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NEW! A Celebration of Excellence – Central Texas

New in Spring 2025

Manchaca United Methodist Church

1011 FM 1626, Manchaca, TX  78652 (South Austin)


2025 Invited Adjudicators:

Eduardo García-Novelli, DMA, Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities, University of Kansas

Gary Packwood, DMA, Freelance Conductor, Pedagogue, Lecturer, Baton Rouge, LA

Jennifer Sengin, DMA, Visiting Assistant Professor of Choral Studies, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO



  • Varsity Mixed Choirs compete for first place and the designation of Honor Choir for the following year’s festival. 
  • Treble Choirs and Tenor Bass Choirs compete for first place.  If there is only one choir in either of these categories, then all treble choirs and tenor bass choirs will compete in a single division for first place. 
  • The three-judge panel will evaluate each performance and provide written comments as well as rank each mixed, treble, and tenor bass choir’s performance within their respective categories. 
  • No ratings are given. 
  • There are no designations by school populations; 6A, 5A, etc., and/or private schools compete in the same division. Categories are determined by voicing only. 
  • Any combination of varsity mixed, treble, and tenor bass choirs may be entered. There is no restriction regarding the number of students per group. 


Concert and Awards

  • Following the Guest Choir concert, a festive Awards Ceremony concludes the day. 
  • Awards are presented to first, second, and third-place winners in the mixed choir categoryFirst-place and runner-up trophies for treble and tenor bass choirs are awarded based on the number of groups in each category. 
  • Additional recognition is given with “Performance of Distinction” awards for notable performances based on the adjudicators’ rankings within each category.



This event (NEW to Central Texas in 2025) was established in Houston in 2018 to provide outstanding high school varsity choirs with an opportunity to perform their University Interscholastic League contest repertoire in a collaborative atmosphere. Included are recordings made by a highly skilled audio engineer which are suitable for archives and convention auditions. 


Guest Choir Concert

The University of Texas Concert Chorale

JD Burnett, Conductor




Eduardo Garcia-Novelli, DMA
Professor of Music
Director of Choral Activities
University of Kansas                                                                                                            Lawrence, KS

Eduardo García-Novelli, born in Argentina, served as Choir Director at Belgrano Day School in Buenos Aires and as Assistant Conductor, National Youth Choir.  Former Assistant Director, Houston Symphony Chorus, and Director, Symphony of Southeast Texas Chorus, he received the Faculty Merit Award for distinguished teaching as Director of Choral Activities, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX. Two undergraduate degrees from state conservatories, Argentina. MM: Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ. DMA: University of Houston. His choirs performed for TMEA, WMEA, KMEA, WCDA, NCCO National Conference, the International Choral Festival in Panama City, Panama, and on several National, European, and South American tours.  He had his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall in 2011, returning in 2015 and 2017. In 2016 he was in residence at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, Slovenia, lecturing and conducting the award-winning AVE Chamber Choir. Other international engagements include MidAm Festival, conducting Mozart at the historical Peterskirche in Vienna, the Coro Nacional de Jóvenes (in residence), Madryn Canta Festival (clinician), Tous Ensemble (guest conductor) all in Argentina, Tamara Brooks summer course in Galicia, Spain, and leading Carthage Choir to win First Prize at the prestigious Spittal International Choir Competition in Spittal, Austria, in July 2019. In July of 2023 he led The University of Kansas Chamber Choir to win First Prize at the Preveza International Competition in Greece, where he also received the best program award and the best conductor award.

Gary Packwood
Freelance Conductor
Pedagogue, Lecturer
Baton Rouge, LA

Recognized as an inspirational and motivational conductor, pedagogue, and lecturer, Gary Packwood has appeared throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia, and has conducted all-state and honor choirs in over 40 states.  Dr. Packwood has served as professor of music and director of choral studies at universities throughout the southeast and his choirs have performed at The White House, throughout Europe, and at State and Regional Conferences sponsored by the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).  In 2017 Santa Barbara Music Publishing began the Gary Packwood Choral Series, which features compositions that specialize in music for developing and advanced young voices. He also has additional music publications through MusicSpoke, Alliance Music, and a new choral series Gentry Music. Dr. Packwood has published articles in the Choral Journal, Teaching Music, the 2nd Edition of the AmeriGrove Dictionary, and a book chapter in GIA’s Publication of Conducting Men’s Choirs, and the book Choral Reflections: Insights From American Choral Conductor-Teachers published by Hal Leonard. He is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Pi Kappa Lambda.

Jennifer Sengin, DMA
Visiting Assistant Professor of Choral Studies
University of Missouri-Kansas City Kansas City, MO

Jennifer Sengin is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Choral Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where she leads the graduate choral conducting program and conducts the flagship ensemble, Conservatory Singers, and the Choral Union. In addition to ensembles, Dr. Sengin teaches graduate choral conducting and choral literature.  She most recently served as the Associate Director of Choral Activities at Georgia State University (GSU) where she conducted the Treble Choir, Choral Union, and taught graduate choral literature, graduate and undergraduate conducting, and undergraduate choral methods. Under her direction, the GSU Treble Choir won first place in The American Prize and Dr. Sengin received 2nd place in conducting. The Treble Choir has been invited to perform at a National Collegiate Choral Organization Conference (2023) and twice at the Georgia Music Educators Association Conference (2020 and 2023). While at GSU, Dr. Sengin received two university-wide awards for achievement and instructional effectiveness.  She participated as a Conducting Fellow with ACDA’s International Conductor Exchange Program. An active guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and presenter, Dr. Sengin has conducted honor choirs throughout the country and recently conducted the 2023 Texas All-State Treble Choir. She sings in the award-winning professional ensemble, mirabai, under the direction of Sandra Snow.

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