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Summer 2006 page 1

Carolina Caroler

An official publication of the North Carolina Chapter


of the American Choral Directors Association

Inside
Dates to Remember for the Coming Year
Presidents 2-3
Message

Fall Conference 4-5


2006

Judith Willoughby 5
Bio
September 22-23, 2006
Common Ground 6-7
NC ACDA FALL CONFERENCE 2006 Article
Guest Clinician~Judith Willoughby Editors Note 8
UNC Greensboro School of Music
Measured Silence 9-10
Article

2006 Sr. High 9


Womens All State

The Joy of Middle 10-13


School Article & 16

Reflections of 14
March 7-10, 2007 Southern Division

ACDA National Convention Treasurers Report 15


Miami, Florida Show Choir Article 17-18

Enjoy pics from our


Fall Conference 2006
throughout the newsletter

Directories
NC ACDA Officers 2
Future NC ACDA NC ACDA
Conference Dates Sr. High Womens NC ACDA Specially 3
All State 2007 Appointed Officers

NC ACDA R&S 4-5


September 21-22, 2007 January 26-27, 2007 Chairs

Volume 7, Issue 3
Summer 2006
page 2 Carolina Caroler

NC ACDA Officers
2005-2007
President s Message
Tom Shelton, NC ACDA President
President
Tom Shelton
Kernersville Middle School I hope by the time you get this newsletter, you are enjoying a
110 Brown Road wonderful summer vacation on a yacht sailing to an exotic
Kernersville, NC 27284
336.996.5566
locale. But, if you're not, then like me, you are probably
tomshelton@triad.rr.com gearing up for a Church retreat or working at a summer
music camp!
Past President It was wonderful to see so many NC ACDA members at the
Janna Brendell Southern Division ACDA Conference in Charleston, West Virginia. Charles-
Waynesville Middle School
495 Brown Avenue
ton was a wonderful place to have the conference. In regards to logistics -
Waynesville, NC 28786 You could walk to everything! The weather was accommodating and the city
828.456.2403 officials worked diligently to make us feel welcome. In addition, the Clay
jannabrendell@yahoo.com Performing Arts Center was a magnificent performance facility!
Congratulations to Dan Bara and the East Carolina University Chamber Singers
President-Elect
Daniel J. Bara
for a wonderful performance. Congratulations are also in store to Al Sturgis
School of Music for his interest session presentation The Choral Conductor and the Orches-
East Carolina University tra. Sandy Holland and Kenney Potter (Both North Carolina members) did a
Greenville, NC 27858 wonderful job overseeing their Southern Division R&S Areas, and a special
252.328.6243 tip of the hat goes to Heather Potter who was a hit at the Children's Choir
barad@mail.ecu.edu
Breakfast Roundtable presenting her doctoral dissertation: "Perspectives on
Secretary the American Children's Choir: A Study and Comparison of Bartle, Leck,
Gwen Hall Rao, and Kemp".
Southwest Randolph High I had never been to Charleston and found the drive to be breathtaking; filled with
School nature and beautiful scenery. I took a group of 19 eighth grade boys from Ker-
1641 Hopewell Friends Road
Asheboro, NC 27205
nersville Middle School to serve as a demonstration choir and they had a great
336.381.7747 time. This may have been the first "hotel" experience for several of them, and
bhall@asheboro.com probably the first trip experience without a parent. We stayed at the Super
Eight motel (which is actually better than it sounds...), which was convenient
Treasurer to the convention center, the performing arts center, the Discovery Museum,
Ginger Wyrick
Queens University of
as well as the food court at the Mall! What could be better for a group of mid-
Charlotte dle school boys? Other than the hotel calling me at 1:30AM to tell me that one
1900 Selwyn Avenue of the rooms was too loud, everything went smoothly.
Charlotte, NC 28269 I was so proud of them after their session. It was worth all of the blood, sweat,
704.337.2269 and tears, (not to mention FUND-RAISING) that went into getting them to
ggw@hwaci.com
the conference. (...Believe it or not, we are STILL selling candy bars to pay
Membership Chair for that trip!) The session was a success, but I have to admit, I enjoyed waving
Reta Phifer goodbye to the bus as they began their journey home and I stayed to enjoy the
339 Falesco Lane rest of the conference.
Matthews, NC 28105 I would recommend that all of you take your groups to participate or perform at a
704.708.9789
phifer4music@
conference of this nature. It is not only a growing experience for you as a con-
mindspring.com ductor, but a real bonding experience for you and your students.
Speaking of conferences, the North Carolina ACDA conference will be held Sep-
Newsletter Editor tember 22-23, 2006 at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Judith
Stephen A. Futrell Willoughby will be the guest clinician. See Dan Bara's (Conference Chairper-
Elon University
Campus Box 2800
son) article on the conference on page 4 of this newsletter. Judith Wil-
Elon, NC 27244 loughby's biography can also be found in this issue on pages 4-5. Judith has a
336.278.5681 (Continued on page 3)
sfutrell@elon.edu
Summer 2006 page 3

Presidents Message NC ACDA Specially


(Continued from page 2) Appointed Officers
wide range of choral experiences Ace Mentoring/Auditions
and will be able to address many ar- Sam Doyle
eas. She is a dynamic clinician at the 1702 Westridge Road
Greensboro, NC 27410
top of the field. I hope you will put
336.282.0549
the date on your calendar and join us sdoyle4@triad.rr.com
for this great event. By the way, you
will see various pics from our 2006 Fall Conference Scenes 2006 Conference Exhibits/
Fall Conference scattered throughout Reading Sessions
William McConnell
this newsletter. Thanks to Anne Coltrane for compiling pictures on a CD for
St. Andrews Pres. College
us. I hope you enjoy these scenes from our conference. 1700 Dogwood Mile
The 2007 National Conference will be held March 7-10 in Miami. I can't think of a Laurinburg, NC 28352
better place to be in early March - I'm sure the weather will be wonderful! Our 910.277.5262
own Hilary Apfelstadt (former NC State ACDA President) is the president- mcconnellwt@sapc.edu
elect of the national organization and serves as conference chairperson of the
Conference Site Host
2007 conference. Start saving your money now - it's going to be spectacular! Welborn E. Young (Bill)
The 2006 SSA All State was held in January. This event is sponsored by the NC UNC-Greensboro
ACDA Chapter and held in conjunction with the NCMEA All State. We are School of Music
grateful to be a part of this collaborative effort. The SSA group was conducted P.O. Box 26167
Greensboro, NC 27402
by Dr. Lisa Fredenburgh (Meredith College) who did an outstanding job. Spe-
336.334.5428
cial thanks to Amy Daw for coordinating this event, and also to Jill Bolick for weyoung@uncg.edu
stepping in for Amy during the event. Jane Woody deserves a big "Thank
You" for coordinating the overall event for the NCMEA organization. Historian
For the past seven years, Stephen Futrell has served as the newsletter editor. He Anne Coltrane
6001 Knightbridge Court
has done an amazing job and we are grateful to him for his creative spirit and
Kernersville, NC 27284
meticulous workmanship. Congratulations are in store for Stephen, as he has 336.993.3217
recently been named the Chair of the Music Department at Elon University. annecoltrane@hotmail.com
Because of this promotion, he will have many added duties and therefore un-
able to continue to serve as our newsletter editor. We wish Stephen the best in Lara Hoggard Award
Chair
his new position and thank him for his service to NC ACDA. He will continue
Sam Doyle
to serve as the R&S Chairperson for Jazz Choirs. (see Ace Mentoring info
If any of you would be interested in being the newsletter editor, please contact me listed above)
or Stephen Futrell. Stephen has graciously offered to share his expertise with
the new editor and work with them on the next newsletter. SSA All-State Coordinator
Amy W. Daw
In closing, I would like to leave you with these quotes: Northern High School
117 Tom Wilkinson Road
Miracles happen to those who believe in them. Durham, NC 27712
919.560.3956x56813
Bernard Berenson, 1865-1959, American Art Critic
dawaw@dpsnc.net

