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Relevant • Resourceful • Respected

Volume 40, Issue 4 Spring 2013


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Star of the North • Spring 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

28th !..5!, !#$! -. 35--%2 $)!,/'5%



30%#)!, %6%.43

Summer Dialogue August 6-9

DIRECTORS’ CHORUS #/.$5#4/2  (%!$,).%2 +AREN +ENNEDY University of Miami, Coral Gables FL !+(+-.%&,+,/-./0!"*/.*!&*$&*$ &*/%" %+&-

!,, 34!4% #/.$5#4/2 (%!$,).%23 Jo Michael Scheibe, Mixed Choir University of Southern California, Los Angeles CA +*.+**/.*!+2"(. "4./+*/+*/&+*0 "..

NINE MUSIC READING SESSIONS: Featuring outstanding titles for choirs of all ability and voice levels hand selected by our ACDA-MN Repertoire and Standards Committee. -53)# ).$53429 %8()")43 &!)2 s 4HE 4HIRD !NNUAL Meet and greet exhibitors – music stores, fundraising specialists, tour companies, classroom equipment, technology, choir attire, under graduate and graduate music programs, and professional music organizations.

02%3%.4%23  #,).#)!.3 !NGELA "ROEKER, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul Elementary Session: %'"//("*!+((" %&*$ %&(!-"*7. %+-(0.& .&*$ /-0 /0-"!+1")"*/ /&1&/&". !MY *O #HERNER  3COTT ,EHRKE, Edina Public Schools Middle Level Session:%""** &$-)+#&!!(" %++( %+& " %&*$/%"&-(.6" %&*$/%" +4.6*! +/% "RANDON $EAN, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter (and) Matthew Ferrell, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud  +(("$&/" +*!0 /+-7.+-'.%+, $AVID $ICKAU, Minnesota State University-Mankato Keys to Musicality Assisting: Marie Dymit, Matt Krage and Lin Warren

3ANDRA 0ETER, Womens’ Choir Luther College, Decorah IA %" %+-( 3,"-&"* "%"-" +"./ "$&* "("-/&*$/%""$ 4+#*.,&-/&+*

-ARY +AY 'ESTON, Great River Chorale, St. Cloud ,""!"*/+-&*$ 0&(!&*$ $+#-& '.

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4ERI ,ARSON, Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis 0$%&*$0/+0!&**+-(!%"+(0*/""- %0- % %+&-


Complete On-Line Registration Site at:


Groth Music Inc. of Bloomington will be on site throughout the week offering registrants 20% off of all choral music purchases. Bring your purchase orders and order for the entire year!

4HOMAS (ASSIG, Prior Lake High School, Savage  -".&!"*/7.//"+#/%"//""..$"

Christopher Russell, East Ridge High School, Woodbury %/7."2&*" %*+(+$4&* %+-(0.& !.*!+-" Michael Smith, Brainerd HS & Concordia College (retired) High School Session: " %+0-&!.+&*$6+02"/++0- %+&-

ADD)4)/.!, %6%.43 0,!..%$ &/2 9/5 Complimentary morning continental breakfasts        !""  Observation of All-State Choir rehearsals and conductors Directors’ Chorus Concert for All-State Choir students      " Round Table Talks – Jazz Choirs, Show Choirs, Emerging Conductors Award and Recognition Banquet honoring: Outgoing Board Members ACDA National Award for Best Hybrid Website and Newsletter District ACE Award Recipients

4HE !MERICAN #HORAL $IRECTORS !SSOCIATION OF -INNESOTA s ,AND OF   #HOIRS The choral director’s source for engaging and ongoing professional development Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state 0-(0". -/&./-45 +))0*&/45 3 "(("* "5*.,&-/&+*5"$ 45"*"2(50,,+-/

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


ACDA of Minnesota Board of Directors President��������������������������������������������� Steve Albaugh President-Elect��������������������������������� Thomas Hassig Vice President........................................Brian Stubbs Secretary���������������������������������������������� Amy Johnson Central District Chair��������������������� Andrew Hasty Northwest District Chair�����������������Shelly Wahlin Northeast District Chair��������������������Joe Osowski Southwest District Chair����������������������Greg Aune Southeast District Chair������������ Elizabeth Shepley Metro West District Chair���������� Paula Holmberg Metro East District Chair���������������Daryl Timmer Newsletter Editor�������������������������� Bret Amundson Executive Assistant��������������������������������� Barb Geier Executive Director����������������������� Bruce W. Becker

ACDA of Minnesota Repertoire and Standards Chairs Boy Choirs������������������������������������Aaron Carpenter Children’s & Youth Choirs�������������Ann Schrooten College and University Choirs����������� Matt Ferrell Ethnic & Multicultural Perspectives����Jon Kopplin High School Choirs�������������������������������Steve Deitz Jazz Choirs��������������������������������������������Laura Tempel Junior High/Middle School Choirs���� Sue Gilsdorf Male Choirs................................... Michael Culloton Music and Worship������������������������������ Mark Stover Show Choirs��������������������������������������� Lukas Warren Two-Year College Choirs�������������������� Karla Miller Women’s Choirs�����������������������������Angela Mitchell Youth and Student Activities����������Brandon Dean Repertoire and Standards Coordinator������������������������������������� Phillip Brown •••

Star of the North Advertising Rates Size A: Inside Front Cover 8 1⁄2w x 10h��$300.00 Size B: Inside Back Cover 8 1⁄2w x 10h���$300.00 Size C: 8 1⁄2w x 10h������������������������������������$250.00



President’s Cue........................................................................7 Student Podium���������������������������������������������������������������������22 FMC Endowment Update���������������������������������������������������26 ACDA-MN Schedule of Events������������������������������������������31 Emerging Conductor’s Network���������������������������������������32 Commissioning Corner�������������������������������������������������������33 Children’s and Youth Choirs........................ 50 Boys’ Choir...................................................... 52 Ethnic and Multicultural Choirs.................. 54 The Last Word, Bruce Becker............................................ 61


STAR PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT: Hastings High School Vocal Music Department����������������8 GUEST FEATURES: Building Community – One Voice At A Time, Jane Ramseyer Miller�������������������������������������������������������������� 12 Creating A Choral Community, Kathy Larson������������������ 14 FROM THE FIELD: Creating A Choral Community, Shelly Wahlin������������������ 24 It takes a village...Community advocacy for the choral music program, Joseph Osowski������������������������������������������� 25



SCHOLARSHIP SHORTS: Inspired at the National Convention, Brandon W. Miller28 What Could We Do? Zack D. Carlson������������������������������� 29


In The News ACDA-MN State Elections Results����������������������������������������36 Directors’ Chorus Attendance Policy������������������������������������36 Vocal Essence Session����������������������������������������������������������������37 2013-14 Honor Choir Season�������������������������������������������������38 Building Community Through Shared Experiences������������44 State Conference Update���������������������������������������������������������46 State Conference To Honor Choral Pioneer Alice T. Larsen����������������������������������������������������������������������������48 In Remembrance Lester G. Mahla, Richard E. Sieber, John R. Poliseno, Stephen Gabrielsen................................ 56



Size D: 8 1⁄2w x 5 1⁄2h�������������������������������$150.00 Size E: 8 1⁄2w x 4 1⁄3h���������������������������������$120.00 Size F: 4 2⁄3w x 10h��������������������������������������� $90.00 Size G: 2 2⁄3w x 10h�������������������������������������� $75.00 Size H: 3 1⁄3w x 4 1⁄2h���������������������������������� $50.00

Star of the North Ad and Article Submission Dates

POLICY STATEMENT ON PROGRAMMING Recognizing the broad diversity of cultures and beliefs by our member directors, by our singers, and by all those touched by performances of choral music,ACDA of Minnesota reaffirms its commitment to balance and diversity in programming. It is important that we, as the leading proponents of choral art in our state, actively encourage and model sensitivity to and awareness of diversity, particularly with regard to sacred and secular repertoire.

Winter 2014....................................................1/11/13

We recommend that no more than fifty percent of the literature chosen for Honors Choirs, AllState Choirs and Pick Six packets contain music with sacred text. Performances and lists pertaining to music in worship are exempt.

Spring 2014......................................................4/12/14

Adopted by the ACDA of Minnesota Executive Board, January 13, 1996.

Fall 2013...........................................................8/17/13


Star of the North • Spring 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

ADVERTISER’S INDEX ACDA-MN State Conference����� 47 ACDA-MN Summer Dialogue�������3 Alice T. Larsen Project������������������� 49 Apollo Male Chorus���������������������� 30 Augustana College������������������������� 57 Chanhassen Dinner Theatre�������� 39 Club’s Choice���������������������������������� 32 Concert and Study Tours������������� 57 Concordia University-St. Paul������ 55 Five By Design��������������������������������� 59 FMC Edowment Fund������������������� 45 Gateway Music Festivals & Tours11 Grand Tours������������������������������������� 15

Groth Music������������������������������������ 31 Gourmet’s Delight������������������������� 35 JW Pepper��������������������������������������� 10 Macalester College������������������������ 45 Makemusic��������������������������������������� 23 McNally Smith College of Music� 35 Northwestern College����������������� 11 Popplers Music Inc.������������������������ 15 The Singers�������������������������������������� 58 University of MN-Duluth������������� 27 University of St. Thomas��������������� 51 Wenger Corporation�����������������������2 Westmark Productions��������������������5

FALL 2013 Ads/Articles Deadline: August 17, 2013

Relevant • Resourceful • Respected The Star of the North is published three times a year by ACDA of Minnesota: Fall/Conference, Winter, and Spring. Articles may be submitted to the copy editor for consideration: Bret Amundson, SotN Editor The College of St. Scholastica 1200 Kenwood Ave., Duluth, MN 55811 (218) 625-4983 Office (206) 660-6300 Cell Visit our website for updates: Advertising materials and photos should be sent directly to: By All Means Graphics 17 Bridge Square Northfield, MN 55057 (507) 663-7937 For more information on advertising contracts, rates and specifications, please contact: Bruce W. Becker, Executive Director (952) 270-7489

ACDA of Minnesota reserves the right to edit and approve all submitted materials. •••

ACDA ADVOCACY RESOLUTION Whereas, the human spirit is elevated to a broader understanding of itself through study and performance in the aesthetic arts, and whereas, serious cutbacks in funding and support have steadily eroded arts institutions in our country, be it resolved that all citizens of the United States actively voice their affirmative and collective support for necessary funding at the local, state and national levels of education and government, to ensure the survival of arts programs for this and future generations.

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


EDITOR’S REMARKS At The College of St. Scholastica, we are proud of our Benedictine heritage and our connection to the worldwide Benedictine community. St. Benedict of Nursia (480-547) founded a Catholic monastic order, beginning with a community in Subiaco, Italy, that has had a significant impact on both education and the arts. Some important Benedictines you might know are Pope Gregory the Great, Hildgard von Bingen, and even the real Maria Von-Trapp! In The Rule of St. Benedict, Benedict focuses on creating a thriving community environment. Using The Rule of St. Benedict as a guide, our College has adopted five Benedictine Values that we learn from and live by, one of which is the value of Community. The College summarizes St. Benedict’s teachings on Community as: Sharing responsibility to create and support community. Creating a climate which promotes a sense of community while valuing the uniqueness of the individual. Manifesting an ability to adapt to circumstances without compromising our values.

How do you develop community in your ensembles? Respect, listen, love, breathe, enjoy.  ~ Craig Hella Johnson


College of St. Scholastica

This last semester, I had a great discussion with my Dignitas class about our College’s value of Community. We discussed our communities, sub-communities, and our roles in them. We debated whether being a part of a community is an active or passive process. We wondered how people change communities for better or worse, and we worried that we might not be doing enough in our College community to welcome people from diverse backgrounds. Our conversation was off-the-cuff and dealt with little (to no) research, but there were a few ideas my students shared that stuck out in my mind that day: 1. A community is always evolving. 2. A community is shaped primarily by its members. 3. A community has a shared interest. With these thoughts in mind, it is not surprising that choral conductors place such a strong emphasis on building community. Our always-evolving communities are made up of singers from different backgrounds, ages, cultures, religions, etc., all who find comfort in our shared experience of choral music making. In this Star of the North issue, our contributors investigate the importance of building community in our ensembles. We are introduced to the Hastings High School choral community in the Star Program Spotlight. We ask Craig Hella Johnson how he develops community in his ensembles in the 5 Words or Less column, Jane Ramseyer Miller and Kathy Larson talk about how their choirs engage the larger community, and Joe Osowski and Sheri Wahlin share their thoughts on community in the From the Field articles. Before we take our annual summer hiatus from The Star of the North, I want to remind everyone that one great opportunity to engage with our choral community is by attending the Annual Summer Dialogue. We are lucky to have a strong ACDA-MN community and I hope to see you all there!

Renowned as one of the most influential voices in choral conducting in the United States, Craig Hella Johnson brings a depth of knowledge, artistic sensitivity, and imagination to his programs. Founder and Artistic Director of the Grammy Award-Nominated choral ensemble Conspirare, Johnson has assembled some of the finest singers in the country to create a worldclass, award-winning ensemble committed to creating dynamic choral art. In addition to his work with Conspirare, Johnson also serves as Artistic Director of the Victoria Bach Festival, an annual event that draws musicians and critical praise from around the country. Johnson was Artistic Director of San Francisco-based Chanticleer from 1998-1999 and has served as guest conductor with several ensembles including the Taipei Male Choir, the Berkshire Choral Festival, the Austin Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, and Chicago’s Music of the Baroque. Johnson has been honored with several awards including the 2011 Citation of Merit from international professional music fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon and the 2009 Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal, an award given by Chorus America. Johnson was inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame in 2008. A native of Minnesota, Johnson studied at St. Olaf College, the Juilliard School, and the University of Illinois and earned his doctorate at Yale University. As the recipient of a National Arts Fellowship, Johnson studied with Helmuth Rilling at the International Bach Academy in Stuttgart, Germany.

Have a great summer!


Star of the North • Spring 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

PRESIDENT’SCUE Welcome to our “Spring” Star of the North! A HUGE THANK YOU to Bret Amundson and Bruce Becker for once again lining up a tremendous edition! We are so blessed to have this award-winning publication as one of the centerpieces of our history, continuing to inform and inspire our membership for many years


Rosemount High School

I believe so strongly in the topic of building a community within our own choirs and choral programs and was thrilled when I saw that it would be the focus of this issue. The 2012-2013 school year for the Rosemount High School Concert Choir has been an incredible journey. We have been fortunate to have a very positive rehearsal and performance year. However, something has taken place with this choir that has made it unique in comparison to my previous 12 Concert Choirs at RHS. During the late summer, I met with my incoming Concert Choir Presidents for a planning session in preparation for our annual overnight retreat. As part of that discussion, they shared with me the desire to “get rid” of the annual Concert Choir Theme. I was initially taken back by the comments as we have always had a theme for our t-shirts, folders, etc. I didn’t want to put a kibosh on their plans so I asked what they had in mind. They shared with me their disappointment

in the previous year’s theme – that it was really only talked about in September and then never mentioned again. They wanted to come up with a word/theme for each month of the academic year. Now, some of you are aware that I also lead the “Value of the Month” program at RHS – a student speaker based program that focuses on a different word each month in an attempt to improve school climate. I thought possibly it would interfere with that existing program. However, they shared with me their idea for word number one: dream. They said they wanted to have a discussion the first month of school regarding dreaming about what type of person they want to be this year, what type of choir they wanted, what type of relationships they wanted to establish. Well, I was hooked on their concept. At our next planning meeting, I decided to share with them my idea of support. If we were to pursue this new concept of monthly words, I told them I wanted to do all I could to help this be a student-driven format. I shared with them I was willing to give up the last 5-10 minutes of my rehearsal time once a week to have a student come down and just have a conversation with the choir based on the word of the month. If I had known the positive impact this would have on the “building of community” within this choir, I would have done it years ago! Each week I have asked a student if he/she would be willing to just share thoughts with the choir the following week. I have focused in on those students who are non-elected officers, and it has been wonderful to hear from those silent, everyday leaders! Beginning with “dream” and ending next month with “legacy,” this student-centered format has created the closest, the greatest feeling of “family” within a high school choir I have ever experienced. I encourage you to look for new or different ways of breaking down the barriers in your choir – your community. I want to thank you all for your kind words and gracious support during my term as President of ACDA-MN. Our organization is in great hands with Tom Hassig taking over on July 1. You can’t get rid of me too quickly, though – I’m planning an AMAZING Summer Dialogue for August 2013! Hope to see you there!

