Choristers Guild Institute 2024


July 22, 2024 through July 25, 2024
Reveille United Methodist Church 4200 Cary Street

Richmond, VA


The Choristers Guild Institute is a training program for leaders of children's and youth choirs (K-8th). Each summer, participants receive week-long, intensive instruction and mentoring from a faculty composed of outstanding teachers and clinicians.

The program is designed to strengthen directors’ musical, instructional and program planning skills and equip them to effectively provide quality musical experiences for children to grow. Graduates of the program become part of a close and supportive nationwide network of Institute alumni. 

Who Should Attend
The Institute is designed for choir directors who are leading young singers and are full-time, part-time, or volunteer. Music students in college or graduate school are also welcome. As always, institute alumni who completed all three years are welcome to return for renewal and inspiration. 

A degree in music is not required, but musical literacy is fundamental to success as a participant in the Institute. First-year participants should submit a letter of support from a supervisor or staff member to show commitment to the 3 year program. Please email these letters to at time of registration.

Faculty and Contributors
Classes are taught by knowledgeable faculty with a wealth of training and experiences. 

Emily Floyd- Emily Floyd is Associate Pastor for Music and Worship at the First Baptist Church of Asheville, North Carolina. There, she leads choirs and instrumental music and serves as a liaison to the Academy for the Arts (AFTA). It’s important to Emily that people in the Asheville community feel invited to make music with the church, and she is especially passionate about reaching teenagers through music.

Emily taught for six years as a high school choral director at three high schools in Florida and Georgia.  Her church music career spans 20+ years and includes serving as director of music at Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church, youth choir director and women’s choir director at Dunwoody United Methodist Church, children's choir director at Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, and as a conductor for the Northwest Community Youth Choir. Choirs under her direction have performed in Italy (including St. Peters Basilica in Rome) and in Scotland (including St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh).  Emily is in increasing demand as a guest clinician, conductor, speaker, and judge for choral ensembles. She has served as the conductor for honor choirs throughout Georgia.  

Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in music education (magna cum laude) from the Florida State University.  Emily has served as the Repertoire and Standards Chair for Music in Worship for the Southern Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). She is a member of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, the American Choral Directors Association, and the Choristers Guild.

Katie Houts- Our Sacred Choral Music Editor, Katie Houts, has been with us since 2013. Katie curates and edits our catalog of sacred choral anthems, collections, musicals, recordings, and resources. She studied music at Wartburg College, where she double majored in Church Music (Organ) and Religion. She has served in ELCA, UCC, and UMC congregations as Director of Music, Worship Curator, Organist, and Children's Choir Director. 

Katie Houts- is a sought-after professional accompanist and children's choral clinician. In addition to her work with Choristers Guild, Katie serves as the Music Director of IGNITE, which is the training ensemble of Rise Up Children's Choir, Utah's premiere contemporary choral program for children ages 6-18. Katie also serves as Children's Music Director and Staff Accompanist for Hilltop UMC (Sandy, UT) and teaches singing to grades 1-3 and 6-8 at Wasatch Charter School (Holladay, UT). Her husband and three children are all musical, and they love exploring the local food, local skateparks, and local theatres in Salt Lake City, where they now call home.

Karol Kimmell- Karol has served as the Director of Youth & Children's Music at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Atlanta, GA since 1998, directing and developing choral and handbell choirs for PreK - 12th grade.  Karol co-directs Lutheridge Music Week in Arden, NC, plans the week's innovative worship, and serves as the choral clinician for PreK-2nd grade.  

 Before All Saints', Karol worked for 15 years as an organist, choir director, and pre-school music teacher in NC, SC, and GA in Lutheran, Episcopal, and Presbyterian congregations and schools.  Karol directed the Elementary Choruses at Atlanta's Paideia School and the North Carolina 2009 Sixth Grade All State Chorus. Her articles, anthem studies, and hymn arrangements appear in The Chorister and Augsburg Fortress' Sundays and Seasons and Prelude.   

