ICEP SPOTLIGHT – Sweden 2015
KÖRSAMARBETE MED SVERIGE
(CHORAL CONNECTIONS WITH SWEDEN)
This week marks the beginning of the second phase of the 2015 ICEP exchange with Sweden. The fourteen 2015 ICEP Conducting Fellows will travel to the land of Volvo, IKEA, and ABBA to embark upon musical adventures as cultural ambassadors for ACDA, our profession, and the United States. These representatives of ACDA will be featured as lecturers, clinicians, conductors and all-around great people.
While I am excited for this year’s ICEP Conducting Fellows and their upcoming residencies, the reemergence of this exchange program is a watershed for ACDA and how we collaborate and engage with our colleagues from around the world. ICEP exchanges with Cuba, China, Sweden, South Korea in 2016, and South America in 2017 are at the heart of a new generation of choral conductors whose focus reaches far beyond the borders of this country.
In his article, THE ACDA INTERNATIONAL CONDUCTORS EXCHANGE PROGRAM: Making our World Smaller Through Global Artistic Dialogue, 2015 ICEP Conducting Fellow and Associate Professor of Music at The University of Iowa, Dr. David Puderbaugh elaborated on the history of the ICEP and it’s role in the development of some of our professions leading conductors. He said:
“ACDA has long recognized that fact, and has been proactive in intercultural dialogue for decades…Over twenty years ago, ACDA boldly took the initiative in international artistic dialogue with the creation of the International Conductors Exchange Program…To this day, the conductors who participated in that first exchange look back on it as a significant formative moment in their careers—one that broadened their personal and artistic horizons, and enabled them to forge lasting relationships with fellow choral musicians from other cultures.”
The International Conductors Exchange Program is continuing to develop new international partnerships, and at the same time, we are providing the administrative leadership to our partners to help sustain these relationships. Since 2012, ICEP alumni have embarked upon performance tours to partner countries with increased frequency. We have also seen a sharp increase in the number of ACDA ICEP alumni being invited back to partner countries as ambassadors for ACDA and the United States as lecturers, guest conductors, and educators.
In truth, the International Conductors Exchange Program is creating opportunities for deeper understanding and appreciation for choral communities outside of the United States. The strength and continued growth of ICEP is a direct result of the relationships established and fostered by our executive director, Tim Sharp. His steadfast support of this program have created tremendous opportunities for success and established a standard of leadership for this type of cross-cultural, musical exchange. This template continues to open doors to enduring partnerships with international choral organizations. As ACDA continues to build bridges with our international counterparts, we strengthen our own ability to learn from others, serve our communities, and forge stronger relationships with our partners around the world.