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Relevant • Resourceful • Respected

Volume 42, Issue 3 Spring 2014

29th Annual Summer Dialogue

August 5-8, 2014 Concordia College Moorhead, MN

Special Preview Inside on page 41.

Jo Ann Miller

Jonathan Reed

Brad Holmes

Greg Gilpin

René Clausen

Ruth Dwyer

Mary Kay Geston Brandon Williams


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Star of the North • Spring 2014

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

Audition for the VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers 2014-2015 Season |

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




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Star of the North • Winter 2014

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


• To foster and promote choral singing, which will provide artistic, cultural, and spiritual experiences for the participants. • To foster and promote the finest types of choral music to make these experiences possible. • To foster and promote the organization and development of choral groups of all types in schools and colleges. • To foster and promote the development of choral music in the church and synagogue. • To foster and promote the organization and development of choral societies in cities and communities. • To foster and promote the understanding of choral music as an important medium of contemporary artistic expression. • To foster and promote significant research in the field of choral music. • To foster and encourage choral composition of superior quality. • To foster and promote international exchange programs involving performing groups, conductors, and composers. • To foster and encourage rehearsal procedures conducive to attaining the highest possible level of musicianship and artistic performance. • To cooperate with all organizations dedicated to the development of musical culture in America. • To disseminate professional news and information about choral music.

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


ACDA of Minnesota Board of Directors President��������������������������������� Thomas Wm. Hassig Vice President���������������������������������� Steven Albaugh President-Elect������������������������������������ Susan Zemlin Secretary�����������������������������������Gillian Teoh-Berbee Central District Chair���������������������������Kathy Pauls Metro East District Chair���������������Daryl Timmer Metro West District Chair�������������Andrew Beard Northeast District Chair���������������������� Matt Krage Northwest District Chair�����������������Shelly Wahlin Southeast District Chair������������ Elizabeth Shepley Southwest District Chair��������������� Marie Flagstad Student Representative���������������������� Joshua Smith Star of the North Editor�������������� Bret Amundson

ACDA of Minnesota Staff Director of Development��������������Diana J. Leland Web Editor�������������������������������������������������Tom Hale 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��������������������������Randy Schafer Jazz Choirs��������������������������������������������Laura Tempel Junior High/Middle School Choirs���� Sue Gilsdorf Male Choirs................................... Michael Culloton Music and Worship����������������������������������� Sean Vogt 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������������������������������������Allan Hawkins •••

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 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 Fall 2014����������������������������������������������������������8/15/14 Winter 2015....................................................1/10/15 Spring 2015......................................................4/11/15


Star of the North • Spring 2014



President’s Cue........................................................................9 Student Podium���������������������������������������������������������������������21 FMC Endowment Update���������������������������������������������������26 Scholarship Shorts����������������������������������������������������������������28 Emerging Conductor’s Network���������������������������������������29 Commissioning Corner�������������������������������������������������������30


MMEA Update����������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 32


ACDA-MN Schedule of Events������������������������������������������40 Children and Youth........................................ 46 Boychoirs......................................................... 48 Ethnic and Multicultural Choirs������������������50 Show & Popular Music Choirs.................... 52 The Last Word, Bruce Becker............................................... 56

STAR PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT: Waconia Elementary Schools��������������������������������������������� 10 GUEST FEATURES: Teacher Self-Preservation: Tips for Maintaining Your Best Voice, Robin Samlon and Jeremy N. Manternach��������������� 12 FROM THE FIELD: Inspired by Great Teachers, Elizabeth Shepley����������������� 22 The Beautiful Voices of Middle School Students: Are We Listening, Marie Flagstad������������������������������������������������������� 24




LEGACY An Interview With Chet Sommers, Rolf Anderson��������������16 Transforming Singers Into Community – November 21-22, 2014 State Conference, Sue Zemlin���������������������������������������31 Choral Arts Finale���������������������������������������������������������������������������34 Honor Choirs����������������������������������������������������������������������������������40 In The News On-line Registration�������������������������������������������������������������������42 New Forms Link��������������������������������������������������������������������������42 Leadership Changes��������������������������������������������������������������������43 Summer Dialogue Registration������������������������������������������������44 ACDA-MN and VocalEssence Honored by Meet Minneapolis��������������������������������������������������������������44



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

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


ACDA-MN State Conference����� 41 ACDA-MN Summer Dialogue���� 58 Accolades International Tours����� 29 Augustana College������������������������� 49 Banjar, Inc����������������������������������������� 42 Chanhassen Dinner Theatre�������� 59 Concordia University�������������������� 23 Concert and Study Tours������������� 33 FMC Endowment Fund����������������� 54 Gateway Festivals������������������������������5 Grand Tours������������������������������������� 58 Groth Music������������������������������������ 53

JW Pepper��������������������������������������� 25 Make Music, Inc.���������������������������������4 Popplers Music�������������������������������� 47 University of Minnesota-Duluth� 11 University of Northwestern�������� 59 University of St. Thomas��������������� 51 University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse������������������� 62 VocalEssence��������������������������������������3 Wartburg College�������������������������� 15 Wenger Corporation�����������������������2 Westmark Productions����������������� 11

WELCOME NEW ACDA MEMBERS! Mark Abelsen – Metro West, Excelsior Sarah Abelsen – Metro West, Excelsior Nicole Alaspa – Northeast, Esko Sebastian Armendariz – Metro West, Brooklyn Park Kristin Baty – Southeast, Mankato Isabel Braga-Henebry – Metro East, St. Paul Joan Brauen – Central, Foley Randal Bulkema – Metro West, Minneapolis Nicholas Chambers – Metro West, Twin Cities Jaci Decker – Central, Big Lake Deborah DeVaney – Northeast, Superior Erik Doucette – Metro West, Burnsville Gretchen Eckes – Metro West, Maple Grove Benjamin Ellison – Northeast, Duluth Lenora Evans – Northeast, Deer River Hailey Feltis – Southeast, Faribault Thomas Gerber – Southeast, Austin Nicholas Hart – Metro West, Minneapolis Beth Hofferber – Metro East, Burnsville Alexander Jacques – Metro West, Columbia Heights Kristin Johnson – Southeast, Blue Earth Robb Johnson – Northwest, Roseau Alissa Kludtke – Southeast, Byron

Barbara Lawrence-Windholz – Metro East, St. Paul Kelsey Letourneau – Metro East, White Bear Lake Hannah Lindahl – Metro East, Shoreview Will Lopes – Metro East, Roseville Nancy MacGibbon – Northeast, Silver Bay Michelle Porter – Metro West, Minneapolis Stephanie Randolph – Central, Waite Park Patricia Rice – Metro West, Plymouth Lori Sager – Metro East. Woodbury Charity Salmonson – Northwest, Winger Steve Sandberg – Metro East, Lakeville Elliott Skogen – Metro East, St. Paul Susan Snorek – Metro West, Waconia Erick Sood – Metro East. Lakeville Cindy Stay – Central, Foley Nicki Toliver – Metro East, Coon Rapids Aaron VanDanacker – Metro East, St. Paul Elizabeth Vert – Northwest, East Grand Forks Mary Vogel – Southeast, Rochester Nikita Welder – Southeast, Blue Earth Andrea Whitcomb – Metro East, Andover Tyrie Williams – Metro West, Plymouth Courtney Zupancich – Southeast, Winona

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 inspire and support a community of choral musicians in our state •


EDITOR’S REMARKS Big changes are coming to your Star of the North! In the Winter 2014 Star of the North issue, ACDAMN Executive Director, Bruce Becker, introduced the ACDA-MN community to our newest project – Star of the Star of the replaces our current magazine design with individual and easily accessed web-based articles, similar to many national and local news outlets. This new design will revolutionize how we access ACDA-MN content in BRET AMUNDSON the future by offering ACDA-MN members a free College of St. Scholastica app for smart phones and tablets, the ability to email articles to friends, the ability to either save or print articles for future reference, and the ability to share articles via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. This is the final Star of the North presented in the current design. I want to take a moment to thank and recognize Rob Schanilec and the entire staff at By All Means Graphics who have designed the Star of the North since 2004. Together, ACDA-MN and By All Means Graphics have worked through two major design changes resulting in six National ACDA Newsletter awards. Rob and his staff have been flexible, creative, and extremely easy to work with. Thank you Rob and By All Means Graphics for your work! The Spring 2014 issue of the Star of the North is dedicated to Children’s Choirs, focusing on the importance of children singing and pedagogical tips for teaching. Our Star Program Spotlight features Kari Werdahl, Lisa Lozito, and the Waconia Elementary Music Program, our Guest Feature by Robin Samlon and Jeremy Manternach provide tips for “Maintaining Your Best Voice,” and our From the Field articles explore inspirational teachers and how they select and prepare repertoire. As we prepare the final Star of the North issue for this academic year, I want to be sure to thank all of the contributors who have lent so much time and energy to this publication. We have covered a lot of information, and it is because of the hard work of our wonderful Minnesota colleagues that ACDA-MN and the Star of the North continue to be national examples of excellence. Enjoy this issue of Star of the North and have a wonderful summer!

How can we encourage ­children to keep singing? Seek excellence: challenge yourself daily. ~ Karen Kennedy Praised by the San Francisco Classical Voice for her “wizardry with voices” and named by the Honolulu Star Bulletin as “ . . . a popular and charismatic leader,” Karen Kennedy recently joined the faculty at the University of Miami as Director of Choral Studies, where she directs the Frost Chorale and oversees the Masters and Doctoral programs in conducting. Previous to her appointments in Miami, she held positions as the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Hawai’i, Artistic Director of the Honolulu Symphony Chorus, and Director of Choral Studies at Towson University. In addition to her work in academics, Dr. Kennedy regularly leads festival performances in large venues, most recently in Carnegie Hall, the Mormon Tabernacle, the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Sweden, St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in Rome, Italy, and venues throughout England and Scotland. A popular All-State Honor Choir clinician and festival director, Dr. Kennedy maintains an active schedule of performances nationally. Upcoming performances include the All-State Choirs of Ohio, California, and New York, in addition to festivals in Washington D.C., Seattle, and North Carolina. Dr. Kennedy has received numerous awards for teaching, including the University of Hawai`i Chancellor’s Citation for Meritorious Teaching, Arizona State University’s Manzanita “Top Prof” Award, Butler University’s Faculty Distinction Award, and is a two-time recipient of the Lawrence Township Schools Superintendent’s Award.


Star of the North • Spring 2014

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

PRESIDENT’S CUE What do your singers get out of choir? I mean REALLY?!?


Prior Lake High School Prior Lake, MN

Aren’t there some rehearsals when that alto in the second row, third chair from the end seems only to be keeping her chair warm? No effort given. Lousy posture. Body language that translates into words that should not be uttered in good company? I don’t know about you, but there are too many rehearsals when I feel like I’m pulling teeth to get worthwhile production/effort/tone out of her. Unfortunately, I do NOT have a license in dentistry, so my options are limited. Hrrmph!

So, how many ways are there to motivate her – headstands, candy treats, dumb jokes, repetition, scolding, stares. I find myself wondering, “Why did she join choir? Whom do I thank for the ‘blessing’ of having this singer enter my rehearsal room?” Without too much difficulty, I can usually maintain a positive attitude in difficult situations. Being upbeat is my normal choice (and YES, I believe attitude is a choice!), but she just seems to be daring me to even try to get anything out of her. She needs to be spoon-fed everything, and I am running out of spoons! When faced with singers (or colleagues) like this, I frequently end up with the conclusion (and mild lecture) that they will get out of something as much as they put in. The more work and good faith effort they put into something, the more successful their experience will be. The more valuable will be their life memories of singing in choir. This lecture all too often falls on deaf ears. It takes some work and effort to maintain correct posture, but the reward of a good choral tone is worth that effort. Pitch and rhythm take focus and listening skill, but WOW what a great difference in the sound that is produced. Tone? Blend? Vowel shapes? Same story – focus, energy, and work. Put something in and the returned rewards increase exponentially. I will take two-dozen hard-working singers of so-so talent over one un-motivated musical prodigy every day of the week. Hard work beats talent that doesn’t work hard every time.

You only get out of something as much as you put in. “I’m not that talented anyway, so it doesn’t matter.” That’s not an excuse for giving your best effort. Thirteen years ago, ACDA-MN put out a call for volunteers to help coordinate the Men’s/ Women’s Festival. Not know what I was doing, I volunteered. I had NO idea how to put details in place or arrange a schedule. Facilities? Pianos? Programs? I’m sure the Board wondered, “Who is this guy. Never heard of him before!” But they trusted me and for eleven years, I pretended to be bold. I learned, gradually got better, and had a blast! Humbly, I think I was fairly successful in leading that event. We established routines for success, tried new things, and fixed a couple more details each year. We listening to colleagues, directors, and singers on what areas needed attention and improvement. All of this work led to volunteering for other ACDA-MN events and positions. I first volunteered in ignorance, but the rewards have been tremendous! I have gained SO MUCH by stepping up and putting efforts into ACDAMN – friendships, experiences, and confidence. All these and more were gained because I decided it was time for me to put something into being a member of ACDA-MN beyond paying my dues. Just like our choristers, what we get out of ACDAMN depends on what we choose to put in to the experience. I encourage each of our ACDA-MN members to step outside of their comfort zones, engage in our organization, and reap the benefits of our great ACDA-MN community!

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





Music education in the Waconia public schools has a tradition of strong community support and pride. The band and choral programs have a longstanding reputation of excellence. The foundation of the successful secondary programs begins with the elementary music programs at Bayview and Southview. 1400 children in grades kindergarten through fourth grade are fortunate to receive almost daily classroom music instruction. Lifelong ACDA members Kari Werdahl and Lisa Lozito believe singing and vocal development are at the core of their general music curriculum. Kari is in her 28th year in Waconia and currently teaches at Bayview. Lisa has been in the district 20 years and is at Southview. They are supported by fellow music educators Noreen Carlson and Susan Snorek. At the heart of their teaching, Kari and Lisa value and strive to provide a positive environment for all students to sing, learn, and explore music. They want their students to love and enjoy singing and to become knowledgeable and competent musicians. They are often asked the question “Is it possible to teach choral music to children within a classroom setting?” According to clinicians and renowned

Star of the North • Spring 2014

children’s choir conductors Joan Gregoryk and Ruth Dwyer, it is possible to imbed a vocal development sequence into daily teaching. At the core of Waconia’s elementary curriculum is the belief that all children can learn to sing in tune. Many opportunities and activities are created through sequential vocal development to ensure mastery of this important national standard and life skill. Elementary students in Waconia also have several performance opportunities throughout the school year, including grade level programs and a largescale all-school holiday concert. ACDA-MN has been, and continues to be, a source of inspiration and knowledge for them. Over the years many of their students have participated in elementary honor choirs. They feel these honor choir experiences provide both students and teachers with exposure to quality literature and outstanding conductors. Other helpful ACDA-MN professional development events include the annual Summer Dialogue and state, district, and national conferences. Singing, and listening to beautiful singing, continue to be Kari and Lisa’s soul food.

