• Alyssa Cossey

    CONDUCTOR. TEACHER. SCHOLAR. (she, her, hers)

  • Bio

    Alyssa Cossey (she/her) is Assistant Professor of Choral Music and Music Education at the University of Arizona where she conducts the University Community Chorus, Coro, and the Wildcat Choir, teaches undergraduate Methods and Techniques for Secondary Vocal Music Education and Introduction to Music Education as well as graduate seminars: Techniques for the Choral Teacher-Conductor, Historical Research in Music Education, and Teaching Music in Higher Education. Dr. Cossey is also responsible for overseeing student teachers and advising Conducting and Music Education graduate students. In addition to her teaching responsibilities she is in high demand as an adjudicator, clinician, guest conductor and presenter and has presented at state and regional conferences in Alaska, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, New Mexico, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina, and Texas. In 2018 she presented her session, “Adopt, Adapt, Improve: Utilizing Effective Choral Techniques in the Wind Band Rehearsal” at the Midwest Clinic: International Band & Orchestra Conference, in Chicago, Illinois.

     

    Dr. Cossey holds a DMA in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University, an MM in Conducting from California State University, Fullerton, and a BA from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

     

    As a Los Angeles native, she sang in the premiere women’s chorus, Vox Femina Los Angeles, under the direction of Dr. Iris Levine, and has been invited to sing at venues including the Hollywood Bowl, the Pantages Theatre, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall with renowned conductors and composers including John Williams, Grant Gershon, and James Conlon. She is also an inaugural member of the professional-level women's choir mirabai, which sings and tours under the direction of Dr. Sandra Snow, and can be heard on their debut CD “Ecstatic Songs,” released in March 2018.

     

    In addition to conducting and teaching, Dr. Cossey has a passion for investigative historical research. Her article on Haydn’s secular canons, “Adding Canons to the Canon: Franz Joseph Haydn’s Die Weltlichen Kanons,” was featured in the August 2018 issue of the Choral Journal. Previous research areas have included unpublished documents on the commission and premiere performance of Randall Thompson’s Frostiana, and in 2018 she visited the Britten-Pears Foundation in Aldeburgh, Suffolk to review his original manuscripts and complete her comparative study of Britten’s written scores to his conducted performances.

     

    Dr. Cossey holds memberships with the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, the College Music Society, and the National Association for Music Education. She currently serves as the Arizona ACDA Collegiate Repertoire and Resources Coordinator and is a member of the Western Region American Choral Directors Association Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee.

     

    Previously, Dr. Cossey taught middle and high school choir in the L.A. area for nearly a decade. During her tenure her choirs consistently received Superior ratings at festival, with invitations to perform at the state and national level, and enrollment in her programs more than doubled in size under her leadership.

  • Education

    Michigan State University

    DMA in Choral Conducting

    Graduate Teaching Assistant

    2017

    California State University, Fullerton

    MM in Performance

    Conducting

    Graduate Assistant

    2015

    California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

    BA in Music Education

    Music Teacher Credential

    2008

  • Research & Presentation Materials

    Presentations: 

    Amplifying Womxn's Voices: An Intersectional Approach to Equity in the Choral Ensemble

    Northwestern ACDA Regional Conference, Spokane, WA (March 2022)

    Western ACDA Regional Conference, Long Beach, CA (March 2022)

    Midwestern ACDA Regional Conference, Chicago, IL (February 2022)

     

    Amplifying Womxn's Voices in the Reimagined Choral Ensemble

    AzACDA Virtual Summer Conference, Mesa, AZ (July 6, 2020)

    Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, CT (July 15, 2020)

    ChorAmor Webinar (November 2, 2020)

    mirabai Virtual Leadership Retreat (January 10, 2021)

    California All-State Music Education Virtual Conference, (February 20, 2021)
    Western ACDA Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Virtual Series (April 22, 2021)

    NAfME Eastern Division Virtual Conference (April 24, 2021)

    Maryland Music Educator Association Virtual Conference (July 13, 2021)

    Presentation Slides (PDF) 

     

    The First Ten Minutes: Re-Imagining the Role of Warm-Up Activities in the Choral Rehearsal

    Choral Teacher Share: Practical Resources and Strategies from Coast to Coast, East Lansing MI (July 23, 2016)

    North Carolina Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference Winston-Salem, North Carolina (November 6, 2016)

    NAfME Northwest Conference, Bellevue, WA (February 17, 2017)

    California All-State Music Education Conference, San Jose, CA (February 18, 2017)

    New Mexico Music Educators Association Conference, Albuquerque, NM (January 12, 2018)

    Tucson Unified School District Professional Development Day, Tucson, AZ (June 1, 2018)

    Bakersfield City School District Summer Institute, Bakersfield, CA (July 24, 2018)

