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Meet Our Judges


Melinda Smith Murdock

Melinda Murdock is in her eighteenth year teaching choral studies at Jackson Middle School in Portland, Oregon. She has earned degrees from Nova Southeastern University (M.A.) and Idaho State University (B.A). While attending ISU, she studied choral conducting with Dr. Scott Anderson and participated in numerous international choral tours, including trips to England, Central Europe, Italy, Greece, and Brazil. She has also worked with the late Weston Noble, in Idaho and Brazil, as a model for correct choral technique. Her auditioned Ensemble Choir has participated for the past seventeen years in the Worldstrides Heritage Festival, including eight times in their Festival of Gold in New York City, Washington D.C., and Nashville. On demand as a clinician and adjudicator, Melinda was also nominated for the prestigious Oregon Music Educator of the Year award (2006) and was named Teacher of the Year by the Portland Parent Teacher Association (2007). Melinda is a trained classical singer and maintains a full vocal studio, with her students often ranking in the top ten at the state level. She strives to instill in her students a life-long love of music, following the Zimbabwe proverb, “If you can walk, you can dance. If you can talk, you can sing”.

Daniel Nyounai-Herrera


Marie Schumacher

Marie founded PDX Vox (Portland's Community A Cappella Program) in 2004 as a way of integrating her backgrounds in a cappella singing, vocal performance, psychology, and education. As an undergraduate, she directed, managed, and arranged for the Harvard-Radcliffe Opportunes, a mixed a cappella group. She has studied voice, guitar and piano privately for many years, and she has taught singing to adults and children, in both individual and group settings. Marie is a songwriter, a recording artist and performer who has released four albums of original music. She also has a master’s in educational psychology and coaches a cappella groups as Central Catholic High School and Pacific Crest Community School. She is also the director of Caz Northwest, a performing arts family camp.
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