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

Lisa Lozito and Kari Werdahl are both in their 32nd year of teaching music. Lisa’s prior experience was teaching secondary and elementary vocal music in the Little Falls school district. Kari’s first four years of teaching were in the Wisconsin Dells, where she taught both elementary and secondary vocal music. Both Kari and Lisa graduated from St. Olaf College with bachelor’s degrees in music education. They received their MA’s at the University of St. Thomas with an emphasis in the Kodály approach to music education. In addition to their public school teaching, Lisa and Kari are church musicians at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, the West Campus, in Victoria. Lisa and Kari have been active in the ACDA-MN as co-chairs of two ACDA-MN Elementary Honor Choirs and the 1998 North Central ACDA Regional Children’s Honor Choir. Lisa was a past Repertoire and Standards Chair for Children’s Choirs and Kari served as the Southwest Chair. This past year both were honored to be a part of the 2013 ACDA-MN fall conference committee that celebrated Alice T. Larsen and her legacy to women’s singing and conducting. “Our hope is that our students continue to love and enjoy singing beyond elementary school and that they reflect fondly on their early music experiences. We hope they have learned how to produce a beautiful, free vocal tone and have acquired the knowledge and skills to sing in tune. Our dream is that every child continues making music throughout their life.”



The UMD Department of Music offers quality programs to vocalists pursuing undergraduate or graduate degree studies and prepares students for careers as teachers, creators & performers of music. Our voice faculty enjoy regional, national and international reputations as performers and educators and are dedicated to assisting every student’s pursuit of excellence. Learn More at:

Associate Professor of Music, Director of Concert Chorale & Vocal Jazz

Bachelor of Arts in Music Bachelor of Music Instrumental Vocal

Performance Band /Orchestra Keyboard Vocal


Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities

Undergraduate Degrees Jazz Studies Music Education


Dr. Stanley Wold, DMA

Dr. Tina Thielen-Gaffey, DMA

Kari and Lisa’s Pick Six • Sail Away Ladies (Mountain Dulcimer Tune) Douglas Beam - Colla Voce Music LLC Publisher ID: 24-96270 • Sing to Me Andrea Ramsey – Santa Barbara Music Publishing Publisher ID: SBMP1003 • This Is My Father’s World Franklin L. Sheppard – Choristers Guild CGA 1057 • Canons, Songs and Blessings A Kemp Family Collection by Helen and John Kemp Choristers Guild CGC-27 • Thy Holy Wings Dan Kallman Shawnee Press Publisher ID: 35023633 • Candles in the Window Dave & Jean Perry – Alfred Music Publishing Publisher ID: 39799

Theory & Composition

Graduate Degrees Master of Music

Music Education Music Performance Instrumental Vocal

Collaborative Piano Conducting


The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator & employer.



• On-location audio & video recording • Computer editing & mastering • CD & DVD duplication • Graphic & printing services (763) 512-1718

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


GUEST FEATURE Teacher Self-Preservation: Tips for Maintaining Your Best Voice Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the Winter 2013/2014 issue of AzACDA’s Antiphon Newsletter.

ROBIN SAMLON, Ph.D., CCC-SLP Assistant Professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences The University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona

JEREMY N. MANTERNACH, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Choral/Vocal Music ­Education The University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona

We have all heard the traditional “vocal hygiene” recommendations: hydrate (drink water, avoid caffeine and alcohol), don’t yell or scream, get plenty of rest, don’t sing when you have a cold, etc. Some of those suggestions might help you, others might not, and some might be beyond your control. We would like to offer other ideas for maintaining healthy voice; suggestions that go beyond traditional vocal hygiene recommendations. Some of these strategies refer to speaking voice as well as singing voice since you are, after all, professional speakers in addition to being singers. Teachers are well-known to have voice problems more frequently than people in other occupations (Roy et al., 2001; Hunter & Titze, 2010). In one study, more than 20% of 242 teachers reported having missed work because of their voice (Smith et al., 1997). In this article, we will describe “semi-occluded vocal tract” techniques, and encourage you to think about vocal exercise instead of rest (sometimes), minimizing the voice patterns that cause the most tissue trauma, recognizing the effects of common medications on voice, and managing reflux.


A semi-occlusion refers to narrowing the vocal tract at any point. Semi-occluded techniques build up air pressure in the vocal tract in a way that helps the vocal folds vibrate more easily. They also help the voice to sound resonant (i.e., more “ring”) and louder, while putting the brakes on vocal fold collision (Titze & Story, 1997; Story, Laukkanen, & Titze, 2000; Titze, 2006). The result? Your voice will carry better and you should experience less vocal fatigue. Many of the sounds we use for singing and speaking voice warm-ups take advantage of semi-occlusions: we can use lip and tongue trills, humming on “m,” “n,” or “ng.” We can sustain “oo,” the bilabial fricative /β/ (humming through a very narrow opening


Star of the North • Spring 2014

between the lips), and another voiced fricatives such as “v,” “z,” or “zh.” When sustaining these sounds, focus on feeling vibration in the mouth (lips or behind the upper teeth) and a feeling of ease or comfort in the throat. You should then work towards the same feeling when you repeat syllables (e.g., “nee nee nee nee nee”), words (e.g., “mean, moon, mine, known”), and phrases (e.g., “yummy melons and marmalade”). Planning a little time in the morning or before a class or rehearsal to warm up your speaking voice in this way should help prevent voice fatigue. Another type of warm-up that takes advantages of airway mechanics involves using straws. Simply place the straw in your mouth and perform easy sigh glides or basic vocal exercises throughout the entire range. Make sure not to let any air escape at the mouth or through your nose. It should feel easy in your throat; if the straw causes fatigue, try a different type of straw. Small diameter straws (cocktail straws) enhance the interaction more than large diameter straws, and you should experiment with straws of different diameters and lengths to find a starting place that allows you to experience easy voicing. Straws might have the added benefit of helping smooth out the passagio. For a short demonstration, see the You Tube video by voice scientist, Ingo Titze ( watch?v=asDg7T-WT-0), or the video by speechlanguage pathologist, Tom Burke ( Is there a role for cool down? This is not clear in general exercise science, and even less understood in voice production, yet some speech-language pathologists encourage a cool down after singing to promote healing (see topic 2) and reduce any residual tension in the tongue base and jaw. Sapienza and Hoffman Ruddy (2013) recommend engaged gentle humming in a downward glide through a comfortable range, followed by descending scales with /blah blah blah blah blah/, allowing the jaw to release and the tongue to extend over the lower lip (Sapienza & Hoffman Ruddy, 2013, p. 314-316).

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


Many of us have been taught to rest our voices when we have a respiratory illness, have had heavy voice use, or are fatigued. Voice rest might mean complete rest or conservation (i.e., decreasing the overall amount of talking, and using a quiet voice when one must talk). Though conservation is not disputed for severe injuries, there is a growing interest in determining whether gentle resonant exercise might be more beneficial to healing than vocal rest. Researchers have found that teachers with disordered voices improved more when they performed vocal function exercises than when they only practiced vocal hygiene recommendations (e.g., rest; eat a healthy diet; avoid coughing/throat clearing, loud voice, low pitch and monotone talking, breath holding and hard glottal onsets, smoking, alcohol, caffeine) (Roy et al., 2001), and improved more when using amplification than following vocal hygiene recommendations (Roy et al., 2002). In another study, practicing good vocal hygiene was sufficient to prevent voice problems during student teaching for people with very few voice concerns, but “resonant voice” exercises (e.g., humming while perceiving vibration in lips and ease in throat) were necessary to prevent increased handicap in those student teachers who had some difficulties at the outset (Nanjundeswaran et al., 2012). While methodology has been challenging and results mixed, preliminary reports show that resonant voice exercises may decrease vocal fold inflammation after heavy voice use or injury (Branski et al., 2007; Verdolini Abbott et al., 2012). If future studies provide additional evidence that this is the case, there will likely be caveats regarding amount and type of exercise required for benefit and not harm. What do those studies mean for you? When you are in the position of having to practice, teach, or direct and your voice is not quite its best, it is important to warm up and cool down gently and thoroughly. Allow others to demonstrate when you can, and use semi-occlusions in demonstrations you must give (when possible). If you have amplification available, this would be a time to use it for talking (see topic 3). If you are having difficulty, meet with a speech-language pathologist specializing in voice, and ask about exercise versus rest for your particular situation.


Recall that vocal pitch (fundamental frequency or F0) corresponds to the number of times vocal folds vibrate per second, so that using a higher pitch means the vocal folds are colliding more times per second. Louder voice (higher dB SPL) typically means higher-force collisions and vibrational stress (Titze and Verdolini Abbott, 2012). Both of these factors can lead to vocal fatigue and vocal fold damage. Teachers, in general, have been shown to have more vocalization time in a day than non-teachers and female teachers, in particular, use a louder voice when teaching and tend to increase their pitch over the course of a day (Titze, Hunter, & Švec, 2007; Hunter & Titze, 2010).

These findings serve as a reminder to be aware of pitch and loudness during the speaking portion of teaching, directing, and interacting with others. One situation where it is hard to monitor your own loudness is when you are speaking over background noise. In your professional life, this might translate to not speaking or singing when the choir is speaking or singing. You will likely be louder than you think, and you can’t listen critically to them when you are talking. Moreover, by speaking when students are also speaking, you give them permission to ignore you!


We take over-the-counter and prescription medications for many different conditions. Medications and herbal supplements can have a variety of side effects, some of which can affect voice by causing dryness, irritation, decreased platelet function (which can increase susceptibility to a vocal fold hemorrhage), candida (yeast) overgrowth, cough, tremor, or gastroesophageal reflux. You can check your medications against a list on the National Center for Voice and Speech’s website ( We have included a table below, which is adapted from Titze and Verdolini Abbott (2012, chapter 3). It is important to note that the possible effects listed do not apply to every drug in that class, and do not occur for all people using the drug. If you are using one of these medications and having difficulty with your voice, talk to your doctor about whether the medication might be contributing to your voice problem and whether there is a reasonable alternative for you to try. Herb/drug group Antibiotics Antivirals

Possible effect on voice Candida (thrush) Edema (swelling), sore throat, dryness Antihistamines Dryness Steroid nasal sprays Throat irritation, dryness Diuretics (drugs and herbs) Dryness Non-steroidal anti-inflamma- Decreased platelet function tory drugs (including ibuprofen & naproxen) Asthma inhalers Candida (thrush) Appetite suppressants Dryness Antidepressants Dryness ACE inhibitors Cough


In a recent study of 76 healthy singing teachers at a NATS convention, laryngoscopic signs of reflux were identified in 72% of the participants (Sataloff et al., 2012). Reflux occurs when stomach material moves into the esophagus and even other structures like the larynx. The refluxed material is often acidic and can damage the esophagus and the larynx. Long reflux episodes where the material sits in the esophagus can cause heartburn, stomach pain, frequent belching and regurgitation. The tissue of the larynx

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


is more fragile than the esophagus and can be damaged by short, fast episodes of reflux. Reflux affecting the larynx is sometimes called laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) or extraesophageal reflux (EER), and symptoms can include hoarseness, a feeling of fullness or a lump in the throat, the need to clear your throat or cough all the time, and worse voice in the morning or after a meal. Treatment for reflux can include lifestyle changes such as postural modifications, diet modifications, and general health considerations. Staying upright is thought to help refluxed material clear faster, so recommendations might include elevating the head of your bed approximately six inches (a gradual incline from your waist to your head), waiting 2-3 hours after eating to lie down, and bending from your knees rather than your waist after a meal. Dietary modifications generally include eating smaller meals more frequently through the day, and avoiding fatty or greasy foods, chocolate, coffee, caffeine, carbonated beverages, alcohol, acidic foods, spicy foods, tobacco, and sedatives. If you are having trouble with symptoms of reflux, talk to your doctor about whether the reflux symptoms might be affecting your voice. He or she might recommend prescription or nonprescription medications to help manage your symptoms and control reflux. When vocal fatigue or voice change is problem, consider the strategies presented here: semi-occluded vocal tract techniques, daily warm-up, minimizing loud and higher pitch talking, revisit your medication list with your doctor, and talk to your doctor about reflux symptoms. As always, visit an otolaryngologist and speech-language pathologist experienced in voice problems for specific diagnosis and recommendations. References: Branski, RC, Perara P, Verdolini, K, Rosen, CA, Hebda, PA, & Agarwal, S (2007). Dynamic biomechanical strain inhibits IL-1β-induced inflammation in vocal fold fibroblasts. J Voice, 21, 651-60. Hunter, EJ, & Titze, IR (2010). Variations in intensity, fundamental frequency, and voicing for teachers in occupational versus nonoccupational settings. J Speech Lang Hear Res, 53, 862-75. Nanjundeswaran, C, Ii, NY, Chan, KM, Wong, RK, Yiu, EM, Verdolini-Abbott, K (2012). Preliminary data on prevention and treatment of voice problems in student teachers. J Voice, 26, 816.e1-816.e12.

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Star of the North • Spring 2014

Roy, N, Gray, SD, Simon, M, Dove, H, Corbin-Lewis, K, & Stemple, JC (2001). An evaluation of the effects of two treatment approaches for teachers with voice disorders: a prospective randomized trial. J Speech Lang Hear Res, 44, 286-96. Roy, N, Weinrich, B, Gray, SD, Tanner, K, Toledo, SW, Dove, H, Corbin-Lewis, K, & Stemple, JC (2002). Voice amplification versus vocal hygiene instruction for teachers with voice disorders: a treatment outcomes study. J Speech Lang Hear Res, 45, 625-38. Sapienza, C, & Hoffman Ruddy, B (2013). Voice Disorders, 2nd Ed. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing. Sataloff, RT, Hawkshaw, MJ, Johnson, JL, Ruel, B, Wilhelm, A, & Lurie, D (2012). Prevalence of abnormal laryngeal findings in healthy singing teachers. J Voice, 26, 577-83. Smith, E, Gray, SD, Dove, H, Kirchner, L, & Heras, H (1997). Frequency and effects of teachers’ voice problems. J Voice, 11, 81-7. Story, BH, Laukkanen, A, & Titze, IR (2000). Acoustic impedance of an artificially lengthened and constricted vocal tract. J Voice, 13, 455-69. Titze, IR (2006). Voice training and therapy with a semioccluded vocal tract: rationale and scientific underpinnings. J Speech Lang Hear Res, 49, 448-59. Titze, IR, Hunter, EJ, & Švec, JG (2007). Voicing and silence periods in daily and weekly vocalizations of teachers. J Acoust Soc Am, 121, 469-78. Titze, IR, & Story, BH (1997). Acoustic interactions of the voice source with the lower vocal tract. J Acoust Soc Am, 101, 223443. Titze, IR, & Verdolini Abbott (2012). Vocology: the Science and Practice of Voice Habilitation. Salt Lake City, UT: National Center for Voice and Speech. Verdolini Abbott, K, Li, NY, Branski, RC, Rosen, CA, Grillo, E, Steinhauer, K, & Hebda, P (2012). Vocal exercise may attenuate acute vocal fold inflammation. J Voice, 26, 814.e1-814.e13.

