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56th Annual Convention SAN ANTONIO • JULY 27-30, 2011

Sandra Snow

Donald Neuen


The House Jacks

Jonathan Reed

NON-PROFIT U.S. Postage Paid Austin, Texas Permit No. 789


TEXAS SINGS! Volume 27 Number 3 Spring 2011




Amy Allibon, Fort Worth PAST PRESIDENT

Candidates for TCDA Board of Directors


President’s Page


Bob Horton, The Woodlands

Staying Inspired, Remaining Grateful


by Amy Allibon

Jeff Rice, Waco

Performing Groups


Pam Elrod, Dallas









Dianna Jarvis, San Antonio

Tentative Schedule


How Do We Teach the ’How To‘?



Sharon Paul, Houston




by Sharon L Radionoff, PhD

Officer Comments



Dan L Wood, Austin On the Cover: The 56th Annual TCDA Convention and New Music Reading Clinic, scheduled for July 27-30 at San Antonio’s Henry B Gonzales Convention Center, features headliners Donald Neuen, Sandra Snow, and Jonathan Reed. Renowned acoustic vocal group, The House Jacks, will perform at the TCDA BBQ. The group will also offer a clinic for High School Student Day attendees Friday afternoon and for all on Saturday morning.



James A Black, Coppell PUBLISHER

Good/Wood Associates PO Box 6472 Austin, Texas 78762



Official Publication of the Texas Choral Directors Association 7900 Centre Park Drive, Suite A Austin, TX 78754 512/474-2801 Copyright 2011 by Texas Choral Directors Association. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the Executive Director. TCDA is an affiliate of ACDA

Spring 2011

TCDA Mission Statement The mission of TCDA is to support and foster the success of Texas choral directors and music teachers and to instill a love of music in every Texas school, church, and community singer. TEXAS√SINGS!


Candidates for TCDA Board of Directors Three Board members will be elected at the TCDA Convention in San Antonio. To help you become familiar with the candidates, a short vita and personal statement by each candidate follow.

High School Division Vice President

Robin Brockway-Nichols has taught secondary choral music in Texas for 18 years. During her eight-year tenure as Director of Choirs at Newman Smith HS in the Carrollton–Farmers Branch ISD, the choral program has grown to include seven performing ensembles, all groups earning consistent superior ratings at UIL competitions. The NSHS A Cappella Choir under her direction was invited to perform for the 2010 TMEA Convention. Prior to her tenure at Newman Smith, she was the Associate Choral Director at Haltom HS in Birdville ISD for six years. A native of Plano, Robin received an outstanding public school music education, and was twice selected for membership in the Texas All-State Mixed Choir while attending Plano Senior HS. She graduated cum laude from North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) and served as the A Cappella Choir soprano section leader and accompanist under the direction of Hal Gibbons. After several years working as a professional pianist and singer, Robin began her teaching career in Plano at 4

Bowman MS, where she was selected “Beginning Teacher of the Year”. An active choral clinician and collaborative accompanist, she has conducted TMEA All-Region choirs across North Texas, and has accompanied numerous AllRegion choirs as well as the Texas AllState Women’s Choir. In the summer of 2010 she served as Choral Conductor for the Texas Lone Star Ambassadors’ European Tour. Ms Brockway-Nichols serves on the TMEA State Advisory Board and currently holds the offices of Region 24 Secretary and Region 24 Vocal Division Chair-Elect. She is also a member of the TMEA/TMAC Curriculum and Assessment Committee. She has served TCDA as a reading session accompanist on numerous occasions and participated gleefully in “TCDA’s Got Talent” as part of the infamous “Do-Fa Sisterhood”. In July 2010 she accompanied the Elementary Honor Chorus under the direction of Dr Rollo Dilworth. In 18 years of teaching she has never missed a TCDA Convention. Robin has been named in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and is a member of ACDA, TCDA, TMEA, TMAA, and Pi Kappa Lambda. She is married to the very patient and understanding David Nichols, and mom to Wendy, the NSHS Choir Dog. They reside in Carrollton and are busy members of St Barnabas Presbyterian Church in Richardson, with Robin serving as youth choir director and Communications Elder while David serves on the Board of Trustees. If elected . . .

It would be an incredible privilege to serve as HS Vice President. The profound experiences I have enjoyed as a TEXAS√SINGS!

TCDA member have shaped my development as a music educator in immeasurable ways. There is quite simply no substitute at any price for the inspiring workshops, world-class clinicians, quality new music, and fellowship made available to us by TCDA each summer! I will strive to continue the high standards set by TCDA Board by seeking out the most inspiring and innovative clinicians and workshop facilitators. We have all been blessed by learning from national and even international conductors, teachers, and composers at our summer conventions and I will continue to seek out clinicians of that caliber and experience. One of our greatest strengths, however, is the wealth of knowledge and experience within our membership. If elected I intend to facilitate the expansion of our information-sharing and mentoring networks — I passionately believe that we must continue to work/share together for the benefit of all student musicians. Choosing quality music for our reading sessions is one of the most crucial TCDA Board tasks. My experience teaching students of all ages and all ability levels will allow me to make thoughtful decisions and choose music that will enhance your choral program and provide meaningful learning experiences for your students. I look forward to assessing music with a global perspective since I have experienced many diverse teaching environments. But, most of all, I look forward to focusing my energy and great passion for choral music education to serve you, your students, and TCDA. I would be deeply honored to represent the amazing choral music educators of Texas as a member of the TCDA Board of Directors. Spring 2011

High School Division Vice President

Dr Mark Rohwer is the Director of Choral Activities at Flower Mound HS in Flower Mound. He has been at FMHS since its opening in the fall of 1999. Prior to his appointment at FMHS, he served on high school faculties in Mesquite and McHenry IL. Rohwer holds degrees in music education from Northwestern University, the Eastman

Ronnie Sanders has been a choral director in Texas for over 25 years. He made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut on June 13, 2005. He served on the Board of Directors for TCDA several years ago and was recently appointed by Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst to serve on a sub-committee of the Texas Commission on the Arts. Sanders has directed university and college choral programs, high school and middle school choirs, and numerous church and community choirs. He currently serves as the choir director at the Thomas Jefferson HS in San Antonio that was recently awarded a Grammy Signature School Spring 2011

School of Music, and The Ohio State University. Under Dr Rohwer’s direction, Flower Mound HS choirs have received consistent and numerous Sweepstakes Awards at UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contests, and have received “Outstanding Performance” or “Best in Class” awards in Houston, San Antonio, New York, and Breckenridge CO. In 2007 the FMHS Jaguar Chorale performed at the TMEA Convention; in 2008 they performed in Kansas City as part of the Southwestern ACDA Convention. FMHS choirs have performed at the Texas State Capitol, the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York, cathedrals in Salzburg, Vienna, Barcelona, San Juan, and Seville, as well as at the Vatican in Rome. Mark has been an active member of both TMEA and TCDA. He is currently the TMEA Region 24 Vocal Division Chair, and the TMEA Area A Vocal Division Chair. He has served as a

volunteer for the TMEA Convention, and was a section leader for All-State Men’s Choirs in 2004 and 2010. Dr Rohwer led reading sessions for the TCDA Convention in 2006 and 2009, and served as a volunteer at that convention, as well. He has served on the staff of summer All-State Choir Camps at Baylor University, the University of North Texas, Texas Christian University, and the University of Texas San Antonio. Rohwer has been published in the Southwestern Musician, the Journal of Music Teacher Education, The Choral Journal, the International Journal of Community Music, the Missouri Journal of Research in Music Education, the Pennsylvania Journal of Research in Music Education, Texas Music Education Research, and the Southwestern ACDA publication, Common Times. Mark has presented sessions and research on a number of topics at TMEA Conventions, Continued on page 6

award for excellence in music education. Sanders’ highly imaginative choral rehearsal techniques are published by Alfred Music Publishing Company and Southern Music Company. He has had numerous reviews of choral music published in the Choral Journal, and several articles published in the San Antonio Express-News. Mr Sanders is in demand as a Region choir clinician and UIL adjudicator. He is a member of the IFCM, ACDA, TMAA, TMEA and TCDA. Sanders holds degrees from Charter Oak State University and the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. He is in the final stages of completing his DMA in music education at Boston University. His dissertation research will concentrate on the methods, materials used, and attitudes toward sight reading by secondary choral directors in Texas. For a complete biography, please go to

division of TCDA from 2004-2006. I know the time commitment it will take and will be ready to serve you, the choral professional in Texas. With the new UIL rules allowing choirs to sight-read SAB music, there will be a greater need for TCDA to screen more SAB music from publishers. I will incorporate more music written for SAB choirs without taking away from the much needed SATB music. A key to TCDA’s success is the incredible guest speakers we offer for our workshops. I assure you, the TCDA members, that I will find innovative thinkers who offer the most creative workshops and panel discussions from around the United States. As a board member of TCDA, I promise I will maintain high standards of choral artistry while promoting excellence in choral music, whether it is in education or professional choral programs. If elected to the Board, my energy will focus on those who have served as choir directors for many years as well as those who may have a few years experience. I will also create ways to encourage more high school students to participate in TCDA Conventions — these are the next generation of choral conductors and the future of TCDA. I politely ask you for your vote.

If elected . . .

The people who tirelessly serve on the Board of Directors of TCDA are a unique blend of personalities with years of combined wisdom and experience. I previously served as the Vice-President of the Church and Community Choir TEXAS√SINGS!


High School Division Vice President Dr Mark Rohwer Continued from page 5 and in other parts of the country, and as far away as Auckland, New Zealand. If elected . . .

It is an honor to have been nominated to fill this position with TCDA; it is even more so when I consider how highly regarded my fellow nominees are! I would feel confident following in any of my peers’ footsteps. However, as I am supposedly defining my own statement, I need to get to the business of describing how I would pursue my time as High School Division Vice-President. Clearly there is no need to fix anything. I would continue to work hard to present quality literature to the TCDA Convention, find people who are excited and passionate about their work, and give them a forum to share their experience and pass their enthusiasm along. I will do all that I can to continue

to make TCDA a vibrant organization that serves a critical purpose to Texas’ high school choral directors. And I will work closely with the TCDA Board to help keep the connections that we all share strong, regardless of grade level, age, or daily setting. I would also like to focus on ways in which the convention might serve to inspire and inform those in more difficult situations. As someone who has taught in suburban, urban, and rural settings, in big schools and small ones, and who acutely remembers feeling like I don’t belong — both as a first-year teacher, and as a first-year Texan — I resonate with people who are just struggling to find budget money for accompanists, who can’t find private voice teachers who will come to their schools, and who fight to find a class 5 UIL piece that will actually work well enough to not lose sleep over contest for once. And I certainly identify with teachers who move into Texas from out-

of-state and quickly realize that the old tourist slogan is correct; teaching here really is “like a whole other country”. I would like sessions at the convention to keep these folks in mind, and I’d like the newsletter to help serve them, as well. In truth, everyone can stand to simplify a little bit, whether it be focusing on music for smaller ensembles, fresh a cappella music for middle school choirs, or refreshers on procedures and processes that many of us just assume everyone knows. I don’t presume to have answers that others don’t, or to have magical leadership and musical skills. I do, however, have an abiding passion for the importance of singing, and the teaching of singing in the schools of Texas, and I will work hard on the behalf of the great teachers and amazing students who share this passion. I look forward to the opportunity, if granted me, to represent you as the next TCDA High School Vice President.

