President's Messages during the tenure of
Scott Peterson, President

Posted June 20, 2008

Greetings, Friends:

As my time as President of the Northwestern Division comes to conclusion on July 1st, I want to thank you for allowing me the honor of being President for the past two years.

It has been a fascinating time.  To be here during the end of Gene Brook’s term as executive director and for the initial stages of Tim Sharp’s term has been an interesting  and a once in a lifetime experience.  Our 2008 convention was certainly an exciting event for our Division and I’m glad to report to you that while the convention was not a complete financial success, it was a very much a motivator and positive event.  Our membership numbers are up and I think the morale is very high and we have a bright future.  People who attended the convention seemed to have come away with lots of new ideas  and I have received many positive comments.  I publicly thanked many people earlier who helped make the convention happen and my gratitude to all of you is undiminished.

With approval of the NW ACDA board, we have made arrangement s to donate a wooden sculpture to the national headquarters to honor the memory of Gene Brooks.  I wanted a work which would immediately reflect the spirit of the entire Pacific Northwest and that would be an appropriate tribute to Gene.  The work selected is “Cycle of Life” by Scott Gielish and I have attached a photo of it at the end of this message.  I think it will be a fitting memorial to Gene and anyone who sees it will understand the message. 

As Richard Nance and Solveig Holmquist step into the leadership roles, I want to wish them the best of luck.  I know all of you will support them as they move our Division to yet “a new destination.”  I am very proud of the people and the quality of work we have in the NW Division and I look forward to the future. 

Thank you and best wishes to all of you for the future.


Scott Peterson

Northwestern Division
American Choral Directors Association


Posted March 1, 2008

Greetings to our members and friends of the Northwestern Division:

The 2008 Division Convention is now history and was a tremendous success!  We had record attendance, a great program of interest sessions and the performance groups were top notch.  The Honor Choirs were marvelous under the leadership of great conductors and Honor Choir Chairs.  We had more exhibitors than we had planned and all went off without a major hitch.  The weather was fantastic and we had a wonderful venue.  Several people mentioned that our convention was on par with a national convention.

As you all know, a project like this is the result of a lot of work by a lot of people.  At the chance of missing someone, I would like to specifically thank the following folks who made this "New Destination" happen:

Richard Nance - Program Chair, wonderful program with interest sessions.
Morna Edmundson - Local Site Chair, made the convention work!  Very professional and organized!
Gary Weidenaar and the Student Chapter workers - Students from CWU, COCC,  UBC and the state of Wyoming:  They saved us!
Michael Sagun - Exhibit Chair, always a challenge but highly successful
Kurt McKee and his wife, Mandy - Honor Choir General Chair, have been working for well over a year, wonderful job!
Peggy Burrough - High School Men's Honor Choir Chair, knew how to corral all that male attitude!
Linda Berg - Children's Honor Choir Chair, wonderful job working with the children
Judy Filibeck - High School Women's Honor Choir Chair, knew how to handle all that female attitude!
Stacy Winn - Jr. High/Middle School Honor Choir Chair, wonderful job, and first aid came in handy...
Russ Otte - High School housing chair, highly organized and great work.
Ben Brody - Music and Worship Chair, responsible for the sessions at the Cathedral, beautiful work.
Leora Schwitters - Registration Chair, worked with the national office and managed the desk, thanks!
Past NW ACDA Presidents - Twyla Brunson, Karen Fulmer and Mike Frasier, did a variety of important tasks which made the convention run more smoothly.
Lorie Siu, Fairmont Hotel and Tina Lobo-Hardick, Hyatt Regency Hotel - These two ladies were absolutely the best to work with and helped to make the coordination of performances and sessions work.
Howard Meharg - NW ACDA editor and web guru, recipient of NW ACDA Leadership Award, well-deserved.
Carol Stewart-Smith - NW ACDA Treasurer, listed last, but is foremost the most important persons in our Division!  You all as members need to know that Carol spends hours and hours handling the financial requirements of NW ACDA.  It's a huge job and we all owe her a great debt of gratitude.  It is because she is so adept at what she does that the Division is solid financially.

I also want to thank the NW ACDA Board for taking the risk of holding the convention in Vancouver.  Nearly three years ago, when we started to plan for this, we were very concerned that no one would come including performing groups.  It was a risk that in this case allowed us to have a high quality convention.

Best wishes for the Spring of 2008!

