Chora Link - December 2018

Peggy Dettwiler

ACDA Eastern Region President
Among the highlights of ACDA conferences are the honor choirs! And we are moving forward with exciting plans for our 2020 Rochester honor choirs, which will certainly attract a great deal of interest from participants and listeners, alike! 

Jared Berry, our Honor Choir Chair, has already contracted with our conductors and is in the process of confirming accompanists and composers for the commissioned works as well. Jared has a proven record of leadership as he has served as Honor Choir Chair for Pittsburgh 2018, Boston 2016, and as High School Chair for Baltimore in 2014. Jared also serves as Choral Director at North Shore High School in Glen Head, NY, as Artistic Director & Conductor of the Babylon Chorale, and as Manager & Singer with eVoco Voice Collective. No one could be more qualified to lead us into 2020.
The ACDA Eastern Region Board has selected four conductors with fantastic reputations and resumés for leading singers in their assigned levels. We welcome Henry Leck for Elementary, Lynnel Joy Jenkins for Junior High , Edith Copley for High School, and Rob Fisher for our repertoire specific honor choir, Musical Theatre Repertoire.

Rob Fisher is a renowned conductor in the Broadway world. After collaborating with Rob on several concerts, the experience made me realize how much my collegiate singers love musical theatre and what great works there are in this genre for choruses to sing.

The honor choirs are always a highight of our conference, as they present unforgettable experiences for students with famous experts in the field. Read through the bios of these musicians and watch for application announcements to appear in February!

Peggy Dettwiler

Henry Leck, conductor
A treble choir of singers who will be in grades 4, 5, or 6 in March 2020.

An internationally recognized choral director, Henry Leck is a professor emeritus in choral music at Butler University, where he served on the faculty for 27 years. He is the Founder and Conductor Laureate of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir where he served for 30 years.

Mr. Leck is the founding conductor of the Indiana Children’s Allstate Honor Choir and the Indiana Middle School Honor Choir. He conducted each ensemble for three years and returned to conduct the children’s honor choir in 2016 for a fourth time. Mr. Leck has conducted Mixed, Men's, Women's, Junior High and Children's All-State choirs and festival choirs in nearly every state. He is a frequent conductor of regional and national honor choirs, including the ACDA Southern, Southwest, North Central, Central, Western, Eastern and Northwest Honors Choirs. In 2003, he conducted the ACDA National Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir in New York City and in 2011, the ACDA National Children’s Honor Choir in Chicago. On three occasions, he has conducted National Honor Choirs for OAKE. In 2011 Mr. Leck conducted the premiere performance of a seven-movement oratorio entitled “Melancholy Beauty” written by Bulgarian composer Georgi Andreev in Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center with adult choruses, children’s choir (ICC), Bulgarian women’s choir, Bulgarian folk instruments and the National Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2018 he also conducted the European premiere of this work in Bulgaria. For nearly 30 years, he has conducted National Youth Choral Festivals in Carnegie Hall annually. In 2016 Mr. Leck was named Artistic Director of the Music for All National Choir Festival which is held annually in Indianapolis.

Mr. Leck has conducted many international festivals including the Musica Mundi Tuscany Children’s Choir Festival in Italy, the Central European International Children’s Choral Festival, the Pacific Rim Festival, the International Children’s Choir Festival in Beijing, China, the Vienna Children’s & Boys Choir Festival with the Vienna Sangerknaben, and the Festival Internacional de Coro de Ninos en Mexico. He is a regular festival conductor for KI Concerts having done festivals in Spain, Austria, Canada and Italy and has been named their “Distinguished Music Advisor”. He has conducted many times in Brazil, including the Curso Internacional de Regencia Coral in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil where he founded the ARCI Sao Paulo Children’s Honor Choir. He has conducted the Tokyo International High School Honor Choir in Japan and in the summer of 2017 conducted the International Children’s Choir Festival in Yokohama. For more than twenty years he has conducted a festival annually with David Flood at Canterbury Cathedral. He recently has taught at the American International School in The Hague, Netherlands and the Libera Università di Bolzano in Italy. In 2017 he served for one week as artist in residence at the Singapore American School. He has served as the U.S. Jurist for the 1st Xinghai Prize International Choir Championships and as an international lecturer for the International Symposium on children and youth choral music in Guangzhou, China. In 2013 he was the US jurist in Malta, in 2014, a jurist at the World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia and in 2015 was a jurist at the Musica Sacra a Roma.