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


STAR PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT Hastings High School Vocal Music Department LIN WARREN


Hastings High School has an enrollment of 1600 students in grades 9-12. The vocal music department has over 500 students singing in one or more of the nine choirs. Two of the four auditioned choirs, Bel Canto Singers and Select Choral, rehearse every day for 45 minutes, while the other two auditioned choirs, Concert Choir and Women’s Chorus, rehearse every other day. Men’s Chorus (Freshmen and Sophomore Men) and Freshmen Women’s Chorus, the two nonauditioned choirs, also rehearse every other day. A Vocal Jazz Ensemble and three show choirs rehearse outside of the school day approximately twice a week. The choirs at Hasting High School are under the direction of Kathleen Hanson, Tatum Mahlen, and Lin Warren. How our program builds community... Our school as a whole centers on teachers making connections with students. In our department, we have an all-inclusive mentality, which brings together students from all aspects of the student


body. Our program is structured to foster all types of talent and so everyone has a place “to belong.” We have an open door policy and students are welcome to talk with us whenever they have a concern and are perhaps struggling with something in their personal lives. Also, through our voice studios, we are able to get to know students on a much more personal level. Any travel or time spent outside of the school building helps to build a sense of community. Students and faculty get to know each other on a much different level. A sense of trust among all students and certainly between the teachers and students is developed through these out-ofschool field trips (honor choirs, festivals, etc.) and all extended travel. Activities that we do to build community in our groups vary from our curricular groups to our extra-curricular groups. In our choirs we often do an activity where students write things that no one knows about them on a piece of paper. We post them or read them, and then students guess whom these interesting facts “belong” to (we call it “rare birds”). Students also put their names on pieces of paper and then we post them around the room – each student then takes some time to write a kind word or thought about this person. We find these types of activities help the students get to know each other and also help to build a sense of cohesiveness and trust.


Lin Warren has taught vocal music for 28 years at Hastings High School. He received a Bachelor of Music from Hastings College, Hastings, Nebraska and a Master of Arts in Music from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. In l988 he received the Outstanding Young Choral Director Award from the Minnesota Chapter of American Choral Directors Association and in 1989 was selected as “Teacher of the Year” and in 2009 he was


Star of the North • Spring 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

selected “Employee of the Year” for the Hastings Public School System. His choirs have been selected to appear at the Minnesota Music Educators Association Convention, the American Choral Director Association of Minnesota Convention, the Divisional Music Educators National Conference Convention, and the 2010 Choral Arts Finale. He has held many positions in the American Choral Directors Association. He was the Assistant Convention Chair for the 2005 National American Choral Directors Association Convention in Los Angeles and the Assistant Convention Chair for the 2011 National American Choral Directors Convention in Chicago. Lin’s Pick Six SATB: • Estampie Natalis; Vaclav Nelhybel; SATB; Schott 271 • The Seal Lullaby; Eric Whitacre; SATB; Hal Leonard HL08749149 • Ritmo; Dan Davison; SATB; Walton HL08501702 • Yo le Canto Todo El Dia; David Brunner; 2 pt; Boosey OCTB6932 TB/TTB/TTB: • Scarborough Fair – from For Men Only; Roger Emerson; TBB; Hal Leonard 08743706 • Keep Your Lamps; Victor Johnson; Heritage 15/2238H


Tatum Mahlen holds her Bachelors in Music from the University of South Dakota. She is in her thirteenth year of teaching, this being the seventh year at Hastings High School. Previously she taught middle school and high school in Mitchell, South Dakota.  Women’s choirs are one of her passions; she directs Women’s Choir and Bel Canto at Hastings High School. She also has a passion for special needs students and teaches a special needs music class twice a week as well as encouraging their inclusion in her classroom. Tatum is currently a member of MN ACDA and VoiceCare Network. Tatum’s Pick Six SSA/SSAA: • The Peace of Wild Things; Joan Szymko; SSAA; Santa Barbara, SBMP 561 • Koudjay; Sydney Guillaume; SSA; Walton HL08501734 • Homage; Z Randall Stroope; SSA; Heritage 15/2499H • Ouvre Ton Couer; arr. Tucker Biddlecombe; Walton HL08501625/WLG123 • Dance on My Heart; Allen Koepke; SSA; Santa Barbara SBMP 34 • Gaudete; Michael Engelhardt; SSA; Walton HL08501778/ WLG136


Kathleen Hanson has been a faculty member of the Hastings High School Choral Department since 2001, and is responsible for the 10th grade Mixed Concert Choir, Freshman Women’s Choir, and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, a select auditioned group of singers who perform a variety of jazz, musical theater, and other popular repertoire. As with other faculty members, she also provides private lessons to students in the vocal ensembles. Prior to joining the Hastings program, Kathleen ran the choral department at Chisago Lakes High School in Minnesota, in addition to conducting choirs and teaching studio lessons at North Dakota State and Moorhead State Universities. As a singer, Kathleen performed regionally and abroad with Vocal Essence, as well as with Magnum Chorum. Before moving to the Twin Cities, she sang with the Grand Forks Master Chorale, participated as a finalist in the metropolitan opera auditions, served as musical theater director for the Fort Totten Music Theater Company, and ran the choral department at Park Rapids High School. Throughout her career, she has also remained active in liturgical music as a director, accompanist, and choir member. Kathleen’s Pick Six SSA/Mixed/Vocal Jazz: • I Will Be Earth; Gwyneth Walker; SSA-ECS Publishing No. 5025 • O Nata Lux; Tom Porter; SATB; Heritage 15/2031 H • Stand Together; Jim Papoulis, SSAB, Hal Leonard 48019467 • Country Dances; Ward Swingle, SSAATTBB, UNC Jazz Press • Music for Lovers; arr. Phil Mattson, SATB, Hal Leonard 08743913 • I Wish; arr. Roger Emerson, SATBB, Hal Leonard 08202320

Help ensure Minnesota’s Choral Legacy Give annually to the FMC Endowment Fund at:

Since 1997… Your gifts to the FMC Endowment Fund have supported 197 Minnesota Choral Directors with scholarship awards totaling over $127,000

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •



Star of the North • Spring 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

We would love to work with you on your next performance tour. • 1-800-331-8579

Perform. Worship. Lead.

Timothy Sawyer Mary Kay Geston Voice Faculty Carol Eikum Doreen Hutchings Catherine Larsen

Women’s Chorale Chamber Singers Choral Music Education

Director of Choral Activities College Choir Men’s Chorus | 888-878-5514 | 651-631-5218 | Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •



BUILDING COMMUNITY – ONE VOICE AT A TIME One Voice Mixed Chorus: Minnesota’s GLBTA Chorus Twenty-five years ago, during the height of the AIDS crisis, a fledging new chorus was formed in in the Twin Cities. In the mid 1980s there was little interaction between gay men and lesbian women, but that changed as these communities began working together to care for friends with HIV-AIDS. Out of those relationships, One Voice Mixed Chorus was formed in an effort to bring together men and women.


Today, One Voice Mixed Chorus unites gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people, and straight allies (GLBTA) with a mission of “building community and creating social change by raising our voices in song.” As the largest GLBTA chorus in North America, One Voice is known for its musical excellence, diverse programming, and deep commitment to community outreach. The 120 singing members range from ages 17 to 76, and the “Fifth Section” boasts more than 50 non-singing volunteers. Building community comes naturally within One Voice. The chorus often serves as family for singers who have been rejected by their biological families by offering friendship, emotional support, shared childcare and holiday gatherings. Other singers describe the chorus as their faith community, “I keep having chats with other One Voice singers

and we all agree how important the chorus is in our lives. Oddly enough, the strongest sense of fulfillment and spirituality in my life has been from this chorus.” This sense of community is palpable even to our audiences. After an outreach concert in Bemidji, an 80-year old audience member wrote, “I feel like I’ve just experienced the best church service of my life!”

“I am so conscious of not having anyone visible during my own adolescence and early twenties, and I think the sense of isolation and confusion is greatly lessened by even knowing that groups such as One Voice Mixed Chorus exist.” – audience member While the first decade of the chorus was occupied with offering internal support for our singers, the second decade has been focused outward. Fifteen years ago One Voice created OUT in Our Schools, offering free in-school concerts in public schools that have reached thousands of students. The school program, which originated from a singer brainstorming session, is a powerful experience for students and equally moving for One Voice singers who cannot imagine what it would have been like for a chorus of GLBTA singers to show up, sing, and be out when they were young.


Star Star of of the the North North •• Spring Spring 2013 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

By accident, we discovered that the OUT in Our Schools program was much more effective at building community when we sang with students rather than for students. Now, our school performances involve rehearsals and shared performance with students in each school. After a residency with Central High School in St. Paul, a student wrote, “I felt a stronger connection with these singers than other adults I have known a long time. I really liked that I could spill my guts and I would be accepted. It is like they have gone through so much they can really talk and be open to anyone. It makes me feel more confident and less like holding back my voice.” One Voice builds a real connection with students through the simple, elegant power of our music – and our friendship.

re-energized PFLAG mom on the prairie and I plan to see you perform again.” Why does community matter? These stories and experiences in schools and greater Minnesota are incredibly energizing and transformational for audiences and singers alike. Internally, our blend and vocal sound is more compelling when there is deep trust within the chorus. A strong sense of investment is crucial for singer retention. Our performances are more effective when audiences sense the joy and passion of our singers.

One Voice also offers annual fall outreach concerts to greater Minnesota where isolation for GLBT individuals and families is a serious issue. In these settings, Perhaps the biggest surprise audience members often drive of the One Voice community “I discovered that all of the things that I was looking for in a 3-4 hours to experience our is the number of straight allies concerts and be immersed in a faith community I found at One Voice. I found social change that have joined the chorus in community where they can feel and outreach. I found people acting on their highest values the past decade. We recently safe and supported. In these surveyed our membership and and beliefs. And I found a lot of people to look up to.” settings, we program concerts discovered that 29% of our to integrate audience interac– One Voice alto singers are straight! They reption, an ample intermission, and resent parents of GLBT chila post-concert reception to allow singers and dren, youth with GLBT parents, audience members to share stories and spouses of transgender individuexperiences. als, and more and more straight singers who simply love to sing In a recent concert in northern Mingreat music in a passionate chonesota, an older couple sat in the front rus with a vibrant mission of row holding hands through the entire building community! concert. In sharing stories at the postconcert reception, we learned that their Chorus and conductor bio: gay son had died of AIDS. While the Whether performing in parents didn’t reject their gay son, their schools, at community events, town rejected them. To be welcomed or on stage for marquee coninto our chorus community through the certs, One Voice Mixed Chorus music and conversation was a powerful inspires transformation through healing experience for them. Another passionate, vibrant, and creative performances. Chorus AmerPFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) parica describes One Voice as “one of the region’s best ensement sent this card from Marshall, MN: bles.” The award-winning chorus has performed for thousands of people throughout the Twin Cities, Greater Minnesota and “I saw your bus pull in and felt overwhelming excitement. Then, beyond. Jane Ramseyer Miller has served as One Voice Artistic when your singing began it, called up in me one of the deepest Director 19 years. joys and a most powerful connection to the human consciousness. Thank you for coming out to Greater Minnesota – for being One Voice collected stories from chorus members for our seekers of change and creators of awareness. I am a grateful, 25th anniversary celebration. Experience these 3-4 minute video vignettes at Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •



KATHY LARSON Detroit Lakes High School Detroit Lakes, MN

Every spring, choral students from across the city of Detroit Lakes, MN join together to participate in a celebration of music in the annual Detroit Lakes Public Schools’ All-City Choir Festival. The All-City Choir Festival is a twoday event that offers choral students in grades 6-12 the opportunity to work with some of Minnesota’s finest guest conductors. The festival is designed to develop musical artistry, inspire excellence and create community. Choir conductors know that singing together creates a great sense of community and that choirs are model communities. Singing also helps singers create identity. When we sing alone, it helps identify the characteristics of who we are. When we sing together, we join a community of like-minded individuals. When we sing together we work towards common goals and create shared experiences. Singing in a choir is a shared activity that creates a great sense of communal pride and ownership.

The Detroit Lakes Public Schools’ All-City Choir Festival is an example of a community of people practicing common ownership. It is a collaborative student performance organized by the vocal music teachers of the Detroit Lakes Middle School and the Detroit Lakes High School. The festival features performances from the DLMS Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Choirs and the DLHS Ninth Grade Choir, Varsity Choir, Concert Choir, and Laker Singers. There are approximately 500 students in grades 6-12 involved in the two-day festival. The Grand Concert is designed to showcase the choral program by allowing the audience to see and hear the growth and progression from the Detroit Lakes Middle School Sixth Grade Choir to the Detroit Lakes High School Concert Choir. The singers perform for an audience of approximately 1000 parents, family members, peers, and friends in the high school gymnasium where the Grand Concert is performed on a Saturday evening. Each choir prepares two selections for the AllCity Choir Festival, one to be directed by the guest conductor and one directed by their own choir conductor. In addition, the 6–12 massed choirs perform three selections for the finale of the concert, conducted by the All-City Choir Guest Conductor.


Star of the North • Spring 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

The All-City Choir Festival provides incentive for all music students to strive for the highest musical standards. It provides the opportunity for singers to be a part of a community of musical expression. As a sixth grader singer in the festival, you not only witness the passion that seniors in high school have for producing quality choral music, but you also have the opportunity to produce it right along side of the seniors. The festival becomes a shared value, a culture, a community not restricted to grade or age but identified by a common passion, and that is the very essence of community!

Enriching lives through worldwide travel. Inspiring a lifetime of exploration and adventure.

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •





Karle Erickson began teaching in 1960 in St. James, Minnesota. After a successful two years in St. James, he moved to Sterling, Illinois, and accepted a teaching position at Sterling Township High School. Sterling had a fine program, a beautiful campus, and a wonderful music facility. Although he had no thoughts about doing graduate study, while teaching in Sterling, he learned that the school district paid teachers $40 per semester hour for going to summer school, so he started working on his master’s degree at the University of Illinois. While studying and writing papers, his professor, Dr. Charles Leonhard was impressed with Karle’s philosophy of teaching and with the way he thought. He encouraged Karle to get his doctorate. He was now 24 years old and never actually thought of himself as an “academic,” but went ahead with the decision to work on his doctoral degree. In the fall of 1967, having completed everything but his dissertation, he accepted a position at Lawrence University and completed the degree in 1970. He taught there until 1980, and from 19801994 he was Professor of Music and head of

The Gustavus Choir in Christ Chapel


Star of the North • Spring 2013

Karle in front of the Gustavus Choir, 1987

choral studies at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. After Gustavus, Karle was the Interim conductor for National Lutheran Choir and conducted the Bach Society of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. His desire to conduct a semiprofessional chorale led him to established an ensemble focusing primarily on the performance of multicultural global music. Karle founded, World Voices and enjoyed a thirteen-year tenure with the ensemble. He now directs the adult Canticle Choir, Fesitval Orchestra and Brass at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. He stays actively involved in ACDA of MN and is still sought after as a clinician and adjudicator for festivals around the country. Editor’s Note: The following is a transcript of an interview with Karle Erickson, conducted by his friend and former student, Sarah Boehlke Gilbertson. The interview opens with a brief statement from Ms. Gilbertson. Sarah is the director of choral activities at Chanhassen High School, in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

Karle with Sweden’s Queen Sylvia and King Carl Gustav, Stockholm, 1987

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

It was the summer of 1988 and I was on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College as a member of the Minnesota AllState Choir. I have never experienced such an emotional week, musically, in my life. I was brought to tears by the music I was making with the other singers and inspired by our conductor, Dr. Karle Erickson. His energy and sincerity during my time at All-State made a huge impact on me and there was no doubt in my mind that when it came time to pick an institution after high school, I wanted to go to Gustavus. I was thrilled, excited, and couldn’t wait to start singing at GAC. Auditions rolled around immediately after moving into my dorm room. I was shocked and honored to have made the Gustavus Choir as a freshman. I travelled to China, across the Midwest, to Texas, and out east with the choir. My work study job was working for Karle in his office for four years. I enjoyed going to work every day. I helped with recruiting letters, I filed his music (and he always gave me extra copies with his comments on the cover), I would talk with him, learn from him, it was a great time for me as a future choral educator. I learned a great deal from Karle and still to this day think about my years of study at Gustavus. I am thankful for the opportunity to study with such a fine conductor, teacher, and friend. Sarah Gilbertson: When did you first decide to become a choral director? Karle Erickson: It was not until I was part way through my junior year at St. Olaf College. I went to St. Olaf to become a band director. During my high school years, I had many opportunities to conduct the band whenever my high school director needed to be gone. The band program at my high school was the stronger program. I was a clarinetist and my high school band director was immensely supportive. He would bring me to Minneapolis for clarinet lessons because he knew I needed more of a challenge than he could present. I had lots of opportunities in the choral world, too, filling in for the choir director at the high school and at my home church. I would direct the choir at Christmas and Easter when the director went home to be with family. I loved it. I remember singing in the high school choir starting in 7th grade because they needed boys in our small town. But it was when I heard the choirs at St. Olaf, which was very moving for me, that I knew that was the direction I wanted to go. SG: What are some memories of your first year as a choral director? KE: My first year of teaching was in St. James, MN, and I knew that 12 miles away, Roger Tenney was the choir director at Mountain Lake High School. I was so excited that I would be teaching in the same vicinity as Roger so I could learn from him and his program. However, when I arrived in St. James in the fall of 1960, Roger had accepted the position as choir director at Owatonna High School. The choral program in St. James grew quickly, and singing in choir became “the thing to do.” I made a special point to recruit some of

the star athletes. During my first year, I had the special privilege of helping to plan the choir room in the new high school which would be ready that next fall. My beginning salary was $4,100 and my duties included teaching general music and choral music to students in grades 7-12. I also directed the adult church choir at First Lutheran Church. I was thrilled and nervous to have my college mentor, Olaf Christiansen, come to clinic my choir. I was very relieved when he was most complimentary. Hey, and I met Hannah, my wife to be, when she interviewed for an English position at the end of that year. SG: What were some of the ideas you implemented to build and recruit students into your program? KE: While teaching in Sterling, Illinois, I was determined to get more guys in choir. I asked permission to look through the study hall rosters. I thought it would be a good idea to get some of the more academically disciplined boys in choir, so I checked grade point averages and asked the principal to announce in study hall the names of 42 guys to report immediately to the choir room. I spoke to them and identified some of the current boys in the choir (the star quarterback on the football team, for example). I gave the boys a choice to stay with me in the choir room or go back to study hall. Thirty eight of them decided to stay and I immediately had a sophomore boys’ choir. I made myself very visible at football and basketball games. I would come in late so people would know I was there. I would catch the players after the game; congratulate them on their success on the field or court. My presence at all the school events made a good statement about who I was as a person and teacher. I was supportive of everyone in the building and others saw I was a “whole” person. I also enjoyed playing basketball on the faculty team in the mornings. SG: Who were the choirs and conductors that inspired you in those early years? KE: For me it was Roger Tenney, who was at Owatonna; Curt Hanson, with whom I student taught in Brainerd and who was a founding members of ACDA; Olaf Christiansen, my college mentor and the director who inspired my love of choral music and who had an uncompromising commitment to the art and taught me what quality was in choral music. He was insistent that music is either in tune or out of tune – there was no in-between. A few years later, another model was Charles Hirt, director of the University of Southern California Chamber Singers. His chamber singers were musically stunning in performance. Working with Robert Shaw was, of course, as influential as anything could be. I heard recordings by these ensembles and was so moved by the quality of sound and musicianship.