Middle School/Junior High Division Vice President

Christina Chapman is in her 12th year as a choral music educator, and her 4th year in Lovejoy ISD at Sloan Creek MS. Prior to teaching in Lovejoy ISD she was the director of choirs at Robinson MS in Plano ISD where her Varsity Tenor-Bass Choir was a 2004 TMEA Selected Performing Choir. She holds a BME from UT San Antonio and will soon complete a MME at Texas Tech University. During the three years that Sloan Creek MS has been open, the SCMS Choirs under Mrs Chapman’s 6

direction have been awarded eight Sweepstakes awards with a total of 31 Sweepstakes Awards in her 11 years of teaching. The SCMS choir program currently has an enrollment of 346 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students, who are split into nine different ensembles. Mrs Chapman has been selected as a Who’s Who Among American Teachers in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009 and honored with the PTA Honory Life Membership Award in 2006. She was awarded the 2009 TCDA Glenda and Jim Casey Scholarship for her studies at Texas Tech. Christina is currently the Fine Arts Team Leader for Sloan Creek MS and is serving Region 25 as the Middle School Chair-Elect. She serves as an active clinician and adjudicator for Solo and Ensemble/UIL Contests and is a member of TCDA, TMEA, ACDA, and Sigma Alpha Iota. TCDA has been a vital part of her enrichment and growth as a music educator, as “I have been attending this convention since I was eight years old”. This is where all of us, as directors, are able to start a new year, refreshed with ideas, new music, and friendships. TEXAS√SINGS!

If elected . . .

It would be an honor to serve TCDA as the MS/JH VP and be “the Voice” for those who choose to instill the love of music in adolescent singers. Amazing Clinicians/Conductors – TCDA has always provided the best, and it would be my goal to seek out the best of the best in the state and beyond for our enrichment. • The best in new choral music sessions as well as tried and True sessions • To bring all MS and JH directors closer and more aware of what type of teaching is happening throughout the state – with such a diverse state it would help to connect with other directors • Create a MS/JH blog. Ever wonder what everyone else is performing, or teaching and are afraid to ask or don’t know the right people to ask? Well, with the technology that we now have, how about a blog of concert postings for those new and veteran teachers in order to share and see what is being taught? • Encouraging mentorship for those with five or fewer years’ experience in order to build confidence and support in their teaching. Spring 2011

Middle School/Junior High Division Vice President

Kari Gilbertson has been the Director of Choirs at Forest Meadow JH for 13 years. Her choirs have consistently earned UIL Sweepstakes ratings and have also been named “Best in Class” at festivals and competitions. In 2002 Kari was named “Teacher of the Year” for the Richardson ISD and nominated for Disney “Teacher of the Year” in 2006. Most recently, she was the recipient of the first PTA “Teacher of Excellence” Award at her school. A product of Texas schools and choirs, Kari graduated from Amarillo HS. She then attended Concordia College in Moorhead MN where she was a four-year member of The Concordia Choir under the direction of René Clausen. Prior to returning to Texas, Kari led both middle school and high

Greg Haugen is in his 12th year of teaching and has taught his entire career at Nichols JH in Arlington. After graduating from Dallas Baptist UniverSpring 2011

school programs. In 1998, Ms Gilbertson completed her Master of Music degree with Honors at Southern Methodist University. In addition to being an instructional mentor teacher at her school, Kari is an active community and church musician. Professionally, she was a contributing author for the Glencoe textbook series, Experiencing Choral Music and the McGraw-Hill Elementary series, Spotlight on Music. Kari was recently named a “Lead Author” on Glencoe/McGraw Hill’s latest choral textbook. Ms Gilbertson is an active staff development presenter, adjudicator, clinician, and conductor throughout the country. She has presented her workshop on teaching strategies for the choral classroom at both TCDA and TMEA. Last summer she presented a workshop at TCDA entitled, “Changing Approaches for a Changing Choral World.” Kari is a member of TMEA, TCDA, ACDA, and TMAA. My rationale for the best practices in my own rehearsals is to tell my singers, “It’s a choir thing.” It is a standard and expectation that cannot be compromised because it is universal to the best choirs in the world. By that definition TCDA is, and will always be, “a choir thing!” and I am honored to be nominated to serve as TCDA MS/JH Vice-President.

If elected I would work hard to bring relevant and practical sessions that address the changing and challenging needs of our membership. Issues like: How do they do that? How can I use new technology and new teaching strategies to spice up my rehearsals? How do I effectively manage my time and resources and still have a life outside the choir room? How do I stay relevant to my school, and all of the instructional demands, and still build a successful choral program? I know that these are things that new and experienced teachers want to hear about as they begin planning for their year. The new music I find at reading sessions also sets the tone for my year. I believe that my experience with the elementary, middle school, and high school levels, in addition to my experience as a church musician, enables me to understand the needs of each division and will help in choosing relevant music for those sessions. I also believe that my organization, communication skills, and professional contacts would help me to ensure that our students who participate are profoundly influenced by their participation in the MS/JH Honor Choir. (I know in our area, there is a direct correlation between these singers and future All-State singers, and perhaps future choir directors!) It would be my pleasure to serve this great organization.

sity, Greg became the assistant choir director in 1999 and served as the assistant until 2001 when he became the head director. Under his direction Greg’s choirs are consistent sweepstakes winners and have been named “Best in Class” at area spring competitions. In 2007 the Nichols JH “Men of the Mustang Chorale” had the honor of performing at TMEA. Greg served as MS/JH Chair for Region V for 06-07 and 07-08, earning a new respect for the hard work completed by his region chair predecessors. Active as both a clinician and adjudicator, he is a member of TMEA, TCDA, and TMAA, and enjoys meeting and working with great directors around the state. He was given the honor being named a Minyard’s “First Class Teacher”

in 2005, an Honorary PTA Life Membership in 2007, and received the “Servant Leader in Education Award” from the College of Education at Dallas Baptist University in 2008. In addition to his work at Nichols JH, Mr Haugen is also the youth choir director at FUMC in Arlington and leads worship in the contemporary service. He has also re-discovered the importance of singing in a choir regularly and is a member of the Arlington Master Chorale. Even though Greg keeps a pretty full work/church schedule, he still finds time to mix in a little golf and is the short stop on the Nichols JH faculty softball team. He and his wife, Amy, live in Arlington with their three children, Continued on page 8

If elected . . .



Middle School/Junior High Division Vice President Greg Haugen Continued from page 7 Karalyn (9), Erica (6), and Jack (3). If elected . . .

It would be my honor to serve the fine MS/JH directors of our great state. I really enjoyed serving Region V as its MS/JH chair a few years ago and realized

how rewarding it is to be a servant of my colleagues. As a veteran teacher of 12 years now, I know I could not have survived this long without the expertise and mentoring of my more experienced colleagues. It would be my vision to aid new directors in finding their way as they begin their careers. With so many dynamic choral directors around the

state, much can be learned through valuable clinics and presentations about how to build, maintain, strengthen, and set high expectations for all choral programs. Knowing you have such expertise in our field of teaching young teenagers, I would look forward to not only being your voice on the TCDA Board, but learning from you as well.


Rachel Forester has taught in both Oklahoma and Texas and is currently the Director of Choral Activities and Department Chair for the Fine Arts at

Hebron HS in Carrollton. Ms Forester holds a BME (emphasis in voice) from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee OK. She is a member of TMEA, TCDA, and TMAA, and has held the TMEA offices of Region V Treasurer and Region 24 Secretary, Chair-Elect, and Chair. Rachel has also been on the TCDA Scholarship and Hospitality Committees and is a twotime section leader for the Texas AllState Treble Choir. The Hebron HS choirs have earned consistent UIL Sweepstakes awards for the past 11 years. Ms Forester has judged for UIL Solo and Ensemble contests and UIL Concert and Sight Reading contests across the state of Texas. Rachel was honored as “Teacher of the Year” by the faculty and staff of Peter’s Colony El in

Karen Gonzalez has been a music educator in Texas for 27 years, having taught in Ysleta, El Paso, and Garland ISDs. She received her BME from Oral Roberts University, Elementary Classroom

certification from the UT El Paso, and Orff certification from Konnie Saliba at TCU. She began her teaching career as a high school choir director where her choirs consistently earned sweepstakes at UIL and “Best in Class” at Six Flags and Winter Park festivals. She served as a Texas task force member for the previous Silver Burdett elementary music series, “The Music Connection”. For 17 of her 27 years, Karen has taught at the elementary level and is currently the music specialist at Liberty Grove El in Rowlett. She is involved in the music and worship ministry and serves as an elder at St Barnabas Presbyterian Church in Richardson. Karen and her husband, Tony, have two boys, Jonathan Pilgrim, a music education major at Baylor University, and David, a fourth grade student at Watson MST. She and her family reside in Rowlett.



1992, and Hebron HS in 2002. She was just awarded the PTSA “Lifetime Award” by Hebron HS in 2009. Ms Forester is also a Music Assistant to Students at First Baptist Church of Carrollton. In her free time, you can find Ms Forester (an avid sports enthusiast) rooting on the Dallas Cowboys, OU Sooners, and LA Lakers with her two cats, Mozart and Chopin. If elected . . .

TCDA has offered a wealth of information, experiences, and opportunities to me over the years I’ve taught choral music in Texas. As I enter my 28th year of teaching, I would like to offer my services to TCDA as your treasurer. It would be my honor to serve you in this capacity.

If elected . . .

