Central Region Leadership
The Central Region is led by an elected President, Vice/Past President, and President-Elect. As with state ACDA chapters and affiliates, a Region President serves a six-year term (two years as President-Elect, two years as President, and two years as Vice President). Terms of office begin on July 1 in odd-numbered years. The Region President serves as the representative for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio on the ACDA national Board of Directors and as the Chair of the Region Conference, which is held in even-numbered years at a site within the Central Region.
The Region Treasurer, Region Conference Program Chair, and Resound newsletter editor are individuals who are appointed by the Region President and serve at his/her pleasure. State presidents serve on the leadership team for the Region while they hold their office. Contact information for Central Region and state leadership is listed below.
School of Music
Illinois State University
Campus Box 5660
Normal, IL 61790
Dr. Carlson is now in her thirteenth year as Director of Choral Activities at Illinois State University where she conducts the Concert Choir, Madrigal Singers, and teaches graduate conducting. Her graduate students have gone on to successful teaching careers and further study at major university graduate programs.
Carlson came to central Illinois after serving as Director of Choral Activities and Associate Chair of the music department of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. She earned music education degrees from the University of Michigan and had taught at Franklin Elementary School in Sterling, IL. Further graduate study led her to a Master of Music Education at the University of Illinois. Karyl earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University. Prior to earning her doctorate she taught in the public schools for twelve years in Miami, Florida. Having taught at every academic level, from elementary general music to auditioned collegiate choirs, Carlson has a unique perspective and abiding appreciation for choral music educators.
While at CWU and ISU, Dr. Carlson has conducted many major choral/orchestral works, including Benjamin Britten’s “War Requiem” as the inaugural performance of the international Benjamin Britten at 100: An American Centenary Symposium (2013). Carlson has also conducted numerous operas and musicals, including the Illinois State University’s recent productions of “Cabaret” and Kurt Weill's “Street Scene.”
Carlson is an active choral adjudicator and honor choir conductor. Her choirs have been featured at state and regional festivals, and have toured nationally and internationally.
Launched in 2016, Carlson was key in the development of an ACDA urban initiative choral festival: JOIN VOICES, CHICAGO! The event brought over 500 students together in a non-competitive environment focused on student performing and learning, and teacher professional development. The festival was funded in part with a grant from ACDA’s Fund for Tomorrow.
Dr. Carlson is a member of NAfME, NATS, Omicron Delta Kappa (Leadership Circle) Sigma Alpha Iota, and the American Choral Directors Association.
Moore Musical Arts Center
Bowling Green, OH 43403
Mark Munson is Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music Education at Bowling Green State University where he has conducted the University Choral Society, Collegiate Chorale, A Cappella Choir, and University Women’s Chorus. At BGSU he has also taught courses in choral literature, conducting, and methods.
During the 2005-06 academic year Mark was on a faculty exchange to Sweden, where he taught at Kristianstad’s Fröknegårdskolan and at Musikhögskolan i Malmö of Lund University. He also served as director of Christianstads Motettkör, an auditioned community chorus consisting of professional adults.
Prior to his work in academia Mark taught eight years of secondary school choral music, primarily in Pennsylvania, where one-third of the students at the Moniteau Junior-Senior High School were enrolled in a comprehensive choral program under his direction.
BGSU choirs have toured in this country, in Canada, and in Europe under Mark’s direction. In addition to his work at the university, he has been the director of the Lima Symphony Orchestra Chorus and of OPUS 181, a 12-member vocal ensemble. He has served the Ohio Choral Directors Association as president and treasurer, and currently serves as organist at the First United Methodist Church of Bowling Green.
Mark holds degrees in choral conducting and music education from the University of Cincinnati, the University of Michigan, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Active as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator, he has had articles published in Choral Journal, Teaching Music, TRIAD and other professional journals. He has presented at a number of professional conferences, including two national conventions of the National Association for Music Education.
1255 S. State St. #1516
Chicago, IL 60605
A native of Indiana, Leslie Manfredo received her undergraduate music degree from Indiana University and Master’s degrees in Music Education and Educational Organization and Leadership (EOL) from the University of Illinois. Recently retired in June of 2017, Leslie served as the Assistant Director of Choral Activities at Illinois State University for 5 years, where she directed the women’s choirs, taught music education courses in choral conducting and choral methods, and assisted with edTPA student teacher preparation. Previous to her tenure at ISU, she taught public school vocal music for 23 years at all levels in Indiana, Illinois, and Tennessee and directed choirs at the Elementary, Junior High, Senior High, and adult levels in both school and non-school settings. In addition, she served as a full-time Church Music Director for St. Mary Cathedral in West Lafayette, IN and the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana for 7 years. Leslie was a National Board Certified teacher (EAYA Music) and holds Illinois licensure in General Administration as well as teaching.
