These events encourage students to strengthen musicianship and provide a great introduction to department programs. Programs and festivals topics rotate regularly. Information on current programs and festivals can be found below.
High School Composition Competition
Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Maryland high school students currently in grades 9-12 are invited to enter a composition competition hosted by the Department of Music at Susquehanna University. Learn more about Composition at SU.
The composer of the winning piece will receive a $1,000 prize and an invitation to the premier of their piece at Susquehanna in the spring of 2023 (March/April).
Submission Deadline: Friday, Jan. 20, 2023 at 6 p.m.
Works must be for two to seven performers and three to 10 minutes in duration.
Instrumentation is flexible, although standard classical instruments are preferred. For example, a work for two singers, piano, flute, violin and percussion would be preferred over a work for four electric guitars and organ, although that work would still be eligible.
Winners will be contacted by February 20, 2023. Winners and runners-up will receive feedback from the jury.
Please contact Patrick Long, professor of music, with any questions.
Susquehanna University Honors Band Festival
February 17–19, 2023
This unique event is designed to give talented high school woodwind, brass and percussion players an opportunity to share their passion for music with similarly motivated students. We look forward to working with you on our beautiful campus!
To ensure your safety while you are guests of Susquehanna University, all high school musicians accepted to the Honors Band Festival are required to be fully vaccinated for Covid–19. Students requesting a Covid-19 vaccination exemption on medical or religious/philosophical grounds should submit a Covid-19 Vaccine Exemption Request Form.
Students apply via the online formdeadline extended to Friday, Dec. 9.
Susquehanna University Choral Festival: United We Sing
The first annual Susquehanna University Choral Festival was held Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, with great success!
Check back for the 2023 event date and details.
About the event: Susquehanna University’s Music Department invites high school choral ensembles to participate in United We Sing, a one-day clinic and festival concert. Choral directors can register their full ensemble to perform a song for the clinic and participate in the festival concert, or can elect to bring any number of singers to observe the onstage clinic and participate in the festival concert.
Stacey V. Gibbs is a prolific and highly sought-after composer, arranger and clinician. Best known for arrangements of spirituals, he is highly acclaimed for his ability to infuse new energy into familiar works without sacrificing their authenticity or power.
Gibbs recently collaborated with composer Shawn Kirchner to create the song No Color, which addresses unity among all people. His arrangement of Go, Tell It on the Mountain, performed by True Accord, peaked at No. 5 on Billboard Classical and No. 1 on Amazon Classical Music in December 2019. His setting of Elijah, the spiritual, was released this summer and performed during the World Choir Games in Korea. He is currently preparing his return to Carnegie Hall in 2023, featuring the work If My People.
He was featured with award-winning composer Eric Whitacre in the 2021 Inspire the Choir festival, where he served as moderator of African American women conductors for Black History Month, and included acclaimed composer Rosephanye Powell. He will be introducing a new choral series that emphasizes female African American composers.
Maestro Gibbs’ spirituals have been performed by the King’s Singers of England, United States Air Force Sergeants, the Stellenbosch Choir of South Africa, the University of Southern California Chamber Singers, and many others. His music has been programmed at all state festivals, National Association of Music Educators Festivals, the World Choir Games and regional and national American Choral Directors Association Conventions. His music was featured at the 57th Inaugural Service for President Barack Obama.
Gibbs serves as clinician for university, high school, professional and church choral ensembles. A management professional with 20 years of experience, Gibbs holds membership in ACDA and currently resides in Detroit, Michigan.
Amy Voorhees is the director of choral activities at Susquehanna University and holds the Cyril M. Stretansky Professorship in Choral Music. Voorhees conducts the University Choir and Chamber Singers and teaches courses in choral conducting and choral methods, and supervises student teachers.
Voorhees was recently appointed to the CORO/Simpson College Summer Master’s in Choral Conducting Program as a resident conducting faculty member. She teaches conducting lessons, leads masterclasses, presents seminars, produces concerts and assists in the choral literature course each summer.
Voorhees holds a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from Simpson College, a music education certificate, a master’s degree in administration and educational leadership and a Doctor of Musical Arts.
Prior to her studies at MSU, Voorhees taught in public schools for over 15 years, from elementary through high school levels. Her most recent appointment was the director of choral activities, where she supervised staff and accompanists while overseeing 11 different choral ensembles — including successful show and jazz choir programs. She had an active voice studio and accompanying schedule as well, playing for several local churches and directing adult and youth choirs.
Voorhees is in demand as a clinician, guest conductor and presenter. She has worked with choirs and conducted festivals in Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Her presentations and workshop sessions have been shared at colleges, universities and numerous ACDA and NAFME state conferences.
She is a member of NafMe and the American Choral Director’s Association serving on the Pennsylvania-ACDA executive board as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator. She previously served on the state ACDA Board of Directors for Iowa and the Michigan State Vocal Music Association as coordinator of student activities.