Rochester 2020

American Spiritual Ensemble

The American Spiritual Ensemble to appear in Rochester 2020!

The renowned American Spiritual Ensemble will perform a concert entitled Every Time I Feel the Spirit! as one of the invited choirs in the ACDA Eastern Region Conference in Rochester next year. The American Spiritual Ensemble is a critically-acclaimed professional group composed of some of the finest singers in the classical music world. Many of its members have performed in such venues as the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, Boston Opera and the Atlanta Civic Opera.

The mission of the American Spiritual Ensemble is to keep the American Negro spiritual alive. The vocalists have thrilled audiences with their dynamic renditions of classic spirituals and Broadway numbers highlighting the Black experience. The group has presented concerts throughout the United States, Europe and South America and has toured Spain numerous times presenting over 80 concerts.

Dr. Everett McCorvey, a native of Montgomery, Alabama, founded the group in 1995.  McCorvey received his degrees from the University of Alabama, including a Doctorate of Musical Arts. Also a professional singer, tenor Dr. McCorvey has performed in many places including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, Radio City Music Hall in New York and in England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and the Czech and Slovak Republics. During the summers, Dr. McCorvey is on the artist faculty of the American Institute of Musical Study (AIMS) in Graz, Austria. Dr. McCorvey holds the rank of Professor of Voice and Director of Opera at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY.

The American Spiritual Ensemble are the stars of the soon-to-be released PBS documentary recounting the history of the art form. This program follows the ensemble as they enchant audiences during their tour of the deep South and further expand their mission of performing the Negro Spiritual during their 10th tour of Spain.

Visit their website for information about this amazing professional ensemble, its singers, their future performances and their current recordings.

We at Mansfield University have hosted them twice in the last ten years and were profoundly moved by their powerful and deeply spiritual presentations of one of America’s greatest choral art forms.  Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the unforgettable American Spiritual Ensemble!



The ACDA Eastern Region planning committee is proud to announce that VOICES 21C, a Boston-based chamber choir, will appear in concert next March performing a concert entitled WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CANNOT REST. VOICES 21C, led by artistic director André de Quadros, is a chamber choir and artists’ collective, dedicated to a mission of global understanding through music, beautifully fitting with our theme, “Open Ears, Open Hearts.”

VOICES 21C aligns itself with the great American voices of compassion, love, and non-violence. The chamber choir seeks to combine technical proficiency with creativity and compassion. VOICES 21C creates personal meaning in performance by connecting its musical messages to social justice issues in the USA and abroad, representing the voices of the silenced, the forgotten, and the marginalized. VOICES 21C is a welcoming space for LGBTQ, committed to contemporary composers, and improvisational, interdisciplinary modes of performance through a co-creating, egalitarian consensus model. Tours have taken the choir to France, Israel and Palestine, and Mexico. In August 2019, the choir performed a program on women’s issues for an audience of over 7,000 people in the south of France.

Their programs have received considerable acclaim across the US and abroad. Recent appearances and concert themes include:

• “Pain and Promise” at the CHORALP Festival in Briançon, France
• “Here I Am” in Israel and Palestine
• “Somehow This Madness Must Cease” in Cuernavaca and Mexico City
• “Half the Sky” (Voices, Struggles, Resilience, and Power of the FeminineSpirit) in Vaison-la-Romaine, France

Visit their website for more information and some musical examples!

More Conference News

Conducting Masterclass for Undergraduate and Graduate Students Announced September 8, 2019

The Eastern Region 2020 conference committee is pleased to announce a public masterclass in conducting to be held during the 2020 Eastern Region Conference in Rochester, NY. This masterclass is sponsored by DCINY (Distinguished Concerts International New York). The sessions will be led by renowned conductor/teacher Marguerite Brooks. Selected students… Read more

Pre-Conference Treat!! September 8, 2019

As a pre-conference treat, the Kodak Hall Series of the Eastman School of Music will present Bobby McFerrin and Gimme5 in a Circlesong concert on Wednesday, March 4 at 7:30 pm! Gimme5 is based on Circlesinging, a musical practice and philosophy that McFerrin has been honing since he began as… Read more

Interest Sessions Announced September 2, 2019

ACDA members and members of associate professional and scholarly societies were invited to submit interest session proposals for the ACDA Eastern Region Conference to be held in Rochester, New York on March 4th – 7th, 2020. Below are the proposals accepted for the conference. 117 interest applications were reviewed by the interest… Read more

Accepted Choirs September 2, 2019

59 choirs from communities, colleges, universities, high schools, middle schools, youth organizations, and religious institutions applied for just thirteen individual concert sessions. The applications were adjudicated in two rounds with the first round completed online and the second round completed in person. For the first round, three adjudicators independently listened… Read more

Honor Choir News September 2, 2019

Please note: ACDA Eastern Region has decided to reopen the applications for the Elementary Honor Choir  and for TENORS and BASSES for the Junior High Honor Choir. Application materials will be available August 1 and remain open until September 18, 2019. Please visit: Junior High Honor Choir Elementary Honor Choir Read more

Save the Date! March 4-7, 2020

Fabulous performance venues!

  • Kodak Hall at the Eastman School of Music

  • Performance Hall in the historic Hochstein School of Music

  • Sanctuary of the Downtown United Presbyterian Church

Fun facts!

  • Third largest city in New York State
  • Located in western New York State
  • Part of the Scenic Finger Lakes Region
  • City on the Seaway Trail – The longest scenic byway in America
  • On the shore of Lake Ontario, directly across from Toronto, Canada
  • A community of waterways including a Great Lake, historic Erie Canal, Genesee River and a 96-foot city waterfall

Key Attractions

Casa Larga – An estate winery producing high quality, award winning wines, and growing to be one of the leading wine producers in New York’s Finger Lakes Region. Website:

High Falls – An archeological forge site with an impressive 96 ft. waterfall in the heart of downtown Rochester.


George Eastman Museum – The world’s leading museum of photography and motion pictures, and the National Historic Landmark mansion and gardens of Kodak founder George Eastman, the father of popular photography and motion picture film. Website:

New York Wine and Culinary Center- Engage, excite and inspire the people of New York State and the world in a celebration of New York wine and food. The Center will be an educational and experiential gateway to New York State’s incredible wine, food and culinary industries. Website:

National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House – Preserves the National Historic Landmark where the great women’s rights activist and reformer, Susan B. Anthony, lived for 40 of their most politically active years. The museum collects and exhibits artifacts related to her life and work. Website:

The Strong National Museum of Play – One of the largest history museums in the United States and one of the leading museums serving families. The Strong is home to the most comprehensive collection of play-related artifacts, dozens of interactive exhibits (including an indoor butterfly garden), and the National Toy Hall of Fame and World Video Game Hall of Fame. Website:

Morton’s Steakhouse – Morton’s The Steakhouse is conveniently located in Downtown Rochester at the Hyatt Regency Rochester. Website: