President’s Column


Rehearsals are underway, concerts are coming up, and nearly every choir director on the planet has something big in December. Concerts, special events, and worship services typically take place outside of the 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday workweek, and many people work a full-time teaching job and also direct a community or church choir that rehearses in the evening or on weekends. The life of a choral conductor is alternately exhausting and exhilarating, and though we live for those exhilarating moments, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in what we do that we neglect ourselves. It’s the nature of what we do and the job requirements aren’t likely to change. So what are YOU doing to prevent burnout, to carve out non-work time, to replenish and refresh yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually? As you begin to think about holiday gift giving, don’t forget to include yourself on the list. For people whose lives and work revolve around schedules, perhaps one of the best gifts you can give yourself is the gift of time, preferably unscheduled time. We still need to get through holiday concerts, the end of the semester, and Christmas services, but if you make plans now to take time for yourself after your December music making, you will be better equipped to return to your choirs refreshed and ready to go after the holidays.



North Central ACDA will be well represented at the 2017 ACDA national conference in Minneapolis. Hearty congratulations to the North Central members who have been selected to present a session or conduct a performing ensemble in Minneapolis. Many thanks are due the North Central Repertoire & Resources chairs who have helped select repertoire for reading sessions and the countless North Central members who have volunteered to help at the conference. We celebrate you and wish you well!



Performing Ensembles

Cantorei (NE) – Tom Trenney, conductor

Bella Voce Young Women’s Choir (MN) – Shelly Winemiller, conductor

Iowa State Cantamus Women’s Choir (IA) – Kathleen Rodde, conductor

Luther College Collegiate Chorale (IA) – Andrew Last, conductor

Minnesota Chorale (MN) – Kathy Romey, conductor

National Lutheran Choir (MN) – David Cherwien, conductor

Platinum Edition College Show Choir (WI) – Nancy Allen, director

St. Olaf College Choir & Ensembles (MN) – Anton Armstrong, Therees Hibbard, Mark Stover, conductors

The Singers (MN) – Matthew Culloton, conductor

VocalEssence (MN) – Philip Brunelle, conductor

The Wartburg Choir (IA) – Lee Nelson, conductor

Youth Chorale of Central Minnesota (MN) – Garret Lathe, conductor


Interest Session Presenters

A Conductor, High Atop the Hill – Eric Barnum (WI)

Ambition, Adaptation and Risk: Stay at the Top of Your Craft – Timothy Takach (MN)

Appalachian Folksongs: High-Lonesome Mountain Voice – Amy Kotsonis (IA)

BIG VOICE: The Movie – Randi Rexroth (MN)

Giving Voice Chorus – Defying Dementia through Singing – Jeanie Brindley-Barnett (MN)

So You Want to Start a Vocal Jazz Ensemble – Timothy Buchholz (WI)

Teaching Musicianship through Repertoire: A Panel Discussion – Phillip Swan (WI), panelist

About the author

Mary Kay Geston

Mary Kay Geston

President, North Central ACDA

Great River Chorale, Minneapolis, MN