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


Lawrence University conducting class, circa 1975

SG: Who are the choirs and conductors that continue to inspire you today? KE: At this point, it’s the recordings that I have of some of the conductors and choirs I have known over the years: Robert Shaw, with whom I had the privilege of working during my doctoral studies; Eric Ericson and the Swedish Radio Choir; the St. Olaf Choir both past and present; and Helmuth Rilling, with whom I worked one summer at the Oregon Bach Festival. Helmuth conducted J.S. Bach St. Mathew Passion with such energized emotion that the performance was like witnessing an opera. I had never heard anyone else do it with such attention to the dramatic and ongoing whole. SG: How did you go about selecting your repertoire, and from what sources did you seek ideas? KE: I realized early on that I was greatly influenced by the compositions I had sung in college. That was a very positive thing, but it was also limiting. I attended every ACDA convention for almost 50 years to hear fine choirs performing literature, and I got on the publisher lists to receive complimentary copies of music. The primary deciding factor when choosing literature was that I needed to like the piece. If it didn’t speak to me, I could not share it with much enthusiasm with my students. I chose literature that I could use to help my students learn about the whole spectrum of choral music from pre-Renaissance to the present. I would often program chronological concerts to educate the audience and students. I wanted them to leave a concert feeling like they learned something about the history of music and had their spirits lifted from the performance. SG: How did you conduct auditions? KE: I listened to singers individually. For me, two basic skills were critical. To be in the best choir, every singer either had to have good sight reading skills or be very good at pitch memory. The best singers were often those who took piano lessons or were in the band. I had students sing “My Country ‘tis of thee” to hear them sing as comfortably as possibly


Star of the North • Spring 2013

Choral clinic at Brain

erd High School, 19


in their best voice. You could easily determine their acuity of the ear and the quality of instrument they had by singing this simple song. In my early years of teaching, I was often quite lenient. I believed I had to have greater numbers singing before I could become more selective. It worked. Before I left Sterling, I had four choirs in grades 10-12 based on skill levels. SG: Back then when you were teaching high school and in the early years, what style of multicultural repertoire was being performed? KE: Really, the only multicultural music being performed seemed to be African-American spirituals; that was pretty much it to my awareness. There was not a plethora of global choral literature published. A typical concert often ended with a spiritual, which, of course, was a crowd pleaser. Spirituals were more rhythmic in nature and more accessible for the average listener. Spirituals arranged by William Dawson were commonly heard. SG: In those early years, what was the typical balance of sacred and secular music on a concert? KE: 75% sacred and 25% secular would be my best estimate. My main influence came from my St. Olaf experiences where most of the music I sang was based on sacred texts. It was only in the spring concerts at St. James, MN, and Sterling, IL, that I focused on secular music and it was mostly songs from Broadway musicals with a little bit of staging. SG: What was it that really turned you on to choral music? KE: My parents spent a lot of money on good quality instruments so each of their four sons could play in the band. I had a top of the line Buffet clarinet. My mother made sure that I took piano lessons from an outstanding teacher who taught me good piano technique and the fundamentals of music (scales, keys signatures, etc.). I practiced the clarinet and piano religiously. At the same time, I always enjoyed singing in the school choir and, during my high school years, in the

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

adult choir at church. It was not until I went to St. Olaf College that I became really enthused about the very personal nature of choral music. Singing in the St. Olaf Choir under the tutelage of Olaf Christiansen is what really did it for me. I’ll always remember the weekend when Dr. Christiansen needed to be away and he asked me to conduct the St. Olaf Choir for morning worship in chapel. I was both thrilled and frightened. Fortunately, it all went very well and I knew the direction my future would take. SG: Name five choral chestnuts or repertoire that you would recommend to the conductor of today? KE: Try to pick five? • Wake Awake, F. M. Christiansen • Brahms’s Liebeslieder • Bach Motet 4 (Furchte dich nicht) • Alexander Gretchaninov’s O be joyful • Alexander Gretchaninov’s Our Father • Alessandro Scarlatti’s Exultate Deo • Hugo Distler’s Psalm 98 • Gustav Schreck’s Advent Motet SG: What were some of the special performance events (festivals, conventions, tours) that your choirs participated in? KE: In my early years at St. James and Sterling we didn’t tour except to go to conference festivals in neighboring communities. While I was in St. James the extent of travel was to take the choir on an overnight trip to Minneapolis where we shared a concert at another high school. In 1979 the Lawrence Choir was invited, through audition, to sing at the National ACDA convention in Kansas City. The 68-member choir performed the Frank Martin Mass for double choir, and this performance in particular was a professional peak for me. The choir performed exceptionally well and I will never forget Charles Hirt coming up to me after this performance in Kansas City. He said, “Karle, don’t do that to me.” It had moved him greatly. Leland Sateren came to me and said, “Karle, I want you to be my successor at Augsburg College,” but instead, I took the Gustavus job a year later. For twelve summers while at Lawrence University, I directed the Wisconsin Youth Chorale. We travelled all over Western and some of Eastern Europe, the British Isles, and Scandinavia every summer from 1968-1980. Of special note was our performance for mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. I distinctly recall the demonstration recording the Gustavus Choir did with the King’s Singers. That was an experience that stands out in my mind as something quite special. My main touring experiences were with The Gustavus Choir that had not done very much international travel. If I recall correctly, there had only been one or two musical ensembles

that had travelled internationally. I decided the choir would do a foreign tour every fourth year in order to call attention to the quality of the music program as a recruiting tool and an ambassador for the college. I made the foreign travel experience a course of study for the choir during the J-term. The students studied with another professor before we went and during the travels about the areas we visited. I became aware after the fact that these experiences became somewhat of a model across the campus for other courses of study. Christmas in Christ Chapel at Gustavus was always a special time for me. It became the equivalent of St. Olaf’s Christmas Festival. We presented stunning performances including all the choirs and orchestra with differing topics and décor as the focus from one year to the next. SG: In your view, how has the programming of repertoire changed over the years? KE: There is far more global literature performed as a result of the strong graduate programs across the country that emphasize global music and the performance of all types and styles. Choral directors are better and more broadly educated. The main change from years ago; however, may be the wealth of literature and the accessibility of music from many publishers. You also hear a wide variety of choral music performed at conventions. The electronic age is helping. You can get your hands on music from all across the world instantly. Back in the early 60’s, you often heard many choirs performing the same standard literature. SG: As you listen to choirs of today, how have the components of choral music performance evolved? (tone……..blend……diction, etc.) KE: When I began teaching, there were the two schools of choral thought – the Westminster choral philosophy and the St. Olaf choral philosophy. You were either a St. Olaf enthusiast or Westminster enthusiast. Today, directors can gain an awareness of the whole spectrum of choral music and perfor-

Karle with Simon Carrington of the King’s Singers

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


mance practice. They are influenced by varied choral sounds and schools of thought and can eclectically bring the best of them together in their own work. There is an ever-increasing wealth of recordings from which to learn. However, I believe the basic components of excellence in the choral art remain the same. SG: How has the preparation of choral music directors changed? KE: The study of accuracy in performance practices is a distinct part of most graduate programs in choral music and there is greater breadth of thinking about the acceptance and performance of all musical styles. The University of Illinois at the time I was there was one of the few outstanding graduate programs in the country, thanks to Harold Decker who headed the program. Most all of the choral directors who went on to develop top-ranking choral programs around the country were at the University of Illinois working on their graduate degrees. Today, there are many quality graduate programs across the country for aspiring choir directors to attend. SG: What kind of conductor do you consider yourself? What do you consider to be your greatest strength? KE: I think of myself a teacher of music, whether as a choir or orchestral conductor. Perhaps my greatest strength is my effectiveness and ability to inspire singers of any age to achieve their very best as a choral singer and to guide them through expressive performances that affect them deep in their souls. That same gift has made it possible for me to be very effective conducting choral festivals and All-State Choirs. My main gift to the choral profession may have been the preparation of students to become outstanding choral conductors and teachers. I am a teacher and that is what I always wanted to do. I completed the EdD rather than the DMA, because I wanted to learn more about the psychology and philosophy of music and teaching. I knew that to prepare my students for a rich future in choral music, I had to teach them to read the language of the art. I took the time to teach them to be independent musicians rather than helpless singers at the mercy of rote learning for the rest of their lives. SG: When did you first become involved with ACDA? KE: I joined in 1960, just a year after ACDA’s inception, and decided to buy a lifetime membership, which at that time was $100. I made the commitment to myself to join the best professional organization that existed in my field. I knew I should be part of it, and it was the wisest decision I ever made. I paid for it in five yearly installments of $20. What a deal, but at that time it seemed like a lot of money. After my first year at Lawrence University in 1968, I was elected President of the Wisconsin chapter of ACDA. I realized after observing the model set in Ohio that we could bring more money into the state organization if we estab-


Star of the North • Spring 2013

lished WCDA as a separate entity. I made it a focus to do extensive recruiting to expand the membership of the organization. I had the privilege to serve as North-Central President from 1972-1974 and served as the National Chair of the Repertoire and Standards Committees. SG: What has been the most inspirational ACDA convention performance you heard? KE: That’s a tough one, as there were so many. I would say the Swedish Radio Choir conducted by Eric Ericson. There was perfection and drama all wrapped together. In my very first two years, I was inspired by performances by Curt Hansen’s Brainerd High School Choir, Murray Freng at Alexandria, Bud Engen at White Bear Lake, and Roger Tenney at Owatonna. Those directors were the early ACDA influences for high school choirs in Minnesota. SG: What has kept you active in ACDA throughout the years? KE: First, hearing outstanding choirs at conventions that kept on raising the bar for me, and second, the collegial relationships that I developed. There was no hierarchy. I could sit and converse with Paul Salomunovich, Charles Hirt, or Robert Shaw just as easily as with my contemporary colleagues. I had the opportunity to be in the mix with many of the finest choral directors in the nation. There was no ladder I had to climb to rub elbows with conductors that I held high on the pedestal. SG: Volunteerism at all levels has been vital to the growth of ACDA of MN. How relevant is it for our future? KE: It is critical to keep people involved personally. After all, ACDA was founded to enable directors to share ideas first-hand and hear each other’s choirs. As an organization we must be careful, in my opinion, not to allow electronic communication to destroy the interpersonal face-to-face connections that are vital to an organization that deals with such a personal art as choral music. I am concerned about the depersonalization that is taking place in society in general because of the modes of communication that have become so prevalent. I cherish all that I learned from having volunteered my time and effort to ACDA over the years. I got back much more than I gave. SG: Looking back, what has been the value and impact of ACDA upon your professional career? KE: It was crucial for me developmentally to have contact with the very best conductors/teachers. I kept on hearing the finest choirs that kept a yardstick in front of me against which to evaluate my own professional work. It also gave me a perspective of the global impact of choral music. I learned, because of ACDA and its related organization, the International Federation of Choral Music, that Estonia, for example, had an amazing history of choral music performance that

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

existed long before it developed in the United States. This was due in part to the leadership of Estonia’s early icon of choral music, Gustav Ernesaks, who I had the privilege of hosting at the ACDA’s Celebration of the U.S. Bicentennial at Interlochen, MI, in 1976. I realized I was a part of something that was immense – choral music was a global phenomenon. I was able to attend four World Symposia, the first one held in Vienna. Each one expanded my horizons, my zeal for doing my best to have an impact on my students so that they, too, could experience the essence of choral music. SG: Reflecting on your own legacy to choral music in Minnesota, what are some the contributions and gifts you have made to the profession? KE: I was pleased to serve as the President of WCDA, the President of the North Central Division, and the Chair of the National Repertoire and Standards Committees. But, perhaps my most important contribution occurred during my 27 years at Lawrence and Gustavus, preparing students to become outstanding choral conductors/teachers, who are enjoying much success, are active in leadership positions in the profession and who will have a distinct influence on generations of students to come. SG: What advice or words of wisdom would you give the emerging choral director of today? KE: My number one word of advice is to teach your students (and yourself) at all levels of instruction to read the language of the art with the use of solfeggio in order to prepare your students to independently participate in choral music for the rest of their lives. If you do not do it, they will constantly be at the mercy of learning by rote and not be able to successfully audition for the better ensembles that will challenge

Lawrence University Choir at ACDA National Conference, Kansas City, 1979

Star of the North

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them to continue to grow. Only if they can read the language can they be fully independent singing musicians. Our consciences should rise up in horror if our profession continues to accept the reality that if our singers studied piano or played in the band or orchestra, they can read music, but if they did not, they will continue to be “dumb singers” and the fault will be ours. Second, listen to and analyze live and recorded performance and often as possible sit in on other conductors’ rehearsals to learn from analyzing their skills. A good place to do this is with All-State conductors. Sing in the Director’s Chorus at conventions with the same motivation. Bring in guest conductors to work with your choir. Third, study and practice conducting as the performance skill that it is. Hone your gestures so that they communicate exactly what you intend. Know what your performers see by studying your conducting on video and in the mirror. Ask your performers to watch in silence as you conduct the music being studied so that they visually learn your conducting “language.” After they have watched, invite them to “sing that.” Dare to be dramatic with your conducting gestures to adequately communicate the emotional content of the music. Fourth, challenge your singers to perform a cappella with excellence right from the start. Resist the temptation to use the piano as a tuning and rote-learning crutch. Fifth, become an active volunteering member of ACDA and allow yourself to be influenced by all the splendid people who are part of this incredible professional organization.

Karle with World Voices

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Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


STUDENT PODIUM TUCKER MOORE Music Major St. Olaf College Northfield, MN

My name is Tucker Moore, a sophomore music major at St. Olaf College, and I was asked to share what I gained from my experience in Dallas. I am very thankful to the Student Activities Committee at St. Olaf College who awarded me the funds to attend the ACDA conference in Dallas. I can safely report that their generosity did not go to waste – the new friends I met, the insight I gained, and the warm welcome into the ACDA community I received from my colleagues is invaluable.

cians in their adult lives. To put that into perspective, there are over 815 people 18 years of age and younger that want to continue the work we do. I would venture to guess that those numbers are a direct result of great teaching and beautiful memories that have been made in choral classrooms. What a return on a teacher’s investment to see students passionate about what they are learning enough to travel across the country to learn more.

Coming to Dallas, I was excited to hear many incredible choirs, hear new music from composers I love, attend interest sessions from renowned scholars and educators, and read through new music from publishers. Some standout ensembles that I heard were the Choir of the West from Pacific Lutheran University, The Cardinal Singers from the University of Louisville, The Tallis Scholars, and the Westminster Choir. The Cantus Certus of Roseville Area High School and the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers deserve a huge congratulations for representing the Minnesota choral tradition so well on the national stage. iCantaré! by VocalEssence was a very refreshing program that shared treasures from VocalEssence’s outreach programs, and I am sure F. Melius Christiansen would have smiled proudly upon hearing Roseville sing two movements from his Psalm 50 at the Winspear Opera House.

Few opportunities exist where people come together with one common, peaceful goal – singing with others offers that experience. To be a conduit of cooperation, compromise, understanding, history, and to do so through incredible music, is one of the most worthy positions one can hold or aspire to. I commend and look up to those working so hard in the field already, and I join fellow students across the country in saying that we cannot wait to start teaching! Throughout the week, I was constantly reminded of Jeff Melius and Jeffrey Patry of Sacred Heart in Robbinsdale, Terry Voss and Suzanne Reyburn of Totino-Grace High School in Fridley, Dr. Chris Aspaas and Dr. Anton Armstrong of St. Olaf, and the many other fine teachers and conductors I have had the opportunity to work with.

