Author: Mark Boyle

Conference App Primer

If you haven’t downloaded the ACDA East Conference App, now would be the time! It’s full of information to help make the conference as rewarding as possible. Here are some basic instructions.

  1. Search for the app in your App Store by typing ACDA 2018 or click here.
  2. Download and install the app on your smart device.
  3. Set up your profile.

There are a couple ways to set up your profile. You can import your LinkedIn info (if you have that set up on your smart device) or set it up manually. The choice to set it up manually is smaller and below the larger “Import my profile from LinkedIn” option.

When you select the manual option, you need to type your first and last name, you may add a photo, as well as your title and company name. Once you have done this, tap the check mark in the upper right corner of the app.

You then need to select our event – Eastern Division Conference and decide whether to allow the app to know your location (I promise, we don’t do anything with that info – though it will allow maps to work a bit better in the app).

That’s it!

The default view is the Activity Feed. Think of it as the conference’s Facebook Wall. You can post comments, pictures, and the like. We have sold some advertising here so keep your eyes peeled for promoted posts. Please don’t use the Activity Feed to promote a product or a business unless you have contracted us to do so.

Along the bottom of the screen are the icons to get you to the different sections of the app:

Activity – the “social” wall of the conference
Notifications – where your messages will be
Agenda – the conference schedule – searchable and filterable (you can have it just show your track or just concert sessions, etc.
Bookmarks – were things you have decided to bookmark are kept
More – this shows you all the sections of the app

You can see that there is a wealth of info here. All performing choirs are listed, as well as their bios. People lists all presenters, conductors, and the leadership. The concert venues section has info on the venues as well as walking directions. Sponsors and exhibitors provides info about our loyal organizations who support ACDA! Go to their booths! Buy their products! Go to their summer programs!

Conference details provides our ePolicy for the use of the app. Maps, Dining, and Messages are self-explanatory. You can search the Attendees listing to find a person and send them a message. The Honor Choir Schedules list all rehearsal times and locations should you want to check out what they are up to.

Useful Info

We have put all kinds of useful information into the app. All concert sessions list the rep being performed. All the rep is linked to the JW Pepper or Composer page for that piece of music, so you can see cost and in many cases, listen to a recording.

All the Readings Session rep is listed and linked in the app.

If Interest Session Presenters have sent us materials, they are present in the app as well.

Technical Info

If you run into any problems, you may contact me, Mark A. Boyle, at There are some self-help items in the app. The app is independent of conference registration. There is no connection between the two. Normally, when setting up the app, it will set up a password for you and you never see it. If you want to know that password, for instance if you want to check out the HTML (webpage) version of the app, you might need to reset your password to something you can know. This is easily done inside the app.

  1. Tap on the “hamburger” icon, labeled “More” in the lower righthand corner.
  2. Scroll all the way down.
  3. Tap – “Logout/Switch Event.”
  4. Tap “Logout” at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Confirm logout.

Now – you can re-logon with the email address you initially used. These directions also apply if you accidentally get logged out (if your device updates, this sometimes happens) and you need to reset your password.

  1. Type in your email address you used to create your profile.
  2. Check the box to agree to terms.
  3. Tap the “Submit” button.
  4. At the next screen, select, “Enter Password” – avoid Automatic Login – it’s having some issues at the moment.
  5. At the password reset screen, select “Reset Password.”
  6. It will ask to confirm if this is what you want. Tap “Reset.”

An email will be sent to the email address you used to set up your profile. Check you spam folder. You can use this to reset the password to whatever you want. Write it down!

Have fun! Let us know how we can improve this for the next conference! The Eastern Region Conference App Committee are the folks that also oversee the National Conference App – so feedback will help Kansas City!

Free Registration: College Students


ACDA East offers college students the opportunity to shave off some of the cost of attending our Division Conference by providing assistance during the conference. Student workers who provide six hours of assistance will receive a refund of $90. Those completing twelve hours will receive a $180 refund.

If you are interested in participating in this program, please provide the information requested, here: The program is first-come, first-served so please apply soon to take advantage of this opportunity.

College students must register for the conference. Those completing hours as described will receive a reimbursement check from ACDA.