I would truly enjoy the opportunity to serve TCDA as Secretary/Treasurer. If elected I would strive to continue the strong leadership and high standards that have been established by past and present board members. Attention to detail and organizational skills are strong qualities I possess and are necessary for this position. I will gladly work diligently with all board members to create the best possible musical and professional experiences at our yearly conventions. TCDA has been an important part of my life for the past 27 years, and I consider it an honor to be nominated for this office. It would be my greatest pleasure to serve on the Board and give back to the organization that has given and taught me so much. Spring 2011

President’s Page

Staying Inspired, Remaining Grateful by TCDA President Amy Allibon


his year I faced a new bell schedule at my school. In order to save transportation costs, a staggered schedule was implemented district-wide with the high school day beginning at 9:00 and ending at 4:10. While the later start sounded enticing for a few extra minutes of sleep, it presented many challenges. Many of my students opted to add a zero hour class to their schedule that began at 8:00, giving them eight classes. Others took a zero hour class, but did not have a seventh period, so they finished each day at 3:20. Others began first period but did not have a full load, while others began first period and ended at 4:10. Imagine trying to schedule a sectional with students who were essentially attending high school on four different schedules. Gathering students of a like voice part was impossible. My usual twice-daily offering for All-State sectionals increased to four times a day to accommodate them. Losing two hours of the day for preparation and administration was a significant blow, and at the time, this seemed like something to complain about. Now, seven months later, I find myself grateful to have a job, to be valued by my school and district, and to have the opportunity to continue my employment. The economic picture of state funding of education is bleak, and districts are reacting strongly and harshly. How do our choral programs survive when school boards and administrations are looking for every possible way to save money? How do you survive this educational storm? Visibility: Perform in public as much as possible, and seek the opportunity to do so. The other day my chamber choir moved into the atrium of the main entry of the school to sing “Fair Phyllis I Saw” for a vice principal whose first name is Phyllis. What spontaneously ensued was attention from passing

Spring 2011

President Amy Allibon

faculty members, students, and the nearby administrative office staff. Like a billboard on the roadside, it gave everyone that heard us a quick reminder that we exist. Singing the national anthem at sporting events is a great way to remain visible and supportive of the school. Performing at civic events should be relished as opportunities for visibility, not relinquished because of inconvenience. Finally, volunteering for committees and being a part of the academic fabric keeps us visible and viable to faculty and administrators. Quality: When the product of our choral classrooms is of a high caliber, we remain educationally sound and viable in the eyes of those who decide whether we exist or perish. The quality of our choirs depends on our own teaching and conducting acumen, as well as countless hours of preparation and repertoire selection. Maintaining our inspiration is critical. Helping students achieve individual success in this environment also contributes to our choral scorecard in the eyes of administration. While these are standards that we would maintain regardless of the educational climate, it is more critical in this era to not only maintain a high quality, but to TEXAS√SINGS!

promote it to others. Accountability: We must be accountable for all that we do in the classroom, just as an English or math teacher is accountable for their curriculum. Scope and sequence should be aligned to the TEKS and easily accessed by administration and the public on our district websites. Spend a few minutes navigating your school district’s website and see how choral music and fine arts is promoted. Are there links to curriculum and standards, or is the view of fine arts limited to pretty pictures and recordings? Professional Development: We must remain inspired and informed. If we are growing, we remain vital. If we stop growing, we stagnate like murky pond water growing a thick layer of green algae. Would you want to swim in that? I know that you will find inspiration, camaraderie, and outstanding materials and music at this summer’s Convention. TCDA provides its membership an incredible and indisputable bang for the buck. Research of other state associations quickly reveals that our membership and convention fees in Texas are some of the lowest in the country while offering significantly bigger programming. Our summer Convention offers more reading sessions, workshops, and national headliners than most regional ACDA conventions for less than one third the convention fees. We are fortunate and spoiled to some extent, and should not lose sight of the opportunity we are afforded in Texas to have an incredible state Convention in beautiful San Antonio. Please check out the various articles in this issue that will highlight headliners Sandra Snow, Craig Hella Johnson, Donald Neuen, Jonathan Reed, Schola Cantorum conducted by Jerry McCoy, Bay Area Women’s Chorus conducted by Keith Dixon, and The 9

House Jacks. The Board has put together a truly inspiring and amazing convention for you, the members. While funding may be cut from your budgets to attend, consider investing in TCDA as a family vacation. Childcare is provided for members, and family badges can be obtained at a nominal rate. See you in San Antonio!

Announcement of New TCDA Executive Director

The TCDA Board announces the hiring of Sharon Lutz as our new Executive Director. Sharon will be in the office beginning June 1 assisting Dan and Jeanne with all of the final Convention preparations, and will assume all duties on August 1. She will assist with this year’s Conven-

tion, and we invite you to give her a big Texas welcome at the office in Austin this summer or in San Antonio. Sharon brings with her extensive skills in collaboration, planning, finance, and marketing from University of Texas and the University of Houston. A complete article and bio on Sharon will be forthcoming in the fall edition of Texas Sings! √


Schola Cantorum


chola Cantorum of Texas is the premier volunteer choral organization in Tarrant County, and operates as a self-governing 501(c)(3) arts organization. In its nearly five decades of performances, the chorus has consistently delivered programs of musical excellence, covering all periods of standard choral music repertoire. Schola has presented over 400 concerts since it’s beginning in 1962. Under the baton of Beverly “Bev” Henson, then at TCU, the group drew singers from around the Metroplex whose motivation was, he said, “a genuine love of singing and a desire to perform the best in traditional choral music”. Continuing that tradition under Dr Gary Ebensberger of the University of Texas at Arlington, beginning in 1975 the chorus expanded its repertoire and reach during his 25 year tenure. Schola performs regularly throughout Tarrant County and the Metroplex. Over the years, Schola Cantorum has


performed in cities across the United States and Europe. In its first 47 years, Schola has had only four permanent conductors. That fact alone Jerry McCoy is the single largest contributor to the strength and stability of the chorus and the commitment of its singers to master and perform the best in choral literature. Dr Donald Bailey, of Baylor University, joined Schola for the 2001-2002 Concert Season. Dr Bailey elevated a long tradition of choral performance in the chorus. Under his influence the organization reached new heights of singing and listening delight for members and audiences alike. In 2008 Schola selected its fourth permanent conductor, Dr Jerry McCoy TEXAS√SINGS!

of the University of North Texas. Dr McCoy brings with him a long tradition of choral performance excellence, and is extending and expanding the capabilities of the chorus. Dr Jerry McCoy is in his third season as Music Director of Schola Cantorum of Texas. He is also Director of Choral Studies and Professor of Music at the University of North Texas, the nation’s largest college of music, where he conducts the A Cappella Choir, the North Texas Chamber Choir, and the Grand Chorus, teaches graduate choral conducting and advanced choral techniques, and guides the choral studies program consisting of nine performance choirs. He is national president of the ACDA, a member of the INTERKULTUR advisory board, and a member of the editorial board of the Choral Scholar. He is founder for six years was music director of the Texas Choral Artists, a professional chamber choir based in Dallas. Spring 2011

PERFORMING GROUPS In 2009 he served as chorus master of the Dallas Wind Symphony. Dr McCoy is one of America’s most well respected choral conductors, having conducted all-state, regional, festival, and performance clinics in 36 states across the nation. He has served as guest clinician/conductor in Austria, China, England, Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, and Venezuela. Guest engagements for

2009-2011 include appearances in China (Shaoxing and Beijing), South Korea (Bushong and Incheon), Taiwan (Taipei, Jung-Li and Tou-Fen), Colorado, Kansas, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Since coming to UNT, his A Cappella choir has twice been honored with invitations to sing for TMEA (2004

and 2010). Dr McCoy’s choirs have toured Europe three times, giving concerts at the Salzburger Dom, St Patrick’s Cathedral (Dublin), St Bartholomew’s Cathedral (London), Chester Cathedral (Chester) and St Nicolas Church (Prague). His commercial recordings include releases by Klavier Records and GIA Music Publications.

Bay Area Women’s Chorus Noble: Perpetual Inspiration, distributed internationally by the Hal Leonard Corporation.


n just two concert seasons the Bay Area Women’s Chorus has quickly established a reputation for presenting varied and exciting performances featuring the finest repertoire for treble voices. Formed in 2009 in answer to continued growth in enrollment in the Bay Area Mixed Chorus, the Bay Area Women’s Chorus performs on all season programs and special events such as major works concerts with orchestra and Veteran’s Day concerts. Musical Director Keith Dixon rehearses the women once a week, immediately prior to the mixed chorus rehearsal. The Women’s Chorus shares the legacy begun when the Bay Area Chorus was established 46 years ago. One of Houston’s oldest non-profit performing organizations, the all-volunteer Bay Area Chorus of Greater Houston has brought heartfelt performances to Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast since 1965. More than 100 singers bring

Spring 2011

unique interests, ethnic backgrounds, and cultural experiences to the two BAC choruses and represent a variety of professions as diverse as Keith Dixon Houston itself. The Bay Area Chorus takes an active role in promoting singing as a life-long pursuit by showcasing school, church, community, and university choirs on all regular season programs. Twenty different guest choirs were featured during the 2010-2011 concert season. The chorus has collaborated with many noted choral conductors and musicians, including Alice Parker, Weston Noble, Nick Page, Barbara Johnson Tucker, and Dr Barbara Wesley Baker. The Bay Area Chorus appears on the DVD, Weston TEXAS√SINGS!

Now in his 16th year as Musical Director, Keith Dixon holds the distinction of having the longest tenure in the 46-year history of the Bay Area Chorus. An active clinician for workshops, festivals, and honor choirs, he has served on the choral faculty of the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain since 2006. Choirs under his direction have appeared in concert at four TMEA Conventions and his Kingwood HS Madrigals have presented the honor choir concert at four American Classic Madrigal/Chamber Choir Festivals. Mr Dixon has been the organizer for TMEA All-Region Choirs and ACDA HS Honor Choirs and was a member of the music selection committee for the ACDA Monograph, The Foundation of Artistry: An Annotated Bibliography of Distinctive Choral Literature for High School Mixed Choirs. He served multiple terms as the ACDA Southwestern Division Repertoire and Standards Chair for High School Choirs. Mr Dixon’s own choral singing participation has been with the Houston Symphony Chorus, Concert Chorale of Houston, and the acclaimed Robert Shaw Festival Singers, with whom he recorded the Telarc releases, Amazing Grace, Evocation of the Spirit, and Appear and Inspire. He is presently Chair of the Klein HS Choral Department. 11

BBQ Entertainment – The House Jacks


he House Jacks are the original rock band without instruments. Using nothing more than their five mouths, these pioneering musicians deliver everything from screaming rock to heartbreaking ballads for their devoted fans, tens of thousands strong and still growing. Songwriter’s Monthly says “Prepare to be blown away!” The Oakland Tribune says, The House Jacks offer “a battery of sounds that make mincemeat of the traditional limits of the human voice . . . .” These musicians have performed over 2,500 shows in the US, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, and Singapore, and have shared the stage with LL Cool J, James Brown, The Temptations, Crosby Stills and Nash, and Ray

Charles. Their Radio Spots for Rick Dees Top 40 have been heard by 50 million listeners on 330 US radio stations and 50 other stations around

the world. Their jingles for radio stations in Los Angeles and San Francisco have been heard by more than 1.5 million listeners.