    Indiana Music Educators Association Conference, Fort Wayne, IN (January 18, 2019)

    Alaska Music Educators Association Conference, Anchorage, AK (January 11, 2020)

    NAfME Eastern Division Virtual Conference (April 24, 2021)

    Presentation Slides (PDF)

    Warm-up List (w/descriptions)

    Sample Card Game Teacher Master

     

    Finding Their Space: Re-Inventing The Choral Audition

    California All-State Music Education Conference, San Jose, CA (February 15, 2018)

    Tucson Unified School District Professional Development Day, Tucson, AZ (June 1, 2018)

    Bakersfield City School District Summer Institute, Bakersfield, CA (July 24, 2018)

    North Carolina Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference Winston-Salem, North Carolina (November 10-13, 2018)

    Indiana Music Educators Association Conference, Fort Wayne, IN (January 18, 2019)

    Alaska Music Educators Association Conference, Anchorage, AK (January 10, 2020)

    Presentation Slides (PDF)

    Vocal Range Charts (SATB)

     

    Mind the Gap: Strategies and Tools for the Changing Voice/Middle School Singers

    Choral Teacher Share: Practical Resources and Strategies from Coast to Coast, East Lansing MI (July 24, 2016)

    ACDA-Hawaii Chapter, Honolulu, HI (September 2, 2017)

    New Mexico Music Educators Association Conference, Albuquerque, NM (January 12, 2018)

    Bakersfield City School District Summer Institute, Bakersfield, CA (July 24, 2018)

    North Carolina Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference Winston-Salem, North Carolina (November 10-13, 2018)

    California Choral Directors Association Conference, San Jose, CA (March 14-17, 2019)

    Presentation Slides (PDF)

    Accessible Rep List for Middle School Voices

    Mind the Gap Bibliography

     

    Learning to Listen: Empowering the Individual and the Ensemble (Co-Presenter Becky Marsh)

    Choral Teacher Share: Practical Resources and Strategies from Coast to Coast, East Lansing MI (July 24, 2016)

    North Carolina Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (November 5, 2016)

    Michigan Music Conference, Grand Rapids, MI (January 21, 2017)

    ACDA-Hawaii Chapter, Honolulu, HI (September 2, 2017)

    Presentation Slides (PDF

     

    The First Five Years: A Planning & Survival Guide (Co-Presenter Becky Marsh)

    California All-State Music Education Conference, San Jose, CA (February 15, 2018)

    Indiana Music Educators Association Conference, Fort Wayne, IN (January 19, 2019)

    NAfME Northwest Conference, Portland, OR (February 14-17, 2019)

    NAfME Eastern Division Virtual Conference (April 24, 2021)

    Presentation Slides (PDF)

    Google Drive Materials

     

    Adopt, Adapt, Improve: Utilizing Effective Choral Techniques in the Wind Band Rehearsal

    California All-State Music Education Conference, San Jose, CA (February 15, 2018)

    Midwest Clinic: International Band & Orchestra Conference, Chicago, IL (December 19, 2018)

    Presentation Slides (PDF) 

     

    Grow Where You Are Planted: Recruitment and Retention Strategies for Every Choir

    Tucson Unified School District Professional Development Day, Tucson, AZ (June 1, 2018)

    AzACDA Summer Conference, Mesa, AZ (July 10, 2018)

    Bakersfield City School District Summer Institute, Bakersfield, CA (July 24, 2018)

    Presentation Slides (PDF)

     

    Removing Gender: Best Practices for Recruiting Tenor/Bass Singers in the 21st Century​

    Arizona Music Educators Conference, Mesa, AZ (February 2, 2019)

    Presentation Slides (PDF)

     

    Fabrications & Folklore: The Genesis of Randall Thompson's Frostiana

    University of Arizona Music Education Colloquium, Tucson, AZ (April 6, 2018)

     

    Publications:

    Cossey, Alyssa. "Building Voices & Community: Vocal Exercises for the Post-COVID Choir." Antiphon 25, no. 1 (Fall 2021).

     

    Cossey, Alyssa, ed. "Lessons from the Pandemic." Tactus, (Fall 2021).

     

    Cossey, Alyssa. “Choral Reviews for All Choirs: Repertoire for Virtual/Hybrid Instruction.” Antiphon 24, no. 1 (Fall 2020).

     

    Cossey, Alyssa. “Best Practices in the Time of COVID-19: Why Getting By is More Than OK.” Antiphon 23, no. 3 (Spring 2020).

     

    Cossey, Alyssa. “Finding S.P.A.C.E.: Five Essential Steps for Student Success in the Middle School Classroom.” North Carolina Music Educator 69, no. 3 (Winter 2019).

