Centenary College of Louisiana professor wins national award

SHREVEPORT, LA — Dr. Cory Wikan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and director of the Camerata choral ensemble at Centenary College of Louisiana, has won the Julius Herford Dissertation Prize, awarded by the American Choral Directors Association for the best dissertation of 2014.  The prize will be conferred on Dr. Wikan during the ACDA Conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee March 9-12, 2016.

    Dr. Wikan 

    Dr. Wikan 

“The final two years of my dissertation work coincided with the first two years of teaching at Centenary College. Fortuitously, my research on Robert Shaw – a towering figure in the world of choral music – and my work at Centenary fueled each other,” says Wikan. “The more I learned about Shaw’s choral techniques, the more I explored their application in rehearsals and performances with Camerata. The more experience I gained with Camerata, the more deeply I examined Shaw’s work.”

Each year the Julius Herford Prize Subcommittee accepts nominations for the outstanding doctoral terminal research project in choral music.  Eligibility is limited to doctoral recipients whose degrees were conferred during the calendar year prior to the year of nomination. 

Dr. Wikan’s paper, “Robert Shaw and the Brahms Requiem, op 45: A Conductor’s Approach to Performing a Masterpiece,” was read in a blind screening process by panel of choral conductor-scholars.   Committee members’ comments included: “Excellent paper!  A masterful compendium, assimilation, and assessment of Shaw’s writings, methods, philosophies and annotated scores…The wealth of information is dealt with in a deft, organized way; the writing reflects mature and practical perspectives.”

Dr. Wikan received his DMA from Boston University in May 2014 where he worked with Dr. Richard Bunbury, Dr. John H. Wallace, and Dr. Ann Howard Jones and received BU’s Conducting Department Award in 2011 and 2012.  He received an MM in Vocal Performance and Literature from Northwestern University (2002), and a BA from Luther College (1999).   He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Music, Hurley School of Music, Centenary College of Louisiana, and previously served as Instructor of Conducting at Boston University.

Wikan will conduct Centenary’s Camerata in its annual fall concert on Tuesday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Centenary’s Anderson Auditorium. Camerata will perform a number of challenging and beautiful works by Franz Schubert at the concert, which is free and open to the public.