[toggle expand=0 title=’2015 IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR’]

The year 2015 started out with the report from the ACDA national office that the membership of ACDA-MN had grown to 855 members (up from 569 in 2009) making us the third largest state chapter in the country.  Our state leadership team continues to look for ways to creatively and purposefully engage these new members and welcome them into our community.  We will continue to promote activities and events that specifically target our growing commitment to elementary and middle school teachers and their students.

In April, the 10th annual Choral Arts Finale was hosted by Concordia University-St. Paul with six high school choirs being selected for the honor of performing at Orchestra Hall with guest conductor/clinician Janet Galvan.

In May, we launched the first-ever State 4-5-6 Boys’ Honor Choir with 115 students being selected from a competitive audition field of 236 boys.  Guest conductor Mark Johnson, artistic director of the Minnesota Boychoir, challenged and inspired those young singers to heights of musical achievement that was moving and thrilling.  Our entire honor choir program (grades 4-10) experienced the most student auditions (2407) from the most schools in our history.

ACDA-MN continued to experience the positive involvement and support of members attending our two highly successful professional development conferences — Summer Dialogue (190) and the annual November State Conference weekend (282).  The Male Chorus Extravaganza brought together thirteen men’s choirs with close to 800 singers, making it the largest single activity ACDA-MN has ever sponsored.

Finally, we bid farewell to several long-time leaders and staff members who, through their extraordinary efforts, led our state chapter to new heights of excellence and achievement.

Diana Leland decided it was time to experience retirement after 39 years of exemplary service to our organization as Director of Development and in multiple high profile leadership roles.  Tom Hale, Web Editor for 12 years, accepted a new full-time position with the University of Minnesota.  Tom oversaw the transformation of our organization from a print media presence to an active, cutting-edge and award-winning online presence.

We welcomed several new individuals in key staff and leadership positions:  Dawn Thomsen, Director of Development; Dariush Akhavan, Web Editor; and a new Star of the North.net editorial team of:  Bret Amundson, Managing Editor; with Associate Editors John Guidry, Ben Henschel, Katelyn Larson, Garrett Lathe, and David Winkworth.


[toggle expand=0 title=’SUMMER DIALOGUE 2016′]

ACDA-MN Vice President Brian Stubbs is working to plan and develop an exciting program as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Summer Dialogue, August 2-5, 2016, located at St. John’s University in Collegeville, expertly hosted by Axel Theimer, coordinator of the very first Summer Dialogue held in 1986.  National headliners confirmed are:

Victor C. Johnson, composer and choral clinician
Andrea Ramsey, composer and choral clinician
Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, guest conductor of the Directors’ Chorus
Sigrid Johnson, guest conductor of the All State Women’s Choir
Andrew Last, guest conductor of the All State Men’s Choir
Jin Ling-Tam, guest conductor of the All State Mixed Choir

Save the date now, and plan to attend this special professional development opportunity.

Online registration will open on May 1


[toggle expand=0 title=’HONOR CHOIR DIRECTORS NAMED’]

Guest conductors have been named for the 2016-17 honor choir season as follows:

November 19, 2016:  St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church • Mahtomedi
7-8 Boys’ Honor Choir:  Steven Albaugh, Rosemount High School
7-8 Girls’ Honor Choir:  Gillian Teoh-Berbee, Lake Middle School, Woodbury

February 9, 2017:  Central Lutheran Church • Minneapolis
9-10 Women’s Honor Choir:  Therees Hibbard, St. Olaf College
9-10 Mixed Honor Choir:  Lee Nelson, Wartburg College

May 6, 2017:  St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church • Mahtomedi
4-5-6 Boys’ Honor Choir:  Ruth Dwyer, Indianapolis Children’s Choir
4-5-6 Girl’s Honor Choir:  Charlette Moe, North Dakota State University

One honor choir program remains for the 2015-16 academic year with the State 4-5-6 Boys’ and Girl’s honor choirs meeting on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi.  Guest conductors are:

4-5-6 Boys’:  Kevin Meidl, Appleton (WI) Boys’ Choir
4-5-6 Girls’:  Ann Schrooten, Trinity Lutheran Church/Mpls; Angelica Cantanti

Audition deadline is Friday, February 19

For detailed audition information go to:  www.MNHonorChoirs.org


[toggle expand=0 title=’UPDATE — COMMISSIONING TASK FORCE’]

The ACDA-MN Commissioning Task Force has selected the following Minnesota composers for these new commissioning projects:

Linda Kachelmeier – 2017 State 9-10 Mixed Honor Choir

Daniel Kallman – 2017-18 All State Women’s Choir

Members of the ACDA-MN Commissioning Task Force are members:

  • Bryan Blessing
  • Craig Carnahan
  • Matthew Culloton
  • Jocelyn Hagen
  • Karen Lutgen
  • Ben Riggs
  • Timothy C. Takach
  • Elizabeth Shepley
  • Ann Schrooten
  • Bruce Becker
  • Executive Director


[toggle expand=0 title=’NEW MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN’]

A total of 10 complimentary membership certificates were received from the ACDA National office for the 2015 “Sing-Up” membership campaign. In addition, 14 memberships were sponsored by ACDA-MN District Chairs, for a total of 24 new members.

District Chair Sponsorships

Natalia Romero – Chris Jacobson
Mary Criswell – Chris Jacobson
Nancy Pearson – Andrew Beard
Theresa Cieminski – Andrew Beard
Carly Grandner – Michael Culloton
Erin Gaffaney – Michael Culloton
Stacie Lehman – Kristin Kivell

Member Sponsors

Bri Velzke – Kar Douman
Isaac Lovdahl – Garrett Lathe
Victoria Janasez – Garrett Lathe/Nicholas Hollerman
Amanda Culver – Garrett Lathe
Andrew Kendall – Garrett Lathe
Katherine Culp – Chris Jacobson
Jessica Binstock – Bruce Becker
Jared Mogan – Chris Jacobson
Tamara Koenig – Rolf Anderson
Diana Gertken – Bruce Becker
Christopher Paulson – Kate Larson
Rob Freelove – Steve Hoemberg/Sue Zemlin
Tony Sanders – Steve Hoemberg/Sue Zemlin
Bridget Keenan – Kari Douma
Christine Heiderken – Amy Jo Cherner
Michelle Bendett – Tesfa Wondemagegnehu
Katie Eckes – Bill Krinke

In addition to the 24 active memberships received, ACDA-MN opted in on the Student Membership campaign and sponsored 96 new or renewing student memberships from these colleges and universities:

Bethel University
Concordia College
Concordia University
MSU Mankato
MSU Moorhead
North Central University
Southwestern MN University
St. Cloud State University
St. John’s University
St. Olaf College
College of St. Scholastica
U of M Duluth
U of M Morris
U of M Twin Cities


[toggle expand=0 title=’MN CHOIRS SING @ N. CENTRAL CONF.’]

Congratulations to these choirs from Minnesota selected to sing at the ACDA North Central Conference in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, February 17-20:

Macalester College Concert Choir – Michael McCaghie, conductor

Partners in Praise Girls’ Choir – Julia Fahey, conductor

Twin Ports Choral Project – Bret Amundson, conductor

Hopkins High School Concert Choir – Philip Brown, conductor

South View Middle School 9th Grade Women’s Choir – Amy Jo Cherner, conductor


[toggle expand=0 title=’NO STATE CONFERENCE IN 2016′]

Because Minnesota will be hosting the ACDA National Conference in March of 2017, there will be no annual State Conference during the 2016-17 academic year.  The regular State 7-8 Honor Choir program will still be programmed and scheduled at Mahtomedi High School and St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi.

The next ACDA-MN State Conference is scheduled for the weekend of November 17-18, 2017 and will be programmed by Paula Holmberg, President-Elect.


[toggle expand=0 title=’CHILDREN′S CHOIR FORUM MAY 7′]

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The second annual Children’s Choir Forum will be scheduled for elementary classroom music teachers and directors of children’s choirs on Saturday, May 7, 2016, from 3:30-5:00 pm.  The event will be held in conjunction with the State 4-5-6 Boys’ and Girl’s Honor Choir day, with concert start time at 5:30 pm.  The location of the Forum and the honor choir concert is at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi.

Veteran ACDA-MN members Kari Werdahl, Lisa Lozito and Susan Snorek, all elementary classroom teachers in Waconia, will serve as clinicians.  Their session is entitled:

Children’s Vocal Development through Singing Games and Positive Classroom Climate

  • What does positive climate look like in an elementary music classroom or choral setting?
  • Do your students know why they are in your classroom or choir?
  • Do you have a classroom climate statement?
  • Do you have a sequential vocal development curriculum?

Explore answers to these and other relevant questions with our clinicians.  Plan to sing, play, and move together.