Chora Link - October 2019
In this issue: Registration opens Oct. 1, new Reading Session format, requests for In Memoriam names, Conducting Masterclass,
pre-conference Bobby McFerrin concert at Eastman,
Helen Kemp Award, Lannom Study Award, and Kegerreis Fund.
Peggy Dettwiler,

ACDA Eastern Region President
All ACDA members are invited to register for the 2020 Eastern Region Conference to be held in Rochester, New York, from March 4 through 7! Don’t miss the opportunity to hear the American Spiritual Ensemble , Voices 21C , Britten’s War Requiem , 13 wonderful performing choirs, 32 interest sessions, four honor choirs: Elementary, Junior High, High School and Musical Theatre, a powerful worship event, conducting master classes, composers’ forum, and more (see below).
In the city where Susan B. Anthony was born in 1820, and led the movement to the 1920 amendment giving women the right to vote , 2020 in Rochester will be a special anniversary year. At this critical time with so much division, our theme
“Open Ears – Open Hearts” has inspired presenters to find ways to offer music as a force for good.
Register now at the early-bird rate:
Active members $265
Retired members: $215
Student members: $100
These rates will continue through January 29, 2020 (FYI, there will also be a $6 transaction fee.)

The conference hotels are:
Hyatt Regency Rochester Downtown
with our special rate: $163 ($186 w/tax)
Hilton Garden Inn: $139 ($159 w/tax).

Here is the link for conference registration.
Upon registration, a link to the hotels will be sent. The schedule is double-tracked so you will need to select either the orange or blue track.
The orange and blue tracks are essentially the same. The interest sessions and auditioned choir concerts are tracked, and everyone will have the opportunity to see those offerings. Blue track attendees will see Voices 21C on Thursday evening and the American Spiritual Ensemble on Friday morning. Orange track attendees will see the American Spiritual Ensemble on Thursday evening and Voices 21C on Friday morning. Britten’s War Requiem at Eastman (Friday evening) and all Honor Choir concerts (Saturday afternoon) will be performed once and open to both tracks. The conducting masterclasses, composer fair, and Music in Worship service are scheduled to occur just once, simultaneously, and will be open to both tracks at that time. 
Please visit the Eastern Region website to view the entire schedule.
Registration has begun and we are just five months away!
Peggy Dettwiler

Joy Hirokawa, Reading Session Chair

Reading sessions have historically been grouped by age level – Elementary, JH/MS, Senior High and so on. For this conference we are trying something new!
Rather than group by age, we are grouping by voicing and difficulty level. Our regional age level R&R chairs, as well as jazz, multicultural, contemporary, and music in worship R&R chairs, all contributed to multiple sessions. They then deliberated to determine an eclectic mix of repertoire for each voicing and difficulty level as follows. We are hoping that with this restructure, you will be walking out of each session with many more pieces that might be appropriate for your choir!
Easy/Medium Treble
Unison – SSA
Come to this session if you conduct:
Elementary school aged singers
Beginning to intermediate Community Children’s/Youth Choirs
Beginning to intermediate Boy Choirs/Girl Choirs
Beginning to intermediate MS/JH and HS treble choirs
Faith - based youth choirs
Medium/Advanced Treble/Women’s
Come to this session if you conduct:
Advanced Community Children’s/Youth Choirs
Advanced Boy Choirs/Girl Choirs
Advanced MS/HS Treble Choirs
Collegiate and Adult Treble Choirs
Community Women’s Choirs
        Medium to Advanced repertoire
        TB – TTBB
          Come to this session if you conduct:
      JH/HS T/B choirs
      Collegiate/University TTBB/Men’s Choirs
      Community Men’s Choirs
Easy/Medium Mixed
Come to this session if you conduct:
MS mixed choirs
Intermediate HS choirs
Faith choirs with limited membership
+55 choirs
Medium/Advanced Mixed
Come to this session if you conduct:
Intermediate to Advanced HS choirs
Collegiate/University choirs
Community Choirs
+55 choirs
Equity/Social Justice Music (various voicing)
Easy to medium repertoire
Unison and beyond!
Come to this session if you conduct or are interested in:
Prison choirs
Homeless choirs
Justice choirs
Special needs choirs
Intergenerational Choirs
Learning more about how to do this work!

If you know of an ACDA member who has passed on since 2017, please send his/her name to the Region Secretary at

We will honor all the names received during the conference at the Music in Worship event on Friday afternoon, March 6, 2020.
2020 Eastern Region ACDA Conducting Masterclass Information and Application

The conference committee is pleased to announce a public masterclass in conducting to be held on March 6, 2020 during the Eastern Region Conference and sponsored by DCINY (Distinguished Concerts International New York). The sessions will be led by renowned conductor/teacher Marguerite L. Brooks. Selected students will each receive a $300 scholarship provided by DCINY to offset their conference-related expenses.
Three undergraduate and three graduate conductors will be chosen. The undergraduates will work with a high school chorus, and the graduate conductors will work with a collegiate level chorus during the masterclass. Applicants must be enrolled in a college/university music program to be eligible.

