<![CDATA[DE ACDA - HOME]]>Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:23:55 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Southern Delaware Chorale Collaborates with Local Schools]]>Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:47:04 GMThttp://deacda.org/home/southern-delaware-chorale-collaborates-with-local-schools​On Sunday, November 12, the Southern Delaware Chorale opened its 2017-2018 concert season with a performance of Brahms’ German Requiem under the baton of Artistic Director, Joey Shortall.  The accompaniment was a four-hand piano duet played by Assistant Conductor, Sarah Rose, and rehearsal accompanist, Rebecca McDaniel.

The Southern Delaware Chorale was joined by members of local high school choral groups in this concert.  Cape Henlopen High School (under the direction of Miriam Sunnergren) and Sussex Technical High School (under the direction of Sarah Rose) sang their own sets of music and joined the SDC in the well-known 4th movement of the Brahms, “How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place.”
​In addition to students from Sussex Tech and Cape Henlopen High Schools, the Chorale’s Lee Mitchell Scholars were also featured in the concert.  The Lee Mitchell Scholarships began with an endowment from the family of the late Lee Mitchell, an internationally-renowned pianist and composer with whom the Southern Delaware Chorale (then the Southern Delaware Choral Society) enjoyed a collaborative relationship.  For over 20 years the scholarship award has advanced the cause of music and the arts among high school students in southern Delaware.  The recipients receive a year of private voice lessons, participate in the Choral Society’s concert season and are provided with performance attire rental free.  This year’s Lee Mitchell Scholars are: Sarah Aleman from St. Thomas More Academy; Ryan Bradley and Hannah Wolk from Sussex Technical High School; and Sequoi Eley and Abbey Ruark from Sussex Central High School.

SDC members look forward to collaborating with local high school singers and have a long history of supporting choral singing opportunities in the community.  Other recent collaborations include the December 2016 SDC performance of Benjamin Britten’s St. Nicolas Cantata with the Young Nicolas treble solo and the Pickled Boys trio sung by 3rd, 4th, and 6th grade students from The Jefferson School in Georgetown.  Students from Sussex Technical High School provided the alto/soprano small chorus for the shipwreck scene.  In May 2016, the Southern Delaware Chorale presented Americana – A Patchwork of Songs with the participation of choral ensembles from Sussex Central High School under the direction of Ben Ables and Sussex Technical High School under the direction of Sarah Rose.
Many of the students who collaborate in SDC programs also join the Chorale for its traditional Handel’s Messiah Sing-Along held every December.   SDC is always on the lookout for additional ways to engage with and support youth choral programs in Sussex and Kent Counties.  Members agree that this outreach effort enriches the quality of its rehearsals and performances, as well as providing valuable exposure for students who are able to sing repertoire not possible in their school programs alongside more experienced adult singers.
<![CDATA[DE ACDA Festival For Women's Voices Gallery]]>Sat, 11 Nov 2017 16:42:26 GMThttp://deacda.org/home/de-acda-festival-for-womens-voices-galleryPhotos from the DE ACDA Festival for Women's Voices, held on 11/9/17, can be found HERE]]><![CDATA[Letter from the President]]>Mon, 02 Oct 2017 21:15:57 GMThttp://deacda.org/home/letter-from-the-presidentDear Members of Delaware ACDA,

I am thrilled to begin my term as president of Delaware ACDA. My predecessor, David Lockart, along with the previous year’s board, did an incredible job strengthening our festivals, workshops, and other offerings. We are pleased to announce this year’s list of events. Each has been specifically designed to help you, our directors, hone your craft, and to provide your students with a valuable and worthwhile singing experience. Here is a brief snapshot of what we have in store:
November 9, 2017
Festival for Women’s Voices, led by Dr. Duane Cottrell from the University of Delaware

January 25, 2018
Men Only Aloud, led by Philip Doucette of the Wilmington Children’s Chorus

March 2nd and 3rd, 2018
Children’s Honor Choir, led by Sophia Papoulis, director of the Foundation for Small Voices in Boston, MA

March 28, 2018
Delaware Choral Festival, coordinated by Sara Gaines and Margaret Anne Butterfield

May 20, 2018
Church Choir Festival, featuring multiple church music programs from across the state of Delaware

June 21st and 22nd, 2018
Summer Workshop At the Beach!, featuring Dr. Amanda Quist from Westminster Choir College

A complete listing of our events, along with concert listings, articles, and job postings is available at our website: http://www.deacda.org/. And for those interested in registering for the ACDA Regional Conference March 7-11 in Pittsburgh, registration is now open! For more information, and to register, please visit www.acda.org.

