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Texas Tech University

Doctor of Musical Arts, 2012

Michigan State University

Master of Music, 2009

Bachelor of Music Education, 2001


The Ohio State University, OH

Assistant Professor, 2013-Present

Visiting Assistant Professor, 2011-2013


Brighton Area Schools, MI

Director of Vocal Music, 2006-2009

Tecumseh Public Schools, MI

Director of Vocal Music, 2003-2006

Tecumseh Community Chorus, MI

Conductor, 2004-2006

Nashville Metropolitan Schools, TN

Elementary Music Teacher, 2003

Elk Rapids Public Schools, MI

Director of Vocal Music, 2002

I serve as assistant professor of conducting and assistant director of Choral Activities at The Ohio State University, where I conduct the Women’s Glee Club, share conducting responsibilities for the Symphonic Choir, and instruct both undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of conducting and choral pedagogy.

My research involves the implementation of Choregie as a mode of expression. Created by Slovenian conductor, Karmina ŠilecChoregie marries extra-musical meaning, movement, and design. As an extension of this practice, my programming often includes contemporary narratives, theories, and social justice causes.









The Ohio State University

Sir William Osler MD Medicine in the Arts Award, 2015

Unplugging Society Woman of Influence Award, 2015

Fulbright Scholar

Alternate to Slovenia, 2011

American Choral Directors Association

Runner-up Graduate Conducting Competition, 2011

Texas Tech University

Don and Kay Cash Fellowship, 2011

Graduate Student of Distinction in Music, 2011

Graduate Student of Distinction in Humanities, 2011

personal statement

As an ensemble conductor in the School of Music, I serve two populations, music majors and non-music majors. While my instructional goals differ in some respects, two themes emerge as applicable to both: intellectual engagement and collaborative artistry.

The ensemble acts as a synthesis of ear training, private study, music history, and music theory. My approach addresses this fusion. I begin with the cultivation of independent and refined musicianship. To continue striving toward this objective, I challenge students to consider the construction of the score, and ask them to engage with the associated cultural and historical context. I ask that ensemble members, to the best of their ability, problem solve in action. Each member is expected to take ownership of the musical end. Congruently, the development of vocal facility acts as partner to individual musicianship. As the original musical instrument, the voice allows for an infinite variety of timbre. In exploring repertoire of various style periods and cultures, the students reflect this rich diversity in their tone production.

Many students do not often self-identify as "artist." It is our responsibility to nurture a perspective shift, challenging all ensemble members to thoughtfully consider their artistic contribution to the whole. This awareness begins with questioning and exploration. I challenge students to consider their art-form a commentary on the world around them, and to engage with issues beyond technical proficiency.

To further their awareness, I choose to program according to a larger scheme, often addressing extra-musical ends. I have strived to present meaningful performance experiences for both my students and audience, drawing on repertoire from various style periods and cultures. Largely concept-driven, we have presented programs focusing on the following topics: Kubler-Ross stages of grief, play theory, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, female archetype exploration, human trafficking, American song, political life, time and space, and the collision of the natural and spiritual worlds. As we experience the greater concept, I ask students to engage with the topic by contributing with written word, fine art, and interdisciplinary projects. In sharing with one another, the interconnectivity of the ensemble invites students to consider their greater impact within a community.

Beyond innovation in programming, I have regularly implemented movement in performance. The ensembles that I conduct do not typically use choral risers. Rather, the body of the individual and of the company acts as an expressive tool, enhancing the meaning of the performance. This is manifest in choral formation shifts derived from the programmatic context.


I believe great potential lies in the fusion of choral performance and social justice concerns. While the general population may not find choral or art music relevant, they are inclined to identify with a cause known to them--be it hunger or racism, etc. I also believe that our students have a desire to impact the world they will inherit for the better. In my mind, pursing this goal, to address pressing topics, heightens our impact as creative communicators.


Last year, I wrote a grant proposal suggesting the creation of a "Center for Music and Social Justice" at the Ohio State University. While the proposal was not selected as a major university initiative, it has gained wide support within the School of Music. It is my hope that we will, in the near future, begin to implement portions of the proposal that do not require external funding.

© 2018 by KRISTINA CASWELL MACMULLEN. Proudly created with

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