During the first week of February, members of the KSC student chapter of the American Choral Directors Association traveled to the 2014 Eastern Division ACDA conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The students were awarded a Student Conference Fund grant and raised additional funds to attend this event. The chapter’s vice president, Kaitlyn Hart, a junior choral music education major and clarinet player, was awarded a Richard Kegerris Collegiate Scholarship, which gave her free conference registration.
The conference offered morning and afternoon sessions covering such topics as repertoire reading, 10 steps to achieving a successful choir, choral rehearsal techniques, and how to sing overtones. Keene State College Assistant Professor of Music Sandra Howard presented one of those sessions, titled “Developing Vocal Techniques in the Middle School Choral Rehearsal.” “My session focused on vocal techniques, or the varied ways we use our voices as singers,” Dr. Howard said. “I led attendees through specific vocal warm ups, and then we analyzed and sang through middle school choral repertoire to determine what techniques each piece can address in the choral curriculum.”
Choirs from different colleges and honor choirs from different schools performed three concerts each day in two beautiful Baltimore churches, St. Ignatius and Old St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
“This conference is all about teaching us how to be future choral teachers and music educators,” explained Amanda Williams, the KSC chapter’s PR representative. “The different sessions expand our knowledge as music educators. Some of the sessions include choral reading sessions, how to correctly write a resume, and how to properly develop boys’ voices. We will be able to apply the information we learn into our future classrooms.”