I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce our four newly appointed Repertoire and Resource Chairs:

Lifelong (community and church) - Joanne Ward
Youth (children’s, M.S. and H.S.) - Kelly Busovsky
College and University - Duane Cottrell
Rep Specific (Men’s, Women’s, Jazz, and a cappella) - Kathleen Shannon

These dedicated board members are here to help you get connected within your area of specialty and interest. If you have ideas to share, or questions to ask, please do not hesitate to reach out to them directly.

It is my distinct honor to serve you, our directors and choral leaders in Delaware. I am so proud of the work our board does to provide meaningful and enriching choral music experiences to your students and our membership family. I look forward to seeing you at one or more of our upcoming events!


James Wilson
President, Delaware ACDA
<![CDATA[PITTSBURGH!!! - MARCH 7-10, 2018]]>Mon, 18 Sep 2017 19:11:21 GMThttp://deacda.org/home/pittsburgh-march-7-10-2018Picture
​Dear Delaware Choral Directors:
The Eastern Division Conference is coming up soon, and Conference Registration will open in October.  Should you come?  Let me tell you a little about what you can expect. 
First, Delaware is integral in the development of this conference.  UD’s Dr. Paul Head, the Eastern Division President, is also the “Conference Chair.”  He has put together a team of about 35 choral musicians to organize every aspect of the conference.  My role is “Program Chair,” which is effectively Dr. Head’s right hand in the process.   We’ve spent about 2 years on this project, and are now heading into the final stretch. 

The Conference hotel is the 100-year-old Omni William Penn in downtown Pittsburgh.  The Omni is a beautiful hotel with a gorgeous, ornate lobby, multiple ballrooms and unique meeting locations.  It also has an original “speakeasy,” still in use today with origins back in the prohibition years of the 1920’s.  The Omni has a history with Lawrence Welk, and even has the original bubble machine! 
Within short walking distance and next door to each other are two glorious churches for choral performances, the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh.  The evening (plenary) concerts and the honor choir concerts will be in the famous Heinz Hall, home of the Pittsburgh Symphony.  Also within a short walking distance are many restaurants for any budget. The honor choirs will be housed in and are rehearsing at the nearby Westin Hotel. 
Tenebrae, a world-class choir from England, will be performing at the conference, as will the famous New York Polyphony and the Swingles.  We’re very excited that Joe Flummerfelt will be presenting the Keynote Address, and Jerry Blackstone will be leading the Graduate and Undergraduate Masterclasses. 
Pittsburgh is the “city of bridges,” as it has 446 of them.  Appropriately, our conference theme is “Building Bridges.”  One bridge (among many) we’re building is the bridge between choral singing and the world of contemporary a cappella music, a genre that is widely popular in high schools and on college campuses.  Our Wednesday evening concert will highlight the a cappella phenomenon, including a performance by UD’s Vocal Point and a cameo performance by the Swingles! 
Our conference will feature performances by 15 outstanding division choirs, presentations of over 40 leaders in the choral music, and an overflowing room of vendors of all sizes and shapes. 
The benefits of attending a choral conference are enormous, and hopefully life-changing as you continue to grow as a choral musician.  We hope you will put aside a few days in March – March 7 – 10, 2018 to come to Pittsburgh and be inspired.  For more information, please visit our web site:  www.acdaeast.org
By David Lockart
Immediate past-president of Delaware ACDA, David Lockart is currently the Director of Music at Aldersgate UMC in Wilmington, an adjunct at the University of Delaware, a consultant in AP Music Theory for the College Board, and a singer, composer, and choral adjudicator. 
<![CDATA[Some Vocal Jazz Recommendations for Spring, 2017]]>Wed, 09 Nov 2016 20:51:12 GMThttp://deacda.org/home/some-vocal-jazz-recommendations-for-spring-2017by Kathleen Shannon

Do you need one more piece of quality music for your spring concerts? Why not consider something from the Great American Songbook. Let's be sure our singers have exposure to the wonderful catalog of songs heard on stage and screen during the first half of the 20th century. Much of this repertoire has all the accepted characteristics of art music, making it appropriate for inclusion in choral concert performances.
The Great American Songbook is synonymous with the concept of the American "standard." This music was originally composed for Broadway, Hollywood films, or written for a specific famous singer. Composers such as Irving Berlin, George & Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein, II, and Cole Porter have made stunning contributions to this repertoire. The availability of sheet music, the advent of recording technology, and the birth of radio and television brought this music to a wide audience. 

Following are several recommended titles that singers and audiences will surely enjoy. Feel free to contact me for ideas on teaching vocal jazz! 

