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The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

The Bounty that Student Conductors are Missing

Every spring a new batch of college graduates hits the job market waving their freshly-minted bachelor’s degrees. With heads full of ideas, hearts brimming with enthusiasm, and their student-loan grace period fast ticking away, these newest colleagues are eager to get into the classroom and ply the craft they have trained for over the past four (or five, or six, or . . . ) years.
 
There’s just one problem.  Their résumés/vitas all look strikingly similar to one another.  Having been cocooned in the insular environment of academia, they have not had a lot of opportunity to distinguish themselves from their peers.
 
But there is a way for a conducting student to stand out from that pack: Publish an article in the “Student Times” column of the Choral Journal.
 
From its inception in 1988 as the ACDA Student Newsletter, through becoming a feature in the Journal, the “Student Times,” has provided scores of college students with their first taste of publication.  An astonishing number of those writers are now working in the highest ranks of the choral profession.
 
“But,” you protest, “I’m a musician, not a writer!”  Oh, really?
 
Planning to farm-out those program notes for the entirety of your career?  Who is going to craft the proposal that illuminates the reasons why your choir needs a trip to Florida? What about all of the normal communications to choir members, parents, and your administrators?  Sorry, the Keebler Elves are busy.
 
Then there’s the matter of earning an advanced degree.  Any graduate school worth attending is going to expect you to produce lengthy and well-researched written material.  And should you ever hope to change your first name to “Doctor,” you will write a document of significant depth.
 
Face it, colleagues-in-training, you are going to have to learn write, and to write well.  That said, why not utilize a resource that ACDA has designed exclusively for you?  Writing for the “Student Times” is as simple as contacting the column’s editor, Jason Paulk (jason.paulk@enmu.edu), discussing potential topics, and then, well, writing.
 
A bona fide publication would look good on your résumé/vita when you apply for that first job. The choice is simple: distinguish yourself, or stay in the herd.