Dr. Gerry Kreitzer
Mount Mercy Director of Music Activities
Kreitzer received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in music education and his Master of Music in music history and literature from the University of South Dakota. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting from the University of Iowa.
Prior to coming to Mount Mercy, Kreitzer served as director of vocal music for 22 years at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, and also taught at The University of Northern Iowa, The University of South Dakota, Indian Hills Community College, and LaSalle High School.
Kreitzer has served as president of the Iowa Music Educators Association, musical director of the metropolitan chorale in Cedar Falls/Waterloo, musical director of the Black Hills Playhouse, is the Chancel Choir director at First Congregational Church in Cedar Rapids, and is a frequent adjudicator and clinician in Iowa and surrounding regions.
As coordinator of campus music, Kreitzer directs the Mount Mercy University Band, the Mount Mercy Strings, assists students in forming new musical ensembles, is developing a Summer Music Academy and teaches Elementary Music Methods.
Chapman is a long-time choral director from Fort Madison, Iowa. Named one of the top 12 music educators in Iowa by Music Educators National Conference (MENC), Chapman has taught music at levels ranging from elementary through college. His career spans more than four decades with choirs appearing on 12 divisional and national MENC and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) convention programs. Chapman and his late wife, Sandra, directed 10 concert tours in Europe and received the prestigious McCowen Award from the Iowa Choral Directors Association (ICDA). Show Choir Nationals established the Allen and Sandra Chapman Excellence in Education Award, presented annually during competition at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn.
Chapman's show choirs were competition finalists and champions across the Midwest, and he was a co-founder of the Iowa Show Choir Camp. He is renowned in southeast Iowa for directing outdoor community broadway musical productions, which drew audiences of 10,000 people. Soloists from Allen's voice studio have won the National Association of Teachers Singing (NATS) competition and nearly 500 of his students have been selected for membership in the Iowa All-State Chorus.
Most recently, Chapman was recognized by the Iowa High School Music Association with the national Federation Award of Merit at the All-State Music Festival in Ames, Iowa. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to music education at the local, state and national level. He is a graduate of Iowa Wesleyan College, holding a bachelor's degree in music education, and Truman State University, holding a master's degree in voice.
Peter A. Eklund
Dr. Eklund was recently named one of the elite national quarter-finalists for the first-ever GRAMMY® NATIONAL MUSIC TEACHER OF THE YEAR (out of over 30,000 nominees). During the fall of 2014, he was presented the prestigious "Director of the Year" award by the Nebraska Choral Directors Association. One of the most active and versatile international conductors today, Peter A. Eklund possesses a unique ability to work effectively with musicians at all levels of performing capability and experience. His concertizing/clinician schedule averages 60 national and international concerts annually and includes a wide array of scholarly, professional, orchestral, collegiate, liturgical, festival, all-star, and youth/student ensembles throughout North America and Europe.
Current and recent engagements include(d) conducting All-State choirs in Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado, Indiana, South Dakota, Georgia, Missouri, and Alabama, and directing a summer youth honor choir trip to ten countries.
Dr. Eklund is Full Professor, Co-Chair of the Voice/Choral Area, and is the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he heads the Masters and Doctoral choral conducting programs, conducts the University of Nebraska flagship mixed choral ensemble—the nationally recognized 'University Singers,' and conducts the nationally renowned University of Nebraska Varsity Men's Chorus (both national MENC selected performance ensembles, the former in 2002—Nashville and the latter in 2004—Minneapolis).
Prior to coming to Nebraska, Eklund taught for over a decade at Thomas Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he and his wonderful colleague, Carol Tralau, built what Maestro Robert Shaw said was the finest high school choral program in America (Eklund, Tralau, and Shaw all conducted on the same North Central ACDA conference with Eklund’s choir directly preceding Shaw’s final performance of Britten's War Requiem with the Minnesota Orchestra).
Traulau is currently director of music at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as well as an instructor of voice for approximately thirty high school students. During her tenure as a high school director, she taught music and biology and coached basketball and softball. The choirs she directed performed on one national and three regional ACDA convention programs. In addition, Tralau accepted the invitation to direct the demonstration choir for the undergraduate conducting competition at the 1999 national ACDA convention in Chicago.
She has guest conducted various honor choirs in the Midwest, including an Iowa Opus Honor Choir, a Minnesota all-state choir, a North Central division ACDA women's honor choir, and the South Dakota All-State Honor Choir. She still enjoys preparing quartets for all-state auditions and serves as an all-state clinician for several Cedar Rapids area schools. Having experienced vocal problems in 1993 due to illness, she has done further study with speech pathologists and is intrigued with the “mechanics” of vocal production.