Great opportunities to help others seldom come, Technology Chair


but small ones surround us daily. Webmaster
Sally Koch, American Writer Bert Fox
Lufkin Road Middle School
May your summer be filled with miracles and great opportunities to make a dif- 1002 Lufkin Road
Cary, NC 27539
ference in the lives of those around you!
919.387.4465
foxsterb@aol.com
I hope our paths cross soon!
Tom Shelton
page 4 Carolina Caroler

NC ACDA R&S Chairs


NC ACDA Fall Conference 2006, September 22-23, UNCG
Judith Willoughby, Clinician
Boychoirs
Bill Allred Dan Bara, NC ACDA Conference Chairperson
1009 Bridgewater Drive
Burlington, NC 27217 Make plans now to attend the NC ACDA Fall Conference on September 22-23,
baallred@bellsouth.net
2006!
Childrens Choirs This years conference promises to offer something to everyone and is scheduled
Anne M. Saxon to include considerable contributions from our State R&S chairs geared to
4105 Sewanee Drive assist members with exposure to new repertoire and meaningful roundtable
Winston-Salem, NC 27106
discussions. Our headlining clinician, Dr. Judith Willoughby, will be offering
336.922.4073
CCCSing@aol.com lecture and demonstration sessions bound to assist conductors of all types of
choruses. Session titles and topics include:
College/University Choirs
Welborn E. Young (Bill)
UNC-Greensboro
Developing Choral Artistry Through Stylistic Integrity
School of Music Five Foundational Tips to Improve Every Chorus
P.O. Box 26167 Childrens Choruses: Rehearsal Techniques to Build Strong
Greensboro, NC 27402 Musicianship
336.334.5428
weyoung@uncg.edu
Question & Answer Session with Dr. Willoughby with em-
phasis on ideas for nurturing the conductor/music director as
Community Choirs providers for our ensembles, our organizations, our families,
Larry Speakman friends and communities.
The concert Singers of Cary
PO Box 1921
Cary, NC 27512 Additionally, Dr. Tim Sharp, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Fine Arts
919.251.6170 at Rhodes College has been invited to offer a lecture/demonstration on the
speakman@ topic of Moravian Church Music.
concertsingers.org As in previous years, the schedule will include concert sessions, reading ses-
Ethnic and Multicultural sions, exhibitors, a Meet the Clinician Reception, and ample time to catch up
Perspectives with colleagues and friends.
Jacqueline P. Robinson I hope that you can attend the fall conference, and I encourage you to invite your
Hunter Huss High School colleagues, students, and choir members who may be new to state ACDA
1518 Edgefield Avenue
Gastonia, NC 28052
activities.
704.866.6610 Enjoy the summer!
jprobinson@gaston.k12.nc.us

Jazz Choirs
Stephen A. Futrell
Judith Willoughby Biography
(see Newsletter Editor info
on page 2) Judith Willoughby is Professor of Music (Conducting and Music Education)
Junior High/Middle School and Associate Director of Choral Activities at Oklahoma City University.
Choirs She is also Artistic Director of the Canterbury Academy of Vocal Arts
Tammy Shook (CAVA), the youth choral program of the Canterbury Choral Society which
H.M. Arndt Middle School established a partnership with Oklahoma City University. She comes to
3530 34th Street NE
Hickory, NC 28601 Oklahoma City University from Northwestern University where she was a
828.256.9545 member of the conducting and music education faculty.
tamerashook@ Professor Willoughby earned an MM in choral conducting and piano perform-
catawba.k12.nc.us ance from Temple University and a BM in piano performance from North-
western University where she was also a member of the Mortar Board Soci-
ety. Her principal teachers included Elaine Brown (choral conducting), Max
(Continued on page 5)
Summer 2006 page 5

Judith Willoughby NC ACDA R&S Chairs


(Continued from page 4)
Male Choirs
Dsire Davis-Omburo
Rudolph and William Smith (orchestral conducting), and East Chapel Hill High School
Natalie Hinderas and Gui Mombaerts (piano). She 500 Weaver Dairy Road
taught, for many years, in the Summer Institute Program Chapel Hill, NC 27514
at the Eastman School of Music, has also taught at West- 919.969.2492
ddavis@chccs.k12.nc.us
minster Choir Colleges Summer Institute and at Central
Connecticut State University, and most recently lectured Music & Worship
at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, China. Professor Tony Spencer
Willoughby began her career teaching in the Philadel- First Baptist Church
211 West Main Street
phia, Pennsylvania public schools. She founded the Temple University Chil- Forest City, NC 28043
drens Choir in Temples Center for Gifted Young Musicians and led that 828.245.6626
ensemble to international prominence during her ten year association with tspencer@rfci.net
the school. She also founded and, for twenty years, led the Choral Society of
Senior High School Choirs
Montgomery County (PA) which received many honors during her leader- Jocelyn Thompson
ship. Both ensembles appeared at regional and/or national meetings of the West Charlotte Sr. HS
American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and the Music Educators 2219 Senior Drive
National Conference, and were featured in live broadcasts on classical music Charlotte, NC 28216
stations in the Mid Atlantic region and abroad. Both choirs also recorded and 980.343.6060x288
Jocleyn.Thompson@
were featured on Chorus Americas former radio program, The First Art. In cms.k12.nc.us
2000, the Temple University Childrens Choir performed in concert, and in
collaboration with the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra and Chorus, in Show Choirs
Eugene, Oregon, under the baton of Helmut Rilling. Additionally, the Tem- Amy W. Daw
(see SSA Coordinator info
ple University Childrens Choir was featured on recordings, led by Wil- on page 3)
loughby, for the Silver Burdett Ginn Music Series published in 2002.
Judith Willoughby has conducted professional, adult volunteer, collegiate, high Two-Year College Choirs
school, junior high/middle school, and childrens honor, all-state and festival Jerry Cribbs
3540 Kirby Smith Drive
choruses throughout North America, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia. She Wilmington, NC 28409
has appeared internationally as a guest conductor and clinician in the worlds 910.392.6783
major concert halls in China, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Australia, Canada, jcribbs@ec.rr.com
Wales, Hungary, the Czech Republic, St. Petersburg, Russia, and throughout
Womens Choirs
North America. In 2003, Willoughby conducted the Womens Honor Choir Mary Lycan
at the American Choral Directors Association national convention in New Womens Voices Chorus
York City, and she conducts Eastern and Northwest ACDA divisional honor 415 Wesley Drive
choirs during the 2005-2006 season. Chapel Hill, NC 27516-1521
During her years in Pennsylvania, Willoughby served terms as state president of 919.932.5455
mlycanclef@aol.com
Pennsylvanias branches of the American Choral Directors Association and
the Pennsylvania Collegiate Choral Association. She has served on panels for Youth & Student Activities
the National Endowment of the Arts, state arts agencies and private founda- Brett Nolker
tions. She also edits a new choral series published by Alliance Music. She UNCG School of Music
PO Box 26167
served nine years on the board of Chorus America (two as secretary), and Greensboro, NC 27402
currently dedicates her efforts to Chorus Americas conducting task force 336.334.3642
and as national co-chair of the Children and Youth constituency group. Ju- dbnolker@uncg.edu
dith Willoughby is a member of the International Federation for Choral Mu-
sic, Chorus America, the College Music Society and the Music Educators
National Conference. She is also a life member of the American Choral Di-
rectors Association.
page 6 Carolina Caroler

