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

ACDA of Pennsylvania

President-Elect Designate Nominees Announced
Elections to be held in January

ACDA-PA is pleased to announce two nominees to run for the position of President-Elect Designate. The elected officer will begin a six-year term, beginning on July 1, 2013, as President-Elect for 2 years, followed by 2 years as President and 2 years as Vice President.

Visit to find the biographies and vision statements of the two candidates. Online voting will take place between January 15-30, 2012 with the newly elected officer announced on February 1, 2012. Please be on the lookout for e-mails containing voting instructions. Thanks to Susan Medley and Randy Yoder for agreeing to run and offer their time and talents to the American Choral Directors Association of Pennsylvania!


2011 Inaugural ACDA-PA Fall Choral Conference

Friday-Saturday, October 21-22, 2011
York, Pennsylvania

Conference to feature choral ensembles from across the Commonwealth and Paul Rardin

The first ever Fall Choral Conference will take place on Friday evening, October 21 and all day, Saturday, October 22 in York, PAThe professional staff of Zion United Methodist Church will serve as our hosts for this new event which will focus on performances by choirs from throughout the Commonwealth!We will also welcome Paul Rardin to Pennsylvania!Paul was recently appointed Director of Choral Activities at Temple University.Paul will present a session on Choral Artistry and will present a conducting master class.
The fall event will have a very different feel and purpose.We know that our membership enjoys and appreciates hearing performances by choirs.In the summer, it is difficult for choirs to commit to coming to University Park in August, and we feel that this format will be appreciated by one and all.

As was listed in the Summer Conference program booklet, a discounted rate will be offered for those registering early online. The following prices will be in effect until September 11, 2011:
Member: $30 ~ Student: $20
Non-Members - the cost of a 1-year ACDA membership is included in the non-member rate:
Active: $125 ~ Student: $55
Regular registration rates will be in effect online from September 12-October 17, 2011.
Member: $35 ~ Student: $25
Non-Members - the cost of a 1-year ACDA membership is included in the non-member rate:
Active: $130 ~ Student: $60
After October 17, you must register on-site at the conference.
Online registration will be closed after this time.
Tentative Schedule
Friday, October 21, 2011
4:00PM - ACDA-PA State Board Meeting
8:00PM - Susquehanna Chorale performance, Linda Tedford, conductor
Reception to follow
Saturday, October 22, 2011
York County Concorde Singers
Randy Yoder, conductor
East Stroudsburg University A Cappella Ensemble
James Maroney, conductor
Paul Rardin, Choral Artistry
Bel Canto Singers Concert Choir
Joy Ondra Hirokawa, conductor
Paul Rardin, Conducting Masterclass
Repertoire Reading Session
York College Chamber Choir
Grace Muzzo, conductor
Penn State University Oriana Singers
Lynn Drafall, conductor
Town Hall Meeting

Bel Canto/can belto

a musical theatre voice workshop for



aug 12-15, 2011, penn state university park campus  
Enroll Now
Join Us 
Work in groups
Workshop group
and one-on-one
And one-on-one
Quick Links
RayAnd one-on-one
  • what are the sounds currently heard on the musical    theatre stage?
  • how are these sounds produced?
  • what makes healthy musical theatre singing?
  • what sounds are appropriate for what musical theatre repertoire?
  • how do I choose repertoire for students?
  • if I can't demonstrate the sounds how do I teach them? 












This email was sent to by |  
Bel Canto/Can Belto | 312 SOUTH BUCKHOUT STREET | STATE COLLEGE | PA | 16801

DID YOU KNOW? Some little-known facts from ACDA-PA’s fifty year history.


That two of the twelve members of the “Steering Committee” which created ACDA in 1958/59 were Pennsylvanians? (John Raymond and Earl Willhoite; both were part of the Fred Waring organization for many years)

That the first-ever National ACDA Treasurer was a Pennsylvanian? (Earl Willhoite, who went on to become one of three conductors to serve on ACDA’s first National Advisory Board)

That when ACDA held its first convention in March 1960 (in conjunction with the national MENC convention in Atlantic City) two of the five performing ensembles were from Pennsylvania? (Opening performance: Clyde Dengler and the Upper Darby High School Choir; Closing performance: Elaine Brown and Singing City.)

