Category: Conference

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

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.

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!


Conference Spotlight: Jazz for Kids!

Being a long time jazz fan, and firmly believing that jazz is America’s music and we need to teach it, I began a search years ago to find choral repertoire suitable for children and youth choirs. ACDA has long had a Jazz R&S committee, and I always tried to attend the reading sessions, but often came up empty handed. While there were frequently a few treble voiced pieces included in the wonderful repertoire they presented, the orientation was typically more towards older voices, with topics that were, shall we say, not terribly appealing to kids. (I don’t know many children who really care to sing about lost romance, often the subject of some of the best jazz repertoire!) Many of the arrangements were too complex.  Or, repertoire thatwas dubbed a “jazz” arrangement was often dumbed down and had little jazz left in it, particularly in the accompaniment.

So I began writing my own arrangements as a solution. Gradually, I found a few other composers who seemed to also understand how to write for young voices, how to select songs to arrange that kids would love to sing, and how to write accompaniments that sounded like jazz. Interested in learning more about how to getyour young singers introduced to jazz? Please join me at my “Jazz Choral Music for Kids!” session on Saturday, February 13! We will have a reading packet of repertoire, and you will be singing and scatting your way through the session. I will be presenting ideas to get even your youngest singers started, methods to help them understand the language of jazz aka scat, and a variety of music of different levels of difficulty. And, you will have fun!

Not comfortable with the genre, but curious? Even more reason to come! Be there or be square!

Dr. Joy Hirokawa is Assistant Professor of Music Education at Moravian College (Bethlehem, PA) and the Founder and Artistic Director of The Bel Canto Children’s Chorus. Under her direction, the choir has appeared on ACDA, NAfME, and PMEA conferences, and has traveled internationally. Dr. Hirokawa is a frequent guest conductor and clinician, presenting regularly at ACDA, NAfME and PMEA conferences and conducting numerous honor choirs nationally. Her published arrangements include her jazz arrangement of “Lullaby of Birdland,” recently included Voices in Concert, the new choral text published by McGraw-Hill and Hal Leonard, and “My Favorite Things,” featured on numerous honor choir programs. Her newest jazz arrangement for young voices is “Accentuate the Positive,” available from Hal Leonard. She is the current ACDA Eastern Division Repertoire and Standards Chair for Children and Youth. Dr. Hirokawa taught in the public schools for 20 years prior to her appointment at Moravian College.