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Amanda Kate Weber awarded 2018 Julius Herford Dissertation Prize

January 10, 2020

We’re proud to announce that alumnae Amanda Kate Weber received the 2018 Julius Herford Dissertation Prize from the American Choral Directors Association for her dissertation, "Choral Singing and Communal Mindset: A Program Evaluation of the Voices of Hope Women's Prison Choir."

Weber received her DMA in choral conducting under professors Kathy Saltzman Romey, Matthew Mehaffey, Kelley Harness, and Keitha Hamann.

Weber founded the Voices of Hope Women's Prison Choir, an organization that helps build individual growth and brings communities together through song at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee, MN. The choir serves communities both inside and outside the prison, and rehearses weekly.

Faculty advisor Kathy Saltzman Romey provided us with a note about Weber's work:

We are tremendously proud that Amanda Weber's thesis –  Choral Singing and Communal Mindset: A program evaluation of the Voices of Hope Women's Prison Choir – has been recognized with the prestigious Julius Herford Dissertation Prize.  The documentation of her work and many accomplishments with the Voices of Hope Choir  provides us with an invaluable case study on the significant impact of music, community, and restorative justice for those within and outside the American correctional system.  For the many community partners who have connected with the Voices of Hope, the experience has been transformational. We applaud Amanda for sharing their story and celebrate the Voices of Hope for uplifting those around them through the powerful medium of song.
–Professor Kathy Saltzman Romey

As the winner, she earned a $1,000 cash prize and an award plaque. Read more about her dissertation and the competition on the American Choral Directors Association website.