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The 28th Annual Invitational
Friday, March 4 & Saturday, March 5 2022

2022 Judging Panel

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Kevin Chase

Kevin Chase is a freelance choreographer based out of Des Moines, IA. He started his show choir career as a director and choreographer at Bemidji High School in Bemidji, MN. Kevin choreographs around 25 groups a year ranging from the middle school, high school, and college levels and travels all over the country as a guest clinician and adjudicator. In 2011, Kevin was awarded ‘Best New Choreographer’ at the FAME Aspire Awards, and is a 4 time recipient of the FAME Aspire ‘Visual Vanguard’ award. He is honored to be involved in so many show choir programs around the country and wishes everyone the best of luck today!

Samantha Robilliard

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Samantha Robilliard is a graduate of the University of South Dakota where she received her Bachelor of Music Education.   In her sixteen years of teaching she has taught high school vocal music at Webster City, Rock Valley, Johnston, and Pella.   

Throughout her career all programs under her direction have maintained a reputation for excellence.  Her concert choirs have consistently received division I ratings at IHSMA State Large Group Contest and her show choirs have received numerous first place finishes across the Midwest.  Choirs under her direction have been invited to perform at the Luther College Dorian Choral Invitational and alongside the top choral ensemble from Iowa State University.  In the last six years, 102 of her students have been selected for the Iowa All-State Chorus.  Samantha has been a guest conductor for numerous honor choirs, had the great honor of being the 2021 9th grade OPUS conductor, has adjudicated numerous festivals throughout Iowa, and is an instructor at the Wartburg All-State Camp.   In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Jeff, and their children, Halle, Nate and Maddie.

Ben Schrank

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Ben Schrank is a nationally recognized choreographer, show designer, and adjudicator with over 20 years of experience. His show choirs have received frequent Best Choreography and Grand Championship awards. Ben is a past recipient of the Fame Aspire award for Best New Choreographer. He has directed and choreographed various musical theatre productions, winning the Tommy Award for Outstanding Stage Direction in 2010 and 2013. In 2011, Ben was inducted into the Tommy Awards Hall of Fame at the Overture Center for the Arts. He brings performance experience as a former member of the Wisconsin Singers at the University of Wisconsin, and performer at Six Flags Great America. Ben has served on staff at The Southern Experience Show Choir Camp (MS), Shell Lake Show Choir Camp (WI), Westside Edge Show Choir Camp (NE), and Show Choir Camps of Central Iowa (IA). He has also been honored to choreograph the Mississippi and Nebraska All-State Show Choirs. During the pandemic season of 2021, Ben taught a series of virtual dance classes to keep students positively motivated. These classes were attended by over 400 students from 23 different states. He resides in Davenport, Iowa with his beautiful wife Emily, his amazing daughter Harper, and their dogs Pacey and Frankie.

Lindsey Ussery

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Lindsey Ussery has been dancing her way through life since she was 3, and singing along every step of the way.  Taking dance for 15 years made the transition to show choir an easy one; starting with choreographing audition dances, to JV and Varsity groups, as well as the occasional musical.  Her vocal education began at UMKC with Dr. Soder, then at UNO with Shelby VanNordstrand.  While at UNO she was a semi-finalist at national NATS in the musical theatre, was a member of Opera Workshop, multiple community theatre productions, and was selected to perform the national anthem for President Obama’s Presidential Remarks in 2016.  After graduating she moved to Sioux Falls, SD to teach at O’Gorman Jr. High and High School.  There she helped grow the Jr. High choral program, Jr. High Show Choir, as well as the high school show choirs.  Her expertise in dance and as a choreographer gives her an astute eye for detail and technique; while her vocal talents have allowed her to work with multiple ensembles to bring out their best possible musicianship.  After 3 years in Sioux Falls, she accepted and is continuing her education as the Choral Graduate Assistant at UNO studying choral conducting under Dr. Derrick Fox.

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Shelby Van Nordstrand

Shelby VanNordstrand is an Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska Omaha where she serves as Voice Area Coordinator and Director of Opera Theatre. She has appeared as a soprano soloist from Omaha to Indonesia, China, Japan, and Oman. Her students have been named winners of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Student Auditions at the state, regional, and national levels and winners of the National Opera Association's Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition. Shelby lives in Council Bluffs with her spouse Rod, son Reed, and wire-haired pointer/lab dog Luna. Check out more about Shelby at Instagram @vannordstrandvoice

Lin Warren

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Lin Warren recently retired from Hastings High School after 32 years of teaching vocal music where he directed Select Chorale, Men’s Chorus and Riverside Company, the varsity show choir. He received a Bachelor of Music from Hastings College, Hastings, Nebraska and a Master of Arts in Music from the University of WisconsinEau Claire. In 1988 he received the” Outstanding Young Choral Director Award” from ACDA of Minnesota. In 1989, he was selected as “Teacher of the Year” for the Hastings Public Schools and in 2009 he was selected “Employee of the Year”. In 2014, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association named him the “Minnesota Choral Director of the Year”. His choirs have appeared at the Minnesota Music Educators Association Convention, the American Choral Director Association of Minnesota Convention, the Divisional Music Educators National Conference Convention, the Dorian Festival at Luther College and the 2010, 2015 and 2017 Chorale Arts Finale. Lin was the Assistant Convention Chair for the 2005 National ACDA Convention in Los Angeles and the Assistant Convention Chair for the 2011 National ACDA Convention in Chicago. Most recently, he was the Facilities and Local Arrangements Chair for the National ACDA Conference in Minneapolis in March of 2017. He has now begun a new career in sales with Gateway Music Festivals and Tours and will continue directing his Church Choir at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Hastings.