Artistic Co-Director, Treble Choir
Taylor Bryson is currently the Music and Choir director at Inman Intermediate School in Nixa. Taylor graduated with his degree in Vocal Music Education from Missouri State University. During his time at Missouri State, he interned with the Children's Choir of Southwest Missouri and with the Boys Choir of Springfield. He served on the Missouri State University Choral Studies Board, as well as the state Missouri Music Educators Association Board. He has had the honor of performing in choirs all around the United States as well as 10 countries abroad. Taylor has also been featured as a presenter for the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference. In addition, he has experience in church music as a Choral Scholar and as the Music Director. Taylor currently sings with the Springfield Chamber Chorus, where he has been featured as a soloist for concerts and state conferences. He currently holds professional memberships with MMEA, MCDA, and ACDA.
Artistic Co-Director, Mens' Chorus
Chandler Cooper is the Choir Director at Republic High School where he leads the Chorale, Men’s Chorus, Women’s Chorus, and Freshman Singers. Chandler graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s of Vocal Music Education. He has performed in ensembles in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, China, and throughout the United States. Chandler has held leadership positions such as the Student Ambassador Coordinator for Southwest ACDA, Student Representative for Missouri ACDA, Choral Studies President at Missouri State University, and Secretary for the Missouri chapter of the Collegiate National Association of Music Educators. In 2018, Chandler was one of five fellows selected to study melody with renowned composer and conductor Alice Parker at her home in Hawley, Massachusetts. Prior to working at Republic High School, Chandler was the Associate Choral Director at Blue Springs High School and Intern for the Boys Choir of Springfield, Missouri.
Dustin A. Bush
Dustin Bush is the Elementary Vocal Music teacher for Clever R-V Schools. He is also the director of the Jr. Jays Choir, an auditioned ensemble consisting of 4th and 5th graders in the district. Dustin also serves as the Handbell Director for Schweitzer Church in Springfield. A graduate of Evangel University, Dustin is currently working on his Master's Degree at Missouri State University. He has taught early learners through high school in vocal music, instrumental music, music theory, and music history. Previously, Dustin taught band at all levels, High School Choir, High School Orchestra, High School music theory for Play and Sing His Praises, LLC, an active homeschool music program. While at Grace Classical Academy, Dustin taught K-12 music, Choir, led the school's first Broadway-style musical, and founded the schools' band program. Dustin is married to Melanie Bush, band director at Gloria Deo Academy, and Play and Sing His Praises. Both are active members of the Four State Symphonic Winds, a community band consisting primarily of rural music teachers. Together Dustin and Melanie have six children, many of whom are active in musical ensembles. Dustin is a member of NAfME, ACDA, MMEA, MBA, MSTA, and Windjammers Unlimited, Inc.
Daniel S. Hellman, PhD
Daniel Hellman is Associate Professor and Coordinator of Music Education at Missouri State University where his teaching duties include undergraduate and graduate courses in music education, supervising student teachers, advising music education majors and guiding graduate students’ theses. Prior to joining the faculty at Missouri State, he taught at Anna Maria College, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, and the Terrebonne and St. Charles Parish School Districts in Louisiana. Hellman’s primary research interests are instrumental music learning, preservice teacher preparation, and social issues in music education. He regularly presents paper at regional and national conferences. He is published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, the Journal of Music Teacher Education, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, Research and Issues in Music Education, the Southeastern Journal of Music Education and The Harp Therapy Journal. He is editor of the Missouri Journal of Music Education and has served as a reviewer for music education conferences and other publications. In addition, Hellman has held several leadership roles in teacher education and currently serves as the state chair for the Society of Music Teacher Education. He has also worked as a content consultant at state and national standard setting conferences. At Missouri State, Hellman has served as chair of the Professional Education Committee, the Secondary/K12 Oversight Committee, and the Conceptual Frameworks Committee.
