WIU Choirs

WIU Choral Symposium

Western Illinois University Choral Symposium

July 16-18, 2020

Western Illinois University School of Music, Browne Hall 130 

The WIU Choral Symposium mission is to serve and educate the  whole  person as conductor, teacher, leader, scholar, performer, and servant. This symposium will offer inspiring ideas, intensive classes, and abundant opportunities for you to grow and re-energize. We invite you to join conductors as we seek to “transform” ourselves, our students, our music making, and our art!

Symposium Mentors:

Dr. Brian J. Winnie, Director of Choral Activities
Western Illinois University

Dr. Geoffrey P. Boers, Director of Choral Activities
University of Washington


Space is limited, early registration is recommended to secure your spot!

About the Symposium:

This symposium is for both current teachers and college students! Together we will explore empathy and the science of embodied cognition in developing vocal technique, gesture, and communication that will go beyond merely producing an exemplary choir or quality performance. We will share ideas about gesture, vocal development through the lens of Estill Voice Training, rehearsal methods and pedagogy, and problem-solving strategies that are all intertwined and rooted in evidence-based research.

Participants will be given the opportunity to conduct/teach one another each day in mini-rehearsals and activities to "try on" the symposium ideas and techniques.

Symposium topics include:

  • Conducting: Making connection between gesture/sound/sensation through conducting sessions with feedback.
  • Pedagogy: Building rehearsal skills that are student-centered, sustainable, and transferable.
  • Vocal Technique: Engaging the whole singer and vocal mechanism to sing all styles.
  • Repertoire: Reading session packets and materials.

Unlike traditional one-day workshops, this symposium is meant to be repeatable. Our mission is to build a network of collaborative, supportive teachers to engage in peer-feedback and conversation throughout each school year. Each summer this symposium will help you re-center, re-focus, re-energize, and to connect with like-minded current/future teacher. Previous participants will work on advanced techniques and teach/mentor first-time participants throughout the symposium.

Tentative Schedule:

Thursday/Friday, July 16-17, 2020 

     8:30am     Registration/Arrival
     5:30pm     Daily Activities Conclude

Saturday, July 18, 2020

     9:00am     Arrival
     3:00pm     Conclusion

Registration Cost: 

$325.00/adult & $160.00/student before TBA; $350.00 after May 15, 2020

Checks should be made payable to  WIU Choirs
Checks must be mailed and postmarked before TBA for early-bird pricing to: 

Brian Winnie
202 Sallee Hall
School of Music
Western Illinois University
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455


 Continuing Education Units: 

CEUs will be available


Reading packets are included in the registration cost  

 Lodging Suggestions:

Make it Macomb.com / Stay


Olson Conference Center
WIU Conference Services
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455
Renee Hughes: RD-Hughes@wiu.edu
Phone: (309) 298-2413

Restaurant List:  View this PDF of Local Restaurants


Questions:  choirs@wiu.edu