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Daniel Farris

Location: Oklahoma, USA

For eighteen 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 finished his doctoral coursework and received the position at Southwestern as choral conductor and teacher of the music education sequence.  He graduated from the University of North Texas with a Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting with related fields of music theory and musicology in 2009.

Daniel starts his ninth year at Southwestern as vocal area coordinator and associate professor at Southwestern Oklahoma State University and 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 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.

Currently, Daniel performs as a tenor chorister/soloist and conductor in Oklahoma and the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and is a regional and international scholar with focused interests in choral pedagogy, score study/editing, and foreign language diction.  While at Southwestern, he presented a paper based on his doctoral research for the 2010 Athens Institute of Education and Research.  He has also presented a seminar called Practical Editions and Choices- A Review of Score Selection of Renaissance Music in the Digital Age at the 2012 Southwestern American Choral Directors Association. In the summer of 2013, Daniel completed a two-week lectureship as a “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.  This past fall, he received the privilege of being consigned as the sole editor and publisher of the music of Belgian composer Jef Tinel (editions being available for purchase in late 2015-early 2016).

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), Tri-State Honor Choir (2011 and 2012), Oklahoma Music Educators Association Conference (2011), the Western Oklahoma Choral Directors Association (2008), and the Texas Music Educator Association Conference (2005). 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 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.

In addition to his career in music, he also teaches arnis, a Filipino martial art he has taught for seventeen years after having tested with the late Grandmaster Ernesto Amador Presas for his Lakan Isa ranking in 1998. He teaches arnis through the SWOSU Continuing Education department’s “Filipino Martial Culture” course. Daniel holds both Lakan (1st degree black belt of Modern Arnis) and Lakan Dalawa (2nd degree black belt of Kombatan arnis) rankings. He also conducts wine tastings for benefits in western Oklahoma and attends master sommelier wine tastings quarterly in Dallas, TX, to continue his passion in oenology.

Feel free to view his website and the Department of Music website of Southwestern Oklahoma State University. For more information or questions about the vocal/choral division and study in Southwestern’s music department, contact him at or 580.774.3208.

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