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President of the Jury

T. J. HARPER is Associate Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities, and Chair of the Department of Music at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. During his previous tenure at Providence College he was honored to receive the Joseph R. Accinno Teacher of the Year Award.

Choirs under the direction of Dr. Harper have performed at Carnegie Hall in 2022, the 2017 National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Eastern Division Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, the 2014 NAfME National Conference in Nashville, TN, the 2013 American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) New England Collegiate Choral Conference in Keene, NH, the 2012 ACDA Eastern Division Conference in Providence, RI, the 2011 NAfME Eastern Division Conference in Baltimore, MD, and the 2010 Rhode Island Music Educators Association (RIMEA) Spring In-Service Conference. International performances by invitation include Costa Rica (2023), Austria (2015), Czech Republic (2015), Spain (2013), and Italy (2011).

Dr. Harper maintains an active schedule in the US and abroad as a guest conductor, clinician, and jury member. Recent engagements include headlining the China National Choral Conference and conducting the Beijing Harmonia Choir; Master classes for El Sistema and conducting the Venezuela National Choir. Additional engagements include residencies, guest conducting, lectures and master classes in Argentina, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Venezuela and honor choirs in California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island. He has been engaged as a lecturer, presenter, and guest speaker at the 2015 Yale University International Choral Music Symposium; the 2015 European Choir Games in Magdeburg, Germany; Harvard University, Hofstra University, and the New England ACDA Collegiate Choral Conference.

Dr. Harper is the Associate Director for the Jeju International Choral Festival in Jeju, South Korea, Associate Director for the Icheon World Choral Festival in Icheon, South Korea, the Associate Director for the San Juan Canta Choral Festival and Competition in San Juan, Argentina, the Associate Director for the World Youth Choir Festival and Competition in Jeju, South Korea.

Dr. Harper recently held positions as Board Member for the International Federation of Choral Music (IFCM), the past Chair of the ACDA Standing Committee on International Activities, and the Director of the ACDA International Conductors Exchange Program (ICEP). He was the President of the Rhode Island Music Educators Association (RIMEA) and the President of the Rhode Island chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.

Dr. Harper’s interests have led to research of the Nazi influence on German choral music and the music of Hugo Distler. His dissertation is entitled, Hugo Distler and the Renewal Movement in Nazi Germany. His research has also led to projects funded by the Providence College Committee on Aid to Faculty Research (CAFR) exploring voice-science in the choral rehearsal; the music of Johannes Brahms at the Brahms Institute in Lübeck, Germany and the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria; the music of Maurice Duruflé at St. Peter’s Abbey in Solesmes, France; and the folk music traditions of the Korean Peninsula at Dankook University in Seoul, South Korea. His publications have appeared in the ACDA Choral Journal, the International Federation of Choral Music (IFCM), the NAfME Online Choral Forum, the RIMEA Music Education Journal-RIMER, and he is also a contributing author to the recently published Student Engagement in Higher Education: Theoretical Perspectives and Practical Approaches for Diverse Populations. (Routledge)

Dr. Harper received the Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) degree from the University of Southern California where he graduated with honors. He received the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Choral Conducting from California State University, Northridge and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree and Choral Conducting from California State University, Fresno. He taught middle school and high school in the California public school system for six years and was honored for excellence in teaching in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. As a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, MENC, ACDA, Chorus America, NCCO and the International Federation of Choral Music (IFCM), Dr. Harper is an advocate for the promotion of undergraduate education and choral music in the public schools and institutions of higher education.
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Dr. Maria Emma Meligopoulou is Assistant Professor of Choral Conducting at the Macedonia University School of Music Science and Art, Thessaloniki, Greece. She holds a PhD and a Postdoctoral Diploma from Ionian University School of Music and a Master's Degree in Choral Conducting from Boston University College of Fine Arts. She is also recipient of a bachelor’s degree in Law, from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki School of Law. She is research associate at the Ionian and Aegean Universities, Greece.

