For 23 years, Daniel Farris has worked professionally as a choral conductor, tenor soloist/chorister, adjudicator, and voice teacher. Raised in the strong choral tradition of west Texas music education, he completed a Bachelor of Music with all-level teacher certification at Angelo State University under the direction of Dr. Pamela Lee. After teaching with Jeff Rice at John Glenn Junior High School, the University of North Texas hired Daniel as a teaching fellow to teach men’s chorus (1998 – 2001) and aural skills (2001 – 2003) concurrently with his DMA study in conducting. In this capacity, he worked with Dr. Jerry McCoy, Dr. Gene Cho, Professor Henry Gibbons, and other marvelous educators and professionals in the conducting, theory, and opera divisions. After teaching at Arlington High School with Ms. Dinah Menger (2004 – 2006), Daniel received the position at Southwestern as choral conductor and teacher of the choral music education sequence. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting with related fields of music theory and musicology from the University of North Texas. He also performed as a singer and conductor of church music serving various congregations for 24 years.
Daniel is in his 13th year as director of choral activities and vocal area coordinator at Southwestern Oklahoma State University and teaches applied voice, applied conducting, and the choral music education sequence to performance, education, and music therapy majors. He also teaches the Southwestern summer choral camp for OMEA/OCDA preparation and other workshops during the academic year that work to further enrich and improve the audition skills needed for successful placement in the state-level honor choirs. Daniel is a fervent advocate in the consistent use of solmization, voice building, and ensemble coaching in every rehearsal to better reinforce fundamentals of vocal music pedagogy and other core music principles found throughout a rounded music education.
Daniel is a regional and international scholar with focused interests in choral pedagogy, score study/editing, and modern language diction, having taught in southeast Asia (TMUE 2013) and presented at international and regional conferences on these topics. This coming spring, Daniel will be the Russian/Old Church Slavonic coach for the East Central University Rachmaninov Festival and will present an interest session for the 2020 Southwestern American Choral Directors Association conference in Little Rock, AR.
Daniel’s choirs have performed as honor choirs at conferences in Texas (TMEA 2005), Oklahoma (OkMEA 2011 and 2017 and OkPAS 2014), and Arkansas (CMS 2014 and 2018). Daniel is an active clinician/conductor, having conducted the Kansas City Metro Tenor-Bass Honor Choir (MMEA 2019), the Western Oklahoma Choral Directors Association (2008), and other honor choirs. Daniel has performed with various ensembles in Italy, England and the United States throughout his career. He has been a guest artist with groups in the southwestern United States, including the Arts District Chorale (Dallas 2011 – 2012) and the Denton Bach Society (Denton, TX). Daniel also serves as a judge for the national music competition, The American Prize, and is an adjudicator, auditions materials coordinator, and a music advisory board member of the Oklahoma Arts Institute.
Daniel’s Oklahoma high school voice students he has taught are selected consistently for Oklahoma All-State Choruses and awarded with Superior ratings at OSSAA Solo competitions, and his college and high school students who compete in National Association of Teachers of Singing competitions regularly advance in the competitions, the last high school student he taught having placed third in the upper high school division at the Oklahoma NATS competition.