Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Funeral Arrangements: Jan Ehly

KCDA Friends,
The message below is from Heidi Ehly Zimmerman regarding funeral service details for Jan Ehly.  Continue to lift up Eph and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

I am totally overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of love and support to our family upon the loss of our dear mother, wife and grandma. It is so comforting to hear your stories of how she impacted your lives - thank you so much for sharing! So many of you have asked about the plans for her funeral service so I wanted to post that although this information will also be in tomorrow's paper... Visitation will be from 10-11:00 AM December 21, 2013, in the Wesley Chapel at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Ave. Leawood, KS with funeral services starting at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care  ( the Resurrection Memorial Fund ( Thank you all again, from the bottom of our hearts, for all of your many thoughts and prayers. God bless you all!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sympathy for Ehly Family

KCDA Friends,

Please keep Dr. Eph Ehly and his family in your thoughts and prayers.  Dr. Ehly's wife Jan lost her battle with cancer this morning.  Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 21 at 11am at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS.  We will communicate and further details as they become available.

Dustin Cates
KCDA President-Elect

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

PerformOUTKC Artistic Director Opening

Please see the following posting from PerformOUTKC concerning their opening for Artistic Director.  All inquiries about the position should be directed to

Wishing you a happy and safe Thanksgiving Break!

Tiffani N. Thompson
KCDA Webmaster


BACKGROUND: PerformOUTKC, Kansas City's finest youth choral theater

program for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer youth and their straight allies. Our new performance program incorporates a youth chorus and theatre troupe geared towards original work created by the young artists mixed with exciting choreographed musical theatre. PerformOUTKC has performed at community festivals and local schools, and has collaborated with the Mid-America Freedom Band and the Heartland Men's Chorus, inspiring, challenging and encouraging its audiences. New Artistic Director will start in March 2014 to plan the 2014-2015 concert come be a part of it all!

Required Skills and Knowledge:
·       Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, Music Education or Vocal Performance. A combination of education and/or comparable work experience may be considered in lieu of educational requirements.
·       Experience with conducting both instrumental and vocal musicians
·       Excitement to produce and perform major musical theatre and original work.
·       Make reasonable efforts to represent POKC within relevant organizations such
as; GALA, ACDA and/or Chorus America
·       Commitment to supporting the growth and empowerment of the youth in
·       Experience in conducting choirs or directing musical theater productions.
·       Experience in planning and implementing performances, including creative
programming skills.
·       Ability to mentor and motivate youth.
·       Strong communication skills, ability to work as a member of a team
·       Strong leadership skills
·       Ability to work with youth of all skill levels and abilities

Interest individuals should submit:
·       Curriculum Vitae or Resume
·       Letter of Intent to include interest in working with LGBTQA youth in a performance perspective.

Send documents attention to AD Committee to or by mail to PO Box 30032, Kansas City, MO. 64112

Compensation and Benefits:

The Artistic Director will be paid a monthly stipend with an attractive benefits package to include; paid travel expenses to annual GALA Choruses leadership conferences & directors retreats as part of the training & development responsibilities set by the board of directors. For a full position description, visit us online at Posting will close on Tuesday, December 31st.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Please keep KCDA President Laura VanLeeuwen and the Chorale and Madrigals students at Shawnee Mission West in your thoughts and prayers following the loss of student Houston St. John Tuesday afternoon.


Monday, September 16, 2013

KCDA Treble Honor Choir

Please see the following message from Christine Freeman concerning the KCDA Treble Honor Choir audition process and approaching deadline.

Have a great week!

Tiffani N. Thompson
KCDA Webmaster


I am Christine Freeman, and will again be coordinating the Kansas Statewide Treble Honor Choir.  Hopefully, you have already checked out all the information on the KCDA website,  If not, I would like to invite you to look into this fabulous opportunity for your treble, unchanged voice singers!

All students of KCDA members in grades 5-9 with unchanged voices are eligible to audition.  Please note that students MAY NOT audition for both the KCDA Treble Honor Choir AND the KMEA Middle Level Honor Choir.  Please choose the choir that is most appropriate for your singers and submit an audition for only one honor group.  

Selected students will prepare five pieces to rehearse and perform with a recognized clinician at the KMEA In-Service in Wichita on February 28.  

All CD recordings of your students' auditions must be postmarked by Friday, October 4, 2013.  The deadline is coming up fast!  All the information you need can be found on the KCDA website.  Details for recording the auditions can be found on the Application Form.

