Your Wednesday Inspiration
May 19, 2021
Updated COVID-19-related Guidance
Summarizing the latest CDC recommendations and results from the choral/singing-specific research ACDA has helped sponsor:

  • If everyone in your group is fully vaccinated, the CDC says they can sing inside or outside without masks and without needing to follow the other protocols of distancing, ventilation, and so on. Exceptions would be people with compromised immune systems (early research is showing that vaccines are not as effective in building immunity for that group) or if your local city or state still has a mask mandate superseding the CDC recommendation. In sum, for rehearsals that include only fully vaccinated people, no masks or other protocols are necessary.

  • In settings where there are some unvaccinated people, for example school choirs and choral performances in settings like performance halls and sanctuaries, the protocols of masking, ventilation (timing), and distancing should continue to be followed. The three-minute video "COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies for Choir," which shares results from the  Performing Arts Aerosol Research Study, provides a clear and concise explanation of the necessary protocols.

ACDA note: The operative term is “fully vaccinated.” How you determine that is up to you and your boards or governing agencies. Some people have concerns about requiring proof of vaccination (e.g., HIPAA regulations about privacy). Just as many businesses are now using the “honor system,” you may choose to do that as well. If there is any doubt, however, about whether or not there are unvaccinated people in the choirs, we urge caution and encourage you to continue following protocols.

Additionally, we note that after the very difficult year we have been through, even some fully vaccinated people will continue to be more comfortable wearing masks. We urge that those wishes be caringly respected.

Find the latest choir-related guidance and resources on our COVID Resources page.
Silver Linings: The Year That Was Not Lost
On a December Friday evening in Basehor, Kansas, as the sounds of organ, bells, choir, and audience rose in the ancient carol, O Come All Ye Faithful, there was another sound, an outpouring of sobs from the gathered, but masked and distanced assembly.

The year was 2020. The occasion was the annual candlelight and carols concert of The William Baker Festival Singers. To accommodate strict COVID safety protocols, performing singers were masked and distanced six feet apart. . . . The audience was limited to 25% capacity of the church nave, also masked and distanced between family units. Still, on the week before Christmas in a year of terrible fear and loss, the story of hope and joy was told in the singing of carols punctuated by narrations and interspersed by timeless choral classics, just as it has been done since the first Festival Singers candlelight concert in Atlanta in 1985. . . .

The year that has just passed has been the most devastating in my career of over four decades. Most choral groups have been forced to remain silent, either by government dictates or by the unavailability of rehearsal and concert venues. I’ve shared many conversations with colleagues who would have continued their work, but the decision was taken out of their hands. There are many others, considering the age of members and sensitive to the concerns of their particular community, who made the difficult decision to suspend activities. . . .

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a horrific experience for all of us in the field of choral music. It is my prayer that none of us will ever again experience an event like this. . . . Most of all, I pray that choral music will never be taken for granted and will never be silenced again. Read complete post.

William O. Baker, Founder and Director, William Baker Festival Singers
Call for Applications: National Vocal Jazz, Community Choirs & College and University Choirs Chairs
If you are interested in serving ACDA members and the community in one of these positions, please submit your resumé and a one-page vision statement to Gretchen Harrison, National Chair for Repertoire and Resources, at nationalrr@acda.orgLearn more about position expectations. Deadline: May 28.
Survey on R&R Specific In-Service Events
R&R leadership would like to offer interested-based, genre-specific "boutique conferences" to reconnect with all our members. Please help assess interest in these by completing the survey. Deadline: Jun. 1.

  • Raymond W. Brock Competition for Student Composers. Application period open. Learn more. Deadline: Jun. 1.
  • Julius Herford Dissertation Prize. Nomination period open. Learn more. Deadline: Jun. 15.
New! National ACDA Webinar
Looking Forward: Inspiration for Revitalizing Your Middle School & High School Choirs, hosted by ACDA's Education & Communication Committee
Tuesday, Jun. 8, 5:00 p.m. PT / 8:00 p.m. ET
Host: Jamila McWhirter, Chair, ACDA Education & Communication Committee Panelists: Gretchen Grace Harrison, Chris Munce, and Vincent Oakes

Register for this free Zoom session now, or watch the livestream on FacebookLearn more.
New! State Events
Visit our state chapter events page for a comprehensive list of events that are open to all ACDA members. Does your chapter or region have an official chapter event coming up that is open to other members? Ask your president to submit the information here to be included on this page.
Regional Conferences
Check the region conference page for dates and locations of the 2022 conferences, as well as to find links to each region's conference information.
Having issues renewing your membership?

First, can you log in? Remember, your primary email address is your username. If you’re not receiving the reset password email at that address, we may need to update your username manually. Please contact us at or (405) 232-8161 and ask for help!

Second, can you renew once you log-in? If you aren’t able to move through the renewal process for some reason, please contact us and ask for a “pro forma invoice.” We’ll email you a link to simply click on and pay your renewal dues.

Autorenewal Available! If you are an Active member, you may opt-in to autorenewal of your dues the next time you renew your membership.
Wish to unsubscribe to this Wednesday email?
Sign-in at, go to your profile, scroll to your communications preferences, and de-select "Weekly Inspiration." Or, reply with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line and we'll manually remove you from this Wednesday email.
American Choral Directors Association | 405.232.8161 | | | PO Box 1705, Oklahoma City, OK 73101-1705