As we step into a new chapter of the calendar year, the Star of the North extends a warm welcome to all of our readers. In this edition, we continue our exploration of the multifaceted nature of success, delving into its diverse dimensions within our programs, communities, and individual journeys. The winter issue places special emphasis on defining success within our ensembles.

In lieu of our Guest Feature, we introduce a new column dedicated to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA). In this article, Dr. Kristina Boerger shares insights on the significance of choral music education and music literacy, illustrating how these concepts intersect with issues of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access. Dr. Boerger issues a compelling call to action for music educators to advocate for the teaching of music literacy to all students.

Inside ACDA provides information about the IDEA fund, upcoming Honor Choirs, and our upcoming elections. We proudly spotlight Brandon Berger, recipient of this year’s Emerging Choral Director Award, Robin Hughes, honored as this year’s Minnesota Choral Director of the Year, and Kathy Romey, the esteemed recipient of the 2023 F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award. If you’re eager to become more involved in ACDA, we encourage you to consider volunteering for the Communications Committee – additional details can be found in this column.

Our Commissioning Corner features an insightful interview with Joseph Osowski, shedding light on the recent collaboration with Voces8. The Home Sweet Home column includes an interview with Andrew Kendall from Gustavus Adolphus College. Discover repertoire ideas in our Pick Six section and draw inspiration from Voices from the District articles by district chairs Nicole Lambrecht (Central) and Stephanie Schumacher (Southeast).

Stay informed about the FMC Endowment Fund and witness how scholarships directly impact Minnesota teachers and young conductors in this issue’s Scholarship Sketches. Additionally, take a moment to learn about our ACE Inspiration Award recipients, Robert Ragoonanan and Nancy Gubrud – two remarkable supporters of choral music in our state! The In Remembrance section pays tribute to the lives and careers of Arvida Steen and Carol Murray.