By Jamie Andrews


Sing On… Sing On…

The 2022 ACDA-MN State Conference will be held on Friday and Saturday, November 18-19 at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi.

On Friday, November 18, Dr. Lynne Gackle will lead the Star of the North High School Choral Festival featuring four choirs, selected from competitive auditions, which include:

  • Shakopee High School Concert Choir – Michael Kovic, conductor
  • Apple Valley High School Valley Select Chorale – Joel Beyer & Reid Larsen, conductors
  • Sartell High School Concert Choir – Brandon Nordhues & Joanna Richards, conductors
  • St. Michael-Albertville High School Concert Choir – Joseph Osowski, conductor

The combined high school ensembles will give a public performance at 7:30pm at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi.

Friday and Saturday will see sixteen choirs were selected from within each of seven ACDA-MN geographic districts to appear on the conference program.

Friday’s performance block will include:

  • Angelica Cantanti Concert Choir (Middle School) – Elizabeth Egger, conductor
  • Stillwater High School Concert Choir – Angela Mitchell, conductor
  • ComMUSICation (Middle School) – Carey Shunskis, conductor
  • KNOWN (High School) – Courtland Pickens, conductor
  • Urban Initiatives High School Choral Festival featuring VocalEssence Singers of this Age (VESOTA) – G. Phillip Shoultz, conductor (with) urban coalition of high school choirs and singers with Katherine Chan, clinician and guest conductor

The Saturday concert block will feature:

  • Concordia College Vocal Jazz – Wyatt Steinke, conductor
  • One Voice Mixed Chorus – Jane Ramseyer Miller, conductor
  • East Central Minnesota Chorale – Charles Moe, conductor
  • Prairie Arts Chorale – Brandon Hurley, conducto
  • Choral Arts Ensemble – Rick Kvam, conducto
  • Minnesota Valley Women’s Chorale – Judy Sagen, conductor

In addition, 20 interest sessions targeting all age levels of singers/conductors will be scheduled throughout the two-day event.

Registration for the State Conference can be accessed at:


Following the State Conference, plan to attend the F. Melius Christiansen 151st Anniversary Concerts on Sunday, November 20, 2022. There will be two opportunities to hear:

The Augsburg Choir – Kristina Boerger, conductor

The Concordia Choir – Michael Culloton, conductor

Christus Chorus of Concordia University – David Mennicke, conductor

The Gustavus Choir – Brandon Dean, conductor

National Lutheran Choir – David Cherwien, conductor

The St. Olaf Choir – Anton Armstrong, conductor

Proceeds from this benefit concert will assist ACDA-MN as it develops and supports new and ongoing diversity initiatives programming.


Sunday, November 20, 2:00 & 6:30 pm

Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis

For tickets –


Inspiring New Generations For Excellence…

We are excited to announce the dates for our state honor choir program for 2022-2023:

  • State 9-10 Honor Choirs: Saturday, February 11, 2023 (University of Minnesota School of Music, Minneapolis)
  • State 4-5-6 Honor Choirs: Saturday, April 29, 2023 (St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Mahtomedi)
  • State 7-8 Honor Choirs: Saturday, May 6, 2023 (St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Mahtomedi)

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

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


Saturday, May 6, 2023

Rehearsals:  Mahtomedi High School

Performance:  St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church • Mahtomedi


Friday, February 17 – Auditions Due

Tuesday, February 28 – Director Notification

Friday, March 10 – Scholarship Applications Due

Wednesday, March 29 – Registration/Payments Due

Garrett Lathe
Garrett LatheTTB Conductor
Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School
Michelle Bendett
Michelle BendettSSA Conductor
Northfield Middle School


Saturday, February 11, 2023

Rehearsals: University of Minnesota School of Music • Minneapolis

Performance: Ted Mann Concert Hall • Minneapolis


Friday, October 28 – Auditions Due

Tuesday, November 8 – Director Notification

Friday, November 18 – Scholarship Applications Due

Wednesday, December 7 – Registration/Payments Due

Derrick Fox
Derrick FoxTBB Conductor
University of Nebraska
Susan Vollbrecht
Susan VollbrechtSSAA Conductor
College of St. Benedict
Merrin Gill
Merrin GillSATB Conductor
Bethel University


Saturday, April 29, 2023

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


Friday, February 3 – Auditions Due

Tuesday, February 14 – Director Notification

Friday, February 24 – Scholarship Applications Due

Wednesday, March 15 – Registration/Payments Due

Bret Amundson
Bret AmundsonBoys' Conductor
College of St. Scholastica
Michelle Gehrz
Michelle GehrzGirls' Conductor
Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs


Audition fees for 2022-23 remain at $16.00 per student, and registration fees for selected students at $129.

