2018 MassACDA & UMass High School Choral Festival

October 20, 2018 all-day
UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center--Bezanson Recital Hall
Fine Arts Center
University of Massachusetts Amherst, 151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA 01003
Kirk Averitt

Registration EXTENDED! The new deadline is Saturday, October 13th. Cost: $45 per singer

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 one combined SATB ensemble.

No auditions required; directors can honor their finest and submit singers for the combined choir. Participants will sing alongside members of the UMass Amherst Chamber Choir and University Chorale. If you have any questions, please contact High School Choir R&R Chair Kirk Averitt at kaveritt@bcdschool.org.

Click here to register!

The Festival Chorus will be conducted by Dr. Stephen A. Paparo, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Stephen A. PaparoDr. Stephen A. Paparo is Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and conductor of the University Chorale. He holds degrees from Michigan State University (Ph.D.), Syracuse University (M.M.), and Ithaca College (B.M.), and is a Guild Certified Practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education. As a former public school teacher, he taught junior and senior high school choral music for ten years in New Hartford, New York, and earned National Board Certification in 2002.

Dr. Paparo is active as a guest conductor and has conducted honors choirs in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. He has presented at international, national, and state conferences, including International Symposium on Performance Science (Kyoto, Japan), The Phenomenon of Singing International Symposium (St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada), Suncoast Music Education Research Symposium (Tampa, FL), and American Choral Directors Association Eastern Division Conference. He is President for the Massachusetts chapter for the American Choral Directors Association, and has previously served as Student Activities chair.

His research interests include the application of the Feldenkrais Method to singing instruction in the choral setting, non-traditional choral ensembles, such as contemporary collegiate a cappella, virtual choirs, and circle singing groups, and LGBTQ studies in music education. He is published in Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, International Journal of Music Education, and Music Education Research, and has a chapter, “Circle singing: Composing Improvisation and Improvising Composition” in Musicianship: Composing in Choir, published by GIA. His compositions, “Sing in Harmony!” and “A Musical Pun-ology”, for beginning choirs are published by Alfred Music.


Mass in G by Franz Schubert
“If Music Be The Food of Love” by David C. Dickau


8:00 – 9:00 am Registration (Bezanson Recital Hall Lobby)
9:00 – 9:15 am Tutti warm-up with Dr. Paparo (Bezanson Recital Hall)
9:30 – 10:30 am SATB sectionals
10:45 – 12:00 pm Tutti rehearsal with Dr. Paparo (Bezanson Recital Hall)
12:00 – 1:15 pm Lunch (Franklin Dining Commons)

  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm UMass Ensembles (FAC stage)
    • 1:00 – 1:30 pm: University Chorale
    • 1:30 – 2:00 pm: Chamber Choir

1:15 – 3:00 pm Full rehearsal
3:00 – 3:15 pm Ensemble moves to FAC stage
3:15 – 4:45pm Dress rehearsal on stage
4:45 – 5:15 pm Dress & prepare for Concert
5:15 – 5:25 pm Warm-up & move to seats at 5:25pm
5:30 – 7:00 pm  2018 MassACDA High School/Collegiate Festival Concert

Registration Details

Step 1: Register using the online form linked below by SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13th. Please submit singers for each voice part for the SATB chorus. The form only allows for up to 12 students (SATB/SATB/SATB). If you wish to send more than 12 students, simply fill out a separate Google form to register every student. We would like to have as balanced an ensemble as possible. Please contact Kirk Averitt (kaveritt@bcdschool.org) 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 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 testing policy can be found below. Please email Kirk Averitt (kaveritt@bcdschool.org) with any questions.

Student Preparation Testing Guidelines


The leadership of MassACDA has decided to continue a testing procedure for students attending the 2018 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 2018 year. If the school receives another warning at the 2019 festival, the school will be asked not to participate in the 2020 festival. If you have any questions about these procedures, please feel free to contact Kirk Averitt (kaveritt@bcdschool.org).