April 1, 2020
A performance of "Lord Send Your Spirit" (Raymond Wise) by the 2019 National Middle School Honor Choir (Derrick Fox, conductor) during the 2019 ACDA National Conference in Kansas City, MO.
That's right! ACDA members - you- are making it work during this troubling time, and you are inspiring us and others in that process. We are all in this together, but we each have something different to contribute. As a choral artist, you not only build community, you create beauty, as Alice Parker reflects on her recent blog post we excerpt and link to below.

Our heroes this week: our choral educators who are making their way in a strange new world in order to help their students and create music together.

Thank you to all for your service to our art, our students, our communities. Our world is better for the work you are doing.

Note: As our website shifts to a new platform beginning this afternoon (Apr. 1), there may be disruption in links to https://acda.org. We ask your patience. We apologize for the inconvenience.

This moment in history certainly feels like we are being forced "to boldly go where no one has gone before," as we "explore strange new worlds." Lately, in addition to Star Trek, I have called upon another one of my favorite movie scenes for inspiration during a forced season of innovation.

This favorite moment is from the 1995 film Apollo 13. In this scene, it is discovered that there is a potentially fatal filter problem on the orbiting Apollo 13 rocket that must be corrected. The problem is, there are no replacement parts onboard. In a moment that calls for pure innovation, the engineers back at ground control gather to find a solution. Their instructions? Find a way to solve the problem using a bag of random objects that are aboard Apollo 13. There is nothing in the bag the engineers are given that would suggest a fix to the critical problem, yet under pressure, a solution is innovated.

The reason I like this scene so much is that in this short tableau, all of the characteristics and elements that form my rubric for innovation are in evidence:

  1. The motivation for innovating comes through as empathy for PEOPLE who are in need of a solution to a real problem.
  2. The spirit of empathy is offered with OPTIMISM that there will be an answer to the problem.
  3. The methodology of innovation is found in EXPERIMENTATION toward finding an emergent solution.
  4. TENSION builds as the group ramps up for a challenging process of collaboration.
  5. The big IDEA is eventually found.
  6. The COLLABORATIVE team turns an idea into reality.

For this time of innovation, this is my POETIC dashboard: People, Optimism, Experimentation, Tension, Idea, Collaboration.

"The sobering reality is that just when we need to work together, we can't be together. Social distancing and quarantines mean that we can't affirm our human ties by meeting together in groups large and small. From my point of view, there's the incalculable loss of being able to SING together - that unique way of affirming each individual voice as we create not only community, but beauty.

So we must learn to think differently. What can I do, right here, today, to preserve this world? I can affirm that one day this will be over, and that there will be a world in which my great-grandchildren can live and love. I can show kindness to myself and to everyone I meet. I can try to get through this day with no angry words or acts. I can realize that others are facing far severer challenges than mine, and help them however I can. It seems so litte - but if each one of us lived this way, the world would be changed.

Where is the answer? It is where it always was, deep within us. Can we find the quiet place inside where we put our own souls in order? Can we remember that we are part of this same world in which Spring is returning to our Northern climes? Can we sing by ourselves, in our family groups, or on our balconies, to gladden our hearts and 'keep the dark away'?

I think we can. After all, there are those babies being born all over the world. I think we must."

(Excerpted and used with permission)

Online Learning
SmartMusic , a web-based suite of tools for singers and choir directors, is offering ACDA members free premium access through June 20, 2020. With this platform, singers can work on sight-singing, technique, and performance repertoire, and choral conductors can assign anything from the repertoire library, as well as create, edit, and import their own music with the Compose notation tool.

Music Permissions & Copyrights
The music publishing industry is responding to the situation with new guidelines for this period:

Do Cancelled Performances Have You Down?
ACDA has created a series of Virtual Concert Halls and we need videos of your choir to include on this international stage! To submit your choir's performance, follow the instructions on this form and submit it with a YouTube link.

Do you have an idea you're trying out? Please share it with us to consider including in next week's email by replying to this message.

Membership Portal Maintenance
The ACDA membership portal will come back online on Apr. 15. Until then, we are unable to process membership renewals and profile updates. But don't worry:
  • Resources on the website are still available and updated regularly, including Choral Journal and other publications
  • The app is still available with new posts and resources being added daily
  • The ACDA Career Center is still open for posting and review
  • ChoralNet is still open for business
  • National office staff are still here to help you!

Thank you for your patience as we upgrade our system!

Current presenters and registrants should check their email for information about how the conference will proceed. A general announcement will follow, once details are finalized. We invite you to join in this upcoming event!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, audition guidelines for performance at the 2021 Dallas conference will have the following changes:

  1. The due date for submission has been extended to May 10, 2020.
  2. Choirs that do not have recordings for the 2019-20 school year because of the pandemic may submit recordings from 2016-17 rather than 2019-20. All auditions must contain a recording from 2017-18 and one from 2018-19.
  3. No re-application for materials already submitted.

The ACDA mobile app provides the opportunity to catch up on the latest news, read recent thought leadership, message individual members or group of members, and share insights using the forums. Now more than ever, it's time to stay connected and strengthen our sense of community.

We encourage you to download this important tool and to take advantage of all the features to connect 24/7. We have added special resources from trusted sites to support you throughout this time of uncertainty in the pandemic response.

You can click here to download the  iPhone/iOS app  and here for the  Android app .

ACDA is hosting a webpage that is updated daily containing resources that are particularly useful for choral professionals: Resources for Choral Professionals During the Pandemic. Added over the past week:

Keep an eye on on this page, and please share with us any resources we should consider adding!
This email is a weekly Wednesday communication we are sending - for a time - to support and lift up our members during this challenging period.

Do you have an idea, strategy, or words of inspiration for your colleagues? Reply to this email so that we can consider them for inclusion on our website and in future emails.
Wish to unsubscribe to this particular email?
Reply with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line and we'll remove you from this Wednesday email.

Note: Please don't click on "Unsubscribe" in the footer of this email, as it will stop you from receiving all our email communications (renewal notices, new benefits, etc.).
American Choral Directors Association | 405.232.8161 | membership@acda.org | www.acda.org | 545 Couch Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73102-2207