Crimson Hawks Cavalcade of Choirs

  • The IUP Choral Area is excited to host our annual Crimson Hawk Cavalcade of Choirs on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. At the Cavalcade of Choirs, each ensemble will have the opportunity to perform for other high school singers in a noncompetitive format.

    Ensembles will sing in IUP’s beautiful Fisher Auditorium and be professionally recorded. In addition, choirs will be provided written and verbal feedback from IUP faculty members Ryan Beeken and Craig Denison. Each choir will receive direct instruction via an on-stage clinic. This year’s distinguished guest is Frank Watkins, who is currently serving as assistant professor of music and director of Choral Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. He also conducts and serves as music director of the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra.

    Guest Clinician

    Frank WatkinsFrank Watkins

    Frank Watkins is assistant professor of music and director of Choral Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Watkins taught secondary choral music in Texas for six years. He holds degrees in piano performance from Jackson State University (BM), the University of Arkansas (MM), and choral conducting from Northwestern University (MM) and Michigan State University (DMA).

    Watkins is in demand as guest conductor and clinician. Recent engagements include the Mid-Michigan Honor Choir (2013), University of Nebraska Omaha Collegiate Choir Concert Series (2014), Dunn St. Croix Honor Choir (2015), Lakeland All-Conference Honor Choir (2015), University of Nebraska Omaha Middle School Honor Choir (2016), Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra (2016), Red Cedar Honor Choir (2017) and the Big Nine Festival Honor Choir (2017). Future engagements include the Great Northern Conference All- Conference Choir (2017), Cloverbelt All-Conference Honor Choir (2018), and the 2018 Men’s Choir Festival in Stillwater, Minnesota. He has presented workshops on choral methods for the International Music and Christian Arts Conference, Michigan State University, and the Ohio State University. In 2015 he presented at both the Wisconsin Music Educators State Convention and the National Collegiate Choral Organization National Conference.

    In 2016, Watkins completed a summer research trip to Corsica studying ancient Corsican polyphony. In 2017, Watkins will lead an International Fellows Trip to Dakar, Senegal, to study the use of hip-hop and rap as a form of non-violent political protest. Watkins' research interests include the intersectionality of race, class, and gender in the music of African-American Women in the 21st century.

    Watkins joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2014. In 2016, he was appointed conductor and music director of the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra. A dynamic young conductor, Watkins’ love and passion are teaching. He believes that in order to educate, you must first inspire! It is his goal to make an impact—not just an impression on the lives of those that follow his baton.


    The intention is for this to be simple and nonthreatening. You are free to present whatever music you choose. Each choir will have a total of 30 minutes. This includes both performance time and your clinic.

    Please be prepared to supply three original copies of each of your scores, with the measures numbered, for our panel. These will, of course, be returned to you.

    Each clinician will fill out the enclosed “rubric.” Numbers and ratings will not be used, nor will they be posted. This is simply a form to help guide our listening and provide you with feedback. In addition, recorded comments, a performance recording, and on-stage clinic will be provided.

    We respectfully ask that food and drink be kept out of Fisher Auditorium.


    While it is typical that ensembles wear their performance attire for adjudication, this is not required. Changing facilities/dressing room space will be limited. It is suggested that each ensemble wear what they intend to perform in. This is completely at the conductor’s discretion.


    Each participating school will have one to two IUP students serving as their hosts. These students will meet you when your buses arrive, escort you through campus, help you stay on schedule, and assist you in any way needed. Expect that they will be contacting you via e-mail prior to the event to establish your ETA so that they are prepared to meet you.

    About IUP

    IUP is located in Western Pennsylvania, about 50 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. The IUP Department of Music serves over 200 undergraduate music majors, including nearly 60 voice majors, and three choral ensembles.

    Directions, campus map, and parking information

    Your group will receive...

    • Written and recorded feedback
    • One-on-one clinic
    • Professional recording of performance
    • Applied lessons
    • Sessions and performance with the IUP Chorale

    Sample Schedule

    Warm up times begin 30 minutes prior to performance

    • Choir 1: 9:00 a.m.
    • Choir 2: 9:30 a.m.
    • Choir 3: 10:00 a.m.
    • Choir 4: 10:30 a.m.
    • Choir 5: 11:00 a.m.
    • Choir 6: 11:30 a.m.
    • IUP: 12:00 p.m.
    • Lunch: 12:20–1:15 p.m.
    • Choir 7: 1:15 p.m.
    • Choir 8: 1:45 p.m.
    • Choir 9: 2:15 p.m.
    • Choir 10: 2:45 p.m.
    • Choir 11: 3:15 p.m.

    Warm-Up (Fisher Auditorium Ballet Rehearsal Room)

    Each ensemble will have 25 minutes in the warm-up room. A piano will be provided. Your host will give you a five-minute “warning” and ask that you start moving towards the performance space after 25 minutes so that we can stay on schedule.

    Performance (Fisher Hall Stage)

    Ensembles will take the stage and then be introduced. You will have 30 minutes to perform and receive your clinic. You will enter from Stage Left and exit into the hall on the Stage Right side.


    If you are staying on campus for lunch, consider our on-campus dining facilities. The best options would be North Dining Hall or the Crimson Café. North Dining Hall is buffet style, and the Crimson Café houses Starbucks, Burger Studio, Smoothies, Fireplace Brick Oven Pizzas, etc. In the HUB there are also a variety of options, including Chik-fil-A. Cash is accepted. Taco Bell, Subway, and Pizza House are also near campus and within walking distance.