ACDA NATIONAL AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE Star of the North State 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

Choral Music at

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Bachelor of Music Education Bachelor of Music Education/Music Therapy Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy Bachelor of Arts (Applied Music and Church Music) Bachelor of Music in Performance

SCHOLARSHIP AUDITIONS • Music scholarships up to $5,000 per year

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• NC ACDA performances in 2014 and 2012

• Wartburg Choir invited to perform at the White House in Washington, D.C. in 2011 • Composer residencies include Morten Lauridsen (2014), Stacey Gibbs (2013), and Ola Gjeilo (2012) Dr. Lee Nelson

Matthew Armstrong

Dr. Karen Black

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






It’s not often that a person receives an opportunity to be of special support to a friend and colleague such as Chet Sommers. Some years ago, I had the distinction of being able to teach at Willmar High School and observe first-hand the impact this gentle man had on the musical community. His leadership and devotion to the choral art was apparent by all who observed and participated in this work. His standards and expectations of himself and his singers were exemplary. His leadership within ACDA-MN in those formative years gave shape and direction to a young and willing organization ready to follow in his lead. It is with great pleasure that I offer this brief glimpse of the man and his ongoing legacy. Chet Sommers received his B.S. in Music from Bemidji State University. His career began by teaching instrumental and vocal music at Lancaster and Lake Bronson High Schools in northwestern Minnesota starting in 1961. After two years, Chet resumed his education at the University of North Dakota, earning a Master’s in Music Education. In 1964, he took the position of choral director at Willmar Community College where he stayed until his retirement in 1994. His duties at the

Star of the North • Fall 2013

college included: music theory, survey of music, college choir, community chorus, and orchestra. Chet also taught basic music for classroom teachers and some lessons. Chet received the D.M.A. in Choral Literature and Performance from Boulder. On his return to Minnesota, he served on the ACDA board, and as president for two terms. RA: When did you decide to become a choral director? CS: After working in both instrumental and vocal music I decided to concentrate on choral music. I did have the opportunity to conduct the local orchestra and did so for thirty years. This led to many choral and orchestra concerts such as Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Rutter’s Magnificat and Requiem, and Bach’s Passions. RA: Name some memories of your first job as choir director. CS: I had a double position in two small high schools in northwestern Minnesota. This included two bands, two choirs, and lessons. This meant a lot of conducting experience in a short time. I recall that the students were enthusiastic and receptive to new musical ideas. At times, we combined bands and choirs for festive occasions.

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

RA: What was your first salary? CS: Since I had both schools, my salary was $6,000. That was outstanding in those days. RA: Along with being a choral director, did you perform other duties? CS: At Willmar Community College I conducted the orchestra and a small band in the first years. We collaborated with the drama department on plays such as South Pacific, Oliver, and Down in the Valley. The orchestra also accompanied the singers in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. RA: What were some of the ideas you implemented to build or recruit students into your program? CS: Scheduling is difficult in a two year college situation. If you start the fall with forty singers, you may end up with twentyfive in the spring quarter. We tried to keep the choir busy. We toured to area high schools, we made trips to Chicago, Orlando, Washington D.C., and New York. I would say the enthusiasm is the key word in a two-year college situation. RA: Who were the choirs and conductors that inspired you in the early years? CS: Carl Thompson and Edgar Gangware were the conductors at Bemidji State in those years. Both were very fine conductors and individuals. Paul Christiansen was available for workshops and toured extensively with the Concordia Choir. His choral school at Bemidji each summer was very important to me at the time. His concerts were very well done with interesting choral music performed in a dramatic style. RA: Who are the choirs and conductors who inspire you today? CS: My wife and I recently attended a concert by the St. Thomas Choir of Leipzig, Germany. Mr. Biller and his choir performed at Central Lutheran in Minneapolis. It was one of the finest choral concerts I have ever heard. The tradition of men

and boys in a choir school lives on in this group. In Boulder, we had several guest conductors including Roger Wagner. A difficult person to understand at times, his performance of the St. Matthew Passion was a revelation to me. In the early years of ACDA-MN we tried to feature the Dale Warland Singers. Here was a model for all of us. Concerts by Cantus and the Rose Ensemble are very well done. Paul Brandvik is a friend and colleague. We collaborated on several concerts. RA: How did you go about selecting your repertoire? From what sources did you seek ideas? CS: At Colorado we were expected to know a wide variety of choral music. This included historical significance and performance practices. The ACDA conferences were also valuable in regard to repertoire. RA: How did you conduct your auditions? CS: In a community college the auditions are simple. If a student can match pitches and carry a melody, he or she will be admitted. When it came time for seating, we could tell a lot more about individual voices. RA: In those early years, what was the balance between sacred and secular music on a concert? CS: In the beginning we performed a lot of unaccompanied sacred works. As time went on, we added folksongs and secular music. Most of the oratorio presentations were sacred, of course, and the college choir participated with the community orchestra and chorus. RA: Name five choral chestnuts of repertoire that you would recommend to the conductor of today. CS: “Our Father” by Gretchaninov, “Cantique de Jean Racine” by Fauré, “Salvation is Created” by Chesnokov, “We Need

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


Thee O Lord” by J.C. Bach, and almost any of John Ness Beck’s many arrangements. RA: What were some of the special performances (conventions, festivals, tours) that your choir participated in? CS: The college choir appeared at one MMEA convention and at an ACDA state convention that was held here in Willmar. I remember glancing around to see Alice Parker and many of my ACDA colleagues listening to the choir. We toured to Disney World where the concert had to be choreographed. You couldn’t just “stand like a choir,” they said. We choreographed several patriotic pieces and learned to move and sing. It was a wonderful experience. The community colleges had an annual Fine Arts Festival each spring. The choir always enjoyed working with the clinicians at the festivals. RA: In your view, how has programming of repertoire changed over the years? CS: Most of the choirs I participated in strived to sing unaccompanied choral music. The a cappella sound was the ideal. Today we have much more accompanied music. In a sense, we have lost something. A choir that strives to sing in tune, in balance, and with appropriate style today is in the minority. Instead, we have all of these choral-piano arrangements. Let me ask the current conductors: How much time do you devote to unaccompanied choral music in a typical rehearsal? Also, how much unaccompanied music do you perform in your concerts? RA: As you listen to the choirs of today, how have the components of choral music performance evolved? CS: With the overuse of the piano in choral rehearsals, tone, blend, and diction are obscured. I strongly submit that unaccompanied choral music should be the model. Singers must learn intonation, balance, and phrasing. If you have a choir of


Star of the North • Spring 2014

eight sopranos, eight altos, eight basses, and five tenors balance should not be a problem. The singers will instinctively balance the sound if the piano is not used. RA: How has the preparation of choral directors changed? CS: Since pitch is such a critical aspect of choral music, I feel that conductors would benefit from playing an instrument in which pitch is constantly being adjusted. The violin, oboe, or French horn would provide lessons in pitch that would not be forgotten. The piano is a fixed pitch instrument that would not be as valuable in regard to learning pitch. RA: How did you become involved in ACDA? CS: As I was attending school in Colorado, several of my instructors were ACDA members. They were very enthusiastic about the organization and encouraged the graduate students to join. When I returned to Minnesota, I joined the board and eventually served as president. RA: What were some of the most memorable performances you witnessed at an ACDA event? CS: This goes back to the first national ACDA convention in Kansas City. A few of us from Boulder attended. The USC Chamber Singers (12) with Charles Hirt were outstanding. Robert Shaw also conducted the Requiem by Brahms at that convention. A wonderful event. RA: What has been the most inspirational ACDA convention performance you heard? CS: Two choirs come to mind. The Dale Warland Singers who performed at several of our state conventions, and the National Lutheran Choir conducted by Larry Fleming. We have been fortunate to have had these conductors in our midst.

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

RA: What has kept you in ADCA over these many years? CS: I can state that interesting conventions, the Choral Journal, and a shared sense of concern for choral music has kept me active for so long. But most of all the camaraderie of the Minnesota members is outstanding. They are the most welcoming organization I have ever belonged to. RA: As a member and leader in ACDA-MN since 1972, what was the state of the organization in the early years? CS: We had a small state board that set policy and guidelines. We were not that well known then, with about sixty members. We were all optimistic about the future of ACDA in Minnesota. Board meetings were great fun, with good ideas that would benefit choral music. RA: Looking back, what were some of the key turning points in our history? CS: One turning point occurred, as I was president. We distributed the Star of the North to our sixty members two or three times a year. We decided to use the MMEA list to send the newsletter four times a year to every high school and college music department in Minnesota. Our work-study students at the college typed the newsletter and assembled it. I would take the copies to Lake Lillian where I would meet George Berglund, and he would mail them. This was a positive step, we felt. RA: Who were some of the leaders along the way? CS: Some early board members included: Dick Edstrom, Robert Peterson, Diana Leland, and Wayne Kivell. Roger Tenney was very helpful in those years. Katherine Doepke and Woody Johnson were also great board members. With a group like this, the future of ACDA-MN was assured. As president, I also recruited Bruce Becker as SW district chair. A good choice, I am sure you will agree. RA: How did the first state convention come about? CS: One of the first state conventions was held at Normandale Community College. The board selected the choirs to be invited and the session leaders. It was the beginning of a long series of successful fall conventions. RA: How did the summer dialogue begin? CS: Again, the board decided that there should be some type of a summer activity. I went to St. John’s University to meet with Axel Theimer, who had the basic ideas and format for the summer dialogue. It was to be an exchange of ideas regarding choral music. We went with his ideas and the format still continues to this day. RA: How did the award-winning newsletter Star of the North begin?

CS: I have already mentioned that our work-study students at WCC assembled the newsletter. George Berglund was an excellent editor. Our members were great about submitting articles. The Star of the North was our link to all the music departments in Minnesota. I have been amazed at the leaders and editors through the years. RA: What were some of the factors that went into developing our annual awards and recognition program? CS: Some of our earliest boards saw the need to recognize people who have contributed to our art. The awards have been broadened over the years. As president, I had the honor of presenting the FMC award to both Paul Christiansen and Olaf Christiansen. RA: Without the benefit of today’s digital age, how did ACDA-MN communicate with its members? CS: We had phone calling cards, we had the newsletter, and our membership has always been friendly to new members. That is why we have grown. RA: In your view, what was the original vision of ACDA-MN and how has it evolved? CS: ACDA-MN has always stood for the promotion of choral music. That is, choral music of many types presented at conventions, workshops, and online. Also, networking opportunities have been successful. RA: Looking back, what has been the value and impact upon your professional career? CS: I personally have benefitted greatly from belonging to ACDA. To attend state and national conventions, to watch seasoned conductors in rehearsal, and to attend sessions on vocal production have been invaluable. I have mentioned before that getting to know other choral conductors from around the state has been an inspiration and lifeline.

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


RA: Reflecting on your own legacy to choral music in Minnesota, what were some of the contributions and gifts you have made to the profession? CS: You can’t just be an island in your town or area of the metro. You need to grow as a conductor. Therefore the time in Colorado, the ACDA events, and serving on various committees certainly paid off. We undertook several major works here in Willmar. We held an annual choral festival for high school here at the college. The college choir toured to area high schools and destinations that are more distant. The orchestra was also a joy for me. The Community College Fine Arts Festival is still going strong. Through all of this, I have tried to be an optimist. How could you be anything else and teach music? RA: What advice or words of wisdom would you give to the emerging choral director of today? CS: As to the future, I am hoping that unaccompanied choral music or “true” choral music will not disappear from the scene. If you look at the typical choral catalog of today, you will see ream after ream of accompanied choral music. I understand that it is selling well, but that does not make it good teaching material. Way in the back of these catalogs will be a few unaccompanied pieces. Ladies and gentlemen of ACDA, what can be done? Would you be willing to devote time and energy to unaccompanied singing? If you are not doing this now, would you try? For one thing, the tuning and intervals of your choir will be different with unaccompanied singing. If you use the piano, you are using “equal temperament,” a tuning system that permits the piano to play in all keys equally. In this system fifths are tuned narrow, fourths are tuned wide, and the beat rate of ascending major thirds must increase. “Just” tuning depends on the performer’s ears. It is used extensively in a cappella choirs and orchestras. The performers use the harmonic system to tune. Chords and intervals sound more natural using just tuning. As a suggestion, warm up the choir using a famous melody such as “Down by the Sally Gardens” or “Shenandoah.” This can be a simple way to get the feel of unaccompanied sing-

ing. Do not use the piano. Then try some two-part pieces and perhaps a simple spiritual. The choir will begin to notice the difference in tuning. If your concerts contain mostly accompanied pieces, try to vary this by including more unaccompanied choral music. If you strive to sing in tune, with balance and dynamics, your singers will respond. Of all the many types of music I have conducted, the most musical, the most eloquent, and most enjoyable form of expression has been unaccompanied singing. I am not saying that you should eliminate the piano, but I am asking you to use it less and give your singers a chance to experience “true” choral music. If you start with simple melodies and expand into part-singing, you will reap great benefits. RA: Do you have one concert or moment in a concert that is especially memorable in your conducting career? CS: If you have never conducted the St. Matthew Passion or St. John Passion of J. S. Bach, I can see why you might hesitate. For St. Matthew you need two choirs, two orchestras, a children’s choir, an evangelist, several soloists, and good continuo players. If you are fairly good at organization, just plunge ahead and perform the work. You will find that the singers and players will react positively to the music. They will accept the challenge of a great monument such as St. Matthew and do their utmost to perform well. I have to say that our production of St. Matthew in Willmar was the most memorable concert that I conducted. RA: You have taught and conducted in many settings. Was there a favorite? CS: Toward the end of my forty-eight years of choral conducting I had the opportunity to conduct the West Central Singers. This choir consisted of thirty-two singers in a well-balanced group. They were able to undertake challenging choral works. To me, the fact that they could sing difficult choral music unaccompanied was a dream fulfilled. The unaccompanied selections far outnumbered the accompanied selections. I feel strongly that this is the way to build the choral sound.

STATE DUES REMINDER Add $15 to Active, Life and Retired membership categories when renewing your membership with the ACDA national office

2014 ACDA-MN STATE CONFERENCE November 21-22 St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church Mahtomedi

SUMMER DIALOGUE REGISTRATION RATES June 15 – Early Rates July 15 – Regular Rates After July 15 – Late Rates Save $ by registering early

Transforming Singers Into Community


Star of the North • Spring 2014

Melanie DeMore, Headliner Francisco Nunez, Headliner Young People’s Chorus of New York City (Headliner concert sponsored by VocalEssence)

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

STUDENT PODIUM Youth and Student Activities

BRANDON DEAN Gustavus Adolphus ­College St. Peter, MN

Reflecting on the recent NCACDA conference in Des Moines, Weston Noble (Johnson Professor Emeritus of Music at Luther College) noted that this was “the nicest convention.” Mr. Noble mentioned this in two different interest sessions, perhaps indicating the depth of his belief that there was something special about this particular convention. I personally witnessed a spirit of support during the outstanding choral performances, interest sessions, and social opportunities associated with the convention. A particular highlight was the opportunity to interact with many choral music education students from Minnesota colleges and universities who were attending the conference. They thoughtfully discussed which performances and sessions were most compelling and the relationships they were forging will help them transition into the professional ranks. One upcoming opportunity that ACDA of MN is sponsoring to help foster this spirit of support is the Student Conducting Workshop which will be held at Summer Dialogue on the campus of Concordia College (Moorhead). The workshop will offer choral music education students an opportunity to work closely with Dr. Jo Ann Miller, Director of Choral Activities at North Dakota State University. The workshop will culminate in a special reading session at Summer Dialogue, with each student conductor presenting a choral octavo they have prepared.