Childrens Choirs Common Ground:


Lets Focus on Our Similarities
Verna Brummet, Childrens Choir Chairperson ACDA Eastern Division
During a recent planning session of the Eastern Division Executive Board and R&S Chairs,
a lively, fruitful discussion ensued that focused on the question: What gifts do we all
bring to ACDA? It didnt take long to compile a list of commonalities that choral musi-
ACDA cians possess. Passion for the choral art, personal artistic experiences, professional net-
works, mentoring opportunities and practices, and a capacity for hard work and multi-
Advocacy tasking were just a few items on the list. Outreach, unity, and self-examination provided
the context for this reflective discussion.
Resolution Choral musicians at all levels involved in school, community, and church music programs
all share the above plus the following components: a focus on the human voice, the mu-
sic making process, investigation of language, a passion for music, commitment to
teaching music, and a need to grow and learn as professionals. Instead of focusing on
the ways each choral situation differs; by age, gender, difficulty level, underwriting or-
Whereas the human ganization, or literature choices, what could happen if the similarities were emphasized?
spirit is elevated to a How powerful could choral music (and ACDA) be if inclusiveness were more pervasive
broader understanding and all choral opportunities were viewed as having equal value?
Perhaps the very thing that many choral musicians are most proud of; top performing en-
of itself through study
sembles final product, is what may stand as a roadblock for us as an organization, as a
and performance in the profession. Is it time to change the paradigm and include opportunities for non-
aesthetic arts; and auditioned choirs to participate in workshops sessions? Is it time to have a choir begin a
new piece at an interest session and observe the teaching/learning process? Could an
interest session be an informance where the choir and conductor present selections
Whereas serious cut- which are not ready for performance in the accepted sense; works in progress? How
backs in funding and about inclusive choirs that include singers with special needs? These are questions
support have steadily that deserve discussion, contemplation, and consideration within the context of seeking
eroded arts institutions unity and reinforcing the similarities among choral musicians objectives and philoso-
and their programs phies.
throughout our country, Investigating the Similarities
Psychologist Howard Gardner, along with colleagues Csikszentmihalyi and Damon (2001),
address the idea of good work and what it means to a variety of workers and profession-
Be it resolved that all als including teachers. They define the notion of good work as work of expert quality
citizens of the United that benefits the broader society (p.xi). As choral musicians (and thus teachers), this
idea directly applies to what occurs in choral groups each day. Choral musicians are
States actively voice
certainly involved in the concept of good work. The three basic issues that should be
their affirmative and considered are ones mission, standards, and identity.
collective support for A choral directors mission could be addressed by simply asking the question, Why should
necessary funding at the society reward the kind of work that I do with status and certain privileges? (Gardner,
local, state, and national et al, p.10). Choral musicians can address the standards test by posing the question;
levels of education and Which workers in the profession best realize the calling and why? (p.11). And finally,
government, to ensure choral educators should consider their own sense of identity as including personality
the survival of arts pro- traits, motivation, intellectual strengths and weaknesses, and personal likes and dis-
grams for this and fu- likes (p.11). In virtually all three of these issues, all differences among choral musi-
ture generations. cians melt away to reveal just the similarities. A childrens choir conductor and a uni-
versity choral conductor answer the same question in similar ways. They are both in-
volved in good work that is of benefit to society even though the work occurs in differ-
ent settings, with different ages, with different kinds of literature. At the core the teach-
ers both possess similar missions, have similar standards of excellence and person/
professional expertise, and have personalities and motivation that have led them to in-
volvement in choral music. If choral musicians asked themselves these questions and
acknowledged the sameness among choral experiences and choral conductors, the im-
(Continued on page 7)
Summer 2006 page 7

Common Ground
(Continued from page 6)
pact on communities would be profound. Old models of hierarchy according to gender, literature, selection, economic
statues, or cultures would not only seem inappropriate, but would fall into disuse. New models, which insist upon di-
versity, honor inclusion, and acknowledge the students choral experiences as growth, would become dominant.
To Childrens Choir Conductors
What does all this mean to conductors of childrens choirs? It simply means that what you do is truly good work. You con-
tribute to society by touching young peoples lives through choral music experiences. You are rewarded in the musical
moment, by the recognition your choristers receive, and the feedback from your choristers. You are teachers who are
motivated by the need to nurture young musicians because you know what power music can have in their lives. You
are strong musicians who have researched quality literature of various historical periods, cultures, and genres in order
to provide the broadest and deepest musical opportunities for your students. You are teachers who continue to develop
your own artistry and skills because you value excellence in yourself and your choristers. You have a passion for teach-
ing and sharing the choral art. You are conductors and artistic directors of childrens choir organizations. You are vocal
music teachers who hold singing as the core of the elementary and middle school music programs.
You are church musicians who have created and developed childrens choirs as part of a larger music program. You are
part of a nationwide movement of the past twenty years, which had added to the viability of singing as a part of Ameri-
can culture. You have made an impact on the profession, on your community, and you singers.
What can be done to emphasize similarities?
-Develop communication among other choral conductors in your community. If there is an elementary or middle school
teacher who is not an ACDA member, inform and recruit.
-Attend choral concerts of ensembles in your school district or community. It is a perfect way to grow professionally as one
learns new literature and observes another conductor on the podium.
-Attend rehearsals of other choral conductors who work with similar ensembles and who work with different types than
you currently conduct.
There are many general principles concerning teaching music.
-Collaborate with other conductors both formally and informally.
-Attend festivals as a learner. What can you take away to implement with your singers?
-Attend conferences at state, regional and national levels.
-Strengthen the alliance between ACDA and MENCE at the grass roots level. Be sure you have memberships in both pro-
fessional organizations and thoroughly digest publications for both.
-Implement the National Standards for Music Education (1994) as part of your choral curriculum.
-Continue to be a music maker yourself. Sing in a community or school ensemble, take a workshop, find a vocal coach, or
sing in a church choir. Adopt the artist educator model.
-Be resourceful. Learn new music that is especially challenging for you. Find someone who speaks the language of a selec-
tion not in English and let them share pronunciation, context, and performance practice with you.
Go back over the previous ten suggestions on a regular basis.
Choral musicians hold commonalities that override all the differences. The passion for the choral art is the basis and perva-
sive thread that connects the childrens choir conductor to the middle school teacher to the high school musical theatre
director to the church choir musician to the college/university director of choral activities. It is not a hierarchical
model, but rather one of mutual respect, thorough understanding, and equal value. It is a well-balanced, purposeful col-
laboration with one common purpose: to enrich singers lives through the choral experience! Justine Heinrichs (1999)
stated that being a musician is that one is always becoming. One never reaches the point of arrival. Musicianship is
continually evolving and constantly reflecting life. What could be better?
References:
Gardner, H. Csikszentmihalyi, M. & Damon, W. (2001). Good Work: When excellence and ethics meet. New York: Basic
Books
Levine, S. ed. (1999). A passion for teaching. Reston, VA: Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development
The school music program: A new vision. (1994). Reston, VA: Music Educators National Conference
This article reprinted with permission from the November 2006 issue of the Choral Journal.
Dr. Verna Brummett is Associate Professor of Music Education at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York.
She recently served as Children's Choir Chairperson for ACDA Eastern Division,
and she conducts the Choraliers of the Ithaca Children's Choir.
page 8 Carolina Caroler