​For the collegiate, community, or advanced high school choir:

A Gershwin Jazz Trio 
George & Ira Gershwin, arranged by Jay Althouse
SATB: 35568, Alfred Music Publishing
Listen to the set here: www.alfred-music.com/player/AlfredChoralDesigns2011/35568/player.html

Three well crafted arrangements perfect as a set or alone.
1. Nice Work If You Can Get It 
Happy mood, with an easy swing feel. swing feel. Homophonic. Some group scat content for teaching articulations. Intermittent female solo. Ends softly.

2. Someone To Watch Over Me 
Lovely, homophonic texture. Straight eighths, lots of room for rubato. Bridge begins 3-pt women; men enter with nice counter line. Soft ending.

3. I Got Rhythm  
A fun rhythmic frolic full of syncopation and lots of downbeat rests. There is a choral pad suitable for possible 4-bar solo w/chorus answer. Bridge is the same both times through. Coda is cute and a guaranteed to make the audience "smile."

For the beginning choir:
The late Steve Zegree has given us many outstanding arrangements. Here is his version of a great stand alone song by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer. It's included in Hal Leonard's "Discovery Jazz Series."

Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive
Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer, arranged by Steve Zegree
2-pt Treble: 08551688, with piano accompaniment, Hal Leonard Music, Inc.
Listen to the arrangement here: 

Great chart for 2 pt. Treble. Positive text message. Rhythmic content includes eighth/quarter rest on downbeats, rests in between syllables of a word, swing feel. Melodic content includes descending minor thirds. Formal content includes 32-bar song form. Expressive content includes swing feel, scat syllables and written jazz inflections. 

For women's choir:

Blue Skies
Irving Berlin, arranged by Ron Caviani
3-pt Treble: 00140770, with piano accompaniment, Hal Leonard Music, Inc.
Listen to the arrangement here:

This fresh new chart opens with a unison riff. Homophonic texture. Altered melody lines. Some 4-pt divisi at cadence points. Unison scat 2nd time through the form. Sopranos imitate a trumpet played with a plunger mute. Fabulous piano part. Lots of dynamic variety.

Kathleen Shannon

<![CDATA[Announcing a "Hallelujah Chorus" Flash mob in New Castle!]]>Tue, 08 Nov 2016 19:45:13 GMThttp://deacda.org/home/announcing-a-hallelujah-chorus-flash-mob-in-new-castlePicture
Join us on Saturday, December 10 for the 16th annual Spirit of Christmas from 9:30-5:30 in Old New Castle. Tour a historic home, shop our unique stores, enjoy our restaurants, sing carols and if you like, join us for an impromptu "Hallelujah Chorus" at 12:30 pm. A quick rehearsal will be held at 11:30 am on the Green behind the Court House. Bring your score or sing from memory! Church choirs, school choirs, and individual singers are all welcome, but don't tell "the audience." For more information, contact Kathleen Shannon at kathleenmshannon@gmail.com. 

<![CDATA[Women’s Choral Literature – Teaching More Than The Notes]]>Mon, 26 Sep 2016 02:37:17 GMThttp://deacda.org/home/-womens-choral-literature-teaching-more-than-the-notes​by Joanne Ward

