by Joseph Young, MassACDA Treasurer
We live in a world which seems more interconnected than ever, thanks to technology and the globalization of commerce, education, and culture. Barriers apparently have disappeared, or at least they are less formidable. Still, I maintain that while we can make instantaneous contact with our computers and smart phones, in many ways we hunger for that true human to human contact. The art of choral singing is more relevant and important than ever. It is still about making essential connections from one person to another, linking voices and communicating vital human truths to a receptive audience by singing as a unified ensemble. As choral directors, we must constantly seek ways to connect people through this unique art form.
I was blessed to attend the most recent Leadership Conference of ACDA in Dallas on June 7 & 8, and I believe our leadership reflects that priority of making connections. Officers from states and divisions from all over the country, representing diverse constituents and all areas of expertise, gathered to share ideas and to develop long-term strategic objectives based on over 2,500 survey results from ACDA members nationwide. Our membership desired to grow in artistic excellence; develop, expand and engage membership offerings; and strengthen our organizational foundation. The attendees at the conference analyzed the survey results and consistently articulated that the most important issues facing ACDA in the years ahead involved:
- inspiring excellence in choral singing with an equal balance between process and product
- diversity in all manifestations, permeating membership, repertoire, artistry, and leadership
- strengthening our mentoring program, with a particular focus on engaging collegiate chapters and members
- reaching out to other organizations and to local communities to create a synergy that supports our mission and vision
There was an unmistakable spirit of cooperation, passion, and sincerity throughout the process. Our ACDA leaders care deeply about moving the organization forward in a way that sustains and energizes us all to continue to uphold the highest standards for ourselves, our singers, and our audiences. As I reflect on the entire experience, from the strategic planning, to the socializing at mealtimes, to the preview of the 2013 National Conference in Dallas, I am struck by the common thread of connections. We are fortunate to have leadership that places such value on bringing people together, whether in uplifting song, in thoughtful deliberation, or in simple camaraderie. In our often superficial and shallow modern world, we proudly embrace the most basic but beautiful way to connect with one another: our choral art.