From Your Friendly Newsletter Editor with Gratitude


Stephen A. Futrell, NC ACDA Newsletter Editor
Greetings!
I am excited to announce to you that effective August 1, 2006, I will begin serving as Music Department Chair
at Elon University. I am humbled, honored and grateful for this awesome opportunity. Of course, I will ad-
mit the opportunity does come with some anxiety as I am following a chair who has set high standards in
terms of his leadership and service to our department and institution. I can only hope to achieve even a por-
tion of what Dr. David Bragg has accomplished during his tenure at Elon.
As chair designate, the charge has already been given to me to lead our discussions in developing our 5-year
departmental plan. As it stands now, our plan is shaping up to be dynamic and bold. One thing Id like to
share with you relates to a new initiative. For the past couple of years, I have served as chair of a depart-
mental committee investigating offerings in music technology. I am pleased to announce that beginning
this fall, the music department will be offering an Introduction to Music Technology class which will pre-
sent a survey of music notation (Sibelius, Finale, Notion) and sequencing software (Digital Performer, No-
tion), information regarding MIDI and some other software such as Garage Band, Smart Music and Band
in a Box. All of this will be in our new Music Technology Lab. The lab will have 21 stations each with its
own Mac G5, M-Audio Oxygen 49 MIDI controller and audio interface. Theory/aural skills software will
include Practica Musica and Auralia.
As Music Department Chair, I will be able to follow through with the work of this committee with the ultimate
goal of offering a BS in Music Technology. The proposed start date of the degree program will be fall of
2007. The program comes with course work in digital recording software (such as Logic, Mpowered and
ProTools) and recording studio techniques, a sequence of aural skills/critical listening classes, applied and
ensemble experiences and an internship opportunity. We are very excited about this new initiative. There
are other initiatives I hope to be able to announce to you within the next year or so.
As you can imagine, my responsibilities as Department Chair will be numerous. Although the position comes
with some course release time, the time commitment is incredible. However, I am excited and enthusiastic.
Furthermore, many of you know I am blessed with a beautiful wife and two of the most beautiful kids in
the world! (Did I exaggerate just now?!?) Seriously, I do consider myself truly blessed. Balancing family
and work is always a challenge. Due to the time constraints and responsibilities of my new appointment, I
must resign my post as newsletter editor for NC ACDA.
I do want to share with you how much Ive appreciated the opportunity to serve our chapter. I only hope that
Ive been able to serve it well. It has always been my desire to build on what came before. The changes
Ive proposed and which have been brought about in terms of look/design, formatting and even the slight
change of publication dates have been the result of conversations with board members and chapter mem-
bers alikeall very productive conversations with thoughtful insight and practical suggestions. Again, I
hope that these developments have met with your approval. However, most everything is a process and I
imagine that there is someone in our organization that can take our newsletter even further. In fact, I expect
that new changes will occur that may bring an even more refined look or that perhaps may make the proc-
ess even more efficient.
I would be remiss if I did not offer sincerest gratitude to Ann Pratt for welcoming me
so warmly to the state 7 years ago and inviting me to participate more fully in the
chapter. It was my pleasure to continue working with Janna Brendell and most re-
cently Tom Shelton as they served as President of our chapter. Ive only been in the
state for less than a decade, but I feel that weve accomplished so much in this new
century in our state and I look forward to continue in serving as Jazz R&S Chair.
If any of you have any interest in serving as Newsletter Editor, I encourage you to con-
tact Tom or me and let us know. For now, I again offer my sincerest thanks and
best wishes for each of you.
Stephen
Summer 2006 page 9

Measured Silence: Falling Awake in the Meantime


Anne Saxon, NC ACDA Childrens Choir R&S Chair

Last fall I resigned from my full-time church music position after several years. Life had changed dramatically for me as
I was experiencing an empty nest. Therefore I went on a self-appointed sabbatical to switch gears so to speak,
and refuel myself. This was difficult to do and somewhat painful for myself and others, but I did it anyway as I
found I was depleted.
As Choral Music Educators and Conductors we dont often allow ourselves to take a sabbatical. Our profession is such
that we are always on, always giving, always working to stay ahead of the fast pace of our personal and profes-
sional expectations. After all, how can one enjoy the fireworks on the Fourth of July if one hasnt finished program-
ming our Christmas and Easter music! My experience was that church work never seems to have a down time, a
slow season, or quite simply, a break. I seemed to constantly be in a mode of the sacrificial giving of myself and my
talent and fell prey to the vacuum of it. Ironically, I quit teaching because I felt I had nothing left at the end of the
day and thought that music in ministry would be more filling. Then my kids grew up and left home and here I was
like a ship without a sail, and the purpose of all of my busy-ness suddenly lost its meaning. It had been an emo-
tionally stressful year as well, and I needed time to process things and figure out what I was supposed to do next.
At first I rested. On several occasions, during that first couple of weeks, I found myself sitting down for a moment only
to fall asleep and wake up an hour or so later. I took my little dog Sebastian on long walks and rediscovered the
beauty of nature. I now had more time to assist my aging mother and we both took pleasure in our frequent lunches
and little outings, talking about everything under the sun, or nothing. I had time to clean up my house, at least a layer
or two! In fact, I likened it to cleaning out the closet of my life. My husband especially enjoyed the fact that I was
rediscovering how to cook again and I found pots and pans I forgot I owned. I took time to re-cultivate friendships
that somehow had fallen by the wayside. And, after a particularly stressful year, I had time to begin to heal. This
time for me was like a precious gift.
(Continued on page 10)

NC ACDA 2006 Sr. High All State Womens Choir


Amy Daw, NC ACDA coordinator
Lisa Fredenburgh, conductor

I simply must begin this report by saying Thanks to all who stepped up to the plate
in my absence due to a family emergency. I am truly appreciative of everyone who
helped out in any way to make the event run smoothly from registration through the
final concert. A special thanks to Jill Boliek and Jane Woody who kept me informed
throughout the weekend and were constantly working behind the scenes.
I have heard raving reviews about this years concert from many parents and high
school choral directors. We were very fortunate to have Lisa Fredenburgh, Director of Choral Activities at
Meredith College in Raleigh, as our clinician. She did a fabulous job along with accompanist, Delores
Crutchfield.
I want to share with all of you the message I received from Lisa following the event: Thanks to all of you
who made that weekend a success. The preparation of the students was delightful. We really got to work
with musical things instead of infernal note pounding. I was so proud of my state. Bravi tutti!
Perhaps those zone rehearsals really paid off. This thought brings me to thank all of the people who served as
site coordinators or conducted rehearsals prior to the actual All State week-end in Greensboro. Last but not
least, I would like to thank all of the choral directors who brought students to this event, all of the directors
who played hand bells in the Berkley piece, and tenor soloist, Jonathan Sidden from North Forsyth High
School.
Mark your calendars...next years All State will take place January 26-27, 2007.
Amy Daw
page 10 Carolina Caroler

