2017 Fall Conference

October 20-21, 2017

Join us at 1pm on Friday, October 20.
The conference ends on Saturday, October 21 at 5pm.

Vassar College
Skinner Hall of Music
124 Raymond Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY  12604

Click here for the Conference Schedule

Register on or before October 1st!

ACDA adult members pay $50 and ACDA students are free! (But you must register on or before October 1st.) Students are invited to a free dinner on Friday hosted by the Student ACDA Chapter at Vassar College. Breakfast and lunch are provided for all participants on Saturday.


Join us on the beautiful campus of Vassar College with guest clinicians Heather Buchanan and Doreen Fryling, and interest sessions by Victor Bobetsky, Louise O’Hanlon, and Adam Potter. Five packets of scores will be available with a range of music from elementary to collegiate level.

Vassar College


Student members, if you would like to be hosted overnight by a Vassar student, please contact Vassar Student ACDA Chapter President, Nick Ruggeri ~ niruggeri@vassar.edu. We have limited space, so please email right away if you are interested in joining us.


We have a small block of rooms at the Holiday Inn Express at a reduced rate of $229/night.
We also encourage you to use online travel sites for local hotels for comparable or better rates! Please don’t wait until the last minute, as hotels will fill up with “leaf-peepers” who come to enjoy the fabulous autumn colors.


Register for the NY-ACDA Fall Conference


Fall Conference pricing

Fall 2016 NYACDA Conference Schedule

Friday, November 4

9-10 AM—Registration/Coffee-Library-Mercer School of Theology, Garden City, NY

10-11:00 AM-Just let me sing! –Sandra Snow, Michigan State University (Sanctuary, Cathedral of Incarnation)

Engaged minds, a spirit of play, and rehearsal strategies that encourage musical decision making will be explored. Demonstration Choir: Herricks HS Chamber Choir, Louise O’Hanlon, conductor

11:15 AM– 12:15 PM – Critical Listening in Choirs: What Do they hear? -Cindy Bell, Hofstra University, Doreen Fryling, Rockville Centre High School (Sanctuary, Cathedral of Incarnation)

This session will utilize the select choir from Rockville Centre High School, to demonstrate critical listening in action and how it is incorporated in a choral rehearsal.

12:15-1:30 PM-Lunch (off-site, on own)

1:30 – 2:30 PM-Diamonds taking shape-Sandra Snow, Michigan State University (Sanctuary, Cathedral of Incarnation)

Beauty of sound can be a goal of any stage during the rehearsal process.  We will address building vocalism in early rehearsals and, particularly, how to continually re-set vocal goals for music that is well-learned and performed over a period of time. Demonstration Choir: Herricks HS Chamber Choir, Louise O’Hanlon, conductor 

2:45-3:45 PM – How to Improvise With Your Choir in Ten Easy Steps-Marc Silverberg-Five Towns College (Sanctuary, Cathedral of Incarnation)

Learn how to develop loop songs, a cappella arrangements, and harmonic progressions easily in a safe, comfortable setting. Using techniques developed by Bobby McFerrin, Rhiannon, Roger Treece, and other skilled improvisers, your choir will be singing within minutes.

4:00-5:00 PM To schwa, or not to schwa- that is the question! Stephen Pagano, Five Towns College (Sanctuary, Cathedral of Incarnation)

This interest session will demonstrate various proven methods to improve choral diction and dynamics. The vowel sound in a word will be identified, written, modeled, and isolated to help create unity, blend and improved intonation. The Five Towns College Chamber Singers will act as the demonstration ensemble.

5:15-7:30 PM Dinner (off site, on own)

7:30 PM – Featured Choir Concert – eVoco, Voice Collective, David Fryling, Conductor (Sanctuary, Cathedral of Incarnation)                                            (continued, next page)

Saturday, November 5

8:30 AM- Coffee/Registration-Library, Mercer School of Theology

9:00-10:00 AM- Conversation and Composition: Session I, Mixed Voicing –Sandra Snow, Michigan State University (Sanctuary, Cathedral of Incarnation)

 A reading session of music in a modified format, allowing for a deeper understanding of the repertoire through story, teaching tips, and discussion. Complimentary music packets provided.

10:15-11:15 AM – A Positive Approach to Classroom Management in Choir Rehearsals-James Ludwig, Herricks Middle School (Library-Mercer School of Theology)

This interest session explores ways in which conductors can take ownership over their rehearsals and classroom environments in a positive way. Participants learn to examine issues that contribute to student distraction in rehearsal and determine the root causes of off-task behavior.

10:15-11:15 AM – They’re Too Pooped to Phonate, but You Need to Rehearse-Judith Nicosia, Rutgers University (Chapel, Mercer School of Theology)

This session will provide exercises and demonstrations that will release laryngeal tension, relax the vocal folds, improve breath flow, assist phonation, give singers a new way to experience resonance on their own, and help rebuild healthy vocal habits.

11:30 AM- Concert Hour 1

  • Metropolitan Youth Orchestra Nassau Treble Choir, Craig B. Knapp, Conductor
  • East End Women’s Choir, Kamilla Ozman, Conductor

12:30 PM-Lunch (off-site, on own)

1:30 PM-2:30 PM- Conversation and Composition: Session II, Treble and Bass Voicing-Sandra Snow, Michigan State University (Sanctuary, Cathedral of Incarnation)

A reading session of music in a modified format, allowing for a deeper understanding of the repertoire through story, teaching tips, and discussion. Complimentary music packets provided.

