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Mission

Students in the state of Iowa have the opportunity to be a part of a show choir experience on a state-level.  The opportunity focuses on the collaborative, communicative, and foundational music ideas involved in show choir. Master teachers and choreographers will share their passion for the art of show choir with the students selected through a comprehensive audition process.  All forms of choral art need to be celebrated and highlighted for the next generation of music educators. Promotion of the art of show choir at the state level helps to illustrate the educational value in the extra-curricular or co-curricular music ensembles in Iowa high schools.

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Dr. Sarah VanWaardhuizen

All-State Show Choir Chair, ICDA

Sarah Van Waardhuizen is a native of Northeast Iowa and serves the Central College faculty as Assistant Professor of Music Education.  She teaches music education methods courses including elementary general music methods, secondary music methods, show choir and jazz choir techniques, and is the current Co-Director for Intersections - a common experience course for first year students. Dr. VW is excited to pilot a new course during the spring of 2022 titled, “Rap, Hip-Hop, and Decolonizing the Classroom” where she empowers students to examine systemic racism in education through the lens of Hip-Hop. Van Waardhuizen earned her undergraduate degree from Drake University (B.M.E.), master’s degree from The University of Kansas (M.M.E. in choral pedagogy), and her Ph.D. from The University of Iowa.  Her research interests include motivation in music education and relevance in the current music education classroom.  Dr. Van Waardhuizen grew up in the Iowa show choir realm - performing, choreographing, and directing.  In 2019, Dr. VW created the Iowa All-State Show Choir and is excited to serve as Iowa All-State Show Choir Chair for the Iowa Choral Directors Association in 2022.  Dr. VW serves Iowa Music Educators Association as the Iowa Collegiate NAfME Chair. In their spare time, you may find Dr. VW playing the ukulele, cheering for one of her four busy children, or enjoying a hot cup of coffee.

Chairpersons

Gage Fenton, Bishop Heelan

Katie Sullivan, Waukee

Chris Reed, West Branch

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Katie Sullivan

All-State Show Choir Chairperson, ICDA

Katie Sullivan is a professional music educator from Waukee, IA. She currently teaches at Timberline School in Waukee, where she directs the 9th grade mixed choir and the 9th grade auditioned show choir, Inferno. Katie is also the Assistant Director of Spirit and Millennium, the show choirs at Waukee High School.
 

Prior to teaching in Waukee, she spent three years in the Keokuk School District, where she was the Keokuk High School choir and show choir director. Katie received her bachelor’s degree in music education from Iowa State University. 

Looking Ahead to 2024

We are excited to announce our clinicians for 2024! Two fabulous educators with significant

Iowa connections. . .

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Erik Taylor

2024 Iowa All-State Show Choir Director

Erik Taylor is a Mississippi native and obtained a degree in Music Education from Delta State University in Cleveland, MS. Taylor is
currently the director of Mt. Zion Show Choirs in Mt. Zion, IL. His previous work experience includes a 6-year tenure as choral director at Woodstock Middle/High School in Memphis, TN. Taylor was also director of “Elite Energy” Show Choir in Decatur, IL from 2015-2022.
Under his direction, Taylor’s show choir groups have accumulated several caption, best band, best vocals, best choreography, and Grand Champion awards. Taylor also serves as the organist for the Greater Northside Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur, IL. In his spare time, Taylor enjoys sewing, cooking, and SEC football in the fall.

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Sam Mulligan

2024 Iowa All-State Show Choir Choreographer

Samual Mulligan is a Pop/R&B recording artist, songwriter, and musician based out of Nashville, Tennessee. Originally from central Illinois, Sam was a graduate of Mt. Zion High School as well as an alumni of the Swingsations. He is also a recent graduate of Belmont University where he received his Bachelors of Music in Commercial Vocal Performance along with a minor in Music Business. Sam recently released his 10th single and his catalog of original music surpassed over half a million streams across all platforms. Currently Sam is traveling as a background dancer for country artist Walker Hayes’ U.S arena tour. His time is split recording and performing his own music at different venues around the country, writing songs for other artists, and traveling as a professional background dancer/vocalist.


Sam is also a full-time freelance choreographer, clinician, and adjudicator working with many esteemed show choirs across the country. On top of being an artist, he continues to train in various styles of dance with top choreographers and dance studios in Nashville. He’s beyond grateful for the opportunity to work with so many incredible students and music educators through his love for music.

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