Our clinician is Angie Johnson of the Young Naperville Singers.  She has grown the youth choir by leaps and bounds and is doing some exciting things! We are so fortunate to bring her to Kansas to work with our kids!

If you have any questions, please email me at I look forward to receiving your auditions! 

Please forward this email to your colleagues who might be interested in submitting student auditions this year!

If you are interested in volunteering to judge auditions, please contact me as soon as possible.  We will meet on the morning of October 26 to judge the auditions and lunch will be provided.   

I hope that your school year is off to a great start!

Christine Freeman
Repertoire and Standards Representative for Children's Choirs

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Job Opportunities

Please see the following for job opportunities in the Kansas City area.

church in Roeland Park, KS, is in need of a choir director for their 6-7 member ensemble to begin immediately.  The position requires a rehearsal and one service on Sunday mornings.  Those interested should contact church organist Lorene Faulconer at 816.456.3788.

The newly-established Kansas City Kansas Young Men's Chorus is seeking an experienced accompanist for their inaugural season.  The ensemble rehearses at Eisenhower Middle School in the Kansas City Kansas School District on Thursday evenings, from 6:00-8:00pm; pay is based on experience.  For more information, contact directors Leayn Losh at 913.709.6725 or Eli Jones at 913.523.5893.

Tiffani N. Thompson
KCDA Webmaster

Friday, August 9, 2013


KCDA sends out heartfelt sympathy to Carolyn Welch and her family on the loss of her son.  Please keep Carolyn and her family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at
1224 N. 1100 Rd.
Lawrence, KS 66047

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Final Survey Reminder

Happy August!!!

This is one last reminder to take the KCDA Convention Survey.  The board is continually working to provide the very best for you, and we want your input.  Please CLICK HERE or go to to complete the survey before midnight on August 15th.

Here's wishing you a wonderful start to the school year!

Laura VanLeeuwen
KCDA President

Monday, July 15, 2013

Convention Survey

Good Afternoon, KCDA!!

What a wonderful convention last week and a big shout out to Past President, David Gardner and all of the board for their work in the week being so successful.  

With that said, we want your opinions on last week's convention.  What did you like?  What are your ideas for next year's convention?  
Please take the time to complete the convention survey.  

Here's wishing all of you rest and relaxation in these final weeks of summer.  :-)

Laura VanLeeuwen
KCDA President

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th!

Happy Independence Day from your KCDA Board!  To celebrate log on to and register for the 2013 KCDA Summer Convention!

Dustin Cates
KCDA Webmaster

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rock the Vote!

Our KCDA summer convention is rapidly approaching and with that, we will be announcing a NEW President-Elect!!  
Please go to the website: and vote!!!

See you in July!!

Laura VanLeeuwen

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

KU Summer Workshop

See the message below regarding a free learning opportunity for KCDA members at KU!

Dustin Cates
KCDA Webmaster

MEMT 791:  Contemporary Topics in Choral Pedagogy Summer 2013

Monday, June 24 – Tuesday, June 25

Murphy Hall 575


Featured Guest ProfessorsDr. Tim Sharp, Executive Directorof the American Choral Directors Association, and Dr. Charles Robinson, UMKC






SESSION ONE (9:00 – 11:50 a.m.)


What, How, Whom and Why: The many important choices wemake as choral music educators

Dr. Charles Robinson, University of Missouri-Kansas City


This session will focus on topics in choral pedagogy including:

Choosing the right piece for the right group at the right time
Teaching musical mastery and guiding personal growth in the context of time
Finding the right place for every person to contribute and benefit in music
What is really important and why are we here in the first place?



SESSION TWO (1: 15 - 3:50 p.m.)


Where We Came From and Where We are Going

Dr. Tim Sharp, Executive Director American Choral Directors Association


This session introduces the culture of amateur choral music making in the US, and explores a singer's use of serious leisure time in the pursuit of the choral art.



SESSION THREE (6: 15 - 8:50 p.m.)


Mentoring in Ensemble Arts: Helping Others Find their Voice

Dr. Tim Sharp, Executive Director American Choral Directors Association


This session explores what a singer is looking for in a choral director, along with the musical and extra-musical desires of the choral performer.






SESSION FOUR (9:15 - 11:50 a.m.)


Collaboration in the Ensemble Arts: Working and Playing Well with Others

Dr. Tim Sharp, Executive Director American Choral Directors Association


This session investigates the need for arts collaboration toward achieving an organization's goals and objectives.



SESSION FIVE (1:15 - 3: 50 p.m.)