Julie Ann Allen

Vicki Baker

Dennis Boyter

Dianne Brumley

Deborah Carney

Stephen Carrell

Chris Crook

Sid Davis

Dan Davison

Scott Deppe

Tracy DePue

Danny Detrick

Virginia DuPuy

Paula Edwards

Laura Farnell

Katelyn Farris

Billy Ferguson

Ryan Forkner



Spring 2011


John Gillian

Beth Gove

Frode Gunderson

Greg Hobbs

Cecile Johnson

Craig Hella Johnson

Brenda Keen

Rachel Keen

Michael Lightfoot

Cyndie Lowry

Darla Meek

Candy McComb

Carisa Niemeyer

Donald Neuen

Terry Price

Jonathan Reed

Julie Romeo

Florence Scattergood

Sally Schott

Julie Scott

Lahonda Sharp

John Silantien

Sandra Snow

Robert Stovall

Carolyn Terrell

Toni Ugolini

Brittany Wooten

Debbie Wooten

Spring 2011




Terri Berrier

Taylor Davis

Sandy Shelley

Cynthia Douglass

Nona Schwab

Craig Griffith

Debra Stevens

Leslie Tanner

Karen Herrera

Mica Kolb

Alan Raines

Janwin OverstreetGoode

Mike Ware


Jeanna Baibos

Peggy Graff


Debby Barkey

Bob Brewer

Patricia Neighbors

Cliff Carbone

Marsha Robinson


Sid Davis

Kathryn Zetterstrom

Carla Gaylor

Jennifer Zaccagni

Spring 2011

Texas Choral Directors Association 56th Annual Convention and New Music Reading Clinic July 27 - 30, 2011, San Antonio

Tentative Schedule (This schedule is not definite; event times and or places may change before Convention.)

10:30 am 12 noon - 10:00 pm 2:00 - 6:00 pm 3:00 - 7:00 pm 3:00 - 6:00 pm 5:00 - 6:30 pm 5:00 - 6:15 pm 6:00 - 8:00 pm 7:00 am - 6:00 pm 7:00 am - 9:00 pm 8:00 am

9:15 am

10:00 am - 6:00 pm 10:30 am

12:30 - 1:30 pm

12:30 - 4:00 pm 1:45 pm

3:00 pm 4:15 pm Spring 2011

Wednesday, July 27 Golf Tournament Barry Talley, Organizer Child Care Available MS/JH Honor Choir Registration/Rehearsal Registration Open Exhibits Open College Student Meeting Director’s Chorus Rehearsal Soiree Thursday, July 28 Registration Open Child Care Available ColCm: Conducting Masterclasses, Dianne Brumley, John Silantien MS/JH: Honor Choir Rehearsal MS/JH: Rehearsal Techniques I, Dr Sandra Snow Reading Session: Sacred U/2-Pt, Nona Schwab Reading Session: Pop/Jazz, Debra Stevens EL: TCDA EL Honor Choir Audition Techniques, Cyndie Lowry, Katelyn Farris Ch: “Performance” Isn’t a Bad Word, Dr Donald Neuen HS: Sight Reading with the Stars, Beth Gove, Sally Schott Reading Session: MS/JH Boys, Craig Griffith Exhibits Open Ch: How To Plan and Travel With Your Choir, Lahonda Sharp Reading Session: Unison/SA, Karen Herrera Reading Session: HS SATB, Terri Berrier Ch: Care & Feeding of Church Music Ministry, Terry Price, Sid Davis, Michael Lightfoot ColCm: Wear Your Gym Clothes, Virginia Dupuy HS: Booster Clubs that Work, Paula Edwards MS/JH: Assisting the Special Ed Student in Rehearsal, Julie Ann Allen, Vicki Baker Honor Choir Rehearsal MS/JH: Rehearsal Techniques, Dr Sandra Snow Col/Cm: If I Only Knew Then . . . Part I, Toni Ugolini, Ryan Forkner, Carissa Neimeyer EL: Mother/Daughter Teachers, Brenda & Rachel Keen, Debi & Brittany Wooten HS: Warm-ups, Dr Jonathan Reed Reading Session: Advanced JH/HS Training, Sandy Shelley EL: From Choral Connections: Classroom to Concert, Deb Carney Reading Session: Adv HS/Col, Alan Raines Performance: Schola Cantorum, Dr Jerry McCoy, director TEXAS√SINGS!

TBA 209, 211 214 Exhibit Hall C Exhibit Hall C 207B Marriott Riverwalk Hotel Marriott Riverwalk Hotel Exhibit Hall C 209, 211 206 214 214 217 BR C 206 207 217 BR C Exhibit Hall C 207 217 BR C 205 206 207 217 214 206 207 217 BR C 207 217 BR C 15

5:30 – 7:00 pm 7:00 pm

7:00 am - 11:00 pm 7:30 am - 5:30 pm 8:00 - 11:00 am 8:00 am

9:00 am - 4:00 pm 9:15 am

9:30 - 11:30 am 10:30 am 11:30 am – 12:45 pm 11:45 am – 12:45 pm 11:45 am – 12:45 pm 1:00 pm

2:15 pm

3:00 - 4:00 pm 4:00 pm

7:00 pm

7:00 am - 1:00 pm 8:00 - 10:00 am 8:00 am

9:15 am

10:30 am 16

Director’s Chorus Rehearsal Worship Service Featuring The TCDA Festival Chorus, Dr David Neuen, director

BR C First Baptist Church

Friday, July 29 Child Care Available 209, 211 Registration Open Exhibit Hall C MS/JH Honor Choir Rehearsal 214 HS: Entertainment Tonight, Julie Romeo 206 EL: Movement with Masterworks, Darla Meeks 207 MS/JH: Rehearsal Techniques II, Dr Sandra Snow 214 Reading Session: MS/JH Treble, Mica Kolb 217 Reading Session: TMEA All-State Music, Janwin Overstreet-Goode BR C Ch: Tried & /Proven Literature BR C-3 Chris Crook, Frode Gunderson, Greg Hobbs Exhibits Open (Not open on Saturday) Exhibit Hall C EL: Children’s Literature II, Billy Ferguson 206 MS/JH: Rehearsal Techniques III, Dr Sandra Snow 214 MS/JH: Creativity in Choral Rehearsal, Laura Farnell 217 ColCm: Choral Aphrodisacs, Craig Hella Johnson BR C High School Student Day, Leadership Training BR C-3 TMEA Region Meetings Everywhere! Directors Chorus Rehearsal 217 EL: Choral Tone, Marguerite McCormick 206 MS/JH: Boy’s Changing Voice, Dan Davison 214 Ch: Music Education in the Church, Stephen Carrell 207 MS/JH: PML Preview, Grades I, II, III, Leslie Tanner 217 Reading Session: HS Treble/Men, College Student Conductors BR C HS Student Day — Vocal Techniques, Virginia Dupuy BR C-3 ColCm: If Only I Knew Then . . . , II, 206 Florence Scattergood, Dennis Boyter, Vicki Baker HS: Why Do Men Sing? Worldwide Perspective, Dr Jonathan Reed 217 Reading Session: Sacred General, Taylor Davis BR C High School Student Day, The House Jacks BR C-3 Visit Exhibits (Last Chance; Not open Saturday) Exhibit Hall C TCDA Business Meeting BR C Performance: MS/JH Honor Choir, Dr Sandra Snow, director 2011 Commissioned Work by Dan Davidson TCDA BBQ La Villita Assembly Hall Entertainment: The House Jacks Sponsored by Hal Leonard, Pepper of Dallas/Fort Worth, Music Educational Resource Network (MERN) Saturday, July 30 Child Care Open Registration Open Ch: The Youth Choir: Ideas that Work!, Tracey DePue MS/JH: Rehearsal Strategies, Dr Sandra Snow Reading Session: Holiday/Seasonal, Cynthia Douglas EL: Singing in the Schulwerke, Julie Scott MS/JH: Management Strategies for the Choral Classroom, Candy McComb Reading Session: Sacred Advanced, Mike Ware HS: The House Jacks EL: Tried and Proven Literature Terrell Johnson Performance: Bay Area Women’s Chorus, Keith Dixon, director TCDA Director’s Chorus, Dr Jonathan Reed, director TEXAS√SINGS!

209, 211 Exhibit Hall C 207 214 BR C BR C-3 207 BR C BR C-3 217 BR C Spring 2011

How Do We Teach the ‘How To:’? by Sharon L Radionoff, PhD


here are phrases that are often tossed around or bandied about by choir directors toward their singers. These may include, “I need a rounder sound,” or “I need cleaner/clearer articulation.” These phrases may seem innocuous and even helpful. If such commands are given with the tools to carry out the command, the director has the potential to receive his/her desired result. However if a command is given without the tools to carry out the command, then the student will have to create a solution. There is an inherent problem with this. The student’s solution may or may not give the director the desired result. Even if the creative solution gives the director a satisfactory result, the singer may or may not be using an efficient anatomical solution. Unfortunately some technique choices have the potential to last a very long time. The brain/body commands create patterns of behavior. Let’s examine the common phrases listed above. The first command, “I need a rounder sound”, is frequently used by directors with younger students. It is important to be sure that directors allow students to physiologically sing with age appropriate sound. This is not to say that there won’t be times when directors get an unnaturally shrill, harsh, or overly bright sound from the singers that is undesirable. Such results beg the bigger question, “Why?” Singers often try to control sound by clenching the jaw. I urge you to remember that, anatomically,

connect the jaw to the hyoid bone (the hyoid bone is at the top of the laryngeal skeleton. See Figure 1, 2, and 3.) The manipulated vertical laryngeal position cuts off warm overtones. The singer’s instinct is to fix it by scooping or cupping the tongue in the center to press the larynx down thereby lengthening the resonance tract and adding more low overtones. It is unnecessary to manipu-

late this position. If the jaw is relaxed (space between the back molars or think duh), the vertical position of the larynx will release downward simply by relaxing the jaw. Often the base of the tongue overworks and will relax when the jaw does. This will in turn create a natural “rounder” tone from the singer. Try an experiment. Gently place the tips of your fingers vertically on the front of the larynx. Next clench the jaw and notice the larynx vertically rise. Following the clenched jaw position (while keeping your fingers on the larynx) think ‘duh jaw’ and notice that the larynx relaxes and vertically lowers. This will achieve an efficient, healthy, anatomically ‘rounder’ tone from your singers. The next command, “I need cleaner/clearer articulation”, is also used often by choral directors and voice teachers. Be careful, because what you ask for you just might get! A singer often interprets this command as “more”. More is not necessarily better but is simply more of what is already being done. For instance, ‘n’ and ‘l’ are consonant sounds that are routinely produced inefficiently. For both sounds, the tongue is activated and touches the hard palate. The jaw, while it is part of the articulatory system, is not in charge of articulation. It needs to be free to flap in the breeze as needed but not be in charge.1 The way to achieve cleaner/ clearer articulation is by efficiency and accuracy, not necessarily just more.