That ACDA-PA’s first State President (called Chairman at the time) conducted over 40 All-State choirs during his career? (John Raymond)

That ACDA-PA has had 23 Presidents? (bonus prize for anyone who can name them in order from memory!)

That ACDA-PA’s second State President became the first Pennsylvanian to be elected Eastern Division President? (Robert Page, who served in both positions for 4 years.)

That when ACDA held its first national convention in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) in 1964, the chairman of the convention committee was from Pennsylvania? (one of only three times in ACDA’s history that that position was not a national President) (Don Razey, Educational Director of J.W. Pepper)

That eight different ACDA-PA members conducted performances or sessions at the 1964 National Convention in Philadelphia? (Mary Brewer, Elaine Brown, Clyde Dengler, Robert Page, John Raymond, Don Razey, Robert Ringenwald, William Roberts)


Bishop.jpgThe online voting period has ended, and after a very close race, the ACDA-PA Executive Board is pleased to announce the election of D. Jason Bishop as President-Elect Designate.  Jason is currently the Director of Choral Activities at Penn State Erie, the Behrend College, where he also serves as conductor of the Erie Philharmonic Chorus.  In 2008, he founded the Young People's Chorus of Erie, of which he serves as Artistic Director. 

The official term as President-Elect begins July 1, 2011, though Jason will begin to attend board meetings to transition into the duties.  Dr. Bishop will be responsible for the planning and execution of the 2012 and 2013 summer conferences, after which he will assume the role of state president for the 2013-2015 term, then as vice president for the following two years.

Thank-yous are extended to Peter de Mets, who made the commitment as a candidate to serve had he been elected, to the selection committee of Vice President Eileen Hower and Eastern Division Vice President Lynn Drafall, and to President Robert Drafall and Web Manager Shaun Cloonan for coordinating the online voting parameters.  Additionally, thank you to the membership who took the time to read the candidate bios and vision statements and to vote.  The leadership was pleased with the voter response rate.

Greetings to ACDA-PA Members!
This month, I would like to share with you something from Tim Sharp, Executive Director of ACDA.  This was a blog posted on ChoralNet, and I think as we all head back to the podium, this is essential reading!
I would encourage each of you to go to ChoralNet, select “Communities” at the top, and join the Pennsylvania-ACDA Community.  There are terrific articles of interest posted every day.  You can join as many communities as you wish, and you can subscribe to receive information daily via email, if you so choose! 
ACDA and ChoralNet joined forces in July, and the more time on spend on this site, the more I realize what a valuable “marriage” this is for choral directors everywhere!
All the best to you as you prepare your concert seasons!  If you haven’t already done so, please remember to vote for the ACDA-PA President Elect Designate!  You can vote on the ACDA-PA website.  Our two outstanding candidates, Jason Bishop and Peter DeMets, have posted Biographies and Vision Statements in order for you to make an informed choice!  The polls will close on September 1, so take a moment now to make your voice heard!
ACDA – It’s the membership, not the leadership!
Robert Drafall,
President – ACDA of Pennsylvania
Truths* about Choral Leadership
Date:August 17, 2010
Truth #1 As Conductor, You Make the Difference. Before you lead you have to believe you can have a positive impact on others. When you believe you can make a difference, you position yourself to hear the call to lead. 

Truth #2 Integrity is the Podium on which you Stand. If people don’t believe in you, they won’t willingly follow you. You must do what you say you are going to do. This means being so clear about your beliefs that you can live them every day. 

Truth #3 It is the Why that Motivates the Work. You need to know why you do what you do, because you can only fully commit to the organization or cause when there is a good fit between what you value and what the organization values. This is true too, for the people you lead. 

Truth #4 Your Focus on the End Goal is what makes you a Leader. You have to be forward looking. Just look at your choir--they are looking at the present--YOU are looking at the future. This is the quality that most differentiates leaders from individual contributors. You need to spend time reflecting on the future. It is the vision that resonates with others, inspiring and energizing.

Truth #5 You are Not doing this Alone. Leadership is a team sport, and you need to engage others in the cause. You need to enable others to be even better than they already are. Make that the goal of every rehearsal, and make better mean something better than only correct pitches and rhythms.

Truth #6 The Glue for your work is Trust. To enlist others, you need trust. Build mutual trust; you must trust others too. 

Truth #7 Problems Define you as a Leader. Great achievements don’t happen when you keep things the same. Change invariably involves challenge, and challenge tests you. It introduces you to yourself. It brings you face-to-face with your level of commitment, your grittiness, and your values. It reveals your mindset about change. 

Truth #8 There is a Reason that you as conductor are the one standing in front, and easy to identify by the audience. You have to go first as a leader. That’s what it takes to get others to follow your lead. 

Truth #9 The Maestro is also the Allievo. Learning is the master skill of leadership. Leaders are constant improvement fanatics. The teacher (maestro) is also the never-ending student (allievo).

Truth #10 Conducting is your passion. Leaders love what they’re doing and those they lead. Leaders make others feel great about themselves and are gracious in showing their appreciation to others.
*Adapted from the research of Kouzes and Posner as outlined in their book The Truth About Leaderhip.

ACDA-PA Members,

Thank you to those of you who have logged in to the new ChoralNet Communities for our chapter.  To date, we have 49 members, which until yesterday put us at the top of the state chapters...But OKLAHOMA HAS TAKEN OVER WITH 50 MEMBERS!!!  Our goal is to reach 100 members by the end of the summer, which currently would put us at the very top of the Communities page listings.  It's very easy to create an account.  Just go to and register with a user name and password.  Then click on "Communities" and find the "ACDA of Pennsylvania" group.  Once that page loads, you'll see a button that says "join"...and that's it!  We  need 51 more of you to reach our goal.  Will you help us?!

Secondly, we have about 70 members so far who have voted for ACDA-PA President-Elect Designate, which is roughly 12% of our membership.  Please consider voting to make your voice heard as to who you would like to be the next leader of our state chapter.  Candidate bios can be found by clicking here.  To vote, log in to our website at using the information that was sent out to you last week and click on the "vote" icon, which will take you to the poll.  Each member may vote one time, and all votes are anonymous.

Finally, if you have an event that you would like the state membership to know about, go to the calendar page and submit your event.  You can add a link to your organization's website and even opt to have a map of your location appear on that events page.  We want the calendar to reflect what our membership is doing, and not just what ACDA-PA sponsors or endorses.  

Let's keep the lines of communication going by using the resources available to us.  Join ChoralNet Communities, vote, and add to the calendar today!   

