[toggle expand=0 title=’UPDATE: 2018-19 HONOR CHOIR SEASON’]

ACDA-MN will be sponsoring our final honor choir event of the academic year for students in grades 4-5-6. For the fourth year, based on overwhelming support from members teaching in the elementary grades, two choirs will be organized, one for boys and another for the girls. We encourage our elementary colleagues to personally seek out and encourage children to audition at the end of February.

2019 4-5-6 Honor Choir Schedule

Auditions Due: Friday, February 22

Director Notification: Tuesday, March 5

Scholarship Applications Due: Friday, March 15

Scholarship Notification: Tuesday, March 19

Payment and Registration Forms Due: Wednesday, March 27

Rehearsal and Concert Day: Saturday, May 4

Guest Conductors

4-5-6 Boys’ Honor Choir

Rachel Lucius

4-5-6 Girls’ Honor Choir

Karin Werdahl

We are pleased to announce the appointment of several new honor choir co-chairs ready to fully assume their duties during the 2019-20 academic year:

4-5-6 Boys

Erik Ekstrom
Lakeville North High School and Century Middle School

Jennifer Ulven
Monticello Middle School

4-5-6 Girls

Julie Conzemius
Mahtomedi Middle School

We thank these outgoing honor choir co-chairs for their years of dedicated service and support to our growing honor choir program:

Ben Henschel
4-5-6 Boys

Kelly Newell
4-5-6 Boys

Zan Thrasher
4-5-6 Girls

Statistics for 7-8 and 9-10 Honor Choirs to date:

7-8 TTB

  • Auditions: 239
  • Selected: 150

7-8 SSA

  • Auditions: 407
  • Selected: 150


  • Auditions: 1054 (a record number)
  • TBB Selected: 120
  • SSAA Selected: 140
  • SATB Selected: 140



The F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund Committee has expanded their scholarship program to  include needs-based scholarships for families seeking registration assistance for their child to attend honor choir day.  Scholarships were awarded to:

  • 9 students in the 7-8 honor choirs
  • 10 students in the 9-10 honor choirs

Funds have been set aside to support students in the grades 4-5-6 honor choirs this coming spring.  Information is posted on the ACDA-MN Honor Choir website and will be included in The Weekly Pulse as we move closer to the student scholarship notification date on March 19.


[toggle expand=0 title=’ANNUAL ELECTIONS’]

It is policy that the Bylaws of our organization are studied and amended every two years. ACDA-MN members will be asked to cast an on-line vote on these Bylaw edits that have been recently ratified by the ACDA-MN Board of Directors.

The proposed edits center around three purposes:

  1. to clarify language and improve intelligibility
  2. to provide documentation for practices that haven’t formerly been documented
  3. to provide inclusions in job descriptions that haven’t formerly been documented, but have become common practice among them being:
    • The Vice-President shall serve as the Compliance Officer, addressing policies of the organization.
    • The Secretary shall be responsible for ticket sales at the State Conference
    • District Representatives shall solicit nominations and select an annual ACE Award recipient from his/her district.
    • A student representative (from a collegiate chapter) shall be appointed by the President for a one-year term, and shall be a voting member, representing all student members in ACDA-MN.
    • Each R&R Coordinator shall coordinate with the bruceb40.sg-host.com Managing Editor to solicit “Pick Six” articles for publication in bruceb40.sg-host.com.

Please take this opportunity to support your ACDA-MN organization with your participation in our election this coming March.



Support ACDA-MN by casting votes for a new slate of candidates who are looking forward to leading our state organization in the next several years.  Members will be able to conveniently complete your online ballot (on ACDA-MN.COM website) from March 1-8.  Candidates in these positions are as follows:


(Six Year Term 2019-2025)

Stephanie Trump

Stephanie Trump
Robbinsdale Armstrong High School

Jerome Upton
Duluth East High School


(Three Year Term 2019-2022)

Chris Larson
Wayzata Central Middle School

Kelly Newell
Mound Westonka High School


(Three Year Term 2019-2022)

Richard Robbins
University of Minnesota-Duluth

Frank Wells
Cambridge-Isanti High School


(Three Year Term 2019-2022)

Chad Felton
Lac qui Parle Valley Public Schools, Madison

Jeff Iverson
Yellow Medicine East Public Schools



[toggle expand=0 title=’2019 SUMMER DIALOGUE’]

Connect • Engage • Renew

Reserve the week of August 6-9, 2019 to attend the 34th annual Summer Dialogue located this year at St. Olaf College in Northfield.  Conference Chair Paula Holmberg has been planning an outstanding program that will offer relevant interest sessions, new music reading sessions, social events, and multiple opportunities to dialogue with one another throughout the four day schedule.

Event headliners are:

  • Bridget Sweet, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
  • Bret Amundson, guest conductor for the Directors’ Chorus

The Summer Dialogue registration website will open on April 15.


[toggle expand=0 title=’FMC SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES’]

We encourage ACDA-MN members to take advantage of remaining scholarship opportunities offered by the FMC Endowment Fund Committee. Each academic year, a generous amount of funds are available for students and emerging conductors to support their graduate studies and professional development opportunities.

Application deadlines for remaining scholarship awards in 2018:

  • April 1 – Graduate Study Scholarships for full-time and part-time students
  • April 1 – Alice T. Larsen Memorial Scholarship for a female ACDA-MN member to pursue graduate studies.
  • May 15 – (NEW DATE) Summer Dialogue Scholarships for college/university students, and for ACDA-MN members attending their first Summer Dialogue regardless of years of experience.

Complete application information is available at: http://acda-mn.com/scholarships/


[toggle expand=0 title=’2019 ANNUAL AWARDS’]

The following awards will be presented during the 2019 State Conference this November 15 & 16:

  • F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Minnesota Choral Director of the Year Award
  • Outstanding Young Choral Director Award
  • Creative Programming Award for Middle/Junior High School and High School Choruses

On-line nominations and applications for all award levels are due to the ACDA-MN state office on or before May 1.


[toggle expand=0 title=’STATE CONFERENCE’]

Mark your calendars for the annual ACDA-MN State Conference scheduled for Friday-Saturday, November 15-16, 2019  located at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi.  Complete program details will be featured in the Star of the North.net spring issue.

Conference headliner is noted American conductor/composer/clinician Andre Thomas, fresh off his first year of retirement from Florida State University,  who will lead four sessions during the weekend:

  • All-Conference Conducting Master Class and Clinic
  • Inner-City High School Choral Festival
  • Choral Arts Finale High School Choral Festival
  • Collegiate Choral Festival “Way Over Beulah Land”

Dr. Thomas’ appearances throughout the week will be jointly sponsored by ACDA of Minnesota and VocalEssence.


[toggle expand=0 title=’2020 REGIONAL ACDA CONFERENCE’]

The ACDA Central and North Central Regions will once again combine for the second time and produce a regional conference located in Milwaukee, WI scheduled for March 4-7, 2020.