Sharon L Radionoff, PhD, is Singing Voice Specialist and Director of the Sound Singing Institute. She is also a Singing Voice Specialist and Voice Technologist voice care team member at the Texas Voice Center in Houston. Dr Radionoff is an active clinician, lecturer, researcher, and author. The Vocal Instrument is a textbook resource and is

available through Plural Publishing. Faith and Voice is a coffee table devotional published by Inkwater books. Further articles by Dr Radionoff can be found in Texas Sings!, The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians as well as chapters in several books. Watch for a new project entitled “Where Does My Voice Come From?” to be released soon in DVD format from a live filmed presentation. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Voice and is a member of TVF,

CMS, MENC, TMEA, and NATS. Dr Radionoff earned a BME from EMU, an MM from SMU, and a PhD from MSU. She also completed a Professional Fellowship at AIVER in Philadelphia, PA, under Dr Robert T Sataloff. Contact the Sound Singing Institute by P: (713) 960-1648, F: (713) 5211674, or E: Log on to, for further information.

Spring 2011

everything is interconnected, and as such there is a cause and effect action when singing. If the student is clenching his/her jaw, most likely the vertical position of the larynx is elevated. Remember that there are muscles that

The next command, “I need cleaner/clearer articulation”, is also used often by choral directors and voice teachers. Be careful, because what you ask for you just might get!



Hyoid bone

Figures 1 and 2 Laryngeal skeleton, front and side view, with intrinsic muscles Hyoid Bone is the white structure

The primary shaper for vowel sounds is the tongue (with the lips being activated for the vowels /u/ and /o/ (please note the IPA is being used for the vowel sounds). Think about two concepts, if you will. There is a forward or horizontal position necessary for all vowels with the tongue tip being forward and behind the bottom teeth where the teeth and gum line meet. Secondarily, there is a shaping of the tongue that occurs for different vowel sounds to be able to occur. Try an experiment. Chant a /u/ vowel on a comfortable tone. Notice that the center of the tongue feels narrow and that the tongue is relatively flat. While chanting the /u/ vowel change to an /i/ vowel. Notice that the center and back of the tongue move higher and that you even feel the sides of the tongue touch the upper teeth. The center of the tongue feels wider then on the /u/ vowel.


ow let’s examine consonants. Consonants are organized by type/classification and anatomic area as well as the manner of shaping of the speech sounds.2 Class and anatomical area include: Lips = labial/bilabial Teeth = Dental Lips and teeth = Labio/dental Gums/bony ridge = Alveolar ridge Hard palate = Palatal Palato-alveolar boundary and tongue blade = Palato-alveolar Soft palate = Velar Glottis = Glottal (space between the vocal folds) The manner (shaping) of speech 18

sounds includes: Stops (plosives): Complete closure at some point along the vocal tract (i.e. /b/) Fricatives: Friction of air through a restricted opening (i.e. /f/)

In conclusion, the bottom line is that excellence and accuracy will occur if proper ‘how to’ is given clearly and concisely. More is just more and not necessarily better or more efficient.

Glides: Can be used as either vowels or consonants and are sometimes called semivowels — involves the lips (w), the tongue (y) Liquids: Can be used as either vowels or consonants and are sometimes called semivowels — involves the tongue (l, r) Consult pages 32 and 33 of The Vocal Instrument1 for examination of the four tables of consonants organized by manner of production, class of sound, TEXAS√SINGS!

Figure 3 Supraglottic Vocal Tract (Resonator)

and anatomical area. The examples are further grouped into either one category or two: voiceless and voiced. Voiceless means the absence of vocal fold vibration, and voiced means the presence of vocal fold vibration. Voiced/Voiceless pairs are called Cognates which act more or less like cousins, same anatomy but one has only air through the formed space (voiceless) and one includes vocal fold vibration for pitch (voiced). These tables are a combination of those by Bunch3 and Zemlin2 respectively.1 In conclusion, the bottom line is that excellence and accuracy will occur if proper ‘how to’ is given clearly and concisely. More is just more and not necessarily better or more efficient. The information exists to teach anatomical and physiological efficiency. Don’t delay or hesitate to seek the necessary knowledge. You will have happier and healthier singers not to mention a lower frustration level! References

1. Radionoff, SR. The Vocal Instrument. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing; 2008. 2. Zemlin WR. Speech and Hearing Science: Anatomy and Physiology. 3rd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall; 1988. 3. Bunch M. Dynamics of the Singing Voice. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag Wien; 1993. 4. The author wishes to thank Robert O’Brien (Blue Tree Publishing) for permission to use Figures 1, 2 and 3. Spring 2011

Officer Comments President Elect Jeff Rice


et Music Live! This phrase from “The Awakening” by Joseph Martin is a powerful proclamation we should be shouting from podiums across the state. In 1993 this TCDA Commissioned Work was premiered at the summer convention by the TCDA Men’s Directors Chorus. As a relatively new teacher that year, I was encouraged by a veteran director to register and participate in the experience. I hate to think what I would have missed had I not heeded that word of encouragement! Thank you to whomever that was who took the time to make sure I did not miss out! Conducted by Martin, that was a formative experience for me as I was seeking to define the kind of teacher and conductor I wanted to become. Since that 1993 performance, we have shared many meaningful musical experiences at TCDA as we have joined voices in a Directors Chorus on multiple occasions. Numerous pieces of music have been premiered and countless directors have been encouraged and inspired to be better teachers and conductors for their students. This summer the men of TCDA have the opportunity once again to experience great repertoire, inspiring rehearsals, and the hearty fellowship that the TCDA Director’s Chorus affords. TCDA Men, please accept my enthusiastic invitation to join the 2011 TCDA Men’s Directors Chorus under the direction of Dr Jonathan Reed, Michigan State University, at our Annual Convention on July 27-30. Dr Reed is no stranger to Texas having conducted the Texas All-State Mixed and Men’s Choirs. Singing under Dr Reed, a spirited conductor, consummate musician, and master teacher, provides a great opportunity to experience the camaraderie and artistry of our profession. The TCDA Directors Chorus will perform six pieces including the premiere of the 2011 TCDA Commissioned Work for high

Spring 2011

school men composed by Craig Hella Johnson. Act now to secure your place in the chorus by completing the online registration at and mailing your $25 fee to me (Jeff Rice, 817 Arlington Dr, Waco TX 76712). Please do not hesitate to contact me at if you have questions. Now, back to the “Let Music Live!” statement. Is music alive in your choir program? How do you know? We have all heard the phrase, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away”. If music is alive and well in your rehearsals and performances, you will experience those magical moments that take your breath away. What causes those moments to happen? In my opinion these moments are a convergence of several fundamental elements. These elements, when developed and practiced regularly, will result in music coming to life in your classroom. • Quality curriculum/choral literature chosen carefully for each ensemble. This is, arguably, the most difficult task for the choral director. Throughout the years I have found the best resource for quality choral literature is to ask respected directors for their repertoire lists. Less experienced teachers should also study the UIL Prescribed Music List for quality, time-tested selections chosen by experienced choral directors who have served on the UIL PML Committee. Attend TMEA/ACDA concerts and UIL contests taking notes on pieces you think would work for your choirs. Peruse the websites of top choral music publishers for ideas. Of course, attend the TCDA Convention and New Music Reading Clinic each summer. • Positive, warm relationship between students and teacher. This is something that looks different for each one of us. Some people are more gregarious and outgoing than others. However, we must reach out to our students to let them know we care. The old saying, “They will not care how much you know until they know how much your care”, is true! Do not try to be their buddy. Be a consistent, mature adult and you will have respect and love returned from your students. Once this relationship is established, students will be more TEXAS√SINGS!

likely to “buy in” to what we are “selling”. You will experience a higher level of dedication to your program and to the music you teach and you will enjoy warm, affectionate, respectful relationships with your students. • High quality instruction from professional directors/teachers. This is a sensitive subject because we each have varied methods and practices that have evolved based on our personalities and experiences. In other words, what works for me may not work for you. However, we must be able to speak intelligently on the subject of choral music. We must use appropriate vocabulary to explain, demonstrate, and elaborate on the fundamental and advanced concepts of our art. For example, a music teacher who is a poor rhythm reader is like an English teacher who cannot spell correctly. Students are turned off by teachers who are not masters of their subject. If you struggle in this area, seek professional help! By that I mean to ask for assistance from master teachers you trust. Strive to hone your teaching skills. Attend TCDA/TMEA/ACDA workshops where experienced teachers are sharing their knowledge and experience. Without being arrogant and stuffy, we must take this to heart if we hope to be taken seriously by students, colleagues, parents, and administrators. If we are to perpetuate our profession, we must treat it with respect by being the best we can be. • Atmosphere of excellence in class every day! As Vince Lombardi said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” We cannot achieve or even demand perfection, but we can enjoy the chase. In choral music education there is always a skill or element to be honed or refined. It is our job to discern what that is and how to go about teaching that skill. There is much repetition in refining choral music. Make each repetition meaningful and worthwhile by giving your students a goal to achieve. More precise pitch/rhythm, more consistent and unified tone quality/vowel production, better phrase shaping, word/syllable stress, breath management, etc. There is always something that quality teachers can find to extend their instruction to a deeper level. Encourage your students along the way to critique themselves and improve 19

Officer Comments no matter how small the improvement may seem. Do not be an intimidating taskmaster, but an encouraging, supportive, guide to success. As music grows and thrives in the lives of our students each day, its powerful ripple effects will reach into our school, community, city/town, and beyond. What we do in our classroom every day determines whether or not music will continue to live in our small

Past President Bob Horton


ear People, One of our 20th Century choral giants began many letters to his Collegiate Chorale with these words. No, I am not comparing myself to Robert Shaw. We only share a first name. However, as I had the opportunity to read the book, Dear People, I was struck by the beauty and simplicity of those words. They encapsulate much of what we do and who we are in choral music. People. I knew a man who was the most gifted manual conductor I ever saw. However, he could not find the music in the people. He conducted the music he heard in his head. Unfortunately this was not how his choir sang. Why could he not get the music into and out of the people? I have always theorized that you can be a very mean person and a very fine musician, and you can still have success in the world of music. Conversely, you can be an extremely nice person and not a very good musician, and get along in the world of music. However, I do not know any person who has had longevity and is neither a great musician nor a nice person. Have you? Why? We are in the people business. Hugh Sanders, former Baylor Choir director and an ACDA President, often said (paraphrased) that we can use people to make great music, or music to make great people. As ashamed as I am to admit it, I have tried it both ways.


