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The 30th Annual Invitational
Friday, March 1 & Saturday, March 2, 2024

2024 Judging Panel

Ted Brimeyer

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TED BRIMEYER serves as Director of Choirs at Urbandale High School, a position he has held since 2010. There, he leads a vibrant vocal music program at UHS enrolling 470 students in seven performing ensembles. Under his direction the choirs at Urbandale have been recognized at state, regional, and national levels with highlights including the 2020 American Prize in Choral Performance, 2019 American Choral Directors Association Conference, 2017 Iowa Choral Showcase, and Regional ACDA Conferences in 2022, 2016 and 2014. In 2022 the Iowa Choral Directors Association named him the inaugural Outstanding High School/Post-Secondary Choral Educator. Ted joined the faculty of Drake University in 2020 as Teaching Artist of Choirs, conducting Borealis, the auditioned treble choir. Ted’s professional training includes a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music Education and German from Iowa State University.


Cooking, being outdoors, and playing board games with kids Malley, Saffi, and August are among his favorite pastimes. He is constantly finding inspiration and joy with his intelligent, supportive, and patient partner Elyse. 

Marah Cover

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MARAH COVER is a choreographer based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Beginning in 2013, Marah has worked the show choir circuit creating choreography and staging for many show choirs. Her love for song and dance blend well with her many talents to create award winning shows throughout the Midwest.
Marah spent her early years refining her talents, training in different genres including ballet, contemporary, gymnastics, hip hop, jazz, lyrical, tap and musical theater. Her extensive dance background includes 15 years of training, dancing and performing. She then spent four years as the resident lead ballet and technique instructor at Inspire DDS. Marah is an alumni of Franklin Central and was a member of both show choirs, High Voltage and The FC Singers.
Marah is a graduate of Ball State University where she majored in Education and minored in Dance while participating on a student led dance team. Marah serves as the brand administrator of 5678 Apparel and Project 360 Xposure, an arts education and outreach program benefiting students in underserved areas. Working with these talented youths is both a privilege and continuous motivating source for her craft. You can find more information at

Brett Epperson

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Dr. BRETT D. EPPERSON is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska, where he conducts the Hastings College Choir and Choral Union, facilitates the voice area, and teaches courses in conducting, vocal pedagogy, diction, and studio voice. Previously, Epperson taught high school vocal music in Iowa and Nebraska, directing award-winning show choirs. Epperson is also active as a professional vocalist and church musician, and is in-demand as a choral clinician and presenter at festivals and conferences across the United States and abroad.


Epperson is a graduate of Luther College (BA in Music), Michigan State University (MM in Choral Conducting), and Florida State University (PhD in Music Education-Choral Conducting).

Melissa Eklund

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MELISSA EKLUND is a freelance choreographer and educator currently based in Omaha, Nebraska, but originally from Keller, Texas. She pursued her passion for education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she studied Music Education and Elementary Education. Following that, she earned a Master of Science in Education from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

This marks Melissa’s 11th season as a professional choreographer. She has the privilege of working with over 20 show choirs in the Midwest and South. In addition to providing choreography and clinics, she enjoys costume design and creating custom hair and makeup looks for various ensembles.  Furthermore, Melissa choreographs summer show choir camps and musicals, as well as collaborates with other renowned choreographers, and judges multiple competitions. When she is not choreographing or teaching her sweet first graders, Melissa is spending time with her husband (Ben) and two children (August and Indie).

Laura Grimm

LAURA GRIMM is the Co-Head Director of choral activities at Johnston High School, and is theDirector of “Innovation” Show Choir. She also conducts the Cantemus Chamber Choir, Fella Voce Bass Clef Choir, and the Mixed Choir. She received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Wartburg College and her Master of Music Education from Kent State University. Her students at Johnston High School actively participate in Iowa All-State, IHSMA/Solo Ensemble Contest, and the IHSMA Large Group Festival, where all her choirs have received Division I ratings and several students have been selected to All-State Choir. Prior to leading the JHS music department, Laura taught at Johnston Middle School, where she directed the 9 th grade Chamber Choir, Mixed Chorus and the award-winning show choir “Sound Advice.”; she began her teaching at Regis Middle School in Cedar Rapids.

Johnston “Innovation” has won numerous Grand Championship placings, along with caption awards including Best Vocals, Best Choreography, Best Band and Outstanding Soloists. In 2023, “Innovation” won Grand Champion at the Fame Nationals Competition along with several caption awards. Laura has also been voted “Outstanding Staff Member” by her student’s multiple times. She has taken an active role in ICDA Opus Honor choir with over 300 students selected and the guest conductor at several area ICDA Honor Choirs. Laura also works as a freelance choreographer for over 20 years where she serves as an adjudicator and show choir clinician for programs around the Midwest. Laura’s pride and joy is her family! Her husband, Brandon, two beautiful daughters, Scarlet (7) and Violet (4) and lively son, Dominic (2) live in Johnston, Iowa.

Dalton Myatt


Dalton Myatt was born in a suburb outside of San Francisco, California. He moved to Keller, Texas where he started taking dance classes at a young age. He took ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop until he started pursuing other fine arts such as band and choir. He first got a taste of show choir in 8th grade where his mom, Kelli Myatt was his choreographer. He attended Keller Central High School, home of the nationally recognized show choir, Voices of Central. He got to learn from choreographers such as Stephen Todd, April James, Steph Hyatt, and Ben and Melissa Eklund throughout his high school years. After developing a love of show choir, he decided to attend the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. As a member of the school's show choir, The Big Red Singers, he was given many incredible opportunities that allowed him to learn a lot and learn quickly. Soon after starting school, he started to assist Ben and Melissa Eklund with their show choirs. As an apprentice of Ben’s, he learned a lot about being a choreographer. Since then he has choreographed for a number of groups ranging from the Midwest to the great state of Texas. Dalton’s passion is helping students learn about hard work and perseverance.  He hopes to instill a sense of community and pride in all of them.

Lindsey Ussery

LINDSEY USSERY is currently the Assistant Band and Choir director at Papillion LaVista High School; she has previously taught at Omaha South and O’Gorman Jr. High and High School. Lindsey received her BME from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance and the University of Nebraska Omaha. After teaching for a few years she went back to school and received her Masters in Choral Conducting from UNO under Dr. Derrick Fox.  Lindsey was involved in dance for 15 years growing up and got her start in the professional show choir world as a choreographer. Her vocal accolades include being a national semi-finalist for NATS, starring in regional theatre, and being selected to sing the national anthem for President Obama in 2016. Now she judges and clinics for multiple schools in the Midwest when she’s not out competing with her show choirs Monarchy and Free Spirit. Lindsey wishes all groups performing the best of luck today and is excited to see some great shows!

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