2021 All-State Chorus

All-State Chorus Conductor Bio

Dr. Lee Nelson is the Patricia R. Zahn Chair in Choral Conducting and director of choral activities at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Nelson conducts the Wartburg Choir and Ritterchor (Men’s Choir) and teaches beginning, advanced conducting and choral literature at Wartburg College. He also serves as the artistic director of Christmas with Wartburg. Wartburg College recognized Nelson’s work by awarding him the John O. Chellevold Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service.

Under Dr. Nelson’s direction, the choir has performed at multiple ACDA conventions, including the 2017 National Convention, and an unprecedented performance for the White House and the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. Internationally renowned composer Morten Lauridsen praised Nelson and the Wartburg Choir’s performance of his “O Magnum Mysterium” stating: “It was in the top echelon of any performance of that piece by any choir that I have ever heard.” The choir was honored as the national winners of The American Prize, College/University Choir Division in 2017. Nelson and the Wartburg Choir tour throughout the United States every year and they have sang in 12 different countries over the last 10 years.

A highly sought-after conductor, clinician and adjudicator, Nelson has directed all state and honor choirs throughout the United States and internationally. He has been invited to conduct at Carnegie Hall in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2019 & 2020. Earlier in his career, Nelson won the National ACDA Graduate Conducting Competition in Los Angeles and he received the Outstanding Young Choral Conductor of the Year, awarded by ACDA of Minnesota.

A champion of contemporary music, Nelson regularly commissions and performs new works of choral literature. ECS Publishing distributes the Lee Nelson Choral Series both nationally and internationally. Dr. Nelson earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Concordia College and a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Arizona.  


The 2021 All-State Ensembles have been selected and are available for DIRECTORS ONLY to view. You must log into the NMEA website in order to access the page. The selected participant lists will be available to the public at a later time. 

2021 All-State Selected Participants


All-State participants need to complete the 2021 All-State Contract in order to participate in their ensemble. 

STUDENTS: Return both pages of the signed contract to your director. Your director will mail all contracts to Rick Mitchell, NMEA Auditions Director.

DIRECTORS: Make sure your students receive this contract ASAP. Collect the completed forms (be sure to complete school and director information) and have them postmarked by November 1, 2021. NO EMAILED CONTRACTS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

2021 All-State Contract



Your Voices Tune (from Alexander’s Feast)

G. F. Handel, ed. Don Malin

SATB with piano

Liebst du um Schönheit (If You Love for Beauty)

**performed in German (see below)

Clara Schumann, ed. James McCullough

We Can Mend the Sky Jake Runestad SATB choir, soloists, & percussion
I Will Be a Child of Peace Elaine Hagenberg SATB with piano
Blessed Be! (Now available through Graphite Music Press.) Melanie DeMore  a cappella & walking stick
Rejoice!  Jeffery Ames  SATB divisi with piano, electric bass, & trapset



NMEA acknowledges and respects the diversity of situations existing in our state regarding COVID-19 protocols. Since the majority of our conference and all-state events will occur on UNL property and all events occur within the city of Lincoln, NMEA will follow UNL and Lancaster County guidelines for masking at the time of the conference. Currently Lancaster County has a mask mandate, meaning that the NMEA Conference and All-State would similarly require masking while indoors, including bell covers on wind instruments. This policy may change to reflect updated guidance from UNL and Lancaster County. Individuals who cannot wear a face covering because of a medical condition, mental health condition, religious reasoning, or a disability that prevents the wearing of a face covering may seek an approved face covering exemption individually by contacting the NMEA board through: [email protected] by November 1, 2021. We have provided links to both the City of Lincoln and UNL's COVID-19 response pages on our quick links menu for you to view the latest information.


Liebst du um Schönheit (If You Love for Beauty) by Clara Schumann will be performed in German. Click the link below to view a pronunciation guide for the German text.

Liebst du um Shönheit Pronunciation Guide


Dr. Lee Nelson has provided performance notes to help guide students' preparation for the 2021 All-State Chorus repertoire. Click the link below to view the notes.

Performance Notes from Dr. Lee


Rehearsal tracks for the 2021-All-State Chorus are now available for purchase! Tracks are available for S1-S2, A1-A2, T1-T2, and B1-B2, and cost $15 each. Students purchasing their own rehearsal tracks will need to create a log in for our website in order to complete the form. Your confirmation email will give you links to our learning management system where you will have access to the tracks you just purchased. 

If you are a director purchasing one or more tracks and want your student to have direct access to the rehearsal tracks, each student will need to create their own login to the NMEA website and fill out the form with their own information so that they will have individual access to their rehearsal tracks. If you (the director) would prefer to use your email to login and download the files to share with your students, please use your information to get access to the rehearsal tracks.

Please do not give your students your NMEA login information.

Purchase Rehearsal Tracks

UPDATE: Rehearsal tracks for Blessed Be by Melanie DeMore are now available. Anyone who has purchased rehearsal tracks can now view them when they log into our learning management system.

PLEASE NOTE THIS CORRECTION TO ALTO 1 REHEARSAL RECORDING INSTRUCTIONS FOR “I WILL BE A CHILD OF PEACE": Alto 1 will sing the Alto part in this piece at all times (note stems down), not the middle note when the Soprano and Alto splits into 3 parts.  The spoken instructions given at the beginning of the recording are incorrect, and then goes on to play the incorrect part.  Alto 1’s should use instead the Alto 2 rehearsal recording for this song, which they have already purchased. 

Teachers and students are reminded that Songlearning Tracks are intended for sale to single, individual students. NMEA asks teachers to be on the honor system and not purchase a set (a "set" is one of each voice part) and distribute them to multiple students. Anyone making an individual order is asked to not share their purchased MP3s with anyone else.