Dr. J. Steven Walker, East Central University director of choral activities, will be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Hall of Fame at the OMEA Winter In-Service Conference, Jan. 21-24, 2015, in Tulsa.
The awards are presented annually to experienced music educators who have distinguished themselves as teachers, officers in OKMEA and/or NAfME, researchers in music education and those members who have shown active political support of music education in the state and nation.
Ninety-four music educators have been inducted into the OKMEA Hall of Fame since its inception in 1984. Walker is the second ECU music educator to receive this award, following Betty Woods in 1996.
“I am very humbled by this honor. The students I have taught the past 31 years at ECU, past and present, are in my Hall of Fame,” Walker said.
Walker has been a music educator for 39 years, having previously taught at Strickland Junior High School in Denton, Texas, Richland College in Dallas and the University of North Texas in Denton. He was active as an oratorio soloist during his tenure at UNT. He was the conductor of the Denton Community Chorus from 1978-1983.
He has been on the faculty at ECU since 1983, where he is also the Music Department Coordinator and an Adolph Linscheid Distinguished Teaching Professor. He directs the University Chorale and ECU Singers.
Walker received his undergraduate degree in music education from Arkansas State University, master’s degree in music education from the University of North Texas and a Ph.D. in music education/vocal pedagogy emphasis from UNT.
His research regarding the whistle register in female voice was published in the Journal of Voice. Walker has served on the faculty of the Voice Foundation at the Julliard School and as the voice science chair for the National Association of Teachers Singing. He has been active as a choral clinician and adjudicator throughout the South. Walker has conducted numerous all-regional high school and junior high school choirs as well as judged choral contests on the district and state levels.
The University Chorale has been invited numerous times to perform for the Oklahoma Music Educators’ State Convention, most recently in 2012. The Chorale performed in Washington D.C. in December 2013 and is making plans to compete in an international competition in Europe in 2015-2016.
Walker is a member of the Oklahoma Music Educators Association and the Oklahoma Choral Directors Association. He was chosen as an Exemplary Teacher by the OKMEA at last year’s convention. He has served as an Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA) District Vocal Contest manager for 29 years.