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

GUEST BLOG: "Crawling Through Mud to Get There" by Chris Barbee

As choral musicians, students, and professionals we share an intense passion for what we do. We share a vast amount of information, millennia of music, and far too much knowledge for any single one of us to grasp on our own. We are addicted to our art. We hunger for it. We spend our lives chasing those perfect moments that send a chill down our back, those moments that put warmth in our hearts and make us better human beings, those moments that change lives.
These things must bring us together, not just in mind and spirit. Think about who your best friends are. Are they the people who you have to struggle to convey what you felt during a bad rehearsal? The people you have to work so hard to get as excited as you about your successes? Of course not, they are the people who are right there with you in the moment, feeling everything you felt, those people who can relate to you because they’ve traveled those roads before, the people who join you in your pursuit.
If given a chance to be surrounded by those people, immersed in a culture, in a community, in a family that shares my passion I’d have to be crazy not to do whatever I could to be there with them, right? It’s like not coming home for Christmas. You miss your family and your family misses you.
I feel the same hunger. I grow weary of struggling to give my passion to others who just don’t get it. I need to be amongst my own kind. I need a family reunion. I’m intent on instilling this hunger in my fellow choral music students. We are young, we are inexperienced, and above all we are POOR. But we will claw and scrape change together, we will Christmas carol, we will beg our Student Government Association to raise funds, heck we might even have a bake sale or two. We’ll crawl through mud and over broken glass to get to Dallas, TX this March because we are starving for choral excellence, because we know that when we’re together our light shines that much brighter. I’m eager to shake the hand of every musician who has responded to numerous questions I’ve posted on Choralnet, to hear amazing musicians, find new music, and go to workshops and interest sessions. I’m eager to be around my family.
I hope you are too. I hope to see you there.
on November 27, 2012 2:43pm
Very well written Chris!  I attended my first ACDA regional convention last year and very much enjoyed the shared sence of being.  Great concerts, interesting vendors, and useful sessions.  Be sure to go with friends, it makes it that much more enjoyable!
Applauded by an audience of 1
on November 27, 2012 4:52pm
Thank you so much!
Would you care to elaborate on your first ACDA experience? What drew you to go in the first place? Could you talk a little more about that shared sense of being? Would you say that you benefited professionally from going? If so, how?
Just looking to hear more about why others feel it is important to be an active participant in this terrific community of ours!