Scott R. Peterson
Northwestern Division
American Choral Directors Association


September 28, 2007

A note from the president:

We are currently completing the final drafts of the registration packet for the 2008 NW ACDA convention in Vancouver, B. C. and they should be sent out in the near future from Oklahoma City. We will also post the information here on the NW ACDA web page when we get it from Oklahoma City in electronic form.  Thanks for your patience.

I have also checked with Senator Parry Murray's office regarding passports and the recommendation now is to have a passport or a copy of the application for a passport with a photo I.D.  You should check the U. S. State Department's web page for official information at:  .  I am sorry about how this situation has developed and changed since we picked Vancouver for our convention. Please don't let this prevent you from coming to a great convention!  




August 29, 2007
Yakima, WA

Dear Friends:

Tribute to Gene Brooks
By now you have heard the news of Gene Brook’s death and I would like to make a small tribute in my article to him and his dedication to ACDA.

The Northwest Division held a special place in Gene’s heart and he always was interested in what we were doing and in individuals in our organization.  Last year, he made the trip out to attend our NW ACDA Board meeting in Portland. 

He was dedicated to the success of the organization at all levels, and, personally, I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed anyone who could remember details like he could and to negotiate and work with people the way Gene could. 

The NW Division sent flowers to the memorial service in Oklahoma City and I will represent the Division at a special memorial service for Gene at the National Board Meeting in Oklahoma City during the second week in September.  I’m also going to ask the NW ACDA Board to approve the purchase of an appropriate art work to be presented in Gene’s honor to the national headquarters.  Our thoughts are with his wife, Nancy, his son Steve and rest of Gene’s family at this most difficult time.

NW Board meeting July-2007
I am happy to report to you that the NW ACDA Board met in Vancouver on July 8th and 9th to conduct division business and to visit the venues for the upcoming convention.  My thanks to Michael Frasier, NW ACDA Vice-President, for taking minutes, which appear elsewhere on the NW ACDA web site for your information. 

I believe that the meeting was a success and that the Board was impressed by the city of Vancouver and the people with whom we will be working.  Special thanks goes to Ryan Matheson and Tina Lobo-Hardick of the Hyatt Hotel, and also to Judy Calvert, Penny Tomlinson, and Lorie Siu from the Fairmont Hotel, who came to our Board meeting to welcome us.  Visitors also included Willi Zwozdesky, Executive Director of the British Columbia Choral Federation, and Peter Robichaud, Sales Manager from “Events on the Move,” who will help us with customs issues for our exhibitors and others. 

Convention schedule
Richard Nance has diligently worked to build a schedule for the interest sessions and performing groups and he has done a magnificent job.  Performing groups will be in the Pacific Ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel, which is like stepping into Schönbrun Palace in Vienna.  Christ Church Cathedral is across the street from the hotels and will host the church music events, including a “church night” which Benjamin Brody is putting together. 

Interest sessions will be presented by such notables as Hilary Apfelstadt, National ACDA President; Roger Emerson, Tim Seelig, and Morna Edmundson. The honor choirs will rehearse and perform in the Hyatt Regency Ballroom which is a remarkable space.  The upshot of all this is that the entire convention will be held within a one block area, everything within easy walking distance.  Abundant restaurant and shopping options are nearby.  An underground mall located one block east of the hotels contains a food court for a low cost alternative for meals. 

As always, the division will be represented outstanding auditioned choirs, twenty-six in number.  This list includes groups from nearly all the R & S areas, as well as choirs from Japan and Germany.  Please see the full list of choirs elsewhere on the division website.  It is truly an impressive program.

A selection of world-renowned choirs will perform for us in Vancouver.  The King’s Singers will give a concert in the Pacific Ballroom on Saturday evening, which will be a separate ticket with a reduced price for our members.  We will hear wonderful choirs from Canada such as Elektra conducted by Morna Edmundson, Chor Leoni conducted by Diane Loomer and the Vancouver Chamber Choir conducted by Jon Washburn.

The national President of ACDA, Hilary Apfelstadt, will be in attendance and conduct a couple of interest sessions and Jim Jirak is working on a director’s jazz choir, and we have four outstanding conductors for our honor choirs, Diane Loomer, High School Men’s Honor Choir; Janet Galvan, High School Women’s Honor Choir; David Brunner, Children’s Honor Choir; and Tony Araujo, Middle School/Jr. High Honor Choir.

The passport issue...easy to deal with
The question about passport requirements for entrance into Canada has been thoroughly investigated, and as of this writing, passports are not required for land travel but photo identification and a birth certificate are.  Passports are required for air travel.  I would urge all members to check into coming by train as well as driving. 

