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University of Mississippi Choirs
The University of Mississippi

We are proud to announce the judges for the

2021 Ole Miss Choral Festival!


A Virginia native, Marques L. A. Garrett is an Assistant Professor of Music in Choral Activities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the Glenn Korff School of Music. Before earning his PhD in Music Education (Choral Conducting) at Florida State University, he was the Director of Choral Activities at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, he holds an MM from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA from Hampton University. An active conductor, Dr. Garrett serves as a guest conductor or clinician with school, church, community, and festival/honor choirs throughout the country. In addition to his conducting classes at UNL, he leads conducting workshops at other universities and conferences. His formal conducting studies were with Dr. André J. Thomas, Dr. Carole J. Ott, Dr. Carl G. Harris, Jr., and Mr. Royzell Dillard. A versatile voice that performs both as a baritone and countertenor, Dr. Garrett has sung with several community, church, and university groups as both a chorister and soloist.

He was the baritone soloist for the Germantown Concert Chorus’s performance of Haydn’s Missa in Augustiis. His premiere as a countertenor in Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo served as the work’s European premiere in Limerick, Ireland. Additionally, he performed the role of Lil Lud in Bernstein’s White House Cantata with the Tallahassee Community Chorus. Currently, he sings with First-Plymouth Congregational Church (NE) and Festival Singers of Florida. Dr. Garrett is an avid composer of choral and solo-vocal music whose compositions have been performed to acclaim by high school all-state, collegiate, and professional choirs including Seraphic Fire and the Oakwood University Aeolians. GIA Publications, Walton Music, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Hinshaw Music, G. Schirmer, Beckenhorst Press, and Carus-Verlag have published several of his compositions. As a researcher, his most advantageous topic is the non-idiomatic choral music of black composers. His lectures at state and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and at other local and national venues afford him the opportunity to showcase this underrepresented area of music. Dr. Garrett holds membership in the American Choral Directors Association; American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers; National Collegiate Choral Organization; and Pi Kappa Lambda. With the National Association of Negro Musicians, he currently serves as the national scholarship chair



Jessica Nápoles is an associate professor of choral music education and conductor of the Concert Choir and interim chair of the Division of Conducting and Ensembles. A native of Florida with a Cuban-American background, Dr. Nápoles taught middle school chorus in the public schools of Miami and Orlando, FL. She received her bachelor of music education, master of music education, and PhD in music education from the Florida State University under the tutelage of Judy Bowers, Cliff Madsen, and André Thomas. Prior to her appointment at UNT, she taught at the University of Utah for 11 years in a similar hybrid teaching position, also serving as Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Dr. Nápoles is currently serving on the Steering Committee for the National ACDA, as Assistant Conference Chair and previously as the Honor Choir Coordinator.

Dr. Nápoles is an active conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, frequently engaging in guest conducting opportunities locally, regionally, and nationally. She has conducted All-State and honor choirs in California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Utah, as well as Southern division and Western division honor choirs for the ACDA.

In addition, she is a well known researcher, with numerous publications in journals such as the Journal of Research in Music Education, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, and the International Journal of Music Education. She is currently serving a 6-year term on the editorial boards of the Journal of Research in Music Education, the premier research journal in music education, and the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing, the ACDA research journal. Her research interests include music teacher education, teacher feedback, perceptions of effective teaching, and teacher talk; she has presented at conferences on these topics nationally and internationally.


Michael Hanawalt is the Associate Professor of Choral Conducting and Music Education at Florida State University, where he conducts the Chamber Choir, teaches graduate courses in conducting and choral literature, and serves as Artistic Director for the Tallahassee Community Chorus. Dr. Hanawalt was a founding member of the professional male vocal ensemble Cantus, serving as both its Executive Director and singing as part of the touring ensemble. Throughout his tenure with the organization, he recorded 12 CDs and performed in or oversaw the booking of over 500 concerts, including collaborations with the King’s Singers, the Boston Pops, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Minnesota Orchestra. Dr. Hanawalt is active as a tenor soloist and has won competitions sponsored by the Schubert Club and Thursday Musical. Recent solo performances include Mozart’s Requiem at Tarleton State University (TX) and Westfield State University (MA), Evangelist in Bach’s Matthäus-Passion at the Bethany College Messiah Festival of the Arts, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. He regularly serves as guest conductor for honor choirs, and his choral arrangements are published by Boosey & Hawkes, the Niel A. Kjos Music Company, and Colla Voce. Dr. Hanawalt holds the BM in Vocal Performance from St. Olaf College, the MM in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University, and the PhD in Choral Music Education from Florida State University.