Joel Everist

Music education creates opportunities for students to examine the universal experience of being human. In a world where conformity is often socially paramount, teaching the value of diversity is critical. The study of ethnic music allows us to celebrate both our differences and commonalities. The performance of multicultural works enriches the lives of students by providing aesthetic experiences for each individual within the ensemble through communal learning. As with all musical choices, relevance relates to artistic and educational intent. How and why are you using the repertoire you choose? Choosing a piece because it has drums and interesting rhythms that students might enjoy borders on cultural appropriation. Performance without understanding, for the sake of entertaining an audience, is educationally unsound and strips a work of any relevance. Presenting a piece in a manner that is not as faithful as possible, such as performing a work song spiritual too fast, is disrespectful. This can be daunting, and scare people away from multicultural music. As we do not let our distance in time stop us from singing music from the Renaissance, we should let let our distance from other countries stop us from performing ethnic music. Authenticity and intent are key: whatever your background or level of expertise approaching multicultural music with sincerity is a path of great reward. Choral musical experiences not only empower people to grow together as a community, but also to learn from one another as they explore the relationship between the world they know and the world they do not understand. Ethnic music contains communicative qualities that liberate and excite the human spirit. Multicultural music facilitates student growth by developing an awareness of their place within our global community.
Joel Everist
Multicultural and Ethnic Perspectives R&S Chair

Joel Everist is Director of Choral Activities for Mason City High School, a Grammy Signature School Award Winner. He conducted the 1998 Ninth Grade ICDA Opus Honor Choir, was Chair of the 2004 ICDA Summer Symposium, and served two terms as North Central District Chair. In 2011, Joel was named one of the national Top Ten Directors of Note by Choral Director Magazine, and is listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers. Under his direction the MCHS Concert Choir has earned 40 First Place finishes at international competitions, appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Chicago's Orchestra Hall, and numerous Divisional and State ACDA conventions. The ensemble represented North America at the International Habaneras Festival in Spain, and sang for Vice President Gore and the Prime Minister of Japan at the State
Department in Washington D.C. The MCHS Vocal Music Department was recently featured in the documentary "Invisible Threads" that aired on public television, and had their recordings included in Dr. James Jordan's textbook "The School Choral Program" (GIA Publications) as an exemplar of high school choirs. Joel received a B.A. degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, and a Master of Music Education degree from Northwestern University.

The list below is a work-in-progress compilation of information about resources on ethnic-multicultural repertoire. Some of these links offer several links to other equally valuable resources. Enjoy!

South Central Fall Mailing New 2013 2012 Reading Session Document

South Central Fall Mailing New 2013 2013 Reading Session Document

South Central Fall Mailing New 2013 Five Hebrew Love Songs Word by Word Translations

South Central Fall Mailing New 2013 Texts and Translations Handout

ACDA Ethnic & Multicultural Perspectives:
This link provides excellent resources for multicultural study.


As explained in ¡Cantaré! website: ¡Cantaré!is a unique program designed to bring the talents of composers from Mexico directly into Minnesota classrooms.” This website provides rich information about Philip Brunelle’s ¡Cantaré! project. Through this website you can view perusal scores online, listen to the provided mp3, and purchase scores in PDF version. For more information on this project read Bruce W. Becker’s article “¡Cantaré!Explores Music of Mexican Choral Composers in Minnesota Classrooms” in Choral Journal, June & July 2011.


Ediciones GCC:
Ediciones GCC is an excellent Argentinean publishing company devoted mostly to Argentinean choral music. Their online catalog includes samples of scores and recordings. Unfortunately, no English version of the website is available yet. Please feel free to contact me in case you have any questions about this site, or contact them directly in English.

Santa Barbara:

Suzanne Tiemstra:
As Suzanne Tiemstra states in her website: This web site is a work-in-progress compilation of information about choral music by Latin American composers from 1550 to the present....On this web site you will find information about many kinds of choral music. Most, but not all of it relates to "art music" rather than world or folk music. Original compositions and arrangements are included.