Happy October, everyone, and welcome to a new year with the Star of the North. This season, each issue is a variation on the theme “Finding our Voice.” As we settle into the rhythm of the new academic year, I hope your voice is strong and clear. But if you’re like me, you find yourself racing from activity to activity, out of breath, and frantically trying to stay just a step or two ahead. During these hectic days, I hope that we are able to take time to pause, breathe in the crisp, autumn air and reflect: What is going well? What are we grateful for? What is giving us hope? What changes can we implement for the betterment of our students and ensembles? For ourselves? It is during these (rare) quiet, and still moments that I begin to find answers to these questions. No matter where you are on your journey, the words of your colleagues found in this issue will inspire you, and help keep your voice resonant and true.

We have three Guest Feature articles in this issue. Elisabeth Cherland’s “Finding and Re-Finding Our Vocare” is a must-read. Next is a moving message from Luke Warren, Choir Director at Hastings High School, printed with permission from a message he shared from the stage during a recent concert. And don’t miss a wonderful interview by Peter Durow with Ēriks Ešenvalds from this past summer’s Latvian Song and Dance Festival.

Tim Cayler (Central District Chair) authored a reflection on the importance of encouraging all people to find their singing voice in his Voices from the District article, while Michael Jeffrey (Southeast District Chair) approached the theme from the perspective of young conductors developing their own authentic voice and persona on the podium.

Our Legacy article, written by Jaclyn Schmeichel, features the life and career of Larry Bach. Our Star Program Spotlight this Autumn is on the Youth Chorale of Central Minnesota, directed by Garrett Lathe. We also mourn and celebrate the life of Peter Hendrickson in our In Remembrance section.

Be sure to stay up to date with the latest information from our new Executive Director, Jamie Andrews’, in his Inside ACDA article, as well as the FMC Endowment Fund article by Bruce Becker. Because of your generous donations, ACDA is able to offer scholarships to young conductors, enabling them to attend events like Summer Dialogue. These experiences are transformative for these students, as can be seen in this issue’s Scholarship Sketches. Looking for inspiration? Be sure to check out our ACE Inspiration Awards, Pick Six selections, and 5 Words or Less. The Commissioning Corner includes a recap of Kyle Pederson’s session from Summer Dialogue.

Thank you for your continued support for the Star of the North. We know how hard you are working to support choral music in Minnesota, and we applaud your efforts. We look forward to seeing you at the Fall Conference!

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