Preview: Annual Student Symposium ACDA-MN State Conference November 21-22, 2014 St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church Mahtomedi

Through the generous support of the FMC Endowment Fund Committee, each student conductor will receive a scholarship to attend two days of Summer Dialogue. Student conductors will have the opportunity to observe several reading sessions prior to presenting their collaborative session. They will interact with other choral professionals at the Summer Dialogue and they will have a special opportunity to participate in a masterclass with Dr. Miller to make final preparations on their prepared works. ACDA of MN has worked to solicit quality music from reputable publishers for use in the workshop. The music to be presented has been divided into three broad categories: (1) Mixed, (2) Treble, and (3) Bass. Within each category there are several subcategories based on difficulty level and/or voicing. The following schools will be sending representatives to participate in the Student Conducting Workshop: • Bemidji State University • Concordia College • Concordia University • Gustavus Adolphus College • North Central University • St. Cloud State University • St. John’s University • University of Minnesota • University of St. Thomas We look forward to seeing these outstanding young music educators in action at Summer Dialogue!

Navigating the T ­ ransitions of Our Male Singers Andrew Last • Luther College Practical Approaches for ­Achieving ­Unified Singing Matt Ferrell • St. Cloud State University A Repertory Handbook for the Emerging Choral Director Brandon Dean • Gustavus Adolphus College

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


FROM THE FIELD Inspired by Great Teachers

A great teacher is one who has touched you profoundly, shaped who you are, and has affected and influenced how you see your world and how you think about everything. We’re lucky if we have had two or three in our lives. Two or three! Can you name yours? How about identifying qualities that make those few teachers rise above the rest? ELIZABETH SHEPLEY Artistic Director The Northfield Youth Choirs Northfield, Minnesota

Certainly, these exceptional teachers know what they’re talking about. An understanding of one’s subject matter is important. An elementary music teacher in our state, for example, is going to be an expert in using elements from Orff-Schulwerk and the Kodály Concept as needed and desired. They also will understand that the primary and most perfect of instruments is built into our own bodies, and that the human voice deserves careful thought and attention. They know that the uniqueness of the child’s voice is soon outgrown and that at no other time will it possess such compelling warmth and clarity of tone. They will have goals for the year and organized, sequential lesson plans for reaching those goals. Being an expert in an area of study, however, does not guarantee success as a teacher. We’ve all had the brilliant teacher who is a foremost authority on a subject but sadly delivers a lecture as though it is a burden to do so, as though he or she would rather be conducting research, or writing, or doing just about anything else but “teaching.” There is no sense of art, presence, or joy in the delivery of the information. The master teacher, on the other hand, seems to be able to make any subject matter exciting. He or she can bring potentially dry information to life, draw you in, tickle your imagination, and stimulate a yearning for more knowledge. There is a certain charisma, passion, dedication, humor and lightness, and caring that is projected.


Star of the North • Spring 2014

When considering the characteristics of their most inspirational teachers, a number of colleagues listed the following: •They enjoyed their work. •They had respect for their students. •They spent the time needed to be certain the information made sense. •They were engaging. •They showed tremendous dedication. •They told stories from personal experiences to further demonstrate a point. •They were serious about their job, but didn’t take themselves too seriously. •They were great communicators. •They were patient. •They had a sense of humor. •They cared about their students. •They showed personal discipline. •They were always fair. •They were persistent. •Their lessons had structure, but they weren’t afraid to be spontaneous. Each of these things results from a positive attitude, the kind of attitude a great teacher chooses. Education and leadership expert, Tim Lautzenheiser, has written extensively on the art of successful teaching. In his book, “The Art of Successful Teaching,” he writes: “If we are destined to make a positive difference in the lives of our students, then we must develop these qualities which are the trademarks of the Master Teacher: positive, productive attitudes!” (p. 23). Our state is full of master teachers. When I present a workshop or conduct a choir in another state, I’m often asked what it’s like to live in “choral heaven!” It’s remarkable to be surrounded by passionate, interesting teacher/conductors who love

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

what they do. At the Northfield Youth Choirs, all groups rehearse on Mondays. What excites me about Magnificent Magical Musical Mondays at the NYC is learning from my colleagues that the choir rehearsal can be a playground. Children want to play and, truth is, adults want to play as well. As educator, philosopher, and minister Lawrence Pearsall Jacks (1860-1955) notes in his book, “Education through Recreation”: “A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both” (p. 1). So with this in mind, let us fondly remember those educators who made a difference in our lives. Let us enjoy our present teachers who challenge and inspire us. And let us all aspire to be mentors who leave our students wondering whether we are working or playing, or doing both. 1. Tim Lautzenheiser, The Art of Successful Teaching (1992), GIA Publications, Chicago. 2. Lawrence Pearsall Jacks, Education through Recreation (1932), Harper & Brothers, New York, London.

Music Excellence

Discover the Value of a Concordia Education At Concordia University, St. Paul, we will prepare you for a thriving career and a meaningful life. With an enrollment of 1,300 undergraduate students, we are able to respond to your needs and give you the relevant experience you'll need in today's job market. We are a proven leader in music education, from professional degree programs to an array of ensembles and lessons open to all students. We offer top-notch faculty and facilities in a caring, supportive environment where students are nurtured to share their talents in community.

Learn more at 20 Ensemble opportunities, including:

Postmarked: June 2, 2014 Nomination forms available at:

Areas of study in music include: Church Music Music Business Music Composition Music Education Music Performance

Office of Admissions 1282 Concordia Avenue St. Paul, MN 55104 651-641-8230

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


ACDA-MN AWARD NOMINATIONS F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award Minnesota Choral Director of the Year Outstanding Young Choral Director

Chamber Strings Christus Chorus (touring concert choir) Concert Band Handbell Ensemble Jazz Band Jubilate (chapel choir) Musical Theatre Pit Orchestra Opera Workshop Percussion Ensemble Shades of Harmony Gospel Choir Vox 9 (vocal jazz)


FROM THE FIELD The Beautiful Voices of Middle School Students: Are We Listening?

MARIE FLAGSTAD Southwest District Chair Jackson County Central Middle School and High School Jackson, MN

Some would say that middle school is a difficult time in a student’s life. Many dramatic changes are taking place physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. Relationships with friends are changing; relationships with adults are changing. Young people at this age are longing for the opportunity to express themselves and work through these changes while still looking cool in front of their peers. Being involved in a music ensemble is the perfect way to come together with a community of peers to go through some of these changes together. As the directors and leaders of these ensembles we need to be mindful of the changes our students are going through and help lead them gracefully through this time. One way we can connect with our singers and help them to express what is going on inside them in a safe way is to utilize the text of the repertoire we choose. Last month I had the privilege of serving as the Middle Level Girls Honor Choir Chair for the North Central American Choral Directors Association Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. It was an outstanding experience! The choir of seventythree 7th, 8th, and 9th grade girls from the states of Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Nebraska rehearsed together for three days under the direction of Maribeth YoderWhite. The choir performed in a concert on Saturday, March 22 on the Civic Center stage.  Mrs. Yoder-White did a beautiful job of connecting with the girls and talking about more than just the music. She would often start her rehearsals by having a few girls each pick a quote from books she had brought and then share that quote with the choir. They would talk about how the quote applies to them and why it was inspiring. Mrs. Yoder-White certainly used this same thoughtfulness in her selection of music for the girls. While listening to the girls rehearse I was very moved by one of the songs that they performed: “Letter from a Girl to the World” by Andrea Ramsey. 7th and 8th grade girls wrote the text in this piece and I’d like to share it. Here are the hearts of our students displayed in song text:


Star of the North • Spring 2014

In my heart there are hopes and dreams and all different beautiful things. In my heart there’s a sunrise glowing and a warmth that holds me there and I think of God’s beauty in the world all around in the clouds that roll across the sky, in the clean smell of the rain and the colors of the fall and it makes me happy and I wish that others saw it too. If you love your children are you sure they know? Have you said the words out loud? Are you listening with your heart when they’re sharing theirs? Have you given us a chance to make you proud? Do you know who I am? Do you really know? ‘Cause you can’t tell from looking at me that underneath all this happiness inside there’s a part of me nobody sees. I wonder who I am. I wonder who I’ll be. What will my life become? There are just so many questions inside me: am I good enough? Am I pretty enough? Can I learn not to care what others think? Can I make a difference in someone else’s life, and can others see Gods love in me? In my heart there are hopes and dreams and all different beautiful things. Through purposefully choosing songs that have meaningful texts we can take the choral experience to a deeper level with our students. Middle school students are so energetic, full of life and possibilities and love to express themselves in the music classroom. They are more open to sharing and taking risks while they are experiencing many changes and firsts. Students at this age have so much to say and so much to express and are hungry for ways to let out these feelings. Are we listening?

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

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



Director of D ­ evelopment, F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund

Seven ACDA-MN choral directors and student members attended the ACDA North Central Division Conference in Des Moines, IA, from March 19-22, as FMC Endowment Fund scholarship recipients. Their comments below are a living testimony as to why so many members annually contribute to ACDA-MN’s F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund. The FMC Endowment Fund scholarships awarded for attending ACDA conferences truly make a difference! I’d like to thank the FMC Endowment Fund Committee for awarding me this scholarship. The lectures were very informative and gave some great practical advice that I plan to implement in my first years of teaching. Listening to all the wonderful high school choirs perform really gave me something to aim for in terms of sound for my own ensembles when I begin teaching. Thank you so much again! Meghan Hanna Concordia College – Class of 2015 Vocal Music Education There is nothing more affirming than being surrounded by passionate people who are living out their dreams. Not only did I get to be surrounded by these people at this conference, but I also got to talk with them, learn from and with them, and gain much wisdom and encouragement. Sometimes we need to be reminded why we have taken the path that we have chosen and I came away from this conference with just such a reminder. I am grateful for the experiences of this week and brimming with excitement for the future. I am truly overcome with a variety of emotions when I think of what this conference meant to me. Sam Fouts Concordia College – Class of 2015 Vocal Music Education


Star of the North • Spring 2014

ACDA conferences have always been an important part of my life. They’re what got me started in choral music education, and they’re what continue to keep me excited about it. Because of the generous support of the FMC Endowment Fund, I was able to attend the NC-ACDA conference in Des Moines where I learned new and innovative rehearsal strategies, reinforced the knowledge I already had, fostered professional relationships, expanded my knowledge of choral repertoire, and kick-started my choral library of scores, books, and materials. My favorite part of the conference was the amazing concert sessions that demonstrated so clearly that there are so many ways to be a great choir! It was a transformative experience from start to finish! Erin Schmidt St. Olaf College – Class of 2014 BM Music Education

Inspired is a word that truly sums up my experience at the North Central ACDA conference. The opportunity that the FMC Endowment Fund scholarship gave me to attend the conference has positively impacted my career as future educator. Being able to see and hear outstanding choirs perform, listen to energetic and knowledgeable presenters, and connect with future colleagues have all helped me grow. I am thankful for the generosity of FMC Endowment Fund in affording me an opportunity to attend. I look forward to being inspired at future ACDA conferences. Nicholas Hollermann St. John’s University – Class of 2014 Choral Education and Vocal Performance

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

The 2014 NC-ACDA conference in Des Moines was a fantastic experience! We really are blessed with a phenomenal community here in MN, and I thought, “How could this possibly be better than a MN conference?”, but it was! And my horizons were expanded. I learned so much from presenters and choirs from other states in the NC region and even from around the world! Perhaps my biggest take-away is the information, inspiration, and plethora of fresh ideas presented for youth and music in worship that I can use both in my school and community. Thank you for your gifts to the FMC Endowment fund – they made this experience possible! Kayla Krizek ACDA-MN 4-5-6 Girls’ Honor Choir, Co-chair New Life Academy – Choir Director Thank you for awarding me a scholarship to attend the NC-ACDA conference in Des Moines. I was rejuvenated to continue achieving excellence in music making by the great concerts and from the wealth of information I learned from the interest sessions. I was particularly touched by Kevin Meidl’s session “A Community That Sings! – Volume 3”. He introduced new literature written for little or no monetary gain by composers committed to keeping (and adding to) the roots of the American singing tradition. James Bowyer’s session on sight singing showed me how to use real music in our sight-reading practice (singing folk tunes on solfeggio and not just ‘exercises’). I am looking forward to the next NC-ACDA event in 2016. I’m very grateful to be supported by the FMC Endowment Fund and will continue to “pay it forward” by contributing so that other choral directors can attend in the future. Andrew Beard ACDA-MN Metro West – District Chair Osseo High School – Choir Director Along with the theme of choral diversity, affirmation was another centerpiece at the North Central Division Conference in Des Moines. With hundreds of other eager and passionate attendees, I was affirmed in my decision to become a choral director and we, in turn, affirmed the incredible work that so many are already doing so well. We were also reminded of our duty to celebrate diversity in its many forms within our ensembles and programming. There’s a place for everyone in the choir and a place for all cultures in our choral music programs. Tucker Moore St. Olaf College – Class of 2015 BA Music

ACDA-MN members are reminded that the application deadline for Summer Dialogue scholarships is June 1, 2014. 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 shared housing B. First time attendee to Summer Dialogue with any years of experience • Registration Summer Dialogue scholarship application details may be found at: Please take a moment to thank a director of at least one Minnesota youth and children’s choir. It is at this formative age where ‘seeds are planted’ which result in excellent singing and vocal techniques for a lifetime of singing to follow. We are very fortunate and blessed as Minnesota choral directors that these young singers are passionate about continuing to sing during middle school, high school, college, and beyond. I hope that you are planning to attend ACDA-MN’s 2014 Summer Dialogue on the Concordia College campus in Moorhead in August. Best wishes on your upcoming spring concerts!

Pictured are back row: Nicholas Hollermann, Andrew Beard, Tucker Moore, Sam Fouts; Front row: Meghan Hanna, Erin Schmidt, Kayla Krizek

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


SCHOLARSHIP SHORTS Youth and Student Activities Attending the 2014 North Central division ACDA conference in Des Moines, Iowa, this March was a phenomenal experience! To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Our Minnesota conferences and conventions are outstanding, and I felt a little nervous – could our regional conference be just as great? KAYLA KRIZEK

New Life Academy Woodbury, MN

The answer is YES! This was an amazing opportunity to learn from all sorts of people, directors, colleagues, and professionals that I may not have otherwise met. We have such a wealth of choral experience, wisdom, and passion in the North Central division and it was a delight to be able to meet and learn from some of the “big names” in the area. Minnesota was very well represented at the conference. Reid Larsen and Christopher Russell led fantastic sessions that emphasized technology in the middle-school choral classroom. (Yes! It can be done! I was furiously observing and taking notes during both of these sessions). The first auditioned choir to perform at the conference was from Eastview High School, under the direction of Greg Douma. The performance was absolutely exquisite. I was bursting with pride. There were many other Minnesota presenters and choirs there, and all did a super job.

