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Home > The Competition > Judging


There will be three judges to evaluate each group's performance individually. Cash Awards will be presented to the top three place finishers.


Meet Our Judges


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 is the Music Director of Portland State University's Premiere A Cappella Ensemble, The Green Note. He is studying music and psychology at PSU. As the Children’s Music Director at First Presbyterian Church, he is dedicated to securing a safe space and love for music amongst his students. Serving as the Northwestern United States ambassador for Acaville Radio, the home for contemporary a cappella, he enjoys connecting members of the community from far and wide together. In his over 18 years of vocal experience, he has had the chance to work with elite ensembles and perform internationally. As a soloist, Daniel has been recognized in competitions including 1st Place Champion in OMEA District Baritone Solo Voice Championships and as 1st Place in Portland Spanish Teen Idol. His opportunity to work with some of the most influential voices in the vocal music industry such as Deke Sharon, Peter Hollens, Anton Armstrong and Ethan Sperry shape his approach when it comes to all things a cappella. Additionally, Daniel writes and records original songs with messages of hope, love and positivity. He believes there is no greater beauty than people singing together and cherishes sharing this message everywhere he goes.


Adriana Hernandez is a local vocalist and music director of her Portland a cappella group, who graduated with a Vocal Performance degree from Lewis and Clark College. After joining her first choir at the age of 14 she has not stopped studying and making music. With a passion for vocal technique, she continues to study classical voice, but always enjoys connecting with her soulful roots by singing a cappella. Adriana's a cappella group, B-Side Book Club, has won several awards throughout the Pacific Northwest, and Adriana herself was awarded second place in her division for the 2018 NATS Competition.
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