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Graduate Students

Nathan Thompson, Tenor Bass Choir

Nathan Thompson is a second year grad Student at Texas State. Hailing from Austin, Texas, Thompson’s passion for choral music led him to Texas State where he earned a Bachelors of Music in Music Studies. During his undergraduate college career, Thompson performed with the Texas State University Singers and Texas State Chorale. In the Spring of 2018, Thompson performed with Texas State Chorale at both the Texas Music Educators Association and the Southwest American Choral Directors Association conventions under the direction of Dr. Joey Martin and Dr. Craig Hella Johnson. Thompson also performed Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem with the Conspirare Symphonic Choir and the Austin Symphony in the Spring of 2019.

In addition to his performing experience, Thompson was the production and operations assistant for Conspirare in the Spring of 2019. In the Spring of 2018 Thompson founded Vocem Cordis, a contemporary choir based in San Marcos. He has been a staunch advocate for the commissioning, performance, and recording of new choral music from composers outside of the popular pantheon and has had the pleasure of working with local composers such as Evan Blaché, Sean Eure, Joshua Ryan, and Amy Gravell.

Thompson is very excited for the opportunity to further his education and continue to work with the wonderful faculty and students at Texas State.

Esther Park, TXST Chorale

Esther Park is from South Korea and a choral conducting graduate student at Texas State University. Before coming to the US, she studied piano, song accompanying / vocal coaching at the Conservatory for Music Mainz, and church music at the Conservatory for Church Music Heidelberg. In addition to studies in music, she was an active choirmaster in St. Johannes Heidelberg and conductor of the Ueberberg-Orchestra in Mainz-Finthen, Germany. While choirmaster, she programmed many concerts with various choral repertoire.


In addition to directing, she has held positions as organist and pianist in several Catholic and Protestant churches in Germany as well as in South Korea. Her area of expertise is related to German choral repertoire and conducting children’s choirs. She is interested in American choral music and wishes to broaden her views and experience at Texas State University in the US.

Christian N. Cruz, TXST Treble Choir

Christian N. Cruz is a San Antonio native, and active music educator, conductor, and collaborative artist having taught in church, community, private, and charter school settings. Notable ensembles include The San Antonio Choral Society, The Choirs of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, The Anne Frank Inspire Academy, The Sam Houston State University Chorale, Men of SAM, and Presentation Catholic Church. As an educator and artist, Christian promotes collaboration from other art forms to compliment choral music with singers ranging from beginning to professional musicians. Christian's research/specific area of study is sacred liturgical music, with a concentration on the promotion of effective sacred music programs in the private school education system.

Along with teaching and conducting, Christian is an active singer having performed with The Children's Chorus of San Antonio, The San Antonio Chamber Choir, Trinity University Festival Choir, The San Antonio Choral Society, San Antonio Symphony, Chorus Angelorum, Piping Rock Singers and Bach Society Houston. In 2013, Christian made his countertenor debut with the San Antonio Choral Society as the soloist for Bernstein's Chichester Pslams and in 2019 made his debut with Bach Society Houston in their eight-singer performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Christian's love for music began at an early age in elementary school singing in church choir.

Christian holds an associate of arts degree in liberal arts/music from Northwest Vista College and a Bachelor's of Music degree in Choral Music Education from Sam Houston State University. He is currently pursuing his master's of music in Choral Conducting at Texas State University and is excited to continue the collaborative process with faculty and students.

Ivan Rodriguez, University Singers

A native of Grand Prairie, Texas, Ivan Rodriguez will enter the Fall 2021 semester as a graduate student in the Choral Conducting Program at Texas State University. He completed his undergraduate career at Texas State University in the Spring of 2021, receiving a B.M. in Music Studies with a Choral Concentration and Minor in Mariachi. During this time, he was granted the opportunity to perform with numerous ensembles, including Dallas-Fort Worth’s Mariachi de Oro; Texas State University’s Men’s Choir, University Singers, Chorale, Mariachi Nueva Generación and Mariachi Lince de Oro; Austin’s Mariachi Amor, and the San Marcos-based choral ensemble, Vocem Cordis.

Rodriguez’s early music training began primarily in Mariachi literature, exposing him to various ensembles and genres within Latin American music. With the guidance from his Maestro of seven years, Felipe Diaz Jr., he soon found himself attending Mariachi workshops and developing a passionate enthusiasm for the music of Mexico. In addition to the influence of his collegiate studies, his musical knowledge has developed through performing and teaching alongside the same master musicians who conducted the workshops he attended as a student. Distinctions in his career as a musical scholar include teaching at the 2019 Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque, participating in TCDA’s 2019 Student Conductor Masterclass, and being named a recipient of TMEA’s 2021 Collegiate Music Educator Award. His current engagements include active membership in Vocem Cordis and his position as musical director of Mariachi Amor