Don’t miss the Professional Development Opportunity of the Summer… 2014 Summer Dialogue August 5-8 Concordia College – Moorhead Headliner: JoAnn Miller, ND State University Directors’ Chorus Guest Conductor


Star of the North • Spring 2014

It was an amazing experience to hear choirs from all around the world. On Thursday evening, Schola Cantoreum, from Mexico, had such a crystal clear tone from such young singers. The featured choir from South Korea, Ulsan Metropolitan Chorus, was beautiful. I loved the opportunity to learn more about classical, historical, significant, and new music from these parts of the world. The final highlight of the conference was the honor choir performances Saturday afternoon. The concert was well-programmed, featured super conductors, and highlighted beautiful singing. But I was also reminded of just how excellent our Minnesota honor choir programs are. I truly believe that the honor choir experiences we create for our students in Minnesota rival the excellence, challenge, and beauty of the regional honor choirs. Kudos to YOU for making that happen! Not only do I love ACDA-MN events (and try to tell all my friends and colleagues to GO!), but now that I’ve gotten a taste of a North Central division gathering, I can’t wait for my next! Sioux Falls 2016, here we come! Please join me!

ACDA National Conference February 25-28, 2015 Salt Lake City UT Applications for Clinic and Concert Performance ACDA-MN State Conference Postmarked Application Deadline: June 2, 2014

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

Emerging Conductor’s Network


Osseo Senior High School Osseo, MN

On Saturday, February 1st, the Emerging Conductors Network met at St. Michael-Albertville high school with clinician Melanie Kjellberg from Andover High School to talk about Repertoire and Programming. Much of the discussion focused around programming for the choir in your room, not the choir in your head. This is especially applicable when choosing repertoire that has educational as well as programmatic value. Melanie brought her vast knowledge of appropriate repertoire to the meeting and encouraged all in attendance to create a theme and flow during a concert and not just to present songs that are fast, slow, new, old, etc. She also stressed the importance of talking about text meaning when singing any song. On Saturday, March 8th, the Emerging Conductors Network met at Hopkins High School to talk about instructional strategies with Leanne Kampfe, Hopkins West Junior High; Ruth LeMay, Field Community School in Minneapolis; and Allison Thielen, Robbinsdale Middle School. The day included a

panel discussion on keeping students engaged – specifically at the middle school level. The clinicians paid special attention to issues surrounding inclusivity by engaging and affirming students of all races, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual preferences, etc. in our classrooms. Although the clinicians were all middle-level teachers, the discussion was relevant to all ages. The next Emerging Conductors Network meeting will be a happy hour get-together on Friday  night,  May 16th at 5:00, location TBA. The Emerging Conductors Network has welcomed conductors as new as their first year of teaching and as experienced as their 12th year of teaching. The goal of this branch of ACDA-MN is to bring together teachers in a similar part of their career on a frequent basis. There will be ECN-specific sessions during ACDA-MN Summer Dialogue as well as ACDA-MN Fall Conference. We hope to see you there!

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


COMMISSIONING CORNER A conversation with composer Jake Runestad BY BRYAN BLESSING

I was recently able to talk to the 2014 All-State Women’s Chorus composer, Jake Runestad, about his new piece, “Sing Wearing the Sky,” which will be premiered this summer. Here are a few thoughts from Jake about this exciting new work: JAKE RUNESTAD


Oak Grove Middle School Bloomington, MN


Bryan Blessing: What is the name of the work and how did you select the text? Jake Runestad: My recent commission for the All-State Women’s Chorus, “Sing Wearing the Sky,” is a setting of short poems by Lalla – a 14th-century mystic poet from Kashmir. When seeking enlightenment, Lalla was said to have been so comfortable with herself that she would freely dance about the land. This is a powerful message for teenagers who struggle with self-esteem and being comfortable in their own bodies. My hope is that this piece encourages each singer to dance freely and find comfort in who she is as an individual. BB: What was the process like and how did it compare to writing for other SATB groups? JR: The process of writing this work was thrilling! In discussions with several conductors about what repertoire is needed for women’s choruses, I learned there is a desire for exciting, rhythmic works. I also wanted to find a poem that speaks to high school-aged students – something relevant to the challenges of life at that age. Musically, I wanted the work to begin introspectively and then grow to a rhythmic dance capturing the joy of singing and living. Thinking in two voice parts is quite different than conceiving a piece for SATB choir and so I was challenged to discover new textures and “choralstrational” possibilities for treble voices

Star of the North • Spring 2014

(which is one of the most exciting elements of composing!). BB: Were there any challenges in composing the work? JR: With each of my works, I want to challenge the norm of how we conceive of choral music. The human voice is capable of a multitude of sounds that are too often not explored. As an educator myself, I know how important it is to create music that is accessible yet allows for an opportunity to engage and challenge each student. Along with the inclusion of basic Classical Indian music styles and techniques, the greatest challenge in writing this work was incorporating a variety of textures and interesting vocal lines while allowing the work to be learned and performed by choirs of all levels. I feel that this work finds that balance and will be popular among choirs of many levels! BB: Can you tell us something about the accompaniment? JR: This work is accompanied by piano, violin, and percussion (finger cymbals and tambourine). These instruments are used to evoke the sounds of Classical Indian music and help to create expansive textures and driving rhythms. BB: What do you hope the singers and audience will experience from your piece? JR: As with all of my works, I hope the music breathes a new life into the text and helps it to be a relevant message for today’s singers and audiences. Lalla’s words are a joyous account of finding comfort in one’s self and are just as relevant today as they were hundreds of years ago. Find out more about Jake Runestad and his music at:

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

“Transforming Singers Into Community” – November 21-22, 2014 State Conference


President Elect Blaine High School Blaine, MN

November 2014 promises to deliver a powerpacked weekend of choral “wow!” Based on the idea that choral music benefits the greater good of the human spirit and society by bringing us together and transforming our attitudes, we have titled our state conference, “Transforming Singers Into Community.” When singers join together, they begin to embrace differences and care for each other in ways that transform each other and those with whom they share their music. Three special concert events will include a Friday evening concert featuring Melanie DeMore, vocal activist, leading choirs of all ages and backgrounds in stick pounding and music that promotes freedom and equality. A special performance Saturday afternoon entitled, “Choral Kaleidoscope 5.6.I,” with Singers in Accord and guest conductors Jerry Rubino, JD Steele, Matthew Mehaffey, Nancy Grundahl, Judy Sagen, and David Mennicke will feature highlights of their first five seasons as a singer-run choir. The weekend concludes with a guest performance by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, conducted by Francisco Núñez, sponsored by VocalEssence. Conference headliners Francisco Núñez and Melanie DeMore will present sessions on “The Three R’s: Repertoire, Recruitment, Retention,” and “Stick Pounding” respectively. This year’s Student Symposium will draw from the talents of Andrew Last of Luther College, Matt Ferrell of St. Cloud State University, and Brandon Dean of Gustavus Adolphus College.

Star of the North State Newsletter Relevant • Resourceful • Respected Haven’t been receiving Daily Beats? Contact Bruce Becker at:

Twenty relevant and practical interest sessions will be available including, “Creating a New Context for Traditional Songs in Children’s Choirs,” and “Bringing the Feel of Old Black Gospel” in a children’s choir with Karen Howard of the University of St. Thomas. Reid Larsen and Steven Albaugh will lead middle and high school level sessions on building community within the teenage years. Sean Vogt and Mary Kay Geston will lead panels on building and maintaining community and church choirs. There will be sessions on Latin American Choral Music with Will Lopes, and Deconstructing Vocal Jazz with Five by Design, and much more! We are seeking submissions for nine ACDA member choirs to fill the remainder of the conference. I strongly encourage you to send in a recording of your group! This year, in addition to the featured performance choir application process, we will have an application process for clinic choirs. ALL choirs are encouraged to apply for these clinic opportunities. It is our goal to balance the clinic session with three choirs of diverse backgrounds that will provide our audience a unique opportunity to learn a variety of successful teaching strategies offered by our master clinicians. All applications are due by June 2, 2014. Application forms are available at I look forward to seeing you in November!

FMC SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS Summer Dialogue Scholarship Postmarked: June 2, 2014 Application Forms at:

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


MMEA UPDATE Spring greetings from MMEA! THE LIGHT

MELAINE KJELLBERG Andover High School Andover, MN

It seems that spring has finally arrived and maybe, just maybe, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel; the tunnel that includes six “snow days” since the first day of the New Year, never ending pre-dawn extra/co curricular ensemble rehearsals, conference festivals, region solo/ensemble contests, tours, college music scholarship auditions, large group contests, musical rehearsals, and so much more. Now, as we look forward, we see just a few things left on the horizon: spring concerts, graduation, and finally…summer – a time to rest, rejuvenate, retool, learn, and prepare for another year. What a blessing summer is in all that it provides us as Minnesota music educators. MMEA can also see that light at the end of the tunnel. The Midwinter Clinic was a tremendous event and we are grateful for outstanding choral performances from our talented colleagues and their ensembles. Thank you, as well, to the many colleagues who assisted with the ACDA-MN 9/10 Honor Choirs and All-State choirs during the clinic. All ensembles performed at the highest of levels and every participating student and director should be incredibly proud of the work that was done. I am continually impressed by the willingness of our music educators to give of their time to help with the Midwinter Clinic. The highly anticipated recorded MMEA All-State auditions are now complete. As I write this article, I am looking forward to the upcoming draft day when the 2014-2015 MMEA All-State choirs will be selected. A very special thank you to all of the directors who stepped up to listen and judge the auditions which is a very timely but incredibly important commitment to the MMEA organization and the tradition of the Minnesota All-State experience.


Thank you to those who sponsored students for All-State auditions. Thank you, as well, for your guidance, patience and support as the new recorded All-State audition and scoring criteria


Star of the North • Spring 2014

was developed to best serve students and teachers alike. While we know that we were moving from an imperfect system to an imperfect system, we will continue to tweak the audition process to best evaluate the skills of those students auditioning for All-State ensembles. MMEA will be asking for feedback in a more formal way, but in the meantime, you can send any input to me at or to Data from the new audition process following the culmination of the All-State camps in August will be published in the fall.


MMEA is excited to return to Concordia College for All-State Choir Camp. Our esteemed AllState conductors include Brad Holmes, Director of Choir Programs at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois (Mixed Choir), Dr. Mary Kay Geston, Artistic Director of Great River Chorale in St. Cloud, Minnesota (Women’s Choir), and Jonathan Reed, Professor of Music at Michigan State University’s College of Music, East Lansing, Michigan (Men’s Choir). All of my past experiences with All-State Camp – as a section coach, team lead, and now as MMEA Choral Vice President – have been the most invigorating, renewing, rewarding, and fulfilling experiences of my career. I would love to provide those same opportunities for all of my choral colleagues. I encourage you to become a part of the All-State experience by serving as a section coach, helping in the All-State Camp office, providing entertainment (for the All-State students), or simply observing rehearsals. I am in the process of creating each section coach team and ask that if you are interested in serving in that capacity, to contact me at your earliest convenience. It is such a gift to have the MMEA All-State Choir Camp happen concurrently with ACDA-MN Summer Dialogue. During your time at Dialogue, please stop by the MMEA All-State Camp office to say hello!

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

2015 MMEA MIDWINTER CLINIC The 2015 MMEA Midwinter Clinic takes place February 12th and 13th. MMEA wants to ensure that Midwinter Clinic attendees will have a plethora of choral performances to attend. PLEASE consider submitting an application to perform at the clinic, whether you have or haven’t applied in the past. The audition deadline is May 10th and the application form is available for download at Best wishes to you as you emerge from your winter tunnel into the vibrant spring. I look forward to seeing you during ACDA-MN Summer Dialogue and MMEA All-State Camp. Again, remember to stop into the MMEA All-State office (we just might have treats on hand)!

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Our tour was one that the students and I will never forget.” - Dr. Lee Nelson Wartburg College

Customized All-Inclusive Performance Tours 2014 STUDENT SYMPOSIUM PRESENTERS Brandon Dean Gustavus Adolphus College St. Peter Matthew Ferrell St. Cloud State University Andrew Last Luther College, Decorah IA Friday, November 21, 2014 St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church Mahtomedi

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


CHORAL ARTS FINALE The 9th Annual Choral Arts Finale took place on Sunday, April 6, 2014 on the campus of Concordia University, St. Paul and Orchestra HalI in Minneapolis with guest conductor/clinician Dr. Geoffrey Paul Boers and coordinated by Dr. David L. Mennicke. This premier high school choral festival, cosponsored by ACDA of Minnesota and Concordia University, St. Paul, was once again a resounding success.


After a greeting from Concordia University, St. Paul President Tom Ries, the day began with a massed choir rehearsal of the seven choirs under the inspiration of Dr. Boers. Each high school group then received a 20-minute clinic with Dr. Boers, gaining insights and growing in musical depth. After supper on the Concordia, St. Paul campus, the groups each had a sound check on the Orchestra Hall stage, culminating with the gala concert that night.

Each choir sang a 10-minute program and combined under Dr. Boers as a massed choir of over 400 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 groups 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. Next year’s Choral Arts Finale (the 10th!) is scheduled for Sunday, April 19, 2015 at Orchestra Hall. Dr. Janet Galván from Ithaca College in New York is the guest conductor/clinician. The six participating high school choirs were chosen audition in January. The day’s program was as follows:

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

Sinner Man�������������������������������������������������������������������� American Folksong, arr. Matthew Culloton (b. 1976) Santa Barbara Music SBMP1059

Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt���������������������������������������������������������������������������������Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) Choral Public Domain Library, ed. D. Mennicke

Beati quorum via (Op. 38, no. 3)�����������������������������������������������������������Charles Villiers Stanford (1857-1924) Boosey & Hawkes OCTB5318

I Come with Joy����������������������������������������tune: DOVE OF PEACE, arr. Kenneth Dake (composed 2012) Morningstar MSM-50-2825

Arioso, RAACHE Choirs

Suzy Johnson, conductor Nathan Kennedy (Concordia University, St. Paul), piano All That Hath Life and Breath���������������������������������������������������������������� René Clausen (b. 1953) Mark Foster MF0223

Beau Soir (Beautiful Evening)�������������������������������������������������������Claude Debussy (1862-1918) arr. Stanley M. Hoffman (b. 1959) ECS 7689

El Hambo����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Jaakko Mantyjarvi (b. 1963) Walton Music, WW1264

Salmo 150 (Psalm 150)������������������������������������������������������������������������������Ernani Aguiar (b. 1949) Earthsongs S-40


Star of the North • Spring 2014

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

Willmar High School Cardinal Choir Neal Haugen, conductor

Wana Baraka������������������� Kenyan Religious Song, arr. Shawn Kirchner (b. 1970) SBMP #482

Trees����������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Daniel Brinsmead (b. 1988) Santa Barbara Music Publishing #1117

You Will Reap What You Sow���������������������������� music/lyrics by Pepper Choplin 2012 Heritage# 15/2868H-3

Valley Select Chorale, Apple Valley High School Joel Beyer, conductor

Ubi caritas���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978) Walton HL08501631

Zigeunerleben (A Gypsy’s Life)�������������������������������������������� Robert Schumann (1810-54) CPDL

Let Everything That Hath Breath�������������������������������������������� Jefferey L. Ames (b. 1969) earthsongs S-248

conducted by Bill Blatzheim

Minnehaha Academy Singers

Karen Lutgen, conductor

Gretchen Perkins, accompanist

Exsultate justi in Domino������ Lodovico Grossi Da Viadana (1564-1627), ed. Martens Walton Music 2153

The Lord is the Everlasting God, Part II������������������������������ Kenneth Jennings (b. 1925) Mark Foster 2137

