Author: Melanie Mijares

November Notes from the Eastern Division President

Good morning colleagues and friends,

I write to you in the spirit of joy and thanksgiving as I – like you – brace for the coming weeks of “Oh so much Holiday Cheer!” For choral musicians, I can hardly imagine a more exhilarating/exhausting time of year. If your situation is anything like mine, you’ll perform for more admiring fans in the next few weeks than you will for the rest of the year in its entirety.

Since I wrote you last, I have traveled to a choral festival in Sri Lanka where my only role was to sit and absorb the singing traditions of choirs from India, Indonesia, China, Iran, and of course, Sri Lanka itself. We give so much verbiage to music as the universal language, which quite directly, becomes a bit more complicated when the music itself contains text which may or may not be familiar to the western ear. What is universal however, is the joy of singing in an ensemble – especially when that ensemble has a strong sense of shared community and musical conviction. I saw this time and time again, somehow refreshingly anew when a choir from Iran sings an African-American Spiritual, or a choir from Indonesia knocks a recent Jake Runestad piece “out of the park!” It seems that in singing, there is no east or west, let alone a sense of them or us! Humans, universally, enjoy making music together, and the inspiration the audience derives from that phenomenon is universal as well.

This is another reason, or perhaps simply the same reason, I think ACDA is such an important community of those who share the conviction of singing together. I hope you will click through on the Featured Choirs in this issue of ChoraLINK, if simply to remind yourself that what we do truly matters, and what we do to keep ourselves rejuvenated and inspired – especially in the midst of the frenetic holiday season – matters even more! For me, that inspiration is more often than not a moment of serendipity; experiencing a previously unknown composition for the first time, sharing a memory from the good ol’ days with a colleague and friend, or hearing and seeing the joy in the eyes of a singer who is overcome by the enormity of shared musical conviction.

Of course, I’m making an unabashed plug for registering for the ACDA Conference in Pittsburgh, (March 7-10, 2018) reminding you of the virtues of buying your plane ticket early and booking yourself into the conference hotel, but genuinely in the spirit of thanksgiving and renewal. We owe that to our students. We owe that to ourselves.

 

 

Paul D Head
Eastern Region President

STUDENTS: Apply for a Kegerreis Fund Scholarship!

We are currently accepting applications from ACDA STUDENT MEMBERS for the 2018 KEGERREIS SCHOLARSHIPS! 
There are multiple awards, but the application deadline of December
15, 2017 is closing in quickly! University mentors, if you have deserving students who should be applying for this prestigious award, please forward this to them and encourage them to submit an application. The process is quite straight forward, requiring a one-page resumé, a statement of your professional goals, and a letter from a mentor. Should you have additional questions, please contact the Youth and Student Activities coordinator, Christine Bass.

Travel Tips

For those of you planning to fly into Pittsburgh, we have a quick tip for you!

Paul D Head flies A LOT, and he relies on Google Flights to find the best fares for most any airline, with direct links to booking directly WITH that airline.

Here you can quickly find out things like a “Saturday return from Pittsburgh is cheaper than a Sunday return, UNLESS you’re flying to NYC,” in which case you might want to spend Saturday night and live it for the night before flying home on Sunday. Every market is different, and always changing on a daily basis.

ACDA Eastern Conference 2018 Featured Choir: Mansfield University Concert Choir

From now until the conference, we’ll be featuring the choirs selected to perform in Pittsburgh and their directors. This week, Mansfield University Concert Choir’s director, Dr. Peggy Dettwiler, tells us about the program she’s selected and the importance of ACDA in her career.

 

ACDA Eastern Conference 2018 Featured Choir: Mansfield University Concert Choir from ACDA_East on Vimeo.