 “ACDA – It’s the Membership, not the Leadership”
As I reflect on another tremendously successful Summer Conference for Choral Musicians, it is time to turn my attention to the future of ACDA-PA.  In June, I attended the National Leadership Meeting for state and division presidents, held in Chicago.  It was a marvelous opportunity for the leadership of ACDA to put their heads together and to discuss how we can make ACDA a better organization.   One of the outcomes of our discussion, was the quote at the top of the page.  It is my sincere hope that as a member of ACDA-PA, you will share your ideas on how we can make a positive impact on your music making!
 I have listed some initiatives that I would like to focus on during the last year of my presidency.  If any of these ideas kindle a spark with you, I’d really appreciate knowing that.  A couple of these ideas have already been put into motion, and I’m very excited about them!
ACDA-PA Composition Competitionthis is already a reality!  Thanks to the wonderful work of the organizational committee, the materials for this are available on line, and the winning composition will be premiered in 2011.  Special thanks to Peter deMets, Rollo Dilworth and Joe Ohrt for sharing their expertise in putting this project on course!
50thAnniversary Celebration - ACDA-PA became an organization in 1961.  We will be celebrating our first half-century during the upcoming year.  It will be a focus of the 17thAnnual Conference for Choral Musicians.  D. Douglas Miller, ACDA-PA Historian, is already hard at working making contact with all living past presidents, and literally writing the history of our organization!
Fall ACDA-PA Conferencethe objective of this event is to augment what we do so well in the summer with a conference that focuses on live performances of choirs!
At this early stage, I envision this being a Friday evening/Saturday event with a very modest registration fee.  My hope is that this event will travel around the state, with a fall, 2011 launch somewhere in the Southeast Region.  Stay tuned!
PennsylvaniaMusic Forumthe goal of this initiative is to find ways that we can enhance the quality of professional development for musicians in the Commonwealth.  I will seek to establish a dialogue with the following organizations:
                        Chorus America
                        National Collegiate Choral Organization
                        American Guild of Organists
                        Choristers Guild
                        National Music Teachers Association
New Leader Development Workshops– the purpose here is to encourage, inform and train future leadership of ACDA-PA.  I believe that this is a good project for the Vice-President to oversee.  If you’re interested, please let me know!!!
Hands Across Borders  - the goal here is to co-sponsor workshops & concerts with ACDA organizationsin New York, New Jersey, Delaware and perhaps the Eastern Division!  We have many of the same needs – and this initiative could help us all do it more effectively!  Conversations have already begun!!      
Mentorship Program – I would like to re-energize the current program by utilizing R & S Chairs to serve as mentors for conductors new to their jobs.  Former winners of theACDA-PA Outstanding Young Conductor can be tapped as a resource as well.  The current Mentorship Program was established by Dr. Peggy Dettweiler during her presidency.   There is definitely a need for this across the Commonwealth!
I think that all of these projects are exciting, and I strongly encourage you to “put in your two cents” as we move these initiatives forward!  Please contact me with suggestions and questions at
Finally, I’d like to offer my hearty congratulations to the following individuals on their recent successes!
Dr. Christopher Kiver for planning an extraordinary summer conference!
Dr. Joe Ohrt and Craig Cannon for hosting the Men’s and Women’s Student-Director Honor Choir
Christie McKinney for hosting the Middle School/Junior High Honor Choir and for being the recipient of the 2010 ACDA-PA Young Conductor Award
Dr. Peggy Dettweiler for being selected as the recipient of the 2010 Elaine Brown Award for Choral Excellence
In closing, we are all facing difficult times!  However, we should be thankful for the powerful gift of choral music in our lives.  Make a difference in your life and the lives of others; let your voice be heard….ACDA – It’s the Membership, not the Leadership!
I look forward to hearing from you!
Robert Drafall
ACDA-PA President

In our continuing effort to make the ACDA-PA website ( more accessible and user-friendly, you may now customize your user name, password, and contact name.  In order to start the site, we had to choose a way for you to log in, and the most simple user name was first initial and last name.  The site then randomly assigned an alpha-numeric password for you, and both sets of information were sent out in your welcome e-mail from the new site.

After hearing your comments and concerns, understanding that many of you have multiple different user names for the various sites you must log into, permission has now been enabled for you to go into your profile and create a new user name (that could be the same as another site like the national website), a password of your choosing, and a "contact name," which the site identifies you as when posting comments in the bulletin board, creating a new event for the member-driven calendar, or when messages are sent to you in a personalized way.  The default is your First then Last Name, however that does not take into account those who have use a first initial and go by their middle name.  YOU make it what YOU want to be called!

Just click on "My Profile" under the Members option on the navigation bar above, and when you see all of your information listed, scroll to the bottom and click "edit this profile."  The screen that appears will allow you to change almost every field.  NOTE: you must select at least one R&S area for the changes to take effect.  Also, some of you may need to re-select your R&S areas as they have been slightly renamed to align with the listings on the national website. (for example: Children's Choirs has become "Children's and Community Youth Choirs" as they are now called at the national level).  The more information you provide to us, the easier we can communicate directly to you with information that matters most to your specific areas of choral directing.  Update your profile today!