National board meeting, September
The National Board of the American Choral Directors Association will meet in Oklahoma City on September 8th and 9th and I will attend to represent the Northwestern Division.  Obviously, one of the most important items with which we will need to deal will be the direction the organization will take in the post-Gene Brooks era.  I plan to write a report to the membership when I return.

Thanks to board and others
As always, the success of our division is based on the efforts of many people, all of whom deserve my personal thanks and the gratitude of the members of the division.  I want to thank those board members who took the time and effort to attend the meeting in Vancouver and to those who have volunteered to assist with the convention work as well as the general business of the division.  They are all a wonderful group of people who put in much time to make ACDA in the northwest the viable organization it is.  I thank them and encourage you, as a member, to get to know who they are.

Best wishes for the start of a new performing season!

Scott R. Peterson, Northwestern Division President




March 4, 2007
Yakima, WA

Greetings to all NW ACDA members!

I hope you are getting your bags packed for Miami!  It promises to be a wonderful few days of good choral music and good weather. I hope to see you there!

Also, we are moving toward our next Divisional Convention in Vancouver, B. C.   There are several things you should keep in mind as we prepare to go north.

1. Passports are required.  Information about passports has been quite evident in the news over the past several months and they are simply something anyone who travels is going to need.  We are trying to move our deadlines sooner so that ACDA members and the performing groups will have plenty of time to get them.  Please plan ahead! (NOTE: Since this was written the passport requirement has been modified. See Scott's August message above!)

2. Almost all of our business, including convention information and audition applications are now online at our web page.  Howard has done a great job of getting the information on the page and all members need to check the page occasionally.  You should be receiving emails from Howard with reminders so don't forget to check the page.  If you're NOT getting a monthly email from him, send him a note and ask to be put on the mailing list.

3. Application forms for auditioning choirs have been on the page for several weeks.  Also, if you have an idea for an interest session, the application is there as well.  All choir audition forms and recordings should be sent to your state president and they are due by April 15th.  If you are a conductor from Canada, you should send your applications and recordings to Marc Hafso at Whitworth College in Spokane.  Marc has graciously agreed to gather the Canadian applications in lieu of a state president.  Click here for his address or you can find his address in the directory on the web page.  If you have an idea for an interest session, they need to be sent to Richard Nance, President-Elect, by June 1st. Check this web site for the correct form to use for sending in your idea.

4.  Kurt McKee, Honor Choir General Chair and his Honor Choir committee are working to get the application for Honor Choir forms on the web page soon.  Keep checking the page and we will send out an email when the form is up and running.  Our conductors have all been contacted and have accepted: Rod Eichenberger will conduct the Jr. High/Middle School Honor Choir. Diane Loomer will conduct the Men's Honor Choir. Janet Galvan will conduct the Women's Honor Choir and David Brunner, the Children's Honor Choir.

5. We have procured the King's Singers for our final concert on Saturday evening to close the convention.  Those of us who heard them in Portland at the MENC Northwest convention enjoyed them immensely, and I talked to them about coming to Vancouver.  They were genuinely excited about coming to Vancouver to sing for us, so that will be a definite highlight.


Marc Hafso
Department of Music
Whitworth College
300 West Hawthorne Rd.
Spokane, WA 99251


January 19, 2007
Greetings to all ACDA members of the Great Northwest!

As we begin our new year, I hope that you have some dates on your calendars for upcoming ACDA activities.  I’m sure you have the dates for the National Convention in Miami, March 7 through 10, 2007 and while it is getting late, if you haven’t decided on whether to go, I would encourage you to give it some consideration, especially if you have never attended a national convention before.  The quality of the performances is outstanding, of course, the interest sessions are wonderful, the new literature ideas are fantastic, and, of course, it’s always good to see old friends. 

Congratulations to those who will represent our Northwestern Division: Russell Christensen and the Sprague High School Concert Choir; Groove for Thought; and Thomas Almli and the Bellevue Community College Vocal Jazz Ensemble Celebration.  Also, several interest sessions are being presented by colleagues from the Northwest: Steven Demorest will discuss “Teaching Musicianship in the Choral Rehearsal,” Marcia Patton: “The Venus Factor;” Kelly Kunz: “Under the Musical Microscope: Prescision in Jazz Rehearsals;”  and former resident of our Division (but we still claim her) Joan Catoni Conlon: “It is Contrasts that Move Men’s Minds: Text and Expression in Lauridson, Brahms, and Monteverdi.”  I hope you all will support your colleagues at the Miami convention.

