Chora Link - September 2019
In this issue: Conference registration and hotel rates, Bobby McFerrin pre-conference at Eastman, conducting masterclass with Marguerite Brooks, the Helen Kemp Award, the Allen Lannom Study Award, the Kegerreis Fund and Autumn events around the region.

Sat., Oct. 12, 2019

St. John's of Lattingtown, Locust Valley, NY

Peggy Dettwiler,
ACDA Eastern Region President

Several of you have been asking when registration for the March conference will begin and are wondering about costs of attending the conference. October 1st is the opening date! Then you will be able to register and make hotel reservations.

So that you can plan for financial requests from your institution, I share some of the figures:
Member early registration - $265 Retired members - $215
Student members - $100

These rates will continue through January 29 . ( There will also be a $6 transaction fee.)

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

REMEMBER - do not try to register or reserve rooms until October 1 st . The national ACDA office coordinates all aspects of registration for the regions. More information will follow with links in the next ChoraLink and on the Eastern Region website.
The conference schedule with Invited Choirs, Reading Sessions, Performing Choirs, Interest Sessions, Conducting Masterclasses, a Worship Event featuring Spirituals, and four Honor Choirs begins on Thursday morning, March 5 at 8:00 am and ends on Saturday, March 7 at 5:00 pm.
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 Wednesday, 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 sing along and 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!
If you are unfamiliar with Bobby McFerrin, click on this YouTube link - - to enjoy a short sample of the magic he makes with an audience. The concert may sell-out so I urge you to investigate this opportunity as soon as possible. 
Ticket sales began on September 3. Thus, you may purchase your tickets immediately!

ACDA members will receive a 20% discount on single tickets when using the Promo Code – ACDABobby. 
Follow the directions carefully. You can accept or decline Refund
rotection. Please note that the 20% discount will appear as you checkout.
2020 Eastern Region ACDA Conducting Masterclass Information and Application
The conference committee is pleased to announce a public masterclass in conducting to be held during the 2020 Eastern Region Conference. This masterclass is sponsored by DCINY (Distinguished Concerts International New York). The sessions will be led by renowned conductor/teacher Marguerite Brooks. Selected students will each receive a $300 scholarship provided by DCINY to offset their conference-related expenses.
We are thrilled to have Marguerite L. Brooks leading our undergraduate and graduate level conducting masterclasses at the ACDA Eastern Region Conference in Rochester, New York, on March 6, 2020. This is an outstanding opportunity for students to work with Marguerite L. Brooks , who joined the Yale faculty in 1985 as chair of the choral conducting program at the School of Music and director of choral music at the Institute of Sacred Music. Active as a guest conductor, teacher, and clinician, she has been a juror for the Eric Ericson conducting competition; she has conducted, taught, and adjudicated in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.
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.
The application (located below) will include, in addition to basic identification information:
1. An unedited video of the candidate conducting one composition in rehearsal (10 minutes maximum)
2. An uninterrupted run-through or performance (it does not need to be a public concert or performance – just an uninterrupted run of the composition)
Applicants will be adjudicated on their knowledge of the music (as evidenced in the rehearsal and the gesture), rehearsal preparation, teaching, communication skill, and relevance and effectiveness of gesture. Please note that all applications will be assessed anonymously by judges who do not have students applying. Please be sure that there is nothing in your videos that will identify you personally or the name of the institution you attend.
Recording guidelines

1.The video submitted must be unedited and have no visible or audible identification of the applicant or their institution.
2.The performance video does not need to be a performance but simply an uninterrupted rehearsal and run-through of a composition.
3. At the beginning of each part of the video, the conductor will clearly announce the title of the composition and its composer.
4.The quality of the video is important. Someone other than the conductor may supervise the videography, but no type of post-editing is allowed.
5. You will submit this via YouTube. To do this, you must create a YouTube account that does not provide identifying information and upload the recording as “unlisted”; save the link and send with the application.
Selection process
Each candidate may earn up to 100 points on their application. The committee will score each candidate on the following:
  1. Knowledge of the score: 35 points
  2. Rehearsal, teaching, and communication: 35 points
  3. Relevance and effectiveness of gesture: 30 points
ACDA is not responsible for any expenses incurred by conductors chosen to participate in the 2020 Eastern Region Conducting Masterclasses.
Elementary and Junior High Honor Choir Applications
due by midnight on

