Articles from our state presidents

What does ACDA have to offer?
by Linda Hamilton, President, WA-ACDA
(January - 2006)

wa flag

ACDA has so much to offer you the choir director.  Be an advocate.  If you are already an ACDA member, encourage someone in your community, district or church to find out more about our organization.  Use the following information to encourage others to get involved.

FOUNDED:  ACDA was founded in 1959 as a nonprofit music-education organization whose central purpose is to promote excellence in Choral Music through performance, composition, publication, research, and teaching.  In addition, ACDA strives through arts advocacy to elevate choral music's position in American society.

MEMBERSHIP:  ACDA membership consists of approximately 18,000 choral directors who represent more than one million singers across the United States.  ACDA members teach choral music in public and private schools- kindergarten through senior high school-and at the college and University levels.  They conduct a variety of choral groups, including boys choirs, children's choirs, men's and women's choirs, junior, middle and senior high school choirs, college and Universities choirs, ethnic choirs, vocal-jazz ensembles, and symphony choruses.  They also conduct choirs in their communities and at their places of worship.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE:  ACDA is divided into seven geographical regions as well as fifty state chapters, each with its own conventions, newsletters, festivals, clinics, workshops and boards. Whether at the National, divisional, or state level, ACDA is structured so that its members can easily involve themselves in the organization's activities.

CONVENTION:  ACDA offers conventions at the state, division, and national levels.  National conventions are offered in March of odd-numbered years, the seven division conventions take place in February or March of even numbered years.  Through concert performers by accomplished choirs, educational clinics by leading experts, and exhibits by music industry representatives.  ACDA offers its members a diverse and practical forum in which to develop their skills and professional knowledge.

THE CHORAL JOURNAL:  The official publication of the American Choral Directors Association is the Choral Journal.  This national publication, issued monthly except for June and July, contains articles and columns of a scholarly and practical nature in addition to reviews of newly released CD recordings, books, and printed music.  The Choral Journal is a benefit of membership in the American Choral Directors Association.  Subscriptions are available to libraries.

COMMITTEES:  ACDA has numerous national committees engaged in enhancing the choral profession in its many facets.  The committees work in several areas of the choral profession whether through establishing high performance standards, recommending quality choral literature, encouraging research in choral studies, or advocating the importance of choral music in our society.   

See you at our NWACDA Convention in Portland!                  


Willamette ad

Paid advertisement


Paid advertisement

Final Glacier Chorale program a fitting tribute to Kalispell conductor Shauneen Garner
by Kevin Allen-Schmid, President, Montana ACDA

garner_choirA recent Sunday afternoon concert entitled “The Road Not Taken”
at the historic and beautiful  St. Ignatius mission in Northwest Montana
was a fitting tribute to retiring Glacier Chorale director Shauneen Garner.

Shaun and a handful of friends started the Glacier Chorale in 1982
and it quickly became the premiere adult vocal ensemble in the area.

Shaun is moving to California where she can be closer to her family
and to seek out fresh challenges for her many talents and interests.

Shaun is an insightful and inspired musician.  I and her many fans and colleagues will miss her leadership with church, community and children’s choirs,
her accompanying at the piano, organ and harp,  and her engaging and devoted personality.

* * * * *

Here are Shaun’s program notes:

from Markings,  by Dag Hammarskjöld

I am being driven forward                                   
Into an unknown land.                           
The pass grows steeper,                        
The air colder and sharper.                                
A wind from my unknown goal                
Stirs the strings
Of expectation.

Still the question:                                  
Shall I ever get there?
There where life resounds,
A clear pure note
In the silence.

No program notes for this concert; the works you will hear require no explanation.  They speak for themselves, boldly, poignantly, ethereally. 
Every piece is here for just one reason:  I couldn’t bear not to perform it one more time.

When I took the position as Chorale Director in 1982, I knew nothing about music.  Yes, I had my degrees in hand, with twenty-five years of piano, twenty years in the field of church music, prior experience with various choral organizations.  I assumed those credentials qualified me as a musician.  What the past two decades have taught me, however, is that music is not about singing the right notes at the right time, or waving one’s arms in the right direction, or even choosing just the right dress for a concert(!)  

Rather, music is all about taking hold of one’s soul, exposing it bare-naked to the world, then coaxing, cajoling, pleading, demanding that the singers do the same. Then together, we walk onstage and invite our audience to join in this experience, to feel what it means to be simultaneously human and divine. 

This is the purpose of music, and anything less is simply pretentious noise.

This afternoon’s music is about journeys, visions, dreams; the true substance of our existence, not the mundane pitter-patter we too often refer to as “life.” 
Hidden inside each of us lives a Dream Box in which we have placed our most fragile treasures: the unfulfilled dreams and visions of bygone years.   
I invite you to open that Dream Box again, if even only for a few hours this afternoon. Allow yourself to feel the power of those aspirations and longings.