Mr. Leck has received many honors including the Sagamore of the Wabash and the State of Indiana Distinguished Hoosier Award . He and the choir received the Indiana Governor’s Arts Award , which is the highest honor one can receive in the arts in Indiana. Recently Mr. Leck was named a recipient of the Lowell Mason Fellows Award which is the highest award given, by the National Association for Music Education. He was named Outstanding Hoosier Musician in 2016 by IMEA. He is a recipient of the NUVO Lifetime Achievement Award and the Indiana Historical Society Indiana Living Legend Award. He recently was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from Chorus America.

Mr. Leck is widely known as a specialist in choral techniques, the child's voice, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Laban and the boy's changing voice. He has produced four teaching videos titled Vocal Techniques for the Young Singer , The Boy’s Expanding Voice: Take the High Road , Creating Artistry through Movement, Dalcroze Eurhythmics and Creating Artistry with the Male Maturing Voice . He was a lead author for the choral textbook series published by McGraw Hill/Glencoe titled Experiencing Choral Music and is the lead author of a new series of textbooks entitled Voices in Concert.  He is also the editor of two nationally known choral series published by Hal Leonard Corporation and Colla Voce, Inc. He has written a textbook titled, Creating Artistry through Choral Excellence .   Mr. Leck received his training from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, the University of Colorado and Indiana University.

Rob Fisher, conductor
An SSAATTBB choir of singers who will be in grades 10, 11, 12 or in college in March 2020.

Rob Fisher is an internationally recognized music director, conductor and pianist, and a leading figure in American music and musical theatre. He has been a guest of virtually every major orchestra in the country as conductor or pianist.

Fisher was recently represented on Broadway as the score supervisor and arranger for An American in Paris (Grammy nomination) and Anything Goes (Grammy nomination). Additionally, he remains the music supervisor and arranger for Chicago: The Musical , which celebrated twenty years on Broadway in 2016. His arrangements have appeared in many Broadway shows, and he has a specialty in choral arranging. Fisher recently created an arrangement for Renée Fleming and Audra MacDonald with the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas at Carnegie Hall.

With the New York Philharmonic, he has conducted the acclaimed concert versions of Carousel (Emmy Nomination for Best Music Director) and My Fair Lady as well as Mr. Keillor at 70. At Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, he led gala performances of Candide, Guys and Dolls , and The Sound of Music . Candide and The Sound of Music featured the Mansfield University Concert Choir.

In addition to collaborating in concert and recording with such artists as Renée Fleming, Kristin Chenoweth, Kelli O’Hara, Patti LuPone, Victoria Clark, Idina Menzel, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and David Hyde Pierce, he conducted the San Francisco Symphony in the Emmy-winning concert production of Sweeney Todd starring LuPone and George Hearn. At the Chicago Lyric Opera, he led the record-breaking production of The Sound of Music .

Fisher was founding music director and conductor of the New York City Center Encores! series from its inception in 1994 until 2005. The series earned a 2000 Tony Award, and in 1997, Fisher was given the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Special Achievement. He continues to be a regular guest music director for the series. Fisher has made numerous recordings for Encores! including the Grammy Award-winning Chicago cast album. Recently Fisher arranged and conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra for Renée Fleming’s Broadway .

Fisher has a long association with Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series as a producer and music director, creating tributes to the Gershwins, Bernstein, Cole Porter, and Kander and Ebb. The Porter program was also presented at the Ravinia Festival, and the Kander and Ebb evening was broadcast on Live From Lincoln Center . He has also made many appearances as music director for the Lyrics & Lyricists series at 92nd Street Y, often with his friend Sheldon Harnick as host. Fisher conducted the 2011 world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's Rappahannock County at the Virginia Opera.