The theme of the conference was Choral ART: Advocate, Remember, Teach. The event that illuminated those three concepts most for me was watching the student honor choirs perform on the final day of the convention. Mr. Anthony Trecek-King, Mrs. Sigrid Johnson, and Dr. Edith Copley not only did beautiful jobs of shaping those choirs in such a short time, but reminded me why I chose to study music in the first place: the impact singing in choirs has on young people. Over 3,500 singers auditioned for one of the 900 spots in those three choirs. Each singer in the honor choirs took a survey, and some of the results were shared with the audience. An astounding number of those surveyed said they would participate in a collegiate choral ensemble or music major if given the opportunity, and upwards of 95% of the singers said they would undoubtedly support professional musi-


Star of the North • Spring 2013

Dallas was a rejuvenating experience that offered me insight, connections, and most importantly, a solid community to turn to with questions about my experience as a student/young conductor. The 2015 conference cannot come soon enough, and I highly encourage everyone who is able to attend.

SUMMER DIALOGUE Online Registration Site Early Registration Deadline June 15, 2013 SAVE THE DATE Give to the Max Day Thursday, November 14, 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

Every successful music student remembers a time and a teacher.

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Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


FROM THE FIELD Creating A Choral Community


Northwest District Chair Fertile Beltrami High School

When I think about choir, it brings me back to seventh grade. I was leaving my secure, small elementary class of 18 students and plunging into the world of junior high and a class of 149. Never had I been given a chance to sing in a “real” choir until I walked into the seventh grade girls’ choir rehearsal. The classmates from my small elementary class were not “into music,” so I ventured into a new world of students and my first choral experience. Junior high choir gave me the opportunity to be part of my first formal singing group – my first choral community. There were a ton of girls (probably 35!) that wanted to sing. Choir was a ready-made social network. Even though I didn’t know anyone on that first day, I had a place where I belonged. Choir was my “in” to the world of the big junior high. Soon friendships developed, and I experienced the joy of singing with girls that shared the same passion! From that point on, choir was an integral part of my life. Not only did I experience fulfillment in rehearsing and performing, but I also had the opportunity to share the gift of music with others. Music has the ability to bring diverse people together; it is the tie that binds us. Music gives us a forum in which to express our soul.

2013-14 State Honor Choir Schedule November 22 • 4-5-6 Children (new date) November 23 • 7-8 Boys and Girls (new date) February 13 • 9-10 Women and Mixed


Star of the North • Spring 2013

Choir is its own community. It brings a group of people together that share a common goal. If each of us were asked to recall special times in our high school and college days, I would bet some of them would revolve around music and choir. Choir is also an integral part of the community. This is especially true in a small town. The Holiday Concert in our school district is the highlight before Christmas. The gym is packed, the lights go down, the music begins and the audience gets to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Christmas time and sit back to reflect about all the joys the season has to offer. The concert is a gift the students can give to their community. This gift is given to the audience at many community and college concerts as well. The unselfishness of sharing the gift of song with others is one of the most precious gifts we can give as musicians. State wide, the choral community spans many generations and includes diverse skill levels. According to Chorus America, more than 450,000 Minnesotans sing in a choir. We are extremely fortunate to live in a state that values choral education. We must always strive to keep the vitality and validity of choral music in our schools, towns, cities, states, and nation. Choral music in Minnesota is as essential as the air we breathe. May all of us, through each phase of our life, support and maintain choral music in our lives and our communities.

Moving? New School? New Address? Change of Email or Phone Number? Contact Bruce Becker, Executive Director

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

It takes a village... Community advocacy for the choral music program


Northeast District Chair St. Michael-Albertville High School

When I reach this time of the year, I feel it takes extra effort to give my singers the best me every day. With spring hopefully coming soon and the end of the year in sight, it can be challenging to stay motivated. At this point of the year, the demands of the concert calendar, solo/ensemble contest, possible spring shows and other music obligations simply just take their toll. We need to remind ourselves to take personal time, but for me, it is difficult when there simply is no extra time or you find it impossible to relax until your work is done. I have many colleagues that I know suffer from this very dilemma, because we all want what is best for our singers. Their good intentions take priority over their personal well-being. Fortunately, there are potential resources that can make your job easier. Before we get to the point where we simply have nothing left to give, I would recommend looking for ways to have your community support you and your work. The popular saying “It takes a village…” applies for choral music as well. Choirs and music programs serve the community, and it’s only fair that the community should serve you. Here are a couple of thoughts/ideas on how your community can help. Have community members assist with solo/ensemble contest preparations. We all have that retired community member who plays piano or organ at a local church that might just be looking for something to do. Adding a questionnaire to your choral handbook for parents could reveal some resources that you might not know you had. If you are in a community with a college, enlist prospective music majors to assist with the preparations. Prospective teachers get valuable experience and you develop a network with a local resource. If you have the luxury, hire local voice teachers to prepare your students. Let experts help you with your work load. Establish a music/choral booster’s organization. This is a great way to help foster relationships between parents and the school. It allows for parents to get involved in their singers’ musical experience and provide hands-on assistance in a variety of ways. This will also allow for the opportunity to enlist the assistance of local businesses for resources and fiscal benefit, and perhaps facili-

tate all fundraising efforts. This can take a huge amount of time that choral music educators just do not have. Someone close to you in your community has more experience doing this with more success – allow them to do their work! Learn to say NO. Choral music educators struggle with this. We are, by nature, people who try to please and help in any way we can. This need to please will often come at the cost of our own well-being. Make teaching your students the priority. Avoid extraneous activities. You do not need to chaperone the dance, be the prom advisor, serve on the technology committee, etc. Let other members of your teaching community take care of this so you have more time to teach the choir. Perform in collaborative concerts. This is a great way to expose your choir to other music making in your community. It also reduces the burden to prepare as many pieces as you might for your own concert. Sometimes less is more, and by doing this we can focus on really presenting quality over quantity. Less repertoire also allows for more time in skill development with our ensembles. Develop local revenue streams. Local businesses love local business. Because of this, many are willing to fiscally support events or organizations with the goal of getting more business. Many restaurants will sponsor organization nights where a portion of their sales will go to the organization. Another idea is to sell advertising space in your programs. Many sports organizations already do this, and music programs need to benefit from this opportunity. In addition to generating funds, it also serves as a consistent template for our concerts to reduce the amount of construction time for each program. These are just a few ideas of ways that your community can help you. Do not be afraid to enlist the help of other people. Allowing someone else to help will make your job easier and will allow more people to invest in the work you and your students do. By getting people involved, ownership is developed and before you know it, you will have a team of advocates ready to support you and your program.

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •



Director of ­Development, F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund

Congratulations to three ACDA-MN members who were recently awarded F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund scholarships. Recipients of those scholarships are: • Beth Hellstedt, Choral Director at Maple Grove High School – Part-time Graduate Study Scholarship • Zachariah Carlson, Senior at University of Minnesota-Duluth – National Conference Scholarship, Dallas • Brandon W. Miller, Graduate Student at University of Minnesota – National Conference Scholarship, Dallas ACDA-MN members are reminded that the application deadline for Summer Dialogue scholarships is June 1, 2013. There are two categories for these scholarships. We invite you to make an application and encourage you to share this information with others who might be interested in this scholarship opportunity. Summer Dialogue Scholarships: A. Recent college graduate/1st or 2nd year choral director • Registration and three nights housing – $350 value B. First time attendee to Summer Dialogue with any years of experience • Registration – $210 value Summer Dialogue scholarship application details may be found at scholarships#SummerDialogue

The FMC Endowment Fund Committee is pleased to announce that a new scholarship has been approved which will be named the Alice T. Larsen Memorial Scholarship. In anticipation of the 85th anniversary of Alice T. Larsen’s birth on February 15, 2014, a scholarship has been established in her honor and memory. The Alice T. Larsen Memorial Scholarship will be awarded in the future to a female ACDA-MN


Star of the North • Spring 2013

conductor who is pursuing a graduate degree in choral conducting. Many of our younger ACDA-MN members are more than likely not acquainted with Alice T. Larsen and her renowned expertise. She was a music professor at St. Olaf College from 19551989 and was a trail-blazing expert and celebrated champion of women’s voices throughout Minnesota and the United States. Larsen was conductor of the St. Olaf College Manitou Singers from 1956-1983, taught private voice and vocal pedagogy classes and occasionally directed The St. Olaf Choir. In 1992, ACDA-MN presented her with its F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her significant contributions to choral music. In 1997, Larsen was elected to the Minnesota Music Educators Hall of Fame. She received the Weston H. Noble Lifetime Achievement Award from the ACDA North Central Division in 2004. Larsen was the first female conductor of the Minnesota All-State Choir, and also conducted All-State Choirs in Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The 2013 ACDA-MN State Conference will celebrate women’s voices and the trail-blazing choral music legacy of conductor Alice T. Larsen. Edith Copley, from Northern Arizona University, will guest conduct a special ACDA-MN Grade 12 Select Women’s Choir and also present interest sessions at the conference. The showcase concert will feature the Manitou Singers from St. Olaf College (Sigrid Johnson, director), the ACDA-MN Grade 12 Select Women’s Choir and the combined women’s voices of Chanhassen, Wayzata, and White Bear Lake High Schools. A commemorative compilation CD of the Manitou Singers, under Larsen’s direction, will be released at the concert. • You are invited to make a tax-deductible on-line contribution to the Alice T. Larsen Memorial Scholarship project at:

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

• All scholarship donor names will be printed in the November 23, 2013, ACDA-MN fall conference showcase concert program titled – A Celebration of Women’s Voices: Empowering the Spirit which will Honor the Legacy of Alice T. Larsen and also in the 2013 FMC Endowment Fund’s Annual Report • Donations are welcome during 2013 and into the future to sustain this scholarship • Contributions may also be mailed to: FMC Endowment Fund, 12027 Gantry Lane, Apple Valley, MN 55124. Indicate on the memo line: Alice T. Larsen Scholarship

Please take time daily to reflect on the amazing ACDA-MN choral community in which we work and live! One cannot take our very special ACDA-MN community spirit and camaraderie for granted. We are very fortunate and blessed as choral directors in Minnesota to be the benefactors of an organization which offers us so much! Best wishes on all your upcoming spring concerts. I hope that I will see you at Summer Dialogue in August!



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Teaching Assistantships available for 2013-14

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Dr. David Edmund, Music Education Dr. Stanley Wold, Director of Choral Activities Alice Pierce, Opera Director Rachel Inselman, Elias Mokole , Tina Thielen-Gaffey, Full-time Vocal Faculty

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Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •



Inspired at the National Convention

BRANDON W. MILLER Recent Doctoral Graduate University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN

At the ACDA National Convention in Dallas, I had the opportunity to meet new friends and colleagues from around the world. I also had the pleasure of reconnecting with colleagues and friends from my past. One of the most rewarding things for me was seeing all the new faces in Dallas. I made several good friends at the conference, including Zack Carlson, the other F. Melius Christiansen scholarship recipient for this year. In addition, I made friends from Florida and Washington State. How amazing is that to so quickly bond with people from all over the country and all over the world! It really shows me how interwoven our choral community is. The most exciting moment for me was meeting Maria Guinand of the Fundación Schola Cantorum. I am great admirer of her work as a director and as a driver of social change through choral music. This new personal connection is especially important to me, because I will be moving to Caracas, Venezuela in the fall to start my new job as the Middle and High School Choral Director at Escuela Campo Alegre. When Ms. Guinand handed me her card, shook my hand, and instructed me to call her when I arrived in Caracas, I knew that I had just experienced one of those defining moments that will shape the rest of my life. I was also able to connect with former colleagues from Florida State University, where I earned my bachelor’s degree. Unfortunately, I have not been back


Star of the North • Spring 2013

to Tallahassee in many years, but in Dallas I once again got a big hug from Andre Thomas and Kevin Fenton, who had both been my directors while at FSU. In addition, I got to catch up with many colleagues who had been students at the same time as I was. We all sang the alma mater together, which I remembered (surprisingly) after over ten years of not singing it. Hearing the FSU Singers perform in Meyerson Symphony Hall was a great pleasure and brought me a strong sense of pride. As I begin my career as a school music teacher and choral director, I will take what I have learned from the conference with me. There were great workshops there! Some of my favorites covered how to incorporate vocal improvisation into choral rehearsals, allowing youth to really have their voices heard in a choral setting, and recruiting young men to sing in choir. All of these ideas are directly relevant to my job as a choral music teacher. Additionally, I attended nine reading sessions while there in a never-ending quest to find good literature for my groups. The National Conference brought many of the composers of these works to the reading sessions so that participants could get to know them and their work better. That was very important for me. I would be amiss if I did not mention the stellar performances by groups from around the globe. The most striking thing about the week of performances was that each group had its own individual style and identity. Through repertoire choices and performance practice the choirs brought to life the music in a unique way. Because there were so many amazing groups, I will not name any specifically, but I was moved again and again. Simply put, the musical performances at the Dallas ACDA National Convention were awe-inspiring! Thank you to ACDA of Minnesota for allowing me this amazing opportunity!

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

What Could We Do?

ZACK D. CARLSON Undergraduate University of Minnesota Duluth, MN

“What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser asked the conference attendees this question on the first full day of the National ACDA Conference in Dallas, and it has stuck with me ever since. In order to gain a new perspective on this quote, I have adapted it to say, “What could we do if we knew we couldn’t fail?” Seeing as we are all passionate for the choral arts, and it is very much a team effort, I find it appropriate to ask this question not only to ourselves, but also to our colleagues, friends, and choirs. I grew increasingly aware of how large and extended our National ACDA family is when I would rarely see the same person twice in one day. This caused me to ponder how we can, as one giant community, move forward and make consistent progress. It was clear to me that the choirs and interest sessions I attended were all, in some way, lead by someone or a group of people that knew how to make that consistent progress towards their individual and ensemble goals. As I think back to the first day of the conference, I realize that I was presented with several opportunities to learn, build my network, and understand how other educators teach. The great part is that it began within two hours of waking up and continued throughout the whole week. For so many people to gather, in a place like the Dallas Arts District, to listen to world-class musicians, and be challenged and inspired by colleagues is a truly great experience. In my time at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, I have been given several unique opportunities to develop as a musician, educator, and leader. Among these opportunities is the Split Rock Men’s Chorus. I started this ensemble last October and have been challenged in more ways than I could have ever imagined. One of the first challenges was making consistent progress towards our ensemble goals, which have finally come to fruition. On the flight back from Dallas I had a great conversation about what we took from the conference with the woman sitting next to me. Little did I know that she would later invite Split Rock Men’s Chorus to sing near Chicago at the end of April for a Choir Festival. Not only is this a dream come true, but it is also proof that the connections you make with others are crucial. The conference in Dallas has provided me with these connections with others

as well as specific tools to become a more effective educator and leader. There were two sessions that I would like to highlight that really struck a chord with me. The first was “German Romantic Music for Male Choir.” This was lead by Jan Schumacher and Camerata Musica Limburg. This session spoke to me not only because I adore German Romantic Music, but also because it was a breakdown of the music and how easily accessible it is for beginning choirs. It was highly encouraging to hear such fine musicianship and then have the conductor peel it apart layer-bylayer so that we could understand the music on a deeper level and make sense of it enough to apply it in our own work. The second session was “Mad Men: Advertise, Recruit, and Welcome Male Singers into Your Program” lead by Jonathan Palant. I remember there being very few open seats in the room where it was held, and I can understand why. The ability to recruit young male singers is a difficult task especially when said male singers may have friends that don’t think it is ‘cool’ to sing in choir. What I learned in this specific session was that even in small schools, there can be high male singer involvement in the choral program. If I ever begin to doubt this, or if I begin to doubt anything, I will apply what Dr. Lautzenheiser said, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” Attending the National ACDA Conference in Dallas this year has inspired me both professionally and personally. I went down to Dallas with goals of becoming a more effective educator and choral director but came back with so much more. A wholehearted “thank you” to the F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund for providing me with the finances to make this fantastic opportunity a reality.

2013-2014 STATE HONOR CHOIR CONDUCTORS 4-5-6 Children – Elizabeth Shepley 7-8 Boys – André Heywood 7-8 Girls – Nicki Toliver 9-10 Women – Julia Fahey 9-10 Mixed – Allen Hightower

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •





Male Choral Festival


Central Lutheran Church (Minneapolis)

HIGH SCHOOL GUYS! Sing alongside the...