corner of the world. Are you doing your part to represent the best in music to your students and community? Not only should music live in our rehearsal halls across the state, but it should also live in each and every one of us. Take every opportunity to support and participate in music of all kinds. Honestly, I am not the best example of this, but I am trying to get better. We all need to spend more time seeing the

podium from the perspective of the choir member and the audience member. Sing in your church/community choir. Attend the local college/university music performances. Sing in the TCDA Men’s Directors Chorus this summer. Hopefully, it will be inspirational for you like the 1993 experience was for me. I hope you will join us in San Antonio this summer and encourage your colleagues to come, too! Let Music Live! √

Hugh was right. What a privilege we have to help people become better because of choral music. We occasionally speak of how we must work as a team, and how we are dependent upon one another. How does that look in your choir? I have been blessed with seven years of TCDA Board service. I was humbled to be asked to run for MS/JH Vice President in 2000. I was humbled, again, to be asked to run for President. The opportunity to serve TCDA has been a true joy and privilege in my life. Absolutely the best part has been the Board members with whom I have served. I have had the opportunity to serve with great people who care about TCDA, and about other people. Donald Bailey, John Hemmenway, Betsy Weber, Wannetta Hill, Suzanne Medlen, Michael O’Hern, Judy Dobbins, Dianne Brumley, Danny Detrick, John Dickson, Jeff Rice, Joel Price, Debra Moses, Don Shelley, Mary Jane Phillips, Billy Talley, Kathy Lollar, Janwin Overstreet-Goode, Amy Allibon, John Silantien, Karen Gonzalez, Thomas Coker, Sharon Paul, Dianna Jarvis, Kay Owens, Pam Elrod, Phyllis King, and Greg Shapley. Many thanks to Dan Wood, our Executive Director. His management skills have given TCDA financial stability, and been a solid foundation upon which our future rests. We will always be grateful to Dan for his years of service to TCDA. Jeanne KuhnLowenhaupt, our Executive Assistant, has been an invaluable resource in our office and at our Convention. She is the cheery voice who greets our membership and vendors. One of the new initiatives to help people become more vested in music, and in TCDA is our High School Student Day. Last year the Board voted unanimously to begin this annual event. Our

first student day was a wonderful success, with 241 registered attendees. We hope to continue that trend this summer. Based on feedback from directors and students, we are again offering a morning student leadership workshop. This year’s workshop will have a slightly different approach to the topic of student leadership. We have all been to a great session at a convention and thought, “How do I do that when I get home?” This summer, Scott Deppe will present “The Application of Student leadership Skills”. This practical workshop will give your student leaders thoughts on how to run meetings, how to conduct yourself as a student officer, and what leadership behaviors look like at home in your program. Scott, who is the Band Director at Lamar University has taught public school at the middle school and high school level, and has years of practical experience helping students develop their leadership potential. After the lunch break, during which students can visit our exhibits and grab a quick bite to eat, Virginia Dupuy will facilitate a vocal master class for student attendees. As all of our students are singers first, better singers make better choirs. Virginia is currently professor of Voice at SMU. She has many years of successful teaching and performing experience, and your students will benefit greatly from her experience. The final experience of the day will be brief concert demonstration by the vocal a cappella group, The House Jacks. Their energetic style and amazing vocal skills will be a high-energy way to finish the day for our high school student attendees. Feel free to check out their website, They will also be our entertainment for the BBQ that night. The BBQ is always fun and full of surprises.


Spring 2011

Officer Comments Finally, I must say a huge word of thanks to my family and colleagues. My co-workers have handled my service to TCDA with a wonderful, gracious spirit. They have always been understanding and supportive of my service and encouraging throughout my seven years on the Board. Their support has been a blessing. My family is my treasure. Connie, Andrea, and Ben have all

experienced TCDA with me. Connie served as a Board member, too, when I was not serving. Andrea and Ben have both been selected for TCDA Honor Choirs, and Andrea attended High School Student Day last summer. I will always be grateful to them for their love, encouragement, and support. I am looking forward to their continued involvement in our wonderful organization.

Finally, to you, my colleagues, I extend my thanks and appreciation. Your confidence in me as a servant is humbling. Your willingness to serve our organization makes us strong and unique. Your wisdom, expertise, and love makes us all better. We are made better as musicians and people.

College/ Community

opening-day reception (Wednesday, July 27) where they will “meet and greet” the TCDA Board members and also be treated to what promises to be an invaluable presentation by Danny Detrick (Director of Fine Arts, Birdville ISD) and Robert Stovall (Director of Fine Arts, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD). The session will feature some indispensible tips on building resumes, interviewing for jobs, and much more. In the current climate where jobs are few and far between, this will be a discussion that all college students (and perhaps their teachers) will want to attend.

stamina, comfort, and ease of vocal production. Virginia will also present a vocal techniques session for the high school students who attend High School Student Day on Friday, July 29. At the close of last summer’s Convention, one of you submitted the following suggestion: “Offer a new teacher luncheon to enable Q & A on the part of new teachers and to enable new teachers to rub shoulders a bit with colleagues and experienced teachers.” While we can’t offer lunch (I’ll bring peppermints, though!), we have taken the gist of this wonderful idea and expanded it into a two-part session entitled “If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now . . . .” Part I will feature a panel of young teachers who will share some of their freshly-learned hard lessons. Toni Ugolini (Schrade MS, Garland), Carisa Niemeyer (Forest Meadow JH, Richardson), and Ryan Forkner (North Mesquite HS, Mesquite) will be the panel – those of you who know these three can attest to the high quality of story-telling and humor that is promised. For Part II, we have invited veteran teachers Florence Scattergood (Reicher Catholic HS, Waco), Vicki Baker (Texas Woman’s University, Denton), and Dennis Boyter (retired public school choral director; currently University Supervisor for Student Teachers, Sam Houston State University) to offer their own perceptions from the vantage point of long and distinguished careers in choral conducting and music education. Both sessions will feature Q & A opportunities – so plan to come rub these shoulders. They carry lots of wisdom. And there will be another fantastic Q & A opportunity during this Convention. You know the name, Craig Hella Johnson (Artistic Director of Conspirare: A Company of Voices). We attend

Pam Elrod

Looking Into the Crystal Ball . . . . . . I see a busy and stimulating TCDA Convention in your future! So I’m excited to be able to share Convention 2011 news with you in this issue. The Board has been shaping this Convention since last September – and during our recent February meeting, our enthusiasm grew steadily as we put the final touches on the schedule. There are incredible sessions going on in all the divisions, and the College/Community Division is no exception. Student Conductors

Eighteen separate colleges have nominated their best and brightest to serve as student conductors in the Treble/Bass Reading Session this year. These future podium stars will be coached by Dr John Silantien, Director of Choral Activities at UTSA, and Dianne Brumley, Director of Choral Activities at UT Brownsville. Your attendance at this session is strongly encouraged — it’s a rich learning experience for the students and a wonderful way for the rest of us to support our future colleagues. In addition to working with their terrific conducting coaches, our student conductors, along with the other student members in the College/Community division, will be invited to attend an Spring 2011

Conducting Masterclass

The Conducting Masterclass has become an integral part of the Annual Convention. This session offers attendees an opportunity to examine their own conducting techniques, whether as participants or observers. The featured clinicians this year will be Dianne Brumley and John Silantien. They will work with four conductors on repertoire that represents four separate stylistic periods. These conductors will be chosen early in the summer and will prepare their assigned pieces in advance. If you are interested in being considered as one of the conductors for this masterclass, please email me at by June 1. Interest and Reading Sessions

“Singing is an athletic event.” So says Virginia Dupuy, Professor of Voice at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. Virginia will explain her statement fully in Wear Your Gym Clothes, a session devoted to exploring that all-important but sometimes slippery concept – breath support. She will demonstrate how singers can use their muscles to sing, while still avoiding the tension associated with muscular singing. The result is TEXAS√SINGS!

Dear People, Thank you. √


Officer Comments the Conspirare concerts and listen to the CDs. But wouldn’t it be nice to sit down and pick his brain a bit? Spend some time with him, just to listen to him share programming ideas, musical experiences, life experiences, thoughts on composing, and plans for community outreach projects? You’ll have the opportunity to do that this summer when he hosts his own session called, Choral Aphrodisiacs. He picked this tantalizing title, so I know he’s planning to include some tantalizing topics. You won’t want to miss this one . . . . By the way, Craig is also the composer for this year’s commissioned work – the Director’s Chorus (as you already know,

High School Sharon Paul

2011 High School Division Convention Highlights!


t’s almost summer! The clocks have been turned forward and we are heading into the final days of the 201011 school year. Recently at lunch, a group of my students were talking about the variety of genres available in a cappella music and the influx of new a cappella groups. I was energized by their excitement as they discussed all of the possibilities for the upcoming 2011-12 school year and what they wanted to accomplish in the coming year. So, where can we as teachers go to find the latest and greatest ideas, and meet with colleagues? Why, TCDA, of course! As we rejuvenate and recharge our minds in the summer, what better place to find ideas, inspiration, and repertoire than the 2011 TCDA Convention on July 27-30! We have incredible clinicians, innovative workshops, spectacular performances, and reading sessions with new music that will invigorate and stimulate your heart, mind, and soul. This will be one convention you will not want to miss!


We are incredibly fortunate to have two superb community choirs performing this year – Schola Cantorum of Texas, conducted by Dr Jerry McCoy, and the Bay Area Women’s Chorus, under the direction of Keith Dixon. Based in Tarrant County, Schola

Cantorum of Texas is one of the state’s most well-regarded community choruses. Jerry McCoy has served as the music director of this fine ensemble for four years. We look forward to their concert at 4:15 pm on Thursday, July 28. Then on Saturday, July 30, at 10:30 am, the Bay Area Women’s Chorus will share the program with the 2011 Directors Chorus. Formed only two years ago, this women’s choir has become a highly popular partner ensemble to Houston’s Bay Area Chorus, which is also directed by Keith Dixon. For more information about these groups, see the full-length biographies also included in this issue. √

We have six motivational, effective, and practical workshops in the High School Division. Why Do Men Sing? A Worldwide Perspective This is the first of two informative and amazing sessions for the High School Division featuring our TCDA Men’s Chorus Conductor, Jonathan Reed. The motivation of why men sing the world over will be presented and discussed. It will feature a compendium of research from nations worldwide regarding the common thread of men’s voices lifted in song and expression. This is a session full of inspiration and insight! Warm-ups! Developing a Suitable Arsenal for Fabulous Vocalism Jonathan Reed will share his imaginative and creative ideas for warm-ups that will lead to a healthy and productive rehearsal. This engaging session will benefit you and your choir as Jonathan guides you through his incredible handout that will transform your time in the classroom this upcoming year. Look for the additional informational “perk” in the session. Sight Reading With the Stars Prepare to be spellbound and entertained as you place yourself in the judge’s chair to view distinctive approaches to sight reading competition. A stellar cast of TCDA members assembled by clinicians Sally Schott, TMEA Past President, and Beth Gove, Cedar Park HS, will portray “conductors” and “choirs” presenting scenes from the sight reading room – the good, the bad, and the ugly!

