Elementary & Middle School Honor Choirs

For up-to-date information and details, please visit the full Circle the State with Song website. 

Since 1990, IMEA has sponsored an elementary and a middle school honor choir. Selected students who are participating in Circle the State with Song Area Festivals will have the opportunity to audition for these All-State Honor Choirs. These choirs are select groups of approximately 150 singers chosen by teacher recommendation and audition. Our goal is to choose singers from each of the 12 area CSWS Festivals to fill balanced parts. Both groups will perform at the IMEA State Conference.

IMEA Professional Development Conference, January 12-14 2023

Embassy Theater
125 W Jefferson Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Fees/ Scholarships
The 2023 fee for this choral experience will be $180 for students in both the Elementary Choir and Middle School Choir. This fee includes four meals, All-State music, online rehearsal recordings, and an overnight stay at the Hilton Hotel (Elementary Choir) and the Marriott Hotel (Middle School Choir) in downtown Fort Wayne. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Please make sure that any student whose teacher submits a Scholarship Form on their behalf understands that they are responsible for the balance of the cost, and that the full fee is to be sent pending approval of scholarship. If the scholarship is approved, a reimbursement will be provided from the IMEA office.

Honor Choir Selection
Final selection will be made by the CSWS Committee in TBD. Students and teachers will be notified of the decision no later than TBD. Rehearsal recordings for honor choir will be available on the website for each participating singer along with the honor choir repertoire. Please read carefully, follow the instructions, and meet the deadlines as stated in the audition process. Failure to do so will disqualify the audition.

It is our pleasure to offer your students this quality opportunity to learn and grow musically. Thank you for your continued interest in and support of IMEA and its programs.

If you have any questions regarding information or procedures, please contact the CSWS State Chair Jennifer Thomson, or your CSWS Area Coordinator.

Teacher Requirements
All directors who submit auditions must be members of NAfME/IMEA for an audition to be considered. Students of non-member teachers who submit auditions for consideration will be rejected. Remember: A student may be enrolled by a private studio or community choir director only if the student’s school does not participate in the Circle the State with Song festivals. The name of the school where the student is enrolled must be identified during the registration process.

Teachers may submit no more than eight auditions per level, per school. Please be selective. The registration must be filled out and auditions uploaded online by December 7, 2022.

Teachers are asked to confirm that the auditioning student(s) will be available on January 12-14, 2023, before submitting the application and audition. Teachers are also asked to submit students who understand that rooming changes will not be made after their registration in complete. Please note: All registrations will be completed by the teacher in order to be accepted to alleviate confusion regarding rooming, payment, and submission of Medical and Fee Tally Forms.

Teachers will need to teach and monitor the progress of honor choir singers from their school. Teachers, please make sure your selected students do this: once selected, teachers will be responsible to complete the registration process online. The link to registration will be provided in the information letter the teacher will receive.

Note that absolutely no rooming assignments can be changed after applications have been received.

2022 Elementary Honor Choir Clinician: Tom Shelton 

Tom T. Shelton, Jr. is a native of Greensboro, N.C. and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he earned both a Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music in Choral Conducting. He is associate professor of Sacred Music at Westminster Choir College. Focusing on children’s and youth music at Westminster, he teaches classes in conducting, sacred music and music education. In addition, he is the director of Children's and Youth Choirs at Princeton United Methodist Church.  He is also conductor of the Westminster Neighborhood Children’s Choir.

Mr. Shelton has a passion for music education in all areas: church, school and community. He taught middle school choral music in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County for 18 years. During that time he was selected Teacher of the Year for both Atkins Middle School and Kernersville Middle School. In 1999 the North Carolina Music Educators Association presented him with the North Carolina Middle School Music Teacher of the Year award.

Mr. Shelton is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association.  Past ACDA leadership positions have included serving as national president, Southern Division president (2011-2012), National R&S chair for Middle School/Junior High Choirs (2007-2009) and North Carolina president (2005-2007). 

Mr. Shelton has conducted festivals and honor choirs for elementary, middle school and high school students in 20 states and abroad, including the ACDA Central Division Junior High Honor Choir as well as All State Choirs in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina and South Carolina. This past May, he was invited to conduct a Treble Choir Festival in Carnegie Hall, New York City.  His compositions have been published by Choristers Guild, Colla Voce Music, GIA Publications, Heritage Music Press, Hinshaw Music Company, Santa Barbara Music Press, and Walton Music.

Learn more at www.tomsheltonmusic.com

 2022 Middle School Honor Choir Clinician: G Phillip Shoultz III

Known for fostering community and inspiring action among people of all ages and abilities, G. Phillip Shoultz, III, enjoys a multifaceted career as an artist, educator, consultant, speaker, and pastoral musician. Phillip serves as Associate Artistic Director of VocalEssence where he founded the VocalEssence Singers Of This Age, a choral apprenticeship program that harnesses the power of group singing to enhance community and awaken creativity in young people. 

Phillip is Cantor for Worship, Music, and the Arts at Westwood Lutheran Church, a member of the Graduate Music Education faculty at the University of St. Thomas, and he serves as the host for Minnesota Orchestra Young People’s Concerts.  With teaching experiences in the public schools garnering multiple Teacher of the Year honors and his choirs being selected to perform at state, regional, and national conferences, Phillip is frequently called to conduct festivals and lead workshops across the United States and beyond. 

In the summer of 2020, he created “Table for More,” a consulting and conversation platform to help arts organizations, schools, and churches consider ways to create more belonging through equitable and inclusive practices. The winner of the 2015 ACDA Graduate Conducting Competition and an International Conductors’ Exchange Program Participant, Phillip believes in the transformative power of shared singing experiences. He lives in St Louis Park with his wife, Michelle and their two children (Malachi, 7 and Lydia Grace, 3).