The Joy of Middle School! A Conversation with


Veteran Middle School/Junior High Choral Directors
Tom Shelton, NC ACDA President
As middle school choral directors, we are aware of the large job turnover in
our area. It takes a special person to connect with this age group. Over the
years I have observed that you either love the challenge or you move on to
a different age level rather quickly. I have taught middle school for sixteen
years, and have loved every minute. I equate each new day to solving a
puzzle. I enjoy the excitement and challenge each day brings and I am
fascinated by the students singing abilities. The energy and candidness
they bring to rehearsal is refreshing. As a choral conductor and music edu-
cator, my goal is for them to love music for a lifetime, not a semester. Se- Fall Conference Scenes 2006
lecting quality repertoire is one of the most important ingredients in the
success of middle level choral music.
In my quest to address the topics of longevity as well as repertoire, I have contacted six, veteran middle school choral
directors and asked: 1)What do you love about teaching middle school that has enticed you to stay with this age
level?; and 2)What are your five favorite repertoire selections for middle school singers?
All together the panel represents 141 years of middle school choral teaching. I hope you are enlightened by the responses
and gain a few repertoire ideas as well.
THE PANELISTS
Cynthia Bradford is the choral director at Robert A. Taft Middle School in Crown Pointe, Indiana. She has been teach-
ing for twenty-five years, the past eighteen at Taft Middle School. Bradford serves as the Central Division's R&S
Chair for Middle School/Junior High choirs.
David Dobbins is the choral director at Southeast Guilford Middle School in Greensboro, North Carolina. He has been
teaching middle school for fifteen years. Dobbins has served as the Middle School/Junior High R&S Chair for North
Carolina ACDA, and is currently the Chairperson-elect for the Middle School section of the NC Music Educators.
Janeal Krehbiel retired last year after teaching for thirty-seven years, the last twenty-five in junior high school. She is
artistic director of the Lawrence Childrens Choir, where she conducts 5th-9th grade singers. She conducts junior high
and childrens honors choirs throughout the US and conducted the 2005 ACDA National Junior High Honors Choir.
Marie Palmer is the choral director at Zionsville Middle School in Zionsville, Indiana. She has taught middle school for
eighteen years and is currently the president of the Indiana ACDA.
Sherri Porterfield is the choral director at Cedar Park Middle School in Cedar Park, Texas. She has taught middle
school singers for twenty-six years and is an accomplished composer.
Tamera Shook is the choral director at H.M. Arndt Middle School in Hickory, North Carolina. She has taught middle
school for twenty-three years at H.M. Arndt and serves as the NC ACDA R&S Chair for Middle School choirs.

(Continued on page 11)

Measured Silence
(Continued from page 9)

In January I began substitute teaching in the local school system, as it was time (truly!) to start earning a steady income
again. I substitute teach in many different areas and grade levels, gaining insight in the lives of children and what
they experience through the educational process. I keenly feel the chaos and noise and hurriedness in which they
live, and wish for them a way to experience beauty and tranquility. At the very least, silence and calm.
Then, at a recent childrens choir festival I conducted, a third grader thanked me for smiling a lot, seeming to indicate
that in his world adults dont smile very much. A fifth grader asked me why I was so nice, and another asked why I
was so calm. During the final performance a few of the children closed their eyes while singing the most beautiful
section of a song, and a couple of them even allowed tears to well up in their eyes. It was a transcendent experience
for me, like falling awake. It was a pivotal moment and has given me a greater sense of purpose and clarity. I can
now begin to create the next chapter of my life and do so with great excitement and expectation.
Measured silence and falling awake: that which happens when we stop and listen for ourselves.
Summer 2006 page 11

The Joy of Middle School


(Continued from page 10)

What do you love about teaching middle school that has enticed you to stay with this age level?
BRADFORD: Really, whats NOT to love? Even on the worst day (and there are very few), the day is filled with the joy
of learning, the drama of failure, and the overpowering sense of hope that tomorrow will be the best day of their
lives. Every day is a high-energy day. Unless, during rare times, the energy in the room is working against you, it is
a wonderful atmosphere in which to empower young musicians and thinkers in the world of choral music.
DOBBINS: Several things keep me interested in the middle school/adolescent age. I love to watch the amazing amount
of growth and maturity a student achieves from age eleven through fourteen. I love their energy and enthusiasm. I
love the fact that this age child still realizes that he or she is not yet an adult, but is beginning to use adult-level
thinking skills. I love helping them find those skills within themselves. Being an adolescent in the twenty-first cen-
tury is a tough job, and teaching them is difficult as well. It satisfies me professionally to help kids find solutions to
their every-day challenges. I feel that the ability to communicate, discipline, and bond with students of this age is a
rare gift and blessing. I think that anyone who possesses that gift should
try to put it to good use.
KREHBIEL: Their energy, when channeled correctly, can bring the most
wonderfully rewarding results. (Krehbiel recently wrote an article for this
column explaining why she spent most of her career with this age group.)
PALMER: I love teaching middle school because I can have a positive im-
pact on whether or not a young person becomes or remains interested in
singing in a choir as they get older. I also enjoy seeing the reactions
when they have success with something they didnt think they could do
(a difficult piece of music, a high note, a long phrase, a foreign language,
etc.) and the expressions on their faces when they discover something
new musically (e.g., their first really tight chord).
Fall Conference Scenes 2006
PORTERFIELD: Middle school students have such incredible potential and
once you help them to see what they can do musically, the sky is the limit. I love teaching middle school because
this is a time in their young lives when you can make the most profound difference. This is a time when teachers can
most inspire and influence their students to be their best, not only musically, but personally.
SHOOK: I love being the bridge that connects children to becoming life long singers. Most children had elementary
music, but they take chorus at the high school level only if they have had a middle school teacher who has nurtured
their love for singing. What an awesome responsibility!
What are your five favorite repertoire selections for middle school singers?
BRADFORD:
Trolls Clifford Crawley (unison, Leslie Music Supply)
This song is full of rhythmic vitality with a text that is clever, without being cute. Although marketed as a treble piece, I
have had success using this song with boys' changed and changing voices.
Rhythm of Life (Sweet Charity) Cy Coleman, arr. Barners
(SAB with divisi treble parts and also available in SATB, Shawnee Press)
Middle school choirs need to be ready for any voicing, but music that is mostly homophonic may be difficult to learn and
balance between voices. This song layers a series of ostinatos and builds on melodic sequences. Each voice part is
given a chance to sing the featured melody. The text and rhythmic complexity appeal to most middle school singers.
Gloria ad Modum Tubea Guilliam Dufay, ed Mason (two equal voices, Plymouth Music)
This is a two-part canon. It provides opportunities to teach about the development of the Mass, the early Renaissance,
and sight-reading in C major. In keeping with the time period, the range is limited and most melodic passages move
in step-wise motion. Students also enjoy learning about the relationship of the text to the rhythmic notation. It is es-
(Continued on page 12)
page 12 Carolina Caroler

The Joy of Middle School


(Continued from page 11)
pecially effective to add two trombones/tubas to the accompaniment
(unless you know any sackbut players).
Goin to Boston American folk song, arr. Alice Parker
(SATB, G Schirmer)
SATB music is possible, even if the choir has a limited number of changed
voice singers. This piece can be done without a totally balanced choir.
Tenors and basses team up against the sopranos and altos...all in
good fun.
Fall Conference Scenes 2006
Niska Banja Serbian song, arr. Nick Page (SSAB, Boosey and Hawkes)
I believe that a school choral program should reflect the heritage of its community. We are graced with the presence of
many people from countries once bonded together as the former county of Yugoslavia. Having a students parent as
a language coach is an added bonus.