Heartland������������������������������������������������������������������ text and music by Gary Fry (b. 1955) Colla Voce 56-30122

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


The Alexandria Concert Choir Steve Deitz, conductor

Ave verum corpus............................................................................................................. William Byrd (1540-1623) E. C. Schirmer Music Co. #393 (ed. H. Clough-Leighter)

Eatnemen Vuelie...............................................................................................................Frode Fjellheim (b. 1959) Boosey & Hawkes #48005002

If I Got My Ticket Can I Ride���������������������������������� African American Spiritual, arr. Robert Shaw (1916-99) G.Schirmer#9933

The Armstrong Choir Stephanie Trump, conductor

Toraji Taryung (Song of the Bellflower)������� Korean Folk Song, arr. Kenneth Jennings (b. 1924) ED 8842

Northern Lights............................................................................................................ Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978) Walton 1447

Unclouded Day�������������������� words/tune by Rev. J.K. Alwood (1828-1909), arr. Shawn Kirchner Boosey & Hawkes 48021256

2014 Choral Arts Finale Massed Choir Geoffrey Paul Boers, conductor Nathan Kennedy (Concordia University, St. Paul), piano

Sa Nuit d’Été (Its Summer Night)��������������������������������������������������������������Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943) Peermusic 62126-122

Walk Together, Children����������������������������������������������������Spiritual, arr. Moses Hogan (1957-2003) Hal Leonard 08703332


Star of the North • Spring 2014

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

Feedback from conductors and singers expressed the day’s impact: Neal Haugen, conductor of the Willmar Cardinal Choir, wrote: What a wonderful experience for directors and students to be involved in the Choral Arts Finale. It was a very rewarding day. The clinic time was helpful not only to the students, but also to the directors. Dr. Boers used the time to enlighten the students, but also the directors through gestures, conducting, facial, and expressive singing. The evening performance at Orchestra Hall was an experience the students will not forget. It was so exciting to see their faces when they first walked on stage for the sound check and also during the performance. I also was very blessed with so many parents who came to the performance. Their excitement, pride, and support were outstanding. A couple of thanks and thoughts from Willmar students to the donors, David and Sandy Frauenshuh: I think that people spend that much money on something like this because it shows young talented people that they deserve to be recognized and show them that they should pursue their dream of music. I would like to say thank you and that it was a really great experience, I really learned a lot from all of the clinicians. I had a really great time. I think that the sponsors spend so much money each year for this event because music is very important. Music teaches us how to work together to create something beautiful. It shows us that we need each other. Not many subjects in school teach us these important concepts. If I could say something to them, I would thank them for the investment in music that they have. The love they have for music is making a difference in the lives of students all over the state. They really love to see music being supported in the lives of young people. In order to keep programs like music in the schools, you have to keep the younger up-and-coming leaders passionate about it. This is a way to show young people how much choir means to those in the community and those around the world. And it makes the students appreciate it as well, getting to work with a nationally renowned conductor. Music is important and is worth any cost to keep it going in the lives of the younger generation. Thanks to them so much for putting this together and keeping it alive year after year. Steve Deitz, conductor of the Alexandria Concert Choir: We had a great day. Our choir was honored to participate and to share the stage with the fantastic participating choirs. I am very proud of choral music in the state of Minnesota. This premiere choral festival really celebrates our great musical heritage, and serves to set standards of excellence and possibilities for the future. Thanks to David Mennicke for his vision and dedication to this exceptional festival and the impact it has made on thousands of our high school musicians.

From Suzy Johnson, conductor of Arioso (of the Rochester Area Association for Christian Home Education): Thanks so much! We had such an amazing experience! I will cherish it always and hopefully someday return. I appreciate your work to make this festival what it is and for your encouragement to me personally. God bless you and the work you do for Him. :)

And finally, from guest conductor Geoffrey Paul Boers: Thank you so much for the invitation to come and participate in the Minnesota Choral Arts Finale. This festival is a treasure, and provides so much for singers, teachers, your own students, and this conductor! It is rare to find a festival that embodies so many layers of what we love about the choral art. Today we find choirs from all over the state, sharing a high level of excellence – a result of the audition process – inner city, rural, suburban, private school and home school. Promoting excellence at every level, allowing each student to hear and see what is possible at schools unlike their own, but alike in spirit and art. The teachers who participate are modeling lifetime learning, and enjoying the boost of performing at a festival that is non-competitive and merely for the growth of their choir. They were ready to try anything, and the students were beyond enthusiastic. The mass choir is a unique opportunity as well. As each choir comes to share and celebrate their gifts, the choir is an amalgam of those gifts, and each school learns from the other. Some schools have top-notch vocal technique, others understand musical elements and reading, some know how to rehearse well, some are passionate in their expression. The result was a real joy for me, within the first hour being able to communicate subtlety and beauty non-verbally, and to hear dramatic growth. It also was a great opportunity for the teachers to observe me, as the clinician, actually working with some of the techniques I shared with them individually. The event in Orchestra Hall is a rare and special moment as well. The faces of the singers as they were on stage were not to be missed. Singing in this world-class venue is a lifetime memory for singer and conductor alike. Thank your patrons for their support in giving such a gift to our teachers. Most importantly, the sounds heard today, the learning acquired, the feelings had, the messages shared become imprinted in our ears, minds, and hearts. These are the things that will make us all better teachers and conductors.

Continued on next page…

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



CHOR AR FIN Concordia University-St. Paul Christus Chorus



Star of the North • Spring 2014

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


Choral Arts Finale Festival Choir

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


New Honor Choir Event in 2014-15 Due to the significant increase in auditions received for the State 4-5-6 Children’s honor choir program within the past five years, and with recent interest expressed from our membership and leadership, we will offer a new structure for the 4-5-6 honor choir program by offering gender-based choirs for boys and girls beginning in the 2014-15 academic year. Due to space and time limitations during the existing Friday state conference schedule that has traditionally hosted the 4-5-6 Children’s Honor Choir, we will permanently move the children’s program to the first Saturday in May with the event hosted at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi. For the first year of operation, and depending upon audition interest, we are anticipating a selected group of 75-90 boys, and 125-140 girls. All of the stakeholders (ACDA-MN Board of Directors; Honor Choir Co-Chairs; and a random sample of current elementary level members) have all enthusiastically given their support for this proposal. Auditions which have traditionally been scheduled for the beginning of each school year, will now be relocated into January and February of 2015, giving elementary directors more time to know and assist their students in preparation of the audition requirements.

2014-15 State Honor Choir Schedule 4-5-6 Boys & Girls Honor Choir Wednesday, February 18, 10:00 pm�������������� Auditions Due Wednesday, February 25���������������������������� Directors Notified Friday, March 13��������������Student Registration and Fees Due Saturday, May 2���������������� Rehearsal and Concert (new date) Conductors: Mark Johnson (Boys) Kari Douma (Girls) 7-8 Boys and Girls Wednesday, October 8, 10:00 pm���������������� Auditions Due Wednesday, October 15���������������������������� Directors Notified Friday, October 31���������Student Registration and Fees Due Saturday, November 22���������������������� Rehearsal and Concert Conductors: Andrew Last (Boys) Bret Amundson (Girls) 9-10 Women’s & Mixed Wednesday, November 5, 10:00 pm������������ Auditions Due Wednesday, November 12������������������������ Directors Notified Wednesday, Nov. 26����������Student Registration & Fees Due Thursday, February 12������������������������� Rehearsal and Concert Conductors: Shelly Winemiller (Women) Matt Mehaffey (Mixed)

Mark your calendars: Date of the new 4-5-6 honor choir program is Saturday, May 2, 2015

2014 Summer-Fall ACDA-MN Schedule of Events JUNE 2

15 16 17

AUGUST POSTMARKED DEADLINES: Award Nominations State Conference Performance Applications FMC Summer Dialogue Scholarship Summer Dialogue Early Registration Rates State Executive Board of Directors State Board of Directors Honor Choir Co-Chairs

JULY 8 15 16


State Executive Board of Directors POSTMARKED DEADLINES: Summer Dialogue Regular Registration Rates Summer Dialogue On-Campus Housing FMC Endowment Fund Committee Annual Meeting

Star of the North • Spring 2014

4 5-8 15 25

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

OCTOBER 4 8 25

FMC Fall Quarterly Meeting 7-8 Boys/Girls Honor Choir Auditions Due 25th Anniversary – Men’s & Women’s Festival St. John’s University – Collegeville

NOVEMBER 5 9-10 Honor Choir Auditions Due 21-22 State Conference

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

29th ANNUAL ACDA-MN SUMMER DIALOGUE Concordia College • Moorhead, Minnesota



Summer Dialogue August 5-8


North Dakota State University Fargo, ND

Conducting Gesture: How Much Does It Really Matter?


TEN NEW MUSIC READING SESSIONS: Featuring outstanding titles for choirs of all ability and voice levels hand selected by our ACDA-MN Repertoire and Standards Committee. 4TH ANNUAL MUSIC INDUSTRY EXHIBITS FAIR 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.

HEADLINERS René Clausen Concordia College Moorhead, MN

Millikin University, Decatur IL

Which Choir Is This Anyway? A Practical Approach to Variety in Sound

Mary Kay Geston

Great River Chorale, St. Cloud MN

What Every Choir Director Should Know About Healthy Vocal Production

Jonathan Reed

Michigan St University, East Lansing MI

Inviting the Muse to Rehearsal: From the Composer’s Path to Inspiration

Graduate Credit and Continuing Education Renewal Units Offered

Groth Music of Bloomington will be on site offering 20% discounts on purchases. Exclusive On-Line Registration Only

at: (credit card payment only)

Shawnee Press

Practical Tips for a Better Rehearsal (&) The Music of Greg Gilpin

And the Circle Won’t Be Broken: Thoughts of a Choral Sojourner

Ruth Dwyer Indianapolis Children’s

Brandon Williams

Doctoral Candidate, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI

Choir, Indianapolis, IN

Brad Holmes

Greg Gilpin

Harmony in Sequence: Developing Part-Singing in Grades 3-8

Be Careful What You Teach, It Might Be Learned!

PRESENTERS & CLINCIANS James Cox, Eagan HS • How Do I Do It? – The Tweeners (11-20 years of experience) Brandon Dean, Gustavus Adolphus College-St. Peter Student Conducting Workshop Shannon Dorscher, Bluff Creek Elem School-Chanhassen Personal Pick 6 for Children’s Choirs Matt Ferrell, St. Cloud State University • Student Conducting Workshop Dan Hampton, Montevideo HS • Personal Pick 6 for High School Choirs Thomas Hassig, Prior Lake HS • President’s Message: State of the State Kari Lace, Jackson MS-Champlin • Personal Pick 6 for Middle Level Choirs Stephanie Trump, Armstrong HS-Plymouth How Do I Do It? – The Veterans (20+ years of experience) Lin Warren, Hastings HS How Do I Do It? – The Newbies (1-10 years of experience) sponsored by Emerging Conductors Network (ECN)

ADDITIONAL EVENTS PLANNED FOR YOU Complimentary morning continental breakfasts Observe All-State Rehearsals New: Opening Day Welcome Lunch Opening Night FREE Picnic Supper Directors’ Chorus Concert for All-State Students

Round Table Talks Evening Afterglows Award and Recognition Banquet ACE Awards Opening Night Afterglow sponsored by Gateway Music Festivals & Tours


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


IN THE NEWS New Policy: On-Line Registrations with Credit Cards Only

Available on the Homepage: New forms Link

By recommendation of the ACDA-MN staff and Executive Board and with the approval of the State Board of Directors, beginning with the 2014 Summer Dialogue registration window, all registrations for future conferences will be processed on-line with credit card ONLY payments. Currently, close to 72% of Summer Dialogue and State Conference registrations are processed on-line. We will, however, continue to honor on-site registrations with payment choice of cash, check, or credit card. This policy is in response to the growing number of incomplete land mail registrations with delayed or no payments enclosed and wrong mailing addresses, particularly issued from school district finance offices.

ACDA-MN members will notice a new and convenient location to access any and all forms related to the annual activities of the organization. Located in the header of the homepage, members may click FORMS to download and print any of the following forms: ACDA Membership Renewal Advertising Star of the North State Newsletter State Conference Registration Site Summer Dialogue Registration Site Award Nomination Forms FMC Lifetime Achievement Award Minnesota Choral Director of the Year Award Outstanding Young Choral Director Award ACE (Advocate for Choral Excellence) Award Choral Arts Finale


FMC Scholarships Division or National Conference Graduate Study Summer Dialogue World Choral Symposium Honor Choirs Student Information (Audition) Student Registration (Select) Director Return (Select) State Conference Application for Concert Performance Application for Clinic Performance Application for Interest Session Summer Dialogue Application for Interest Session Banjar, Inc. P.O. Box 32164 Minneapolis, MN 55432


Star of the North • Spring 2014

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

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

Leadership Changes Congratulations to the following new members of the State Board of Directors:

Gillian Teoh-Berbee State Secretary

Nate Raabe Central District Chair

Reid Larsen Middle Level/Junior High School Choirs

Kristin Kivell Southeast District Chair

Special thanks to these out-going members of the State Board of Directors for their Years of service and leadership to ACDA-MN:

Elizabeth Shepley Southeast District Chair

Congratulations to the new R&S Committee Chair:

Kathy Pauls Central District Chair

SUMMER DIALOGUE On-line Registration site at Early Registration Deadline June 15, 2014 SAVE THE DATE Give to the Max Day November 13, 2014

Thank you to these outgoing members of the Repertoire & Standards (R&S) Committee For their many years of faithful and devoted service to ACDA-MN

Sue Gilsdorf Middle Level/Junior High School Choirs

Karla Miller Community College Choirs

Aaron Carpenter Boy Choirs

2014-15 STATE HONOR CHOIR CONDUCTORS 4-5-6 Boys – Mark Johnson 4-5-6 Girls – Kari Douma 7-8 Boys – Andrew Last 7-8 Girls – Bret Amundson 9-10 Women – Shelly Winemiller 9-10 Mixed – Matthew Mehaffey ACDA-MN Board and FMC Committee Meeting Minutes posted online at:

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


IN THE NEWS Summer Dialogue ­Registration Information

ACDA-MN and VocalEssence Honored by Meet Minneapolis

NEW THIS YEAR: • On-line registrations processed with credit card payment only • No mail-in registration and check payment available • On-site registration will accept both checks and credit card payments Early Registration • Received by June 15, 10:00 pm PER WEEK PER DAY Member @ $210 Member @ $90 Non-Member @ $260 Non-Member @ $140 Retired/Guest @ $135 Retired/Guest @ $50 Student @ $40 Student @ $10 Regular Registration • Received by July 15, 10:00 pm PER WEEK PER DAY Member @ $230 Member @ $110 Non-Member @ $280 Non-Member @ $160 Retired/Guest @ $150 Retired/Guest @ $60 Student @ $50 Student @ $12.50 Late or On-Site Registration • Received after July 15 PER WEEK PER DAY Member @ $260 Member @ $130 Non-Member @ $310 Non-Member @ $180 Retired/Guest @ $180 Retired/Guest @ $70 Student @ $60 Student @ $15 NOTICE: On-Line Registrations will close on THURSDAY, JULY 31, 10:00 pm and resume with on-site registration on Tuesday, August 5.