SINGING STATESMEN University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

• Singing Statesmen and Apollo Male Chorus members (120 men total) sprinkled within the ensemble, serve as VOCAL MODELS, and sing next to your students. • VOICE LESSONS throughout the day (university voice professor) • Free registration, Free T-shirt, DUDE!!...FREE food (lunch and dinner) • CONCERT featuring mass group (all choirs) “The guys have really stepped up their singing by being more intelligent about how they sing and more physically engaged. Thanks!” –Jason Etton, Irondale HS “It (Northstar Male Choral Festival) has made a huge difference for my choir this year…Thank you!!!! –Amy Johnson, Coon Rapids HS

Presented by

“Thank you for the best day of my singing career.” –student, Minnehaha Academy



Star of the North • Spring 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

2013 Summer-Fall ACDA-MN Schedule of Events JUNE 1

9 10 11 15

AUGUST Deadlines: • Award Nominations • State Conference Performance Application • FMC Summer Dialogue Scholarship State Executive Board of Directors State Board of Directors Honor Choir Co-Chairs Deadline: Summer Dialogue Early Registration Rates

JULY 15 Deadlines: • Summer Dialogue Regular Registration Rates • Summer Dialogue Housing Registrations 17 FMC Annual Meeting 24 State Executive Board of Directors

5 6-9 16 19

State Board of Directors Meeting Summer Dialogue Deadline: Articles for Star of the North – Fall Issue Honor Choir Website Opens

OCTOBER 5 9 16 26

FMC Committee Meeting 4-5-6 Children Honor Choir Auditions Due 7-8 Boy/Girl Honor Choir Auditions Due Annual Men’s/Women’s Choral Festival – St. John’s University

NOVEMBER 6 9-10 Honor Choir Auditions Due 9 Minnesota Sings! 22-23 State Conference – St. Andrew’s LC, Mahtomedi

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


Emerging Conductor’s Network

ANDREW BEARD Osseo High School Osseo, MN

The most recent meeting of the Emerging Conductors Network (ECN) occurred on April 13th at House of Prayer Lutheran Church in Richfield. Nancy Lee, who teaches at Washburn High School, was brought in as a clinician. Nancy brought in six of her students to share music and insights with the group. The day revolved around the idea that there are many ways to engage students in singing. While Nancy has wonderful choirs, she also teaches students to be independent musicians in the popular music realm. As a first step in teaching comprehensive musicianship, Nancy teaches all of her students how to read chord charts on the piano. She does this as part of a project in which students choose a popular song to sing as a small group. They must create their own arrangement and each member of the group must learn to play the chords on the piano. Students are encouraged to continue this process outside of choir and are invited to sing in a number of “Cabaret” shows throughout the year. These shows highlight students who are passionate about performing in a small group or as a solo. Students frequently work with clinicians who are part of the local independent music scene. This gives them a chance to see where music can take them.

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Students played a large part in the presentation – they sang solos and spoke to the group. A couple of the students have started writing and recording (both audio and video) their own music. Another student in the group is attending a musical theater camp in New York for a month this summer (this singer was not even in choir 2 years ago!). It was fun to have casual time with the students and get a student-level perspective on learning that we as teachers rarely get! After lunch, Nancy shared that her philosophy revolves around the idea that we as teachers are not the only ones who carry knowledge. She sees teaching vocal music as learning with the students to take what they know and build on that knowledge (she is even leading a recording studio class next year!). Things that I took away from this meeting: • As choir directors, we do not have to shy away from teaching students how to successfully perform popular music. This is a great way to meet students where they are at (and we also might learn something!). • “Good” repertoire has many different meanings. We can allow students to create their own arrangements for small or large group performance. Letting go of the control can be scary, but when we do, it can lead to great student discovery. • We can view choral singing as a part of a students’ overall music education instead of the only way to connect students with music. • I am excited to see a group of young educators who are open to change and willing to see what works in their own situation. Spending time with people who are in the process of developing a program has been a blessing for me as well as other members of the Emerging Conductors Network. The final meeting for the Emerging Conductors Network will be on Saturday, May 4th at 5pm at the West End in St. Louis Park. Finally, we are thrilled to have a meeting of the Emerging Conductors Network at summer dialogue. This will take place at lunch on Friday, August 9th in the Quadrangle Dining Hall on the St. John’s campus.



Star of the North • Spring 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support


A conversation: Craig Carnahan and Timothy C.Takach By Timothy C. Takach


Timothy C. Takach and Craig Carnahan, the two most recent recipients of the MMEA and ACDA of Minnesota All-State commissions, recently had a chance to chat about the process of composing their pieces for the Minnesota All-State choirs. Takach’s piece “Goodbye, Then” was for the Men’s Choir, and scored for TBB, clarinet, and piano. Carnahan wrote “Everyone Sang” for next year’s Mixed Choir, and it’s for SATB (divisi) and piano. Timothy C. Takach: So here we sit, two Minnesota composers who have the honor of writing for a Minnesota All-State choir. What a thrill! Writing for All-State is a bit daunting because of what the choir can do. (Especially here in MN.) Craig, how did you approach the difficulty level of this piece? What will be challenging for these students?


Craig Carnahan: Given the tradition of excellent choral singing in Minnesota, my approach was to write a piece that showcases what I assume will be a very accomplished ensemble. My sense is that the piece isn’t technically difficult, although the mix of a cappella with accompanied sections and some of the divisi might pose a challenge. Hopefully, though, the technical demands won’t get in the way of the musical aspects of the piece – melody, line, harmonies, etc. TCT: And those musical elements in your piece do such a good job of illuminating the power of the poetry. This poem by Sassoon has been set a couple times before (it’s so great for choirs), had you heard (or tried to not hear!) any before you chose this text and started to write? CC: This is a text I’ve wanted to set for years. You’re right, it has been set numerous times, but I can honestly say I haven’t heard any of them. I did come across a recording of Sassoon reading his poem, which I found very helpful regarding his pacing, inflections, word stress, and cadences. I love the idea of hearing how various composers

approach setting the same text so now that mine is done, I’ll probably investigate that further. TCT: What an amazing tool to discover as a composer – hearing the poem in the poet’s voice. So much of what we do, whether it’s on purpose or not, projects our own bias onto a text. CC: And I often find that choosing the perfect text can be the hardest part of the creative process. Please tell us about Doug Wilhide and how you came to settle on this particular poem for your piece. TCT: I absolutely love finding texts, words that will ring true when sung by whoever is the voice of the piece (solo voice, men’s choir, women’s choir, etc.). I came across Doug’s poem in a book of Minnesota poets called “Seasons” by the Southwest Journal Poetry Project. It sounded like a perfect text for a group of high school men to sing. It was both poetic and honest. You have to be careful with texts by living authors, getting your hopes up too high without inquiring about the rights, but I called Doug and he was so gracious to let me set it. CC: You said the poem sounded perfect. This is going to sound very stereotypical, but if I were asked to write for a high school men’s chorus, my first inclination would be to look for a poem that’s upbeat and extroverted. You went in the opposite direction with a love song that’s intimate and vulnerable. That seems very brave. TCT: In my time as a composer/singer/clinician, I’ve sung and heard a lot of choral music, and for men’s choir we have no lack of rousing, upbeat texts about sailors, pirates, and knights. “Brothers Sing On” kind of stuff. What I love about this poem is that it is so vulnerable. I was a high school singer too, and I know the kinds of things I wished I could have said out loud when I was that age. When you’re in choir, you get to say things that you don’t otherwise get a chance to say. At first glace “Goodbye, Then” comes across as a love song (what else is on our minds in high school?!), but it really is open ended. This

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


could be about best friends. It could be about graduation. It could be about family. It could be about an unrequited, unspoken love. I’ve talked to Doug about it, and I know the story that inspired the poem. (Reader, take me out to coffee and I’ll tell you all about it.) It might surprise you.

of images. Some are intimate and others are larger than life; some are introspective and others exuberant; some are grounded in the present while others live in the future. All of them suggest different musical treatments and I tried hard to follow their lead.

Now here’s something for us to talk about. From poem to song, “Goodbye, Then” is very word for word, not much is said twice. “Everyone Sang” takes a short text and fills a 5-minute piece – something I’ve only started to do in the last couple years. It’s nice to see that done well. How do you decide what is sung multiple times, and when it’s time for a big “Ah!” section? (Craig’s piece is unified by passages of wordless “Ahs.”)

Tim, One more question to finish up. What do you hope the singers and the audience will experience from performing/ hearing your piece?

CC: When I set text I’m keenly aware of my responsibility to be true to the poet and the intent of the words she/ he wrote. Because of that, I tend to be very literal in how I work with the words and rarely repeat them or take them out of sequence unless I really feel it’s justified. In this case, I embellished the text with “ah” for several reasons, which are all themes/images from the poem: it was meant to convey a sense of the universal voice that’s present in all people and all cultures through song; it’s used to portray the ultimate freedom of birds in flight; and it’s my way of representing the notion of music that never ends – of music that lives in eternity. Here’s a question about instrumentation. I’m intrigued by your decision to use clarinet in “Goodbye, Then.” Was it primarily to balance with the lower sonorities of the men’s voices, or was it driven by something else? TCT: I wanted to write for an obbligato instrument because I haven’t gotten that chance very often. But, I chose clarinet because it does balance the men’s voices, in timbre and as the other character in the poem’s story. CC: The writing seems very idiomatic. Do you play clarinet? Have you written for it frequently? TCT: I don’t play the clarinet, and this was the second time I’ve written for it (the first was in an aggressive woodwind quintet). But as you know, part of our jobs as composers is to write things that are natural to sing or play. I have a feel for what the clarinet does well, and I wrote with that in mind. “Everyone Sang” is scored with piano, but there are a lot of different textures in your piece – voice pairs, homophony, sectional solos, etc. Are these inspired by the text or are they more about finding the correct pacing? CC: I think the correct answer to both parts of your question is “yes.” As I said earlier, for me everything starts and ends with the poet’s words and I try hard to make sure the music serves the text and never vice versa. Even though Sassoon’s poem is relatively short, it’s full of an amazing array


Star of the North • Spring 2013

TCT: Ah, the age-old question! I think that all really great art brings our emotions and experiences to the surface, and lights them in a way that allows us to see them and ourselves in a new way. This piece should ring true in everyone’s hearts. It should remind them of a time they felt the same way. I could only hope that my piece resonates with people like that. RESOURCES Websites: Texts: Everyone Sang, Siegfried Sassoon Everyone suddenly burst out singing; And I was filled with such delight As prisoned birds must find in freedom, Winging wildly across the white Orchards and dark-green fields; on – on – and out of sight. Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted; And beauty came like the setting sun: My heart was shaken with tears; and horror Drifted away... O, but Everyone Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done. Goodbye, Then, Doug Wilhide We said goodbye then With people there So it wouldn’t be quite so hard. And we had said what we wanted to say Or at least we knew by then What didn’t need to be said, So it wasn’t so hard. We would see each other again Thought we didn’t know when And we could call and talk Across the thousands of miles between us. After all we had known each other All this time

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

And would know each other always and anywhere. So it wasn’t hard.

McNally— Smith College ——of Music

But – both of us – our eyes were tears And the world and the people were not there, And that last hug – How could I not hold you? How could we separate our hearts When we felt them beating together? And how – God, how – could I let go?

Summer —Workshops 2013——

JAZZ—— GUITAR —VOCAL HIP-HOP June 27 — July 2, 2013

ACDA-MN Board & FMC Committee Meeting Minutes posted online at Print This Issue! Click the convenient .pdf version to print individual pages or the entire issue; Or click on the print icon at the top of each interactive page.

VOCAL WORKSHOP After a smashing debut year in 2012, the Vocal Workshop is back for an encore performance! The McNally Smith Vocal Workshop is open to singers who are interested in performing contemporary music including pop, rock, R&B, country and more. Led by McNally Smith’s Voice faculty, local musicians and guest artists, you’ll study vocal technique, music theory, stage presence, ensemble techniques and will receive private vocal instruction.


19 Exchange Street East Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


IN THE NEWS ACDA-MN State Elections Results Congratulations to the following new state board members who will assume their terms on July 1, 2013.

SUSAN ZEMLIN Blaine High School President-Elect

ANDREW BEARD Osseo High School Metro West District Chair

MARIE FLAGSTAD Jackson County Central Schools Southwest District Chair

MATTHEW KRAGE Virginia Public Schools Northeast District Chair

Thank you to the following state board members who have faithfully served our organization:

BRIAN STUBBS Brainerd High School Vice President

PAULA HOLMBERG Minnetonka High School Metro West District Chair

New Directors’ Chorus Attendance Policy To model professional etiquette and high rehearsal standards on the part of singers in the Directors’ Chorus, participants will be asked to honor these basic expectations for involvement beginning with the 2013 Summer Dialogue: • Be on time to all rehearsals • Attend all rehearsals Note: Singers must commit to attending all rehearsals beginning with the 10:00 am rehearsal on Wednesday, August 7. After that date and time, late-arriving Dialogue registrants will be allowed to “audit-only” remaining rehearsals and the Thursday, August 8 All-State Choir performance.


Star of the North • Spring 2013

GREGORY AUNE Gustavus Adolphus College Southwest District Chair

JOSEPH OSOWSKI St. Michael-Albertville High School Northeast District Chair

ACDA NATIONAL AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE Star of the North Newsletter 1991 • 1997 • 1999 • 2003 2005 • 2007 • 2009 • 2011 ACDA-MN Website 2011 Hybrid Website and Newsletter 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

Vocal Essence Session Following two concerts at the ACDA National Convention of all-Mexican music in Dallas (both with standing ovations!) the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers continued the Mexican theme in their morning workshop by presenting new music for grade school, high school and college choirs, that was composed during the VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! Program. This program was inaugurated five years ago to help students in the Twin Cities and beyond learn something about Mexican culture, and especially about choral music. Each year two or three composers traveled from Mexico City to Minnesota and composed music for partner schools that agreed to host a composer for a four-week residency during October, March, and May. During the interest session in Dallas the Ensemble Singers demonstrated music originally composed for singers as young as second grade up to college level. About 150 people attended the session and each of them received a sample reading packet so they could view the music. In addition, two of the ¡Cantaré! Composers – Diana Syrse and Jorge Córdoba – traveled from Mexico to speak to the audience about Mexican music and their own experiences with the program in Minnesota. In order to create a way to make the music available regionally and nationally, VocalEssence has launched VocalEssence Music Press (, an online music publishing service that allows educators to purchase scores via digital download, as well as see perusal scores, listen to recordings, and view pronunciation guides. Many of the pieces also have a free curriculum guide that can be used in the classroom. The list of new Mexican repertoire is expanding as the program continues to grow and create a large impact in our community.

Announcing! Grade 12 Women’s Select Choir Edith Copley, guest conductor to appear in the Alice T. Larsen Legacy Concert Saturday, November 23, 2013 ACDA-MN State Conference St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church • Mahtomedi Minnesota HS Choral Directors will self-select and register their top three grade 12 singers (Soprano 1 • Soprano 2 • Alto) 120 voices accepted on a first-come, first-registered basis. On-Line Registration and Payment opens on September 3, 2013 and will close upon being filled. Registration Cost is $41 per student and includes the following: Guest conductor and accompanist fees, facility rental, lunch, snacks, printing, shuttle bus transportation, and concert CD Grade 12 Select Women’s Choir SSA Repertoire Lift Thine Eyes – Mendelssohn Waters Ripple and Flow – Taylor The Blessing – Bart (Order music titles directly from your preferred music store)

STATE DUES REMINDER Add $15 to Active, Life and Retired Membership categories when renewing your membership with the ACDA National Office.


Mexican Composer Diana Syrse talks about her involvement in the ¡Cantaré! Program

June 15 – Early Rates July 15 – Regular Rates After July 15 – Late Rates Save $ by registering early!

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


IN THE NEWS 2013-14 Honor Choir Season ON-LINE AUDITIONS After two very successful seasons of utilizing an on-line audition process, ACDA-MN will renew its annual contract with provider Opus Events for the 2013-14 audition season. Despite a few small glitches along the way, overall reaction from participating directors and those in honor choir leadership positions have been pleased with the growing positive responses. ACDA-MN Executive Assistant Barb Geier will continue to provide support and assistance to directors and leadership in the coming year. Overall, student auditions set record numbers in three of the five choirs and we look for those numbers to increase next year. Once again, extensive audition rubrics will be posted to assist the director and student in preparing for the recorded audition. In addition, we look forward to posting several actual audition recordings to model student performance. SELECTED CAP PER SCHOOL ACDA-MN honor choir leadership continues to receive positive feedback about placing a cap of selected students per school, giving more students in more schools an opportunity to be involved with the state honor choir program. The selected cap will remain as follows for 2013-14: • 4-5-6 Children – up to 5 students per school/5 total • 7 -8 Boys and 7-8 Girls – up to 5 students per school, per group/10 total • 9 -10 Women and Mixed – up to 5 students per school, per group/10 total Please note that the honor choir chairs reserve the right to slightly modify the cap if student audition scores are skewed too low to effectively and successfully participate in the honor choir program.

