May 20, 2020


A number of performing arts organizations - including ACDA - have joined forces to commission a study on the effects of COVID-19 and the risks in performing arts classrooms and performance venues. Specifically, the study will examine aerosol rates produced by vocalists, wind instrumentalists, and actors, and how quickly those aerosol rates accumulate in a space. The only way to determine what risk level exists or to create best practices for reducing infection risk is to understand how aerosol disbursement works in a performing arts setting.

Once the aerosol rates are better understood, the study will focus on remediation of aerosols in confined spaces like rehearsal rooms (both educational and professional), classrooms, and performance settings in order to develop better understanding, policy, and practice for a safe returning to performance and education. Learn more.
Webinar 2 - Singing: What We Can Do

Tuesday, May 26
2:00 p.m. PDT
3:00 p.m. MDT
4:00 p.m. CDT
5:00 p.m. EDT

This webinar will focus on examples of how singers and singing ensembles are producing their art now, as physical distancing guidelines continue to be in place. A variety of guests will share promising projects and existing and emerging technologies that keep us connected and singing.

Minnesota Public Radio's Brian Newhouse will moderate the coalition's second webinar. Hosts: NATS, ACDA, Chorus America, Barbershop Harmony Society, and PAMA. Watch it:

Living in the Wilderness
It seems like a lifetime ago when life itself and the constancy of a predictable, yet reassuring and comforting routine, suddenly and without warning came to an abrupt stop. The result of “hitting the wall” head-on at one hundred miles an hour left me reeling in disbelief, confusion, despair, uncertainty, doubt, and ambiguity, resulting in a sense of profound sadness and grief.

It was, and still is, hard to place a deeper meaning on all of this even when we realize (after we've been told time and time again) “that we are all in this together.” That collective message offers some solace, but still doesn't adequately address the (still) uncomfortable place in which I find myself.

That all changed for me in the past week when I heard a well-crafted message delivered by my lead pastor. Responding to the COVID-19 threat, our pastoral and worship arts team developed a sermon series entitled "Wilderness Lessons."  Read full essay .

Bruce W. Becker, Executive Director, ACDA of Minnesota

Advocacy is a critical activity as we step forward into shaping the arts sector and ensuring the health of the choral arts. We'll be sharing ideas and approaches in the coming weeks.

Western Region President-elect Lou De La Rosa shared information about a Californians for the Arts initiative collecting stories in the state. They are using powerful language about artists as "second responders":

"We know that artists are vital second responders. In disasters such as Sonoma and Paradise, Houston and New Orleans, the arts fortified souls and minds with the familiar hallmarks of our culture, identity, and community, providing a nexus of hope, help, and healing."

Connecticut ACDA Calls for a Seat at the Table
When Amanda Hanzlik, Connecticut ACDA president, learned that the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group had been formed and did not include a single arts organization, she and her executive board took action! Read her letter to ACDA members.

Choral Conductors Are Connectors
As you read last week, ACDA's Advocacy and Collaborations Standing Committee held two Community Conversation events, sharing ideas among participants for telling their stories in a way that is an effective advocacy tool (notes from those sessions are posted in the committee's Facebook group).

During the May 14 event, committee member Anthony Trecek-King challenged attendees to recognize their value in a variety of ways, including being people persons: “We are uniquely positioned. Not every profession is seeking out connection. We are experts at social connection during a time of physical distancing.”

Thursday! May 21 , 10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT. ACDA: Connecting with the World - Sweden , co-hosted by T. J. Harper and Tim Sharp
The second episode in the series ACDA: Connecting with the World features guests from Sweden: Margareta Raab, Gary Graden, and Fred Sjöberg.
A collection of videos and documents from the 2020 ACDA Symposium on Research in Choral Singing is available for viewing by ACDA members (ensure that you sign-in at through July 15, 2020. COVID-19 altered plans for an in-person meeting, and selected presenters were instead invited to upload their materials to share with the ACDA membership. Symposium abstracts are published in the latest volume of the  International Journal of Research in Choral Singing at:

From member Anne Marie Cummings (Music Teacher, De Pere High School, De Pere, WI):

Anne Marie is integrating peer learning in her online class: "Students told me they really wanted to be able to sing an overtone, but were confused. So I gathered up the 'experts' and had two of my senior girls who could do this well provide some helpful hints in a Google Meet. Students teaching students! It went really well, which made me proud and also lifted by spirits. I tried something new and the kids vibed with it!"

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 . New:

  • Thoughts on Leadership - Produced by KI Concerts, this four-minute video contains powerful perspectives from choral leaders Tim Sharp, Heather J. Buchanan, Eric Stark, and Pearl Shangkuan.

Do you know of a resource that should be added? Please reply to this email.

National Vote Results
The member vote on proposed revisions to the Constitution and Bylaws closed Monday, May 18. All of the proposed revisions passed by a wide margin:
  • The revisions around the proposed merger of North Central and Central Regions into the new Midwestern Region passed with 93% of voters approving.
  • The revisions allowing the addition of a third potential legal structure for state chapters passed with 95% of voters approving.
  • The revisions that change the terminology of several R&R committees passed with 97% of voters approving.

"These decisions are a strong moment for ACDA," noted Tim Sharp, "and allow us to move forward with confidence."

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. We encourage you to download this important tool and to take advantage of all the features to connect 24/7.

You can click here to download the  iPhone/iOS app  and here for the  Android app. Already a user?  Update the app and log-in again.  Hint: Your log-in information is the same on the app as it is on!

Were your spring concerts cancelled? We are still adding choirs to ACDA's Virtual Concert Halls. Have you submitted your choir yet? To do so, follow the instructions on this form and submit it with a YouTube link. While you're there, enjoy the wonderful playlists!
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