Leslie has served as a festival guest conductor, contest adjudicator, and choral clinician; has published articles for the State Music Education Journal; and has presented many sessions at the Illinois Music Education Conference (IMEC). She was honored to receive the Mary Hoffman Award of Excellence in 2017 from the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA). Over the years, Leslie’s choirs have been invited to participate in numerous special performances: her elementary choirs have sung with the Eastern Illinois Orchestra and in the Rotunda of the State capital; her Mahomet-Seymour High School Chamber Choir and Madrigals have performed at the IMEC and the Millikin University Vocal Festival; and her ISU Choir, Belle Voix, performed at the IMEC as well as at the Benjamin Britten 100 Year Conference and the U of I Women’s Choir Festival. She served as a vocal instructor at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan for 5 years and at Illinois Summer Youth Music (ISYM) for 4 years. Leslie currently serves at the ACDA Central Division Treasurer and previously served as Treasurer for the Illinois Chapter of ACDA for 4 years and as IMEA District 3 Rep for 8 years.
Mary is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education at Michigan State University. She has conducted choirs in Canada, Germany, Japan, England, France, and the United States, and she has been a clinician for local choral festivals and for IMEA middle and elementary school "Circle the State with Song" festivals.
Mary started her teaching career in Hillsdale, Michigan, teaching elementary general music, middle school and high school vocal music. She has served as choir director/ substitute organist at First Presbyterian Church in Hillsdale and at Acton United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. She has also been a member of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir staff where she is the director of the Indianapolis Youth Chorale.
Mary currently teaches at Greenfield Central Junior High School. She taught at Greenfield-Central High School for 21 years, where she directed six vocal ensembles. Her choral groups have received superior marks at the Indiana State School Music Association Choral Organizational Festival, and she was the recipient of the 2013 Greenfield Central School Foundation’s Robert Albano Educational Service Award.
She has sung with the professional Choral Chamber Ensemble Mon Choeur under the direction of Dr. Paul Krasnovsky and with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir under the direction of Robert Porco and Dr. Eric Stark. She has also worked as a studio singer in Indianapolis.
Mary is a Past President of the Indiana Choral Directors Association, and she served the ACDA Central Region of ACDA as program chair for the 2014 and 2016 conferences.
1200 Academy Street
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49006
Dr. Chris Ludwa is the Music Director of Kalamazoo Bach Festival and Assistant Professor of Music at Kalamazoo College, where he conducts the College Singers, teaches voice, music history, and arts and social justice classes. A passionate advocate for using music to create social awareness and equity, he is also Artistic Director of Bay View Music Festival in Petoskey, Michigan, where he conducts the 100-voice festival choir, 16-voice collegiate chamber choir, orchestra, and musical theatre productions. Previously, Ludwa served as the Director of Music at The Federated Church Cleveland, where he led 4 ensembles and presented an annual concert series. In 2014, he founded Kaleidosong, a professional vocal ensemble that specializes in a huge range of styles such as Palestrina, R&B, jazz, American songbook, and spirituals. In Indianapolis, he was Artistic Director of Encore Vocal Arts for ten years. Chris is also a seasoned orchestral conductor, having held positions with Bloomington Pops Orchestra, Bloomington Symphony, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra. He has worked for Indianapolis Opera as Apprentice Conductor/Outreach Administrator and guest conducted for numerous organizations including Butler University Lyric Theatre and Webster University Opera Theatre. He lives in Kalamazoo with his wife, Melissa, and their two boys Alex and Elliott.
College of DuPage
McAninch Arts Center (MAC)
425 Fawell Blvd.,
Glen Ellyn IL, 60137
Lee R. Kesselman has been Director of Choral Activities at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois since 1981; he was named Outstanding Faculty Member at the College for 1994–1995. Kesselman, who holds undergraduate degrees in piano and composition from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota and a master’s degree in conducting from the University of Southern California, is the founder and Music Director of the New Classic Singers, a professional choral ensemble, and directs the DuPage Chorale and College of DuPage Chamber Singers. He has also taught at Doreen Rao’s Choral Music Experience Institute in Chicago since its inception in 1986, served on the faculty of the Académie International de Chant Choral in Parthenay, France for two summers, and addressed state and divisional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. In addition, Kesselman performs as a pianist, accompanying many of Chicago’s finest singers in recital and appearing on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts and the Live! From Studio One series on WFMT-FM. As a conductor, he serves as music director for a variety of local opera and musical theater productions, including conducting Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco for Opera-Works! in Madison, Wisconsin.
As a composer, Lee Kesselman is best known for his vocal works, which include operas (The Bremen Town Musicians and The Emperor’s New Clothes), music for chorus, and solo songs. His works for children have brought him national attention — The Bremen Town Musicians has been performed over 300 times—and commissions to write for school and university choirs as well as community, church, and professional ensembles. His distinctions include annual ASCAP Awards since 1994 and prizes in the Melodious Accord Composition Search (New York), Chautauqua Chamber Singers Composition Contest, Chautauqua Children’s Chorale Composition Contest, and Illinois Choral Directors’ Association Contest.
