UA Doctoral Music Student Wins National Competition

The School of Music has made the American Choral Directors Association competition's "Final Four" six times running, highlighting the strength of the UA choral conduction program.
April 15, 2011
Music professor Bruce Chamberlain (left) and doctoral student Phil Moody. (Photo courtesy of the UA School of Music)
Music professor Bruce Chamberlain (left) and doctoral student Phil Moody. (Photo courtesy of the UA School of Music)

Phil Moody, a second-year doctoral student in the University of Arizona School of Music, has won the 11th National Choral Conducting Competition Graduate Division, sponsored by the American Choral Directors Association, or ACDA.

Moody was one of 12 doctoral choral conducting majors at the UA who vied for the honor to submit a videotape of his conducting to ACDA's national adjudication panel. The panel reviewed 150 videos from around the country.

At the ACDA conference in Chicago, Moody and seven other semi-finalists each conducted two contrasting works for an 80-voice choir of music majors from 22 colleges and universities.

Four finalists were then selected to conduct two more works before a different panel of judges. Moody emerged as the unanimous choice as the winner.

Bruce Chamberlain, a professor of music and director of choral activities at the UA since 2001, said during the last six biennial competitions, from 2001 thru 2011, the UA has always placed a finalist in the ACDA final four.

Moody is the second UA student to win. Lee Nelson, who won in 2005, earned a doctorate in 2008 and is now director of choral activities at Wartburg College in Iowa.

"In NCAA basketball tournament terms, the UA graduate choral conducting program has placed in the final four of the ACDA National Conducting Competition six times in a row and won the competition twice," said Chamberlain.

"We are thrilled about Phil's accomplishment and remain very proud of our graduate choral studies program here at UA. This competition highlights the top caliber of our graduate choral conducting students who come from every corner of the country and over the years have represented five continents."