Spring greetings! I hope you have been able to enjoy the spring season even while busy with the many choral activities at this time of year!

Thanks to your generosity, five ACDA-MN choral directors and student members received a scholarship to attend the ACDA North Central Division Conference in Sioux Falls, SD, February 17-20. Their comments below are a moving testimony to the personal impact of your gifts to ACDA-MN’s F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund. Your contributions, large and small, truly make a difference!

2016 FMC Endowment Scholarship Recipientsin, Sioux Falls
Back row:  Isaac Lovdahl, Jesse Beulke and Ben Henschel
Front row:  Chris Wallace and Kellen McMillen

I also wanted to share information about the availability of scholarships for ACDA-MN members for the upcoming Summer Dialogue at St. John’s University on August 2-5, 2016. Additional details below.

Finally, the FMC Endowment Fund Committee has a very exciting announcement coming up later in May. Stay tuned!!

Best wishes on your upcoming spring concerts!
Gratefully yours,

Dawn Thomsen

Director of Development

FMC Endowment Fund


Jesse Beulke

I spent the week connecting with extraordinary individuals who have a passion for choral music and who shared my love for creating wonderful music. I was impacted by the outstanding performers whose excellent music making radiated in each and every choir. The interest sessions were relevant, engaging, and inspiring that left me feeling excited to begin my career as a choral educator. I am incredibly thankful to the FMC Endowment Fund Committee for allowing me to take part in this wonderful conference program.

Ben Henschel

It was rejuvenating to reconnect with colleagues, to be inspired by performances, and to take time to examine the element of service that is embedded in each of our daily practice as conductors. I left concert and interest sessions both energized and encouraged! I would like to thank the FMC Endowment Committee for supporting me with a scholarship to attend this conference.

Isaac Lovdahl

Attending the conference was an invaluable experience that re-energized and inspired me. As an emerging composer, I gained much insight from a composer’s panel whose words of wisdom allowed me to add more tools to my “tool belt”.  The concerts and reading sessions exposed me to some stupendous new repertoire that I have already started to program with my choirs. Thanks to the FMC Endowment Fund Committee for the opportunity to explore more avenues of music making — something I will forever cherish!

Kellen McMillen

From the incredible performances to the insightful presentations on repertoire and improving our practice, the conference helped to inspire and motivate me to continue to refine my craft and grow as a conductor. I was also able to purchase resources that will not only help me in my personal study, but also can be utilized by students in my program. The conference was an unforgettable experience! Thanks to the FMC Committee who made it possible for me to attend.

Chris Wallace

So much learning occurred in those three short days that I could not have imagined just how inspired I would be after the fact! I was completely in awe with the various ensembles that performed throughout the week. It was so amazing to see just how much middle school, high school and collegiate choral groups can accomplish! The music that was performed was so beautiful and moving. It reminded me just how much I want to get into the classroom and start working with students. I want to have those kinds of moments with my own choirs! I feel so blessed and fortunate that this scholarship exposed me to the incredible North Central choral world!



SUMMER-DIALOGUE-LOGOSummer Dialogue is August 2-5, 2016 at St. John’s University, and the FMC Endowment Fund Committee is pleased to invite ACDA-MN members to apply for Summer Dialogue scholarships. There are two categories for these scholarships. We invite you to make an application and encourage you to share this information with others who might be interested in this scholarship opportunity.

FMC Summer Dialogue Scholarship opportunities are available for:

  • Recent college graduate/teacher with 0-2 years of experience ($360 value)
  • First time Summer Dialogue attendees regardless of years of experience ($240 value)

The deadline for application is June 1, 2016.  Details are found at:


For complete Summer Dialogue program, information, and online registration go to: