Dawn Thomsen

Dawn Thomsen

A record-smashing 68% of all Summer Dialogue attendees donated to ACDA-MN’s F. Melius Christiansen (FMC) Endowment Fund at Summer Dialogue!!

An ENORMOUS thank you for helping exceed our goal of $3,650. With the extraordinary $2 to $1 match by current and past FMC Endowment Fund Committee members, you raised more than $11,000 in 1.5 days! Your support embodies the generous spirit of this special community of choral musicians, helps to provide scholarships for ACDA-MN members and their students, and contributes to a vibrant future for choral music in Minnesota.

There was a lively competition between districts. So much so that ‘Chris Johnson’ the Pig, the award for participation, will be shared between the Northeast and Southwest districts this year. Congratulations!

The life-changing impact your donations make is clear in the testimonials from some of our Summer Dialogue scholarship winners:

Thank you for the opportunity to attend this year’s Summer Dialogue. This scholarship made it possible for me to connect with colleagues from around the State and listen to some wonderful interest sessions. Being new to the region, the opportunity to network with other conductors and raise awareness of my own projects was invaluable.

Ahmed Anzaldúa


Thank you so much for your generosity in allowing me to attend Summer Dialogue on a scholarship from the FMC Endowment Fund. Having this experience immediately before my first year of teaching has energized me… and filled me with a renewed confidence in my ability to teach choral music. Your support has already made a difference in my teaching, and I hope that I can give back to this organization in turn.

Wyatt Steinke


I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of the FMC Endowment Fund Scholarship. As one of this year’s recipients, I am grateful for the opportunities this award provided me during Summer Dialogue. I was able to reach out to other directors and educators for advice and overall mentorship. Learning many new skills and lessons that can be directly applied to my job was fantastic. The FMC Endowment Fund Scholarship truly made a difference in my future as a choir director and music educator.

Sarah Waller


I want to express my gratitude on receiving a scholarship to this year’s ACDA-MN Summer Dialogue. What makes Summer Dialogue so important to me is the fostering of friendships in this vast network of choral directors. It’s the highlight of my summer! Being awarded this scholarship meant a lot – not only because of saving me from a financial burden, but the organization that I wholeheartedly believe in, also believes in me. The broad sessions that were offered put many new tools into my teaching tool belt. The reading sessions too, provided me with new literature ideas to use in my classroom.

Shawn Neisen


After attending Summer Dialogue this year, I can confidently say this is the best ACDA event I’ve ever attended. I want to thank the Committee for the generous award, the staff who help make everything run smoothly, and all who attended, for a week filled with insight, learning, and laughs. It is truly wonderful to connect with colleagues and delve into the many sessions. I was inspired by the new research many presented, hearing direct feedback from composers during our Director’s Chorus, and by the many candid conversations that took place. Dialogue is a reminder that we’re all human, and there’s much to learn.

Alexandra Johnson


First and foremost, I want to thank you greatly for your support with my Summer Dialogue fee. It is truly a week of enlightenment and growth, and to have my first summer paid for is a blessing. I made so many new connections with other choir directors around the state and had a chance to connect with some old friends. The topic sessions were very applicable and the reading sessions are a fantastic way to expand any choral directors’ library. I am already looking forward to my 2018 Dialogue experience! I also want to thank you for your support of the music community in general.

Naomi Horn



2017 Summer Dialogue Scholarship Recipients

L-R: Ahmed Anzaldúa, Philip Schroetter, Naomi Horn, Wyatt Steinke, Shawn Neisen, Alexandra Johnson, Sarah Waller



2017 FMC Endowment Fund Student Conductor Workshop Participants

L-R #1: Randi Erlandson, accompanist; Emma Jirele, Megan Shipley, Cassie Ricker, Miller LaMotte

#2: Therees Hibbard, clinician; Gunnar Molstad, Scott Kleppe, Samuel Gaines, Derek Bebeau, Jacob Kempenich, Alex Rack



7-8 Honor Choirs:     Applications due October 20, 2017

9-10 Honor Choirs:     Applications due November 24, 2017


Chicago, IL – February 14-17, 2017       Application due December 1, 2017

For undergraduate juniors & seniors, graduate students and also for conductors who are in their first 6 years of teaching. Must be ACDA-MN member.

I’ll look forward to greeting you at the ACDA-MN state conference on November 17 & 18 at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi!