Calendar of Events

2019 ACDA National Conference: Kansas City, MO @ Kansas City, MO
Feb 27 – Mar 2 all-day

The 2019 ACDA National Conference will be held in Kansas City, MO.  Keep an eye on the National ACDA website as more information is released.

2019 Big Sing Central @ Fay School
Mar 16 all-day


Non-competitive, Adjudicated Youth and Children’s Choir Festivals

**This event is fully subscribed and registration is now closed.**

Participating choirs will have the opportunity to present short, individual performances, also to listen to the performances of other choirs and to join together in singing a combined final selection. Singers and directors alike gain a sense of being part of a larger, enthusiastic community of choral musicians!

Fay School, Southborough, MA
March 16, 2019

Conductor/Adjudicator – Dr. Pamela Mindell

Pamela Mindell is Artistic Director of the Worcester Children’s Chorus and Music Director of the Cambridge Community Chorus. She has served on the faculties of Smith College, Clark University, and College of the Holy Cross. Under her direction, the Holy Cross choirs traveled to Italy and Spain, as well as throughout the Northeastern United States, singing in such venues as Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Other performance highlights include a concert of Sacred Latin American music with renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw, and Osvaldo Golijov’s Pasion segun San Marco, as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center.

Pamela has worked with a number of children’s choirs, including the Litchfield County Children’s Choir in CT and the Paradise City Children’s Choir, in Northampton, MA, which she founded in 2001. She served as Artistic Director of the Hotchkiss Summer Portals Vocal Chamber Program (CT) for high school singers for ten years.

Prior to her college teaching, Pamela spent a year in Sydney, Australia, conducting and singing professionally. She has sung with The Boston Secession and Emmanuel Music in Boston. Pamela received her doctorate in Choral Conducting from Yale University, where she studied with Marguerite Brooks and David Connell. She holds a master’s degree in Music Education with Kodàly Certification from The Hartt School as well as a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Princeton University.

2019 Big Sing East @ Christ Episcopal Church
Mar 23 all-day


Non-competitive, Adjudicated Youth and Children’s Choir Festivals

**This event is fully subscribed and registration is now closed.**

Participating choirs will have the opportunity to present short, individual performances, also to listen to the performances of other choirs and to join together in singing a combined final selection. Singers and directors alike gain a sense of being part of a larger, enthusiastic community of choral musicians! Application Deadline is Monday, January 7th.

Christ Episcopal Church, Needham, MA
March 23, 2019

Festival Conductor/Adjudicator – Dr. Jennifer Kane

Jennifer Kane serves on the education faculty of the Handel and Haydn Society as the Conductor of the Handel and Haydn Singers, Youth Chorus, and Concert Choir. She is also Music Director of Cantilena: A Women’s Chorale. Previously, Kane was the Artistic Director of the Worcester Children’s Chorus, where she built a thriving and multi-level program with an active performance schedule and frequent collaborations; the Artistic Director of PALS Children’s Chorus in Brookline, where she prepared the chorus for collaborations with the Back Bay Chorale, Boston Musica Viva, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra; and the Artistic Director of the Spivey Hall Young Artists, the treble ensemble that serves as the training choir for the nationally renowned Spivey Hall Children’s Choir.

Kane was the Artistic Director of Atlanta Schola Cantorum, an auditioned ensemble specializing in Renaissance polyphony and Twentieth century compositions. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution described Kane’s work: “Such depth of expression – a fusion of harmonies and texts – was the hallmark of Kane and her singers.” Kane holds a BA in Music from Furman University, an MM in Choral Conducting from Georgia State University, and a DMA in Conducting from Boston University.

2019 MassACDA Summer Conference @ Smith College
Jul 14 @ 2:30 pm – Jul 17 @ 1:00 pm

Click here to register for the conference!

Click here for a complete schedule of events for the conference.

Our annual MassACDA Summer Conference is designed to inspire choral conductors at every career stage! It is held on the campus of Smith College in Northampton, MA. It is less than two hours drive west from Boston in the Pioneer Valley, which is home to the Five Colleges (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and UMass), an area rich with history, bucolic farmland, bike paths and hiking trails, and outstanding restaurants.

