2021 Virtual Summer Conference
The Alabama ACDA Board would like to offer a FREE virtual summer conference on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 consisting of live sessions from guest clinicians and pre-recorded material for all interested teachers, directors, students, and church musicians. Paid membership is not required to attend the virtual conference, but we hope you will become a member to help support our initiatives. Register today for same-day access when our conference site goes "live!"
Guest Clinician Bios
Dr. Jeffrey Allen Murdock is internationally known as a conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. He currently serves as Associate Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Arkansas where he conducts the Inspirational Chorale, the Razorback’s Chorus, and teaches courses within the choral music education curriculum. He is a 2016 Connor Endowed Faculty Fellow in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, a 2018 Golden Tusk Awardee, and the 2019 Faculty Member of the year for the University of Arkansas. He is also a finalist for the GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year.
Dr. Murdock appears regularly in concert, recital, and stage performances, having previously conducted the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the (Mississippi) Gulf Coast Symphony and has also performed as a soloist with the Memphis Symphony, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, and the Southern Mississippi Opera. Dr. Murdock’s love of scholarship and performance has led him to study and perform around the world. As a music educator, he loves to invest his knowledge and experience in the next generation of young musicians through clinic opportunities with secondary choral programs, conducting honor choruses, and mentoring choral music educators. Recent highlights include performances in New York, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, and Lisboa. In 2013, he made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting the Millington Chorale in a well-received concert of diverse repertoire.
While Dr. Murdock is an accomplished classical musician, he is also a skilled Gospel musician. He currently serves on the conducting staff of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. and has collaborated with Gospel recording artists, including Donnie McClurkin, Richard Smallwood, Mary Mary, Marvin Winans, Marvin Sapp, Lisa Knowles, and Kathy Taylor.
Dr. Murdock’s research interests include cultural hegemony in choral music education, social justice in music education, culturally responsive pedagogy in music education, and music in urban schools. He has presented at the National Research Conference for the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) as well as the World Conference of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) – Glasgow, U.K. Dr. Murdock is also a frequent research presenter at local and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors’ Association (ACDA) where he serves on the national committee for diversity initiatives, and as chair of student activities for the state of Arkansas.
Dr. Murdock holds both Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music in Conducting degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Music Education from the University of Memphis. In addition to NAfME and ACDA, his professional memberships include the ASCAP and the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO). He is also a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.
Dr. Emily Williams Burch began teaching in 2007, including time in children and youth community choirs, the public school setting, the professional development world, and at the university level. She is currently a visiting professor of music and coordinator of music education at the University of South Carolina, Aiken as well as the founder and artistic director of the RISE Young Women’s Chorale in Savannah, GA. On the side, Burch serves as an artistic advisor for Perform International and as a choral specialist for QuaverMusic.com. Burch holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting with doctoral minors in music theory and music history from the University of South Carolina, where she directed the University Women’s Chorus, taught Introduction to Music, and developed a course on the history of rock and roll. With a background in education, including a bachelors in music education from Louisiana State University and a masters in music education from Florida State University, combined with business classes from HBX, Harvard’s online business school, Burch has a passion for exploring and sharing innovative and effective teaching techniques and strategies and making music with choirs of all ages, as heard on her podcast “Music (ed) Matters.”
Dr. Burch has served in various service positions for the American Choral Director’s Association at the state, regional, national level in a variety of roles, including co-programming chair and honor choir coordinator for the Southern Region ACDA Conferences since 2014. Additionally, after completing a six-year term as Children’s and Youth Repertoire & Resources Chair, Dr. Burch now serves as the Youth Coordinator for the Southern Region ACDA and as a member of the National Standing Committee for Advocacy and Collaboration.
Choirs under Dr. Burch’s direction have performed regionally, nationally, and internationally including appearances at the Georgia Music Educator’s In-service Conference and the 23rd Anal Concors Internazionale Di Canto Corale, an international choir competition in Verona, Italy, where they received a gold award. That event sparked a passion for travel and the value in cultural exchanges in Dr. Burch which resulted in her being selected to travel to Sweden as part of the International Conductors Exchange Program in 2015.
She and her husband live in Savannah, GA where they are members of the Metropolitan Savannah Rotary Club and marathoners and run ambassadors who train with the Fleet Feet Savannah Run Club.