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Anton Armstrong

USA | President of the Jury

Anton Armstrong, Tosdal Professor of Music at St. Olaf College, became the fourth conductor of the St. Olaf Choir in 1990 after ten years in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he had served on the faculty of Calvin College and led the Calvin College Alumni Choir, the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus and the St. Cecilia Youth Chorale. He is a graduate of St. Olaf College and earned advanced degrees at the University of Illinois and Michigan State University. He is editor of a multicultural choral series for Earthsongs Publications and co-editor (with John Ferguson) of the revised St. Olaf Choral Series for Augsburg Fortress Publishers. In June 1998, he began his tenure as founding conductor of the Oregon Bach Festival Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy. During 2015-16 season, Dr. Armstrong will serve as the only non-Japanese juror for the 68th Japan Choral Association National Choral Festival. He is also serving as guest conductor of two of the finest professional choruses in the United States: The Houston Chamber Choir and The Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati. He has also been selected as Conductor of the 2016 Indiana All-State Choir and a plenary speaker for the North Central ACDA Conference in Sioux Falls, SD. In the summer of 2016, international lecturing appearances will take him to Hamar, Norway for the Norwegian Summer Choral School and the American Cantat 8 in the Bahamas. Additionally, he will lead choral festivals at Carnegie Hall, New York; Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa, CA; and St. Ignatius Church, San Francisco. He has received many outstanding awards: the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching from Baylor University in 2006, the Distinguished Alumni Awards from the American Boychoir School in 2007 and Michigan State University in 2009 and the Saltzman Award from the Oregon Bach Festival in 2013. In the Fall of 2014, The St. Olaf Choir and Dr. Armstrong received a Regional Emmy for the PBS television program Christmas in Norway with The St. Olaf Choir.

Vytautas Miskinis


Vytautas Miskinis (born in 1954) is the Artistic Director of the AzuoliukasBoys’ and Men’s Choir, as well as the Professor at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. He is also the President of the Lithuanian Choral Union. He graduated as Choral Conductor from the Lithuanian Academy of Music in 1976. He began his career in Azuoliukasat the age of seven as a vocalist, and continued as Artistic Director from the age of 25. He conducted the Kaunas State Choir and Vocal Ensemble of the Museum Musicum. He is the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the all Lithuanian Choir Festival. He has led the choral performances of this choir in some 25 different countries. He has conducted a great number of compositions for choir with symphonic orchestras. He also lectured and held seminars on the subject of ‘musical education and conducting’ in numerous countries all over the world. He has participated in numerous national and international choral events as composer and advisor. He also has conducted workshops in several Europa Cantat Festivals, World Choral Symposiums, and World Choir Games. Prof. Miskinis worked as a member of numerous adjudicating panels in international Choir and Choral Composition competitions all over the world (over 200 events), amongst which one must mention the World Choir Games 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014. He has composed approximately 400 religious motets a cappella, 18 Masses, Magnificat, St. John Passion, 4 Cantatas, 2 Musicals with orchestras and about 400 secular songs, which are performed and recorded by choirs throughout Lithuania and the rest of the World. A great number of his compositions have been published not only in Lithuania but also in several European countries, Japan, Singapore, and USA. He is awarded by many Governmental and National prizes.

Ko Matsushita


Composer and conductor born and raised in Tokyo. Matsushita graduated at the top of his class from the Kunitachi College of Music, Department of Composition, and went on to study chorus conducting under the late prof. Reményi János, and prof. Erdei Péter in Budapest and Kecskemét (Kodály institute), Hungary. He is currently the conductor and artistic director of 14 choirs, which are often invited to perform in Japan, Europe, America, Canada, and Asia. They have also achieved excellent showings in the choral circuit and won awards in international competitions. A prolific composer and arranger, Matsushita’s works are performed around the world. His compositions vary widely, ranging from works based on traditional Japanese music, Masses, motets, to etudes for choirs. Besides conducting and composing, Matsushita is also an active workshop clinician and lecturer both within and outside Japan. Most recently, His choir The Metropolitan Chorus of Tokyo and he was invited to the National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA as a guest choir and a panelist for Composer’s speak out, more over as a lecturer for reading session in February 2015. He is a member of the artistic committee of the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona 2017. In 2005, he became the first Asian to receive the “Robert Edler Prize for Choral Music” in recognition of his outstanding achievements worldwide in conducting, composing, performance, and education within the field of choral music. He is currently the Artistic director of the Karuizawa International Choral Festival and Tokyo Choral Alliance KOYUKAI, a board member of the Tokyo Choral Association, as well as a member of the Japan Choral Directors Association, the International Kodaly Society, and a representative of the Workshop of the Choral Expression. Furthermore he is a member of Japan Composers & Arrangers Association, Guest conductor for Beijing University Mixed Choir.