My friends, may the music you hear inspire you to commit to that journey which seeks a better world.
Shauneen Garner, April 30, 2006

* * * * *

Here’s the program:

The Road Not Taken
St. Ignatius Mission
April 30, 2006

Glacier Chorale
Wayfarin’ Stranger . . . . . . . . . . . . . .traditional, arranged S. M. Garner
Ride On, King Jesus . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spiritual, arranged Parker/Shaw
Hold On! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jester Hairston
We Shall Walk Through the Valley . . . .Moses Hogan
Ezekiel Saw de Wheel . . . . . . . . . . . .William Dawson
The Road Not Taken . . . . . . . . . . . . .Randall Thompson

Guide Me, Great Jehovah . . . . . . . . . .traditional Appalachian hymn
Praise the King of Heaven . . . . . . . . . Shaker hymn
My Shepherd Will Supply . . . . . . . . . . Virgil Thomson
Steal Away . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .William Dawson
When Rooks Fly Homeward . . . . . . . . .Charles Callahan

Glacier Chorale
Vespers, Opus 37 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sergei Rachmaninoff
(Sung in Russian)
            Come, Let Us Worship
            Blessed Is the Man
            Rejoice, O Virgin
            Blessed Art Thou, O Lord

Flathead High School Concert Choir
(Director: Kevin Allen-Schmid)
Jubilate Deo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . László Halmos
Children of the Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kevin Allen-Schmid

Without A Song . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vincent Youmans, arranged Kirby Shaw
That Lonesome Road . . . . . . . . . . . .James Taylor, arranged Simon Carrington
Bridge Over Troubled Water . . . . . . . Simon & Garfunkel, arr. Kirby Shaw
Somewhere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Leonard Bernstein, arr. Robert Edgerton

Combined Choirs
Portones Abiertos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paul Basler
Make Me an Instrument . . . . . . . . . . Mary McDonald
Untraveled Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Paul Halley

adi ad logo
Paid advertisement

Take your choir to Russia and Finland. International Choral Festival

Convention a great event...attend it!
by Pualeilani Monds, President, AK-ACDA
January 30, 2006

Greetings from the semi-frozen North!

It's conference season again! State, Division, and National conferences for General, Choral, and Band folks are happening all across the nation. Music teachers everywhere are juggling schedules, performances, competitions, and rehearsals, and it is tempting to just skip these conferences, because really, do we have time, space, ENERGY for one more thing? And, hey, all I'm going to do is shop and schmooze, and it's a waste of time, and..WHOA! Before you write these conferences off as time-wasters, consider these points:

1. "Am I doing things the right way?" Conferences are a way to self-check: am I doing things the right way? Have I fallen into a rut, or have new techniques/methods been developed? Am I up on current standards/literature/ideas? Have I developed bad habits, or do I have some good ideas to share?

2. "I didn't know that!" Yep, hard to admit, but we don't know it all and conferences are the way to pick some of the best brains around! I drive my kids crazy when I get back from conferences, because I always want to "experiment" on them and try out the things I've picked up.

3. "How ya'doin'? What's new?" Okay, we ARE going to schmooze for that's half the fun (the other half is shopping, see next paragraph). I live way up here in Alaska, and these are the only opportunities I get to see some of my colleagues. It's nice to catch up, pick brains, see who got fat (kidding!), and generally enjoy the fellowship of other insane individuals who live/breathe/eat, and sleep MUSIC.

4. "I need a purchase order, quick!" Exhibitors gotta love them! I always end up over the luggage weight limit because I buy books and other goodies. It's great to get hands on experience with some of the things I've seen in catalogs, and pick up a cool new gadget or two (or three).

5. "So, what do you think about" The exchange of ideas, thoughts, opinions is vital to the growth of any organization or individual, and this is the perfect arena in which to do that! You have some of the most talented, dedicated people right there with you to bounce ideas off, get opinions from, and discuss important issues with.

6. "Nice to meet you*are you available to "NETWORKING. This is the place to line up your next All-State director, new adjudicators, get someone to lead a workshop at your state convention. The talent pool is right there, and all you have to do is dive right in. Thinking about moving to a state where you don't have to fly to get everywhere (like Alaska). This is the place and time to make those important career contacts you never know when you'll need them.

These are only a few reasons to take the time to attend a conference. I'll be hopping on a plane in March heading down to warm(er) Portland, city of roses and decent shopping malls and Target and Pottery Barn and,.ummm, anyway, I hope to see YOU there too.





An Internet resource you'll really find useful...
by Hal Eastburn, President, OR-ACDA (January - 2006)

eastburnIt is ironic that a self professed Internet-wary musician should be reporting on the presence of the latest and best of internet resources.  I know it is valuable by experience, which is indeed of questionable validity, but more importantly, by the integrity of the originator of this research.  Valery King is a longtime member of my past church choir and current member of the Corvallis Repertory Singers.  She is an OSU librarian with love for and knowledge of music.  She recently sent this note to all the members of CRS.

“I recently had a column published in College & Research Libraries News, a   publication of ACRL (Academic & College Research Libraries) and, since the subject is music, I thought some of you might have some interest in the contents.  Although written for librarians, I think that some of you may find something useful here, in particular those who teach. “ 

King, Valery. "Internet resources: Music." College & Research Libraries News v. 66, no. 11 (2005). 16 Dec 2005 <

The list is organized in a way that it is easy to find the correct research tool for each task.  The list is inclusive of the wide spectrum of music.  Many of you will be familiar with these sites, but I was surprised the number of sites that were new to me. Those of you, who know me, probably won’t be surprised by that.