Rob Fisher is known to A Prairie Home Companion fans from his 4 years as Music Director for Garrison Keillor’s broadcasts, 1989-1993 and as the leader of the Coffee Club Orchestra during that time. Fisher remained a frequent guest, often collaborating and arranging for the DiGiallonardo Sisters. A native Virginian, he lives in Manhattan and Connecticut, and holds degrees from Duke, American, and Mansfield universities.

 Lynnel Joy Jenkins, conductor
An SATB choir of singers who will be in grades 7, 8, or 9 in March 2020.

Lynnel Joy Jenkins is the choral teacher at the Timberlane Middle School of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District in Pennington, New Jersey, and Artistic Director of Westrick Music Academy, the new home of Princeton Girlchoir, Princeton Boychoir and music education programs. At Westrick Music Academy, she conducts advanced groups, Princeton Girlchoir Ensemble and Concert Choir which present performances throughout the tri-state area, and on national and international tours including Italy, Ireland, Canada, Trinidad, Austria and the Czech Republic. She is in her 10th season at Timberlane Middle School and Princeton Girlchoir.

Dr. Jenkins' varied conducting and teaching experience ranges from the elementary to collegiate level. She served as Conductor of the Resident Training Choir at the American Boychoir School in Princeton, New Jersey and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Prior to these positions, she was on the conducting staff of the Temple University Children’s Choir in Temple University’s Music Preparatory Division where she served for three seasons. In her last year with Temple, she was the Associate Music Director of that ensemble. A former music specialist at the Haverford School in Haverford, Pennsylvania, she developed and implemented a general music program for elementary school children based on the pedagogy of Kodály.

Dr. Jenkins is a choral music educator of international stature, having lectured and conducted choral festivals in China, Hong Kong, Iceland, and South Africa. This past summer, she served on faculty as Choir Director at Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard in Geneva, Switzerland, a program for young artists, ages 10-18 from around the world. Nationally, she has conducted honor choruses for one national, three divisional and several state conferences for the American Choral Directors Association, two national conferences for the Organization for American Kodály Teachers, one National Children’s Festival Chorus for Manhattan Concert Productions and numerous All-State choruses and choral festivals. She has also presented various interest sessions and choral reading sessions for several professional music associations. Jenkins shares her approach to choral pedagogy in a chapter she wrote for the The School Choral Program: Philosophy, Planning, Organizing, and Teaching published by GIA.

Her alma mater, Westminster Choir College inducted Jenkins into the Music Education Alumni Hall of Fame and presented her with the Alumni Merit Award in 2014 to recognize her contributions to the field of music education. Jenkins has earned degrees from Westminster Choir College (B.M.), Temple University (M.M.) and University of Arizona (D.M.A.), and at the first two institutions was awarded the Elaine Brown Conducting Award.

Edith A. Copley, conductor
An SSAATTBB choir of singers who will be in grades 10, 11, or 12 in March 2020.

 Edith A. Copley is a Regents’ Professor and Director of Choral Studies at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff where she conducts the highly acclaimed Shrine of the Ages Choir (founded in 1933) and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting and graduate choral literature. The Shrine of the Ages Choir has performed at ACDA state, regional and national conferences, Carnegie Hall and many historic venues around the globe. Shrine has toured internationally to Western Europe, the Peoples Republic of China, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Bulgaria, Istanbul, Estonia, Latvia, and will tour South Korea in May 2020.

Prior to her NAU appointment, Dr. Copley taught secondary choral music for 11 years in Iowa and Vienna, Austria. She also served as the assistant and interim principal conductor of the May Festival Chorus that performs with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops preparing major works for Robert Shaw, James Conlon, Jesus Lobez-Cobes, and Erich Kunzel.
From 1993 to 2016, Dr. Copley served as the Music Director of the Master Chorale of Flagstaff, a 100-voice community choir that performs three concerts each season as well as a major choral/orchestral work with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra (FSO). She has conducted many choral/orchestral works with the FSO, including Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana , Bach’s B Minor Mass , Mozart’s Mass in C Minor , Duruflé’s Requiem and Britten’s War Requiem .

