We the People … United in Praise
“Festival Chorus”

Detailed Information

A. Eligibility

  • Singers must be 18 years or older as of February 12, 2010.
  • Singers must be members in good standing of their Sponsor’s musical organization.
  • Singers must be sponsored by a current ACDA member OR a professional guest member, i.e. AGO, Chorister’s Guild etc. (referenced as “Sponsor” in all Festival Chorus materials). Sponsor membership will be verified by organization membership number.
  • If current ACDA members or professional guests wish to participate as singers in the Festival Chorus, they should denote themselves as Sponsor on the application.
  • Singers are responsible for all expenses incurred, including the registration fee ($75.00), and any transportation costs or hotel costs.
  • Singers must be thoroughly prepared on all music prior to arrival.

B. Application

  • The complete application includes an application form including a sponsor’s signature. Send all application forms to:Kenneth R. Steele
    22 Greenbrook Drive
    Marlton, NJ 08053-1952
    You may also download and email the form to krsteele45@comcast.net.

C. Schedule

  • Singers should plan to arrive at the First Baptist Church, 123 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA no later than 8:30 am on February 12, 2010 and remain until 6:30 pm the same day.Tentative Schedule:
    8:00am -9:00am   Registration
    9:00am -11:45am   Rehearsal
    11:45am – 1:00pm    Lunch with Craig Courtney
    1:00pm – 3:00pm   Rehearsal
    3:00pm – 4:00pm   Combined Rehearsal
    4:00pm – 5:00pm   Dress for Concert
    5:00 pm – 6:15pm   Interfaith Worship Service

D. Communication

  • Sponsors are responsible for the thorough musical preparation of the selected singer(s), as well as timely and accurate communication with the participants.
  • All correspondence will be sent to singers and their Sponsors. The majority of information will be communicated by email and/or be posted on the website. Sponsors and singers may check www.acdaeast.org regularly for updated information.

E. Music

  • All music will be mailed to the Sponsor, and the sponsor will distribute it to the selected singers.
    • Literature for “UNITED IN PRAISE” FESTIVAL CHORUS, PHILA., 2010***COMBINED CHOIRS*Let All the World in Every Corner Sing – Vaughn Williams (Lorenz – S420)
      organ, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones*Those Who Wait on the Lord – Craig Courtney (Beckenhorst – BP1389)
      organ, 3 trumpets, 3 trombonesFESTIVAL CHORUS ANTHEMSAnd the Glory of the Lord – Handel (G. Schirmer)

      My Shepherd Will Supply My Need – Courtney (Beckenhorst – BP1729)

      The Time for Turning – Courtney (Lorenz – 10/3621L)

      A Lord-Built House – Lentz (Beckenhorst – BP1278)

      Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Lawson-Gould), catalog # – LG00984-D
      arr. Robert Shaw and Alice Parker

      *Thou Art God! – Beck (Beckenhorst – BP1005)
      organ, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones

  • Music should be placed in a black 3-ring binder for the rehearsals and worship service.

F. Costs

  • The registration fee for each singer will be $75.00. This includes the workshops and rehearsals, music packet, lunch and souvenirs.
  • Festival Chorus registration will be waived for those ACDA members or professional guests who register for the full division conference and are selected as chorus members.
  • The $75.00 registration fee DOES NOT include any transportation, parking or hotel costs.

G. Hotel accommodations

  • Singers wishing overnight accommodations on Thursday evening, Friday evening, and/or Saturday evening may reserve rooms at the ACDA Conference rate. Click on the following link for detailed information and reservation instructions: Hotels and Hotel Reservations

H. Additional Conference Events

  • Tickets for Friday evening’s performance at the Kimmel Center conducted by Helmuth Rilling and tickets for the all-conference reception and concert by Singing City on Saturday evening may be purchased separately by Festival Chorus participants. More information will be available Fall 2009 at www.acdaeast.org.

