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2003 All-State Chorus & Orchestra Guest Conductors

Z. Randall Stroope
University of Nebraska Omaha


Z. Randall Stroope is widely known as a conductor, lecturer and composer.  Choral groups under his direction have taken thirty-five national tours and twelve international tours, including China , Japan , Russia , Sweden , the Baltics, Finland , central Europe , England , Canada and South Africa .  He is constantly sought after as a lecturer and guest conductor/composer, leading summer ACDA Conventions in eleven states over the past three years.  Dr. Stroope had performing groups on the 1999 ACDA National Convention in Chicago , and the International Society of Music Education in Pretoria , South Africa in 1998.  He has conducted the Florida (twice), Colorado , Alabama , Kentucky , Texas (twice), Georgia , North Carolina , North Dakota , South Dakota and New Mexico All-State Choirs.  Dr. Stroope was honored as “Outstanding Choral Director of Nebraska ” in 2000.  He conducts a festival at Canterbury Cathedral in England every summer, as well as festivals at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center , New York .  The University of Nebraska Omaha Concert Choir (which he conducts) will perform on the North Central ACDA Regional Convention during the Spring of 2004.  

Dr. Stroope presently lives in Omaha , Nebraska , where he is a Professor of Music and Kayser Professor at the University of Nebraska Omaha .  He serves as Director of Choral Activities at the University.  He also conducts Bel Canto, a well-known youth ensemble in the U.S.   Dr. Stroope has recorded eleven compact discs – two of his own music, titled Passages I & II: The Choral Music of Z. Randall Stroope

Stroope Interview
An introduction
How did you get involved in conducting this concert?
How were the students selected for the performance?
What is the conductor's role in a concert?
How do you get the chorus members enthused and involved?

How was the music for the concert selected?
And you also wrote some of the pieces?
How long did it take you to write the commissioned piece?
How do you go about writing?
Do you have to play the instruments to write for them?
What is the most challenging piece?
How does working with kids differ from working with adults?
How have the kids changed?
How have the kids become over-extended?
What do you hope the kids get out of this experience?
Any standouts?
Have you ever recorded anything?
What has been your favorite concert?
How do you feel about current popular music trends?
What about rap?
What’s next.
Any final words about this concert or music in general.

 Robert Gillespie
Ohio State University
Columbus , OH


Robert Gillespie, professor of music, is responsible for string teacher training at Ohio State University , which has one of the largest and most extensive string pedagogy degree programs in the nation.  Dr. Gillespie is national President-Elect of the American String Teachers Association.  He is a frequent guest conductor of All-State, Region, and festival orchestras throughout the country and Europe , and he has presented string teacher sessions, workshops, and conducted concerts at national and state music educator conferences in forty-three states and Canada .  His string education articles appear frequently in all the major music journals.  He is co-author of the Hal Leonard string method book series, Essential Elements for Strings, Essential Elements 2000 for Strings and Getting Started: Strolling String for MENC.  He is also co-author of the nw Oxford University Press book: Strategies for Teaching Strings: Building A Successful School Orchestra Program.  He received the Distinguished Scholar award given by his faculty colleagues in 2002-03 in the School of Music at Ohio State University

In summers, Dr. Gillespie directs the OSU Midwest Summer String Teacher Conference, one of the largest string/orchestra teacher training workshops in the country.  Dr. Gillespie is a string education clinician for Scherl & Roth String Instruments, a division of United Musical Instruments Corporation.  He is past president of the Ohio String Teachers Association.  In Columbus , he conducts the Columbus Symphony Junior Strings Youth Orchestra and is a performing violinist in the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra.

Gillespie Interview
An I
How did you get involved in conducting the 2003 All-State Orchestra concert?
How were the students selected for the performance?
What is the conductor's role in a concert?
How do you keep the members enthused and involved?
How was the music for the concert selected?
Do you have to memorize the pieces for the concert?
How many pieces do you have memorized?
What piece for the all-state concert is the most challenging?
How does working with younger talent differ from training music teachers?
Have the kids changed?
Any standouts? 
What is the goal of this kind of experience?
What instruments do you play?
As a teacher trainer, are you involved in text book writing?
How do you feel about current popular music trends?
 What is the state of music in this country?
 How does the midwest compare to other areas?
What’s next for you?
Any final words about this concert or music in general you’d like to share. 

Glenn McClure
Author of "Kyrie" & Steel Drum Accompanist

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