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ACDA National Office Closed for Holiday
 
The National Office of the American Choral Directors Association has closed for the 2014 Thanksgiving Holday. The office will re-open at 8:00 a.m., Monday, December 1.
 
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the interest session:
PROBLEMS AND POSSIBILITIES IN CHORAL METHODS COURSES (Judy Bowers, Steven Demorest, Rollo Dilworth, and Patrick Freer, clinicians)
 
Four experts in choral music pedagogy will lead this session. Each will present views of current issues in choral music education, with emphasis on how collegiate methods courses can be revised to foster the needed changes. Specific recommendations will be offered with regard to methods course curricula, instruction, assessment (edTPA, etc.), and increasingly rigorous requirements for teacher professional development.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the interest session:
PSALMS:  BACK TO THE SOURCES (Joshua Jacobson, clinician)
 
Has any book been set to music more often than the book of Psalms? For nearly three thousand years the lyrical songs in this collection have inspired the creation of glorious music: plainchant, polyphony, popular tunes, and symphonic masterworks. But what did they sound like in antiquity—in biblical times? To discover the nature of this music, we will investigate clues offered by the Bible
and other ancient texts, archaeology, and comparative musicology.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
The Fort Hays Singers from Fort Hays State University (Terry Crull, conductor) paid a visit to the McMahon International Choral Music Museum on November 21, to share part of their 2014 tour repertoire.  The Fort Hays Singers’ concert tour will include performance throughout the central United States.
 
This performance was the latest in the ACDA Visiting Choir Series.  The series features casual concerts in the McMahon Museum (located in the association’s national office building) by touring choirs that visit the Oklahoma City area as a part of their tour itinerary.
 
If your choir would like to sing in the McMahon Museum as a part of the Visiting Choir Series, contact Scott Dorsey at dorsey@acda.org.
 
The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the interest session:
VOCAL JAZZ REHEARSAL TECHNIQUES: HOW DO THEY DIFFER FROM TRADITIONAL CONCEPTS? (Steve Zegree, clinician)
 
This fun and informative session is for musicians of all levels and experience and highlights the essential elements of the vocal jazz idiom and how best to prepare for successful and efficient rehearsals and performances. Specific topics will include swing, Latin, ballad, score study, improvisation, basic theory, and special effects. The session will also include reading vocal jazz arrangements courtesy of Hal Leonard Publications.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the interest session:
NO STRINGS ATTACHED: ALTERNATIVE, AFFORDABLE, AND ACCESSIBLE MASTERWORDKS FROM OUTSIDE THE CANON (TREY DAVIS, clinician)
 
Of the thousands of multi-movement or extended choral masterworks that are appropriate for ensembles at the high school or collegiate level, only a handful are regularly performed. Of these, virtually all represent Western European schools. This session will explore valuable yet under-performed programming choices that utilize creative instrumentation pairings apart from the traditional string orchestra. An array of world regions, styles, and voicings will be featured along with lesser-known works from composers of the established canon and trustworthy editions from the public domain.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the interest session:
UNTANGLING THE CONCEPTUAL KNOT OF VOCAL REGISTRATION IN CHILDREN AND YOUTH CHOIRS (Craig Denison, clinician)
 
This session will provide conductors a research-based and practical discussion of vocal registers through the perspective of youth singing. The first half of the session will use video, illustration, musical examples, and vocal exercises to clarify the anatomical events of vocal registration. The second half will address the social contexts and meanings of register singing and their relevance to the conductor and singer. Recommendations and exercises for rehearsal, performance, repertoire, and lifelong singing will be offered. This session will be useful for anyone who would like a clearer understanding of vocal registration and its application, including conductors of adult singers.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the interest session:
MUSIANSHIP THROUGH REPERTOIRE (Elizabeth McKinney & Francisco J. Nuñez, clinicians)
 
Take an in-depth look at how Francisco J. Nuñez inspires and equips independent musicians in the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. This session will address sustaining interest and enhancing music reading skills through repertoire for elementary, middle school, and high school choirs. Participants will explore compositions that support music-making and foster strong vocal technique no matter the age or ability level.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
 
The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the interest session:
THREE METHODS OF TEACHING PLUS ONE (Weston Noble, clinician)
 
Each one of us has a favorite method of teaching, but an outstanding teacher employs all three of the most commonly used methods. This session will present suggestions for student involvement, and presentation of an additional method will be discussed in detail.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the interest session:
MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE: ACHIEVING STYLISTIC NUANCE IN GOSPEL MUSIC (Rollo Dilworth, clinician)
 
The African American gospel tradition has become a regular part of choral programs in school, church, community, and professional choruses across the world. As gospel-style selections become increasingly popular within the choral landscape, choral conductors with limited experience and training in this style are seeking technical tools that will allow their choruses to perform with stylistic accuracy and artistic integrity. This interactive session will present specific strategies for teaching and performing stylistic elements that characterize the African American gospel genre.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the interest session:
TAPPING THE SOURCE: AMERICAN FOLKSONG COLLECTIONS (Dirk Johnson, clinician)
 
Many wonderful American folksong arrangements are programmed throughout the United States, giving singers exposure to this rich musical tradition while helping to preserve this important heritage. Conductors can also explore the depth, breadth, and character of this music through printed folksong collections that provide a wealth of material to educate, engage, and edify our singers. In this session, participants will survey a number of important American folksong collections by singing a variety of folksongs from these texts. They will also learn how to mine these collections for sight-singing curriculum, warm-up materials, and concert selections using simple arranging techniques.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the interest session:
LOOKING OVER HANDEL’S SHOULDER AT MESSIAH (Helmuth Rilling, clinician)
 
