantic Union Music Clinic (a NY13 event) and the Florida Conference's Festival for the Arts.
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. 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.