Please note that we are beginning to post information about the Northwest Division Convention in Vancouver, B. C. which will be held February 20-23, 2008.  I am very pleased to announce the King’s Singers will be our convention finale on Saturday evening.  It is looking to be an interesting and fun time in a fun place.  We are in the midst of organizing the Honor Choirs under the able leadership of Kurt McKee, Honor Choir General Chair, and will be soon working on -the program led by Richard Nance, NW ACDA President-elect. 

A note about the logistics of travel: due to recent developments and changes in governmental policy, it will be necessary for all of us to obtain passports in order to travel.  You will need a passport to return to the United States by 2008.  The fact is, having a passport has become, or soon will become, a fact of life for anyone who travels.  I’ve even been told to carry a passport on my way to Alaska in case of an emergency landing in Canada. 

I hope that you will look to this convention as an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in a new setting and we will have many choirs from the States and also Canada apply to perform, some of whom we have not heard before.

Stay tuned and check the webpage often.  Howard Meharg is doing yeoman’s work getting our email system up and running and most of you have received messages from him.  If you have not, please contact Howard right away so that you can receive all your ACDA information.

Please be aware of the Northwest MENC convention being held in Portland in February.  I mentioned the choirs from the Northwest which are performing in my last article.  I am also pleased to tell you that, in the spirit of increased awareness of our work, I have been invited by the Northwest MENC President, Jim Rice, to conduct the Star Spangled Banner at the Honor Choir performance at the convention.  It’s an attempt by NW MENC to connect with NW ACDA and I welcome Jim’s invitation.  It’s an initial gesture, but one in the right direction that can lead to more cooperation between our two professional organizations.  

Best wishes to you for Spring!


Dr. Scott R. Peterson
President, Northwestern Division, American Choral Directors Association   (509)452-8607


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Previous message from President Scott Peterson

Fall greetings to colleagues and friends of the Northwestern Division:

I hope you are all making your convention plans now for the upcoming year.  I want to extend congratulations on behalf of the Northwestern Division to those choirs which are performing at the ACDA Convention in Miami in March:
- Groove for Thought from Renton, Washington
- Celebration Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Bellevue Community College, Thomas Almi, conductor
- Sprague High School Concert Choir, Salem, Oregon, Russell Christensen, conductor

If you have not attended a national ACDA convention, please give it some consideration because it is a wonderful chance to hear choirs from all over the United States as well as from abroad.  Most ACDA members who have attended say there’s just nothing like a national convention.

Also there are several groups performing at the All-Northwest MENC Conference in Portland this coming February:

- Seattle Pacific University Gospel Choir, Gerry Marsh, conductor
- Bozeman High School Concert Choir, Nancy Ojala, conductor
- University of Oregon Chamber Choir, Sharon Paul, conductor
- Beaverhead County High School Teen Tones, Laurel Hagenbarth, conductor
- Charles M. Russell High School Chanteur Choir, Barbara Swaby, conductor
- Yakima Children’s Choir, Jane Peterson and Darlene Fairbrook, conductors
- Eastern Washington University Choir, Randel Wagner, conductor
- Jackson Middle School Ensemble, Melinda Murdock, conductor
- Arioso: The Bonners Ferry High School Honor Choir, Vicki Blake, conductor
- Lyman High School Cantare, T.J. Dick, conductor
 -Squalicum High School Concert Choir, Justin Wisness, conductor
-  George Fox University Concert Choir, Loren Wenz, conductor

Please attend these performances and support you colleagues from the great Pacific Northwest. 

Plans are progressing for the 2008 Northwestern Division convention in Vancouver.  Kurt McKee is our general chair for the Honor Choirs and is hard at work organizing the chairs and conductors.

Our venues will be the Fairmont and Hyatt hotels in downtown Vancouver.  We are trying to work the convention so that all sessions and performances will be held on site making it easier for convention attendees to participate.  Doug Anderson will again chair the auditions for performing groups.   All deadlines for auditions for the convention will be roughly three months earlier than past conventions due to extra paperwork that may be necessary, such as passports. 

As we all know, institutes and conventions require a lot of effort and time from many people.  The national office of ACDA provides support in many ways and one of those is through the Division Liaison.

ThyerJeffrey Thyer is the Division Liaison in the national office in Oklahoma City.  Some of you probably met Jeffrey in Portland where he and Steven Brooks helped keep the convention running by answering questions and dealing with a myriad of situations.

