Millersville Hosts Third Annual ACDA-PA | Fall 2013 Choral Conference

MU Choirs and Winter Center Perform Beautifully!

By Jeffrey S. Gemmell. D.M.A.,
interim director of choral activities
Millersville University

Nearly 100 choral conductors from across the state—all members of the American Choral Directors Association of Pennsylvania (ACDA-PA)—travelled to the Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center on the Millersville University campus to “join together to renew ourselves for the great, noble task of music-making” during the third annual ACDA-PA Fall Conference, October 25-26, 2013.

This statewide event was hosted for the first time by Millersville’s music department. In addition, MU’s freshly invigorated ACDA student chapter, with over 30 new members, assisted in all aspects of the event and was able to enjoy the benefits of the conference: excellent choral performances, informative interest sessions and natural opportunities to network personally and professionally.

The conference opened on Friday afternoon with the Undergraduate Conducting Competition, organized by Dr. Paul Rardin of Temple University, where collegiate conductors worked with the Hempfield High School Singers, Alan Mudrick, conductor. The competition was followed by a conducting workshop From Concept to Concept: Head/Heart/Hands, led by Dr. Christopher Kiver of Penn State University.

In the evening, a concert by Millersville University’s Chorale and Women’s Chorus, under my direction, included three world premieres: “Four Lititz Anthems,” by Johannes Herbst, works selected from my current editing project, “Vivid Light,” by Philadelphia composer Kala Pierson and “Snow, Snow, Snow,” by New York City composer Robert Convery. The evening concluded with a reception in the foyer of Biemesderfer Performance Hall, accompanied by a spirited performance by Millersville’s Marauder Men’s Glee Club.

The second day of the conference was filled with informative interest sessions and concerts performed by choirs of all types. As the previous day, all performances were in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, the acoustics of which were highly praised by choir members and audience alike. The following ensembles performed thirty-minute concerts:

  • Palymyra Area Middle School Cougar Noise, Alex Farrell, conductor
  • Nazareth Area High School Nightingales, Kelly Rocchi, conductor
  • Messiah College Concert Choir, Linda Tedford, conductor
  • Berk’s Youth Chorus Choristers & Chorale, Jeffrey Brunner, conductor
  • Ensemble Companio, Joseph Gregorio, conductor
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania Chorale, Ryan Beeken, conductor

Simultaneous interest sessions took place in the large classroom (Room 202) and the Eleanor Isaacson Dance Studio (Room 225), including:

  • “The Baltic Way,” presented by Dr. David McConnell, Penn State University, Berks Campus
  • “Graun’s Christmas Oratorio: Alternative Fare for the Christmas Season,” presented by Dr. Jason Vodicka, Susquehanna University
  • “Loop-the-Loop: Develop Sound, Engage Awareness, Explore Artistry,” presented by Dr. Jeffrey Gemmell, Millersville University.

A highlight for the Millersville students was the Undergraduate and Young Professional Luncheon, with guest speakers Kiver and Rardin. The meeting gave students the opportunity to mingle with each other and share experiences related to choral conducting. They also asked questions regarding choral music education and future teaching positions and explored graduate school options on how best to prepare for the advanced degrees in the choral field. This was the first time that many students had attended an ACDA conference, which left them excited and motivated to attend the upcoming Eastern Division Conference in Baltimore from February 5-8, 2014.

The Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center and Millersville University enjoyed a successful conference and received rave reviews! ACDA-PA members spoke highly of the Winter Center in terms of aesthetic appearance, acoustics and convenience; however, members were equally impressed with our students in their willingness to assist so professionally with the conference and the excellent performances on Friday night by the Chorale, Women’s Chorus, and Glee Club.

ACDA-PA’s current president, Mr. Randy Yoder, summed it up well in an email I received the week after the event: “Thank you so much for all you did to make our Fall Conference a success last weekend! Your choirs’ performances on Friday evening were outstanding, your students were so helpful and eager and the facility was just perfect. It just couldn’t have been better!”

 

Upcoming Events

  • September 8 at 2:30 p.m.: The Faculty Recital for James Armstrong, percussion, in the Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. This event is $10 for general admission and free for students with Millersville ID.
  • September 21 at 4:30 p.m.: The Senior Recital for Chris Koehler, guitar, in the Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. This event is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required.
  • September 21 at 07:30 p.m.: The Junior Recital for Chad Wynn, vocals, in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. This performance is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required.
  • September 22 at 02:30 p.m.: The Faculty Recital for Dr. Anita Boyle Renfroe, Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. This performance is open to the public. Tickets cost $10 for general admission; MU students are free with ID.
  • September 23 at 3:00 p.m.: The Daniel Roumain Master Class in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center. This event is free and open to the public.
  • September 28, at 7:30 p.m.: The Senior Recital for Nathanael Dazinger, piano, Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. This performance is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required.
  • October 5 at 4:30 p.m.: The Junior Recital for Emma Noble and Andrea Kurnat, cello, in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. This performance is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required.
  • October 5 at 7:30 p.m.: The Junior Recital for Sarah Newswanger, piano, in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. This performance is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required.
  • October 6 at 02:30 p.m.: The Millersville University Wind Ensemble in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. This event is $10 for general admission and free for students with Millersville ID.
  • October 18 2013 at 7:30 p.m.: Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. This performance is open to the public. Tickets cost $10 for general admission, MU students are free with ID.
  • October 19 at 4:30 p.m.: The Senior Recital for Chelsea Snow, vocals, in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center, Millersville University. This event is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required.
  • October 19 at 7:30 p.m.: The Senior Recital for Elina Sergeyev, piano, in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. This event is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required.
  • October 31 at 9:00 a.m.: Music Business and Technology Open House, The Winter Center, Millersville University. This event is free and open to the public.
  • November 2 at 7:30 p.m.: The Junior Recital for Sharon Ho, piano in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. This event is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required.
  • November 3 at 2:00 p.m.: The Senior Recital for David Mengel, trumpet, in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. This event is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required.
  • November 3 at 4:30 p.m.: The Senior Recital for Jennifer Kelman, vocals, in Biemesderfer Concert The Winter Center, Millersville University. This event is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required.
  • November 15 at 7:30 p.m.: To the Colors with The Millersville University Orchestra, Concert Band, and Wind Ensemble, in Clair Performance Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. This performance is open to the public. This event is $10 for general admission and free for students with Millersville ID.
  • November 16 at 7:30 p.m. : Faculty Recital for Jose' Garcia and Kristin Sims in Steinman Hall at The Ware Center , Millersville University Lancaster. This event is $10 for general admission and free for students with Millersville ID.
  • November 20 at 7:30 p.m.: The Fall Percussion Extravaganza, in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. This event is $10 for general admission and free for students with Millersville ID.
  • November 23 at 7:30 p.m.: Choral Ensembles Concert in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. This event is $10 for general admission and free for students with Millersville ID.
  • Note: To obtain tickets (whether it’s a paid event or free), you can stop by the ticket office in the Student Memorial Center at, 21 S. George St. (Room 103), the ticket office at The Ware Center, 42 N. Prince St., you can call 717-872-3811, or reserve them online at www.muticketsonline.com. The ticket offices are open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The Winter Center and The Ware Center ticket offices will be open one hour prior to show time.

 

If you would like to learn more about the music department, or other departments at Millersville University, please visit millersville.edu.

Millersville University