Nichole D. Springer, CPA
Nichole joined Elliott, Robinson & Company in November 2015 as an Intern through the merger with Gary Fenton, CPA, P.C. She was hired on as a Staff Accountant upon graduating from Missouri State University in December 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in accounting and a minor in journalism. Nichole earned an Associate’s Degree from Ozarks Technical Community College accomplishing alumni membership in the OTC Honors Program. While at Missouri State University she was an active student reporter for the university’s newspaper, The Standard, and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. Her responsibilities at ERCPA include payroll, payroll sales tax, monthly bookkeeping, business tax returns, and 401k audits.
Patricia J. Cox, PhD
After a long career as a professor of music, Harding University, Patricia Huff Cox retired and moved to Springfield in 2010. Dr. Cox has a B.S. in music education from Texas Woman’s University, an M.Ed. with an emphasis in music from Harding University, and a Ph.D. in music education from the University of North Texas. Patricia has played violin and viola in symphony orchestras including Ft. Worth, Abilene, Huntsville, AL, Pine Bluff, AR, and the Delta Symphony of Jonesboro. She began her career as an elementary music teacher for the first Orff program in Texas. Later, she directed the middle school orchestra and choir, the Harding University Orchestra and String Quartet, the Searcy String Quartet, and the White County Youth Orchestra. She was a founding board member of the Searcy Community School of Music and appointed to the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Council. Dr. Cox has published numerous articles in research journals and music education magazines. She has 4 children and 8 grandchildren and continues to teach privately and to help supervise music student teachers for MSU.
Choral Festival Coordinator
Kathy Phillips has been a vocal music teacher in Republic for forty-three years. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from Southwest Baptist College and her Master of Science in Education from Southwest Missouri State University (now MSU). She is a member of Phi Delta Kappa, NAfME, MMEA, ACDA, and MCDA. She is currently serving as President-Elect for SCMMEA. Kathy is also serving as secretary of the Springfield Mid-America Singers board of directors. She is an active member of Hood United Methodist Church, where she has served as a Sunday School teacher for adults for over twenty-five years and is the children's choir director. Kathy is married and has two adult children, Nicholas and Christopher, both of whom work in the music field.
Assistant Choral Festival Coordinator
Raphel Thompson is a semi-retired choir director currently employed at Fordland School District, Fordland, MO. She has taught secondary choir at Reeds Spring and Hollister public schools. She has held district offices as President of South Central District and has adjudicated several music contest events. She has served as Festival Manager for South Central District. Raphael has spent more than 25 years in public school teaching and still enjoys working with young musicians in their lifelong pursuits of musicianship.
Bryan Berry, JD
Bryan Berry is Assistant Attorney General for the State of Missouri and a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Law, having practiced law in the local area for nearly twenty years. He hold a Master of Divinity degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a 1991 graduate of William Jewel College, where he was a member of the nationally-recognized Concert Choir under the direction of Arnold Epley. He sang bass with the Missouri All State Choir in 1987. In addition to his service on the Board, Bryan is an active leader in the worship ministry of Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Springfield. His two daughters participated for several years in Children’s Choirs of Southwest Missouri and his oldest daughter, Rachel is a two-time member of the Missouri All-State Choir and member of Mizzou’s University Singers under the direction of R. Paul Crabb.
After leaving the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom, Diana has spent the past eight years teaching junior high and high school language arts. Recently, she began coaching junior high speech and debate as well. She has served on the Parent Committee for BCS for a total of three years and has also volunteered for Cub Scouts for about seven years. Diana enjoys music and theatre and spends much of her time as a mom happily driving her three kids to rehearsals. Her oldest son is excited to start his fifth season with BCS.
Jonathan has been teaching at Wilson's Creek Intermediate School in Springfield since 2018. Before joining the team here, he taught for a year in Spokane, MO. Jonathan graduated summa cum laude with his Bachelors in Music Education from Evangel University, emphasizing piano and voice instruction. He took a longer route to his teaching career. Before returning to teaching, he served 12 years in the United States Army, with ten years as Active Duty status. Some of his favorite activities are singing and directing his school choir. His choir earned a One at the Fair Grove Music Festival his first year at Wilson's Creek. He truly believes the treble voice is a beautiful sound and should be nurtured so that children will continue to sing throughout their entire lives. He is happily married for 14 years to his wife, Karla. They have a 16-year-old son who also loves to sing and currently attends Parkview High School.