WIU Choirs

Dr. Winnie

Brian J. Winnie, D.M.A.

Associate Professor, Director of Choral Studies
Sallee 202
Office Phone: (309) 298-1378

Dr. Brian J. Winnie is the Director of Choral Studies Western Illinois University where he supervises the graduate choral conducting program, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in choral conducting and choral literature, and conducts the Chamber Singers and the "flagship" ensemble, the University Singers. He previously served as the Director of Choral Activities & Voice and was chair of the music department at Southwestern College in Winfield, KS. Prior to his tenure in higher education, Dr. Winnie was the Artistic Director of ChoralSounds NW, a community choir based in Burien, WA, and he taught for seven years in public education at both the middle and high school levels.

An active festival conductor and adjudicator, Dr. Winnie has been artist-in-residence in Ekaterinburg, Russia and has worked with festival choirs throughout the United States in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Washington, Kansas, and Alaska. He is a frequent guest lecturer/workshop leader and has presented at International, Regional, and State Conferences on "Contemporary Vocal Technique in the Choral Rehearsal," "Redefining the Choral Warm-Up," and "21st-Century Choral Pedagogy." Dr. Winnie has published articles in the Voice and Speech Review, Choral Journal, Voice Foundation Newsletter, International Choral Bulletin, and ChorTeach, and he is the editor and contributing author to The Choral Conductor's Companion and The Voice Teacher's Cookbook: Creative Recipes for Teachers of Singing both published by Meredith Music Publications and distributed by GIA Publications.

Choirs under his direction have performed at multiple state conventions and received accolades in both international and national competitions. Most recently, the Western Illinois University Singers won the 2021 American Prize in the Performance of American Music (University/College division) and first place at the 2021 International Choral Festival Wales. They have also won gold medals at the 2020 Rimini International Choral Competition (Italy) and the Harmony of Cultures International Competition (France). Dr. Winnie has also been honored with multiple awards having most recently been the recipient of the 2022 WIU College of Fine Arts and Communication "Excellence in Professional/Scholarly Activities" award. He was also the second-place winner of the 2020 national American Prize in Choral Conducting (Schools Division), received the "Exemplary Teacher Award" at Southwestern College, and the "Outstanding Young Conductor Award" presented by the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.

Dr. Winnie currently serves on the Editorial Board for the Voice and Speech Review, is the College/University Repertoire and Resources chair for Illinois-ACDA and serves on the Estill Voice International Board. His past positions have included Secretary for the Central New Jersey Music Education Association and Middle School/Jr. High Repertoire and Standards Chair for ACDA-PA. He is an active member of the ACDA, NATS, and NAfME.

A native of Pennsylvania, Dr. Winnie received his B.S. in Music Education from the Pennsylvania State University, Master of Music Education from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and his Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington. Additionally, he is a certified Estill Master Trainer and Estill Mentor & Course Instructor of Estill Voice Training. His research interests involve the integration of gesture and voice training in the choral rehearsal and the development of a 21st-century choral pedagogy encompassing all styles of music.

Recent Publications:

Winnie, Brian J. "What's in Your Vocal Model? Establishing a Voice Quality Ideal in the Choral Rehearsal." Choral Journal 62, no. 9 (June/July 2022): 69-73.

Winnie, Brian J. "Words Are in the Mouth - Quality Is in the Throat." ChorTeach 14, no. 1 (2021): 14-17.

Winnie, Brian J., ed. The Choral Conductor's Companion. Galesville, MD. Meredith Music Publications, 2020.

The Voice Teacher's Cookbook: Creative Recipes for Teachers of Singing. Brian J. Winnie (Ed), Galesville, MD. Meredith Music Publishing, 2018.

Winnie, Brian J. "Choral Pedagogical Planning for Student Success" in The Choral Conductor's Companion, edited by Brian J. Winnie. Galesville, MD: Meredith Music Publications, 2020.

Winnie, Brian J. "Serving the Students: Developing a Mise en Place" in The Voice Teacher's Cookbook: Creative Recipes for Teachers of Singing, edited by Brian J. Winnie, 130-132. Galesville, MD: Meredith Music Publications, 2018.

Winnie, Brian J. "Score Analysis for Vocal Skill Development." International Choral Bulletin. (In press)

Winnie, Brian J. "Gesturing Toward Our Vocal Goals." The Voice 25, no. 1 (2020): 17-19.

Winnie, Brian J. "The Horse Before the Cart: Redefining the Choral Warm-Up." Choral Journal 60, no. 9 (April 2020): 28-39.

Winnie, Brian J. "Reconsidering the Use of Metaphor in Choral Rehearsals." ChorTeach 10, no. 2 (2018).

Winnie, Brian J. "Bridging the Gap between Classical and Contemporary Vocal Technique: Implications for the Choral Rehearsal." Voice & Speech Review 11, no 1. (2017): 55-71.

Winnie, Brian J. "Exploring Breath Management & Rib Expansion’s Connection to Onset." The Voice 21, no. 3 (2016): 9 - 10.