Meet the Conductors

Ruth Dwyer – Children’s Choir (SSA) 
Mary Ellen Junda – Youth Treble Choir (SSAA)
Jason Holmes – Youth Mixed Choir (SATB)
Jeffery Redding – Concert Treble Choir (SSAA)
Rollo Dilworth – Chamber Choir (SATB)

Ruth E. Dwyer is internationally recognized as a treble and children’s choir specialist and Kodály educator. She has been the guest conductor for the OAKE National Children’s Choir, numerous ACDA All-State Choirs and NAfME. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Hoosier Hills Choral Festival in Southern Indiana. She founded and directed Philanthropy Through Song, which presented choral festivals supporting anti-drunk driving education. Mrs. Dwyer is a frequent guest conductor with Texas International Choral Festival, MidAmerica Productions, the New England Symphonic Wind Ensemble and guest lecturer in São Paulo, Brazil where she conducts the GRAN FINALE Festival Nacional de Corais Infantis e Jovens.

Mrs. Dwyer has been a conductor and Director of Education with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir for 33 years. She recently added the title of Composer in Residence to her ICC honors. She is celebrating nearly 30 years as the Founder and Artistic Director of the Columbus Indiana Children’s Choir, a co-operative effort of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. Her ensembles have performed for the Indiana Music Educators Association, the AOSA National Conference, in New York City’s Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, across North America and throughout Spain and Central Europe. She has prepared ensembles for performances with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Butler Ballet, the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Indianapolis Opera and numerous other organizations.

Mrs. Dwyer served the State of Indiana for 19 years as a public school music educator. Her teaching experiences include all levels of music instruction from 3 year olds to post graduate students. She has received the Organization of American Kodály Educator’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Golden Baton Award, the IMEA Elementary Music Teacher of the Year, the Hoosier Musician Award and the Indianapolis Public Schools’ Rising Star award. She is an accomplished choral composer, arranger and the editor of the Ruth Dwyer Choral Series with Colla Voce Music, LLC https://collavoce.com/ distributed by Canticle Distributing Company.

Mrs. Dwyer has authored and published three curriculum books for ICC and is a frequent guest author for the Hal Leonard choral textbooks series. She also teaches at Butler University and works as a studio conductor for a variety of national and international music publishers.

Ruth E. Dwyer is a graduate of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She enjoys traveling, reading, crocheting and gardening.


Mary Ellen Junda, Professor of Music at the University of Connecticut, is recognized as an innovative educator, conductor, scholar and recording artist. Her teaching, research and creative activity centers on social justice, social consciousness, culture and song.

Dr. Junda is founding director of UConntabile, the university’s treble chorus, and Earthtones, the world music vocal ensemble. Earthtones’ unique multi-media performances have included the music, history and culture of Trinidad and Tobago, the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War Era, Gullah Geechee people and the Irish-American experience. Dr. Junda developed Sing and Shout! A History of America in Song as unique university general education academic course that integrates history and culture with communal singing and song-writing. As a Service-Learning Fellow, she used song-writing as a tool for students to develop a deeper connection to a community and a richer understanding of cultural diversity. As a Summer Scholar for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Institute on Global Music and Culture she further refined her pedagogy, with subsequent articles featured in The Choral Journal, General Music Today and College Music Symposium, and as co-author in the International Journal of Education and the Arts.

Dr. Junda was co-director for four Landmarks in American History and Culture Programs, Gullah Voices: Traditions and Transformations, awarded $730,000 by NEH. Gullah Voices brought teachers from throughout the nation to study Gullah music and culture in Savannah, GA with the proceedings archived in the Connecticut Digital Archives. She is co-author of “Social Protest and Resistance in African American Song” the lead chapter in Songs of Social Protest: International Perspectives and “Gullah Voices: Bridging Cultures Through the Arts and Oral Tradition” in the International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies. Recent conference presentations include the 2021 IKS Conference, 2020 ACDA Eastern Division Conference; 2019 OAKE Eastern Division Conference; 2019 Choral Symposium: Relevance (co-sponsored by ACDA); College Music Society National Conference; International Symposium for Singing, Canada; Songs of Social Protest, Ireland; and Protest Songs and Social Justice, Portugal.

Dr. Junda was awarded the Howard Foundation Fellowship in Music Performance from Brown University in recognition of her exemplary choral musicianship. Her Singing with Treblemakers recordings earned four Parents’ Choice Awards, including a coveted Parents’ Choice Classic Award, and continue to be recognized globally on several music streaming services as models of children’s vocal artistry. As director of The Main Street Singers from 2004-2011, Dr. Junda led the diverse children’s choir in performances throughout the region.

Dr. Junda earned a BM magna cum laude from the University of Hartford, MMEd from Holy Names University and an EdM and EdD from Teachers College, Columbia University. She currently serves as union president of UConn-AAUP, working to ensure the safety and well-being of 1800+ faculty and coaches during the COVID-19 pandemic and their rights in collective bargaining.