Jeffrey possesses degrees in choral conducting from Ball State University and church music from Indiana Wesleyan University.  He has been working in the ACDA national office since 2005 and, as Division Liaison, maintains contact with all seven Divisions of ACDA and assists in planning of all division conventions as well as national conventions.  He is also responsible for brochure graphic design, advertising and exhibits and he also has written procedure manuals for the divisions.   Jeffery sings weekly services with The Cathedral Choir at his home church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral (Oklahoma City) as well as performing with the Cathedral’s professional ensemble Musica Sacra.   If you see him in Miami, say hello.

I wish you all the best for the upcoming performance season.  We are fortunate to have so many quality choral conductors in our Division, as you can see by the number of choirs performing at conventions.  Please consider sending in a tape for the Vancouver convention!  It will be a wonderful experience for all of us.

I look forward to seeing you in Portland and Miami.


Scott Peterson


President Peterson's first article

September 5, 2006

Greetings to all members of the Northwestern Division of ACDA!

We’re off!  A new team of divisional officers and R&S chairs has met and made plans for the future of NW ACDA.  This article is a general report to the membership on activities of the Board this summer.  Formal minutes were taken by Twyla Brunson and are available on the NW ACDA web page.

In June, Carol Stewart-Smith, Mike Frasier, Richard Nance and I met in Yakima for a preliminary executive board meeting.  We discussed the agenda for the upcoming annual board meeting and Richard and I made plans to go to Vancouver to look over the sites for the 2008 NW Division convention.

On June 20th, Richard and I met with Ryan Matheson at the Vancouver Hyatt and Janet Young from the Vancouver Fairmont Hotel and discussed our needs for 2008.  Both hotels are eager to host us and have made every effort to cooperate for a successful conference.  After visiting the site and talking to people there, both Richard and I are excited about prospects for the convention.  Richard attended the national board meeting held in Oklahoma City in July in my stead as I was in Alaska.  He ably represented the Northwestern Division and I am grateful to him for his help.

The State Presidents and Treasurers met in Portland on Friday evening, August 25th, to review financial procedures and to go over new organizational policies from national ACDA.  Carol and Richard did a fine job of making those presentations and hopefully things are clear on the state level as well as the divisional level.  The Executive Board met on Saturday morning and the full board met to conduct business in the afternoon.  I am grateful to the members of the board for putting in the time and effort to attend.  The most important items discussed were:

1.Establishment of a committee to assist Lani Monds, State President of Alaska, and the Alaska chapter to reorganize financial procedures and establish a membership drive.
2. Presentation of new requirements concerning honor choirs at division conventions.
3. Howard Meharg discussed details of the Northwest Notes newsletter and the directory which is now online at the NW ACDA web page.
4. The State Presidents presented reports to the full board.  The State Presidents are: Pualeilani Monds, Alaska; Linda Hamilton, Washington; Hal Eastburn, Oregon; Julia Kole, Idaho; Janet Fox, President-Elect, Montana; and Michael Krueger, President-Elect, Wyoming.
5. Vancouver convention:  There will be a lot of information coming your way about the 2008 Division Convention in Vancouver.  Needless to say, it will be different than any convention we’ve had.  Having said that, there will be new situations of which we will need to be aware.  One is that all deadlines will be three months earlier than past conventions.  Two is that we will make every attempt to provide up to date accurate information so that you can make necessary arrangements to attend and audition.
6. We were pleased and honored that the national executive director, Dr. Gene Brooks, attended our meetings in Portland.  While he is very supportive of our division and what we are doing, his purpose was to discuss the possibility of holding the 2011 national convention in Seattle.  He wanted input from the board as a group to find if there was support.  I’m happy to note that the board enthusiastically embraced the idea.  The decision will be made over the next year.

More details of the meetings will be contained in the minutes which are posted on the NW ACDA web page.  This has been an overview of our activities over this past summer.  I’m glad to say that committees have begun to be formed for Vancouver and that Kurt McKee has agreed to be our Honor Choir General Chair.  We have lots of positions to fill and will be looking for help.

The most important job of the board and officers is to provide for the needs of the members of our Division.  Please let us know what ACDA can do for you.  We will be looking for ideas for interest sessions which should be submitted to the appropriate R&S Chair.  The list of board officers and R&S Chairs can be found on the web page along with the directory.  You are encouraged to check out all the articles and pages that Howard Meharg has put together.  He has done a great job and you will find lots of great information there.

Best wishes to you as you work with your choirs this coming season.


Scott Peterson