DOBBINS:
Dodi Li Doreen Rao, editor (SS; Boosey & Hawkes - M051466795)
I know everyone knows this piece and has performed it, but it's still one of my favorites. Hebrew text; Three musically
different stanzas with the same refrain; Lively and fun; and also very suitable for beginning choir.
Come in From the Firefly Darkness Amy Feldman-Bernon
(Three-part mixed; Heritage Music Press - 15/1515H; also available SSA - 15/1698H)
Outstanding voicing, accompaniment, and use of lyric poetry. Three lovely (yet easy) solos, one on each voice part,
highlight the middle section; and a surprising 9th chord at the finish. Feldman-Bernon is an excellent middle school
composer.
Come to Me, O My Love Robert Alan Petker
(SAB; Hinshaw Music Company - HMC 1047; also available 2 part; TTB; SATB)
Four distinct melodies are established, and each voice part exchanges them throughout the piece, providing a thick aural
texture. This piece sounds harder than it is! There is a big dramatic ending, making it an excellent concert closer.
Ye Shall Have a Song Sherri Porterfield (Three-part mixed; Alfred
Music - 0-11605; also available SATB; SSA)
This is a challenging piece with mixed meter, wide dynamic varia-
tions, a distinct ABA form, and lots of fast-moving text. This is a
great festival/competition piece.
Cum Sancto Spiritu Antonio Lotti/Patrick Liebergen (SAB; a cap-
pella; Alfred Music - 0-SV9112)
Here is a simple but challenging Italian Baroque work from a Lotti
Mass. The slow tempo requires sustained breath support and dynamic
Fall Conference Scenes 2006 control. It is a short piece that is great for teaching Latin vowels.

KREHBIEL:
Oh, Had I Jubals Lyre Handel/Michael Mauldin (SATB; Santa Barbara Music - SBMP 476)
A wonderful Baroque piece that teaches Junior High kids how to dance the phrases. It stretches the singers and
changes their lives vocally.
Lebenslust Schubert/ed. Cennen Gordon (SATB Tetra/Continuo Music - 258)
This piece inspires kids to feel the joy of singing as they sing the Joy of Living. The German is not difficult and they
beg to sing it over and over. It is a one minute piece that says yes to choral music!
You Stole My Love W.C. MacFerren/ed. Geoffrey Mason (SATB; Walton - W7016)
This piece provides a great experience in unaccompanied singing that gives kids a chance to sing a late 1800's piece in
Renaissance style.

(Continued on page 13)


Summer 2006 page 13

The Joy of Middle School


(Continued from page 12)

How Can I Keep From Singing? arr. Gwyneth Walker (SA(T)B;


EC Schirmer - 5100)
This old Quaker hymn is brought to life in an arrangement that is
especially for junior high singers - not hard but solid!
HMS Pinafore Medley Gilbert and Sullivan/arr. Marilyn Epp
(SATB; Alliance Music Publications - AMP0564)
This medley gives kids a chance to experience the joy of operetta
and enjoy the incredible lyrics, full of wit and skillfully wed-
ded notes and words. It is simple and full of opportunities for
solos and small groups for an extra challenge. Fall Conference Scenes 2006

PALMER:
The Violet Mark Patterson (SSA; BriLee Music - BL239)
I love this piece for girls chorus. The text describes a middle school girl perfectly and there is plenty of opportunity for
shaping, dynamics, and discussion of text. The harmonies are lovely.
In Flanders Fields Jacobson/Emerson (SSA; Hal Leonard - 08741386; also available SATB; SAB; TTB)
I also use this piece with girls chorus. We use it for contest and Veterans Day, and tie it in with their History and Lan-
guage Arts classes. It provides a wonderful opportunity to highlight a soloist. Students request to sing it and audi-
ences love to hear it.
Goober Peas arr. Donald Moore (TTB; a cappella with optional String Bass; Alfred - 0 -OCT9711)
This is a great unaccompanied piece for the boys, if you have enough lower voices. It is repetitive, the harmonies are
easy, and the bass line gets to have a little fun. It is a good song for contest/festival.
Workin on the Railroad arr. Donald Moore (TTB; a cappella; Alfred - 0-SV9438)
Another great one for the guys. It is much easier than it looks. The good thing is the song cant be done without the tenor
1 line, which makes them feel very important! It is also more contemporary sounding to the singers.
For mixed groups there are many wonderful traditional pieces, but I like to program at least one gospel song. The range
is great for middle school, soloists can be highlighted, improvisation can be explored, and the energy level of some
of the gospel songs are great for this age. We sometimes bring in a guest clinician and musicians(bass, drums, key-
board). There is a wealth of opportunity for teaching history, culture, style, ear-training, and the kids LOVE to sing
it! Gospel music has a way of bringing out even the most shy of singers!

PORTERFIELD:
Beau Soir Debussy/arr. Spevacek (SSA; Hal Leonard - 08756903)
This is one of my favorite pieces for middle level girls choirs. Great for teaching phras-
ing and vocal control. Expertly arranged, this is a wonderful piece to introduce your
choir to the beauty of Impressionistic music and the exquisite French language.
Ticket to the Kingdom arr. Moore (TTB; Alfred - SV9841)
Every choir Ive conducted who has sung this piece loves it! It comes in a variety of voic-
ings, but the TTB is perfect for middle level students. Its great for teaching diction
and the boys love the fast tempo. Its repetitive enough so that its relatively easy to
learn and helps the young mens group experience success quickly.
Psalm 100 Henderson (SA; Hinshaw - HMC1170)
Incredible concert/festival/contest piece to help build the upper voice ranges of young
voices. Most of this tune is written in a canon, so its relatively easy to learn. The dif-
ficulty comes in singing with proper technique to achieve expressive phrasing. Great
for teaching open vowels to achieve beautiful tone quality, balance, and blend. Fall Conference Scenes 2006
Accompaniment is of medium difficulty.
(Continued on page 16)
page 14 Carolina Caroler