Tried and True Choral Literature Reading Session

Dr. Dwayne Dunn, Lawrence High School

Melissa Grady, KU Ph.D. Student



Tim Sharp is Executive Director of the American Choral Directors Association. Dr. Sharp pursues an aggressive agenda of progressive initiatives to keep ACDA energized and relevant in the 21st century, inspiring ACDA’smembership to excellence in choral music performance, education, composition, and advocacy. Before coming to ACDA, Sharp was Dean of Fine Arts at Rhodes College, Memphis, where he conducted the Rhodes Singers andMasterSingers Chorale. Earlier, he was Director of Choral Activities at Belmont University where he conducted the Belmont Chorale and Oratorio Chorus.


Sharp’s publications include Mentoring in the Ensemble ArtsPrecision ConductingUp Front! Becoming the Complete Choral ConductorAchieving Choral Blend and BalanceMemphis Music Before the BluesNashville Music Before CountryJubilate! Amen!, Collaborative Creativity, and a variety of articles, essays, and CD liner notes. His most recent publication is the historical-critical edition Johannes Herbst: Hymns to be Sung at the Pianoforte. Published compositions and arrangements include his own choral series through Gentry Publications, and A High Lonesome Bluegrass Mass, in which he regularly performs as a guest banjo player.


Charles Robinson conducts the Conservatory Concert Choir at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and teaches a variety of courses in choral music and music education at both graduate and undergraduate levels. He earned bachelor's and doctoral degrees in choral music education from Florida State University and the master's degree from California State University, Long Beach. Dr. Robinson is an active conductor/clinician for honor choruses throughout the United States, and is often invited to provide workshops for music educators. Robinson's music research has focused on choral performance evaluation, music preference, and choral conducting.


Dwayne Dunn is Director of Choral Activities at Lawrence High School and recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Music Educator Award presented by the Kansas Music Educators Association.


Melissa Grady is a Ph.D. student in choral pedagogy at the University of Kansas and formerly Director of Choral Activities at Derby High School.


Vocal music educators and KU students may audit any or all of these sessions free of charge.  If you plan to audit,please email Dr. Jim Daugherty ( so that we can have sufficient handouts and materials on hand.  Graduatecredit (1-2 hours) is available; if interested in graduate credit email Dr. Daugherty for details on Easy Admit            prior to Thursday, June 20.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pre-Registration Ends Tomorrow at Midnight!

There’s still time to get the Pre-Registration rate for the KCDA Summer Convention, July 11-13 at the Ramada Convention Center in Topeka.

You will be able to register after Friday's deadline, but the price goes from $100 to $125.  Pre-Registration also helps us in our planning, so please get online and register today!

See you in Topeka,

Dave Gardner, KCDA President

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Something New at This Year’s Convention

There’s a new feature at this year’s convention (have I mentioned it’s July 11-13 at the Ramada Convention Center in Topeka?  And that you only have 3 days left to register at the pre-registration reduced rate?!) that I’m kind of excited about.

We've noticed at past conventions that sometimes we’ll have a headline speaker or topic that doesn't apply equally to everyone, so this year, we've intentionally given you choices during many of the sessions.  This gives us an opportunity to have many of our own Kansas members present some really dynamite topics.  Here are some of these interest sessions we have to look forward to:

Mark Walker – “Technology in the Choral Classroom”
Tom Wine – “Choral Warm-ups”
Charles Anthony Silvestri – “Words and Music”
Mary Bodney – “Teaching Sight Singing”
Mark Hayes – “The Creative Process: a Look into the Mind of the Composer”
Jane Vanderhoff, Cindy Sheppard, Dustin Cates – “iPad apps for the Choral Director”
ShereĆ© Stoppel – “Planning Concerts around a Theme”
Jason Sickel – “Movement and Gestures – Engaging all Students during the Rehearsal”

You can view the complete schedule here, and go here today to register!  If you don’t want to register and pay online, there’s also a form you can print and mail in with your check.

See you in Topeka,

Dave Gardner, KCDA President

Monday, June 3, 2013

Countdown – 4 Days to Get the Pre-Registration Rate!

Dear KCDA Friends,

I promise not to inundate your inbox with constant emails after this week, but I want to make sure no one misses the opportunity to make this year’s summer convention, happening July 11-13 at the Ramada Convention Center in Topeka.

Today I want to briefly talk about the performing groups that will inspire us during the convention.  One of the convention highlights will be the Friday evening concert in Grace Episcopal Cathedral.  Pearl Shangkuan is the conductor for the Kansas All-State Women’s Choir, and they are sure to provide a wonderful performance.  In addition to that, one of our own Kansas legends, Cecil Riney, will be conducting the Singing Quaker Alumni Choir, and they will be joined by the Dove Award winning composer and pianist, Mark Hayes.

