Dr. Jamila McWhirter, Ph.D.
Coordinator of Undergraduate and Graduate Music Education Studies
Associate Professor of Choral Music Education
Dr. Jamila L. McWhirter serves as Associate Professor of Choral Music Education and Coordinator of Undergraduate and Graduate Music Education. She also serves as the Director of the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts for the MTSU College of Liberal Arts. She holds degrees from Southwest Baptist University (B.M.E.), Central Missouri State University (M.A.) and the University of Missouri (Ph.D.). Before coming to Murfreesboro, McWhirter taught choral music and served as a fine arts department chair in the public schools of Missouri and served as adjunct faculty for Central Missouri State University, Stephens College, and Missouri Baptist University and as a doctoral teaching assistant at the University of Missouri – Columbia.
She currently serves as the Tennessee SMTE State Chair. Previously she served as the TMEA Higher Education Chair (6 years) and as the TMEA NAfME Collegiate Advisor (3 years). She also served as MTVA Collegiate Chair for several years. She founded/organized the first Tennessee CMENC (NAfME) State Wide Fall Kick-Off and she also initiated/organized the Tennessee All-Collegiate Choir, Tennessee All-Collegiate Band, and Tennessee All-Collegiate Orchestra performances. She has served on the boards of the Missouri Choral Directors Association, Missouri Music Educators Association, Missouri Fine Arts Academy, and festival rating committees for the Missouri State High School Activities Association.
She serves as a presenter, clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator throughout the United States. Her music education research has been published in the Journal of Research in Music Education and presented nationally including the National MENC/NAfME Conventions in Salt Lake City, Anaheim, and St. Louis; the MTNA National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Symposium in Oklahoma City; and Society of Music Teacher Education National Symposium in Greensboro on several occasions. Recently she has served as a guest conductor, adjudicator, or clinician in Alabama, California, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. McWhirter adjudicated the prestigious Festival of Choirs held at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City on two separate occasions. Over the years her choirs and voice students have been selected for many honors, including the ACDA National High School Honor Choir, ACDA National Women’s Honor Choir, Missouri All-State Choirs, and MMEA State Convention. In 2009, the MTSU Women’s Chorale was selected by audition to perform at Carnegie Hall for the 70th Anniversary Gala Celebration of Shawnee Press and was also invited to sing at St. Malachy’s The Actor’s Church while in New York. McWhirter also founded MTSU Bel Canto, which performed in 2010 at the TMEA State Convention. She is the founding director of the Murfreesboro Community Men’s Chorus (MCMC) who have been invited to perform in Carnegie Hall under her direction in May, 2015. She has been named numerous times to Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who Among American Women, Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Who’s Who in American Education and the National Chancellor’s List. She has also been honored as one of the 100 Most Beautiful People of Murfreesboro by the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
McWhirter’s memberships include Pi Kappa Lambda, ACDA, NAfME, SMTE, SRME, TMEA, MTVA, CMS and patroness member of Sigma Alpha Iota. She is in her 26th year of teaching and 10th year at MTSU.