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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.
 
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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.”
 
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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.
 
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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.
Appearing in concert during the 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah:
UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY MEN’S CHORUS
 
The University of Kentucky Men’s Chorus is a ninety-voice ensemble comprising freshmen to graduate students, representing a variety of musical backgrounds and academic disciplines. Starting with forty voices in the fall of 2002, the ensemble has grown in size and popularity each semester. The UK Men’s Chorus has performed at the NCCO, MENC, and ACDA conferences, and in 2010 they were invited to perform at Intercollegiate Male Choruses National Seminar. The chorus has recently commissioned and premiered new works by Richard Burchard, Michael Engelhardt, and Stacey Gibbs. Rehearsing twice weekly and touring frequently, the UK Men’s Chorus is dedicated to promoting and celebrating male singing at all stages and for all ages.
 
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:
BUILDING SOUND AND SPIRIT (Amanda Quist, clinician)
 
Choruses and conductors of every level can benefit from an increased understanding of the principles of resonance in the trained voice. Through the use of new technology—Overtone Analyzer—we can see the presence of overtones, the singer’s formant, vibrato, and other elements. Most importantly, we are able to pinpoint which adjustments made in rehearsal can quickly impact the sound to create desired results. Building sound aids in building community and the spirit of the choir. As singers discover their voice as an important part of the whole of the sound, community grows. Sound and spirit are innately linked and serve to enliven the experience of the individual singer in a group setting. Through this session, we will discover how voice science can aid the conductor in training the voice in a group setting, and how the results of that training create the foundation for the voice of the choir—its sound and spirit.
 
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:
SOUTH DAKOTA CHORALE
 
Based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the South Dakota Chorale is a collaborative network of musicians combining the talents of singers locally, regionally, and across the nation. In their five-year history they have developed educational collaborations with high school choirs, led enriching master classes with pre-professional/collegiate singers, partnered with local arts series’ to build support and awareness for the arts, initiated a guest conductor residency, and released two commercial recordings in collaborations with Grammy award-winning producer Blanton Alspaugh. The SD Chorale singers represent a wide range of professionals: from people with day jobs in other disciplines, to collegiate voice teachers and choral conductors, to others who make their daily living singing opera and oratorio around the country. While their backgrounds are diverse, one thing unites the chorale it its work—the magic and beauty of collaborative singing—something that cannot be achieved by oneself or without an audience.
 
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In an effort to better understand the current financial condition of those in the choral music profession, we are in the process of soliciting information from choral conductors in the United States and Canada though the Choral Conductor Salary Survey.
 
This study, produced with the support of the American Choral Directors Association, is designed to examine full-time and part-time conductor compensation from geographical, demographic, and professional perspectives.
 
The survey is completely anonymous and confidential.  The results of the study will be submitted for publication consideration to the Choral Journal and will be made publically available to those in the choral profession.
 
The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the interest session:
BUILDING COMMUNITY IN THE CHORAL ENSEMBLE (Joy Paffenroth, clinician)
 
Getting your ensemble to sing together is one thing, but really getting them to be a cohesive group in all aspects is another. This session will provide you with hands-on experience of the TRIBES way of building community. After participating in each activity, we will discuss how these can be used in large group performing ensembles. You will go home with activities that can be used in your next rehearsal.
 
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:
NITTANY VALLEY CHILDREN’S CHOIR
 
The Nittany Valley Children’s Choir (NVCC) is a community arts organization based in State College, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1997 to fi ll a need in the Centre County region and to enrich the artistic life of the community, the choir currently serves over 120 children, ages 4–18, in three levels of choirs. Choristers learn and perform appropriate, challenging, and musically excellent repertoire with a focus on healthy vocal development. The Concordia Singers, NVCC’s only auditioned choir, consists of advanced singers who have demonstrated outstanding singing ability, positive attitude,  and a commitment to artistry in performance. The Concordia Singers have performed at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts; PMEA State Conference; MENC Eastern Division; ACDA State, Eastern Division, and National Conferences; and in concert with the American Boychoir, the Kronos Quartet, the Penn State Men’s Glee Club, the State College Choral Society, and the Nittany Valley Symphony.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
The American Choral Directors Association is pleased to announce that Andrew Steffen, a graduate student at Oklahoma State University, has won the Raymond W. Brock Student Composition Competition for 2014.
 
His prize-winning work, “Spells of Herrick” (SATB, piano), will be premiered by the Utah State University Chamber Choir (Cory Evans, conductor) during the ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, February 25-28.
 
The Raymond W. Brock Memorial Student Composition Contest was established in 1998, with the objectives of acknowledging and rewarding outstanding undergraduate and graduate student composers.  It seeks to encourage choral composition of the highest caliber, and to further promote student activity at ACDA division and national conventions.   The winner of the composition contest receives a $1,000 cash prize, airfare to the ACDA conference, hotel accommodations, convention registration, and a performance of the work on the main stage by a choral ensemble selected by the Conference Committee.
Appearing in concert during the 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah:
MUUNGANO NATIONAL CHOIR
 
Muungano National Choir was founded in 1979 by the Late Hon. Boniface Mganga who was the first director and remained in office until his death in July, 2012. The name Muungano is a Kiswahili word meaning unity and as the name indicates, originally a conglomeration of 1500 singers drawn from several church choirs based in Nairobi. Shortly after inception, the choir got into the musical limelight through singing patriotic and religious songs and has remained so to date with performances during state functions, national celebrations and private events. The choir achieved international acclaim with its recording of MissaLuba a Congolese mass in Latin, sponsored by Phillips International. This recording appeared in the US Billboard chart rankings.  Muungano National Choir has been a breeding ground for budding choirmasters and training and is used as the yardstick to measure standards for the choral music in Kenya. Currently, the choir has a steady membership of 70 comprising members from the different Christian denominations and even educational institutions and from all walks of life who sing for the love of singing.
 
