Northwest Georgia Choral Festival | Shorter University

Northwest Georgia Choral Festival

NWGA Choral Festival Sign

Monday, October 17, 2016

Shorter University is excited to host the 21st Annual Northwest Georgia Choral Festival for high school students (grades 9-12) and elementary and middle school male treble voices, female or unchanged male (grades 4-6) and their directors. Students will spend the day in choral clinics and rehearsals with festival clinicians and work toward an evening concert in Shorter’s Winthrop-King Centre at 6:30 pm

The public is invited to attend the final concert featuring the festival choirs and the Shorter Chorale.

For more information, please contact Festival Coordinator Ruthie Phillips at

All festival registration forms are online

Registration for the 21st Annual NWGA Choral Festival is now open. Please click on one of the following links to register your students:

High School Choir –

Treble Choir –

NWGA Choral FestivalRegistration Fee & Requirements

$30 per student (for high school or elementary/middle choir participants).

Registration forms must be accompanied by full payment. Forms sent without payment will not be considered for registration until payment arrives. Registration forms are processed in the order they are received until the festival choirs are full. Registration fees are non-refundable.

High School Requirements

Directors may bring as many students as desired as long as the ensemble is balanced (i.e. two first sopranos, two second sopranos, two first altos, two second altos, two first tenors, two second tenors, two first basses, two second basses). Please be aware that, in order to preserve balance of the choir, some students may be revoiced if necessary. If you have questions regarding balance, please email Ruthie Phillips at

Festival Schedule For High School Choirs
8:00 – 8:30 AM Check-in at Minor Fine Arts Building
8:45 AM – Noon Rehearsal
12 Noon – 1:30 PM Lunch break (Directors at Luncheon)
1:30 – 4:00 PM Rehearsal with Shorter ensembles
4:00 – 5:45 PM Dinner Break
6:00 PM Warm Up
6:30 PM Concert

Treble Choir Requirements

For the treble choir, directors may bring female or unchanged male treble voices in grades 4-6. Parts 1 or 2 will be assigned to students after registration has been completed.

Festival Schedule For Treble Choirs
8:00 – 8:30 AM Check-in at Winthrop-King Centre
8:45 AM – Noon Rehearsal
12 Noon – 1:30 PM Lunch break (Directors at Luncheon)
1:30 – 3:30 PM Rehearsal with Shorter ensembles
3:30 – 5:45 PM Dinner Break
6:00 PM Warm Up
6:30 PM Concert


The concert will begin at 6:30 PM. Admission to this event is free.

Concert Attire for Students

Performance attire for the NWGA Choral Festival is formal. Students may wear their formal, school chorus uniforms for the concert. Students may change into formal wear during their dinner break. Changing rooms on campus will be provided for students who need them. If you have any questions, please contact Ruthie Phillips at


Treble Choir

“Winter Is Coming Soon” by Jeffrey Smith and John Parker. Shorter University owns a subscription to this piece from A PDF of this music will be emailed to each director once registration is received.

Winter Is Coming Soon – Part 1
Winter Is Coming Soon – Part 2

“Jazz Cantate” by Andy Beck

Jazz Cantate – Part 1
Jazz Cantate – Part 2

“Where Go the Boats?” by Mary Lynn Lightfoot

Where Go the Boats – Part 1
Where Go the Boats – Part 2

High School Choir

The Last Words of David by Thompson

The Last Words of David – Alto
The Last Words of David – Bass
The Last Words of David – Soprano
The Last Words of David – Tenor

Now Touch the Air Softly by LaBarr

Now Touch the Air Softly – Alto
Now Touch the Air Softly – Bass
Now Touch the Air Softly – Soprano
Now Touch the Air Softly – Tenor

Let Everything that Has Breath by Ames

Let Everything that Has Breath – Alto
Let Everything that Has Breath – Bass
Let Everything that Has Breath – Soprano
Let Everything that Has Breath – Tenor

Music packets for each choir may be ordered through JWPepper. It is the director’s responsibility to order music packets for their students.

Treble Choir #10651997
High School Choir #10652000

2016 Clinicians

Treble Choir – Dr. Patty Nelson
Assistant Professor of Music / Director of Music Education
Shorter University

Patty NelsonDr. Patty Nelson is a life long music teacher.  She has taught elementary music in the public school system, taught private piano and organ lessons, and is proud of the over 30 years she has served several churches leading and teaching children’s choirs.  She has also taught teacher certification and classroom excellence at the college level for education majors, and also supervised student teachers in the school of music.

Patty holds a BA in Piano from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. and Master of Church Music from Southwestern Theological Seminary, and most recently completed her doctorate in Education, in Curriculum and Instruction, from Baylor University.  She holds a Music Education Teacher Certification and is Orff Certified. Patty’s research emphasis is in the areas of beginning piano curriculum and the use of learning theories in both the private studio and the music classroom.

Dr. Patty Patterson Nelson and her husband Ed have been married for over thirty years and have two children.  Their daughter, Michal and her husband Nathan, are both music educators in West Texas, and their son Edward III (Tres), is in the United States Marine Corps.

High School Choir – Dr. Aaron Rice
Assistant Professor of Music & Director of Choral Activities
Shorter University

Dr. Aaron RiceAaron M. Rice serves as Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities in the Edith Lester Harbin Department of Music at Shorter University, where he conducts the Shorter Chorale, Men’s and Women’s Choirs, and the Shorter Chorus. He teaches conducting and choral methods for students in the music education and church music degrees.

Prior to his appointment at Shorter, Dr. Rice taught at Chowan University in Murfreesboro, NC. Under his leadership, the choral department expanded to include the Chowan University Singers, the Chowan University Chorus, and the Chowan University Men’s Choir. Rice also maintained a voice studio and oversaw the conducting curriculum. Rice has prepared choirs for performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. While completing his DMA, he served as Associate Conductor for the Southwestern Master Chorale, which routinely performed with the Fort Worth Symphony.

A native of North Carolina, Rice received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Church Music and Choral Conducting at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas where he studied with David Thye. He earned the Master of Music degree in Sacred Music and Choral Conducting at East Carolina University as a student of Daniel Bara, and the Bachelor of Arts degree in both biblical studies and comprehensive music from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC.

As a member of American Choral Director’s Association, Rice has performed as a chorister on state and regional concert programs. He most recently served as the Exhibits Chair for North Carolina ACDA. Rice is also an executive board member of the Baptist Church Music Conference and a member of Pi Kappa Lambda.

Dr. Rice lives in Rome with his wife, Lane, and their two children.


The registration fee will cover the cost of lunch, snacks and drinks on the Shorter campus (chaperoned by Shorter ensemble members) for student participants. Dinner is not included in the registration fee. Chaperone lunches are available for $5 each.

Conductors’ Luncheon

Choral directors are invited to attend a complimentary luncheon from noon to 1:00 PM. Each choral director receives a complimentary meal. Chaperones may attend the luncheon if desired for a cost of $20 per meal.

If you have any questions, please contact Festival Coordinator Ruthie Phillips at


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