As you watch you can determine how effectively each “conductor” organizes the study period, establishes and maintains rapport with the singers, offers verbal instructions to the choir, facilitates the involvement of student leaders, knows and follows the rules, allows for optimum application of previously learned skills, addresses the particular challenges of the piece being read, and prepares the singers for success. Accompanying the presentation will be a PowerPoint and handout. The focus will be on how to select and establish appropriate procedures that will maximize the success of your choir in sight reading competition and the relationship of the sight reading room process to the year-long delivery of instruction in the classroom. Entertainment Tonight with Julie Romeo Experience the wonders of incorporating technology and recording techniques into your rehearsal. Come see the latest, greatest technological bling demonstrated and integrated into actual rehearsals. Julie Romeo, Romeo Music, will help you maximize every minute you have with your students. A PowerPoint featuring high school choral directors who are currently integrating technology into their rehearsals will be presented. Julie will also demonstrate a variety of tools for use in rehearsal. A handout with informational tools will also be available. This is truly a session for the 21st Century high school rehearsal. The View: Booster Clubs that Work! Do you want to motivate and utilize your

it’s a men’s chorus this year) will perform the premier of that work on Saturday morning, July 30. And finally, make plans to attend the Advanced High School/College Reading Session on Thursday, July 28. It will be conducted by Dr Alan Raines, Director of Choral Activities at Baylor University. Featured Choirs


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Officer Comments choir parents, but are not quite sure what to do? Find out how to create a booster club that supports the choral program and choral directors. Join experienced and successful booster club sponsor and clinician, Paula Edwards, Robert E Lee HS, as she shares her expertise in forging a partnership with parents, establishing guidelines for success, and maintaining momentum from year to year. A handout will be available. Demonstration Session with The House Jacks: Featuring Deke Sharon’s Arrangements! Wow! You will not want to miss this session! Hear The House Jacks perform, demonstrate their performance techniques, and give insights into their writing and arranging process. Listen to their audio clips from The Sing Off and Straight No Chaser, and then sight read the actual octavos arranged by Deke Sharon! There will even be a short beat boxing tutorial. Find out what’s going on in the contemporary scene and create your own a cappella sensation in your school. Octavos will be provided. This session is sponsored by MERN.

Middle School/ Junior High Dianna L Jarvis


t seems that every spring is a mad dash to the end of the school year. Choir trips, pop concerts, award banquets, final exams, collecting uniforms — a choir director’s “to do list” seems to grow with every passing day. Before we know it, we will be putting away the last pile of music, storing our pianos, checking off final grades, and saying our goodbyes to students and colleagues. For a few weeks in the summer we have an opportunity to abandon our school routines and replace them with other activities. It’s as though we are given a chance to explore an entirely new side of life. This gift of time allows us to find true meaning in things that are beyond the boundaries thrust upon us

Spring 2011

Our talented high school reading session conductors will be Cynthia Douglas, Cypress Ranch HS; Terry Berrier, Lake Highlands HS; Debra Stevens, Saginaw HS; and Janwin Overstreet-Goode, Friendswood HS. Our fabulous accompanists will be Marsha Robinson, Cypress Woods HS; Kathryn Zetterstrom, Coronado HS; and Bob Brewer, Episcopal Church of the Epiphany. You will not want to miss participating in the Directors Chorus this year, featuring the men of TCDA, under the direction of Jonathan Reed. Please go the TCDA website to register for the chorus. It will be an amazing experience for the performers and the listeners. The men will be preparing the high school TTBB commissioned work by Craig Hella Johnson, who has graciously shared his talents for the TCDA premiere at this year’s Convention. And there’s more! This year’s TCDA BBQ entertainment will be The House Jacks. The House Jacks are a five-man a cappella band that creates vocal and instrumental textures using only their

voices. They are energetic and charismatic performers of their own original and select covers in many genres. They also improvise arrangements at the audience’s requests. In addition, The House Jacks feature amazing instrumental imitations (drums, harmonica, and muted trumpet). Add it all up and you have a laughter-filled evening of engaging and amazing music that audiences will want to experience again and again. Check out their website, albums, and utube clip: JM_L9uU. You may purchase BBQ tickets on the TCDA website when you register, or on site. The House Jacks are sponsored by JW Pepper and Hal Leonard. Also we are honored to recognize and feature Melva Sebesta as our Lest We Forget honoree this year. Please take the time to see the TCDA exhibit featuring Melva and her contribution to choral music in Texas. So, mark your calendars and plan now to attend the 2011 TCDA Convention! This is a year you will not want to miss! See you in San Antonio! √

throughout the school year. Summer is a time to step out of the mundane and into a new world of possibilities. With this in mind, I would like to encourage you to consider all that summer can possibly be. After contemplating this idea for many seconds, I have developed a summer creed that I plan to live by during the months of June and July. I invite you to consider embracing a few of these ideas as you approach the beginning of summer.

from my daily “Whack a Mole” game (aka, boys’ choir). • I will avoid, at all costs, any childish, immature girl drama unless it occurs on my favorite reality show. • I will take time to grow back a few nerves since my students found great delight in simultaneously jumping on my last one during the entire month of May. • I will soak in the warmth of the summer through means other than a copy machine. • Most important, I will celebrate the small things in life such as no longer strategically planning my bathroom breaks around school bells.

A Middle School Choir Directors Summer Creed

• I will once again become a member of society and begin doing so by reintroducing myself to the strangers who dwell in my house and address me as “Mom.” • I will sleep past 5:30 am without waking up in a panic. • I will spend my days driving to and fro while the sun is still up in the sky. • I will relearn how to nourish myself in a civilized way by taking longer than 10 minutes to eat a meal. • I shall walk among my fellow man without yelling, “Stop running, you’re going to hurt somebody!” • I will take a much-deserved break TEXAS√SINGS!

I hope your time off this summer will be filled with fun and laughter so you can approach the 2011-2012 school year refreshed, rejuvenated, and excited about teaching! 2011 TCDA Convention Preview

I am very excited about the 2011 TCDA Convention we are planning for our membership. There are several sessions offered each day that will provide practical application in your music 23

Officer Comments classroom regardless of your experience level. I encourage you to find a colleague who has not attended the TCDA Convention before and invite him/her to join us July 27 through the 30th, in beautiful downtown San Antonio. You and your colleague will be glad you did. TCDA MS/JH Honor Choir

This year’s TCDA Honor Choir will be directed by Dr Sandra Snow. Dr Snow currently holds appointments in conducting and music education at the Michigan State University College of Music. She conducts the Michigan State University Women’s Chamber Ensemble and has held a principal residency with the Pacific International Children’s Choir Festival and made guest appear-


ances with the 2009 Texas All-State Mixed Choir, the 2010 Southern Division Honor Children’s Choir, and the New Jersey All State Women’s Choir. Dr Snow will be joined by nearly 200 MS/JH singers from across Texas who auditioned to be selected as members of the TCDA Honor Choir. Most rehearsals are open to TCDA members and will offer a unique view into Dr Snow’s work with adolescent voices. This year’s Honor Choir will premier a new work for boys entitled Showdown by Dan Davison at their concert on Friday, July 29, immediately following the TCDA Business meeting. Workshops

Success for All — Many educators


feel inadequately trained to successfully assist special education students in their choir programs. Dr Vicki Baker and Julie Ann Allen will present a session that will decipher the truths and myths about disabilities that are commonplace in today’s classrooms. They will provide basic information on several common disabilities, explain the students’ potential limitations and offer suggestions concerning how to assist students with disabilities. Putting the Fun in Fundamentals — If you or your students ever become weary of the same old “drill and kill” when it comes to teaching choral basics, we have just the session for you! Texas’ own composer and master teacher, Laura Farnell, will present a session entitled, Creativity in the Choral Rehearsal. Her session will provide great ideas about how to put the fun back into teaching the fundamentals. Laura will present playful games and activities that will not only educate your students, but will also keep them engaged and excited about coming to your class. PML Preview — Leslie Tanner from McAllen will present at this very informative workshop. With the new UIL Prescribed Music List due out this summer, many directors are curious about the new changes. Leslie will introduce several of the new selections added to the Grade I, II, and III lists for treble, tenor/bass, and mixed choirs. Patricia Neighbors will serve as accompanist. Attend this session and be among the first to know what made the list! Love and Logic: Management Strategies for the Choral Classroom — One of the most common issues that teachers encounter throughout their career is classroom management. Candy McComb, who is a trained Love and Logic facilitator, will present a session that provides ideas you can implement in your classroom the first day of school. This session will focus on the Love and Logic system for teachers. Topics will include managing disruptive students, how to get and keep students’ attention, building positive student-teacher relationships, teaching students that decisions have consequences, and learning how to help students own and solve their own problems. This is a session you can’t afford to miss. The Boys Changing Voice: Tips and Spring 2011

Officer Comments Techniques — With 32 years of teaching boys to sing at the junior high level, Dan Davison offers tips on how to work with middle-level male singers who are experiencing choir for the first time. Dan will discuss techniques for voice placement, pitch matching, development of head voice and falsetto, appropriate vocal exercises, improving tone, and tips on how to tune chords. This workshop will offer techniques that female directors can use when working with young male voices, and also techniques that male directors can use when working with young female voices. Rehearsal Strategies —Dr Sandra Snow will present a session Saturday morning about various techniques used while preparing students for the MS/JH

Elementary Phyllis King

More or Less?


magine yourself on a deadline. You are looking at a completely blank page. You must write something: a lesson plan, a letter to a parent, a note to a coworker, a “to-do” list, an email, an article, a section of the PDAS. What happens inside your head when the time comes to put your thoughts in writing? I absolutely cringe — even when I am jotting down the things I might need at the store! When I put something in writing, it makes me accountable and then, internally, it forces me to commit to actually doing the things that I have written down. Now, the truth is, I also really like it when I get to scratch things off my “to-do” list or am able to check back with an email to verify a date. I like to have my lesson plans and letters archived so I can refer to them and have a start for the next time. Technology has completely transformed the art of keeping information organized and available. However, there is a balance to how much or how little information is

Spring 2011

Honor Choir concert. She will offer valuable insight into the most effective ways to structure a rehearsal and provide numerous ideas that directors can implement in their daily rehearsals. Come prepared to ask questions and learn from this master teacher. New Music Reading Sessions

