Distinguished Speakers Series

This site houses the archives of the University of Arizona Choral Studies Distinguished Speakers Series, begun in the fall of 2020. The series features content-area specialists, each of which presents a fifty-minute lecture on historical repertoire composed by under-represented populations, or relevant movements and traditions not typically included in the choral curriculum. The purpose is to intentionally create a more inclusive and diverse course of study, with these composers and movements embedded in the primary curriculum of choral literature. When possible, content-area specialists are from the same populations as the topic on which they are presenting.

The speakers also recommend listening, scores and readings that students should examine in advance of the lecture and these are included in the topic folder. These lectures and materials are free and available to everyone – they may be used in courses, for extra-curricular activities, or for personal edification. It is hoped that these lectures also will generate interest in more scholarship on these composers and topics. This project was started by Dr. Elizabeth Schauer.

Begun in January 2021, the series now features an additional tier of lectures, presented by current students and alumni/ae of the University of Arizona Graduate Choral Program.  

The University of Arizona Choral Studies Distinguished Speakers Series has been made possible in part by support from the University of Arizona College of Fine Arts Committee for Diversity and the University of Arizona College of Fine Arts Dean’s Fund For Excellence.

2020-2021 Distinguished Speakers Series Cohort

Ahmed Anzaldúa is a Mexican choral conductor, classical pianist, and music educator of Egyptian descent. He is the director and founder of Border CrosSing, an organization dedicated to integrating historically-segregated audiences, repertoire, and musicians through the performance of choral music. He will present on Latin American Baroque Choral Music.

Dr. Coreen Duffy is the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Montana and a published composer. A specialist in Jewish choral music, Dr. Duffy has presented nationally and also founded the Second Avenue Jewish Chorale of South Florida, which has been featured on the ACDA Florida Conference and the North American Jewish Choral Festival in New York. She will present on 19th century Jewish liturgical music.

Dr. David Morrow is the Director of the Morehouse College Glee Club, the Wendell P. Whalum Community Chorus, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Atlanta Singers, and co-Directs the Morehouse-Spleman Chorus. Dr. Morrow is a member of Metropolitan Atlanta Musicians Association, past president of the National Association of Negro Musicians, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Intercollegiate Men’s Choruses, Inc. He will present on the African American Oral Tradition.

Candace Smith is the founder of Concerto delle Dame (1978-89), specialist in music composed by women, and founder of Cappella Artemisia, dedicated to early music from Italian convents. She also publishes this repertoire under the name of Artemisia Editions. She will present a lecture on the female composers associated with the Italian convents in the late Renaissance and early Baroque.

2020-2021 Lectures

Candace Smith

Renaissance and Baroque Female Composers of the Italian Convents

Candace Smith is the founder of Concerto delle Dame (1978-89), specialist in music composed by women, and founder of Cappella Artemisia, dedicated to early music from Italian convents. She also publishes this repertoire under the name of Artemisia Editions. She will present a lecture on the female composers associated with the Italian convents in the late Renaissance and early Baroque.

Suggested Homework Materials

Read: Craig Monson: Divas in the Convents: Praeludium

Listen: Cantabant sancti (on Cappella Artemisia “Canti nel chiostro” CD)

Bibliography and Discography

  • Kendrick, Robert: Celestial Sirens: Nuns and Their Music in Early Modern Milan (Clarendon, Oxford…1996)
  • Monson, Craig: Disembodied Voices: Music and Culture in an Early Modern Italian Convent  (UC Berkeley, 1996)
  • – – – – – Divas in the Convent: Nuns, Music, and Defiance in Seventeenth-Century, University of Chicago Press, 2012
  • Reardon, Colleen: Holy Concord within Sacred Walls: Nuns and Music in Siena, 1575-1700 (Oxford… 2001)
  • Stras, Laurie. Women and Music in 16th century Ferrara. Cambridge University Press, 2018.
  • Glixon, Jonathan. Mirrors of Heaven or Worldly Theaters? Venetian Nunneries and Their Music. Oxford University Press, 2017.
  • Bowers, Jane (ed.), Women Making Music: the Western art tradition, 1150-1950 (Urbana: U. of Ill. Press, 1986).


All recordings by:

  • Cappella Artemisia
  • Musica Secreta
  • Magnificat (Cozzolani)

Distinguished Student and Alumni/ae Speakers Series

Shekela Wanyama

Undine Smith Moore (Scenes from the Life of a Martyr) and Courtney Bryan (Yet Unheard)

Shekela Wanyama is a DMA student in conducting at the University of Minnesota. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Wanyama taught middle and high school choir for 10 years in Minneapolis and Seattle. She currently serves as music director at Mountain Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Tucson). Wanyama previously directed the Treble Glee Club while studying at the University of Arizona and was assistant conductor of the Tucson Masterworks Chorale. She has sung with Border CrosSing, the Minnesota Chorale, The Singers, Seattle Pro Musica, and the Philharmonischer Chor Berlin. Her primary teachers are Kathy Saltzman Romey and Elizabeth Schauer. She holds a Masters degree in choral conducting from Temple University and Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Minnesota.