The Helen Kemp Award
Lifetime Achievement in
Choral Music
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 passion and commitment to the choral art.
The recipient of the inaugural 2010 award was the person for whom it was named: Helen Kemp
Early in her career, Helen Kemp , a lyric soprano, was well known for oratorio and recital performances. It was her love for the art of singing that propelled her into the field of children's choirs, which she regarded as the seedbed for musical, artistic and personal growth of young choristers.
Helen Kemp trained children and their teachers in the art of choral singing for more than six decades. Known internationally as a specialist in the area of training young voices, she served as guest conductor and clinician in all 50 states as well as in countries around the world in both university and church settings. 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.
She guided and shaped successful children's choirs in churches, schools and communities in North America and beyond, as evidenced in a documentary video, A Helen Kemp Portrait (Choristers Guild). Her books and prepared instructional materials became standard resources, and church choir directors around the world use her text, Of Primary Importance, and its Volume II sequel. Her choral compositions for children are widely performed. She was also the subject of a doctoral dissertation by Christine Farrier entitled Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice: Helen Kemp and the Development of the Children's Choir Movement (Univ. of N. Carolina, Greensboro, 1992).
Helen and her late husband John Kemp served as founding members and leaders of Choristers Guild, the international organization for children's choirs. The Kemps served two tenures on the faculty of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ, and held church positions in several states, including one at First Presbyterian Church, Oklahoma City, where they spent 20 years developing an acclaimed church music program. Upon her retirement from Westminster Choir College, Kemp was named Professor Emerita of Voice and Church Music, and was awarded honorary doctorates from Westminster Choir College and Shenandoah University. In 2003, she was honored with The Elaine Brown Award for Choral Excellence from the Pennsylvania ACDA and a lifetime membership award from the Presbyterian Association of Musicians.
The Conference Planning Committee for the 2020 Eastern Region Conference is currently accepting nominations for The Helen Kemp Lifetime Achievement 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 the American Choral Directors Association.
2.  Nominees can be conductors or teachers of any type of choral music from children’s ensembles to professional choirs.
3. Nominations will be solicited from the entire membership via the monthly ChoraLink, the 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.  The deadline for nominations will be November 1, 2019.  
6.  Wayne Abercrombie, a past president of the Eastern Region and a recipient of the award, will collect the nominations and then send them out to the review committee consisting of the current president, president-elect, a past president, and one past recipient of the award. They will review the materials and make the final decision.
7.  The person will be invited to receive the award at the conference and a
plaque will be presented. 
Please send your nominations to Wayne Abercrombie:

Donations of any size are welcome.
Please 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. Don't miss this annual opportunity.
Read on.....

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. In addition, he taught choral conducting and courses in choral literature and techniques at Boston University and the Boston Conservatory. 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. 

The Lannom Study Award information and application have been relocated to the Eastern Region website.

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. Don't wait to apply - these are funds specifically allocated for the improvement of young conductors! 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 - ACDA Open House - September 8, 2019 - Caravel Academy, Bear, DE.

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

MAINE - Fall Conference - October 11, 2019 - Windham High School, Windham, ME
Keynote Speaker and Clinician: Dr. Andre Thomas; ChoralArt Camerata - Featured Chorus,
Dr. Robert Russell, conductor

Maine ACDA Student Chapters and CNAFME session with Dr. Andre Thomas, October 12, 2019. Corthell Concert Hall, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME

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

USM MASTERWORKS SERIES - High School Invitational
Mozart's Great Mass in C Minor, November 9, 2019 at 2:00 - Westbrook Performing Arts Center, 71 Stroudwater Street, Westbrook, ME

NEW HAMPSHIRE - 8th Annual New England Area Collegiate ACDA Conference, September 28, 2019 - Keene State College, Keene, NH

NEW JERSEY - Voices United Choir 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