Skip to Content

Graduate Students

Nathan Thompson, Aurora Voce

Nathan Thompson is a second semester 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, Men's Choir

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, Texas State Chorale

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 begin the collaborative process with faculty and students.

Alicia Villarreal
Alicia Villarreal, Texas State Treble Choir & University Singers

Alicia Villarreal is a second 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. 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 choral 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.

Currently, she serves as the Assistant Music Director at First United Methodist Church in New Braunfels. She is also the Assistant Artistic Director of Illumine, a Company of Young Voices. In her work as a teacher and conductor, Alicia strives to create rehearsal spaces where all singers feel empowered, essential, and worthy.