She has presented workshops for the National Conference for Sacred Music, Georgia ACDA, Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, Choristers Guild, FUMMWA, and Augsburg Fortress.  She has served as a choral clinician or Youth Lutherans Sing, Lake Junaluska, Massanetta Springs, Bonclarken, Mabel Boyter Choir Camp, and regional choral festivals. Karol attended Wittenberg University and Lenoir-Rhyne University, receiving her BME (organ) from Lenoir-Rhyne.  She is certified in Orff Schulwerk, Kindermusik, Musicgarten, studied voice at the Mannes School of Music and sang with the Riverside Church Choir in NYC. 

Michael Burkhardt- Internationally known for his innovative and inspiring hymn festivals and for his creative work with children, Michael Burkhardt is in frequent demand as a clinician, recitalist, and hymn festival leader, throughout the U.S. and abroad.

He is currently Director of Worship and the Arts at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Livonia, Michigan, Director of Worship and the Arts for the Southeast Michigan Synod of the ELCA, and Artistic Director of the Detroit Handbell Ensemble.  From 2001-2007 he served on the faculty of Carthage College (ELCA) in Kenosha, WI, as Director of Choral Activities, College Organist, and Artist in Residence

Dr. Burkhardt is a graduate of Carthage College, Kenosha, WI. He earned his M.M. degree from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, and his D.M.A. degree from Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

He has performed and led seminars at both national and regional events for the American Guild of Organists, the Hymn Society, the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, and the American Choral Directors Association.  He made his symphonic hall debut in 1999 at the Meyerson Symphony Hall in Dallas, TX, and since 2003 has made four performance-teaching tours to South Korea and Singapore.

Dr. Burkhardt is author of Part-Singing Global Style, a resource focusing on sequential part-singing techniques in treble arrangements of global pieces, and author of Singing with Understanding, a curriculum utilizing the great hymns, folksongs and spirituals of the Church to share faith stories and to teach the elements of music and worship. He is composer of two settings of the Eucharistic liturgy, A New Song and Missa St. Andrew, as well as numerous organ improvisations, choral octavos and handbell compositions. 

Tom Shelton- Tom T. Shelton, Jr. is a native of Greensboro, N.C. and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he earned both a Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music in Choral Conducting. He is Assistant Professor of Sacred Music at Westminster Choir College.  Focusing on children’s and youth music at Westminster, he teaches classes in conducting, sacred music, music education and coordinates and conducts the Neighborhood Children’s Choir Program.  In addition, he is the Director of Music for Children’s and Youth Choirs at Princeton United Methodist Church.

Mr. Shelton has a passion for music education in all areas: church, school and community. He taught middle school choral music in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County for 18 years. During that time he was selected Teacher of the Year for both Atkins Middle School and Kernersville Middle School.  In 1999 the North Carolina Music Educators Association presented him with the North Carolina Middle School Music Teacher of the Year award.
Mr. Shelton is active with the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), currently serving as the National President-Elect.  Other ACDA leadership positions have included Southern Division President (2011-2012), National R&S Chair for Middle School/Junior High Choirs (2007-2009) and North Carolina President (2005-2007).
Mr. Shelton has conducted festivals and honor choirs in 20 states as well as Hong Kong. He has conducted Choral Festivals in Carnegie Hall, Honor Choirs for the Central Division ACDA and Southern Division ACDA, as well as All State Choirs in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina and South Carolina.  He is the Series Director for the Music for Young Voices Series with GIA Publications and has over 40 compositions published by Choristers Guild, Colla Voce Music, G. Schirmer, GIA Publications, Heritage Music Press, Hinshaw Music Company, Santa Barbara Music Press, and Walton Music.

Host- Daniel Banke, Director of Music and Worship, Reveille United Methodist Church


Full Schedule coming soon!


With classes geared expressly for those teaching and directing children’s choirs, you will finish the week with:
•    Understanding of Choral Methods, Pedagogy and Conducting 
•    Experience planning choir rehearsals
•    Full toolbox-for-teaching
•    Solid repertoire suggestions
•    Setting up a rehearsal room w/ visuals
•    Ideas for shaping a choir program
•    Colleagues & Mentors for the future


Holiday Inn Express Richmond- Midtown
2000 Staples Mill Rd  | Richmond, VA 23230

If you have questions about the Institute you may reach us at


Conference Registration


Pass Name Description
Alumni Registration Fee Must have completed 3rd year at the Institute
Attendee Registration Fee


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