Kenneth Elpus is division coordinator and associate professor of music education at the University of Maryland, where he prepares pre-service music educators to teach choral music in the secondary schools, teaches graduate research methods and conducts the University Treble Choir. Elpus earned his Ph.D. and Master of Music degrees in music education from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where he held a fellowship in the Center for the Study of Education and the Musical Experience, studied voice with Karen Brunssen and was a choral conducting student of Robert A. Harris. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree and K-12 teaching credential from The College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ. Prior to beginning doctoral study, Elpus was for seven years the director of choral music at Hopewell Valley Central High School in Pennington, NJ. Under his direction, Hopewell’s choirs collaborated with Canadian choral composer Stephen Hatfield to record "Floating Upstream," a full-length recording of the composer’s eclectic works, which is available internationally on digital distributors Apple Music and Spotify.
Elpus is a sought-after guest conductor for honor choirs, most recently serving as the conductor of the 2018 Maryland Junior All-State Chorus, and has presented professional development and interest sessions for choral teachers at conferences of the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education and several state music educators’ associations. He appeared with the UMD Treble Choir (then known as the Women’s Chorus) at the 2016 Eastern Region Conference of the American Choral Directors Association and has prepared the UMD Concert Choir for appearances with the NSO Pops at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
In addition to his work as a choral conductor and choral music teacher educator, Elpus pursues an active research agenda at the university. His scholarship is focused on issues related to music education and public policy, the demographics of music students, the process of selection into music education and music education as a context for adolescent development. His research and scholarship have been published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, the Music Educators Journal, the international journal Music Education Research and Arts Education Policy Review, among other venues. His policy research has been cited by the National Association for Music Education in their efforts to ensure that music and the arts were enumerated as part of a “well-rounded education” in federal education law, and he was a featured speaker at the association’s 2015 congressional briefing on Capitol Hill. Elpus currently serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Research in Music Education and the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. He is coauthor, with Peter Miksza, of the book "Design and Analysis for Quantitative Research in Music Education," published in 2018 by Oxford University Press. His research at the University of Maryland is funded in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the International Baccalaureate Organization and the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences.