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