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


Star of the North • Spring 2014

Philip Brunelle and Diana Leland

EXCELLENCE IN MEETINGS, EVENTS & CONVENTIONS AWARD – This award was presented to the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota and VocalEssence whose efforts will result in an impact to the city of Minneapolis in future years. Their combined efforts resulted in bringing the National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association to Minnesota in March, 2017.  It is projected that the future economic impact of this event will generate $11.92 million in revenue for Minneapolis during the conference. Dates of the National Conference are March 8-11, 2017. Meet Minneapolis will make an official presentation of this award to ACDA-MN at its state conference in November, 2014, and also to VocalEssence at one of its future board meetings.  Diana J. Leland, representing ACDA-MN, and Philip Brunelle, representing VocalEssence, were present at the Meet Minneapolis Annual Meeting on March 4, 2014, when this award was announced.  Past winners of this award have included the Minneapolis Recreation and Parks Department (for their work in bringing the National Recreation and Parks Association event to Minneapolis) and Lions Club International District 5M-5 (for their work in bringing the Lions Club International event to Minneapolis).

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

2013-14 Honor Choir Season Photos State 4-5-6 Children’s Honor Choir

2013 Audition and Selection Statistics State 4-5-6 Children’s Honor Choir High Voice:������������������������������������������������ 101 Low Voice:������������������������������������������������ 256 Either:��������������������������������������������������������� 172 Total:����������������������������������������������������������� 529 Selected:����������������������������������������������������141 State 7-8 Boys’ Honor Choir Tenor 1:����������������������������������������������������� 112 Tenor 2:������������������������������������������������������� 54 Baritone:������������������������������������������������������ 45 Total:����������������������������������������������������������� 211 Selected:����������������������������������������������������131

State 7-8 Boys’ Honor Choir

State 7-8 Girls’ Honor Choir

State 7-8 Girls’ Honor Choir Soprano 1:������������������������������������������������� 157 Soprano 2:������������������������������������������������� 189 Alto:������������������������������������������������������������ 135 Total:����������������������������������������������������������� 481 Selected:����������������������������������������������������153 State 9-10 High School Honor Choir Soprano:����������������������������������������������������� 254 Alto:������������������������������������������������������������ 269 Tenor:����������������������������������������������������������� 99 Bass:������������������������������������������������������������ 165 Total:����������������������������������������������������������� 787 Selected:�����������Women 108; Mixed 128

State 9-10 Mixed Honor Choir

Total Auditions:�����������������������������������2008 Total Selected:����������������������������������������661 State 9-10 Women’s Honor Choir

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


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ANN L. SCHROOTEN Repertoire and Standards Chair for Children’s and Youth Community Choirs Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs in Bloomington/ Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Minneapolis


Hinei Mah Tov: Two Brothers Linda Tutas Haugen Ephraim Bay Publishing For Narrator, Children’s Choir, and Piano Behold, how good it is for brothers to dwell together in peace (Psalm 133). This 12-minute work by Burnsville composer, Linda Tutas Haugen, retells the old legend of two brothers who have inherited the family farm and then secretly help one another through a time of famine. It could certainly be performed with only piano, but Linda has also crafted beautiful instrumental parts for clarinet, violin, cello, and light percussion that engage the imagination of both the singers and the audience and support the story in a very dramatic way. This piece served as the centerpiece for our Thanksgiving Eve service, and would be the perfect vehicle for any festive or ecumenical gathering focusing on themes of community collaboration, building relationships in the midst of differences, and mindful giving. The choir is divided into two parts – one half delivering the text from Psalm 133 in Hebrew and the other half in English. The mostly unison choral parts are accessible for older elementary or middle school unchanged voices, and the mixed meter provides a great way to work on counting with young singers, especially when the English and Hebrew melodies overlap at the end of the piece. I had my singers rehearse note durations by snapping fingers on half notes while standing, then tapping thighs and sitting on dotted half notes; providing singers with both physical movement and a rhythmic challenge that helped to solidify the transitions from one meter to another. The Music Speaks for Me Philip Silvey Santa Barbara Music Press (SBMP 403) SA with Piano and Flute or Violin My singers got excited every time this piece came round in rehearsal! The text seems perfectly tailored for the pre-teen and young teen (tween) crowd. We spoke this poem together in unison before many of our sessions on it, and in concert, I had one of the singers speak the text before we sang it. Your accompanist will enjoy the flowing and interesting piano part that seems to com-

Star of the North • Spring 2014

plement the young singers’ voices so well. The words seemed to have real meaning for my singers – both boys and girls – helping them make sense of just why we all need music in our lives. This Ol’ Man Traditional, arr. by Greg Gilpin Shawnee Press, Distributed by Hal Leonard (HL35023225) Unison or 2-Part with Piano This arrangement “rocked the house” from the very first rehearsal. Greg has so expertly incorporated body percussion, square dancing licks, dramatic opportunities for choral sobbing (He played knick-knack up to heaven), a short piano solo on Chopsticks, a quick nod to a few other folk songs, and even a break for knock-knock jokes, with which we took great liberties in our performance by adding our own! The momentum only continues to build as the choir modulates through four different key changes in less than one minute coming in to the home stretch. We used this piece as our closer, with our audience breaking into cheers of approval every time. Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around Traditional, arr. Rollo Dilworth Hal Leonard (HL00114508) 3-Part Treble and Piano This particular piece brings together that powerful “freedom song,” Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around, with a newly composed melody to words of African American poet Langston Hughes. For our performance, the boys will take the third of three parts, which now seems to have bonded them for life! At the end of this highly energized arrangement, Dilworth has created a section for vocal riffs to be layered one on top of the other and repeated at the conductor’s discretion. What a perfect opportunity to have singers move off the risers and around the space to capture the communal intensity of this important musical legacy from the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Rollo Dilworth was our special guest composer and conductor for the Angelica Cantanti spring concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis on May 3.

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

I Love It When Daniel Kallman Kallman Creates Publications Unison Treble Voices and Piano Northfield composer Daniel Kallman continues to produce texts that have great integrity and imagery for young singers to call their own. Here is yet another piece that seems to capture the essence of what it means to be an observant child of the world in which we live and how to find our place in it. And, as a nurturer of developing voices, I really love how Dan’s melodic writing lures the upper register of the child into realms that these singers would never visit on their own, but once they are given the chance, they LOVE to soar on those lofty phrases. Thank you, Dan, for writing such beautiful and captivating music for our children. Ubi Caritas from “Cantate! Sing to the Lord!” Becki Slagle Mayo Choristers Guild (CGA 1327) Unison/two-part Treble with Piano Becki Slagle Mayo offers four songs in this collection of very easy, yet beautifully composed sacred songs for young voices.

2014 SUMMER DIALOGUE HEADLINERS Jonathan Reed, Michigan State University Conductor – MMEA All-State Men’s Choir

The Ubi Caritas from this set was the first piece I introduced to my children’s and youth ensembles at church this fall and it turned out to be a great piece for welcoming singers back to begin a new year. This gentle melody and easily learned Latin text proved quite accessible for even our first and second graders, but sophisticated enough that our middle school singers were also hooked. Becki constructed one melody using the Latin text, and a lovely countermelody using an English paraphrase of the Latin text that complements one another so nicely. I look forward to featuring our middle and high school youth on this piece next week for Maundy Thursday worship and then combining all our youth choirs in singing this in June to close our year together just as we began in September. Investing in this collection for your church library would certainly fill a need for developing singers to encounter timeless sacred texts in Latin such as Cantate Domino, Kyrie Eleison, and Gloria Patri that are also flexible in their use throughout the liturgical calendar.

Your One-Stop Source for Music Education! Sheet Music

Brad Holmes, Millikin University Conductor – MMEA All-State Mixed Choir Mary Kay Geston, Great River Chorale Conductor – MMEA All-State Women’s Choir JoAnn Miller North Dakota State University Conductor – ACDA-MN Directors’ Chorus August 5-8 Concordia College – Moorhead

Band & Orchestral

...and much more!

Over 23,000 square feet of inventory. Call us...we have what you need! 800.437.1755 * Grand Forks, ND *

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



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AARON J. CARPENTER Repertoire & Standards Chair for Boychoirs Artistic Director, Land of Lakes Choirboys


Nesta Rua (On this Pathway) Brazilian Folk Song, arr. Brad and Lucy Green Hal Leonard 00114515 3-part with piano accompaniment I love this piece as it captures the true Brazilian folk song. Starting softly on ‘loo,’ the arrangers capture the emotion of having lost one’s first love. With many broken chord structures your choir will need to work hard to develop a good even tone without scooping or sliding. I would utilize warm up exercises to help free the choristers’ voices with running scales Scan and then break them down into for sample arpeggios. Be sure to include work on minor scales and minor arpeggios. There is ample usage of unison singing with small sections of three-part and a cappella singing. Guide Me As I Walk Along (Cherokee Hymn) arr. James Green Walton Music WW1493 2-part or 3-part, accompanied; flute with optional string bass and percussion Sung in Traditional Cherokee (Kituwas dialect) this song gives our choristers an introduction to the sounds of Native American music. This song might be paired nicely with Lydia Adam’s Mi’kmaq Honour Song. Never can one go wrong with finding songs that utilize percussion instruments – especially with boys. This Cherokee Hymn allows for simple vocal lines while including Scan some percussive instruments. If for sample you are one who teaches using body rhythm this would be a good choice to get your choir using their bodies to produce the correct rhythms.

Star of the North • Spring 2014

Song of Peace Donna Butler Harold Flammer Music 35028252 Unison, opt. 2-part, accompanied Text are based on a Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi A very simple setting of the famous text of St. Francis of Assisi. I would use this song with my beginning choir to introduce register changes, legato singing, dynamic contrasts, Scan and basic two-part singing. It for sample would also serve well for applying solfeggio to the choristers’ repertoire. The song is rather repetitive, which, again, makes it perfect for the beginning choir member. Dreams That Children Dream Ruth Elaine Schram and Celsie Staggers Heritage Music Press 15/2224H 2-part, accompanied This song explores exactly what the title says – dreams that children dream. My choir collaborated with the Twin Cities Youth Chorale (TCYC) and the Robbinsdale All-District Choir at the TCYC’s 5th Annual Youth Choir Festival earlier this year where we closed the festival with this selection. Dreams That Children Dream can be used to continue development of two-part Scan singing. The composition also for sample relies on an understanding of crescendos and decrescendos to add to the emotion. If you wanted to explore the expansion of solfeggio beyond the octave, this piece would serve that purpose.

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Amavolovolo Rudolf de Beer Hal Leonard; HL 08749218 SSAA a cappella Also available SATB; HL 08749217 Simply one of the best South African songs my boys have sung. They absolutely love it! From the percussion to the movements the energy of this song is contagious. Our audiences love it, as well. If you are looking for a piece to challenge your choir to sing in four parts this song is basic and repeats the patterns throughout. The actions are simple and easy to Scan learn and are a MUST when p­ erforming Amafor sample volovolo. Link to video of Drakensberg Boys’ Choir of South Africa: watch?v=nYZPG_PihaA

Tottoyo Cristian Grases Gentry Publications; JG2436 SSA, soloist, accompanied Cristian Grases does a wonderful job of offering a song that captures the spirit of a young boy at play. Based solely on “nonsensical phonemes,” Tottoyo is filled with energy from the very opening call to the very closing call. Don’t let the three parts scare you away from this one . The part writing is simple, repetitive, and achievable by some beginning choirs. I might even consider doing this piece a cappella. Some small actions bring to life the imagery of a young boy who doesn’t want Scan to come in from playing when his mother is callfor sample ing. The composition has the rhythmic dance of the South American or Caribbean culture. Our audiences love it and so will yours. Link to video: watch?v=ldshG8wF6NU



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JONATHAN KOPPLIN Repertoire and Standards Chair for Ethnic and ­Multicultural Perspectives Richfield High School


There are many exciting new pieces that become available over the course of an academic year and concert season. Publishers often provide mailings and email communication as the seasons change. Take time to look through them. Additional resources that bear fruit in the search for something new and unique for my choirs include ChoralNet’s daily email summarizing the daily forum topics, connecting with composers on LinkedIn, and digging deeper into the repertoire of the composers with whom I am already familiar.

Gao Shan Qing arr. Reed Criddle Santa Barbara Music Publishers #SBMP-1182 TTBB, piano Also see: Boat on a Tai Lake Reed Criddle is the Director of Choral Activities at Utah Valley University. He earned his doctorate at the University of Michigan, and Gao Shan Qing was written as a showpiece for the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club. Dr. Criddle is also a leading U.S. expert on Chinese music, and a good starting point if one is searching for Chinese choral music. The piece is not overly difficult and often incorporates unison or two voice textures in a five tone modality. The piano accompaniment pairs well with the vocal part to provide an exciting audience pleaser for your men’s chorus. Morning Star Lullaby arr. by Debra Scroggins Earthsongs #s-399 SSAA, alto solo Debra Scroggins composed this piece in 2013 for Tracey Gregg-Boothby, a doctoral student at the University of Oklahoma, and a member of the Witchita Tribe. The tribal text is set in a slow, yet flowing 6/8 meter. The 16 bar melody of the alto section is introduced by a soloist at the beginning of the piece. At measure 17, the alto line has a tutti entrance, accompanied by a parallel soprano melody harmonized at the 5th above. At measure 47, the soprano melody splits into two parallel melodies separated in perfect 4ths. Beginning at bar 52, harmonic 2nds and 3rds are introduced

Star of the North • Fall 2013

into the vertical sonority. Tuning this piece will be a challenge for any quality women’s ensemble. However, the ethereal sounds created by this open harmonic language will captivate your audience. Calo Lan John Hughes, arr. by David Eddleman Carl Fischer CM9368 SATB and piano. (with optional Flute, Horn in F, and two violins) Eddleman has arranged Calo Lan a Welsh anthem composed by John Hughes with lyrics written in the 19th century by Daniel James. The piece serves as an unofficial Welsh national anthem, and is performed before all rugby matches in Wales. The piece serves a two-fold function for your ensemble: first, it provides the opportunity to sing a national anthem other than the Star-Spangled Banner or O, Canada!; second, it provides the challenge and opportunity to perform a piece in Welsh, and provide an introduction to the great choral tradition found in Wales. El Barquito de Papel and Velero de Papel Jesus Lopez VocalEssence Music Press 2-part treble and piano Also see: http://www.vocalessencemusicpress. org/works and http://www.vocalessence Over the past few years, VocalEssence has published some of the choral works that have been developed out of their ¡Cantaré! program that began in 2008. This is an outstanding resource for Mexican choral music for all ages available here in Minnesota. El Barquito de Papel and Velero de Papel represent two pieces for Elementary singers by Jesus Lopez. Each piece features a unison soprano melody and lower alto harmony that aligns homophonically. Depending upon the ability of your elementary singers, you can perform the piece with or without the alto line. The piano provides a rich accompaniment to complement the melodic material. Whenever possible, I encourage

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CHORAL MUSIC Song of Kabir Elizabeth Alexander Seafarer Press SEA-119-00, SATB, a cappella Song of Kabir is a newer composition by Minnesota-based composer Elizabeth Alexander, drawing from a text by the Indian poet Kabir (14401518). Kabir eschewed the formality of organized religions, but sought to find “God” through his own personal truth. This philosophy is in step with people today who seek to find common ground in our various faiths, as opposed to concentrate on the details that build walls and divide us. Alexander uses a modern translation of the text set in an a cappella, four part, homophonic texture. The musical line is servant to the text at all times, allowing the message to be clearly delivered and understood. In order to emphasize the appropriate text stress, Alexander frequently switches meters. However, this piece should not come off as overly rhythmic. Roztopas Ilja Zeljenka (1932-2007) Alliance Publications, Inc. #AP-10275 SATB, a cappella Website: Roztopas (translated as “Mischief”) is a part of the Slovak choral series from Alliance Publications in Sinsinawa, WI. Most of the division within the voice parts happens in the soprano and alto lines. This piece can be performed by a quality ensemble with relatively few men. Zeljenka’s composition uses a layering of melodic motives, varied vocal colors, and body percussion to create an interesting tonal picture that holds an audience’s attention for the length of the seven-minute performance. The API website features a PDF snippet of the first five pages of the score, and an MP3 recording of a performance of the piece.

