2017 MassACDA/UMass High School & Collegiate Choral Festival

October 28, 2017 all-day
UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center
Fine Arts Center
University of Massachusetts Amherst, 151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA 01003
Kirk Averitt

Registration closes Friday, October 6th

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

The High School/Collegiate Choral Festival welcomes high school choral singers and their directors to participate in one of two ensembles:

  • SSAA Festival Chorus, conducted by Susan Wharton Conkling, Boston University
  • TTBB Festival Chorus, conducted by Anthony Trecek-King, Boston Children’s Chorus

No auditions required; directors can honor their finest and submit singers for both choirs. Participants will sing alongside members of the UMass Amherst Chamber Choir and University Chorale as well as sing together in a combined finale of all festival singers. If you have any questions, please contact Kirk Averitt, High School Choirs R&S Chair, at kaveritt@bcdschool.org.

Click here to register!

The SSAA Festival Chorus, conducted by Susan Wharton Conkling, Boston University


  • This Indeed is Music, Andrea Ramsey
  • “I Will be Earth” from Songs for Womens Voices,’ Gwyneth Walker
  • Quiet, MILCK & Adrianne Gonzalez, arr. Whitney Simmonds

Susan Wharton Conkling is Professor of Music, Music Education at Boston University where she teaches undergraduate courses in conducting, choral methods, and curriculum. As a conductor, Conkling has been praised for sensitive and expressive performances at conferences of the American Choral Directors Association, American Orff-Schulwerk Association, and the National Association for Music Education. She is known as an advocate for Women’s Choirs and contemporary women composers, and she has conducted honor choir performances throughout the United States.  As a teacher and scholar, Conkling has led efforts to develop a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the field of music, beginning with a Carnegie Foundation Fellowship in 1999. She is well known for the creation and implementation of professional development partnerships between public schools and collegiate schools of music. Conkling has served the profession as a board member of the American Choral Directors Association, the College Music Society, the International Society for Music Education’s Commission on the Education of the Professional Musician, and she is the immediate past chair of the Society for Music Teacher Education. She has served on the editorial boards of Advances in Music Education Research, the International Journal of Community Music, and Teaching Learning Inquiry.  Dr. Conkling is proud to be affiliated with the Boston Children’s Chorus Board of Directors.

The TTBB Festival Chorus, conducted by Anthony Trecek-King, Boston Children’s Chorus

  • The Last Words of David, Randall Thompson
  • We Are, Craig Hella Johnson
  • Libertatum, Jim Papoulis

Anthony-Trecek-KingAnthony Trecek-King is the Artistic Director of the award winning Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC). Under his direction the chorus has earned a reputation as an ensemble of high distinction and in 2013 received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program award from the White House. Trecek-King’s performances have been heralded as possessing a “surprising range of dynamics and depth of expression.” He has collaborated on performances with Keith Lockhart, John Williams, Simon Halsey, Yo Yo Ma, Leslie Odom Jr., and Melinda Doolittle.  He has conducted many All State and Festival choirs in the US and beyond. In addition to Trecek-King’s conducting work he hosted the choral music radio program “Together in Song,” presented two talks for TEDx Boston and plays host on the choral music television series “Sing That Thing.” He holds a B.M. in Cello Performance from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and an M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from Florida State University and a D.M.A. in Choral Conducting from the Boston University.

Combined Choirs

  • Amazing Grace, Jackson Berkey


8:00am – 9:00am Registration (Bezanson Recital Hall Lobby)
9:00am – 12:00pm Rehearsal I with guest conductors
12:00pm – 1:15pm Students eat lunch together
1:15pm – 2:15pm UMass Ensembles – stage, Men’s Rehearsal II, Women’s Rehearsal II
2:15pm – 3:15pm Women’s Chorus on stage; Men’s Chorus Rehearsal III
3:15pm – 4:15pm Men’s Chorus on stage; Women’s Chorus Rehearsal III
4:15pm – 4:45pm Combined Ensembles rehearsal onstage
4:45pm – 5:15pm Dress & Prepare for Concert
5:15pm – 5:25pm Warm-up/move to seats at 5:25pm
5:30pm – 7:00pm MassACDA Honor Choir Concert

Registration Details

Step 1: Register using the online form linked below by FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6th. Please submit at least one singer for each part for the women’s chorus (SSAA) and at least one singer for each part for the men’s chorus (TTBB) for a total of 8 students. You may submit more than one quartet for each group, however the form only allows for up to 8 students. If you wish to send more than 8, please contact Kirk Averitt for details on how to do this (kaveritt@bcdschool.org). Click here to register!

Step 2: Upon registration, you will be emailed an invoice by MassACDA treasure Chris Clark for $45.00 per student. Please submit your student’s 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: Please make sure all students are adequately prepared. There will be a random grouping of students selected at the beginning of the rehearsal day who will be tested on parts of the literature. Details on the new testing policy can be found below.
Please e-mail any questions to High School Chair, Kirk Averitt at at kaveritt@bcdschool.org.

Student Preparation Testing Guidelines


The leadership of MassACDA has decided to continue a testing procedure for students attending the 2017 Honor Choir. 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 during Rehearsal I, randomly selected octets of students will be taken from both the women’s and men’s groups. At least one singer from every school represented will be included within these octets. These octets may pulled out into smaller groups, but no student will ever be singled out. The students will then be asked to sing portions of the previously prepared festival music for a panel of adjudicators. 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 2017 year. If the school receives another warning at the 2018 festival, the school will be asked not to participate in the 2019 festival.

If you have any questions about these procedures, please feel free to contact Kirk Averitt at kaveritt@bcdschool.org.