JACE KAHOLOKULA SAPLAN
Dr. Jace Kaholokula Saplan serves as Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of at Arizona State University and oversees the graduate program in choral conducting, conducts the ASU Concert Choir, and teaches courses in choral literature and pedagogy that weave decolonial and critical theories with communal vocal practice.
In addition to Jace’s work in academia and classical music, Jace is known as a national thought leader and consultant in enacting social change and equity-driven practice through the choral arts. Dr. Saplan is an Obama Equity Fellow for the 2022-2023 year and a Gates DEI fellow for the 2023-2024 year. Jace also serves as a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Access, and Belonging consultant for arts organizations throughout the country, such as Choral Arts Northwest, The Phoenix Chamber Choir, The Guitar Federation of America, and Native Arts.
As a Kanaka Maoli advocate, artist, and culture bearer, Dr. Saplan is also the artistic director of Nā Wai Chamber Choir, a vocal ensemble based in Hawaiʻi dedicated to the preservation, propagation, and innovation of Hawaiian choral music. Under Dr. Saplan’s direction, Nā Wai recorded a Global Music Award-winning album entitled Eō Liliʻuoklani under the Mālama Music label and performed for the 2021 Chorus America Summer Conference, the 2021 National American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Conference, and the 2020 ACDA Western Region Conference in Salt Lake.
Prior to Dr. Saplan’s appointment at Arizona State University, Dr. Saplan was the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Hawai’i and conductor of the UH Chamber Singers. Under Jace’s direction the UH Chamber Singers sang as an auditioned choir at the 2022 ACDA Western Division Conference in Long Beach. The ensemble also performed at the Musica Pasifika Festival in Tahiti in 2020, and at the Pasifika Choral Symposium in Guam in 2019.
Jace regularly conducts high school and collegiate honor choirs across the United States, and is invited to headline conferences and serve as a guest lecturer in the United States and abroad. Jace received a BA in Hawaiian Music from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, a M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University-Portland, an MM in Choral Conducting from the University of Oregon, and a DMA in Choral Conducting with cognates in Music Education and Ethnomusicology from the University of Miami Frost School of Music.