In our last featured choir video for 2017, Dr. Janet Galván from Ithaca College talks about selecting repertoire that moves an audience and the ways in which ACDA conferences have moved her.
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
This week’s featured choir is the Select Choir from Central Bucks High School East. Director Christopher Villante discusses the programming process and the ways in which ACDA brings members of the choral community together.
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.
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.
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!