Jace Saplan

Jace Saplan
Jace Saplan

Assistant Professor of Music

On leave 2018-19
Schambach Center 208

An advocate for contemporary choral music, Jace Kaholokula Saplan focuses his research on multicultural perspectives in the choral rehearsal; intersections of choral pedagogy, gender, and sexuality in communities of color; and native Hawaiian agency in music.

Saplan is the artistic director of Na Wai Chamber Choir, a professional vocal ensemble based in Hawai'i. The choir is dedicated to the preservation and propagation of Hawaiian choral music. Under Saplan’s direction, Na Wai has commissioned native composers, toured throughout indigenous communities, and led workshops on Hawaiian choral music and music education at indigenous-identifying schools and universities throughout the country.

Saplan served as the chorus master for the Frost Opera Program at the University of Miami, where he prepared a number of innovative and contemporary works such as Golijov's Ainadamar, and Karen Kuster's Old Presque Isle, done in collaboration with the John Duffy Composer's Institute and the Virginia Arts Festival. He has led interest and reading sessions at the state, regional, and national level for the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Educators, National Collegiate Choral Organization, and the LGBTQ Studies in Music Education Conference.

Recent Courses Taught

College Choir 
College Hill Singers
Music and Resistance 
Music, Gender, and Sexuality 
Music of the Pacific Rim 
Choral Conducting 
Choral Pedagogy 


Bouchet Honor Society

Select Publications

  • Saplan, J. (2017). Konduktor na Bakla: Queer Filipino Choral Conductors and the Performance of Gender, Sexuality, and Race. To be published by Journal of Multidisciplinary Filipino Studies
  • Saplan, J. (2016). Ku?e! An Exploration of Hawaiian Communal Protest Music from the 20th Century Hawaiian Renaissance. Red Ink: International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Humanities

Professional Affiliations

Bouchet Graduate Honor Society 
American Choral Directors Association
National Choral Conductors Organization
National Association for Music Educators
College Music Society
Chorus America 

Appointed to the Faculty: 2017

Educational Background

D.M.A., University of Miami
M.Ed., Concordia University, Concordia University
M.Mus., University of Oregon
B.A., University of Hawai'i


Na Mele o ka Lahui Hawai'i: The Choral Music of Queen Lili'uokalani
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