2:45-3:45 PM – Music Literacy in the Elementary Choral Rehearsal-Craig B. Knapp, MYO Nassau Treble Choir, Rocky Point School District (Library-Mercer School of Theology)

One of the challenges that elementary choral directors often face is building in quality time for music literacy during rehearsals. Rehearsal time is limited and we often find ourselves focusing on the preparation and demands of upcoming performances and concerts. This workshop will guide participants through a sequential series of activities, warm-ups, techniques, visuals and strategies, all implementing Conversational Solfege. Choral packets provided for attendees.

2:45-3:45 PM – Teaching literacy Through Choral Repertoire-Kathleen Bassett, Buffalo Girlchoir (Chapel-Mercer School of Theology)

The results-oriented demands of a school performing choir can present challenges in advancing students’ musical literacy. Situations where students have varying degrees of previous musical instruction can be especially difficult. This session will describe and provide examples of how the clinician adapted the literacy based Kodàly approach for use with high school choral ensembles.

4:00 PM – Concert Hour 2 (Sanctuary, Cathedral of the Incarnation)

  •  Five Towns College “Quintet”, Marc Silverberg, Conductor
  • Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble, James John, Conductor

5:00 PM  Conference ends

2016 Middle School Honor Choir Registration

May 23, 2016

Dear NY/ACDA Middle School Honor Choir Parents and Participants,

Congratulations on being accepted into the Summer Middle School Honor Choir, sponsored by the American Choral Directors Association of New York State (NY/ACDA)! This exciting event takes place at the Hilton Albany on Saturday & Sunday, August 13 and 14, 2016 as part of the summer music conference co-sponsored by the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) and NY/ACDA.

CONDUCTOR: Our guest conductor this year is Dr. Judy Bowers, Professor of Choral Music Education at Florida State University. From 1990-2000, she led the Capital Children’s Choir program at FSU and more recently has developed a community service partnership with an urban middle school. We are very excited to have Dr. Bowers join us. She has chosen repertoire for you that is diverse, fun, and challenging.

HILTON ALBANY: Our rehearsal and performance site is the Hilton Albany. You are not required to stay at the Hilton Albany, however it is very convenient as all rehearsals and the concert will take place there. Hotel arrangements should be made on your own as soon as possible, as the hotel fills up quickly for the summer music conference. All reservations must be made online at www.hilton.com. Use group code 1NYSSM. Rates start at $144/night.

PAYMENT AND MEDICAL FORM: The registration fee for participation in the Honor Choir is $125.00 per singer. Payment can be made via Paypal:

Student’s First Name
Student’s Last Name

OR checks should be made payable to NY/ACDA and mailed to James Ludwig. A notarized medical form must be submitted along with all registration fees and POSTMARKED by Friday, July 9th.

CONCERT DRESS: Concert dress for each student will be black dress pants, belt, shoes and an honor choir t-shirt, which will be provided upon arrival.

CHAPERONES: Chaperone information and cell phone number must be submitted via e-mail to James Ludwig by July 9. Chaperones may be nominating teachers or a parent who volunteer on a rotating basis to be present for 1-2 hours of rehearsal over the weekend. While we do not expect all chaperones to be present at rehearsals, we ask that chaperones are reachable by cell phone should an issue arise.

NAMETAGS: Students must wear nametags to all rehearsals, which will be distributed at registration. (We will not wear nametags for the concert/photo opportunity.)

Tentative Schedule:
Saturday, August 13

  • 12:00-1:00pm – Registration – Hilton Albany Ballroom Foyer
    (Lunch with families prior to arrival)
  • 1:00-3:00pm – First Rehearsal – Ballroom A
  • 3:00-3:30pm – Break – Snack Provided for Participating Students (Not for Chaperones)
  • Second Rehearsal – 3:30-5:00pm Ballroom A
  • 5:00-7:00pm – Dinner Break with families.
    Please return promptly. It is critical that every student attend every minute of every rehearsal.
  • 7:00-8:30pm – Third Rehearsal –Ballroom A
  • Evening free with families.

Sunday, August 14

  • 9:00-9:45am – Fourth Rehearsal – Ballroom A (Breakfast with families prior to arrival. Please be punctual.)
  • 10:00-10:45am – Open Rehearsal – 10:00-10:45am Open to all Parents, Teachers, Summer NYSSMA Conference Attendees.
  • 10:45AM-11:45am Short Lunch Break with families

Please return promptly. It is critical that every student attend every minute of every rehearsal.

  • 11:45am Pre-Concert Warm-up – Behind Ballroom A
  • 12:00pm – Concert – Open and Free to the Public, No Tickets Required

All further correspondence will be via e-mail. Students should practice music daily, as it needs to be memorized! It’s going to be an unforgettable weekend. See you in Albany!

As always, please feel free to e-mail me with any questions at all.     

All the best,
James Ludwig
NY/ACDA – Middle School Honor Choir Chairperson
Herricks Middle School
7 Hilldale Drive
Albertson, NY 11507

FORMS: 2016 Medical Release Form – Middle School Honor Choir