Another special treat will be our Thursday evening performance by Smorgaschorus, conducted by Matt Webber.  This newly formed barbershop chorus went to their first ever competition last year and won it, becoming the Central States Champions!

Finally, I’m very pleased that “This Generation” from Washburn Rural High School, conducted by Adam White, will be our demonstration choir for Tom Carter’s session on Choral Charisma on Friday morning.

It's going to be great!

REGISTER NOW, and I’ll see you in Topeka!

Dave Gardner, KCDA President

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Accompanist Position: Mill Valley HS

KCDA Members:
See the message below from Sherre Stoppel, choral director at Mill Valley High School.

Dustin Cates
KCDA Webmaster

If anyone knows of an accompanist looking for a position, they can email me at:
Sheree Stoppel

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Countdown – 6 Days! Convention Highlight – Patrick Freer

If you’re not a middle school teacher, you may be thinking that Patrick Freer’s workshops are not for you.  If that’s the way you feel – I want to respectfully disagree!  Dr. Freer is a world renowned pedagogue, and although I mainly work with college students, I always pick up something I can use when I attend a workshop with someone like him.  Here’s a synopsis of what he’ll be presenting on the Thursday of our convention:

"This series of workshops and discussions will center on four topics that are critical to placing middle school choral music at the core of pK-12 vocal music education.  Middle school choral education needs to be pedagogically, philosophically, and artistically valid & independent, even while it connects to music education at the elementary and high school levels.  The topics explored will include two focused on male singers:  recruitment & retention, and working with reluctant singers during the voice change.  And, two sessions will deal with topics in pedagogy and repertoire:  teaching beginning-level vocal improvisation and selecting high quality repertoire."

Remember, convention registration goes up at midnight on June 7, so don’t delay.
See you in Topeka on July 11-13,

Dave Gardner, KCDA President

Friday, May 31, 2013

Clarification about One-Day Patrick Freer Workshop

One more thing about Summer Convention Registration – Some have expressed confusion regarding the difference between registering for a one day pass for $50 and registering for the one day Patrick Freer Workshop for $65.

The difference is that normally, one must be an ACDA member in order to attend any part of the convention, so the $50 one day passes are for members only.  The $65 fee for the Patrick Freer workshop is for non-ACDA members and represents a substantial savings over registration plus membership.  (Of course, we’re hoping that the non-members will fall in love with us and join up!)

Dave Gardner

Get Expressive - Only 7 Days Left of Pre-registration!

Dear Choral Friends,

Have you ever wondered how to get your singers to be more expressive?

Would you like to be able to help them really connect and communicate with their audiences?

Then you really don’t want to miss Tom Carter at the 2013 KCDA Summer Convention.   You can read more about Tom at his website.

Only 7 days remain to register at the pre-registration reduced rate, so visit today and we'll see you in Topeka!

Dave Gardner, KCDA President

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dear KCDA Friends,

Time is growing short!  The pre-registration deadline for the KCDA Summer Convention has been extended to midnight on Friday, June 7.  Register before then to save $25 on the active member registration fee.

Pre-registration also helps us to save money by ordering the right number of reading packets, so you’ll be helping your organization, too.

Online registration is available here.

Highlights of the convention can be read here.

Detailed schedule, clinician bios, and other information is available here.

Register soon, and I'll look forward to seeing you in Topeka.

Dave Gardner, KCDA President

Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer Convention and Voting

Dear KCDA Friends,

I hope your academic year has come to a wonderful conclusion – welcome to summer!

If you haven’t been there lately, check out the KCDA website today.  There’s plenty of information there about the absolutely dynamite Summer Convention we have planned for July 11-13 at the Topeka Ramada Convention Center.

Also, voting is now live for our next President-Elect.  We have two outstanding candidates, Dustin Cates and Carolyn Welch.  Read their bios and cast your vote.  The voting will remain open until Saturday, July 13, and the new President Elect will be announced on that day at the convention.

See you in Topeka,

Dave Gardner
Kansas Choral Directors Association President

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Job Opportunities

Grandview High School, Choral Director
Grandview, Missouri
Apply Online:

Central United Methodist Church, Director of Music (possible part-time or full-time position)
Kansas City, Missouri - On the Campus of UMKC
Send resume to Rev. Jim Simpson:

Dustin Cates
KCDA Webmaster

Friday, May 17, 2013


Due to a domain renewal our website, was down as of midnight 5/16/13.  The issue has been resolved and our site should be up and running within the next few hours.