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Matthew Culloton, D.M.A. and Dan LeJeune Teaching Adolescent Voices in a Choral Setting, 3 cr. June 23-July 3 Ruth Dwyer Developing the Child Voice in the Classroom and Choral Settings, 2 cr. July 21-25 Joseph Reed, D.M.A. Voice Fundamentals, 2 cr. July 21-25

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



the membership to explore the independent publishers and composers active in Minnesota.

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MARY KAY GESTON Repertoire & Standards Chair for Community Choirs Great River Chorale


Spring Carol David C. Dickau Pavane Publishing P1426 SATB, piano Also available: Hal Leonard HL 08301955 Commissioned by Great River Chorale in 2011 for its tenth anniversary season, this buoyant setting of a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson captures the promise of spring. The robust first half gives way to a slower, quiet ending that evokes peaceful contentment. Homophonic segments alternate with lilting SA and TB duets, and brief three- and four-part divisi in the men’s parts are easily managed. A competent pianist can play the accompaniment, and the piece is accessible to community, high school, and college choirs. Prairie Waters By Night John Leavitt Hal Leonard Publishing HL 08552515 SATB, piano One of four pieces from a set called American Song commissioned by the Sioux Falls [SD] Mastersingers, “Prairie Waters By Night” is a beautiful setting of Carl Sandburg’s poem of the same name that evokes the night sounds of prairie streams and lakes. Chattering birds join with “a litany of running water” to form “a choir chanting new psalms” in this musical homage to the landscape of the Upper Midwest. Ever-changing meters and sensitive text setting require artistry and finesse from choir and accompanist.

Since 1997… Your gifts to the FMC Endowment Fund Have supported 197 Minnesota choral Directors with scholarship awards Totaling over $127,000

Star of the North • Spring 2014

We Shall Walk Through the Valley In Peace African American Spiritual, arranged by Moses Hogan Hal Leonard HL 08703314 SATB, divisi Moses Hogan’s lush and reverent setting of this traditional African American spiritual is almost hymn-like and notably different from his wellknown fast and energetic arrangements. This effective arrangement is straightforward and largely homophonic, and the melody is predominantly found in the soprano part. Starts quietly, builds dramatically in the middle, and returns to a quiet ending. Appropriate for large choirs with enough singers, especially low basses, to successfully tackle the divisi and long, sustained phrases. Daniel, Daniel, Servant of the Lord African American Spiritual, arranged by Undine S. Moore Alfred Music/Belwin Festival Series WBCH93162 SATB, divisi This powerful, classic arrangement by Undine S. Moore, one of the most prolific African-American female composers of the 20th century, is worth keeping in every community and college choir’s repertoire. The piece features tenor and bass solos, average vocal ranges, and a sizable amount of three- and four-part divisi. This arrangement was first published in 1953 prior to Moore’s time in Minnesota as a visiting professor at Carleton College and the College of Saint Benedict in the 1970s.

2014-15 STATE HONOR CHOIR SCHEDULE November 22 • 7-8 Boys and Girls February 12 • 9-10 Women and Mixed May 2 • 4-5-6 Boys and Girls

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Minnesota Chapsticks Lou and Peter Berryman, arranged by Jane Ramseyer Miller Self-published Contact: SATB, piano The familiar tune known as “Chopsticks” was originally published in 1877 as a piano solo entitled “The Celebrated Chop Waltz” by English composer Euphemia Allen. In this tongue-incheek version Jane Ramseyer Miller, artistic director of Twin Cities-based One Voice Mixed Chorus, arranged folk artists Lou and Peter Berryman’s lyrics with the names of 99 Minnesota towns for SATB choir and piano. This easy and fun arrangement is a crowd-pleaser, especially in Minnesota. Purchase a license to photocopy ($1/per copy) via email from the arranger.

Brother Heinrich’s Christmas John Rutter Hinshaw Music HMB-158 SATB, narrator, small orchestra or oboe, bassoon, and piano If you are looking for something different for next year’s holiday concert consider this light-hearted musical fable with words and music by John Rutter. Choirs with modest budgets should opt for the version for oboe, bassoon, and piano, which works very well. The spoken and sung parts are woven together, so the effectiveness of the piece hinges on the seamless coordination between the two. An experienced narrator with great timing is highly recommended. The choral writing and accompaniment parts are very accessible. This invented story about the origin of the Christmas carol In dulci jubilo appeals to the child in everyone.

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


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Nelson, Ronald A. age 86, of Mpls., passed away April 18, 2014 in San Diego. Preceded in death by sister, Margery; daughter, Eileen, and grandson, Bryce. Beloved church musician and composer, Nelson led choirs of all ages at Westwood Lutheran Church for 37 years and composed choral and organ music in vigorous retirement. Survived by wife, Betty Lou; daughter, Rachel; sons, Peter (Wendy) and Paul. Held in the hearts of friends and countless choir school graduates, “Ronnie’s Kids.� Memorial service with mass choir Friday, May 16, music at 2:30; service at 3 pm at Westwood Lutheran Church, 9001 Cedar Lake Road, St. Louis Park. Interment Lakewood Cemetery. Memorials to Westwood Church organ fund, Westwood Nelson Fund, or St. Olaf College Music Scholarship Fund.

Star of the North Award-winning on-line edition available at


Star of the North • Spring 2014

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

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

ACDA-MN Districts

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


Summer Dialogue Preview

August 5-8 • Concordia College, Moorhead, MN

O U R F E AT U R E D H E A D L I N E R S Jo Ann Miller ACDA-MN Directors’ Chorus Conducting Gesture: How Much Does It Really Matter?

Brad Holmes MMEA All-State Mixed Choir Which Choir Is This Anyway? A Practical Approach to Variety In Sound

Jonathan Reed MMEA All-State Men’s Choir Inviting the Muse to Rehearsal: From the Composer’s Path To Inspiration

Greg Gilpin Shawnee Press Practical Tips For A Better Rehearsal The Music of Greg Gilpin

René Clausen Concordia College-Moorhead And The Circle Won’t Be Broken: Thoughts Of A Choral Sojourner

Mary Kay Geston MMEA All-State Women’s Choir What Every Choir Director Should Know About Healthy Vocal Production

Ruth Dwyer Indianapolis Children’s Choir Harmony In Sequence: Developing Part Singing in Grades 3-8

Brandon Williams Michigan State University Be Careful What You Teach, It Might Be Learned!

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Navigating the Transitions of Our Male Singers

Karen Howard, University of St. Thomas- St. Paul

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Andrew Last, Luther College-Decorah IA Matt Ferrell, St. Cloud State University

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A Repertory Handbook for the Emerging Choral Director

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Teaching the Solo Voice in the Ensemble Setting


Dale Kruse, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Panel: Michael Culloton, Mark Potvin, Judy Sagen, Mary Kay Geston

Will Lopes, Grace Church-Roseville

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Introduction to Latin American Choral Music Solo Repertoire for Young Singers: A Crash Course for Directors Jami Lercher, Roseville Area High School

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Susan Cogdill, College of St. Benedict-St. Joseph

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


Star of the North • Spring 2014

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

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Benefits of Membership in ACDA of Minnesota The American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota Land of 10,000 Choirs! The choral directors source for engaging and ongoing professional development Our Mission: To inspire and support a community of choral musicians in our state Our Values: Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support Annual Professional Development Activities Access to Award Winning Publications • Summer Dialogue and New Music Reading Sessions • ACDA-MN Star of the State Newsletter scheduled each August Website black + PMS 202 • State Conference featuring select performances and • ACDA North Central Melisma relevant interest sessions for all levels of singing sched• ACDA National Choral Journal uled during the weekend prior to Thanksgiving The Daily Beat Statewide Professional Connections with over 800 colleagues in all areas of teaching and conducting State Honor Choir Program featuring 750 auditioned students in six annual honor choirs • 4-5-6 Boys’ • 4-5-6 Girls’ • 7-8 Boys’ • 7-8 Girls’ • 9-10 Women • 9-10 Mixed

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Our choral music program is diverse, challenging, uplifting and educational. It features eight choirs including the award-winning Concert Choir, the 100-member Choral Union, and three 8-12 member vocal jazz ensembles. With guidance from conductors Dr. Gary Kent Walth, Dr. Terence Kelly and Ms. Aliyah Richling, choir members are offered inspiring and life-changing choral experiences.

Choir participation is open to all of our students through auditions.


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Star of the North • Spring 2014

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



BRUCE W. BECKER ACDA-MN Executive Director

Five Formative Years! Since the summer of 2009, I have experienced the personal privilege of serving this organization as your first full-time Executive Director. When looking back over these years, I can resonate with the expression “Where does the time go?” However, I can also honestly report that within these five years, with the able assistance of so many accomplished state leaders, ACDA-MN continues to lead the way in modeling what a state chapter can accomplish. I thought it might be fun to capture some of the highlights of our work together over these years.

50th Anniversary Celebration Three years in the planning, the 50th Anniversary of ACDA-MN was celebrated in grand style over two academic years in 2011 and 2012, culminating in one amazing weekend – three Inspiring concerts during our state conference weekend in November of 2012 where hundreds of ACDA-MN members and thousands of enthusiastic concert patrons celebrated with us during those memorable three days. State Honor Choirs Through the feedback and support of member directors, we expanded the number of students selected in each honor choir and added two new honor choir experiences: 9-10 Women’s in 2013 and the new 4-5-6 Boys’ honor choir that will debut in 2015. From 425 students in 2009 to an anticipated 750 in 2014-15, the program continues to offer life-changing singing moments for our students. In addition, we expanded our leadership to two co-chairs per choir. In 2011, we moved toward a very popular and wellreceived on-line audition process, resulting from 1400 auditions in 2009 to over 2000 auditions in 2013. Commissioning Projects ACDA-MN has enthusiastically moved into many new commissioning projects featuring

compositions from Minnesota composers for each of our honor choirs, our All-State choirs where we collaborate with MMEA, and for three unique commissioning consortiums for high school, women’s, and church choirs. These activities were all developed by the ACDA-MN Commission Task Force, first organized in 2010. Membership From 594 active members at the end of 2009 to just over 800 members at last count, ACDA-MN continues to commit itself to living out our mission: To inspire and support a community of choral musicians in our state. Just this past year alone with the ACDA national and state membership campaigns, we added almost 150 new members to our organization. We have recently added the position of Membership Outreach Coordinator to connect with our newest members and invite them to engage with their professional community. We have collaborated with Groth Music, VocalEssence, and Exultate in offering special discounts and perks to our renewing members. Commitment to Students What I am most excited about is the renewed and ongoing commitment to support student members as they develop skills to become choral directors. From the annual Student Symposium featured during the State Conference weekend, to the appointment of a new student representative to our State Board of Directors, to the offering of targeted student sessions at Summer Dialogue, to the awarding of many student scholarships through the FMC Endowment Fund, and to the offer of reduced student memberships in ACDA, our leadership is fully committed to supporting their future! Commitment to Elementary Members After taking an opportunity in 2011 to reflect upon what ACDA could do to expand offer-

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


ings to support our elementary members, our leadership has been firmly committed to featuring prominent clinicians and sessions that will benefit members in interest sessions presented at Summer Dialogue and at the annual State Conference. Communication For the first time in 2009, ACDA-MN offered a new on-line version of our award winning Star of the North state newsletter, and subsequently after studying the financial implications of continuing with a costly print version, recommended moving to an exclusive on-line version beginning in the fall of 2010. Plans are now being made to offer a new web-based newsletter titled Star of the in the fall of 2014 completely compatible with tablets and smart phones. In conjunction with our 50th anniversary, we re-branded our professional image with a new logo and recently adopted the seven values of Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support as we move into the next fifty years. A new website was launched in 2012 featuring an expanded Archives section that includes a Hall of Fame and an In Remembrance Page. In addition, we sought an active presence utilizing the social networks of Facebook, Twitter, and ChoralNet. Additionally in 2012, we launched a new statewide daily message program called The Daily Beat. Summer Dialogue Added a new Exhibits Fair in 2011, featured national clinicians for the first time in 2011, scheduled an on-site Award Banquet as part of the weekly schedule in 2012, and sought out corporate sponsorships to support the program beginning in 2011. Participation has increased to well over 200 registrants per year. It has become the summertime professional development event to attend! State Conference Throughout its first 36 years, ACDA-MN located the annual State Conference to various sites throughout the state. Upon the 2012 recommendation by many out-state Board members, the annual event has been located in one permanent metro site at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi. Not only do these exceptional facilities serve our expanded programming needs, much staff time is saved each year in developing a conference program in a site we know. As an organization that honors and commits itself to the “process” of producing choral music, beginning in 2011, we substituted three traditional “concert” offerings with “clinic” performances. A full two-day conference schedule was featured for the first time in 2010. FMC Endowment Fund One of the great delights during my years of state leadership was to be part of the creation and formation of the FMC Endowment Fund that would award scholarships to choral


Star of the North • Spring 2014

students at the student and grad student level. From a modest $40,000 beginning balance in 1997 generated from proceeds of the F. Melius Christiansen 125th Anniversary Concert, to a current balance of $750,000, we have seen 225 Minnesota choral directors and students directly benefit from over $145,000 in scholarship gifts. Because of the increasing time demands in managing these growing assets, we have recently engaged a professional fund management company to assist us in growing our fund. Since 2008-09, our organization has benefitted from the outstanding leadership and skilled support of Diana J. Leland, Director of Development. The Best Leadership and Staff in the Country! My personal thanks to these leaders who have supported me in this position: the ACDA presidential leadership team of Judy Sagen, Brian Stubbs, Steve Albaugh, Tom Hassig, and Sue Zemlin; State Secretaries Tom Hassig, Amy Johnson, and Gillian Teoh-Berbee; Star of the North Editors Mark Potvin and Bret Amundson; District Chairs and R&S Committee Chairs; FMC Committee Chairs Roger Tenney, Carl Lipke, and Jan Gilbertson; and the BEST support staff of Barb Geier, Executive Assistant and Tom Hale, Web Editor. Finally, I wish to acknowledge the firm foundation on which I began my tenure by thanking mentors Wayne Kivell, our first State Executive Secretary, and Chuck Hellie, State Treasurer. Finally, I express my sincere thanks to all of you, my dear colleagues and friends, for supporting the vision of this office and my position in it. Where has the time gone? That’s all for now…..


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

Star of the North  
Star of the North