Downingtown East Masterworks choir invited to perform at PMEA

Downingtown East Masterworks Choir members invited to perform at state music conference

Downingtown High School East Masterworks Choir received one of the highest honors for a Pennsylvania ensemble by being invited to perform at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) Annual In-Service Conference.

Each year, dozens of scholastic and community music ensembles submit an audition for a chance to perform at the annual PMEA Conference. The conference is attended by music educators from across Pennsylvania and is considered the premiere annual event for professional development and showcasing the work of musicians from Pennsylvania and beyond.

Ensembles invited to perform at the PMEA Conference are reviewed by a panel of their colleagues. Successful performing groups are selected based on their musical skill, advancement of their musical genre, and a desire to share with conference attendees. Conference attendees can see these performances live in person to assist in the skill development of their students but also to learn about new repertoire that may be performed by the invited ensembles.

“Having seen many invited performing ensembles at PMEA Conferences through the years, I can say with absolute certainty that Pennsylvania’s schools and communities have so much talent in their diverse set of music opportunities,” noted PMEA President and retired music educator Phil Stattel. “We love that these groups travel to our annual conference to share their talent and provide a professional development opportunity for their colleagues at the same time.”

Musicians from the Downingtown East Masterworks Choir will perform the following selections at the PMEA Conference on Thursday, April 7, 2022 at 3:00 pm.

Director Adam Speakman noted, “Several of our veteran choir students first began rehearsing this program in the 2019-2020 school year when our choir was slated to perform at the 2020 PMEA State Conference that was cancelled due to COVID. After a year and a half off from not being able to sing together, they perfected these difficult pieces again, with masks and distancing as newly-added challenges to overcome in order to record some of these. They have demonstrated great resiliency and an ability to adapt to the ever-changing situation to continue to meet their goals. We are very grateful to have been chosen for a second time, by blind recorded audition, to perform at this statewide showcase event.”

With a wide range of vocal techniques explored through the study of advanced a cappella works from the Renaissance period to the present day, Masterworks Choir members practice comprehensive musicianship skills such as score analysis, sight-singing, and music theory. The group often hosts collegiate professors, university ensembles, composers and professional artists as guest lecturers and master class presenters. The choir students have opened for Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia Wings games, and have performed countless local community service performances throughout Chester county. Members of the Masterworks Choir have participated in workshops with the Barbershop Harmony Society, Sweet Adelines International, and collaborated with collegiate ensembles from Roanoke College, James Madison University, Temple University, West Chester University, Ithaca College, and Susquehanna University. In competitions, they often garner first place, top ratings, and special awards for student and staff leadership.

The PMEA Annual In-Service Conference will be held at the Kalahari Resort in The Poconos, Pennsylvania April 7-9, 2022. With a theme of “Together,” music educators, students, and the music products industry will join together for three days of professional development, music making, innovation, networking, and being back together in-person for the first time since 2019. More information about the PMEA Conference is available at:

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