William Skoog is Professor of Music at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, holding the Elizabeth Daughdrill Fine Arts Endowed Chair. He serves as Chair of the Department of Music and Director of Choral Studies, and conducts the Rhodes Singers, Men’s Chorus and MasterSingers Chorale, often conducting them with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. He is also the founding artistic director for BealeCanto, a professional men’s chamber ensemble based in Memphis, TN. Dr. Skoog previously served as Director of Choral Activities at Bowling Green State University, where he conducted the renowned BGSU Men’s Chorus and Collegiate Chorale; Indiana/Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Southwestern Michigan College in Dowagiac, Michigan.
His choirs have performed with distinction at numerous ADCA, MENC and IMC conferences, and he is frequently invited to conduct regional, national and international choral festivals, including the 2012 Mozart Festival in Salzburg, the 2010 Rome Choral Festival (Italy), the 2008 Lucerne (Switzerland) Choral Festival, and 2004 and 2006 Dvorak Festivals in Prague. He has conducted the Dom Orchestra in Salzburg, the Tuscan Chamber Orchestra (Florence, Italy), the Santa Maria Orchestra (Switzerland), the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Moravian Symphony Orchestra, and the Memphis, Toledo and Fort Wayne Symphony Orchestras. He conducted the Presidents Day Choral Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2011, and has conducted all-state choirs in Wyoming and Indiana. He will serve as Artistic Director/Conductor for the Paris International Choral Festival in 2014.
He has presented papers at prestigious conferences including at the Dorrell School, Corfu, Greece, at the International Conference on Arts and Humanities at the University of Hawaii, and interest sessions at MENC and ACDA conferences, focusing especially on techniques, methods and repertoire for male choirs.
Skoog holds a Doctor of Arts Degree in Music from the University of Northern Colorado, Master of Arts degrees in conducting and vocal performance/pedagogy from the Lamont School of Music, Denver University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota.
Johnny Peoples received his BME (1987) and MME (1988) from Arkansas State University where he studied voice with Julia Lansford, choral conducting with Alfred Skoog, and piano with Dr. Edith Ann Swaty. Mr. Peoples began doctoral studies at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in music theory and has further studied vocal technique with Dr. Randall Rushing of the University of Memphis. Mr. Peoples has taught vocal and choral music in Missouri, Ohio, and Iowa with the last nineteen years being in Arkansas. Mr. Peoples is currently the choral director for the Marion School District where he directs six choirs at the junior and senior high schools. He has served as guest clinician for honor choirs and adjudicator for choral and solo/ensemble festivals in Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee, and Arkansas. He is a much sought after accompanist for many choral ensembles and honor choirs as well as tenor soloists for various concerts throughout the region. Mr. Peoples has had the honor of accompanying singers such as Kallen Esperian, Metropolitan Opera Soprano, Lawrence Hamilton, Broadway Bass/Baritone, the Arkansas All-State Male Chorus and the 10-12 Female Honor Choir at the Southwestern Division of the American Choral Directors Directors conference in Little Rock, AR. Mr. Peoples has been listed in “Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities,” “Who’s Who Among American Teachers,” “Outstanding Young Men in America,” “Who’s Who in the World,” and “Who’s Who in America”. He also has received the North East Arkansas Choral Director’s “Distinguished Director of the Year” award and the Marion High School “Teacher of the Year” award for the 2012-2013 school year. Choirs at Marion High School under Mr. Peoples’ direction consistently receive “Division I” ratings at choral festivals. Marion High School’s Chamber Choir has been named “Best in Class” at the “Ole Miss Choral Festival” and has received the “Sweepstakes Trophy,” “Best in Class,” and “Best Overall Small Ensemble” at the Arkansas State Choral Festival. Mr. Peoples was a presenter at the 2012 Arkansas All-State Music Conference for the workshop entitled “Teaching Techniques: Starting from Scratch.” Mr. Peoples has also presented workshops in Arkansas, Missouri, and Iowa on “Developing the Elementary Honor Choir” and “Music for the Pre-School Student.” Students under the direction of Mr. Peoples have been selected to numerous region/district/all-state choirs, national honor choirs, and placed in the national voice competition of the Music Teacher’s National Association held at their 2012 National Convention in New York City.