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Graduate Students

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Gregory A. Hilliard

Gregory A. Hilliard, Jr., a choral director from Tallahassee, Florida, is currently pursuing his Master of Music in Choral Conducting at Texas State University, studying under Dr. Jonathan Babcock, Dr. Joey M. Martin, and Dr. Craig Hella Johnson. In Fall 2018, his Graduate Assistant duties include Assistant Director to the Men's Choir and Instructor to the Lab Choir. Mr. Hilliard also serves as the Choir Director at First United Methodist Church, Lockhart, Texas. Mr. Hilliard has over 10 years of experience serving on the music staff of churches in North and Central Florida, most recently as Music Assistant for the large music ministry of choral, handbell, and steel pan ensembles at Trinity United Methodist Church in Tallahassee, Florida. He also holds certification in K-12 Music, and has taught chorus, keyboard, strings, musical theatre, and general music at the elementary through high school levels for seven years. Students and ensembles under his direction have achieved Superior rankings at district and state choral and solo/ensemble music performance assessments, and have been accepted to various state-level honors/All-State ensembles. Additionally, Mr. Hilliard was the music director of The Capital Chordsmen, the chorus of the Tallahassee chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Under his artistic leadership, the chorus has
placed as high as 2nd in Sunshine District chorus competitions. In 2015, he earned the status as a Barbershop Harmony Society Certified Director, and in 2017 was named Barbershopper Of The Year for the Tallahassee chapter. Currently, he currently sings in two international competition-level choruses, The Marcsmen, based in San Antonio, and South Florida's THX. He keeps an active schedule with the Association of eXtreme Quartet Harmony Brigades, recently guest conducting the chorus at AXQHB Rallies in Minnesota, North Carolina, and Texas. He has performed as a soloist with several choirs, notably the Sine Nomine Singers of Valdosta, Georgia; the Tallahassee Community Chorus, with whom he has served as a board member; and the
Florida State University Singers at their ACDA National Conference ppearance in Miami. Additionally, he was a section leader with the Tallahassee Civic Chorale, and a member/officer of the Festival Singers of Florida, appearing with them at the Southern Division ACDA Conference in 2012.Mr. Hilliard earned the Bachelor of Music Education and the Specialized Study Certificate in Sacred Music from Florida State University. A member of ACDA, NAfME, FUMMWA, Handbell Musicians of America, and an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, he keeps an active schedule as a solo/choral vocalist, guest conductor/clinician, adjudicator, and handbell musician.


Jenna Quiroz

Jenna Quiroz was born and raised in El Paso Texas. In the Fall of 2018, Jenna graduated from Texas state University where she earned her degree in Music Studies with an emphasis in choral music education. Jenna sang in the Texas State Treble choir, University Singers ,Texas State Choral and Vocalibre during her undergraduate degree. In 2018 she placed first in the Regional American Choral Director’s Association Choral Conducting Competition and has been a recipient of the Texas Association of Music Schools Scholarship for several years. She is currently working toward her masters degree, serving as the Graduate Director of the Texas State Treble Choir, under the direction of Dr. Lynn Brinckmeyer.

Jenna has a passion for teaching all ends of the age spectrum. She has served as an intern director for several children’s choruses all over Texas including the Austin Children’s Chorus as well as the Hill Country Youth Chorus. She has also served as the assistant director of the Cantamus Children’s choir at University United Methodist Church in Austin, TX. Jenna currently serves as a choral scholar at UUMC where she has regularly has beautiful opportunities to conduct the ensemble and congregation. Jenna also performs and conducts with local ensembles including early music group Les Ancients, and served as the head music director for the Choose to Dream Intensive Musical Theatre Summer Camp for children ages 6-18.

Jenna looks forward to continuing her education and growth at Texas State.


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Francis Nieves

Francis Nieves is a musician known for his diverse musical interests and his dedication to the Fine Arts. He is currently a graduate assistant at Texas State University studying conducting under world- renowned choral director and Grammy Award Winner Dr. Craig Hella Johnson. While at Texas State, he has had the opportunity to conduct every major ensemble including the Conspirare Youth Chorus of Austin, Texas. His most recent performance includes Benjamin Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb with the Texas State University Singers. Currently, he is working with the ensemble Aurora Voce, under the direction and mentorship of Dr. Lynn Brinckmeyer.