Suggested Reading


  • Courtney Bryan
    • Bryan, Courtney. “”A Time for Everything,” for Chorus: Analysis of a Musical Meditation.” Order No. 3619904, Columbia University, 2014. In ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.
    • Fosler-Lussier, Danielle. “Composing the Mediated Self.” In ​Music on the Move​, 151-79. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2020. Accessed October 16, 2020. doi:10.3998/mpub.9853855.15.
    • Jess, Tyehimba, and Courtney Bryan. “An Interview With Courtney Bryan.” ​Callaloo 36, no. 3 (2013): 600-07. Accessed October 16, 2020​.
  • Undine Smith Moore
    • Brunelle, Philip. “The Centenary Year of Undine Smith Moore: Dean of Black Women Composers.” ​The Choral Journal​ 44, no. 7 (2004): 39-41. Accessed September 30, 2020​.
    • Harris, Carl. “The Unique World of Undine Smith Moore: Teacher – Composer – Arranger.” ​The Choral Journal​ 16, no. 5 (1976): 6-7. Accessed September 30, 2020.
    • Jones, John Robert Douglass. 1980. “The Choral Works of Undine Smith Moore: A Study of Her Life and Work.” Order No. 8110694, New York University. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.
    • Moore, Undine Smith. Scenes from the Life of a Martyr: (to the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.). New York: Carl Fischer Music, 1981.
    • Walker-Hill, Helen. From Spirituals to Symphonies: African American Women Composers and Their Music. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002.


  • Courtney Bryan’s website contains links to many of her pieces on Soundcloud.
  • A full performance of ​Yet Unheard​ can be seen on YouTube, with the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
  • An insightful conversation between Dr. Bryan, Sharan Strange, and Helga Davis can be heard on online. ​
  • Numerous recordings of Undine Smith Moore’s works appear on YouTube or Spotify
  • Special thanks to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for their permission to use excerpts from ​Scenes from the Life of a Martyr​ in this presentation. The full performance can be viewed online. ​

Nicky Manlove

Considering Matthew Shepard

Nicky Manlove (they/them) is the founding artistic director of THEM Youth Ensemble, an LGBTQ+ and allied youth chorus, and is the director of music at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Tucson, AZ. In their work with THEM Youth Ensemble, Nicky organized the inaugural THEMposium, an annual performing arts festival for LGBTQ+ youth, and co-produced “ROSES: The Past, Present, and Future of Trans Resilience,” a collaborative virtual concert in observance of Trans Day of Resilience 2020.

Nicky is a committed advocate of equity-centered and liberatory choral practice, and supports a number of justice-focused choral initiatives nationally. They are on the leadership team of The Choral Commons, a media platform that provides a space for singing communities to realize the liberatory potential of the ensemble as a site of radical imagining. They also serve on ACDA Western Division’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce, on the ACDA National Diversity Initiative Committee’s Task Force on Guidance and Resources for the Care of Transgender Singers, and are the Chair of Student Repertoire and Resources for the Arizona ACDA chapter.

Nicky holds a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts, emphasis in Music from Seattle University, and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona, where they studied with Alyssa Cossey and Elizabeth Schauer and served as Assistant Conductor for the University Community Chorus.

Additional Resources

James Higgs

The Life and Music of Marianna von Martines

James Higgs is a DMA student in choral conducting at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music studying with Dr. Elizabeth Schauer. Currently James is pianist and organist at Abounding Grace Lutheran Church in Tucson. As both soloist and collaborative pianist, James has performed throughout Southern California and in Austria, Italy, Poland, and the Czech Republic. James was awarded the John Bloom Choral Scholarship at the University of Arizona and in the past received scholarships to attend Songfest at the Colburn School and Brevard Music Festival as a collaborative pianist where he performed in art song recitals, concerto competitions, and master classes for Martin Katz, Margo Garrett, and Graham Johnson. An advocate for new vocal works,

James has also performed in master classes of composers Jake Heggie, Ben Moore, and Richard Pearson Thomas. As a soloist, James has appeared in master classes of Sergei Babayan and Daniel Shapiro. Originally from the East Bay in Northern California, James moved to Southern California to attend Chapman University’s Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music where he received his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and then a Master of Music in Keyboard Collaborative Arts from University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music where he studied art song, chamber music, and opera with Dr. Alan Smith. Past teachers include Dr. Ruby Cheng-Goya, Frank Wiens, and Dr. Hye-Young Kim.

Recommended Reading

  • Beer, Anna. “Martines.” In Sounds and Sweet Airs: The Forgotten Women of Classical Music, 127-158. London: Oneworld Publications, 2016.
  • Fremar, Karen Lynn. “The life and selected works of Marianna Martines (1744-1812)”. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Kansas, 1983.
  • Gjerdingen, Robert O. Music in the Galant Style. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Godt, Irving. “Marianna in Vienna: A Martines Chronology.” The Journal of Musicology 16, no. 1 (1998): 136-58.
  • Godt, Irving. “Marianna in Italy: The International Reputation of Marianna Martines (1744-1812).” The Journal of Musicology 13, no. 4 (1995): 538-61.
  • Godt, Irving. Marianna Martines: A Woman Composer in the Vienna of Mozart and Haydn. Edited by John A. Rice. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2010.

Recommended Listening

  • Martines, Marianna. Quarta Messa für Soli, Chor, und Orchester. Chorgemeinschaft Kirchendorf, Peter Loosli, cond. Furore: Salto Records International, 2007, compact disc.
  • Martines, Marianna. Marianna Martines: La Tempesta. La Floridiana, Nicoleta Paraschivescu, cond. and harpsichord. Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH, 2015, compact disc.
  • Martines, Marianna. Marianna Martines: Il Primo Amore. La Floridiana, Nicoleta Paraschivescu, cond. and harpsichord. Sony Music Entertainment, 2012, compact disc.
  • Salzburger Hofmusik’s performance of the first movement of Martines’s Dixit Dominus conducted by Wolgang Brunner
  • Complete work in addition to other works by Martines will be published by Chandos Records.