If you would like to register online for the 2013 Summer Convention that link is up and running CLICK HERE.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Dustin Cates
KCDA Webmaster 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Registration Reminder!

As the year comes to a close don't forget to register for the 2013 KCDA Summer Convention!  CLICK HERE for your registration options.

Also--the 13/14 All-State Literature has been posted use the link or visit

BE BRAVE!  Just a few weeks left!

Dustin Cates
KCDA Webmaster

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

JOB OPENING: Lawrence Public Schools

KCDA Friends:

Please see the message below from Hilary Morton, director of choral activities at Lawrence Free State High School, regarding an opening they will have for 2013-14.

Happy Spring!
Dustin Cates
KCDA Webmaster

Hey everyone,

I just wanted you all to know that we have a full-time high school choral associate job up for grabs for the 2013-1014 school year.  The job will be 80% at Free State and 20% at Lawrence High.  Carolyn Welch, who has been working half time at Free State for the past two years is retiring from Lawrence Public Schools.  The district has agreed to up the job to full-time for next year!  There is also a full-time accompanist position available at Free State for next year.  If you or someone you know is interested, apply at

Thanks and happy end of the year to you all!


Hilary Morton
Director of Choirs
Lawrence Free State High School

(785) 330-4935

"We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ~Aristotle

Monday, April 15, 2013

Job Opportunity

KCDA Friends:

Please see the job posting below.  Please forward any questions to:

Elven Hickmon, Business Manager

Office: (816) 659-7899

Cell: (816) 286-3413

Dustin Cates
Webmaster KCDA

PERFORMOUTKC INC. • PO Box 30032 • Kansas City, MO 64112 • 816-659-7899

JOB TITLE:                     Artistic Director
REPORTS TO:                 Board of Directors
COMPENSATION:         Paid position in addition to paid travel expenses to annual GALA Choruses director retreats and leadership conferences for training and development.
HOURS:                        Flexible: Typically 10 hours per week, with increased hours during pre-performance weeks. Work hours include the 2 hour weekly rehearsal.

BACKGROUND:            PerformOUTKC, Kansas City’s first and only youth choral theater program for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer youth and their straight allies. Our programs have incorporated vocal music, original poetry and readings, instrumental music, dance, and an original play. PerformOUTKC has performed at community festivals and local schools, and has collaborated with the Mid-America Freedom Band and the Heartland Men’s Chorus, inspiring, challenging and encouraging its audiences. So come be a part of it all!


1.       Implements the mission and vision of PerformOUTKC and works closely with the Board of Directors to support and promote the mission and vision.

  • Creates a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment for all youth.
  • Responsible for the musical and artistic decisions of the group.
  • Develops performances incorporating a variety of performing arts corresponding with the needs and abilities of the youth of PerformOUTKC.
  • Provides motivation for youth to join and maintain their membership in PerformOUTKC.
  • Grows the organization quality of performances and the number of youth.
  • Seeks opportunities for the young people to share their stories with others in a creative, inspiring and effective manner. 
2.       Plans, designs, organize and present a minimum of 2 major performances and 6 community performances annually.

  • Conducts/directs the group in both musical and theatrical performances.
  • Selects music and guides members in creating materials that support the mission and vision of the organization.
  • Collaborate with Associate Artistic Director on theater arts; work with choreographer on dance performance and partner with poetry coach on spoken word performance.
  • Reaches out to diverse audiences. 
3.       Collaborates with the Board of Directors.

  • Formulates, implements and monitors annual and long range plans, goals, and objectives for the Group.
  • Implements direction and policies for the group in collaboration with Business Manager.
  • Attends monthly Board of Directors meetings and retreats. Prepares and submits an Artistic Director’s Report to the board on progress, process and initiatives, etc.
  • Coordinate with Board of Directors on performance production and
provide input on performance evaluation.
4.       Other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.

  • Minimum of a Bachelors Degree in Music. A combination of education and/or comparable work experience may be considered in lieu of educational requirements.
  • Make reasonable efforts to represent POKC within relevant organizations such as GALA, ACDA and/or Chorus America
  • Commitment to supporting the growth and empowerment of the youth in PerformOUTKC.
  • Experience in conducting choirs or directing musical theater productions.
  • Experience in planning and implementing performances, including creative programming skills.
  • Ability to mentor, motivate, and supervise youth.
  • Excellent problem solving skills, written and oral communication skills, collaborative skills, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to meet schedules, time lines and budgets
revised as of 3/28/2013