2011 ACDA National Conference
Chicago, Illinois
March 9-12, 2011


General Information:

American Choral Directors Association
Contact: Craig A. Gregory, Ed.D.
545 Couch Dr. / Oklahoma City, OK 73102-2270
405-232-8161 phone / 405-232-8162 fax

Registration for the American Choral Directors Association’s (ACDA) biennial National Conference opens October 2010.

We return to Chicago, Illinois the week of March 9-12, 2011. Chicago was home to our 1999 National Conference, the highest attended event in ACDA’s history. ACDA has learned important lessons from the past that are now a strong part of our planning:  the Conference will consist of two tracks; the Conference will be overwhelmingly walkable; the Chicago Hilton will house the majority of our attendees, exhibits and sessions; the Chicago Palmer House will host Honor Choir rehearsals and singers; performing venues are world-class.

One programmatic feature that does not change from ACDA Conference to Conference is the utmost quality in choral performance. This year in Chicago we will hear Maestro Helmuth Rilling conduct the Chicago Symphony Chorus and Orchestra in Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah, with soloists Annette Dasch, Birgit Remmert, James Taylor, and Markus Eiche. 58 choirs from 27 states in performance, including 5 International Choirs (China, Canada, Latvia, Norway, Taiwan), Children/Youth, Community, College/University, 2 Year College, High School, Junior High/Middle School, Jazz, Men’s, Women’s, Church, and Synagogue choirs.

We will have 45 Interest Sessions enhancing professional development. There will be 13 ACDA sponsored Choral Reading Sessions, and 18 ACDA Industry-Member Publisher sponsored Choral Reading Sessions, multiple Industry showcases, with all of the above featuring new technology as well as new and proven choral literature for review. We will enjoy and support  5 Honor Choirs consisting of Children/Youth (Henry Leck), Middle School (Rollo Dilworth), Men’s Chorus (Peter Bagley), Women’s Chorus (Lynne Gackle), and Collegiate Reading Chorus (Rodney Eichenberger); and we will hear choirs perform in Chicago Symphony Hall and Chicago Auditorium Theater, along with 8 additional unique Chicago performance venues.

A strong feature of this year’s National Conference will be Friday’s Jazz Night hosted at the Swissotel. The size and scope of the Jazz Choir offerings has commanded its own hotel and concert space, featuring six jazz ensembles—Gold Company, A Slice of Jazz, Pacific Standard Time, Eleventh Hour, Central Washington University and American River College.

The planning for various repertoire areas includes a “Music in Worship” Immersion Day on Saturday, including a full day of unique programming such as “I’m a Traditional Church Musician doing a Contemporary Service” and “Helping Seniors Sing Well”. This immersion day concludes with a “Music in Worship” concert in Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel on the campus of the University of Chicago, led by John Ferguson and Anton Armstrong. In addition to this longstanding and signature ACDA event, we will have ACDA’s premiere Shabbat Service at the Anshe Emet Synagogue, with Cantor Alberto Mizrahi, Tenor, and additional featured choirs. ACDA repertoire leaders have planned innovative and interactive Roundtable events along with intentional resource areas unique to ACDA’s Repertoire and Standards focus areas.

Youth and Student Activities Track for Chicago 2011 features conducting Masterclasses with Maestro Helmuth Rilling, Maestro John Nelson (with demonstration orchestra), and Maestro Rodney Eichenberger. Once again, ACDA’s undergraduate and graduate Conducting Competition will be a feature of the National Conference for our student participants, with adjudicators Simon Carrington, Sandra Willetts, John Nelson, William Hatcher, William Dehning, and Joseph Flummerfelt. 

The uniqueness of the 2011 Chicago National Conference location offers our attendees special presentations at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies on “Choral Music in Germany: 1928-1948”. Similarly, we will have the opportunity to explore resources for choral directors through an Ethnic and Multicultural Perspectives’ Interest Session at Chicago’s Center for Black Music Research. Additional international explorations include Chinese and Latin American choral literature sessions. And, in tribute to one of our past legends, Conference attendees will have the opportunity to view the archival holdings from the Margaret Hillis Collection held by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

As the American Choral Directors Association continues to think about our collaboration with other organizations in the working out of our ongoing mission and purposes, Conference attendees will enjoy presentations from members of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) in sessions such as “Choral Directors are From Mars, and Voice Teachers are From Venus.” Robert Lynch, CEO of Americans for the Arts, will bring a word from our national advocacy group on our opening evening. The 2012 World Choral Music Symposium will be further advanced at our Conference by the International Federation of Choral Music, and our ACDA co-sponsored World Choir Games will be represented by the city of Cincinnati and Interkultur, further advancing our world choral initiative.

The Conference hotel for the 2011 National Conference is the Chicago Hilton, convenient to all concert and educational events and in the heart of Chicago’s arts district. The Chicago Hilton features three Exhibit Halls, with over 250 choral industry exhibitors showcasing for you. ACDA’s Repertoire and Standards areas will sponsor Resource Areas placed among industry exhibits, and publisher-sponsored reading sessions.

Founded in 1959, the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) is a nonprofit music-education organization whose central purpose is to promote excellence in choral music through performance, composition, publication, research, and teaching. In addition, ACDA strives through arts advocacy to elevate choral music's position in American society. ACDA membership consists of choral directors who represent more than one million singers across the United States. ACDA members teach choral music in public and private schools - kindergarten through senior high school - and at the college and university levels. They conduct a variety of choral groups, including boychoirs, children's choirs, men's and women's choruses, junior and senior high school choirs, college and university choruses, ethnic choirs, vocal-jazz ensembles, and symphony choruses. They also conduct choirs in their communities and in their places of worship. Membership is established by submitting a membership application and annual dues.


Honor Choir Applications for the
2011 National Conference in Chicago

Here are some very important links explaining the process for submitting applications for the Honor Choirs which will be performing at ACDA's 2011 National Conference in Chicago.


Congratulations to Eastern Division Choirs
performing at the Chicago Conference

Concordia Singers of the ittany Valley Children's Choir (PA)
Lou Ann Shafer

Young People's Chorus of New York City (NY)
Francisco J. Núñez

Young New Yorker's Chorus (NY)
Michael Kerschner

Penn State University "Essence of Joy" (PA)
Anthony T. Leach

(Interest Session) "Joyful Noise" (NJ)
Allison Fromm and Alice Parker