ACDA-MN officially welcomes these newly elected and appointed leaders as of July 1, 2020

Board of Directors

Mary Ebanks
Central District Chair
Big Lake High School



Michael Jeffrey
Southeast District Chair
Pine Island Public Schools

Repertoire and Resource (R&R) Chairs

Bert Pinsonneault
College/University Choirs
University of St. Thomas


Kyle Pederson
Minnesota Composers
Eagan MN


Stephanie Nolting
SSAA Choirs
Sing Out Loud, Rochester


Honor Choir Co-Chairs

4-5-6 Boys

Deveny Beaton

Hidden Oaks Middle School
Prior Lake

4-5-6 Girls

Melanie McIvor
Clear Springs Elementary School


Minnesota Choral Renaissance 2020: A Season of Change

The annual ACDA-MN State Conference will have a different look and feel this fall. Due to the Covid 19 outbreak, the traditional in-person gathering will be replaced with a virtual conference experience that will engage our members from all teaching levels with relevant and resourceful sessions and performances, all produced and presented on a virtual conference platform.

The ACDA-MN Board of Directors, at their August board meeting, approved the Minnesota planning group of Open Voices to produce this exciting event. What is unique about the virtual platform is that through best practice, conference sessions will be accessed over a period of weeks during October and November, culminating in the annual award ceremony presented on Saturday, November 21. Instead of the traditional in-person format of two jammed pack days, registrants will experience an array of virtual pre-recorded and live interactive conference events over time with the ability to access previous presentations at any future date.

Program content along with featured choral performances continue to be developed and will be updated with the membership this fall via The Weekly Pulse and on our ACDA-MN facebook page.

Stay tuned for these exciting details to emerge. They are guaranteed to excite!

Registration for the ACDA-MN Fall Festival can be accessed at: stateconferencemn.info/


Inspiring New Generations For Excellence…

For detailed information on how to audition students for the ACDA-MN Honor Choir program go to: www.MNHonorChoirs.org

Student participation in the ACDA-MN honor choir program is a direct benefit of current membership in ACDA.

Special Note: As the Covid 19 virus outbreak continues to cause uncertainty with many student-related programs and activities throughout our state, our ACDA-MN honor choir season is no exception. The information provided below is relevant to the time when this article was authored. Please stay tuned to ACDA-MN Weekly Pulse and our facebook page for further updates as needed.


Saturday, May 8, 2021 (alternative date)

Rehearsals and Performance: St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church • Mahtomedi

TTB Conductor

Lin Warren
Hastings High School (ret)

SSA Conductor

Shelly Schaeufele
Waukee Community School, Waukee, IA


Friday, January 29 – Auditions Due

Tuesday, February 9 – Director Notification

Friday, February 19 – Scholarship Applications Due

Wednesday, March 3 – Registration/Payments Due


Thursday, February 11, 2021 (date subject to change)

Rehearsals: Westminster Presbyterian Church • Minneapolis

Performance: Central Lutheran Church • Minneapolis


TBB Conductor

Greg Douma
Eastview High School, Apple Valley

SSAA Conductor

Phillip Shoultz

SATB Conductor

Kyle Fleming
Regis University, Denver CO


Friday, October 30 – Auditions Due

Tuesday, November 10 – Director Notification

Friday, November 20 – Scholarship Applications Due

Wednesday, December 2 – Registration/Payments Due


Saturday, May 2, 2020

Rehearsals and Performance: St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church • Mahtomedi


Boys’ Conductor

Henry Leck
Butler University, Indianapolis IN (ret)

Girls’ Conductor

Karen Howard
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul


Friday, February 19 – Auditions Due

Tuesday, March 2 – Director Notification

Friday, March 12 – Scholarship Applications Due

Wednesday, March 24 – Registration/Payments Due


Audition fees for 2020-21 remain at $16.00 per student, and registration fees for selected students at $124.

Audition and registration fees cover these annual costs: on-line audition site costs, guest conductor artistic fees and travel expenses, accompanist, instrumentalists, on-site medical staff, rental of performance and rehearsal facilities, liability insurance premiums, food, T-shirt, downloadable audio recording of the concert, and ACDA-MN administrative staff support services.


ACDA-MN will honor the following individuals for their outstanding contributions to our choral music community at a special virtual annual award ceremony scheduled for Saturday, November 21.

Outstanding Young Choral Conductor Award

Katelyn Larson
Stillwater High School

Minnesota Choral Director of the Year Award

Rebecca Wyffels
Wayzata High School

F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award

Judy Sagen
Minnesota Valley Women’s Chorale



We remind our members that the ACDA-MN membership roster from the ACDA national office is available to all members in Minnesota via our website homepage. This monthly updated roster serves our organization as our official membership roster. To access, a member must register on the ACDA-MN website at: acda-mn.com/register/

Please keep your membership profile updated with the ACDA national office. This is the only source of personal contact information that our state organization utilizes.


ACDA-MN will receive twenty complimentary memberships to be distributed to new and renewing members during the ACDA national new member campaign this fall. ACDA-MN Board of Directors have been invited to nominate new member prospects from all seven geographic districts. In addition, members within ACDA-MN will have an opportunity to nominate new members by sending contact information directly to Executive Director Bruce Becker at execdirector@acda-mn.org with the following nomination information:

Name of new member prospect

Institution served

email address


NEW POLICY THIS YEAR: In response to the financial uncertainties among our students during this Covid 19 outbreak, the ACDA national office will offer a $5 membership for all new and renewing student members. This student membership program will begin the middle of September and continue through mid November. There are no limits as to how many students may participate.



On Sunday, November 21, 2021, thousands of enthusiastic choral music patrons from Minnesota’s “Land of 10,000 Choirs” will descend upon Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of F. Melius Christiansen, the ‘father of a cappella choral singing in North America’ and founder of the famed St. Olaf Choir. These six distinguished choirs will gather together to commemorate this milestone occasion:

The Augsburg Choir • The Concordia Choir-Moorhead

Christus Chorus of Concordia University-St. Paul

The Gustavus Choir • St. Olaf Choir • National Lutheran Choir

The 150th Anniversary Concert will be a significant event in Minnesota’s rich choral music history – one that not only celebrates the ongoing legacy of F. Melius Christiansen, but also raises funds for the F. Melius Christiansen (FMC) Endowment Fund, named in his honor, that provides scholarships to the next generation of choral music leaders and their students.

It was a similar benefit concert that launched our F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund in 1996. Since then, we’ve awarded scholarships to 501 Minnesota choral directors and their students totaling more than $287,557. This event will create an unforgettable concert celebration and will ensure that qualified and deserving members and students always have the financial help needed to pursue their professional goals in choral music education and performance.

Tickets will go on sale in September, 2021.


Due to the expected budgetary constraints within the 2020-21 fiscal year, ACDA-MN will suspend the support of all commissioned projects that support the ACDA-MN honor choir and MMEA All-State choir programs. We intend to reinstate this program when finances become more stable.


If you are interested in offering your time to volunteer with any ACDA-MN event or activity, please contact Executive Director Bruce W. Becker at: execdirector@acda-mn.org.

We are seeking volunteer leadership positions with State Honor Choirs, State Conference, Summer Dialogue, Interest Session presentations, and future leadership with our Repertoire and Resource (R&R) positions, along with our State Board of Directors.


If you have moved to a new home or school address, please contact the ACDA national membership office with this information at: 405.232.8161 x 110

With ACDA-MN now utilizing the ACDA national membership roster for our state organization, it’s important that members revise and update their contact information.