Rodney Eichenberger has been named winner of ACDA’s prestigious Robert Shaw Choral Award, an award made every two years that recognizes exceptional contributions to the choral art.
Eichenberger is the Florida State University Professor Emeritus and former Professor of Choral Music at the University of Southern California and the University of Washington. He has conducted more than 80 all-state choirs and conducted, led seminars, or clinics in all 50 states. For the last 45 years he has played an active role in the choral life of Australia and New Zealand, with more than 20 conductors from those two countries studying for advanced degrees at the University of Southern California or the Florida State University. He has guest conducted or led workshops in conducting in Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Singapore, Korea, England, Austria, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Germany. The summer workshop he led on the Oregon coast met for the thirty-first consecutive year in 2019.
He has been an active member of ACDA for most of his professional career and was the local chair at the last ACDA national conference held in conjunction with MENC while on the faculty at the University of Washington. He served as Northwest Region president, and choirs under his baton have performed at ACDA or MENC national conferences. He has authored two DVDs on conducting, “What They See Is What You Get” (Hinshaw Music) and “Enhancing Musicality Through Movement” (Santa Barbara Music).
Eichenberger was one of 11 conductors to be invited to conduct the legacy choir at the ACDA 2019 conference, where he also led sessions on a paradigm shift in undergraduate conducting classes. In retrospect, he notes, after myriad gratifying experiences as a conductor and teacher of conducting, it is difficult to rate them; but he reports that conducting the Brahms German Requiem with the Australian Intervarsity Choral Society and the Australian National Youth Orchestra in the Sydney Opera House, and on two separate occasions conducting the National Chorus of Korea in the Seoul Art Center, rank among the most memorable.
The Robert Shaw Choral Award is chosen by the ACDA Past President’s Advisory Council and is presented during ACDA’s biennial national conference.