Francis is a character/Leggero tenor who specializes in early/ sacred music and opera. While attending Texas State, he studied voice under Brigette Bellini and Dr. Richard Novak.  Francis has performed as a member of the Texas State Men’s Chorus, University Singers, Chorale, the Texas State Symphonic Chorus, Texas State Rock Ensemble, and the Texas State Opera program. His performance credits include the role of LBJ's Advisor in the world premiere of the opera Lady Bird: The First Lady of the Land by Mollicone as well as Don Curzio in Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart, chorus in HMS Pinafore by Gilbert and Sullivan, and Buoso’s dead body in Gianni Schicci by Puccini. In February 2018, Francis performed as a soloist with the Texas State Chorale during the Texas Music Education Association Conference, for Craig Hella Johnson's Considering Matthew Shepard under the direction of Dr. Craig Hella Johnson.

​Outside of Texas State, Francis has performed with local ensembles such as the early music group Les Ancients who recently premiered Robert Fayrfax's Missa O Quam Glorifica and Aaron Copland’s In the Beginning. Francis is also a choir scholar for the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepard in Austin, Texas, where he performed as a soloist in their 2016 tour of Germany and the Czech Republic, performing and recording Russell Schulz's Requiem. During the summer, Francis often performs as the frontman and guitarist for his rock band, Cosmic Decay.

Francis is currently the producer of the podcast Texas State Choirs Today hosted by Dr. Jonathan Babcock, where guest artists and composers are questioned about the ins-and-outs of what they do in the choral world. Guests include recent Grammy Award nominee Jake Runestad, Stacy V. Gibbs, Craig Hella Johnson, Ralph Allwood, and many more. Available on itunes and spotify!  

Born and raised in Fort Hood, Texas, Francis received his bachelor's in Music Studies with a vocal emphasis from Texas State University in 2018 and will be graduating in 2020 with a master’s in music.

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Calieanne Proctor

Calieanne Procter is a recent graduate of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, where she earned a Bachelor’s in Music Performance with a concentration in classical voice. While at UNF, Calieanne studied under Dr. Cara Tasher and served as the Assistant Conductor to the UNF Women’s Chorus. In April of 2018, Calieanne served as the Assistant Conductor for the inaugural installment of the Jacksonville SINGS! Refugee Chorus, culminating in a benefit concert supporting local resettlement organizations in the Jacksonville area. During her time as a choral scholar at the Church of Our Saviour in Mandarin, she regularly conducted the parish choir, further developing her love for church music and the art of choral conducting. Ms. Procter has performed with choirs on international performance tours to Portugal and the Baltic States, and as a soloist with members of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and the Lawson Ensemble. Calieanne is currently working toward her Master’s in Choral Conducting studying under Dr. Joey Martin, Dr. Jonathan Babcock, Dr. Craig Hella Johnson, and Dr. Lynn Brinckmeyer, and currently serves as the Assistant Director to the Women’s Choir at Texas State. Ms. Procter looks forward to the rest of her time in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, learning and growing as a musician and human being.

Alicia Villarreal
Alicia Villarreal

Alicia Villarreal is a first year graduate student pursuing her Master of Music in Choral Conducting at Texas State University. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education at Arizona State University, and is a graduate of the Barrett Honors College where she completed her Honors Thesis titled “Jamaican Folk Songs in the General Music Classroom.” While at ASU Alicia participated in many ensembles, including the Concert Choir, Women’s Chorus, and the Sun Devil Marching Band.

Alicia is a certified music educator in the state of Texas, a member of TMEA  and ACDA, and has four years of experience in the secondary classroom. Most recently she served as the Head Choir Director at Running Brushy Middle School, where choirs under her direction received superior ratings at UIL contests, and students in her program were accepted into region choir ensembles. 

In her work as a teacher and conductor, she strives to create rehearsal spaces where all singers feel empowered, essential, and worthy. Alicia is excited to learn and grow in the thriving choral community at Texas State.

 

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Joung-A Yum

Joung-A Yum graduated from the music program at the Incheon Art High School, South Korea. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from the Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul, South Korea, with a Bachelor of Music degree in piano. In 2016 she finished her master’s degree from the Korea National University of Arts, Seoul, South Korea, in Choral Conducting.

As an accompanist, she formed a creative music group, Y & J, and worked for about two years, and the experience became an important part of my career and ensemble interest. Especially, the experience of participating in the composition music concert as a pianist developed her ability to interpret music as a conductor.

Joung-A is the founder of the modern music group Y & J, has been a member of the Seoul Choral Musicians conducted by Hong-soo Kim. She formerly served as the associate conductor of the Goyang Baroque Oratorio Choir in 2016 and the main conductor of the Sookmyung women’s choir in Sookmyung university for two years. With a strong calling to church work she alsoserved as directorof  the high mass choir in Sangsam-dong Catholic Church, Bucheon, and the Youth Choir in Saenamteo Catholic Church, Yeonhee-dong Catholic Church, Seoul, Korea,  and Catholic Martyrs’ Cathedral.

She hopes to build a variety of experience and grow into a professional conductor here at Texas State University with her faculty.