As conductor, pedagogue, and scholar, Sandra Snow is widely acknowledged as one who brings singers of all ages and abilities to artful performance through an understanding of the music and its context in the world around them. As Professor of Choral Conducting and Music education at the Michigan State University College of Music, the MSU Women’s Chamber Ensemble has appeared as featured performers at American Choral Directors Association conventions at state, regional, and national levels. As guest conductor, she travels extensively in North America and abroad.
In 2017 Snow created mirabai, a project-based professional women’s chorus. mirabai features alumna associated with the MSU Women’s Chamber Ensemble. mirabai was a featured ensemble at the Texas Choral Director’s Association conference in 2018. The inaugural recording, Ecstatic Songs, was released in 2018. mirabai will open the 2020 conference of the Southwest Division of the American Choral Director’s Association.
Snow is the Artistic Director of the CME Institute for Choral Teacher Education produced annually at MSU. Snow is author of the DVD "Conducting-Teaching: Real World Strategies for Success" published by GIA (2009), a resource for conductor-teachers at all levels of teaching. She edits the choral music series In High Voice published by Boosey & Hawkes.
Snow is a recipient of the Michigan State University William J. Beal Award for Outstanding Faculty, the MSU Teacher-Scholar Award, and the Dortha J. and John D. Withrow award for Excellence in Teaching.
Cristian Grases joined the USC Thornton Faculty in the Fall 2010 semester as Assistant Professor of Choral Music and Conductor of the USC Thornton Concert Choir. Born in Venezuela, he studied in Caracas with María Guinand and Alberto Grau, and in the USA with Jo-Michael Scheibe and Josh Habermann. Dr. Grases currently serves as chair of the Ethnic and Multicultural Repertoire and Standards Committee for the Western Division of the American Choral Directors Association, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Federation of Choral Music.
Dr. Grases has participated in numerous festivals, workshops, and events as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and conducting pedagogue in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. He has published numerous articles and compositions and has won awards for his conducting and choral works. Among them is the prestigious award for the arts in Venezuela, “Orden José Félix Ribas” for artistic merit, and first prize at the Emerging Composer Competition at Yale University for his work Visiones del Llano – 2. Amanecer. Dr. Grases has been comissioned to write for several prestigious organizations such as the Piedmont Children’s Chorus and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and his works have been performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Additionally he is the editor of the Children’s and Youth Column for the International Choral Bulletin, and is in charge of the new Choral Series entitles “The Choral Music of Latin America and the Caribbean” published by Gentry Publications. This season Dr. Grases has been invited to guest conduct in California, New Mexico, Canada, and Japan.