Conference headliner clinicians are two fantastic conductor-composers: Andrea Ramsey and Rosephanye Powell.

The Conference opens Sunday with a buffet supper and an opening night Brahms’ Requiem sing led by Dr. Wayne Abercrombie, in honor of Joseph Flummerfelt. A Conference Chorus (participation optional) will rehearse and perform a public concert under the baton of both Andrea Ramsey and Rosephanye Powell on the evening of Tuesday, July 16.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are packed with presentations by the clinicians and distinguished ACDA members, who will offer interest sessions on provocative, practical, and wide-ranging topics that will be beneficial to public school teachers, community chorus directors, collegiate directors, and music in worship leaders. Several reading sessions with large packets of recommended repertoire will be provided, along with opportunities for informal small group singing, socializing, and networking.

Dr. Andrea Ramsey enjoys an international presence as a composer, conductor, scholar, and music educator. Her teaching experiences range from work with adolescent and children’s voices to high school and collegiate voices. She enjoys regular opportunities to conduct all-state and divisional level honor choirs, festival events at Carnegie Hall, and serves as a principal conductor for the Pacific International Young Women’s Choral Festival in Eugene, Oregon. Before leaping into full time composing and guest conducting, Andrea held positions in music education and conducting at The Ohio State University and the University of Colorado, respectively. An ASCAPlus award-winning composer, Andrea believes strongly in the creation of new works. Her compositions are available with traditional publishers and also through MusicSpoke, a digital sheet music marketplace. She enjoys residency collaborations with ensembles and festival choirs, some of which have included: the Allegro Choirs of Kansas City, Ithaca College, and the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans.

Dr. Rosephanye Dunn Powell has been hailed as one of America’s premier women composers of choral music. She has an impressive catalogue of works published by some of the nation’s leading publishers.

Dr. Powell is commissioned yearly to compose for university choruses, professional, community and church choirs, as well as secondary school choruses. Dr. Powell’s works have been conducted and premiered by nationally-renowned choral conductors. Her work has been auctioned by Chorus America and her compositions are in great demand at choral festivals around the country, frequently appearing on the regional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, as well as honor choir festivals. Dr. Powell’s compositions include sacred and secular works for mixed chorus, women’s chorus, men’s chorus, and children’s voices. Dr. Powell serves as a Charles Barkley Endowed Professor and Professor of Voice at Auburn University. She holds degrees from The Florida State University (D.M. in vocal performance, University Fellow), Westminster Choir College (M.M. in vocal performance and pedagogy, with distinction), and Alabama State University (B.M.E., summa cum laude). Dr. Powell served on the faculties of Philander Smith College (AR) and Georgia Southern University prior to Auburn University.

Conference Registration: includes Sunday supper, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday lunches, and three coffee breaks, as well as choral music packets.

On or before June 1:

  • ACDA member $315
  • Non-member $350
  • Full-time student $100

June 2–July 14:

  • ACDA member $350
  • non-member $385
  • full-time student $100

No reduced fees for fewer days. All conference activities will take place on the campus of Smith College. Parking is free in designated areas.

Smith Dorm Housing (Sun, Mon & Tues nights): Comfortable and conveniently located single dorm room with linens supplied and fan (no air conditioning) for three nights. Three full breakfasts included. Total cost $185.

Meals: Two dinners are on your own, which are opportunities to experience the outstanding and varied cuisine of dozens of local restaurants.

PDPs & Graduate Credit: Professional development points (PDPs) are available to conference participants at no charge. Up to two graduate credits are available from UMass Amherst, contingent on enrollment of eight students. Cost: one credit $145, two credits: $245. Contact Stephen Paparo,, with any questions.

Click here to register for the conference!

Click here for a complete schedule of events for the conference.

2019 MassACDA & UMass High School Choral Festival @ UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center--Bezanson Recital Hall
Oct 26 all-day

October 26, 2019

8:00 am registration, 9:00 am start time, 5:30 pm Performance

The High School Choral Festival welcomes high school choral singers and their directors to participate in a treble (soprano/alto) choir or tenor/bass choir. No auditions required; directors can honor their finest and submit singers for the festival. Participants will sing alongside members of the UMass Amherst Chamber Choir and University Chorale.

