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

  • November 7 at 7:30 p.m.: CONCERT: "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" - Choral Ensembles (Cantilena & Glee), in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • November 8 at 7:30 p.m.: CONCERT: "Music of the British Isles" - Choral Ensembles (UChoir & Chorale), in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • November 10: “Shadow Day - Spend-a-Day as a Music Major!” (all day event - Free for HS Students)
  • November 14 at 7:30 p.m.: CONCERT: "Haydn's "Farewell" " - Orchestra in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University
  • November 15 at 7:30 p.m.: RECITAL, FACULTY: "Trio Clavino in Concert" - Xun Pan & Trio Clavino The Ware Center
  • , $15 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • November 16 at 2:30 p.m.: CONCERT: "Home on the Grainger" CB/WE in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • November 16 at 7:30 p.m.: CONCERT: Fall Percussion Extravaganza in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • November 21 at 7:30 : CONCERT: Daniel Romain: Civil Rights as Democratic vistas, in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $15 Gen; MU Students 5
  • December 6 at 4:00 : CONCERT: Glorious Sounds of the Season, Clair, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $16 General (Advance); $20 General (At Door); $5 Students with MU ID (Saturday Only)
  • December 6 at 7:30 : CONCERT: Glorious Sounds of the Season, Clair, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $16 General (Advance); $20 General (At Door); $5 Students with MU ID (Saturday Only)
  • December 7 at 2:30 : CONCERT: Glorious Sounds of the Season, Clair, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $16 General (Advance); $20 General (At Door); $5 Students with MU ID (Saturday Only)
  • February 8 at 2:30 p.m. : SCHOLARSHIP: Vyner Competition, Steinman Hall, Ware Center. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • February 20 at 7:30 p.m. : CONCERT: Jazz at the 'Ville, in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • February 20: “Jazz Band Invitational” with Guest Artist Pete McGuinness
  • February 22 at 2:30 p.m. : RECITAL, FACULTY: "Updated Ancients" - Anita Renfroe (with Sonia Lee), in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • February 27 at 7:30 p.m. : CONCERT: "Winner's Circle" Orchestra, Steinman Hall, Ware Center. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • February 28 at 7:30 p.m. : RECITAL, FACULTY: "Raising "Cane": A Devilishly Fun Single Reed Concert" - Christy Banks,in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • March 1 at 2:30 p.m. : CONCERT: "Wind Band Composition Award Winners" CB/WE,in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • March 20 at 7:30 p.m. : CONCERT: "Sing of Spring in Full-Swing" - Choral Ensembles (Women's, Glee, Chromatic Expansion),in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • March 21 at 7:30 p.m. : CONCERT: "Choral Gems of Germany, Vienna, and Venice" - Choral Ensembles (UChoir & Chorale),in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • March 29 at 2:30 p.m. : CONCERT: Percussion Ensemble Showcase (Perc Ens & Lanc All-Star),in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • April 2 at 7:30 p.m. : FACULTY RECITAL: "MU Faculty & Friends Recital" Sara Male, Jim Armstrong, Mike Vitale, Xun Pan,Ware center. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • April 17 at 7:30 p.m. : CONCERT: "Artistry and Art Works of Composer and Conductor, Dr. Timothy Mahr" CB/WE,in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • April 18 All Day : Single Reed Symposium (10th Annual), Millersville University. $15 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • April 18 7:30 p.m.: CONCERT: Jazz and Java (Jazz Bands), Gordinier, Lehr Room. $15 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • April 24 7:30 p.m.: CONCERT: Chamber/World Percussion Concert, in Biemesderfer Concert Hall, The Winter Center, Millersville University. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • April 25 All Day: WORKSHOP: Percussive Arts Society "Day of Percussion", Millersville University. $5-active PAS members; $10-general; Evening Gala Concert-$10-general/free MU
  • May 1 at 7:30 p.m.: CONCERT: "Orchestral Masterworks" Orchestra, Ware Center. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
  • May 3 at 2:30 p.m.: CONCERT: "Mostly Mozart Choral Collage Concert" - Choral Ensembles (Chorale, UChoir, Cantilena, Glee), Clair Hall, The Winter Center. $10 Gen; MU Students FREE with ID
 

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

Millersville University