Shin-Hwa Park


Dr. Shin-Hwa Park is director of the Ansan City Choir, professor at Ewha Womans University, past president of the Korean Choral Directors Association (KCDA), vice president of Korean Federation of Choral Music (KFCM), director of the Ewha Chamber Choir and broadcasting host for FEBC-FM Christian radio. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in church music and vocal music from Yonsei University in Seoul and his D.M.A. in Choral Literature and Conducting from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Park is one of the most invited choral conductors and clinicians in Korea. He has served as guest conductor of the National Choir, Seoul City Choir, and many other ensembles. He also gives more than 40 lectures every year. Between 1996 and 2014 his choirs have produced 80 CDs. He also directs the Calvary Choir of Young-Nak Presbyterian Church, which con sists of 150 choir members. Dr. Park was the first winner of the Ulrim grand prize in 2004, and received the Ansan art prize the same year. The following year, he was selected as one of the best professors at Ewha Womans University, and in 2007, he was awarded Korean music prize. He is often invited to serve as a juror for choral competitions both at home and abroad. In 2011, the Ansan City Choir sang by invitation in the Papal Court of the Vatican. His choir also performed at the 2012 ACDA Northwestern Division Convention in Seattle, Washington, and is performing at the National Convention of ACDA in Salt Lake City 2015.

Chin-Seup Yom


Dr. Chin-Seup Yom has been the Professor of Choral Music at Baekseok Arts University and the Music Director in Uijeongbu Civic Chours in Korea. He earned the D.M.A. degree in choral conducting from Arizona State University, the M.M. degree in choral conducting from University of Hartford, Connecticut and the B.M degree in voice from Seoul National University, Korea. He was the Assistant Professor at the Presbyterian University, Korea and conducted the Christian Broadcasting Company Choir. Since 1998, he has been the Artistic Director and Conductor of National Chorus of Korea and has toured more than 10 major cities of the US, Canada, several European and Asian countries with them. He has successfully finished the 2002 International Choir Olympic as the Artistic Director, and served as a jury of the Sanghai International Spring Music Festival and the Qingdao International Choral Competition. He has also invited from the Conservatory of Tianjin of China as the Guest Professor for 2 years.

Hae-Jong Lee


Dr. Hae-Jong Lee, Associate Professor, has been the Director of Choral Activities at the Dana School of Music, Youngstown State University, YoungstownOH since 2002. Lee also serves as the Artistic Director of Stambaugh Chorus and Warren Civic Chorus, and the Chorus Master of Opera Western Reserve. Lee earned the D.M.A. degree from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, the M.M. degree from Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ, and the B.M. degree from Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. Lee has taught a wide range of vocal students in his private voice studio since 1986. He is also active in couching conductors. He remains active as guest conductor, competition jury, and clinician for a variety of choral events in the United States and Korea. Most recently he has presented a lecture of the same topic at the 10thWorld Symposium on Choral Music in Seoul, Korea during the summer of 2014.e visiting Korea, Lee also guest-conducted the Seoul Motet Choir and led multiple lectures and clinics for Korean choirs and choral work shops. He is an Honorary Conductor of Noel Choir and serves as an Overseas Advisor of Korea Choral Institute and Seoul Motet Music Foundation. He is an active member of professional organizations, including ACDA, IFCM, and NAfME.