Helmuth Rilling’s new book on Handel’s Messiah is aimed at conductors, singers, instrumentalists, and all those who know and love this masterwork. In this session, he will provide an overview of important issues related to performing Messiah from the perspective of a dialogue with the composer himself. Looking over Handel’s shoulder at the architecture of his oratorio, Rilling will discuss specific areas that influence the shape of a performance, including musical structure, forces, tempo, dynamics, articulation, and ornamentation. This discussion will focus on understanding the deeper meaning and significance of Handel's music for today's performers and audiences.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
Appearing in concert during the 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah:
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-ARLINGTON A CAPPELLA CHOIR
 
The A Cappella Choir, under the direction of UT Arlington Director of Choral Activities Karen Kenaston-French, is the premiere choral ensemble of the university. Performing a diverse array of challenging choral literature from the Renaissance to the present, the A Cappella Choir presents several concerts each year, tours annually, and periodically presents major works with orchestra. The A Cappella Choir formed the chorus for the 2012 Dallas Symphony Orchestra series featuring the music of film composer Michael Giacchino. In 2013 the choir released its first CD, “The Road Home,” which has been broadcast nationally on NPR’s “With Heart and Voice,” and was named a finalist in the 2014 American Prize for Choral Performance. The choir gave an invited performance at the February 2014 state convention of the Texas Music Educators Association, the largest convention of its kind in the country.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the interest session:
KODÁLY PEDAGOGY IN THE CHORAL REHEARSAL (Susan Brumfield, clinician)
 
This choral reading/group participation session will address readiness, preparation, and presentation of choral repertoire for young choirs, along with continued development of singing, reading, writing, part-work, and aural skills in the choral setting. In this workshop, participants will explore Kodály-based strategies for analyzing and teaching choral music for beginning, intermediate, and advanced children’s choirs. A choral reading packet will be provided.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
Appearing in concert during the 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah:
SALT LAKE VOCAL ARTISTS
 
Organized in 2010, the Salt Lake Vocal Artists, are the international ambassadors for the Salt Lake Choral Artists, an organization of seven choral ensembles and over 300 singers.  They have won four First Prizes in Tolosa (Spain) and five First Prizes in Arezzo (Italy), and represented the US at the World Choral Symposium in Argentina. Recent concert tours have included Bulgaria, Turkey, and Japan for the Karuizawa Festival with Ko Matsushita. In 2015 they will be the featured performers at the Chorbiennale in Aachen, Germany.  They have commissioned over twenty works and collaborated with composers such as Ola Gjeilo, Eriks Esenvalds, Ko Matsushita, György Orbán, Josep Vila, Ivo Antognini, John Høybye, Sergey Khvoshinsky, Dan Forrest, Jake Runestad, and others.  Their well-established presence on YouTube has captivated millions of viewers and their CD recordings are available on iTunes.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today
The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the interest session:
THE EVOLVING VOICE: THE SENIOR YEARS (Karen Bunssen, clinician)
 
Voices change and evolve throughout a lifetime. As an ever-increasing number of amateur and professional “Singing Seniors” look to choirs as a rich and edifying activity during their senior years, choral directors will benefit from a deeper understanding about the older, evolved vocal instrument. Through a multimedia presentation, anecdotes, and common sense, we will consider the effects of aging on respiration, vibration, and resonance. Equipped with facts, “age-optimal” exercises, fundamentals, and concepts, we will collectively strategize to develop appropriate vocal and musical approaches, expectations, and choices for choirs whose populations include “Singing Seniors.”
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the interest session:
DEVELOPING CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS WITH SINGERS (Matthew L. Garrett, clinician)
 
Choral directors constantly work to balance performance challenges with the delivery of academic content in school programs. By sharing rehearsal leadership responsibilities with chorus members, directors can build an ensemble of critical listeners and thinkers. Choral musicians of all ages can learn to develop critical thinking skills and musical independence. This participatory session will provide ideas to help choral musicians create, perform, and respond in ways that will foster musical independence. Quick composition ideas, creative warm-up exercises that connect with vocal challenges found in choral repertoire, and self-assessment techniques will be demonstrated in an interactive rehearsal environment.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
Appearing in concert during the 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah:
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS JAZZ SINGERS
 
The University of North Texas Jazz Singers is the premier vocal jazz ensemble within the Division of Jazz Studies in the College of Music. Jazz Singers perform a challenging and varied repertoire, featuring both historical and cutting-edge repertoire and improvisation. The ensemble was awarded “Outstanding Performance” in the 2012 and 2013 Down-Beat Student Music Awards and was named the Collegiate Jazz Choir winner numerous times under the leadership of founding director, Paris Rutherford. UNT Jazz Singers has performed at state, national, and international music conferences and festivals, including those for the Jazz Education Network, International Association for Jazz Education, and the Texas Music Educators Association. UNT Jazz Singers is one of four vocal jazz ensembles that are part of a comprehensive Vocal Jazz Studies major at UNT, which comprises a global student population of thirty to forty students who pursue bachelor-, master-, and doctoral-level degree programs.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the interest session:
CIRCLE SINGING: INCORPORATING GROUP IMPROVISATON IN YOUR CHORAL REHEARSALS (Jeremy Fox, clinician)
 
Circle-Singing is a group improvisation exercise for students of any age and experience level. Incorporating the activity in your rehearsals can be a change of pace from the usual inspiring creativity among your students. Jeremy Fox facilitates the session by weaving melodies together, using hand motions to shape dynamics, and directing voice parts to enter and exit. After exploring several types of circle-songs, participants will discuss the process by which they might facilitate Circle-Singing in their own rehearsals. Warning: all spectators will be singers in this session!
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.