College/Community Vice President Candidates

Dr. Jeffery Goolsby is Director of Choral Studies at Abilene Christian University, where he leads a program dedicated to artistic excellence, transformational musical experiences, and high-impact community engagement. He conducts the A Cappella Chorus, the University Chorale, and leads three student-led contemporary a cappella groups. He teaches courses in choral conducting and choral methods and supervises the choral music education program. He taught for ten years in successful high school choral music programs in the Dallas and Houston areas. Choirs under his direction have performed at notable venues in the United States and abroad. He is in demand as a clinician, consultant, and adjudicator throughout the state and has served in numerous regional and state capacities with TMEA, ACDA, and UIL. He holds degrees from Texas Tech University, Louisiana State University, and Abilene Christian University. Professional affiliations include ACDA, NCCO, TMEA, TCDA, and TMAA.

If Elected: Our colleagues are struggling. We see it every day on social media, we read dire articles about the future of education, we feel it in our bones. We are tired. I am tired. Over the last two years, we have provided the most excellent choral music experiences possible. We have been flexible to the point of breaking, we have endured illness and loss. As of today, the pandemic still rages; the long-term impact on our students, our programs, our own lives, is still unknown. We are tired.

Which is why—more than ever—we need one another. We need TCDA to build bridges of understanding and compassion, connecting and drawing strength from the collective wisdom of this association. We should honor the resilient among us and lift up the vulnerable.

Emily Dickinson tells us Hope is the thing with feathers. Hope is ephemeral and can so easily escape our grasp. Yet, through the gale, the chillest land, and the strangest sea, even in our greatest extremity—hope continues to sing in our souls.

Like my favorite fictional football coach, Ted Lasso, I still Believe. I believe choral music is valuable. No, necessary in the years to come. Believe, and have Hope.

 Dr. Suzanne Pence is Acting Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor in Music and Human Learning-Choral Studies at The University of Texas (Austin), where she has been since 1996. She conducts the Concert Chorale and has conducted University Chorus, Treble Chorus, and Choral Arts Society. Dr. Pence has trained 125+ choral educators. She established an immersion format for teaching secondary choral methods, collaborating with Austin-area teachers for the past decade and has presented at TMEA and TCDA on this topic. She has conducted the Oklahoma All-State choir, region choirs throughout Texas, and performances at Carnegie Hall. Before her UT appointment, she was Director of Choral Activities at Meredith College, Raleigh, N.C. She has served as ACDA-Southern Division Youth/ Student Activities chair for two years and assisted planning a National Convention. Dr. Pence has also enjoyed over 35 years as Director of Music in churches throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Texas.

If Elected: In the past two years the activity of communal singing has faced unimaginable challenges. Interestingly, an outgrowth of these challenges was the global spotlight that shone on the art of choral music making. First due to the health risk it presented, and second (as the world experienced the resulting silence), its overwhelming intrinsic and extrinsic value. After over 35 years of work as a choral educator/artist I suddenly felt the energy of a warrior. We have ACDA and TCDA to thank for providing incredible leadership, resources, and support to thousands of individuals like myself working tirelessly so the world could keep singing. I am deeply proud of our organizations and the talented choral educators in the state of Texas. If elected, I would bring years of experience training young teachers, mentoring graduate conducting students, and building successful community/volunteer choirs. Two important tasks we have as an organization is staying relevant and recruiting new young talent. It would be my honor to serve on the TCDA board and continue the work of discovering ways our choral art can highlight commonality and encourage acceptance in the world.