Articles from our state presidents
  January- 2006

What does ACDA have to offer?
by Linda Hamilton, President, WA-ACDA

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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!                  


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Mozart for Everyone
by Kevin Allen-Schmid, President, Montana ACDA

With 2006 being the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, it’s a great time to program some of the master’s music.  If you have shied away from Mozart’s sublime harmonies due to difficulty level or lack of male voices in your program, hopefully here are several pieces that will work in any situation. Don’t we all have a think stack of Mozart pieces in our files?   This is the year to pull something out and do it.

Canons work well with any group of singers and with a minimum of parts work, the choir can sound quite accomplished with some classical material.

Donald Moore has written an original melody with a flute obligato and combined it with a Mozart canon.  Younger singers can easily master the three four measure phrases.
            Alleluia Canon, arr. Donald Moore
            Alfred #16345
            2-part with piano, flute

“Praise the Lord, Our God, Forever” arranged by Walter Ehret, weaves three easy themes together.  The arrangement calls for 3 equal voices, but you can adapt it for any number of parts.
            Praise the Lord, Our God, Forever, arr. Walter Ehret
            Fred Bock Music Company, distr. Hal Leonard #08738116
            3-equal voices, piano

SAB/3 Part Mixed
Mozart didn’t write 3 part choral music to accommodate the limited range of boy’s changing voices, but the following arrangements have been well crafted for our modern younger mixed ensembles.

I do this Hal Hopson arrangement every two or three years with my beginning mixed choir because it is fun to sing. The baritone part can be bumped up an octave in a few places, if necessary.
            To God Be Joyful, arr. Hal Hopson
            Harold Flammer, distr. Shawnee #D-5371

“Ave Verum” is about the most classical choral work there is and you can trust that your singers will find a satisfaction in hearing themselves sing it beyond anything that you have to explain to them.   Joyce Eilers’ put the piece in C major, which works well for the middle school boys, and added a piano accompaniment.
            Ave Verum, arr. Joyce Eilers
            Hal Leonard #40201020
            3 part mixed

Advanced Treble Choirs
The following pieces contain a few more challenges for your advanced treble groups, involving a wider range, some chromaticism and more complicated rhythms.
            Kyrie, arr. R. Paul Crabb
            Colla Voce Music #18-96810
            2 part treble

            Lacrimosa (from “Requiem”), arr. Patrick Liebergen
            Alfred #21058

SATB Masterworks
Of course, those with advanced high school mixed choirs should be reveling in Mozart this year.  Ave Verum in it’s original SATB version or a  movement or two from the Requiem would be nice.  If you have a fine soprano, you must pull out Laudate Dominum.  Regina Coeli and Te Deum are major works doable by good high school choirs. 

Let’s join the world wide celebration and ensure that our students sing some of Mozart’s marvelous music this year.


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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

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.