Dr. Copley has served ACDA in several capacities: President of the Western Division, President of Arizona, Newsletter Editor for the Western Division Tactus and Arizona Antiphon , and Interest Session Chair for the 2011 and 2019 ACDA National Conferences.  She conducted the ACDA National Mixed Honor Choir in Dallas in 2013 and the NAfME All-National Mixed Honor Choir in the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville the following year.

Dr. Copley has received numerous honors, including NAU School of Performing Arts Centennial Teacher of the Year Award , Arizona Music Educator of the Year , Arizona ACDA Outstanding Choral Director Award , and the Weston H. Noble Award from her alma mater Luther College.

Dr. Copley has her own choral series with Santa Barbara Music Publications and is in high demand as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor in the US and abroad. She has conducted all-state choirs in over 30 states, and choral festivals in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, Carnegie Hall in NY, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Dr. Copley also has conducted international choral festivals in Germany, the Netherlands, Tasmania, Japan, Luxembourg, Australia, China, Turkey, England, Poland, and Oman.


February 27 - March 2, 2019
Kansas City, MO

Check the December Choral Journal for full conference information.
graphic courtesy of Steven Crawley; used by permission
Upcoming Events in the Eastern Region
DELAWARE - Vocal Jazz Honor Choir, Feb. 21-23, 2019 - Caesar Rodney High School, Camden, DE
Contact: Kathleen Shannon -

Children's Honor Choir, March 8-9, 2019 - Newark High School, Newark, DE
Contact: Kelly Busovsky -
Contact: Kelly Hanson -
Registration deadline: January 21, 2019

Delaware Choral Festival, April 5, 2019 - Wilmington Friends School, Wilmington, DE
Registration deadline: March 14, 2019

Music in Worship, May 19, 2019 - Avenue United Methodist Church, Milford, DE

MAINE - Choral Workshop, Jan. 26, 2019 - Woodfords Congregational Church, Portland,
ME. Please share with your adult church and community choral singers. A Saturday Sing
Registration deadline: December 10 (so that we can place a music order)

Maine ACDA Spring Adjudicated Festival, April 10, 2019 - Hampden Academy, Hampden, ME Chair: Heather Guilfoyl
A registration link, sight-reading examples, sight-reading adjudication forms will be sent out in the near future.
Maine ACDA Elementary and Middle School All-State, April 27, 2019 - Gorham High School, Gorham, ME
Elementary Conductor: Dr. Henry Leck
Middle School Conductor: Dr. Jessica Napoles
Elementary Manager: Jen Precopio Middle School Manager: Tracy Williamson
Registration deadline has been extended due to the weather complications. Please contact the appropriate chair to submit your nominations.

MASSACHUSETTS - Intercollegiate Choral Festival, February 16, 2019 - Endicott College, Beverly, MA
Registration deadline: January 31, 2019

Big Sing Central, March 16, 2019 - Fay School, Southborough, MA

Big Sing East, March 23, 2019 - Christ Epicopal Church, Needham, MA

NEW HAMPSHIRE - NHACDA sessions at NHMEA Spring Conference, April 12, 2019

NEW JERSEY - Collegiate Chapter Leadership Summit, January 10, 2019 - location TBA.
Elementary and Junior High School Honor choirs , May 4, 2019 - J.P. Case Middle School, Flemington, NJ

High School Choral Festival South, May 21 - Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ
High School Choral Festival North/Central, May 22-24 - Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

NEW YORK - 22nd Annual NY ACDA Treble Choir Festival, March 30, 2019 - Clarence Presbyterian Church, 9675 Main St., Clarence, NY

PENNSYLVANIA - Choral Kaleidoscope, January 12, 2019 - Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA

RHODE ISLAND - Winter Workshop , Feb. 9, 2019 - Rhode Island College, Providence, RI

VERMONT - Adjudicated Festival, April 11, 2019 - Burlington High School, Burlington, VT
Children's Honor Choir Festival, May 3-4, 2019 - First Baptist Church, Burlington, VT
Links to State Chapters