Learn more about the Middle School Honors Choir.
Frank A. Watkins
Frank A. Watkins, a native of Omaha, Nebraska, taught secondary choral music in Texas for six years. He holds degrees in piano performance from Jackson State University (BM), the University of Arkansas (MM), and choral conducting from Northwestern University (MM) and Michigan State University (DMA). Watkins is in demand as guest conductor and clinician. Recent engagements include the 2013 Mid-Michigan Honor Choir, University of Nebraska Omaha Collegiate Choir Concert Series (2014), Dunn St. Croix Honor Choir (2015), Lakeland All-Conference Honor Choir (2015), University of Nebraska Omaha Middle School Honor Choir (2016), and the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra (2016). Future engagements include the 2016 Great Northern Conference All- Conference Choir and the 2017 Big Nine Festival Honor Choir in Red Wing, MN. He has presented workshops on choral methods for the International Music and Christian Arts Conference, Michigan State University, and the Ohio State University. In 2015 he presented at both the Wisconsin Music Educators State Convention and the National Collegiate Choral Organization National Conference. Watkins joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2014. In 2016, he was appointed Conductor and Music Director of the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra. A dynamic young conductor, Watkins' love and passion are teaching. He believes that in order to educate, you must first inspire! It is his goal to make an impact…not just an impression on the lives of those that follow his baton.
Christopher G. McGinley is a dynamic conductor and music educator based in the Twin Cities where he pursues the DMA in conducting at the University of Minnesota and directs music at Trinity Lutheran Congregation. He holds faculty positions at Augsburg University (music education) and the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire (music education and directing the Women's Chorus, Symphonic Choir, and The Singing Statesmen). His choirs are noted for their vibrant and nuanced interpretations of works from diverse eras and genres. A strong advocate for community music, McGinley has served intergenerational choirs in Philadelphia, Wisconsin, and Oregon. He holds degrees in conducting and music education from the University of Oregon and University of Delaware, and pursued further studies in conducting at the Frost School of Music. His mentors include Kathy Saltzman Romey, Matthew Mehaffey, Karen Kennedy, Sharon Paul, and Paul Head.
Dr. Craig L. Robertson is the current Choral Director and Assistant Professor of Music at Mary Baldwin University (Staunton, Virginia) where he leads the Baldwin Singers, MBU University Choir and Baldwin Charm (contemporary vocal ensemble), serves as a consultant to the student- led MBU gospel choir and conducts the Staunton Choral Society. Additional teaching assignments include: conducting, choral literature, music appreciation and all of the music education courses. As the former Director of Choral Activities at Sandy Creek High School in Fayette County, Georgia, choirs under his leadership has consistently received superior ratings at their annual performance evaluation and has led the chorus in performances at Spivey Hall (Morrow, Georgia), Carnegie Hall (New York), Jefferson Memorial (Washington, DC), Clayton State University (Morrow, Georgia), Walt Disney World (Orlando, Florida) as well as many other venues throughout the Metro-Atlanta area. Dr. Robertson’s students regularly performed with the Georgia Music Educators Association’s District Honor Chorus, All-State Chorus, All-State Sight-Reading Chorus and the Spivey Hall Workshop Choir. He also conducted the award-winning SCHS Gospel Choir and served as the school’s coach for the Georgia High School Athletic Association’s Literary Team where his Male Quartet was named Regional Champions.
Prior to this appointment, Dr. Robertson was the choral music director at Dutchtown Middle School (2008-2012) where he conducted the DMS Sixth Grade Chorus, Mixed Chorus and the Advanced Treble Choir which consistently received superior ratings at their annual performance evaluations. The DMS Choruses has presented performances at the Georgia Governor’s Mansion, Georgia Aquarium, Lincoln Memorial and at the 2011 Georgia Music Educator Association’s Annual In-Service Conference (Savannah, GA). In 2009, the DMS Choruses were awarded superior ratings and won Best Choir Overall at the Music in the Parks Competition (Orlando, FL). The judges at the OrlandoFest Music Festival awarded them 2nd and 3rd place rankings in 2012. The DMS Sixth Grade Chorus has also consistently received superior ratings at the CaroWinds Music Festival (Charlotte, NC). Additionally, students under Dr. Robertson’s instruction participate in District Honor Chorus, GMEA All-State Chorus, Spivey Hall Workshop, Sixth Grade Statewide Honor Chorus and Solo & Ensemble Evaluation. He has also taught choral music at Forest Park Middle School (Forest Park, GA), Reading Edge Academy (DeBary, FL) and Bonner Elementary (Daytona Beach, FL).
Dr. Robertson received a Doctorate of Music Arts in Choral Conducting and Literature from the University of Colorado (Boulder) where he conducted the University Choir under the direction of Dr. Andrea Ramsey, the CU Festival Singers, CU Summer Lab Choir and held a three-year appointment as the conductor of the CU Men’s Chorus. While in Denver, Colorado, he served as the Director of Music for Children and Youth Choirs at the historic Montview Presbyterian Church (Denver, CO) where he conducted their children and youth choirs, taught youth hand bells and assisted with the Westminster Choir holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Choral Music Education from Virginia State University (Petersburg, VA) and a Master of Music Education from Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA) where he studied with Dr. Patrick Freer. He also studied voice with Dr. Aldrich W. Adkins, Martin Strother, Curtis Rayam and conducting with Johnnella Edmonds (Virginia State University), Dr. Deanna Joseph (Georgia State University) and Dr. Dan Bara (University of Georgia). He has been a soloist with the VSU Concert Choir, Opera Workshop, Madrigal Ensemble, Intercollegiate Music Association Choir, African-American Heritage Chorale and the award-winning VSU Gospel Chorale. Additionally, he has performed with the Bethune-Cookman College Opera Workshop and as a soloist with the Daytona Beach Community College Concert Choir. In 1996, Dr. Robertson was awarded the title of Best Male Vocalist of the Year at the National Collegiate Gospel Choir competition in New York City and continues to perform with some of gospel music’s greatest artists. Dr. Robertson is a member of the National Association of Music Educators, Colorado Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association, Georgia Association of Educators and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.