School of Music
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
Kerry Glann serves as Associate Director of Choral Activities at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where he conducts the Concert Choir and Women’s Chorus, prepares opera choruses, and teaches conducting and graduate choral literature. He previously taught in the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University, conducting choirs, teaching courses in choral music education, and leading the opera program. A native of Huron, Ohio, he holds a B.M. in music education from Bowling Green State University, an M.M. in conducting from Kent State University, and a D.M.A. in choral conducting from the University of North Texas, where he led the UNT Women’s Chorus, taught undergraduate conducting, and was a conducting associate in its nationally-recognized early music program.
Glann has appeared as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator in states across the nation. He recently made his international conducting debut in a program of arias and opera choruses at the Teatro del Bicentenario in San Juan, Argentina. Collegiate choirs under his direction have performed at conferences of the Indiana Music Education Association, Ohio Music Education Association, and American Choral Directors Association Central/North Central Divisions and with the Canton (Ohio) and Muncie Symphony Orchestras. Major projects at Ball State include conducting Rutter’s Gloria (2015), Carmina Burana (2017), and Chichester Psalms (2018).
Glann also serves as Artistic Director of Masterworks Chorale and Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church, both in Muncie. He is president-elect of the Indiana Choral Directors Association, and he taught in the public schools of Ohio for five years.
An experienced theatre conductor, Glann spent 17 seasons as musical director of The Huron Playhouse, a professional-grade summer theatre in Huron, Ohio, where he led performances of over thirty productions. He is now on the directing staff of the Bigfork Summer Playhouse in Bigfork, Montana. His operatic conducting credits include I Pagliacci, Il tabarro, Madama Butterfly, The Pirates of Penzance, Trial by Jury, Gallantry, and The Medium.
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
Michael A. Mitchell is Professor of Music at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan where he serves as Director of Choral Activities while conducting the Oakland Chorale, the University Chorus, and the Symphony Chorus. In addition, Mitchell supervises the graduate program in choral conducting and teaches choral literature and conducting, as well as a summer course on the history of Rock music.
Since 2005, Dr. Mitchell has served as Resident Guest Conductor of the professional ensemble Academic Choir Ivan Goran Kovacic in Zagreb, Croatia. He has lectured at Zagreb University, and was the first American to lecture at the Slovak University of Music and Art in Bratislava, Slovakia. For nine concert seasons he served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Detroit based Cantata Academy Chorale, also leading that group on three acclaimed European concert tours. He has conducted masses and full concerts at many of Europe’s leading sacred music venues, including the St. Nicholas Church in Prague, the St. Matthias Church and St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest, the
Church of the Holy Redeemer in Bratislava, the Church of St. Jacob in Ljubljana, Chiesa San Salvador in Venice, and St. Catherine’s Church in Zagreb.
As a composer, Dr. Mitchell’s music has been performed throughout the United States, including at several conferences of the American Choral Directors Association. Before coming to Michigan, he taught at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and was a choral director and music supervisor in the public schools in Texas.
Dr. Mitchell studied conducting, music education, and voice at the University of Texas at Austin and received his doctorate in conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, where he served as assistant to the legendary conductor Eph Ehly for three years. His other teachers include Andre Thomas, Jerry McCoy, Patrick Gardner, Mary Breden, Morris Beachy, and John Silantien. As a doctoral student he was the winner of the UMKC Chancellor’s Award for Academic Merit and was a finalist in the American Choral Directors Association national conducting competition.
BGSU College of Musical Arts
Bowling Green, Ohio 43403
Dr. Richard Schnipke serves as Assistant Professor of Conducting at Bowling Green State University. His duties at BGSU include conducting the Collegiate Chorale and Men’s Chorus, as well as teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in choral performance and music education. Previously, Dr. Schnipke held faculty positions at Xavier University and The Ohio State University and spent 15 years as an Ohio public school choral director. He holds degrees from Bowling Green State University and Ohio State University, and has done additional graduate studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Choirs under Schnipke’s direction have sung for conferences of the Ohio Music Education Association, the Ohio Choral Directors Association, and the association of Intercollegiate Men’s Choruses. In the fall of 2016, the Xavier University Edgecliff Vocal Ensemble performed at the American Musicological Society’s International Conference in Vancouver, BC. During the 2016-2017 academic year, Dr. Schnipke also co-presented at conferences of the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education, and the Ohio Music Education Association on the incorporation of Dalcroze Eurhythmics in the choral rehearsal.
As a vocalist, Dr. Schnipke has performed regularly with several professional choral ensembles and has served as tenor section leader for Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble (Grammy Award winner, Craig Hella Johnson, music director).
7746 N. Michigan Rd.
Fairland, IN 46126