The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.
Mary Hopper, Professor of Choral Music and Director of Performance Studies at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, conducts the Wheaton College Men’s Glee Club and the Women’s Chorale and is a frequent conductor for the Wheaton Opera production. Both of her choirs have appeared on ACDA conferences. The Women’s Chorale has been invited to sing at two National Conferences (Salt Lake City and New York City) and four Central Division Conferences including an upcoming 2012 appearance in Fort Wayne. The Men’s Glee Club appeared on an Illinois State Fall Conference under Dr. Hopper’s leadership.
Dr. Hopper holds degrees from Wheaton College and the University of Iowa, where she studied with Don V Moses. Before coming to Wheaton, Dr. Hopper taught both junior high and high school choral music in the Chicago area and choral conducting and voice at the University of Minnesota (Morris). Also an active church musician, she presently serves as Minister of Music at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Warrenville, IL.
Dr. Hopper is a frequent guest conductor, clinician and judge. She has conducted All-State Choirs in Indiana, Illinois, Delaware, Georgia, New York, Idaho and Louisiana and several Women’s Choir festivals including both Southern and Western ACDA Division Women’s Honors Choirs. In 2007 and 2011 Dr Hopper was a guest conductor, mentor and plenary speaker at the International Summer School in Choral Conducting sponsored by the New Zealand Choral Federation. In January 2011, she was a participant in the founding of the New Zealand Choral Director’s Association.
Most of Dr. Hopper’s research and publications have dealt with repertoire and women’s choirs. She co-authored the article “Teaching with Standards: Repertoire in the Age of Glee” published in the Choral Journal February 2011. She presented an interest session at the National ACDA Conference in 2011 titled “Expanding the Repertoire: Uncovering a Neglected American Music Genre Black Composers Writing for Women’s Voices.” As a result of this research the Wheaton College Women’s Chorale produced a recording of music for women’s voices by Black composers titled “Lead Gently, Lord.” Dr. Hopper has contributed a chapter on “Community in Women’s Choirs” to a forthcoming book to be published by GIA in 2012.
She has been honored by Wheaton College with a Senior Teaching Achievement Award and the Distinguished Service of Alma Mater Award.
Dr. Hopper has served ACDA on the state and division levels as Central Division Women’s Choir R & S Chair, Iliinois State Treasurer, Illinois State President and is currently Central Division Vice-President.