Over the course of my career, I have had multiple opportunities to conduct ensembles made up entirely of women’s voices.  The sound and purity of women’s voices is something that always amazes me, whether it be emerging voices at the middle school level, a collegiate choir, or the maturity of a community choir. Certainly at the middle school level it is advantageous to separate singers by gender for rehearsal purposes, even when the ultimate goal is to come together at some point as an SAT or SATB ensemble. At the high school level, women’s choirs become an entity unto themselves, either as a training choir or conversely, an advanced ensemble.  Colleges and universities have long seen the value and beauty of choral ensembles which specialize in the timber and quality of sound, specific only to a well blended group of female voices.
As conductors of women’s choirs, we are challenged to choose repertoire appropriate for our singers, whatever their age and ability, on multiple levels. We must think of vocal range and tessitura; appropriate text; level of difficulty; programmatic use, etc. However, I would like to suggest that we choose music which also fits the “women – identified “ model: repertoire which expresses the creative side of women’s lives and explores the feelings, interests, and life experiences of women as they relate to today’s ever changing social and political landscape. We are fortunate to be working in a time when many composers , both female and male, are no longer simply reworking established SATB literature into an SSAA format, but are writing literature specific to women, using the above criteria. We have moved past the era when most treble literature was of the “butterflies and rainbows” variety to quote Hilary Apfelstadt, past president of The American Choral Directors Association and an authority on women’s choirs.
Women seek music that goes beyond pleasant, light melodies, which move at a rather slow pace and often have texts which speak only of spring, love, happiness and the beauty of nature. Texts that are relevant and empowering, that are uplifting and revere the human spirit; melodic lines which are artfully crafted; interesting harmonic structure and challenging rhythms are much more relevant to today’s female singer no matter what the age.
We must nurture our young women with repertoire which serves as a vocal model and musical teaching tool, but just as importantly, it must offer a glimpse into the lives of women of great character, integrity, and personal strength. By way of example, Andrea Ramsey’s composition “Lineage” asks women to look back to their female ancestors to find their own strength. Joan Szymko’s “Malala” is a setting of the young Nobel Prize winner’s own words in response to the Talaban’s efforts to silence her voice. “Three Poems From the Parlor” is a three song set by Eleanor Daley of poems written by Jane Austin, her mother Mrs. George Austin, and her sister Miss Cassandra Austin in a parlor game where every phrase had to end with a word which rhymed with “rose”. The poems are all very different, but incredible in their humor and textural cleverness. The composer has done a masterful job of giving each piece the musical personality its author intended. “From Dusk to Dawn” by Gwyneth Walker tells the story of Liberian women protesting the civil war which tore their country apart until 2003. Led by another Nobel Peace Prize winner, Leymah Gbowee, the women prayed, marched, sang and resolutely waited for peace. The music is rhythmic, energetic and powerful, reflecting the determination of these “peace mothers”.  There are at least two wonderful settings of “And Ain’t I A Woman” – one by Susan Borwick and the other by Sandi Peaslee. The text is taken from the famous speech delivered by Sojourner Truth to the 1851 Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, which reportedly saved the day for the cause of women’s rights.  “Remember The Ladies” is a remarkable setting of a letter written by Abigail Adams to her husband John Adams in March of 1776, advising him on what to put into a proposed constitution.  The composer, Carol Barnett, does an admirable job of capturing the intent of the letter in a musical style similar to what would have been heard in Europe in the late 1700’s.
These are some of my particular favorites, which I have found suitable for a wide variety of ages and ability levels. However, I have barely begun to scratch the surface of repertoire in this genre. I encourage choral conductors/educators to take the time to teach their female singers not only how to make beautiful music together, but to help them find their own strength, character, and humanity through the music they sing.

Joanne Ward

<![CDATA[Rehoboth Beach Choral Workshop with Rollo Dilworth]]>Sun, 03 Jul 2016 17:53:23 GMThttp://deacda.org/home/rehoboth-beach-choral-workshop-with-rollo-dilworth
<![CDATA[Repertoire Selection and Delaware! by Kim Doucette]]>Fri, 06 May 2016 18:04:51 GMThttp://deacda.org/home/repertoire-selection-and-delaware-by-kim-doucettePicture
I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite summer time activities is planning repertoire for the coming year.  It’s time to go through the files, the piles, the bookmark folders, the recordings, and pick the brains of my colleagues.  I look forward to sitting on the porch with a glass of iced tea (or maybe some wine…) and pondering the best mix of music for my choirs.
The beginning of this activity always starts with collecting all the possibilities, and the Rehoboth Beach Choral Workshop is perfectly timed to add some new selections to my options. Hearing about great music that my fellow choral directors have discovered, shopping the Musical Source, and learning from fabulous guest clinicians (this year it’s Rollo Dilworth!) is a great way to get inspired and kick start the process.

While repertoire selection is one of my favorite parts of the job, it is also one of the most time consuming.  There are so many considerations—developing vocal and musical skills, facilitating each ensemble’s best sound, challenging but not overloading, providing a variety of styles, languages, themes, tempi, modes, and meters, etc.   Singing through the music at reading sessions and hearing the advice of others always helps to narrow down the selections.
Summer is also the time when I wish there were more concerts.  So many of the performances I want to attend at the holidays or in the spring are in direct conflict with one of my own rehearsals or concerts.  We are excited to be bringing a group of choristers from the Wilmington Children’s Chorus to perform on the first night of the RBCW.  We’ll be reprising some selections from our spring concerts, “Stand Together: Songs of Hope and Unity” which focused on the force for good that our youth can be during these challenging times for Wilmington.  If you know of other choral performances coming up this summer, I encourage you to post them as a comment so we can all take advantage of the opportunity!
<![CDATA[ACDA Conferences!  Are They Worth It?]]>Mon, 15 Feb 2016 01:12:50 GMThttp://deacda.org/home/acda-conferences-are-they-worth-itby David Lockart
Dr. Paul Head is President Elect of the Eastern Division of ACDA, becoming President in July of 2016.  His biggest duty as President is to organize the 2018 ACDA Eastern Division Conference and I have accepted his invitation to be the Conference Chair.  Together, we will be forming a committee and going about the massive process of constructing a major northeast conference for choral musicians. 
         I attended the 2016 Boston Conference with a desire to answer this question: Why does one attend a conference and is it worth the expense?   In Hartford 2008 and Philadelphia 2010 I was the Auditioned Choirs Chair and was busy hosting choirs selected to sing at the conference.  You might remember Philadelphia, which enjoyed 20 inches of snow on the opening day of  the conference!  In Providence 2012 and Baltimore 2014 I was the Interest Session Chair busy hosting choral leaders as they passed along their knowledge and experience to attendees.   At the National Conference in Dallas 2013 I was a site-manager for all of the choral performances, and in Salt Lake City 2015 I was the Assistant Interest Session Chair.  As you can imagine, enjoying a regular conference attendee experience has been impossible.  Though I presided at several events, this year in Boston I was able to attend concerts, interest sessions, rehearsals and masterclasses like a regular attendee. 
Was it worth it?   Resoundingly, Yes.  Here's why...