Reflections from Southern Division Convention, Charleston, WV


How many times at ACDA conventions have we felt the deep emotion of the
moment when music, performers and audience are so tuned to one another.
For our Honor Choir students, this is expected because of our personal invest-
ment. But those rich moments also happen unexpectedly. Such was the case
for me when the Young Mens Ensemble of Kernersville served as a demon-
stration choir for an interest session. Those young men are better people be-
cause they sing in a choir. Inspiration to live on!
~Tony Spencer
ECU Chamber Singers, Dan Bara, conductor I just love going to ACDA conventions, not only to be fed musically and see
friends and colleagues, but to enjoy the experience of traveling to different places that I dont normally visit. For
many of us the mere process of traveling to a convention is truly a journey, and although it may sound really
cheesy, for me it is a time to sort of de-program from my regular routine and clear my mind for a great conven-
tion experience. It can certainly take a lot of extra energy, work, and finances to clear my schedule for those few
days each year, and if Im going to commit to attending a convention, Im going to get the most out of it possible.
And, as many of us seasoned conventioneers know, not all conventions are created alike, so you might as well
consider it a journey and have a positive attitude!
It was a scenic, snowy drive through the Appalachian Mountains to travel to Charleston, West Virginia. The closer you
get to the city you actually see the coal mining towns and huge mountains of coal on either side of the interstate.
Then you reach the city and see the resplendent capitol building with its beautiful 23-carat, gold-leafed dome, the
largest state capital dome in the nation. Charleston proved to be a great place for the convention due to the close
proximity of the hotels and venues, including a large mall. People were gracious and welcoming, and my experience
of service everywhere I went was warm and friendly. Remembernot all conventions are created alike!
There were many great choirs and performances, and the Clay Center was the perfect venue. It was also a great space for
the reception on the final evening after a fine performance by the convention headliner, Cantus. I find those times
are rare at most conventions, where lots of people can enjoy food and fellowship to that extent, because the crowds
are usually too large for the space provided. The service at the Baptist Temple was for me, quite meaningful. I sat in
the balcony and had a kind of surround sound when the audience sang along, that just washed over me. It was
long, but well worth the time spent, in my opinion.
It was great to see so many of our own state members as presenters and conductors and leaders, all across the spectrum.
Actually, it was rare NOT to see someone from North Carolina during the course of the week. Thats another thing
thats great about the convention, the social opportunities to meet so many great people, and glean a lot of informa-
tion outside of the official activities. I can get more planning and networking done in those few days then in several
months at home.
For me, Charleston was great, and I returned home with lots of ideas, new friends, and musically renewed. I also have a
broader perspective and higher respect for the people of Charleston.
~Anne Saxon
I had two students that were in the Children's Honors Choir. I was amazed at how well Cheryl DuPont worked with this
age group. She was knowledgeable, caring, paced the rehearsals well and did all this in a firm, yet gentle way. My
students had a wonderful experience thanks to her!! Besides watching the Honors rehearsals I enjoyed two interest
sessions in particular; Dr. Heather Potter and Julie Skadsem's sessions were both very helpful and informative for
me.
Tom's session was the BEST though!! (Even if he is one of my friends!!) It
was great watching him actually work with his choir. They should have
more sessions like that!! I heard positive comments from everyone!!
~Renee Anders
The Charleston, WV convention was my first ACDA convention experience.
I was overwhelmed by the larger number of amazing choirs from our
region. The quality of choral singing in our area has perhaps never been
better and I consider it an honor to be a member of this outstanding or-
ganization.
~Bill Allred ECU Chamber Singers, Dan Bara, conductor
Summer 2006 page 15

NC ACDA Treasurers Report (Through April 8, 2006) The Carolina Caroler is the official
newsletter of the North Carolina
Ginger Wyrick, NC ACDA Treasurer chapter of the American Choral
Directors Association. Articles and
advertisements may be submitted
Income to:
Newsletter Advertising 400.00 Stephen A. Futrell, Editor, via email
at sfutrell@elon.edu
Conference Registration 8985.00
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as Word documents. Times New
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Roman, or similar, with font size
Conference Underwriters 1430.00 11 is preferred. Please do not dou-
Allotment from Southern Division 4602.75 ble space after punctuations
(periods)a practice held back in
NCMEA Luncheon Tickets 170.00 the days of typewritersit is not
TOTAL INCOME 19517.75 necessary with word processing.

Expenses
Bank charges 12.90 For advertisements, contact our
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page 16 Carolina Caroler

The Joy of Middle School


(Continued from page 13)

Exsultate! Lightfoot (Three-part mixed voices; Heritage Music Press - 15/1341H; also available SATB)
Every aspect of choral/vocal technique can be taught through this piece. Ranges are limited in all parts to help build con-
fidence and the rhythmic aspect of the piece encourages good articulation of the Latin text.
Sing to the Lord from Three Meditations Goemanne (SATB; Shawnee Press)
Great opening number in mixed meter. Incredible for teaching blend, diction, phrasing, and dynamics. Ive used this
piece numerous times and found it to be extremely successful. The students love singing it and its fun to conduct.

SHOOK:
I Will Rejoice Telemann/arr. Perry & Perry (SAB or SSA; BriLee - BL176)
This piece is a simple introduction to early music and three-part singing.
A Song in Every Heart Ruth Elaine Schram (Three-part mixed;
BriLee - BL324)
To sum up this piece is to read the text!
I Lift My Eyes to the Hills Kenney Potter (SATB; Hinshaw - HMC1990)
This composition, with its lyrical lines and powerful message, really has be-
come one of my favorite pieces to teach. The range is perfect for young Tom Shelton and Middle School Boys at
voices and it is a great teaching tool for phrasing. Southern Division Conference 2006
The Lord Is My Shepherd Allen Pote (SAT/SAB or SATB; Choristers Guild - CGA551)
Most middle school teachers throw this in the maybe later pile because it is SATB; but, the composer has taken great
care in doubling the few division sections that makes first time SATB singing easy!
Agnus Dei Butler (SAB; Carl Fischer - CM8191) Need some Latin repertoire? This one is it!
This article reprinted with permission from the April 2006 issue of the Choral Journal.
Tom Shelton is the Choral Director at Kernersville Middle School in Kernersville, North Carolina,
and serves as President of the North Carolina ACDA.