     

    Cossey, Alyssa. “Tips from the Clinician: A Sneak Peek at the Treasure Trove of Helpful Ideas to be Presented at Midwest.” Instrumentalist 73, no 5 (December 2018). [contributing author]

     

    Cossey, Alyssa. “Adding Canons to the Canon: Franz Joseph Haydn’s Die Weltlichen Kanons.” Choral Journal 59, no 1 (August 2018).

     

    *Choral editions of Haydn's secular canons available upon request

     

    Playlists & Podcasts:

    Choral Collective Playlist

    Choralosophy Podcast

  • Recommended Resources

    Equity-Focused Repertoire Databases:
    Justice Choir Songbook (compiled list of social justice works - free for non-profit organizational use)
    Activist Repertoire Database (list hosted by Gala Choruses)
    Composer Diversity Database (filterable database focused on composer diversity)
    Historic Composers Directory (directory of historic black composers)
    Non-Idiomatic Choral Music of Black Composers (compiled by Dr. Marques L.A. Garrett)
    African Diaspora Music Project (searchable database of scores, recordings, & programmatic works by composers of the African Diaspora)
    Castle of Our Skins (comprehensive resource/repertoire list about the music of Black composers from the African Diaspora)
    Sacred Music By Women Composers (purchasable anthologies)
    Database of Women Composers (Orange County Women’s Chorus - Eliza Rubenstein)
    Women Composers (non-exhaustive list of women composers for all ensembles/instruments)
    Sacred Music from the Convents of Seventeenth-Century Italy: Restoration Practices for Contemporary Women’s Choruses (research by Dr. Meredith Bowen)
    A Modern Reveal (information and links to repertoire from early women composers)
    Gala Choruses Repertoire Resources (links to repertoire lists including LQBTQ+ composers, Activist Repertoire List, Trans Composer Reading Session, etc.)
    Latin American Choral Music List (compiled by Ahmed Anzaldúa of Border CrosSing & Liza Calisesi Maidens)
    Aepex (list of historically excluded composers with links to repertoire)

     

    Historical Repertoire Databases:

    Medieval/Renaissance/Baroque Composer List (links to repertoire)

    Bach Vocal Music Index (filterable catalogue of Bach cantata, masses, motets)

    Mozart Music Catalogue (Bärenreiter-Verlag scores available for study/research)

    Polyphony Database (links to repertoire)

    Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL)

    Petrucci Music Library (IMSLP)

     

    Classroom Resources:
    ChorAmor (repertoire, lesson plans, & advocacy tools)
    Decolonizing the Music Classroom (comprehensive list of resources, research, podcasts, etc.)
    Cult of Pedagogy (music education resources, blog, & podcast)
    Girl Conductor (classroom resources & instructional videos by Maria A. Ellis)
    Being Human Together (community centered resources by Coty Raven Morris)
    The Choral Commons (podcasts, community events, & resources on justice-centered praxis)
    We Rise: A Movement Songbook (from the Poor People’s Campaign - social movement music)
    Repertoire to be Removed (list of minstrel songs & supporting documentation for its removal)
    Music & Peace Building (podcasts & resources for peace building through music)
    Everyday Musicality (practical applications of music education research for the secondary classroom)
    Classroom & Repertoire Resources (curated by Dr. Derrick Fox)
    Music Theory Examples by Women (music theory examples, repertoire lists, and bio info)
    List of Women Composers by Time Period (list by Oxford Music)
    Boulanger Initiative (promotes music composed by women)

     

    Contemporary Womxn Composers:
    Artemisia
    Elizabeth Alexander
    Ysaye Barnwell
    Abbie Betinis

    B.E. Boykin
    Michael Bussewitz-Quarm
    Andrea Clearfield
    Reena Esmail
    Emma Lou Diemer
    Melissa Dunphy
    Jocelyn Hagen
    Elaine Hagenberg

    Rosephanye Powell

    Andrea Ramsey
    Zanaida Robles

    Diana V. Saez

    Kamala Sankaram

    Caroline Shaw

    Moira Smiley

    Joan Szymko

    Dale Trumbore

    Mari Esabel Valverde

    Gwyneth Walker

    Chen Yi
     

    Playlists:
    Music Theory Examples by Women
    Black Choral Musicians
    Choral Collective Playlist
    A Trans Composers Playlist 

     

    Podcasts:
    Celebrating Women Composers
    Choral Commons Podcast
    Engender

    They Do Exist
    Girl Conductor
    Silent Canon
    Heritage Choir

     
  • Upcoming Engagements

    Below is a list of some of my upcoming conducting, teaching, or presenting engagements. I hope to see you there!

    Updates coming soon...

  • Media

    Coming soon...

  • Drop Me A Note...

    University of Arizona
    1017 N. Olive Road
    Tucson, AZ 85721
    Rm. 155