By Jamie Andrews


Sing On… Sing On…

The 2023 ACDA-MN State Conference will be held on Friday and Saturday, November 17-18 at Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi.

On Friday, November 17, the day will culminate with a Festival of Sacred Music featuring:

St. Mary’s Orthodox Church Cathedral Choir – Zachariah Mandell, conductor

Westwood Lutheran Church A Cappella choir and the Mount Calvary Lutheran Church Chanery Choir – G. Phillip Shoultz III & Paula Holmberg, conductors

A public performance will start at 7:00pm at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi.

Friday and Saturday will see the following choirs, who were selected from throughout the state, to appear on the conference program.

Friday’s performance block will include:

  • Robbinsdale All-District Elementary Choir – Beth Schultz & Janine Gagnon, conductors
  • Cantemus (Lake Superior Youth Chorus)  – Bret Amundson, conductor
  • Eagan High School Concert Choir – James Cox, conductor
  • Giving Voice  – Jeanie Brindley-Barnett & Joey Clark, conductors
  • 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 a clinician and guest conductor

The Saturday concert block will feature:

  • See Change Treble Choir – Amy Johnson, conductor
  • Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus – Gerald Gurss, conductor
  • Harmonic Blend – Adam Giebner, conductor
  • Singers in Accord – René Clausen, conductor
  • Twin Ports Choral Project Chamber Singers – Ryan Deignan, conductor
  • Two Rivers Chorale – Timothy Sawyer, conductor

In addition, 17 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:


Inspiring New Generations For Excellence…

We are excited to announce the dates for our state honor choir program for 2023-2024:

  • 9-10 Honor Choirs: Saturday, February 17, 2024 (Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis)
  • 4-5-6 Honor Choirs: Saturday, March 23, 2024 (St. Michael/Albertville High School, St. Michael)
  • 7-8 Honor Choirs: Saturday, April 6, 2024 (St. Michael/Albertville High School, St. Michael)

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, February 17, 2024

Rehearsals: Hilton Hotel, Minneapolis

Performance: Minneapolis Convention Center • Minneapolis


Friday, October 27 – Auditions Due

Tuesday, November 7 – Director Notification

Friday, November 17 – Scholarship Applications Due

Wednesday, December 6 – Registration/Payments Due

Chris McGinley
Chris McGinleyTBB Conductor
University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
Maria Ellis
Maria EllisSSAA Conductor
Girl Conductor, LLC
Kira Haler Knutson
Kira Haler KnutsonSATB Conductor
Valley City State University


Saturday, March 23, 2024

Rehearsals and Performance: St. Michael/Albertville High School • St. Michael


Friday, January 12 – Auditions Due

Tuesday, January 23 – Director Notification

Friday, February 2 – Scholarship Applications Due

Wednesday, February 23 – Registration/Payments Due

Shekela Wanyama
Shekela WanyamaChoir 1 Conductor
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Josh Pedde
Josh PeddeChoir 2 Conductor
Indianapolis Children’s Choir


Saturday, April 6, 2024

Rehearsals and Performance: St. Michael/Albertville High School • St. Michael


Friday, February 2 – Auditions Due

Tuesday, February 13 – Director Notification

Friday, February 23 – Scholarship Applications Due

Wednesday, March 13 – Registration/Payments Due

Zach Carlson
Zach CarlsonTTB Conductor
Wayzata High School
Sarah Gilbertson
Sarah GilbertsonSSA Conductor
Chanhassen High School


Audition fees for 2023-24 are $16.00 per student, and registration fees for selected students at $130.

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
Zach Kubasta
Zach Kubasta9-10 SATB
Chris Jacobson
Chris Jacobson9-10 TBB
Jim Cox
Jim Cox9-10 TBB


ACDA-MN will honor the following individuals for their outstanding contributions to our choral music community at a Saturday, November 18 luncheon during the annual State Conference weekend:

Emerging Choral Director Award

Brandon Berger
Brandon Berger

Minnesota Choral Director of the Year Award

Robin Hughes
Robin Hughes

F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award

Kathy Saltzman Romey
Kathy Saltzman Romey


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 looking for volunteers to participate in recently created Membership, Finance, Development, Communications, and IDEA committees.

We are also seeking volunteers with 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.

Make your voice heard!


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.