Hello from the Star of the North, 

Spring is finally arriving here in Northern Minnesota, after a record breaking winter in Duluth. I’ll admit, this is my least favorite season (mud season, as we call it). However, I do love the longer days and the warmth of the sun on my skin, and it makes me grateful for making it through another year.

This issue is titled Finding Our Voice: In Our Community. Our Guest Feature, “Becoming KNOWN MPLS: An Interview With Courtland Pickens tells the story of one of the most exciting new Gospel choirs in the Twin Cities. Courtland’s story is a powerful reminder of the importance of choral music in our community – we are so much more than the music we teach and sing. Filled with photos and videos, this article is sure to provide you with energy and inspiration for the end of the year. Are you a public school teacher? I’m sure your students would be inspired by their videos too.

Be sure to read Inside ACDA, as it includes a lot of important information. Results from our most recent board elections, and changes in personnel for our R&R Chairs, Honor Choir Co-Chairs, as well as updates on our upcoming Summer Dialogue conference (and more) are found in this column. A reminder – registration for Summer Dialogue opens on May 15, and you have until June 15 to register at the discounted rate. Are you a recent graduate or have you never attended Summer Dialogue before? There are scholarships available through the FMC Endowment.

Our Voices from the District articles, authored by Adam Giebner (Northeast), Bryan Fisher (Metro West) and Kerry Johnson (Southwest), are empathetic responses to the challenges we’ve all faced over the past three years, and the work that is happening in our Districts.

Be sure to check out the latest updates from the FMC Endowment Fund, This issue’s Scholarship Sketches highlights two individuals who were able to attend the National Conference in Cincinnati this past february. Thank you all for your generous support to the FMC Endowment Fund.

In the Commissioning Corner you will find a reflection by Laura Potratz on her recent trip to Cape Town, South Africa where she taught the music of Bach. In this issue you can read about the Southeast ACE Award winner, and find repertoire suggestions in our Pick Six section. Finally, In Remembrance honors the life of Dave Hill, a recent ACE Inspiration Award winner who passed away from cancer this past February.

On behalf of the editorial team and ACDA-MN, we hope you enjoy the Spring issue of the Star of the North. I hope it sparks some energy and encouragement as we wrap up this academic year. I know you will have excellent performances, and continue to change the world through your passion for choral music. Thanks for joining us for another year. We look forward to seeing you at Summer Dialogue in August!