Wayne State College

Matthew Armstrong

Dr. Matthew Armstrong is Director of Choral Activities at Wayne State College. He is an associate professor in the Music Department and leads the Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Lyrica (Soprano/Alto) and Fortis (Tenor/Bass) Choirs. Additionally, he teaches courses in conducting, choral literature, and Music Education.

Prior to his appointment at Wayne State, Armstrong enjoyed teaching music at all age levels from K-12 through college. His many years of experience, most of which were in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, public schools, included leading concert, chamber, madrigal, jazz, and show choirs. He has the distinction of receiving Division I superior ratings with perfect ballots in each of these categories. Armstrong’s concert and jazz choirs have been selected to perform at regional and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and his Washington High School jazz choir won the 4A large-school Iowa Vocal Jazz Championships three times. In his final year of high school teaching, Armstrong’s Kennedy High School show choir completed an undefeated six-competition season. At Wayne State, the Concert Choir has been selected by audition to perform at NMEA.

While in Cedar Rapids, Armstrong did additional conducting and teaching at Coe and Cornell Colleges before being invited to serve as visiting assistant professor at his alma mater, Wartburg College. After Wartburg, he completed doctoral studies at University of Nebraska-Lincoln on an Edgren Fellowship with a full-tuition Graduate Teaching Assistantship. At UNL, he conducted the All-Collegiate Choir, assistant-directed the University Singers, and directed UNL Vocal Jazz.

An active musician, Armstrong has performed and recorded music with contemporary, jazz, and country flavors, and is a studio singer for choral demos. As composer and arranger, his works have been published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing, ECS Galaxy, ECS MorningStar, and MusicSpoke. His pieces have been performed by numerous choirs including honor and all state festivals. His professional affiliations include the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education. He has presented at regional ACDA, NCDA, ICDA, NMEA and IMEA conferences and stays active as a clinician, adjudicator, and conductor of honor choir festivals. Recent festival highlights include conducting the Iowa Opus 9th Grade Honor Choir, the Nebraska All-State Concert Choir, and the Nebraska Ambassadors of Music European tour.

At Wartburg College, Armstrong served as president of the renowned Wartburg Choir and was recognized with the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research or Performance beyond the Regular Requirements of Wartburg College: "Serenade" Men’s A Cappella Group. Among his many influential teachers, he is grateful to have studied choral music with Paul Torkelson, Matthew J. Armstrong, David Rayl, Robert Sinclair, Eph Ehly, and Peter Eklund.

DMA, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
MME, VanderCook College of Music
BME, Wartburg College

Academic Interests
Armstrong’s academic interests include spiritual arrangements of Hall Johnson, choral literature/programming, conducting, and composition/arranging.