Her international career spans in all continents with numerous performances of choral music and distinctions in international choral competitions. As adjudicator she has served is some of the most prestigious choral competitions, such as the Bali International Festival (Indonesia), the World Choir Games (USA, Russia, South Africa, China, Austria, Belgium etc.), the European Choir Games (Germany, Sweden, Latvia etc.), the Busan International Choir Competition (Korea), and many others in Europe (Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Austria etc.). As clinician she has lead seminars, lectures and workshops worldwide (Greece, China, Israel, Germany, Italy, USA, Canada, Sri Lanka etc.).

Dr. Meligopoulou is author of university textbooks Introduction to the Art of Choral Praxis (2011) and Choral Art in History, Theory & Practice (2023), along with score editing of choral music by Greek and international composers.
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Graduated from the Faculty of Arts of the National University of Cuyo as a Music Professor, specializing in Choral Conducting. In this Faculty he studied, among others, with professors José Felipe Vallesi, Elifio Rosaenz, Carlos Barraquero, Eduardo Grau, Guillermo Scarabino, Mirta Poblet, Susana Antón, Gloria Basso.

He completed advanced courses in Orchestral Conducting with Guillermo Scarabino and in Choral Conducting with: Eric Ericson (Sweden), Robert Sund (Sweden), Helmut Rilling (Germany), Sergio Siminovich (Italy), Mario Baeza (Chile), Jorge Fontenla , Guillermo Graetzer, Leonardo Waisman, Carlos López Puccio, María del Cármen Aguilar, Andrés Aciar, Nestor Andrenacci, Néstor Zadoff.

With the choirs under his direction he has performed in the most important cities in Argentina. In Latin America he has toured in Colombia, Chile, Brazil and Uruguay, as well as in Europe in cities in Italy, France, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia, having obtained First Prizes in important national and international competitions.

He served as a teacher in the Choral Conducting Chair at the UNCuyo Faculty of Arts between 1981 and 1992, then between 2008 and 2014, as well as teaching Choral Conducting courses at the San Luis School of Fine Arts.

He founded the Choir of the City of Mendoza in 1983, which he directed until October 2022. He is Director of the Women's Choir of the School of Teaching-UNCuyo (since 1986), Founding Director of the Choir of the University of Aconcagua (since 1995) , Founding Director of Coral Feminas (since 2013) and Director of Vox Prima – EnsambleVocal (since 2017)
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Dr. Pearl Shangkuan is a highly sought-after conductor, lecturer and clinician who has led performances and workshops on six continents. She is the National President-elect of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), having previously served on the Board of Directors of Chorus America, as well as ACDA central division president and ACDA Michigan state president. Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she is also the chorus director of the Grand Rapids Symphony, a Grammy-nominated professional orchestra.

Appointed in 2022 as the Editor of Hinshaw Music, a major choral music publisher in North America, she also has a signature choral series with earthsongs and is the music editor of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Choral series published by GIA. She has conducted several times at Carnegie Hall and other major concert halls in the US and was an invited guest lecturer at the World Symposium for Choral Music held in Seoul, South Korea. Her guest engagements regularly take her to Europe, Asia, and across the United States.

Dr. Shangkuan has served on the jury of several international choral competitions in Europe and Asia and has led conducting masterclasses for the ACDA national conference, Chorus America conferences, the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois Choral Conducting Symposium among many prominent programs, institutions and organizations in the US. She has conducted numerous All State choirs, ACDA national and division honor choirs, and choral festivals nationally and internationally and has headlined several ACDA state and other professional conferences.  She has commissioned and premiered numerous choral works and her choirs have performed at ACDA national, division and state conferences.

The Michigan YWCA honored her with its Arts Tribute Award in 2007. In 2013, Michigan ACDA honored her with the Maynard Klein Choral Award for “artistic excellence and lifetime leadership in choral music.” In 2023, the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) gave her its Honorary Life Member Award for “distinguished leadership and extraordinary service to the choral community, both nationally and internationally.”
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Phone & WhatsApp: +54 9 264 452 5301
Pasaje Cervantes 1625 norte
5400 San Juan, Argentina

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SAN JUAN CANTA complies with the quality guidelines stipulated by the IFCM (International Federation for Choral Music) and the CFN (The Choral Festival Network) for International Choral Festivals and Competitions.