2013-14 State Honor Choir Schedule (Audition website will open August 19, 2013)

4-5-6 Children’s Honor Choir Friday, November 22 (new date) ACDA-MN State Conference Event St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church • Mahtomedi Elizabeth Shepley, guest conductor On-Line Auditions Due: Wednesday, October 9 7-8 Girls’ Honor Choir Saturday, November 23 (new date) ACDA-MN State Conference Event St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church • Mahtomedi Nicki Toliver, guest conductor On-Line Auditions Due: Wednesday, October 16 7-8 Boys’ Honor Choir Saturday, November 23 (new date) ACDA-MN State Conference Event St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church • Mahtomedi Andre’-Louis Heywood, guest conductor On-Line Auditions Due: Wednesday, October 16 9-10 Women’s Honor Choir Thursday, February 13, 2014 MMEA Mid-Winter Clinic Event Central Lutheran Church • Minneapolis Julia Fahey, guest conductor On-Line Auditions Due: Wednesday, November 6 9-10 Mixed Honor Choir Thursday, February 13, 2014 MMEA Mid-Winter Clinic Event Central Lutheran Church • Minneapolis Allen Hightower, guest conductor On-Line Auditions Due: Wednesday, November 6

4-5-6 Children’s Honor Choir


Star of the North • Spring 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

7-8 Girls’ Honor Choir

7-8 Boys’ Honor Choir

9-10 Womens’ Honor Choir

9-10 Mixed Honor Choir Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


IN THE NEWS Choral Arts Finale The 8th Annual Choral Arts Finale took place on Sunday, April 14, 2013 on the campus of Concordia University, St. Paul and Benson Great HalI with guest conductor/clinician Dr. Karen Kennedy and coordinated by Dr. David Mennicke. This premier high school choral festival, co-sponsored by ACDA of Minnesota and Concordia University, St. Paul, was once again a resounding success. The day began with massed choir rehearsal of the six choirs under the inspiration of Dr. Kennedy. Each group then received a 20 minute clinic with Dr. Kennedy, gaining insights and growing in musical depth. After supper on the Concordia, St. Paul campus, the groups each had a sound check on the Benson Great Hall stage, culminating with the gala concert that night. Each choir sang a 12 minute program and combined under Dr. Kennedy as a massed choir of 325 singers. Each group also was presented with an engraved plaque, and ACDA 50th Anniversary commemorative certificate, and a $500 award. The Festival also paid for each group’s meal and travel expenses. All of this is made possible by the generous support of David and

Sandy Frauenshuh, supporters of the arts and Concordia University, St. Paul. The five participating high school choirs were chosen by a blind audition process in January. The clinic sessions at Concordia went smoothly and enjoyably, thanks to the gracious hosting of Concordia University, St. Paul choir students and Dr. Kennedy’s enjoyable leadership. She stated: “Thanks again for a wonderful experience this past weekend... This festival was a joyful event, where top-flight choirs had the chance to interact personally and musically. Each group came in wonderfully prepared, and I enjoyed every minute we had together.” The day ended with each group getting sound checks on the Benson Great Hall Stage, leading up to the 7:30 p.m. gala concert. ACDA members were able to again attend the concert for free. Bruce Becker, Executive Director of ACDA of Minnesota, was invaluable as the backstage coordinator, keeping the preconcert sound checks and the concert itself moving smoothly and graciously. The concert program was:

The Concordia University, St. Paul Christus Chorus David L. Mennicke, conductor

Sing Joyfully unto God our Strength��������������������������������William Byrd (1543-1623), ed. David Mennicke Choral Public Domain Library

Adoramus te, Christe���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������Quirino Gasparini (1749-1770) Walton W2177

O Savior, Rend the Heavens Wide (Op. 74, no. 2)������������������������������������� Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) tune: O HEILAND REISS DIE HIMMEL AUF, Rheinfelsisches Gesangbuch (1666)

G. Schirmer 8545

O Viridissima Virga��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������Janika Vandervelde (pub. 1992) Dan Sailer, Jena Helmbrecht, Rachel Vogt, percussionEarthsongs

Always Singing����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������Dale Warland (b. 1932) Graphite GP-W001

Northfield High School Concert Choir Kyle Eastman, conductor • Ruth Legvold, piano

The Ground�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978) Walton Music HL08501774

Dixit Maria����������������������������������������������������������������������������������Hans Leo Hassler (c. 1564-1612) Choral Public Domain Library

Requiem������ Words/Music by Eliza Gilkyson (b. 1950)/arr. Craig Hella Johnson (b. 1961) G. Schirmer, Inc. 50486569

Hard Times Come Again No More�������������words/music by Stephen Foster (1826-1864) arr. Mark Keller, Colla Voce 37-21009


Star of the North • Spring 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

Brainerd High School A Cappella Concert Choir Brian Stubbs, conductor

Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine������������������������� Eric Whitacre (b. 1970) Walton HL08501444

I Will Not Leave You Comfortless�������������������������������William Byrd (1543-1623) ECS No. 1676

Witness����������������������������������������������������������������������������������Jack Halloran (1916-1997) Gentry JG2010

White Bear Lake High School Choraliers Marie Spar Dymit, conductor • Beverly Solberg, accompanist

Laudate Pueri Dominum��������������������������������������������Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) G. Schirmer 12568

Sing Me To Heaven����������������������������������������������������������Daniel Gawthrop (b. 1949) Dunstan House DH9101

Holy Is the Lord������������������������������������������������������������������ Jefferey L. Ames (b. 1969) Colla Voce 18-96690

Cantanti Singers, Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs Philip Brown, conductor • Jennifer Hartsell and Jeffery Patry, accompanists

At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners���������������������� Williametta Spencer (b. 1932) Shawnee Press 35001393

If Music Be the Food of Love�������������������������������������������������������� David Dickau (b. 1953) Colla Voce 36-20109

Mosquitos������������������������������������������������������������������������������������Stephen Chatman (b. 1950) E. C. Schirmer 7.0371

El Vito�������������� Spanish (Andalusian) Folk Song, arranged by Mack Wilberg (b. 1955) Hinshaw Music Company HMC1280

Continued on next page… Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


The Stillwater Choir Erik Christiansen, conductor

If By His Spirit������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (from Jesu, Meine Freude, BWV 227)

ed. Olaf Christiansen (1901-1984) Kjos Music ED 75

Sleep���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������Eric Whitacre (b. 1970) Walton WJMS1035

Agnus Dei: Phoenix�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978) Walton Music WW 1446

2013 Choral Arts Finale Massed Choir

Karen Kennedy, conductor • Nathan Kennedy (Concordia University, St. Paul faculty), piano Where Your Barefoot Walks������������������������������������������������������������������������David N. Childs (b. 1969) Walton WW1397, HL08501695

He’ll Make a Way�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Byron J. Smith (pub. 1996) Onyx Music BJS0001


Star of the North • Spring 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

Feedback from conductors, singers and audience was effusive: “As a veteran of three Choral Arts Finales and many other festivals, I can say that your event surpasses others for being welcoming and thorough in its preparation, for the very classy venues, and for the quality of the clinicians. Each of the three have been among my career highlights.” – Erik Christiansen, The Stillwater Choir conductor “What a lovely evening you organized! All of my parents were thrilled! Thank you for your leadership and wonderful clear emails. The concert was absolutely beautiful!” – Audrey Riddle, Cantanti Singers manager “Thank you so much for a great evening of choral music. The Christus Chorus set the tone and sang beautifully. It was the first time I’ve attended and it was so intelligently set up.” – Phil Mattson, Director of the Phil Mattson Singers, ACDA member, past Voices Iowa director “Dr. Karen Kennedy was outstanding and the choirs were truly incredible. Working in the clinics was beneficial and the timing of the day was nice. I didn’t feel rushed or bored. Overall, it was a great experience.” – Bri Malecha, Northfield High School student “I enjoyed listening to some of the best high school choirs in the state and was happy to be able to sing with them. It was very cool to be able to listen to the other choirs while they were in their clinic. The final concert at the end of the day was extremely fun!” – Jack Lunderby, Northfield High School student

“Thank you for creating this event! Our students had an outstanding day of making wonderful music and, most importantly, great memories with each other and their new friends. Truly, we are all blessed to be a part of a choral community that works so hard, and collectively, to provide opportunities like the Choral Arts Finale for our students.” – Kyle Eastman, Northfield High School Concert Choir conductor “Oh my God, Karen Kennedy was wonderful! I loved her, she made it so much fun! The day went really fast and it was fun to hear the other groups sing AND then hear the critiques.”  – Julia Knight, Cantanti Singers – as told to her parents in the car ride home “As a choral singer myself, I was very impressed with the caliber of singing last night and the concert certainly was one to be very proud of. My wife and I make an effort to see and hear high school performances around the metro and indeed the groups yesterday were some of the best. To learn and perform from such talented directors and musicians is really special and should never be taken for granted. My hat is off to the Frauenshuh family for their generous support of this event and hopefully it can continue for years to come. One last comment about the concert last night: My daughter, Julia, commented very early this morning, ‘I just loved the songs we did last night, I wish we could do the concert again!’ Then she was out the door to school humming one of the pieces...just makes you smile inside doesn’t it? Thanks again! – Scott Knight, Cantanti Singers parent

The 9th Annual Choral Arts Finale will be back at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis next year, on Sunday, April 6, 2014. The guest conductor/clinician for 2014 is Janet Galvan from Ithaca College in New York, continuing the Choral Arts Finale tradition of top flight guest conductors. Auditions for next year’s Festival will be due (using a recording from the fall of 2013) by Thursday, January 9, 2014. The application form and audition instructions will be posted on the ACDA website this summer. Please contact Choral Arts Finale Coordinator David Mennicke at or 651-641-8828 if you have any questions.

2013 ACDA-MN State Conference November 22-23, 2013 A celebration of Women’s Voices: Empowering the Spirit Edith Copley, Headliner St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church Mahtomedi

Haven’t been receiving ACDA-MN emails? Contact Bruce Becker, Executive Director Applications for Performance 2013 State Conference at Deadline: June 1, 2013

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


IN THE NEWS Building Community Through Shared Experiences Each fall, we all work to create a sense of community in our choirs. The shared experience of making music is a wonderfully powerful tool in that endeavor, but it is also helpful for students to have opportunities to interact outside the rehearsal setting. For example, my Concert Choir goes on a daylong retreat in the fall at which we sing together, but MICHAEL WALSH we also play volleyball, do some goal Men’s/Women’s Choir setting, and participate in some teamFestival Chair building activities. We share several Buffalo High School meals together and we see each other Buffalo, MN in a much more relaxed state. After that retreat, I can see a much more cohesive group of students who previously had been juniors and seniors who barely knew each other. While the motivation for this retreat is to achieve a better musical experience, one of the side but equally valuable benefits is that the singers feel a part of something that they were not a part of before. We all know and understand each other a little more than we did before. There are many ways to achieve this sense of community and they are all as unique as the schools and churches in which we make music. It might be as simple as having a potluck supper before a church choir rehearsal or perhaps an annual car wash fundraiser. All that matters is that we have the opportunity to interact with each other in addition to making music together. Another sense of community we try to build in our singers is that they are part of something larger than just their choir. This is one of the best reasons for participating in region contests and festivals. For singers to see and hear that others are also experiencing music in the same way gives added meaning to their own experience. My church choir recently joined with another local church choir to sing for our respective churches. While it was just a couple of rehearsals together and one Sunday morning, it was an exciting experience for both choirs singing with the expanded numbers and joining with other singers. This sense of a larger community can also be developed by participating in festivals sponsored around the state and region by a variety of organizations. My church choir members have thoroughly enjoyed the National Lutheran Choir workshops in January and have also participated in the St. Olaf Festival in November. Many of the colleges and universities host high school festivals that give students the opportunity to sing with other students from around the region and to hear other high schools as well as their own college choirs. These are invaluable experiences for


Star of the North • Spring 2013

students as they see how their life as a singer can continue into college and beyond. One of my favorite festivals of this kind is the Men’s/Women’s Choir Festival hosted by ACDA-MN each fall, but it is not because I coordinate this event that it is one of my favorite opportunities for singers to share in this larger sense of community. It has long been one of my favorite events precisely because it does such a good job of enriching our musical community. First, what could be more exhilarating to a singer than participating in a performance involving nearly a thousand other singers? Again, sharing a common experience with other singers from high schools and colleges across the state. Hearing college choirs from around the state and getting a sense of their opportunities to continue this belonging to a community of singers. And each year when I bring students, I have the ride to and from St. John’s to get to know and understand them better. Additionally, to gives me the opportunity to connect with the community of other choir directors to talk about our own shared experiences. I encourage you to look for and find opportunities like these to add to the sense of community in your choirs. Making music on a daily basis is probably one of the most bonding experiences that singers can have, but finding other ways for singers to interact with each other can only heighten that musical experience. I look forward to seeing you at festivals and workshops and conferences as we give our singers these wonderful community-building experiences. And in particular, I hope to see you and your high school and college singers at the ACDA-MN 24th Annual Combined Men’s/Women’s Choir Festival on Saturday, October 26th on the campus of St. John’s University!

ACDA-MN Award Nominations F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award Minnesota Choral Director of the Year Outstanding Young Choral Director Due on June 1, 2013 Nomination forms available at

ACDA-MN 50th Anniversary Highlights at

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

Macalester College Welcomes Director of Choral Activities Michael C. McGaghie, dma Professor Michael McGaghie conducts the Macalester Concert Choir and Highland Camerata. He also teaches courses in music history, choral literature, and performance practice. Prior to his appointment, Prof. McGaghie served as Director of Choral Activities at The Boston Conservatory and as Assistant Conductor of the Harvard Glee Club. McGaghie holds degrees from Boston University and Harvard College. His dissertation on the music of Minnesotan composer Dominick Argento received the 2010 Julius Herford Prize from the American Choral Directors Association. To learn more about Music at Macalester and the newly reconstructed Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, please visit

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Our Mission: To inspire and support a community of choral musicians in our state •


IN THE NEWS State Conference Update Welcome home!

THOMAS HASSIG President-Elect Prior Lake High School Prior Lake, MN

After careful consideration of many possibilities and at the recommendation of the executive director, the ACDA-MN State Board has decided to establish a permanent home for the annual state conference at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi. Summer Dialogue will continue to move around the state and locate on various college campuses in tandem with the All-State Choir summer camp, but the state conference each November will now be located in Mahtomedi.

This step will enable us to build and maintain a relationship with host St. Andrew’s and its staff. It will enable ACDA-MN to maintain continuity regarding schedule, budgeting, and facilities. It enables conference organizers to build on each year’s successes and eliminates the need to re-invent the conference and its parameters each year for a new location. For ACDA-MN members and conference attendees, this means that St. Andrew’s will become our ‘home’ every fall. It will give us the chance to come home and get re-acquainted with old friends and develop a network of new friends and colleagues. It means that the doubts of whether to submit your group for a conference performance can be reduced, since we will all be familiar with the facilities and a predictable routine. This decision means we can return to the same lodgings, restaurants, and locations each year, and develop new traditions of what it means to belong to ACDA-MN and attend the conference every year. Welcome home! There are no athletic competitions scheduled (yet) and we don’t have any class reunions planned for this fall, but this November promises to be a wonderful homecoming celebration for all conference attendees. As always, Honor Choirs will be an important part of the state conference. Putting a new wrinkle on things, the 4-5-6 Honor Choir will be rehearsing and performing on Friday, with the 7-8 Boys’ and 7-8 Girls’ Honor Choirs rehearsing and performing on Saturday. Also on Saturday will be the Alice T. Larsen Festival, with women’s choirs and treble voices gathering to rehearse and perform under the tutelage of Edith Copley from Northern Arizona University.


Star of the North • Spring 2013

Working backwards, Friday night offers a truly wonderful opportunity to experience choral music at its finest. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, genuinely one of the finest choirs on this planet, will be performing at the Cathedral of St. Paul. ACDA-MN is working to provide special ticket availability and pricing for their concert. Sprinkled throughout the two-day conference will be numerous interest sessions. Currently being developed by your colleagues from throughout the state, these sessions will include information on technology uses in the music/choir classroom, developing artistic/kinesthetic expression in our singers, freeing the female voice for optimum development in our ensembles, student assessment in the choral setting, vocal jazz, and more! Finally the fall conference has traditionally been the chance for members to hear our colleagues’ groups doing what they do best – performing excellent repertoire as only Minnesota choirs can. There’s a reason Minnesota is respected around the nation and the world: top-notch choirs in every corner of the state involving all ages and genres. This could should be the year that we get to hear one of your groups perform. There will be dedicated times in the schedule for choirs to perform and share our art. The most appreciative audience you can perform for and the greatest lifetime memories for your singers can be at a fall conference. Get your recordings together and send them in for consideration. I personally would love to hear your group(s) and am hoping that a record number of submissions force us to include more performance groups. Next year’s gathering may have to be changed to allow for more concerts! What a great way to celebrate our profession, our art, and our passion! Welcome home!