Click here to register!

The Treble Choir will be conducted by Mallorie Chernin. Mallorie Chernin was Director of Choral Music and Senior Lecturer at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, from 1986 to 2018. At Amherst College, she directed three choirs, the Concert Choir, Chorus, and Glee Club, and coached the Madrigal Singers, all known collectively as the Amherst College Choral Society. The activities of the Choral Society included travel both in the United States and abroad, with a total of sixteen international tours during Ms. Chernin’s tenure. The most recent tours included visits to Iceland, Estonia, Greece, Costa Rica, and Ireland. Currently, Ms. Chernin is teaching music theory at Amherst College.

Prior to becoming Director of Choral Music at Amherst College, Ms. Chernin served on faculties at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, Smith College in Northampton, MA, and Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mallorie Chernin completed a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Westminster Choir College located in Princeton, New Jersey, and did doctoral work (ABD) at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. Ms. Chernin is in frequent demand as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor.

Pentatonic Alleluia–Ross Whitney
Shen Khar Venakhi–Kitka
This Little Light of Mine–arr. Jerry Noble

Practice tracks will be added soon.


The Tenor-Bass Choir will be conducted by Reagan Paras.

Zion’s Walls–Aaron Copland
De Herr Segne Euch–J.S. Bach
Loch Lomond–arr. Jonathan Quick

Practice tracks will be added soon.

Combined Finale:
“If Music Be The Food of Love” by David C. Dickau


8:00-9:00 am Registration (Bezanson Recital Hall Lobby)
9:00 am-12 noon Rehearsals: Treble (Bezanson) and Tenor-Bass Choir (Room 44)
12:00-1:15 pm Lunch (Franklin Dining Commons)
1:15-2:45 pm Rehearsals: Treble (Bezanson) and Tenor-Bass (Room 44)
2:45-3:00 pm Move to FAC
3:00-4:30 pm Dress rehearsals on stage
4:30-5:15 pm Dress & prepare for Concert/UMass Ensembles on stage
5:30-7:00pm MassACDA & UMass High School Festival Concert

Registration Details

Step 1: Register using the online form (link below) by Saturday, October 12, 2019. Please submit singers for each voice part for the SSAA and TTBB choirs, as we would like to have balanced ensembles. Contact Stephen Paparo ( with any questions regarding registration. Click here to register!

Step 2: Upon registration, you will be emailed an invoice by MassACDA treasurer Chris Clark for $45.00 per student. Please submit fees in the form of one check as soon as possible in order to complete the registration process. Payment MUST be received prior to the festival itself or you and your students will not be allowed to participate.

Step 3: Each school is responsible for purchasing print copies for their students. Please make sure all students are adequately prepare. A group of students (at least one from each participating school) will be randomly selected at the beginning of the rehearsal day and tested on parts of the literature. Details on the testing policy can be found below.

Student Preparation Testing Guidelines


The leadership of MassACDA has decided to continue a testing procedure for students attending the 2019 Festival. The purpose of this decision is to ensure all students are adequately prepared for the festival with all music learned prior to arrival. This will allow all students to enjoy the most rewarding and positive experience.

Testing Guidelines

After the warm-up, students will be selected at random for testing; at least one student from every school in attendance will be selected. The students will then be asked to sing portions of the previously prepared festival music for a panel of adjudicators. Students will heard in small groups; and no student will be asked to sing alone. At the conclusion of the testing, the students will return to rehearsal for the remainder of the festival.


If the panel of adjudicators feels that one or more of the students were ill-prepared for the festival, that school will be given a warning for the 2019 year. If the school receives another warning at the 2020 festival, the school will be asked not to participate in the 2021 festival. 

2020 ACDA Eastern Division Conference: Rochester, NY @ Rochester, NY
Mar 4 – Mar 7 all-day

The 2020 ACDA Eastern Division Conference will be held in Rochester, NY.  Keep an eye on the ACDA Eastern Division website as more information is released.