Audition and registration fees cover these annual costs: online 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.


We want to acknowledge the new and returning Honor Choir Co-Chairs for this school year. They play a key part in the success of this program.

Andrew Parr
Andrew Parr4-5-6 Boys
Deveny Beaton
Deveny Beaton4-5-6 Boys
Julie Conzemius
Julie Conzemius4-5-6 Girls
Melane McIvor
Melane McIvor4-5-6 Girls
Susan Snorek
Susan Snorek7-8 CTB
Matt Kiminski
Matt Kiminski7-8 CTB
Megan Cox
Megan Cox7-8 SSA
Katie Irvin
Katie Irvin7-8 SSA
Laura Quintance
Laura Quintance9-10 SSAA
Wendy Suoja
Wendy Suoja9-10 SSAA
Bri Bergstrom
Bri Bergstrom9-10 SATB
Chad Garrels
Chad Garrels9-10 SATB


Keep in touch with colleagues by creating or updating your Member Profile on the ACDA-MN website. The Members Directory allows you to share contact information, areas of activity, and type of voices you direct, among other parts of your biography, with other ACDA-MN members. Member Profile information is searchable in the Members Directory.

To access the Member Directory, log in, you will find the Members Directory under the “About” drop down menu.

Don’t have a current Username & Password? Create a Member Profile on the ACDA-MN website at:


Remember to keep your ACDA National membership profile updated on the ACDA National Website. ACDA-MN leadership team utilizes the national database to send important information to all our ACDA-MN Members. We update our membership from the National site on a monthly basis.


ACDA-MN will honor the following individuals for their outstanding contributions to our choral music community at a Saturday, November 19 luncheon during the annual State Conference weekend:

Creative Programming Award
co-sponsored by VocalEssence

Jane Ramseyer Miller
Jane Ramseyer MillerOne Voice Mixed Chorus

Emerging Choral Director Award

Eliza Lewis-O'Connor
Eliza Lewis-O'Connor

Minnesota Choral Director of the Year Award

Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson

Minnesota Choral Director of the Year Award

David C. Dickau
David C. Dickau


If you are interested in offering your time to volunteer with any ACDA-MN event or activity, please contact Executive Director Jamie Andrews at: 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.


We are looking for examples of the impact of your work. Everyday ACDA members do extraordinary work in the rehearsal room and on the performance stage. Participating in your ensembles creates a positive change in the lives of your signers. Let’s tell that story!

The examples can be in the form of: short-written testimonials, pictures, or videos. It could be a recording of your ensemble accomplishing a particularly tricky passage from a piece of music, a note from an older adult expressing gratitude for the opportunity to sing in person again, or a picture of a student who recruits his friends to join choir because it’s just so awesome. The impact of your work shows up in many ways.

We plan to use these stories on social media and all of our other communications channels throughout the year.

ACDA’s mission is “to inspire and support a community of choral musicians.” Let’s share stories of our mission in action!

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Send submission to –

About Jamie Andrews

Jamie Andrews (he/him) has over two decades of experience working in the arts, education, and nonprofit administration. He is currently the Executive Director of the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota, and a founding member of PrimeLife Arts Learning, an on-line platform dedicated to Creative Aging. Previously he served as Development Manager for Lakeshore Players Theatre, Recruitment and Events Planning Liaison at the University of St. Thomas, and as the Chief Learning Officer at the Minnesota Opera, where he oversaw an extensive array of programs for all ages, including an industry-leading Creative Aging initiative, Music Out Loud, the first opera-based El Sistema-inspired youth program in the US, and the commission of a youth opera The Song Poet, based on the novel by Kao Kalia Yang with music by Joceyln Hagen. Active in arts advocacy, Jamie serves on the board of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.

Jamie started his career in the arts, teaching band and choir in Forest Lake and Lester Prairie, Minnesota, after earning a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He also earned a master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Management from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.