More Fall Conference Scenes 2006


Summer 2006 page 17

Beginning a Show Choir


Amy Daw, NC ACDA Show Choirs R&S Chair

The first step in beginning a show choir is to determine what


kind of ensemble this is going to be. For example, will it
be a group of 40 or a small ensemble of 12? To make that
decision, try to predict where the group will be performing.
How large are the performance spaces? If you are planning
to attend a competition, are there requirements about the
number of performers? You must also determine whether Fall Conference Scenes 2006
the group will use microphones and how many will you
have access to. Also, will you be able to get wireless mics to avoid cords being in the way? If you plan to use sound
reinforcement, I highly recommend that you refer back to Stephen Futrells 2-part article on Sound Reinforcement
for Jazz or Show Choir, featured in the 2005 Spring and Summer issues of the Carolina Caroler. It is imperative that
you find a responsible sound operator with a good ear. You must also consider whether or not you will be using live
accompaniment. After determining the size of the group you want to select, then you must decide exactly what you
hope to find out from the auditions.
Remember to advertise the auditions in advance. Some possibilities are in the school announcements, guidance registra-
tion sheets, flyers, and the Friday email to parents, if your school is set up for that type of communication. How-
ever, the best way to get the news out is by word of mouth from the students you already work with. My biggest rec-
ommendation for the actual auditions is to make them as professional as possible so that the students understand your
expectations if they make the group. This is no time to be slack and carefree. Start them on time and keep things mov-
ing. I would suggest you videotape the auditions so that later you can go back and remember exactly who sang, espe-
cially if you are accompanying the auditions yourself and dont have time to write many notes.
When students arrive, have a contact information sheet for them to fill out so that you will have a record of addresses,
home phones, cell phones, conflicts, etc. It is also wise to have a contract outlining your expectations. Have students
return this contract signed by their parents before results are posted. This will be an indication of who is responsible.
You may also want to have a mandatory parent meeting before auditions outlining the performance and rehearsal
schedule. Remember you also need to organize your parents into a support group for the ensemble. Give as much ad-
vance notice as you can for required activities and try to stick to the original schedule if at all possible. Many students
have to hold part time jobs or are involved in many things outside of chorus. It is hard to hold them accountable for
attendance if the schedule keeps changing. Unless this group is scheduled as a class, you might want to pick a regular
rehearsal time once per week with some extra rehearsals close to actual performances. It is important that the per-
formers feel that each rehearsal is productive and that they will get way behind if they miss!
At the audition, you will probably want to test the students range, sight reading ability, and reaction to constructive criti-
cism. Of course you will also want them to sing at least part of a song with piano accompaniment. I allow them to
sing with accompaniment CDs or a cappella but also ask them to sing something with the piano. I try to make a note
describing their tone color and what style of music I think they might be really good at if singing a solo. Since we are
talking about show choir, it is important to remember that you need to schedule a choreography audition as well. I
usually bring in someone to teach a short routine. They practice for a few minutes and then perform it for the video
camera in small groups of 5 or 6. I ask the choreographer to rate them on their final performance and their behavior
during the learning process. This is a good opportunity for me to just watch them work.
Try to be out of town when the results are being posted or letters are sent. Just remember when someones mother says
that you have ruined their childs life forever, the cut-off has to come somewhere. One of my favorite stories has to
do with a female student whose older sister had been in the group. However, it was much more competitive now to
get in and the younger sister didnt have a chance. The parents had been some of my best volunteers and strongest
supporters but suddenly they were no longer speaking to me. The daughter decided not to take chorus at all and
signed up for a Foods and Nutrition class. She went on to win a recipe contest and was awarded a full scholarship to a
cooking school. Several years later she actually came by and thanked me because she might never have discovered
her cooking talent had I not turned her down for the show choir.
Now it is time to select the music. You may want to pick some kind of a theme or simply put a variety of music together
in a creative way. Remember, one important goal of a show choir is to entertain the audience. Transitions between
songs are very important. A strong opening number is crucial to getting off to a good start. The second number should
(Continued on page 18)
page 18 Carolina Caroler

Beginning a Show Choir


(Continued from page 17)

also have fairly high energy and keep the audience engaged. Somewhere you will probably want to change the pace
and have a ballad. Also, some show packages include a novelty number. There is no set number of songs to make a
perfect show. It all depends on the flow of the music you have selected and how much of each song you are using.
You may want to work with an actual arranger to come up with an interesting show package that flows well. Some-
times these custom-made arrangements can bring out the best in your group and show off their talents to the fullest,
where an arrangement already written may not flatter your particular group of singers.
The next step is to find a choreographer whose movement will enhance the singing rather than endanger the singing. Sim-
ple precise movement is a lot better than complicated moves which do not look uniform. Sometimes, I have collabo-
rated with a choreographer and an arranger from the very beginning to actually pick music and plan the show. How-
ever, this requires some people skills as a mediator to keep everyone on the same show vision. You must also estab-
lish the fact that you will make the final decisions if there are disagreements about which path to take. The end result
however, can be an absolutely fabulous show in which arranger, choreographer, director, and performers feel owner-
ship.
So now, we have a show but we must decide on what costumes to wear. Again, the performers should look professional.
Pay attention to detail. Determine if it is the right look for the music. It is important that the group looks crisp and
fresh. Remind students of how important it is to take care of their costumes especially if they are not paying for them.
Now that you have an ensemble, a show package, costumes, choreographer, and a possible live back-up band, it is time to
rehearse over and over. It is important to really listen to the vocals while they are doing choreography to make sure
they are singing with accuracy and in tune. You may want to record their voices while they are moving so they can
also listen and critique the sound as well. It is best to learn the vocals first, and then add the choreography. However,
dont be surprised if you have to go back and repair the vocals once they start dancing. Speaking of vocals, I cant
stress enough the importance of being a member of professional organizations such as ACDA and MENC to collabo-
rate with other music educators on how to teach vocal production. Take advantage of the many workshops at confer-
ences to constantly rejuvenate you as a director, and to be introduced to a variety of repertoire. The best show choirs I
have ever heard could also sing Mozart. Also, be prepared to clean up the choreography. Sometimes performers are
given good choreography but they dont execute it well. Imagine each blocking as a Kodak moment. Everyone in the
group needs to be really into the mood of the song. Each singer must imagine themselves as an actor or actress. The
real challenge is to motivate the performers to run a show package with excitement and energy like it is the first time
they have ever done it. Try to simulate your location as close as possible to your performance stage if you are a travel-
ing group. This requires checking out the performance stage ahead of time.
Choreographer, John Jacobson once told me that there were three ingredients to a successful singing performance: focus,
energy, and emotion. I totally agree with him and would go even further to say they could be applied to a successful
life. I am convinced that the lifelong lessons high school students learn from being a member of a show choir or any
vocal ensemble are invaluable.
Learning to be a team player is essential to being successful in todays business world. A feature article in the 2006 winter
edition of the Duke Fuqua School of Business Alumni Magazine is entitled Collaborating to Lead. Laura Ertel re-
ports that students hear about collaboration the minute they enroll at the business school. At Duke, the concept of
teamwork is so central to an MBA education that, in addition to being woven into every class, it is a primary focus for
students total experience and leadership development. Associate
dean of the MBA program, Bill Boulding says, In modern business,
even at the very highest levels, most work is done in teams.
Participation in a show choir gives students an experience to work
with diverse backgrounds, varying levels of commitment, differing
opinions, enormous creativity, and often strong personalities. It can be
a real challenge to get a variety of young adult performers to work
together in harmony for a common goal. But when they feel success
as a team, all of the hard work and disagreements seem worthwhile.
As a result, students feel a sense of pride and integrity improving their
overall self-concept and are led to be more successful in the real world
no matter what profession they pursue in the future.
All of this from just beginning a show choir!
Fall Conference Scenes 2006
Summer 2006 page 19

NEW BENEFIT FOR


ACDA MEMBERS!
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grade to NOTION 1.5 (Windows only). NC ACDA Mac users can purchase NOTION 1.5 (Mac and Windows
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Visit www.notionmusic.com to learn more about NOTION and to hear its amazing playback capabilities. Inspire
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ACDA members can call Notion Sales at 1-866.398.2994x311 to take advantage of these special offers. When
calling be sure to use the promotional code cantata. This offer is not available in any store or website. The
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Carolina Caroler
page 20 Carolina Caroler
North Carolina American Choral Directors Association
c/o Stephen A. Futrell, editor
Elon University
Campus Box 2800
Elon, NC 27244

www.ncacdaonline.org

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