Challenges of the Two-Year College Choir

Alice Cavanaugh
Two-Year College R&S Chair

The two-year college choir perpetually suffers from an identity crisis. We are college/university choirs with very real and challenging differences from our four-year counterparts. Searching for inspiration and resources for two-year college choirs often leads to dead ends when these differences rear their ugly heads. We each have formulated our own techniques for dealing with those challenges: persistent high turnover rates, repertoire dilemmas, unbalanced skill levels, and budget restrictions. Consequently, each of us is a resource for two-year college choirs.

We have success stories to share. At the 2013 ACDA convention in Dallas, I had the pleasure to meet Dr. Carolina Flores, then president of the ACDA Connecticut Chapter and a two-year college choir director. We had the opportunity to share ideas, repertoire, and to discuss the strengths and weaknesses within our programs. In addition to learning from each other, we took our collaboration a step further and brought our choirs together, across state lines, for a joint concert. This was invigorating for the students and demonstrated that we are not alone in facing the unique challenges of directing community college choirs.

As we approach the 2015 ACDA convention in Utah, I encourage you to attend so that we can form a superb resource – the knowledge and expertise of two-year college choir directors from across the Eastern Division and across the nation.