November 1, 2019. Application and related items due (Video/YouTube)
December 2, 2019. Notification of finalists

ACDA is not responsible for any expenses incurred by conductors chosen to participate in the 2020 Conducting Masterclasses.

See the ACDA East website for more information and to apply.

In September of 2009, the Executive Board of the American Choral Directors Eastern Division voted to create a biennial award to be presented to an ACDA member at its conferences. The award honors an individual who through teaching, performing, and sharing, exhibits a lifelong passiion and commitment to the choral art.

Helen Kemp trained children and their teachers in the art of choral singing for more than six decades. A hallmark of her work was her ability to empower dedicated volunteers to be successful choir directors as well as to present techniques so solid and engaging that highly-trained professionals continued to learn from her.

The 2020 Eastern Region Conference Planning Committee is currently accepting nominations for the Helen Kemp Award, to be presented in March at the Rochester Conference. The award will honor an individual who made a unique and extraordinary contribution to the field of choral music within the Eastern Region.

1.The nominee must have been involved in choral music making for at least 25 years and connected with ACDA.

2.Nominees can be conductors or teachers of any type of choral music, from children's ensembles to professional choirs.

3.Nominations will be sollicited from the entire membership via the monthly ChoraLink, the region website, and East's Facebook page.

4.Nominations should include a professional bio and a full statement about the person's qualifications for the award. Supporting reference letters are welcome.

5.Deadline for nominations is November 1, 2019.

Please send your nominations to Wayne Abercrombie, who will collect them and send them out to the review committee for the final decision.

The person chosen will be invited to receive the award at the conference and a plaque will be presented.
As a pre-conference treat, the Kodak Hall Series of the Eastman School of Music will present Bobby McFerrin and Gimme5 in a Circlesong concert on Wed., March 4 at 7:30 pm. Gimme5 is based on Circlesinging, a musical practice and philosophy that McFerrin has been honing since he began as a solo a cappella performer, assigning vocal parts to his fans and transforming sold-out houses into impromptu choirs. They will invite you to join in on a spontaneous adventure fueled by jazz, pop, R&B, classical and world music.

ACDA East attendees have the opportunity to purchase tickets for this event held in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre at a 20% reduced rate! Ticket sales began on September 3. Go to:

Members will receive a 20% discount on single tickets when using the Promo Code – ACDABobby. Please note that the discount will appear upon checkout and payment. Very good seats are still available!!
Donations of any size are welcome!

Go online to:


Make checks payable to:
ACDA East and mail to:
Peggy Dettwiler
452 N. Main St., Mansfield, PA 16933

All donations are tax-deductible and you will receive a letter to that effect.
  You can apply for funds to study with your favorite mentor in the conducting field.

Allen C. Lannom was a leader in choral music for over fifty years, a distinguished career during which he conducted public school, church, community, and college and university choirs. He was recognized nationally for his commitment to excellence in the choral art and was a Past President of the Eastern Division of the American Choral Directors Association.

Several former students and colleagues of his, wishing to honor him for his outstanding leadership in choral music, decided to establish a fund in Allen’s name that would be used to provide choral conductors with the types of experiences and opportunities that would increase their ability to achieve excellence in choral conducting. The purpose of the Allen Lannom Study Award is to provide funding for young conductors to receive mentoring from an esteemed conductor that would enhance their musical understanding and artistry in conducting. 

Applications for the current award cycle are due by October 1, 2019, with the amount awarded varying from $500 - $600. Applicants must possess an undergraduate degree and be no older than 29. For further information, please visit:

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Autumn Events in the Eastern Region
CONNECTICUT - Fall Conference - October 19, 2019 - Guilford High School, Guilford, CT

DELAWARE - Festival for Treble Voices, November 8, 2019 - University of Delaware, Newark, DE. Headliner: Duane Cottrell

MAINE - Fall Conference, October 11, 2019 - University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME
Headliner: Andre Thomas.

Maine ACDA Student Chapters and CNAFME session, October 12, 2019 - University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME

Fall Festival, November 6, 2019. North Site - Messalonskee High School
November 7, 2019. South Site - South Portland High School (tentative)

USM Masterworks Series - High School Invitational , November 9, 2019 - Westbrook Performing Arts Center, Westbrook, ME Contact: Nicolas Dosman

MARYLAND/DC - Fall Reading Session, October 19, 2019 - University of Maryland, Baltimore County,Baltimore, MD

MASSACHUSETTS - MASS ACDA and UMASS HIgh School Choral Festival, October 26, 2019 - UMass Amherst, Amherst, MA Contact: Stephen Paparo

NEW HAMPSHIRE - ACDA Choral Roundtable and High School Choral Reading Session at the NHMEA October Music Festival, October 18, 2019 - Radisson Hotel, Manchester, NH

NEW JERSEY - Kemp Church Music Symposium, October 5, 2019 - Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ

Voices United Choral Festival, November 1, 2019 - East Orange Campus High School, East Orange, NJ

PENNSYLVANIA - Sweet Harmony Festival, October 14, 2019 - Avonworth Middle/High School, Pittsburgh, PA

Mucho Macho Music XVI , November 8, 2019 - South Fayette HIgh School, McDon ald, PA
State Chapter Links