Chad Garrels

Chad Garrels

It’s amazing to think that we are approaching the 58th anniversary of when ACDA was first conceptualized. I believe this group was founded to serve those who lead choral groups across the nation. The original purposes, which are still the basis of today’s purposes, were created to foster and support: choral singing, choral music, effective rehearsal procedures, all levels and types of choral groups, research in choral music, and choral composition. Those original 35 choral directors that founded ACDA did a great service by creating our beloved organization. What are we doing as individuals to serve our art?

We all may not be able to serve our organization by holding an office or position at the national, state, or local level. Serving is not just leading, but by being an active member and taking what we learn and sharing it with those who benefit from our guidance and those we work along side in the choral arts. All of our strengths and talents brought together help to serve so many. You may not even realize that you are currently serving ACDA-MN. Listed below are ideas for serving; Please think of them as suggestions. You may be presently doing some of these and not even think of it as serving or they may be see that you have a strength that can be utilized for ACDA.


We all know someone involved in directing choral music that is not involved in ACDA. Take some time to invite them to look at our organization and let them know of the benefits we offer, such as: the State Conference, Summer Dialogue, and Region and National Conferences; networking with other music professionals; scholarships through the FMC endowment; etc.


A great way to serve our association is to help others that may be new to our trade or new to our state. The time you take to share your knowledge and experiences are so valuable. Please don’t overlook what may seem mundane to you, because it could be essential information to someone else.


This can include being an active participant in communication tools such as Facebook and email. I know there is a Facebook page for choral directors, ACDA, an ACDA-MN repertoire group, and some districts are creating their own group pages. What a great way to share information, celebrations, or to ask questions of the group.


My favorite benefits of our organization are the conferences we can attend. As mentioned earlier there are several opportunities to register and participate. While attending you get to hear great clinicians speak, try out new pieces of music, and network with our colleagues from throughout our state, region, and nation. I know some of the best parts of my teaching are ideas or music I have gathered from these experiences.


If you have the organizational and leadership skills, why not think about a leadership position. There are many positions where you expertise may be needed. Our honor choir and choir events need co-chairs, there are repertoire and standards chairs, editors are needed for the Star of the North, different committees are organized and need leadership, and there are elected positions that need to be filled.

I believe all of us have the ability to serve, just like those original 35 individuals who came together to create a community for choral directors. I am so grateful that I am a part of this organization and proud that I get to serve in my own way.