For over a decade, the University of Northern Iowa has had the privilege of hosting thousands of young singers from across the state, providing an environment to meet other vocalists and experience making music together at its Vocal Arts Festival (VAF). Offering programs for students and conductors alike, the VAF seeks to provide an outstanding performance opportunity, positive atmosphere, and foster relationships between singers and ensembles. In addition, students will have the opportunity to take voice lessons from the UNI Voice Faculty, and scholarships may be awarded to study voice at the UNI School of Music as a music major. The Conductor's Symposium includes a series of multiple interest sessions and a conducting masterclass presented by UNI Faculty for the conductors in attendance.

Vocal Arts Festival Choral Faculty

Amy Kotsonis Headshot

Amy Kotsonis is Assistant Professor of Choral Ensembles and Music Education at UNI, conducts the UNI Singers and Women's Chorus, and teaches choral conducting and choral methods. Prior to graduate school at Florida State University, Dr. Kotsonis served as Assistant Conductor, Director of Workshops, and Satellite School Teacher for the Young People's Chorus of New York City and taught music in public schools at the Junior High and High School levels in New York City and Massachusetts.






John Len Wiles Headshot

John Len Wiles is Associate Pr​ofessor of Choral Music at UNI where he conducts Concert Chorale, Cantorei, the UNI Varsity Men's Glee Club, serves as the Artistic Director of the Northern Iowa Bach Cantata Series, and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting and choral literature. Widely respected for his teaching, he is the recipient of multiple teaching awards at the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Texas at Austin. An active clinician and guest conductor, Dr. Wiles has appeared as a conductor throughout the United States and Europe.




For Students

Participate in the Vocal Arts Festival and...

  • be a part of a very select musical group of 300 of the best voices from schools across Iowa and from the surrounding states
  • rehearse and perform the highest level of appropriate choral literature
  • hear the UNI Choral Ensembles performing choral works for all genres
  • take a private voice lesson with our Voice Faculty and audition to perform as a soloist at the Vocal Arts Festival Grand Finale Concert, possibly becoming eligible to receive a music scholarship
  • hear and enjoy performances by our UNI Voice Students

For Choral Directors

Attend the Conductor's Symposium and...

  • participate or attend the conductor's masterclass
  • experience a variety of interest sessions provided by university faculty and nationally-recognized experts in their fields.
  • hear all the high-quality musical experiences your students will enjoy.
  • renew old acquaintances and meet new colleagues.