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2024 NZNMEA Honor Choir

Performance: 2/23 @ 7:00 pm 

Middle School

Alexandra Cohen


Alexandra Cohen is the Director of Vocal Music at Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School in Las Vegas and oversees the vocal majors at Faith Conservatory of the Fine Arts. Mrs. Cohen obtained her B.A. in music education from Concordia University Irvine ('15) and her M.M. in choral conducting from Messiah University (‘19). 


Mrs. Cohen currently teaches 6th-12th grade choirs, traditional and show ensembles, and vocal directs the middle school and high school musical productions. Before teaching at Faith Lutheran, she taught choir and musical theater in Clark County School District. 


Mrs. Cohen performs locally and internationally with the Las Vegas Reformation Chorale and sings annually with EJG Productions. She formerly served as a chairperson for the NMEA Middle School All-State Choir. She is excited for this opportunity to guest conduct the NZNMEA Middle School Honor Choir and is so grateful to work with wonderful students in Northern Nevada! Thank you to all the parents and guardians for supporting their students' choral education, and to all of the educators who work tirelessly to prepare these students for musical success! 

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High School

Jace Saplan

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As an intersectional Native Hawaiian culture bearer and conductor, Dr. Saplan is also the artistic director of Nā Wai Chamber Choir, a vocal ensemble based in Hawaiʻi dedicated to the preservation, propagation, and innovation of Hawaiian choral music. Under Dr. Saplan’s direction, Nā Wai recorded a Global Music Award-winning album entitled Eō Liliʻuoklani under the Mālama Music label and performed for the 2021 Chorus America Summer Conference, the 2021 National American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Conference, and the 2020 ACDA Western Region Conference in Salt Lake.

In academia, Jace serves as Artist-in-Residence for the Vocal Chamber Music program at the University of Redlands where they conduct the graduate vocal ensemble residencies, and teach courses in decolonial choral literature and conducting pedagogy.

Jace is known as a national thought leader and consultant in enacting social change and equity-driven practice through the choral arts. Jacve serves as a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Access, and Belonging consultant for arts organizations throughout the country, such as Choral Arts Northwest, The Phoenix Chamber Choir, The Guitar Federation of America, The Columbia University School of Education, The Asian Pacific Islander Coalition, and Native Arts. 

​Prior to Dr. Saplan’s appointment at the University of Redlands Dr. Saplan was the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Hawai’i and conductor of the UH Chamber Singers. Under Jace’s direction the UH Chamber Singers sang as an auditioned choir at the 2022 ACDA Western Division Conference in Long Beach. The ensemble also performed virtually at the Musica Pasifika Festival in Tahiti in 2020, and at the Pasifika Choral Symposium in Guam in 2019.

As a composer, his works are published with Walton, Earthsongs, and Pavane publishing. He also serves as an editor for two series that feature Indigenous/Native composers and arrangers through Earthsongs and Pavane. His works have been performed by the North Dakota Treble All-State Choir, the Massachusetts SATB All-State Choir, the Georgia SATB All-State Choir, Seraphic Fire, the USC Chamber Singers, the BYU Singers, the Philippine Madrigal Singers, and Chanticleer 

Jace regularly conducts high school and collegiate honor choirs across the United States, and is invited to headline conferences and serve as a guest lecturer in the United States and abroad. This year he will conduct the Choirs of America Festivals in Carnegie Hall and Hawai’i, National Concerts Festivals in Carnegie Hall and Seattle, the ACDA Northwest Region Conference SATB Honor Choir, and all states/honor choirs in Alaska, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, Kansas, Vermont, and Florida. International engagements this year include residencies at McGill University in Quebec, Canada, Waikato University in New Zealand, the University of Manila in the Philippines, and guest conducting for the Phoenix Chamber Choir in Vancouver, Canada, and the London Symphony Orchestra.

Jace received a BA  in Hawaiian Music from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, a  M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University-Portland, an MM in Choral Conducting from the University of Oregon, an MA,  graduate certificates in Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Organizational Change and Leadership from Hawai’i Pacific University, and a DMA in Choral Conducting with cognates in Music Education and Ethnomusicology from the University of Miami Frost School of Music. Their teachers include Karen Kennedy, Sharon Paul, and Wanda Gereben. 

Thank you! 

Caitlin Beaudette and Eric Klug at the Carson City Community Center.

Andy Sonnemaker and Carson High School for transporting and lending us all the equipment for this event.

Our Guest conductors for spending the last two days with our students.

Special thanks to our teacher instrumentalists: Jon Brill & Mark Porter - Percussion, Kelly Dodge - Bass,  Allison Smith - Flute

Thank you to all of the administration and staff who support our music programs throughout the school year. 

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