Easy Steps:
1.        Register for conference (and pay registration fee)
2.        Complete the application online:
3.        Work your assigned hours
4.        Receive a reimbursement check

Penelope Cruz: New President-Elect

Congratulations to Penelope Cruz, our newly-elected leader for the ACDA Eastern Division! Penelope will begin her term as President-Elect on July 1, 2018, and then as President on July 1, 2020. Among her duties will be the planning of the 2022 Eastern Region Conference! With her vast experience in ACDA leadership, we are in good hands! Penelope has taught primary and secondary-level music in public and independent schools; conducted school, children’s community, and honor choirs; and sung professionally in opera, musical theater, and choirs in Illinois, Wisconsin, and New York. Since 2003, she has been the choral conductor at White Plains High School (NY) where WPHS Choir members have sung in All-State, All-Eastern, and ACDA Eastern Division and National honor choirs, and at Carnegie Hall, Jazz@Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall, and at various universities, festivals, and competitions. Throughout much of her professional career, Cruz has been an active member of ACDA. At the National Level, she is a member of the first Diversity Initiatives Committee for which she made contributions to the Choral Journal and as part of an ad hoc committee on audition guidelines for honor choirs and auditioned choirs. For the Eastern Division, she has been Program Chair (2016 and 2020) and Honor Choirs Chair (2012 and 2014), where she initiated the Latino Repertoire and Chinese Repertoire Honor choirs. She has served as NY State President (2014-2015) and as Repertoire and Standards chair for both Women’s Choirs and Multicultural and Ethnic Perspectives. Penelope Cruz is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and earned the Masters of Music degree from Eastman School of Music. Born and raised in Wisconsin, she currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Conducting Masterclass with Dr. Jerry Blackstone


We are thrilled to have Dr. Jerry Blackstone leading our undergraduate and graduate level conducting master-classes at the ACDA Eastern Division Conference in March 2018. This is an outstanding opportunity for university students to work with Grammy award-winning conductor and master teacher, Dr. Blackstone. He will also be featured in an interest session about teaching conducting as he concludes his tenure at the University of Michigan next spring.

Two to three undergraduate and two graduate students will be selected to participate. Selected students will each receive a $500 scholarship to offset their conference-related expenses. Undergraduate & Graduate Conductors will prepare two pieces and meet for private instruction with Dr. Blackstone the day before the masterclass. The conductors will work with a collegiate level chorus during the masterclass. These masterclasses will engage graduate and undergraduate conductors who are enrolled full-time in a degree program. Applicants are not required to be enrolled in a conducting class at the time of application, only in a college/university music program.

Click here FOR DETAILS ABOUT THE APPLICATION-AUDITION PROCESS. Note that the application deadline is November 1, 2017

Get Connected

And help us connect…

Let’s face it. Choral directors are busy people who are communicating on several different channels every minute of every day. More often than not, a well timed message while waiting in line at the grocery store is the one that gets the read and the response.

That’s why we’re building additional bridges through social media, hoping that a well-timed post featuring a teaser about the upcoming conference will entice you to click through and read more. And the best part is that you can share social media news with friends who aren’t (yet!) part of ACDA.

Get connected, and help us connect with your friends and colleagues who can benefit from all ACDA has to offer!

See you online!


The Kegerreis Fund

The Kegerreis Fund

A Living Legacy

In a few days, we’ll be launching the application and award process for recipients of the Richard Kegerreis Scholarship Fund. Mr. Kegerreis is most remembered for his tireless energies in producing the quarterly newsletter, The Troubadour, which was heralded as one of the best ACDA publications in the country.
Today, the scholarship is largely funded by individual contributions in his memory, and in dedication to the mission of ACDA. Proceeds from the fund not only subsidize student workers at our conventions, but also assist honor choir members who would not otherwise be able to participate.
Your contributions are tax-deductible, and deeply meaningful not only to the scholarship recipients but to the future of our organization. Please consider making a gift today – a gift that will “keep on singing.”

2018 Helen Kemp Award

The Helen Kemp Lifetime Achievement Award 



The Helen Kemp Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2010 to honor an individual who made a unique and extraordinary contribution to the field of choral conducting within the Eastern Region. Helen Kemp, as you may know, inspired and empowered volunteers to be successful and effective children’s choir directors, and was seminal in the creation of Choristers Guild.
The Conference Planning Committee is currently accepting nominations for consideration for the Helen Kemp Award, to be presented in March at the Pittsburgh convention.
The nomination deadline has been extended to midnight on Saturday, December 2, 2017. Please don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate someone who has had a profound effect on our collective lives!