One cannot survive in a career without a support system. The greatest aspect about being a choral conductor is the family that surrounds you throughout the world. The American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA for short) is an incredibly vibrant organization throughout North America, which offers tons of professional development experience, from intriguing interest sessions to concerts by choirs across the nation. The annual conference is an incredible time to get together with colleagues who share the same exciting passion as you for the choral art. This year, the ACDA conventions were held throughout different divisions. The Eastern Division ACDA conference was in Baltimore, Md., and featured several Westminster faculty members presented or performed. Here are photos of Amanda Quist and Westminster Katorei, who presented a program titled Building Sound and Spirit, and Tom Shelton, who presented a session “Getting Out of the Rut…Ideas for Introducing a New Song to Young Singers.”
This past week carried a lot of surprises. We had two snow days in a row, which prevented classes from occurring. Traveling to Baltimore was much less of a hassle than we had expected. The Student Government Association at Westminster Choir College covered the conference registration for 60 student members. We had to take care of our food and travel expenses. What an opportunity to reap the benefits of the convention’s offerings! I attended many great interest sessions. One, presented by the American Boychoir School, focused on teaching of musical literacy. They went into great detail about how they teach music literacy and demonstrated some useful methods. It’s beautiful to see such young students making music at the same level as collegiate musicians.
Several great concert sessions led to inspiring talks with colleagues. The two invited concerts – Seraphic Fire from Miami, Fla. and TENET with the Sebastians – were particularly beautiful. I left both concerts feeling fulfilled and inspired to make beautiful music all over again. The greatest aspect of these conventions is walking out with the urge to change the world through musical inspiration. I always love watching concerts and discussing exactly what made them great.
The convention certainly provided great inspiration for me to press forward into my last semester of graduate school. I’m fortunate to have gone, met new people and rekindled wonderful connections, and represent a great choral school. This only makes me more excited for the next national convention! Up next on our docket is a Symphonic Choir performance of Rachmaninoff’s The Bells with Philadelphia Orchestra.