FMC SCHOLARSHIP ­APPLICATIONS Summer Dialogue Scholarship Due on June 1, 2013 Application forms at:

ACDA North Central Conference March 19-22, 2014 Des Moines, IA

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

Cathedral of St. Paul

State Conference

St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church

A Celebration of Women’s Voices: Empowering the Spirit November 22-23 TWENTY-ONE RELEVANT INTEREST SESSIONS Elementary Level

Linda Berger, St. Olaf College            

Middle & High School Level

Relevant Technologies to Stimulate Learning in the Choral Classroom Scott Lipscomb, University of Minnesota

Student Symposium

Edith Copley, Northern Arizona University

Music and Worship/Community Choirs The Aging Female Voice: Exploring the Experience... Implementing Best Practice Iris S. Levin,Vox Femina, Los Angeles, CA Donald Simonson, Iowa State University, Ames, IA Mary Kay Geston, Great River Chorale, St. Cloud Jerry Rubino,Voices of Experience

Vocal Jazz: Style and Rehearsal Techniques Jennifer Parker, McNally-Smith College of Music

7OMENS #HOIRS AND THE &EMALE 6OICE Bret Amundson, College of St. Scholastica Melissa Culloton,Voice Teacher Angela Mitchell, Stillwater Area High School Judy Sagen, Minnesota Valley Women’s Chorale

Artistry & Kinesthetic Movement in Rhearsal Karen Lutgen, Minnehaha Academy

Assessment in the Choral Rehearsal Rick Geiger, Coon Rapids High School


Andrew Beard, Moderator, Osseo High School

NINE OUTSTANDING CHOIR PERFORMANCES THREE STATE HONOR CHOIR CONCERTS 7-8 Boys – Andre’-Louis Heywood, conductor 7-8 Girls – Nicki Toliver, conductor 4-5-6 Children – Elizabeth Shepley, conductor


F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award Minnesota Choral Director of the Year Outstanding Young Choral Director Award Creative Programming Award

TWO SPECIAL EVENTS FRIDAY EVENING CONCERT *Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir Cathedral of St. Paul

SATURDAY AFTERNOON CONCERT A Celebration of Women’s Voices: Empowering the Spirit Honoring the Pioneering Choral Legacy of Alice T. Larsen (1924-1989)

St. Olaf College Manitou Singers Sigrid Johnson, conductor

!#$! -. 'RADE  3ELECT 7OMENS #HOIR Edith Copley, guest conductor

St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church Mahtomedi, MN *Separate concert ticket needed

Combined Concert Choir Women

Chanhassen HS – Sarah Gilbertson, conductor Wayzata HS – Rebecca Wyffels, conductor White Bear Lake HS – Marie Spar Dymit, conductor

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Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state.

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


IN THE NEWS State Conference to Honor Choral Pioneer Alice T. Larsen The legacy of Minnesota choral music pioneer Alice T. Larsen will be honored in special events and associated activities during the 2013 State Conference weekend on November 22 and 23 located at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi. The title of the conference is: A Celebration of Women’s Voices: Empowering the Spirit. A special festival concert event is being planned for Saturday, November 23 that will feature the current Manitou Singers under the direction of Sigrid Johnson, along with a new 120 voice Grade 12 Select ACDA-MN Women’s Choir that will be led by guest conductor and conference headliner Edith Copley of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. In addition to these singers, three high school select women’s choirs from Chanhassen, Wayzata and White Bear Lake High Schools will participate. Event organizers plan to raise funds to support a new Alice T. Larsen scholarship program administered by the FMC Endowment Fund Committee, to award graduate study scholarships to women conductors in Minnesota. In addition to these events, a series of special interest sessions on women’s voices and choirs will be scheduled throughout the conference weekend. Alice T. Larsen (1929-2004) was a professor of voice and conductor of the Manitou Singers at St. Olaf College (1955-1989). In 1992, ACDA-MN presented her with the F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her significant contributions to choral music. She was elected to the Minnesota Music Educators Hall of Fame in 1997, and in 2004 was honored with the Weston H. Noble Lifetime Achievement Award by the ACDA North Central Division. Larsen was the first woman with a full professorship in the St. Olaf College music department, and also was the first woman conductor of the MMEA All-State Choir. She also conducted All-State choirs in Colorado, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, and Wyoming. Over her active career, her contributions to ACDA-MN and throughout the state were noteworthy in the many clinics and interest sessions she presented on the woman’s voice and women’s choirs in particular. She was part of the planning leadership team that developed and organized the first Summer Dialogue program in 1985.

2013 Student Symposium Edie Copley, Clinician/Presenter

ACDA-MN State Conference November 22-23 St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church Mahtomedi


Star of the North • Spring 2013

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Excellence • Integrity • Legacy Community • Classic Impression

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

SCHOLARSHIP AND CD TO HONOR ALICE T. LARSEN Conductor, St. Olaf College Manitou Singers (1956-1983) A new scholarship will honor Alice T. Larsen (1929-2004), professor of voice at St. Olaf College from 1955-1989. In anticipation of the anniversary of Larsen’s 85th birthday, the scholarship will be established through the F. Melius Christiansen (FMC) Endowment Fund of the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota (ACDA-MN). Larsen conducted the St. Olaf College Manitou Singers, taught vocal pedagogy classes, and occasionally directed the St. Olaf Choir. In 1992, ACDA-MN presented her with the F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her significant contributions to choral music. She was elected to the Minnesota Music Educators Hall of Fame in 1997 and in 2004 was honored with the Weston H. Noble Lifetime Achievement Award by the ACDA North Central Division. Larsen was the first woman conductor of the Minnesota All-State Choir and also conducted All-State Choirs in Colorado, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, and Wyoming. A Celebration of Women’s Voices: Empowering the Spirit is the theme of the 2013 ACDA-MN State Conference, which will feature special interest sessions and women’s choirs performing in honor of Larsen’s legacy. A showcase festival concert will include the St. Olaf Manitou Singers under the direction of Sigrid Johnson, the 120-voice ACDA-MN Grade 12 Select Women’s Choir, and the combined concert choir women of Chanhassen, Wayzata and White Bear Lake High Schools, all under the direction of Edith Copley of Northern Arizona University. The concert will take place at 1:30 pm on Saturday, November 23, 2013 at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi MN, the site of the annual ACDA-MN State Conference. In addition, a special commemorative compilation CD of the St. Olaf College Manitou Singers, under Larsen’s leadership, will be produced and available for purchase at the concert event. A complimentary CD will be sent to all those who donate $100 or more to the scholarship fund. Contributions to the Alice T. Larsen Memorial Scholarship may be made on-line at: or sent directly to: FMC Endowment Fund, 12027 Gantry Lane, Apple Valley MN 55124. (Please designate your gift to the Alice T. Larsen Memorial Scholarship Fund.)

Our Mission: To inspire and support a community of choral musicians in our state •


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singers. These particular phrases provide a wonderful opportunity for directors to encourage a light, free sound from developing voices. This piece deserves to be experienced – and perhaps not just by beginning children’s choruses, but by all those where a lovely unison sound is the ideal.



R&S Chair for Children’s and Youth Community Choirs Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs


Caterpillars Crawl Text and Music by Elizabeth Alexander Seafarer Press Two-part Treble Choir and Piano Saint Paul composer Elizabeth Alexander highlights the unsung life of the caterpillar with a playful piano accompaniment (inching right along…), supporting a very accessible vocal line that is perfectly suited for primary-aged singers. Her imaginative poetry will catch the attention of singers and audience alike.

Young singers will be challenged by the 2/2 and 3/2 meter as well as the syncopation found in the last line of each verse, but the charm of the poetry makes the extra time it takes worth the effort. The chmp, chmp, chmp the singers get to make as the caterpillars munch on blades of grass is just one example of the whimsy to be found in this piece. But, the message here is not simply about caterpillars! There is a wonderful lesson for us all as we sing about those who search their caterpillar souls, imagining far higher goals, and nurture what they have inside in hopes of finding more. We are all looking for music that captures our youngest singers’ imaginations, and this one will nurture their spirit as well. Come Closer Daniel Kallman Text by Daniel and Christine Kallman Hal Leonard 08749821 Unison Voices and Piano Beautiful observations of the world around us are to be discovered in this collaboration between Daniel and Christine Kallman. “Come closer little singing bird, I want to see what I have heard” are the first words we hear following a brief, but spellbinding piano introduction. Here, you’ll find a song that features an elegance of simplicity in an immediately memorable vocal line. Particularly suited for beginning singers, the short, but descriptive phrases are enhanced by an easy, waltz-like piano accompaniment. And though the range lies just within an octave from D to D, the upper pitches are expertly positioned so as to be easily attained with a dynamic breath from the

Star of the North • Spring 2013

This Little Light of Mine Arranged by Ken Berg Colla Voce 20-96460 Unison with Cello and Piano A solo cello and a finely crafted piano accompaniment add weight and sophistication to this lovely arrangement by Ken Berg. Unlike most versions of this traditional spiritual, the pace is stately, providing plenty of opportunity for a long, legato line from the voices. Children will enjoy singing the slightly altered melody line, which has the quality of a soloist improvising on the spot. Verse two allows a soloist or small group to be featured in alternating phrases with the cello. The biggest challenge here for younger voices is breath control, but the mostly two-measure phrases make it possible. And a full forte dynamic is not called for until halfway through the final verse, so pacing the size of the ensemble’s sound is key to the success of this piece. The universal nature of this text makes it a great choice for programs in schools or in a church setting. Cantate Domino Text and Music by Jesús López Moreno VocalEssence Music Press VEMP-1002-PDF (PDF/Instant Download) VEMP-1002-PRT (Printed Score) SA and Organ or Piano We have Philip Brunelle to thank for bringing choral music and composers from Mexico to the attention of American choirs and their audiences. This selection, from the VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! Series, is a wonderful example of the kind of interesting and exciting choral music being composed in Mexico today. Many of the offerings on the ¡Cantaré! Series were written as the result of a year-long exchange between composers from Mexico and local school music programs. This arrangement of the Cantate Domino text is infused with buoyancy, thanks to a lilting, sixteenth-note introduction for piano or organ in a meter that shifts between 9/8 and 6/8. Don’t be intimidated by the Spanish – it repeats and is easily learned over time by most elementary-aged singers. The word cantad! (“sing!”) is passed back

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

and forth between the altos and sopranos, with harmony in thirds on the verse. The final refrain hands off the melody and first entrances to the altos, while the sopranos respond with a soaring line above for a great finish. Hush! Somebody’s Callin’ Your Name Rollo Dilworth Hal Leonard 08552358 This imaginative arrangement by Rollo Dilworth was commissioned for Sylvia Munsen and the Ames Children’s Choirs for their 2011 Midwest Children’s Choir Festival. Rollo’s work here demonstrates just how well he understands the children for whom he composes. Hush! Somebody’s Callin’ My Name would most likely have been one of those spirituals that served as a reminder to the slaves to listen for messages of hope around them as they worked in the fields The piece begins with the children singing the word hush, with a dramatic but effective separation before the “sh” sound is articulated. The vocal parts are fun to sing, infused with blues notes throughout, and complimented with a slow, gospel feel in the piano accompaniment. The closing measures are very slow, dividing into four-part harmony on the word hush, with the final “sh” lingering and fading away – a stunningly effective close, requiring much finesse from both director and singers! Sound the Trumpet Henry Purcell, edited by James Erb Alfred Publishing LG00787 SA with Piano Accompaniment From the Birthday Ode, Come, Ye Sons of Art, written for the birthday of Queen Mary in 1694, this is a wonderful vocal duet that works well for a concert or set opener. Though the editor indicates “for Chorus of Women’s Voices,” it is delightful to hear from a children’s chorus.

UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS Choral Music Featuring a Master of Arts in Music Education, choral concentration Summer professional development opportunities for practicing choral music educators Intermediate Choral Conducting, 2 cr. Angela Broeker, D.M.A. • July 15-26 Advanced Choral Conducting, 2 cr. Angela Broeker, D.M.A. • July 15-26 Teaching Choral Music to Young Singers, 2 cr. Angela Broeker, D.M.A. • July 1-5 (no class July 4) French Diction for Singers, 1 cr. Alan Bryan, D.M.A. • July 8-12 Repertoire for Mature Adolescent Voices, 2 cr. Matthew Culloton, D.M.A. • July 29-Aug. 2 Orff Schulwerk in the Middle School Choral/General Classroom, 2 cr. Jo Ella Hug • July 15-19 Choral Score Study and Literature I, 2 cr. Angela Broeker, D.M.A. • June 17-28 Audit/workshop, degree and nondegree rates available. SUMMER GRADUATE FACULTY Angela Broeker, Alan Bryan, Jo Ella Hug, Matthew Culloton


There are fantastic opportunities in this piece to work on a variety of articulations and dynamic variations that add great interest. Introducing choral music from the Baroque period to your singers may seem like a daunting task, but encouraging them to work out the vocal melismas on their fingers like guitar riffs may be the key to making it relevant (not to mention, clean). This piece is a great vehicle for building vocal technique in young singers. College of Arts and Sciences

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


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R&S Chair for Boychoirs Land of Lakes Choirboys


Ose Shalom (The One Who Makes Peace) John Leavitt Hal Leonard 08703343 2-part with piano and optional Bb clarinet, violin, cello and contrabass Also available: HL 08703341 SATB and HL 08703342 SAB This is a beautiful setting of a Traditional Hebrew Text. A great multi-cultural piece sung entirely in Hebrew. I would use this song to introduce singing in a minor key. Perhaps using solfege to set the key and introducing accidentals differentiating between ra and ri, fa and fi, and sol and si. There is some very simple parallel third movement in the second half of the song, which can be used to introduce part singing. I would highly recommend adding the Bb clarinet when performing this composition. He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother Bob Russell and Bobby Scott, arranged by Jay Althouse Alfred 11651 2-part/SSA with piano Also available: 11649 SATB or 11650 SAB This song is perfect for those who want to convey to their boys’ choirs that they are a part of brotherhood, “But I’m strong, strong enough to carry him. He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.” I would recommend the fairly simple three part optional singing, but the two-part is still wonderful. This song, to me, is all about the text and caring for neighbor and friend, or in my case, the other boys of the choir. Spending time talking about what it means to take care of one another and what it means to be a part of the larger “brotherhood” of boys’ choirs is a great way to create an understanding of the music, which serves the text very well. The Father’s Love

Star of the North • Spring 2013

Simon Lole GIA Publications, Inc., G-4179 Two treble voices and organ Royal School of Church Music Series This song is perfect for that large worship space setting. The St. John’s Boys’ Choir performed this at my wedding and it can be found on one of their recordings. This song is perfect for achieving the beautiful unison line and an understanding of the phrase. I would teach this song on the ‘u’ vowel to create a sense of roundness and warmth. Teaching the music phrase by phrase will help support the work necessary to work toward completing each phrase in the music. The song develops into two parts and creates a perfect situation to teach how wonderfully beautiful the tension of dissonance can be. The Lord Comes Gary Alan Smith Abingdon Press 068704385 Unison or Two-part and keyboard This setting of sacred text suitable for Advent or Palm Sunday, dances throughout in compound duple and triple meter. The boys enjoyed this piece especially because of its energy and movement. With a modulation about two-thirds into the song I used this to teach about harmonic structure. Helping the choristers hear how the V7 chord leads us to the I chord. It is also an easy piece to practice sight-singing.

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

7th Annual Choral Arts Finale, Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis

Show Me Your Ways Joe Cox Abingdon Press 0687345812 Unison (optional Two-part) and piano The text is based on Psalm 25, “Show me your ways and teach me your paths and lead me in your way.” The song is repetitive adding to its mantra of preparing for the coming season. I am a huge fan of introducing mixed meters at a young age and this is the perfect piece. Dancing in and out of 5/8 and 3/4 the choristers would learn to subdivide the 5/8 measure into two beats and three beats. I included a motion of lifting to their tip-toes on each subdivision so they could feel the sub-beats. I also used count-singing to help them develop the basic understanding of the internal beat. Beneath the African Sky Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory Two-part with piano and optional oboe Based on a true story of a girl lost during the raid of her village this song teaches of hope and perseverance. When we performed it we substituted soprano recorder in place of oboe. As with most Caldwell and Ivory pieces this is a stunningly beautiful song. The lessons learned are not merely musically based, but real life lessons. Musically speaking, this is a great way to introduce the battle of two against three. Since it does tell somewhat of a story I would work hard on enunciation so the message of the song is not lost in the beauty of the music.

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Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


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JONATHAN KOPPLIN R&S Chair for Ethnic and Multicultural Perspectives Richfield High School Richfield, MN


Below, I have listed six ethnic and multicultural pieces for a variety of skill levels that I have come across over the past twelve months. I have intentionally attempted to pull from six different publishers in an effort to encourage you to continue to explore new avenues in your search for repertoire. Many good compositions have been published recently and more will be shared with the membership at the Summer Dialogue in August. Pallaanda Arranged by Ethan Sperry earthsongs #S-359 TBTB Also available: SASA arrangement S-360 In recent years, Dr. Ethan Sperry has arranged a number of pieces based upon Indian ragas. Pallaanda is a rhythmic piece for double men’s choir based upon the South Indian raga Shulini. Set primarily in a swiftly moving 5/8, the texture thickens as the piece progresses as additional rhythmic and melodic motives are added. In general, the melodic material is not complex to learn once the singers understand the notes of the raga. This would be a great festival piece for either men or women. Fuyu No Uta Arranged by Rachel Stenson Santa Barbara Music Publishers #SBMP-979 SA, piano Also see: Randy and Rachel Stenson Choral Series Rachel Stenson teaches vocal music and general music courses at St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo, Japan. Fuyu No Uta is a piece about snow with Japanese and English text that is well suited for a beginning elementary choir. Written in ABA form, the piece begins with melodic material shared between the two vocal parts. The soprano section introduces a higher descending melodic line at bar 30. The B section is set apart by the slowing of the tempo and a modulation to C minor. The A section returns at measure 70, and pairs the higher melody in the soprano line with the original melodic material sung by the altos.

