For twenty years, Dr. 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 while completing 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 finished his doctoral coursework at UNT and 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.
Daniel is an associate professor of music and is in his tenth year as vocal area coordinator at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He works in conjunction with Dr. Kristin Griffeath, Dr. Robin Griffeath, and the other music faculty to teach opera workshop, applied voice, and the choral music education sequence to performance, education, music business, 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 Oklahoma students’ 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 foreign language diction. He has presented scholarship at the Athens Institute of Education and Research, the Southwestern American Choral Directors Association conference, and has taught as “distinguished visiting professor” at the Taipei Municipal University of Education (now University of Taipei), teaching choral and solo master classes and a series of literature and diction courses focusing on Spanish and Latin American composers from the early Baroque and Romantic periods. Currently, he is the sole editor and publisher of the music of Belgian composer Jef Tinel.
Daniel has conducted honor choirs at conferences in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, including the Oklahoma Percussive Arts Society (2014), the College Music Society South Central Conference (2014), Oklahoma Music Educators Association Conference (2011 and 2017), the Western Oklahoma Choral Directors Association (2008), and the Texas Music Educator Association Conference (2005), and other festival choirs. Daniel has performed with the Dallas Opera Chorus (2001–2002), and has performed with choirs in Italy, England, and the United States. 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 an adjudicator for regional, state, and national music competitions, and is an adjudicator, auditions materials coordinator, and a music advisory board member of the Oklahoma Arts Institute.
Daniel’s voice students advance and place at the National Association of Teachers of Singing TEXOMA and OK conferences, and the high school students he teaches also regularly secure placements in the Oklahoma Arts Institute choirs, the OkMEA All-State mixed and women’s Honor Choirs, and achieve Superior ratings at regional and state Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association solo competitions every spring.