The 2021 MSVMA Choral Student Leadership Conference has been canceled.

It was our hope to hold the 2nd MSVMA Choral Student Leadership Conference this summer with an in-person format. After careful consideration, it was determined that holding the SLC with students coming together was not yet possible. Holding a virtual conference was considered but it was determined it would not be the best format.

Plans are being developed for the summer of 2022. Information will be shared with the MSVMA membership as soon as dates and the location are secured.

Choral Student Leadership Conference 2022

Headliner: Dr. Matthew Arau
Lawrence University

Conservatory of Music

Questions? Please contact:

Wendee Wolf-Schlarf

Choral Student Leadership Coordinator
(231) 933-7571

Are your students eager to take a leadership role in your choir?  

Do you see leadership potential in some of your students and want to encourage them to learn more about leadership skills?

Join us for an inspirational and educational experience for high school and college students focused on examining, developing and enhancing leadership skills at the Student Leadership Conference (SLC) held in connection with the Summer Conference.

Dr. Matthew Arau, Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, will help students understand the importance of developing leadership skills and how to create a positive culture in choral ensembles. MSVMA members will facilitate Conference sessions.

Student leadership in the choral classroom provides the opportunity for emerging leaders to set the pace musically, organizationally and inspirationally within their choir community. Recognizing the potential of young people early offers them time to consider the type of leadership style that fits with their values and beliefs. Consciously considering the leadership styles that they are experiencing in their daily lives creates an awareness of effective leadership and its impact.


High School directors may register up to ten high school students per member school for the Conference. Registration fees include Conference materials, Tuesday evening dinner and Wednesday lunch. Attendees are responsible for travel, hotel and other expenses. Participation is first come, first served. Directors will be notified by email of student registration status. Once the conference has reached capacity, a waitlist will be established. Directors will be contacted should cancellations occur.

MSVMA college members who register for the SLC may attend the MSVMA Summer Conference at no additional registration cost. College members also have an opportunity to serve as mentors at SLC leadership team and may request consideration for this role by completing college registration. Mentors will have hotel and registration.

The registration deadline is June 15, 2021.

High School Application 

College Application

Choir Director/School Responsibilities
The Student Leadership Conference requires a 1:4 ratio of chaperones to students, provided by participating schools. Chaperones stay overnight and will be responsible for supervising students outside of conference activities. While attendees are not required to stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Port Huron, a conference rate is available at this hotel. 

Headliner: Dr. Matthew Arau,

Lawrence University Conservatory of Music

Dr. Matthew Arau is the Chair of the Music Education Department and Associate Director of Bands at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin where he teaches conducting and instrumental music education courses and is the conductor of the Symphonic Band, associate conductor of the Wind Ensemble, and guest conductor of the Symphony Orchestra.

In demand as a music teacher and speaker, Dr. Arau has presented on leadership, growth mindset, rehearsal techniques, and creating positive cultures at the following: the International Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Western International Band Clinic, numerous State and Regional Music Education Association Conferences, the American Choral Directors Association NextDirection Conference, the Conn-Selmer Institute, and universities, music camps, school districts, and schools in 25 states and 4 continents. Dr. Arau has taught student leadership in Singapore, Malaysia, Greece, and Cyprus. In February 2019, Dr. Arau delivered the keynote address at the Northwest NAfME (National Association for Music Education Conference) and he will deliver the keynote address at the National NAfME Conference in November 2019 in Orlando, Florida to all of the high school national honor ensembles. Dr. Arau also serves as a Conn-Selmer Education Clinician.

In addition, Dr. Arau conducts and clinics all-state bands and honor groups across the United States and around the world. He has conducted honor bands in Australia, Greece, Cyprus, and Malaysia, the Michigan All-State Middle School Honor Band, the Texas Region 26 Honor Band, and the South Carolina All-State Band. In 2020, Dr. Arau will be conducting the Utah All-State Middle School Honor band, and honor bands in Indiana, Montana, and West Virginia. The Instrumentalist, Bandworld Magazine, Make Music Inc., and Conn-Selmer have published his articles on leadership and teaching music. Dr. Arau draws on a deep reservoir of fifteen years of experience as a successful middle school and high school band director in Loveland, Colorado, where he led his groups at Loveland High School to numerous championships and pioneered the Leadership Symposium.

Dr. Arau holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting and Literature from the University of Colorado Boulder and a Master of Science in Music Education from the American Band College of Southern Oregon University. He graduated magna cum laude from Lawrence University, where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Music Education, Music Performance (Classical), Music Performance (Jazz Studies), and a Bachelor of Arts in Government. He resides with his wife, Merilee, in Neenah, Wisconsin.


Michigan School Vocal Music Association

P.O. Box 1131

Big Rapids, MI 49307-1131

(231) 592 - 9344


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