Everist Presented with Tenure Award

Joel Everist, Vocal Music Instructor and Director of Choral Activities at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC), has been awarded the Teacher Tenure Award by the Iowa High School Musical Association. This award was developed to recognize persons who have spent more than 30, 35, or 40 years of contracted high school music instruction in the state of Iowa or any year in excess of 30 upon notification of intentions to retire. Everist was presented with the Award at the All State Music Festival Concert in Ames, IA on Saturday, November 18th.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the Iowa High School Music Association.  I am especially grateful to have spent the past 31 years with Rachel Everist as my teaching partner in the classroom.  I would like to express my thanks to all of the families, students, parents, guardians, alumni, staff, and administrations for their support.,” said Everist.  “Arts education empowers us to learn together, creating and connecting with each other.  I look forward to continuing to build community through music education in North Iowa as Director of Choral Activities for NIACC!”

Everist has conducted choirs appearing at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Orchestra Hall, the International Habeneras Festival in Spain, as well as a command performance for the Vice President with the Prime Minister of Japan at the State Department in Washington, D.C.  “Choral Director Magazine” recognized Joel as a national Top Ten Conductor of Note.  He taught for 31 years in the Grammy Award winning signature school music program at Mason City High School.  Joel also served as Director of Choral Activities for Waldorf University from 2016 to 2020.

Everist has directed choirs featured on public radio, CBS national television, and were the subject of the documentary film “Invisible Threads” that aired on IPTV.  Recordings of Joel’s ensembles were presented as exemplars of excellence in the college textbook “The School Choral Program” from GIA

Publications.  His choirs consecutively earned over 175 First Place/Superior ratings at state and national festivals throughout three decades of competitions.  He has appeared as a vocal soloist with many ensembles, as an actor in various film and stage projects, and directed numerous musical theatre productions.

Joel’s choirs were selected for multiple appearances at American Choral Directors Association conventions, and performed numerous world premiere works by award winning composers.  Everist conducted the Iowa Choral Directors Association State Opus Honor Choir, Chaired the ICDA Convention, was elected to two terms on the ICDA Board of Directors, and served as the ICDA Ethnic & Multicultural Music Chair.  He has worked as a church choir conductor and taught at all levels of music education from elementary school through college.

Everist earned a BA from Gustavus Adolphus College in music and theatre, and an MM in music education from Northwestern University.  Joel has been married for 33 years to Rachel, a professional pianist who has taught at NIACC since 1995.  They have two children: Jennaya (19) and Jackson (17).


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