— Additional Links —
General Information
Application Form

Craig Courtney

Craig Courtney

A native of Indiana, Craig Courtney began playing the piano at the age
of three and the cello at the age of eleven. He received a Bachelors and a Masters in piano performance at the University of Cincinnati, studying piano under Raymond Dudley and chamber music under Walter Levin of the LaSalle Quartet.

Following a three-year stay in Milan, Italy, where Mr. Courtney studied the piano with Illonka Deckers, performed for the Associazione Musicale “Gustav Mahler”, and worked extensively as a vocal coach, he was invited to join the music faculty of the famed Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, serving as piano teacher and accompanist for the woodwind and brass department.

It was during this six-year period, while serving in the music ministry of the Salzburg International Baptist Church, that Mr. Courtney began directing a church choir and composing sacred choral music, due to the unavailability of English language music.

In 1985, his compositions came to the attention of John Ness Beck, through the publication of his octavo, Thy Will Be Done, initiating a close working relationship between the two men which continued until Mr. Beck’s death in 1987. In making plans for the ongoing business of Beckenhorst Press, Mr. Beck appointed Craig Courtney to assume his responsibilities as staff composer and editor.

At this point in time, Mr. Courtney’s published works include over 70 sacred choral octavos, five vocal collections, and four extended works for choir and orchestra. Compositionally, Mr. Courtney combines his training and background as a pianist, cellist, vocal coach, accompanist, and a choral director to create works that bear his unique style.

In demand throughout the country as a choral clinician and featured composer, Craig Courtney now resides in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, Susan, and his three sons, Christopher, Matthew and Nathan.

Joshua Stafford, Organ Accompaniment

Joshua StaffordJoshua Stafford is full scholarship student at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music where he is a fourth year student of Alan Morrison. In October 20008, he was appointed Assistant Director of Music at the Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, PA, where he works closely with the Bryn Mawr Boychoir and Girlchoir as well as the Redeemer and Chancel choirs.

Joshua has performed recitals across the country, including postlude concerts for the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and l’Orchestre National de France on the country’s largest new concert hall organ at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center. He has also been a regular performer on the world’s largest outdoor organ, the Massey Memorial Organ at Chautauqua Institution, and the world’s largest organ, the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ at Macy’s in Philadelphia. In may 2007, Joshua traveled with the Curtis organ department to Paris, France, where he had the rare opportunity to play many of the city’s beautiful and historic organs, including an evening at the famous organ of Notre Dame Cathedral.

A native of Jamestown, NY, Joshua began piano studies at the age of six. His interest in the organ was sparked at a Pipe Organ Excursion held by the Chautauqua AGO chapter that he attended at the age of ten. Joshua’s previous teachers include Jared Jacobsen of Chautauqua Institution, and James Bigham of Holy Trinity Lutheran, Buffalo, NY. Former positions include Organist of St. Luke’s Episcopal in Jamestown, NY, and the Episcopal Church of St. John in Bala Cynwyd, PA, and Organ Scholar at the historic Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge, PA.

Thomas Berdos, Piano Accompaniment

Thomas BerdosThomas R. Berdos earned the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and the Master of Music degree in Music Performance at the University of Lowell, where he was the winner of the university’s 1981 Concerto Competition.  He has performed as a pianist in Asia, South America, and in locations throughout the United States. He has taught on the faculties of FranklinPierceCollege, Taylor University, NyackCollege, and BergenCommunity College.  Mr. Berdos is on the music faculty of The Pingry School in Short Hills, NJ, where he also maintains a private piano studio.  Mr. Berdos has served on numerous occasions as a guest conductor at the Ocean Grove Choir Festivals in Ocean Grove, NJ.  In addition to his performing career, Mr. Berdos has published a number of works for solo piano and piano ensemble.  He is on the advisory board of the New Jersey Youth Chorus, and serves the ACDA as the New Jersey R&S Chair for Music in Worship.  Mr. Berdos is the Director of Music Ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Mendham, NJ. Working together with his organist wife Deborah Berdos, he conducts the Sanctuary Choir and other choral and instrumental ensembles.  Mr. and Mrs. Berdos have held music ministry positions at a number of churches on the East Coast and in the Midwest.  They make their home in Chatham, NJ.