Get a head start on choosing music for the upcoming school year by attending the reading sessions. We offer three MS/JH reading sessions that will offer new repertoire printed during the last 12 months. The JH/HS Training Choir reading session will be directed by Sandy Shelley and accompanied by Jeanna Baibos. Craig Griffith will introduce us to new tenor/bass repertoire and will be

needed. Here is a look, more or less, from a teacher/director standpoint. When writing lesson plans, write more. Whether sharing plans with a coteacher or turning them in to a campus appraiser on a weekly basis, it would be better to have more details when writing lesson plans. Only writing the name of the song or the piece of music would not be enough for an administrator or an emergency substitute to figure out what the students will need to do. Providing the routine steps to a plan could help move the work along and then many songs could follow this same routine. An example of a short excerpt of a lesson might look like this: Familiar song: “Let us chase the squirrel” 1. Teacher “loo”; students identify song and check 2. all sing: beat/rhythm/rhythm syllables 3. sing again with melodic contour/handsigns/solfa 4. canon: 4 beat canon/2 beat canon. Don’t forget to switch 5. add ostinato “ up the hick’ry tree” and perform again, switch 6. Play game 7. end with 2 beat canon and ostinato Providing these few additional details would be a help to decipher what should be happening in class even when a person looks back at their own plans. For after-school choir, I always like to put TEXAS√SINGS!

accompanied by Cliff Carbone. Mica Kolb will lead the MS/JH treble reading session with Jeanna Baibos serving as the accompanist. Additional Areas of Interest

There are numerous clinics and events planned by the other TCDA divisions. Additionally, be sure to leave room in your schedule to attend concerts by the Bay Area Women’s Chorus, the Directors Chorus led by Jonathan Reed, and, of course the MS/JH Honor Choir led by Sandra Snow. Lastly, don’t forget to purchase your tickets to the TCDA BBQ held on Friday, July 29, at 7:00 pm. Enjoy the rest of your school year, and I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio! √

the lesson plan outline on the board so the students know exactly what is next. It is a wonderful time saver and keeps me on track as well as providing the students with a time frame for their attention. We all work more efficiently when we have specific, short goals and can see our progress on a list! When writing an email, be brief. When writing an email, I suggest writing less information and offer a telephone call to give more details. So many times the email format is very impersonal. I know that the administrators I have worked for have preferred to talk about any concern in person. Once it appears through email, it becomes public record. Parents appreciate the same for privacy reasons. A quick email to let the person know you would like to visit alerts them to look for a call. Short is better. When writing a list, add this. One thing to add to your “to-do” list is to attend the TCDA Convention this summer, July 27-30! You will want to be there for the fantastic sessions featured for the Elementary Division! A wonderful balance of classroom sessions with choral connections will give a special boost to professional learning in a relaxed summertime setting. Our main reading session for the Unison/SA materials will be conducted by Karen Herrera. Darla Meek and Billy Ferguson will return to add even more ideas to their standingroom-only sessions from last summer. Cecile Johnson, Carolyn Terrell, and John Gillian will share elementary choral 25

Officer Comments favorites with a Tried and Proven reading packet; special thanks to JW Pepper. Julie Scott is providing a session with a perspective on singing in Orff Schulewerk, and Marguerite McCormick will lead a discussion of children’s choral tone. Cyndie Lowry and Katelyn Farris will

Church Greg Shapley


hope you’ve had a wonderful Easter season! Hopefully you’ve had a chance to rest just a little before tackling the next project. As you begin to make your summer plans, I invite you to attend the 2011 TCDA Convention at the Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, July 27-30. This year’s Convention features many exciting opportunities for your personal and professional growth, and you will leave feeling energized and excited about what you do each week to the glory of God through music. Church Division Festival Chorus Dr Donald Neuen, Conductor

TCDA welcomes Dr Donald Neuen, Director of Choral Activities at UCLA.

offer suggestions for submitting qualityrecorded auditions, in preparation for next year TCDA Elementary Honor Choir. Mother-Daughter music teacher pairs, Brenda and Rachel Keen plus Debi and Brittany Wooten will bring activities and singing games that they share.

Deborah Carney will show how selected classroom songs can be converted easily to concert material as well. So whether writing a lesson, an email, or a list, remember to add TCDA to your summer plans! Put that in writing on the calendar from me! √

Dr Neuen also directs the Angeles Chorale, and served as conductor of the Crystal Cathedral Choir. Dr Neuen was a protégé of the late Robert Shaw and served as assistant conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Dr Neuen will direct the inaugural Church Division Festival Chorus comprised of church choir singers from all around the state. Additionally he will present a session entitled, Performance Isn’t a Bad Word: The Case for Artistic Excellence.

of knowledge to share. Finally, we all wrestle with change. So how do we faithfully navigate those sometimes turbulent waters? Stephen Carrell leads a discussion entitled, How do Traditional Church Music Choral Programs Fit the 21st Century Church Model?

Church Division Workshops

Come and glean terrific ideas from Tracy DePue as she leads The Youth Choir—From Small to Large, Ideas That Work. Lahonda Sharp will inspire you to hit the road with your choir in her session, The Tour: How to Plan and Travel with Your Choir. She has traveled with choirs all over the world and knows how to make things happen. Have you even needed some practical answers to your questions? Veterans Terry Price, Michael Lightfoot, and Sid Davis will lead a session entitled, Nuts & Bolts—The Care & Feeding of the Music Ministry. Together they bring a wealth

Texas Choral Directors Association

56th Annual Convention and New Music Reading Clinic July 27-30, 2011 – San Antonio Convention Center


he 2011 Convention will feature headliners Donald Neuen, Jonathan Reed and Sandra Snow, plus 13 New Music Reading Sessions and more than 250 titles. Choose from 35-plus workshops at all levels, including workshops specifically for Student Members. High school students preparing for careers in music will benefit from High School Student Day, a full-day conference

designed specifically for them. Enjoy performances of TCDA Commissioned Works by Craig Hella Johnson and Dan Davidson, the MS/JH Honor Choir directed by Sandra Snow, and the inaugural Church Division Festival Chorus, directed by Donald Neuen. Explore the Trade Show featuring more than 300 exhibit booths, and don’t miss the BBQ, with entertainment by The House Jacks!

For registration information: TCDA



7900 Centre Park Drive, Suite A n Austin, TX 78754 512/474-2801 n


Texas Choral Directors Association


Reading Sessions

New music reading sessions include Sacred Advanced be led by Mike Ware, accompanied by Patricia Neighbors, Sacred General led by Taylor Davis and accompanied by Peggy Graff, and Sacred Unison/SA led by Nona Schwab. Chris Crook, Frode Gunderson, and Greg Hobbs will lead a reading session of Tried & Proven Repertoire for church choirs. The Church Division of TCDA offers five workshops and four music reading sessions in addition to the Worship Service on Thursday evening. Unlike many other music conventions, the music packets are free for you. Additionally all division workshops and events are open, so you can attend whatever you like, including the 300booth exhibit hall. Be sure to buy a ticket to the Texas BBQ featuring entertainment by The House Jacks. Some Practical Tips for the Choral Rehearsal

One thing is probably true for all of us in the church, we sing a lot of music every year. Here’s a tip I learned along the way: allow the choir to read through a piece in its entirety, perhaps even a couple of times before attacking problem spots. Yes, we should point out trouble spots before the reading – key changes, difficult rhythms, unusual chords – but in the end, trust your singers. If you’ve been teaching and modeling good choral technique and listening skills, then your singers will learn to self-correct, therefore freeing the conductor to work on the larger musical picture. So many conductors fall into the trap of teaching a few measures at a time, and this method doesn’t allow the Spring 2011

Officer Comments group to have a big picture from the beginning. Musical ensembles need a sense of the big picture, so work from the outside inward. Certainly, if the ensemble falls apart in the initial reading, then stop, find a good starting

Secretary/ Treasurer Kay Owens



&Ms are one of my many chocolate comfort snacks. When one has had a bad day, a nice handful of M&Ms can help one’s feelings. Rather than thinking of the chocolate pieces, let’s think of this comfort in the job we do each day. M – Music – As a choral director, think of the many musical experiences that you give your students over the course of four years. You give them the experience of learning literature at a very high level by participating in UIL contest each year. You give them the experience of sight reading at an advanced level. You give them the experience of singing with an orchestra or singing in a venue that far exceeds the high school auditorium. But most of all you give them the experience of creating musical moments each year of high school. & – And – You teach them how to become leaders in a group setting. Also, you teach them “life-lessons”. For example: if you are not going to be at a rehearsal or concert, you must communicate that information with your choral director; you must be on time for warm-up and rehearsals. Many of us travel with our students and take them on trips that give them life-learning experiences. My choir always has one meal for which we “dress nice each trip that in itself can be a learning experience in a nice restaurant. M – Memories – Each year, memories are made by students. Students have memories of what directors do in rehearsals (some is good,

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point, and begin again, remaining positive and never critical. Resist the compulsion to stop and fix every detail from the beginning. It’s amazing how many problems, especially wrong notes, will begin to correct themselves when

the singers have a chance to listen and learn for themselves. Remember, we as conductors only facilitate the music making, and I can still hear the words of the late Margaret Hillis ring in my ear, “Stay out of the way!” √

some is not so good); Students have memories of performances that will last a life time. Students have memories of how they feel while performing in your choir; Students also remember what you say during rehearsals . . . you know all those speeches we choral directors feel compelled to give to our captive audience, our students. So enjoy the M&Ms of your daily job with your students. Now to get more creative with these experiences you need to attend the TCDA Convention in July.

line at registration. Remember you can register on-line by going to Our categories are Active – teacher, director, consultant, supervisor; Associate – interested in TCDA objectives, do not meet Active requirements; Student – currently full-time student at a Texas Jr College, College, or University; Retired – retired from all areas of music, paid or voluntary, and interested in TCDA objectives. You will also want to purchase your BBQ tickets for great food and entertainment by The House Jacks; the Golf Tournament; T-Shirts, Polos, and a Coffee Mug. You may also want to donate money to our scholarship funds. So, mark this date on your calendar July 27-30, 2011 – TCDA Convention; July 1st – Deadline for Pre-Registration. Grab a handful of M&Ms just for fun! √

Pre-Registration is a must for this year’s Convention. Pre-Registration deadline is July 1. You will save $25 if you register early, not to mention the time you will save standing in a shorter

K A N S A S   C H O R A L   D I R E C T O R S   A S S O C I A T I O N

Make plans now for the

2011 SUMMER CONVENTION Thursday, July 7 through Saturday, July 9

RAMADA HOTEL, TOPEKA, KS Featuring Doreen Rao (University of Toronto)

Joe Miller (Westminster College) Shane Troll (Associate Artistic Director – Cantible Youth Singers & Pinewood Elementary School)

Evening Activities: July 7 – Community Music and Worship Service July 8 – KCDA State Women’s Chorus & Voices of Prometheus Multiple reading sessions for all levels of choirs Log on to for more information!





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Texas Sings! Spring 2011  
Texas Sings! Spring 2011  

The quarterly member magazine of teh Texas Choral Directors Association