ACDA's Eastern Division
Hosts 2016 Conference in Boston!

February 10-13, 2016


February 2015 ChoraLink

I hope to see you in Salt Lake this week--and don't forget to stop by the Eastern Division Reception! Here are the details:

  • Thursday evening, February 26th, 2015
  • 10 p.m. to Midnight
  • Room 150 G of the Salt Palace Convention Center

Join all your friends from the Eastern Division for free food and an open bar. Can't wait to see you there!

February brings more wonderful resources and reflections from your leadership in the Eastern Division.

This month we have two engaging guest mini-columns from Amelia Nagoski (Research Initiatives) and Alice Cavanaugh (Two-Year College R&S)--be sure to check them both out. In addition, our Leadership Links are chock-full of interesting web-content as always.

Finally, if you're interested in contributing to our 2016 Eastern Division Conference in Boston next February, I've once again included information on Interest Session Proposals and Auditioned Choir Applications--these opportunities are not to be missed, and the deadlines arrive this spring!

As always, we're listening, and we're here to serve.

David Fryling, DMA
ACDA Eastern Division President  

The Value of Research

I want to talk about the value of research. I'll be writing a few entries about it in preparation for the next ACDA Eastern Conference, where I hope to help promote research and scholarship among choral musicians.

The word academic can have negative connotations: it refers to things not immediately applicable to practical implementation; things that are theoretical or semantic, that only only describe behavior--or, if they have influence, it is indirect. In my experience, this connotation is only true to the extent that you believe it is true. With judicious application of imagination (more important than knowledge, according to the Albert Einstein poster in my office), research becomes one of most powerful tools for improving real-world results.

At its essence, research consists of finding out what other people have already thought of and tried, imagining something new, and/or combining disparate things into something new. Then you try it, and report on what works... Read the rest

-Dr. Amelia Nagoski
Research Initiatives Chair

Challenges of the Two-Year College Choir

The two-year college choir perpetually suffers from an identity crisis. We are college/university choirs with very real and challenging differences from our four-year counterparts. Searching for inspiration and resources for two-year college choirs often leads to dead ends when these differences rear their ugly heads. We each have formulated our own techniques for dealing with those challenges: persistent high turnover rates, repertoire dilemmas, unbalanced skill levels, and budget restrictions. Consequently, each of us is a resource for two-year college choirs.

We have success stories to share. At the 2013 ACDA convention in Dallas, I had the pleasure to meet Dr. Carolina Flores, then president of the ACDA Connecticut Chapter and a two-year college choir director. We had the opportunity to share ideas, repertoire, and to discuss the strengths and weaknesses within our programs. In addition to learning from each other, we took our collaboration a step further and brought our choirs together, across state lines, for a joint concert. This was invigorating for the students and demonstrated that we are not alone in facing the unique challenges of directing community college choirs.

As we approach the 2015 ACDA convention in Utah, I encourage you to attend so that we can form a superb resource - the knowledge and expertise of two-year college choir directors from across the Eastern Division and across the nation.

- Alice Cavanaugh
Two-Year College R&S Chair

Leadership Links

This month we have recommendations from
Nora Krainis (Maine-ACDA Middle School R&S), Sheryl Monkelien (Vocal Jazz R&S), and Carolina Flores (CT ACDA President).

Symposium: Choirs Transforming Lives

Organized in association with the International Federation for Choral Music's Conductors Without Border Network, the American Choral Directors Association International Conductors Exchange Program, and the Yale International Choral Festival, this symposium will explore the ways in which people throughout the world are using choral music to create positive social change, promote mental well-being, and foster community. Presenters include:

  • Anton Armstrong - St. Olaf College
  • Jean-Baptiste Bertrand - in terra pax
  • Marguerite Brooks - Yale University
  • Thomas Cabaniss - composer, arts educator
  • Steven Demorest - Northwestern University
  • André De Quadros - Boston University
  • Jeffrey Douma - Yale University
  • TJ Harper - Providence College
  • Micah Hendler - Jerusalem Youth Choir
  • Emily Howe - Boston Children's Chorus, Boston University
  • Stacey Horn - author, Imperfect Harmony
  • Lone Larsen - Voces Nordicae
  • Donald Nally - The Crossing, Northwestern University
  • Francisco Nuñez - Young People's Chorus of New York City
  • Julianne Parolisi - Music Therapy Without Borders
  • Sebastian Ruth - Community MusicWorks
  • Mollie Stone - Chicago Children's Choir

We are pleased to offer free registration to all current ACDA student chapter members! Visit our registration page and simply select registrant type "Choirs Transforming Lives, June 16 (ACDA student registration)" under the dropdown menu. Your access code is "ACDA," and you will be asked for your ACDA membership number on a subsequent page.

For more information about the Symposium and our distinguished visiting choirs, please visit us online at

Boston 2016: "Pushing Boundaries"

ACDA poster smallIt's not too early to start planning to join your Eastern Division colleagues in Boston, MA, February 10-13, 2016. Our theme for the conference is "Pushing Boundaries," and the committee is knee-deep in their planning for what is already sure to be an eye-opening three days of renewal and unbound inspiration.

Of course, the centerpiece of any ACDA conference is YOU, our members! Applications for performing ensembles and interest session presenters for the 2016 Eastern Division Conference in Boston, MA, are due this spring. Here are the timelines:

We look forward to hearing from all creative, boundary-pushing leaders, conductors, and teachers throughout the Northeast!