The Eastern Division Conference is coming up soon, and Conference Registration will open in October. Should you come? Let me tell you a little about what you can expect.
First, Delaware is integral in the development of this conference. UD’s Dr. Paul Head, the Eastern Division President, is also the “Conference Chair.” He has put together a team of about 35 choral musicians to organize every aspect of the conference. My role is “Program Chair,” which is effectively Dr. Head’s right hand in the process. We’ve spent about 2 years on this project, and are now heading into the final stretch.
Within short walking distance and next door to each other are two glorious churches for choral performances, the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh. The evening (plenary) concerts and the honor choir concerts will be in the famous Heinz Hall, home of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Also within a short walking distance are many restaurants for any budget. The honor choirs will be housed in and are rehearsing at the nearby Westin Hotel.
Tenebrae, a world-class choir from England, will be performing at the conference, as will the famous New York Polyphony and the Swingles. We’re very excited that Joe Flummerfelt will be presenting the Keynote Address, and Jerry Blackstone will be leading the Graduate and Undergraduate Masterclasses.
Pittsburgh is the “city of bridges,” as it has 446 of them. Appropriately, our conference theme is “Building Bridges.” One bridge (among many) we’re building is the bridge between choral singing and the world of contemporary a cappella music, a genre that is widely popular in high schools and on college campuses. Our Wednesday evening concert will highlight the a cappella phenomenon, including a performance by UD’s Vocal Point and a cameo performance by the Swingles!
Our conference will feature performances by 15 outstanding division choirs, presentations of over 40 leaders in the choral music, and an overflowing room of vendors of all sizes and shapes.
The benefits of attending a choral conference are enormous, and hopefully life-changing as you continue to grow as a choral musician. We hope you will put aside a few days in March – March 7 – 10, 2018 to come to Pittsburgh and be inspired. For more information, please visit our web site: www.acdaeast.org.
By David Lockart
Immediate past-president of Delaware ACDA, David Lockart is currently the Director of Music at Aldersgate UMC in Wilmington, an adjunct at the University of Delaware, a consultant in AP Music Theory for the College Board, and a singer, composer, and choral adjudicator.