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 XX-FILES: GREAT LITERATURE BY WOMEN’S COMPOSERS (Eliza Rubenstein & Magen Solomon, clinicians)
 
The music is out there, and we’ll help you find it! This session will provide you with repertoire lists of outstanding music by women past and present, resource lists to help you find even more, and a reading session of a few of our favorites—and we’ll discuss why it’s so important to include works by women in our programming.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.
The editor of the Choral Journal is currently conducting a reader survey to determine overall reader satisfaction with ACDA’s flagship publication.  The multiple-choice questionnaire takes less than five minutes to complete, yet it will provide enormously valuable information to the publication’s editorial team.  Naturally, the survey is anonymous.
 
Appearing in concert during the 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah:
MILWAUKEE HIGH SCHOOL OF THE ARTS VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE
 
The Milwaukee High School of the Arts (MHSA) Vocal Jazz Ensemble is an award-winning group comprising the most advanced singers from the vocal music program at MHSA. Dedicated to the study and perpetuation of America’s music - jazz - the curricular focus is centered on improvisation, utilizing both solo and ensemble repertoire as the vehicle for spontaneous musical creation. This ensemble has performed at numerous conferences and festivals, including the WSMA State Conference and the WCDA state convention. The group has also performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and has been featured prominently in ABC’s WISN holiday prime-time feature, Season to Celebrate. Individual students from this ensemble have received recognition from several national competitions, including the Grammy Foundation All-Star Vocal Jazz Ensemble, the YoungArts scholarship competition, and the NAACP ACT-SO competition.
 
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:
A RECIPE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF EXPRESSIVE CONDUCTING TECHNIQUE: HARMONIC RHYTHM ADD LABAN AND BODYMAPPING (James Jordan, clinician)
 
Using a groundbreaking combination of Laban Movement, Laban Movement Analysis, Harmonic Rhythm, and Bodymapping, this session will detail a new pedagogical path for the development of meaningful expressive gesture Session attendees will gain a working and practical knowledge and application of Laban Movement applied to conducting and revolutionary etudes for the development of conducting technique. New discoveries regarding the imprinting of mirror neurons and why it is imperative that we consider a possible change in the way we teach and learn conducting and the effect of these changes upon the sound of our choirs will be discussed.
 
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:
CYPRESS FALLS VARSITY WOMEN’S CHOIR
 
The Cypress Falls Varsity Women’s Choir is made up of women from the Varsity Mixed Choir who are hard workers, eager to learn, and quick to share their passion and love of music. Members from the choir are often selected to the Texas All-State Choir, medal winners in music competitions, and participants in award-winning choral performances. By following in the footsteps of former members of the choir, the Varsity Women continue to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of musical excellence in performance.
 
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The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the interest session:
RECLAIMING THE ANCIENT HYMNAL: THE ART, DEVOTION, AND PRACTICE OF PSALM SINGING (Howard Helvey, clinician)
 
This session will provide a brief overview/history of the Psalms and their devotional centrality, discuss various methods of singing them, suggest ways the choir can engage a congregation’s intellect and imagination, and propose how a specific worshiping community can develop their own distinct methods of Psalm-singing based on local context. Additionally, participants will discuss the open-use online resource of Helvey’s newly composed congregational Psalm antiphons to accommodate the threeyear Revised Common Lectionary cycle. This participatory session will offer supplementary resources and ideas for faith communities that already regularly sing the Psalms and those without a tradition of Psalm-singing.
 
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Appearing in concert during the 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah:
CENTRAL WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY VOCAL JAZZ 1
 
Vocal Jazz 1 is the premiere jazz vocal ensemble at Central Washington University. CWU has two vocal jazz ensembles involving over forty-fi ve student instrumentalists and vocalists. The CWU Jazz Program has a strong tradition of producing exceptional jazz educators and emphasizes pedagogy, performance, composition, and arranging. Professor Vijay Singh, director of Vocal Jazz 1 since arriving at CWU in 1999, has established a national presence as a jazz educator/composer/arranger and has consistently featured this group at regional and national IAJE, ACDA, and MENC/NAfME conferences. Vocal Jazz 1 recently performed at the 2011 ACDA National Conference in Chicago and the 2013 JEN Conference in Atlanta. CWU is recognized as one of the first vocal jazz programs in the nation dating back to 1947; alumni include such jazz education luminaries as John “Coach” Moawad, Hal Malcolm, Dave Barduhn, Frank DeMiero, Gary Hobbs, Chris Bruya, Michelle Weir, Dave Cazier, and Bruce Babad.
 
LEARN MORE about the 2015 ACDA National Conference and REGISTER today.