Middle Level Choral Institute for Teachers

Staff (2003-2009)

.....MLCIT continues to bring together an incredible group of dedicated choral teachers. We ask our students to take risks everyday, so it is impressive when we as teachers take those same risks and determine to improve our skills. The atmosphere created is stimulating, intellectual, playful, thoughtful, and joyful.

Sandra Brown Williams

Clinician and Executive Director

Sandra Brown Williams holds degrees in music education from the University of North Texas . She is the founding Director of the Regional Institute for the Teaching of Singing (2000) and The Middle Level Choral Institute for Teachers (2003). The Eugene Symphony Youth Ensemble under her direction performed for the Rotary International Convention (2002) and the ESO Holiday Pops (2001, 2006-08). She has prepared the ESO Youth Chorus for the Mahler 8th Symphony (2002), the Mahler 3rd Symphony (1997), Bernstein's Mass (1996) and Kaddish (1997), and youth choruses for the Eugene Ballet productions of Carmina Burana (2000) and The Nutcracker (1997-2002). During her tenure at Roosevelt Middle School in Eugene , her choirs performed for NWMENC (1992,1997), NWACDA (1993,1998), OMEA (1996), Oregon Arts Alliance (1999), the National Middle Schools Association (1993), the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (1995), and with the Eugene Symphony (1992-96). Her students have sung under the batons of Marin Alsop, Miquel Harth-Bedoya, and Mason Williams. Sandra has presented interest sessions at the National MENC in Phoenix (1998) and the ACDA National Convention in San Antonio (2001) and ACDA National Convention in Oklahoma City (2009). In 1995, she was selected to be a Walt Disney American Teacher Honoree. Sandra is past president of Oregon ACDA (2001-2003). She delights in teaching private voice, producing shows, conducting, and serving as a choral clinician.


".....MLCIT will change your attitude toward teaching. Whether you are a beginning teacher or a seasoned veteran, you will leave the workshop energized, inspired, nurtured, and affirmed." - Marlene Murphy

Marlene Murphy



Marlene Murphy received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas and her Master of Music degree from Southern Methodist University. She resides in Wichita Falls , Texas , where she teaches piano and voice at the Music Academy of the First Baptist Church , and conducts three hand bell choirs at the First Presbyterian Church. Her experience and expertise is extensive with 30 years in the Texas public schools, where her middle and high school choirs were consistent Sweepstakes Award winners at the University Interscholastic League competitions. Marlene was General Manager for the first Organization of American Kodaly Educators Children's Choral Institute in Hartford , Connecticut , in 1993. She has served on the board of Texas Choral Director's Association. An active clinician, she is a member of the education committee of the Wichita Falls Symphony and treasurer of the Wichita Falls Music Teachers Association. She holds membership in ACDA , MTNA, and the National Guild of Piano Teachers.




When you come to my rehearsal, you do not have to know how to sing. It's feeling as though you want to that makes the day successful." - Julie Knowles

Julie Knowles

Clinician and Composer

Julie Knowles is nationally recognized for her outstanding choral writing. With over 150 published works, her educational choral materials are based on a very approachable method for teaching vocal concepts. Her compostitions are published by Alfred, Hal Leonard, Hinshaw, Jenson, and Shawnee Press. She has adjudicated and conducted reading sessions and festivals in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, Oregon, West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, Indiana, South Dakota, Illinois, North Dakota, Washington, and Vancouver, B.C. A professional music educator for 24 years, Julie presently devotes her career to writing for the church and school choral media. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and is a member of ACDA, MENC, NATS, and Sigma Alpha Iota. Julie has been editor of the Oregon Choral Focus since 1984. This publication received national recognition at the 2001, 2003, and 2005 National ACDA Conventions in San Antonio, New York City, and California. Julie lives in Eugene.