Star of the North • Spring 2013

Munoera Lee R. Kesselman Boosey & Hawkes #48021023 SSA, percussion Also See: Shona Mass (Boosey & Hawkes 48019348) Munoera is an excerpt from Lee Kesselman’s larger work, Shona Mass. Combining the Shona language of Zimbabwe with traditional Latin, Munoera is the “Sanctus” portion from the mass ordinaries. The various percussion instruments provide the rhythmic foundation in 12/8 meter alternating between duple and triple figures. The key shifts back and forth between F major and B flat major, with B flat serving as the key for the “Hosanna” sections of the text. Written for an SSA vocal ensemble the voicing is flexible enough to be performed by a men’s ensemble or mixed choir. Overall, the Munoera is an outstanding festive piece to add to your normal concert year, or a piece to consider for a larger festival. Two Brazilian Folk Songs Arranged by Lon Beery & Elisa Dekaney Carl Fischer #CM9251 Three-part Mixed (optional Baritone), keyboard, percussion, and 2 flutes (optional) Beery and Dekaney’s arrangement pairs two songs: Peixe Vivo features the men and the soprano sections, and Pirulito utilizes a more homophonic texture. In recent years, Carl Fischer has made an effort to be consumer friendly in helping music educators teach the choral score with “part-by-part” recordings available for download, allowing students to rehearse on their own.  Another valuable feature is a comprehensive Portuguese Pronunciation guide found within the front cover. Les Draveurs de la Gatineau Arranged by Stephen Hatfield Cypress Choral Music #CP1204 SSATB with piano Cypress Choral Music is one of the finest publishers of choral music in Canada, and a great resource to find quality choral literature. Stephen

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

Hatfield is a prolific arranger and composer who publishes much of his work through Boosey & Hawkes, but as a native Canadian, publishes some of his repertoire through Cypress. Les Draveurs de la Gatineau is an arrangement of a French Canadian folk song common in the logging community. Hatfield’s treatment of the arrangement is reminiscent of Johannes Brahms’ choral art songs with a lush piano accompaniment that enhances the character of the piece. For a full recording and sample of the score visit the Cypress website at: My Journey Yours Elise Witt, arranged by Michael Holmes Non Si Sa Mai Music – EWCS #1006 SATB and percussion See Also: Atlanta based composer and musician Elise Witt works with Michael Holmes to create arrangements of her compositions for choirs, publishing independently through her website. Witt exhibits an eclectic style that frequently fuses musical traits of a variety of global cultures with jazz idioms. My Journey Yours was created in collaboration with Refugee Family Services out of Clarkston, GA. The phrase “My Journey Yours” was translated into multiple languages to emphasize that regardless of one’s nation of origin, the refugee’s journey is a familiar experience to all. This spring I have programmed another of Witt’s compositions, Thank You, with my vocal jazz ensemble, but My Journey Yours is a piece that is near the top of my list of compositions to program in the future.

Don’t Miss… 2013 Summer Dialogue August 6-9 St. John’s University Collegeville Karen Kennedy, headliner and ACDA-MN Directors’ Chorus Guest Conductor Our Mission: To inspire and support a community of choral musicians in our state •


IN REMEMBRANCE... Lester G. Mahla, age 74, of Rochester, MN, died on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, following a courageous seven-year battle with cancer.

John R. Poliseno, age 88, a resident of Little Falls, passed away Saturday, April 6, 2013, at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls.

He was born in Elk Mound, WI, on August 28, 1938, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held Thursday, April 11, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Little Falls, with Father Nicholas Landsberger officiating. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery in Little Falls.

Les loved music and influenced many people through the years as he taught and directed many musical groups in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. He directed the Northwestern Singers in Austin, MN, for many years, was involved in many Summerset Theater productions, and was influential in starting many other choral groups in the area. He also loved being a floral arranger at Carousel Floral in Rochester, and was involved with musical groups at Peace United Church of Christ in Rochester. Over the past few years his involvement in the TCGMC was also a big part of his life. Les was proud of his family and cherished time spent together. He will be dearly missed by his children, Rachelle Benson (Pete) and Ronson Mahla (Kerri); grandchildren, David, Aaron, Luke, Paul, and Kesech; and many other friends. He is preceded in death by his parents and brother. Sieber, Dr. Richard E. age 86, died peacefully surrounded by family March 18, 2013. Born and raised in Wisc., he was a WWII Vet, and earned his Doctorate in Music. He expressed his passion for music through teaching, mentoring, and conducting numerous local, national, and international orchestras and choirs. He co-created U of M Summer Musicians Project Camp as well as Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS). His curiosity of life and love of people inspirited the hearts of many.

John Robert Poliseno was born in Ishpeming, Michigan, July 12, 1924, to the late Leonard and Carmella (DiBrito) Poliseno. At the age of four, the family moved to Dilworth, where he attended elementary school and graduated from high school. He graduated from Moorhead State with a BA and BS in music and a minor in French, Spanish, and English. At Moorhead State, he was active in Who’s Who, Student Commission, Music and Owls Fraternity. John also did graduate work at Northwestern University in Evanston in Illinois and at the University of Minnesota. He also took part in the National Defense Act in Spanish at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His first teaching position was at Custer County High School in Miles City, Montana, where he spent 11 years teaching vocal music. In 1956, he married Louise Oberlander in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and moved to Little Falls in 1957. In 1957, he started teaching vocal music, French, and Spanish, and retired after 29 years. He was active in the Teacher’s Association. John was a member of the Knights of Columbus and St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Little Falls. As a member of St. Mary’s Parish, John directed the St. Mary’s Men’s Choir for 13 years. John is survived by his wife Louise; children, David (Beth) Poliseno of Mendota Heights, Tom (Tammy) Poliseno of Princeton Junction, N.J., Mark Poliseno of Roseville and Maryanne Poliseno of Minneapolis; four grandchildren, Heather, Jenni, Samantha and Lauren; and sister, Mary Narum of Fargo, N.D. He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Anthony Poliseno.

Survived by his sister, Alice (Rod); children, Andrea, Jami (Agu), Kurt (Eiko), Liesle (Glenn); his grandchildren, Chris, Stephanie, Jason, Zac, Emily, Karina, Sam, Maggie and his extended family Beth, Jenny (Mike), Zeke, Maddie, Francesca, Zela, two nieces, four nephews, and children. Memorials can be sent to GTCYS. A celebration of life is scheduled for a later date. Editor’s Note: The Bethlehem Lutheran Senior Choir under the direction of Dr. Richard Sieber, appeared on the 1978 ACDA North Central Division Conference program held in Minneapolis.


Star of the North • Spring 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

Gabrielsen, Stephen “Gabe,” age 73, of Golden Valley, MN, passed away peacefully Monday, April 8th, 2013 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. Gabe taught 47 years as a professor of music at his beloved Augsburg College. He received his doctorate of music performance in classical organ in 1994 from the University of Minnesota. He is survived by loving wife of 48 years, Kathleen; children, Elizabeth, Joseph (Heidi); grandchildren, Micah, Ada; brother, Thomas (Margy) of Grand Forks, ND and many family, friends, colleagues and former students. He was preceded

in death by parents, Thomas and June Gabrielsen; brothers, Burton, K. David. A Musical Memorial Celebration was held at 11:30 AM Saturday, April 27 at the Hoversten Chapel (Foss Center) at Augsburg College, 2211 Riverside Avenue Minneapolis, MN. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Dr. Stephen “Gabe” Gabrielsen Memorial Scholarship (Gabrielsen Scholarship noted on the check) – Augsburg College, Advancement Department, CB 142, 2211 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55454. A special thanks to Touching Hearts at Home health care agency for their extraordinary & compassionate care. Cremation Society of MN, 763-560-3100.


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Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •



Saint John’s University – Collegeville, Minnesota

Our Featured Headliners

Karen Kennedy ACDA-MN Directors’ Chorus Session: Idol Worship: Pop Stars, Students, and Singing in the Choir Friday, August 9, 2:20 pm

Sandra Peter MMEA All-State Women’s Choir Session: The Choral Experience: Where Does It Begin? Celebrating the Legacy of Inspiration Thursday, August 8, 9:00 am

J. Michael Scheibe MMEA All-State Mixed Choir Session: Consonants and Vowels: Keys to Intonation Success Wednesday, August 7, 9:00 am

Lee Nelson MMEA All-State Men’s Choir Session: From Practice to Performance: Instilling Passion, Defining Priorities and Exploring the Process Friday, August 9, 9:00 am

Early Registration Rates available until June 15 On-line Registration and Information available at:


Star of the North • Spring 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

ON THE MAIN STAGE THROUGH AUGUST 31, 2013 Double Discounts f o Summer! r

Group Discounts for every ! performance

Ask about new audition workshops led by Artistic Director Michael Brindisi 952-934-1525

C H A N H A S S E N D T. C O M

Five By Design

Workshops | Seminars | Performances Alton Accola | t 651.335.5466


The Twin Cities based Five By Design is celebrating its 20th season having appeared with more than 200 symphony orchestras. As one of Minnesota’s most prestigious touring artists, Five By Design has published vocal arrangements as part of its American Songbook series. We invite Minnesota music educators to consider bringing Five By Design to your school and community for the 2013-2014 school year.

Meet us at the 2013 Summer Dialogue in the Great Hall at St. John’s University

Photo: Five By Design with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


ACDA-MN Districts


Star of the North • Spring 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support



BRUCE W. BECKER ACDA-MN Executive Director

One of the most important and intentional values that we share within ACDA-MN is that of community building. It is apparent in the mission statement officially adopted by the State Board of Directors in 2008: Our Mission is to support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state. It was further highlighted and emphasized in the 2012 statement of values or foundational pillars of ACDA-MN: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support. In addition, one of the artistic concepts used to create the new ACDA-MN corporate logo is prominently featured in the “community of batons” that is realized in the symbol of the star. From my unique vantage point as your Executive Director, I have the opportunity to observe first-hand, how our outstanding state leadership team develops all events and activities that support community among us. Our ten honor choir co-chairs set forth standardized procedures and audition/ selection criteria that keep hundreds of choral directors and thousands of students and their parents all on the same page. Together, these massive honor choir projects are the largest group activity we sponsor each year. Our community is purposeful about providing select music performance opportunities for your students. Our State Conference planning team meets to select a theme, invite and schedule headliners, develop performance application criteria, select the choirs, reserve and schedule conference and hotel facilities, mentor and provide leadership to the auditioned and invited choirs, provide ease of registra-

tion, and arrange for special social events. Everything that is planned for us, and that we experience together at this yearly event, supports our community. Our Summer Dialogue leadership group plans and organizes new music reading sessions, relevant interest sessions and social events, all with the goal of developing and nourishing our choral community throughout this much-anticipated annual event each August. While all of our annual events and activities nurture this community among us, perhaps the most important component of building community is recent re-development of our award-winning communication tools. By all accounts, the launch of the new ACDA-MN website and subsequent sending of The Daily Beat initiated last August, have all been viewed as a tremendous success in helping to establish a sense of community among our membership. Along with our three annual outstanding and informative on-line issues of the Star of the North state newsletter and an active Facebook page, our continuing goal and intention is to keep our membership informed and connected with each other through this professional organization. That’s our vision for building community... being connected with and for each other. I look forward to the exciting future, as we continue to develop these and additional vital connections, and support your important work in and through the community of ACDA-MN.


That’s all for now…time for a rest!

Our Mission: To support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state •


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Online Renewal: Fax or mail: ACDA 545 Couch Drive Oklahoma City, OK 73102-2207 Phone: 405-232-8161 x110 Fax: 405-232-8162 (no cover sheet please)

2. Name First Name

Middle Name

Last Name

(If there are no changes in your membership info skip to #6)


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Boy Children & Youth Community Ethnic & Multicultural Girls Jazz Men SATB / Mixed Show Choir Women

Address 2: City: State / Province: Postal Code / Country: (








Last 4 # of SSN

4. Choir & Activity Types - Mark your current areas of involvement. Mailings are based upon these selections

3. Mailing Address



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Primary: ACDA Student Chapter College & University Community Elementary Junior High / Middle School Music in Worship Professional Sr. High School Supervisor / Administrator Two-Year College Youth & Student Activities

As a member, I support the mission and purposes of the American Choral Directors Association.

I would like to receive email notications from ACDA.

5. ACDA Membership - Including Choral Journal Subscription Visit our web site for a description of these types.

One Year Two Years Three Years 00 00 Active (US and Canada) $95. $190. $285.00 00 00 Active Iowa (Active members who live in the state of Iowa) $98. $196. $294.00 Active Minnesota (Active members who live in the state of Minnesota) $110.00 $220.00 $330.00 00 00 International (Those outside the US & Canada - payment must be in U.S. dollars) $135. $270. $405.00 00 00 Retired $45. $90. $135.00 Retired Minnesota (Retired members who live in the state of Minnesota) $60.00 $120.00 $180.00 00 00 Student (full and part-time students at any level) $35. $70. $105.00 Associate (Choral Singers, Administrators & non-directors) $95.00 $190.00 $285.00 00 00 Associate Minnesota (Administrators & non-directors who live in Minnesota) $110. $220. $330.00 00 00 Institution (Ensemble or School/Church Music Dept.) $110. $220. $330.00 Industry (Music-related businesses) $135.00 $270.00 $405.00 00 00 Paying Life** (Make a lifetime commitment) $2,000. Annual Installment of $200. or greater $__________ **(To qualify for life membership, you must have been an active member of ACDA for a minumum of 10 years) 6. Payment - Payable to ACDA in US Dollars. Total: $ Check #_________________ (Enclosed) Do not fax if mailing a check Visa



American Express

PO_______________ (PO form & this form must arrive together)

Membership will be renewed upon receipt of payment.

___ ___ ___ ___ - ___ ___ ___ ___ - ___ ___ ___ ___ - ___ ___ ___ ___ Expiration Date: ___ ___ / 20 ___ ___

C V V 2 Code: ___ ___ ___

Name on Card:__________________________________________ Signature: _______________________________________________ Billing Address:___________________________________________ Date: _______________________ ______________________________________________________ I agree to pay the total according to the credit card issuer agreement and acknowledge that all sales are nal unless duplicate payment is made, © ACDA Revised January 27, 2011


Star of the North • Spring 2013

Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

ACDA of Minnesota State Conference

APPLICATION FOR CHORAL PERFORMANCE OR *DEMONSTRATION CHOIR St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church • Mahtomedi • November 22 & 23, 2013

Name of Director ______________________________________________________________________ ACDA Member #___________ Exp Date_________ Street_____________________________________________________________ City___________________________ State _____ Zip________________ Home Phone____________________________ Cell Phone_______________________ Home Email ____________________________________________ Name of Organization/Institution ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Street______________________________________________________________ City___________________________ State _____ Zip_______________ Office Phone_________________________________________ Office Email ________________________________________________________________ Name of Ensemble_________________________________________________________________ Voicing: Size of Ensemble _________

Circle Level:



High School

Junior HS

Middle School



SATB etc. ______________




*Special Note: The State Conference planning committee seeks to feature successful auditioned or non-auditioned choirs from smaller school or developing choral programs at the elementary, middle or high school level as part of the Friday afternoon conference schedule. ____We wish to be considered as a demonstration choir with the opportunity to work with a clinician. The clinic length will be up to three selections and not the usual 25 minute program.

Size of student enrollment K-12 ______

Size of high school graduating class ________

RECORDINGS SUBMITTED WITH THIS APPLICATION: Include contrasting selections from the last two years, including at least one a cappella selection, if possible. Indicate the year each selection was recorded and check whether performance is edited or unedited. TITLE



















RECORDING SPECIFICATIONS: 1) Must be a CD; 2) Submit complete selections only; 3) Total recording time should be between 8 and 15 minutes; 4) Put your name and the name of the ensemble on the CD and the CD cover; 5) Show Choirs are required to submit a DVD. PRINTED PROGRAMS (or copies) MUST be submitted with the corresponding recording. These programs should reference material on the recording. PERFORMANCE PROGRAM – Applicant is invited to submit possible repertoire for the conference performance on the reverse side of this form or on another sheet. Note: Total time for program, including applause, may not exceed 25 minutes. MAILING SCHEDULE • June 1 – Application, recordings and program must be received by ACDA of Minnesota Executive Director • June 15 – Applicant will receive written notification for acceptance or non-acceptance ELIGIBILITY • Conductor must be a member of ACDA, and employed in the same position for the previous two years. ACDA does not assume any financial responsibility for travel, food, or lodging for performance groups. This application implies that the above named group is prepared to travel to and perform at the conference if accepted. • On reverse side, list ACDA state conference appearances in the past five years. In the interest of fairness, ACDA reserves the right to select ensembles who have not recently been heard on conference programs. • Failure to comply with any or all of the specifications in this application will automatically disqualify your application. • ACDA reserves the right to approve any applications for appearance and to edit all material proposed for distribution. • Audition recordings will be returned only if address label and return postage is included. ____________________________________________________________________ Director’s Signature Date Send audition application by June 1, 2013 to:

____________________________________________________________________ Administrator’s Signature Date

Bruce W. Becker, Executive Director 12027 Gantry Lane • Apple Valley MN 55124

Spring 2013 ACDA Star of the North  

The Spring 2013 edition of the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota chapter Star of the North publication.