  1. I heard fifteen outstanding choirs, including girl choirs, jazz choirs, avant garde choirs, middle school, high school, collegiate, international and church choirs.  In my capacity as a choral adjudicator for a music festival company and student teacher supervisor for UD, I hear plenty of choirs in our Eastern Division - some good, some still emerging.  Anyone attending a conference will inevitably ponder these questions: "What about that choir makes them so good?", "How do they raise the bar so high?", "What steps do I need to take to improve the quality of my own choir?"  Whether we work with children, teens, young adults, or life-long singers, we hopefully strive to develop the skills that will make our choirs the best they can be.  High quality choral singing is an essential goal.  Low quality choral singing is torture.
  2. When many choir directors gather, a synergy occurs and fascinating things happen.  Collaborations are forged, ideas are exchanged, information is shared, personal and professional relationships are strengthened.  Choir directors frequently carry out their duties in somewhat of a vacuum.  Collective fellowship helps to affirm and/or heighten awareness about how we're doing in our respective positions.
  3. Expert choral leaders gather to share their knowledge.  Two examples from Boston: First, I had the pleasure of presiding (hosting) Rollo Dilworth's Interest Session.  Many of you will know that Rollo is an internationally known composer and conductor.  On this occasion he was discussing the methods and virtues of directors forging collaborations with community organizations - a fascinating concept that helps choir directors escape ruts and add validity and meaning to the choral experience.  Something to think about.  Second, I attended a conducting masterclass in which well-known conducting teacher Ann Howard Jones was working with underclass and graduate conductors discussing and improving choral gestures.  I was asking myself the questions: "How would I handle that?", "Do I agree with her?", "Could I incorporate that idea into my conducting?"  I believe that I am a better conductor after observing that session
  4. As a composer, I'm always looking for projects.  Recently frustrated with trying to find a fitting piece for Palm Sunday at church, I was thrilled to discover that my friend, Mark Boyle, is a poet.  We decided to combine our talents to develop a new piece for the occasion. 
  5. There is beauty in gathering with friends for a mutual purpose.  I enjoyed meals and drinks with my old New Jersey choral friends, my old conference committee friends, and my new Delaware choral friends.  I was thrilled that pretty much everyone I spoke with was excited about the 2018 conference and volunteered to help make the conference happen, in any capacity needed.  This is a testimony to their belief in the value of the conferences.
  6. The 30-some choirs that performed at the conference include well over a thousand singers of all ages, coming together to share their gifts and talents.  Choral singing is a thrill, and performing for hundreds of choral directors who love choral music is a peak experience.  The exhilaration is palpable.  After the Rutgers performance, a former student of mine, Steve Saharic, came up and gave me a big hug and thanked me for helping lead him to a life of music making. 
  7. For those of you who are school educators, you have found that scheduled professional development activities within your district rarely apply to choral music.  This is professional development at its finest, with up to about 40 hours of activities dedicated specifically to your selected profession. 
Singing well in a good choir is a thrill with no equal.  We, the choir directors, know this thrill and the meaning it give us in our lives, and we want to share this with others.  Yes, there is an expense, and if your school or church can help - all the better.  Those who have never been to a conference do not know that these conferences can be a transformative experience.  In this case, ignorance is not bliss.
Start planning now - The next ACDA Eastern Division Conference will be in Pittsburgh from March 7-10, 2018.  Where will you be?  Will you be on the conference committee working to make this an outstanding experience for all?  Will you be attending concerts and sessions and learning and growing and experiencing?  Or will you be going to work, as you did yesterday, and tomorrow, and know that you may have missed something very special?