Our State Officers
Will Gunn, President
Music Teacher, Plymouth Regional High School
William Gunn is the director of music at Plymouth Regional HIgh School where he conducts the Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Concert Choir, and Chamber Singers. He is also the music director of the Pemigewasset Choral Society in Plymouth, NH. Mr. Gunn received his bachelor of music in music education from Ithaca College and his masters of music in conducting from Colorado State University.
Alex Favazza, President-Elect
Director of Choral Activities, University of New Hampshire
Dr. Alex T. Favazza, Jr. is Director of Choral Activities at the University of New Hampshire where he conducts the Chamber Singers and Concert Choir and teaches Techniques and Methods in Choral Music. His research interests include Choral
Literature, Estonian choral music, and Music Education. Favazza earned his Ph.D. in Music Education and Choral Conducting from Florida State
University. He received his M.M. in choral conducting from the University of Southern
Mississippi and his BME in Vocal Music Education from Middle Tennessee State
University. Favazza is a native of Tennessee where he taught public high school choir
Krystal Morin, Immediate Past-President
Music Teacher, ConVal Regional High School
Krystal Morin is a graduate from Plymouth State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. She teaches at ConVal Regional High School in Peterborough, NH, where she conducts five choral ensembles and teaches general music courses. She is the current music director of the youth choir, Second Generation Manchester Choral Society (2GMCS), and teaches private voice and piano at Manchester Community Music School. She sings in the Manchester Choral Society and has served as both interim music director and assistant music director intern for the organization. She currently serves as secretary on the board of the NH chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. Krystal recently worked with the New Hampshire Music Festival to develop the New England Choral Institute, a one-week intensive for singers and conductors. Krystal also sings with the New Hampshire Master Chorale, VOICES 21C and travels every other summer with the New Hampshire Friendship Chorus.
Sandra Howard, Treasurer
Assistant Professor - Keene State College
Music Education, Teaching Music to Children, Choral Methods,
Directs the Canticum Novum, a KSC Chamber Ensemble, and the Chamber Singers of Keene
B.M.E., M.M., University of Maine; Ph.D., University of Missouri-Kansas City
Dr. Howard earned a bachelor degree of music education and master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Maine and a doctoral degree in music education/curriculum and instruction from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She taught choral and general music at Kennett Middle and Senior High Schools in Conway, New Hampshire. Howard also served as adjunct faculty member at Granite State College in New Hampshire, Blue River Community College in Missouri, and at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Dr. Howard has worked with singers of all ages including preschoolers to senior citizens and is an active conductor/clinician for honor choruses across the United States.
She has presented research and workshops at SRME Research Symposium, ACDA, and MENC regional and national conferences. Research interests include visual biases in vocal performance evaluation, body mapping techniques in the choral rehearsal, music educators’ interpersonal skills, singers’ motivation, and female researcher contributions to music education. Dr. Howard’s scholarship has been published in the Missouri Journal of Research in Music Education and Teaching Music and she is an active member of ACDA, MENC, and CMS.
Lauren is currently the choral director at Salem High School in Salem, NH. She also teaches other music electives. Lauren completed her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education at Ithaca College in 2002 and taught middle school chorus in both Byfield, MA and Derry, NH. In 2004 she was hired as an Assistant Conductor and the Director of Concert Production with the Young People’s Chorus of New York City (YPC), where she worked until 2007. Among her responsibilities with YPC were conducting the Young Men’s Chorus, a group of changing and changed voiced young men ages 12-18, and working with Francisco J. Nunez, founder, to prepare choirs and organize concerts for all divisions of the YPC. Lauren had the opportunity as part of her work with YPC to conduct and prepare the Young Men and other ensembles for performance on several tours, both domestic and international.
In 2006, Lauren served as co-chair of the Eastern Division Children’s Chorus at ACDA All-Eastern Festival. She has had the honor of guest conducting young singers in festival choruses in Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Lauren earned her Master’s Degree at Yale University in Choral Conducting in 2009. While at Yale, Lauren conducted various choirs including the Yale Recital Chorus, Yale Camerata, Yale Glee Club and others. Lauren was selected to perform as a soprano soloist with the Yale Glee Club on their South American tour in 2009. While in New Haven, she also directed an elementary/middle school choir of young women’s voices for the United Girl Choir. Lauren taught choral music and general music at Hunter College High School in NYC, a magnet school for gifted and talented students, from 2009-2012. She has also sung with choirs in New Jersey and New York City, including the Oratorio Society of NY and the Monmouth Civic Chorus. In addition to her responsibilities with choirs and schools, she has held several church positions, conducting adults and children, planning worship and playing organ and piano.
Blake Leister, Membership Chair
Music Teacher, West Running Brook Middle School
Blake Leister received his Masters of Music Education from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Bachelor of Music from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Since 2004, he has been the choral director at West Running Brook Middle School in Derry, NH where he also teaches a musical theatre class and directs a select choir and drama club. Blake performs with the New Hampshire Master Chorale and Tanglewood Festival Choir. In addition, he is a busy freelance musician and actively involved in the theatre communities of southern NH and northern MA. He is a proud member of NHMEA and the NH ACDA.
Founded in 1963, the New Hampshire Chapter has had a rich history celebrating and serving the Choral Directors of New Hampshire's Granite State.
Our Past NHACDA Presidents:
1963-1966 Walter P. Smith
1966-1968 Kendrick Munsey
1968-1971 Theodore W. Garland
1971-1976 Cleveland L. Howard
1976-1979 Terrance Anderson - Choral Director, Keene State College
1979-1981 Jean P. Nelson - Choral Director, Keene High School, Camber Singers of Keene
1981-1983 Carroll Lehman -Choral Director, Keene State College
1983-1985 Melinda O’Neal
1985-1987 Lisa Wolff - Director of the Manchester Choral Society
1987-1989 Stephen Denson
1989-1991 Priscilla French
1991-1993 Stephen Kushner
1993-1995 Scott Lounsbury - Choral Director, Belmont MS, HS, Dir. Suncook Valley Chorale
1995-2001 Tom Martin - Choral Director, Keene High School
2001-2003 Maria Courtney - Choral Director, Manchester Memorial High School
2003-2005 Sophia Santerre - Choral Director, Nashua High School South
2005-2007 Gwendolyn Baker - Choral Director, Portsmouth MS, HS
2007-2009 Madelyn Gearheart - Choral Director, NH Youth Chorus
2009-2011 Jay Chandler - Music Director, Pelham High School
2011-2013 Jay Chandler
2013-2015 Esther Rhoades - Choral Director, Monadnock Waldorf High School & Keene Unitarian Universalist Church
2015-2017 Jamie Bolduc - Music Teacher, Ellis School, Fremont, NH
2017-2019 Krystal Morin - Music Teacher, ConVal Regional High School - Peterborough, NH
Special thanks to Christina Prucha at ACDA National Headquarters for researching the Archives to compile this list. - ed.
Founded in 1959, the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) is a nonprofit music-education organization whose central purpose is to promote excellence in choral music through performance, composition, publication, research, and teaching. In addition, ACDA strives through arts advocacy to elevate choral music's position in American society. NHACDA was founded in 1963 and has had a rich history in NH choral music.
In 2013 New Hampshire ACDA will celebrate its 50th Anniversary. As the Board moves ahead and unveils this new website as well as the NH ACDA Community on www.ChoralNet.org, we hope that members will help build an organization that will be a benefit and resource that will continue to be a valuable resource for the Granite State, and through the world wide web, the world.