Jason Alexander Holmes is a music educator and performer from Ridgeway, VA and currently serves as the Artistic Director of the Cincinnati Boychoir. Before coming to Cincinnati, he was Director of Educational Programming at the Boston Children’s Chorus. Prior to his time in Boston, Jason taught music at the elementary and secondary levels. He also led the University of Rochester Gospel Choir and the Eastman Young Children’s Chorus.

Choirs under Jason’s direction are consistently praised for their energetic, unified tone and engaging performance. Audience members and colleagues in the choral field notice the expressive ways in which singers use their voices and bodies to communicate. Additionally, Jason is known for innovative programming which celebrates the cultural context in which his choirs operates while encouraging singers and audiences alike to stretch their awareness by living in musical worlds to which they may not be accustomed.

Pedagogically, Jason is committed to implementing culturally responsive practices in music education. He has given workshops and conferences sessions on this topic at professional development seminars, schools, and music education and choral conferences.

As a bass-baritone, Jason has had the pleasure of performing repertoire from contemporary music theatre standouts like Jason Robert Brown’s Parade to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Also in the worlds of musical theatre and opera, Jason has served on the faculty of the Geva Theatre’s Summer Academy (Rochester, NY) and as chorus master and young artist coach and music director for Finger Lakes Opera (Canandaigua, NY).

Jason holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Ithaca College, where his mentors and teachers included Drs. Susan Wharton Conkling, William Weinert, Constance Haas, Brad Hougham, and Susan Avery.

At the core of Jason’s teaching and performing is the belief that we are all expressive and musical beings who deserve to witness and participate regularly in moments of truth and beauty.


Jeffery Redding, Director of Choral Activities at West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Florida, has led his choirs in performances at state, regional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors’ Association (ACDA). West Orange choirs have earned first place awards at Heritage Festivals of Gold in California, Chicago, New York and at the Festival of Spirituals in Washington D.C. While participating in the International Music Festival in Verona, Italy, West Orange received the Gold Award for best choir, with Dr. Redding honored as top director.

Nationally, Dr. Redding is in demand as a guest conductor and lecturer. He has conducted the ACDA National High School Honor Choir, the Central Division ACDA Honor Choir, the North Central Division ACDA Honor Choir, the Eastern Division ACDA Honor Choir and All-State and Honor choirs in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, South Dakota, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. In 2014, he was the only American adjudicator at the International Choral Festival, Verona, Italy and most recently, he conducted at the TAISM Festival of Choirs in Muscat, Oman. He is also one of the conductors for Disney’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot.

Previously Director of Choral Activities at West Virginia University (WVU), Dr. Redding has been featured as guest conductor at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kennedy Center, and Orchestra Hall on numerous occasions. He was also honored to give the prestigious TEDx Talk.

Recognized for his achievements and service in the profession, Dr. Redding was awarded the R. Wayne Hugoboom Distinguished Service Award for dedicated service, leadership, and excellence by the Florida Chapter of ACDA in November 2015 and was also a 2017 Quarterfinalist for a Grammy Award for Music Education.

Dr. Redding is founder and Artistic Director of the Garden Community Choir in Winter Garden, Florida. Formerly with the Moses Hogan Singers, he remains active as a singer in the professional male singing group, “Brethren.” The Jeffery Redding Passion and Purpose Choral Series is a compilation of new choral music by various composers, published by Cola Voce Music, Inc.

Dr. Redding holds a Ph.D. in Choral Conducting/Music Education and a Master of Music Education, both from the Florida State University, and a B.S. in Music Education from Florida A&M University. He is a member of ACDA, NAfME, FVA, NATS, and Chorus America. In the Florida Vocal Association (FVA) he has served as District 8 Chairperson. In the Florida ACDA, he has served as State R&R Chair for Ethnic Music/Multicultural Affairs, Co-Chair for the High School Mixed Honor Choir, and Youth/Student Activities. Currently, he is the State R&R Chair for High School Mixed Choir for Florida ACDA.


Rollo Dilworth is Vice Dean and Professor of Choral Music Education in the Department of Music Education and Therapy at Temple University’s Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts in Philadelphia, PA. He has served on the faculty since 2009. Over 200 of Dilworth’s choral compositions and arrangements have been published, and many are part of the Henry Leck Creating Artistry Choral Series with the Hal Leonard Corporation. In 2015 Dilworth launched his own choral series with Hal Leonard, focusing on secondary and tertiary level repertoire representing composers and arrangers from diverse backgrounds. He is also an established author and contributor for the Essential Elements for Choir and the Experiencing Choral Music textbook series. He has authored 3 books of choral warm up exercises intended for elementary and secondary choral ensembles. Dilworth is a frequent guest conductor of all-state, honors, festival, community, church and professional choirs. He is an active clinician and presenter on topics including African American choral music, composing/arranging for choirs, social justice, cultural appropriation, urban music education, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion.