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. 


August 16 - September 6: All-State registration for students open ($25 application fee)

September 7 - September 13: Late registration for All-State available ($45 application fee)

September 13 @ 11:59 PM CST: Registration closed, no more applications accepted

September 23 @12:00 PM - September 25 @ 11:59 PM CST: Website portal opens and closes for choral audition uploads.

October 18 @ 8:00 AM: All-State selections announced



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)

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



Auditions region guides and manuals are available to download by clicking the buttons below.

Audition Region Guide
2021 Auditions Manual & General Info 
2021 Chorus Auditions Manual


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. 

Purchase Rehearsal Tracks

NOTE: NMEA is still waiting for rehearsal tracks for Blessed Be! by Melanie DeMore. We will upload them onto the website as soon as they are available. Once on the website, anyone who has purchased their rehearsal tracks will be able to listen to them.

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.