Summer Conference registration now online

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The Conference

With its new location and format, a Conference to inspire choral conductors at every career stage! Less than two hours drive west from Boston, in the Pioneer Valley, home to the “Five Colleges” (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and UMass), an area rich with history, bucolic farmland, stunning campuses, bike paths and hiking trails, and amazing restaurants. Conference headliners: Dr. Joe Miller, Director of Choral Activities at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and Lisa Parker, Dalcroze eurythmics specialist on the faculty of the Longy School of Music; also the acclaimed early Renaissance choir, Blue Heron.

The Conference opens with a Wednesday evening BBQ in Hampshire College’s rustic Red Barn, followed by informal singing, a keynote lecture by Dr. Miller and an exciting, chorally-relevant movie. Thursday & Friday are packed with lectures and movement classes, as well as interest sessions led by distinguished Massachusetts experts on provocative, practical, wide-ranging topics such as

  • “Building a HS choral program from scratch”
  • “Vocal health for choral teachers”
  • “Working with urban and economically disadvantaged youth”
  • “Tips for conducting an orchestra”
  • “Britten’s music for children”
  • “Provocative Programming for HS/Collegiate/Community Choirs”
  • “Extreme vocal techniques: Roomful of Teeth”

Also, three reading sessions (SATB, Music in Worship, Children/Youth) with large packets of recommended repertoire.

Berkshire Extension

You’re invited to spend an optional final day—Saturday, July 27—in the Berkshires. With bus transportation provided for those who wish, the itinerary includes a morning dress rehearsal at the Berkshire Choral Festival (Britten’s Spring Symphony and Vivaldi’s Gloria, conducted by Nicholas Cleobury), buffet lunch, free time in Stockbridge, and a reception and discounted Tanglewood Shed tickets for the Verdi Requiem (Andris Nelsons, conducting). Family and friends of Conference registrants may sign up for the Berkshire Extension. What a treat to experience so much glorious music in the company of other choral musicians!

The Clinicians

Joe Miller

Joe Miller

As successor to Joseph Flummerfelt, Dr. Joe Miller oversees a program at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ that includes eight ensembles, including two of America’s most renowned choral ensembles—the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir. His 2012-13 season includes Symphonic Choir collaborations with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the London Philharmonia, and the Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, and performances by the Westminster Choir at the National ACDA Conference in Dallas. “He is an inspiring, passionate and dedicated man [who] strives for excellence every day in himself and his students. He has taught me how to use music to communicate honestly and touch people’s lives, and in doing so, he has changed mine.” (Student)


Lisa Parker

Lisa Parker

On the faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College since 1977, Lisa Parker has presented workshops in Dalcroze Eurythmics throughout the US and in many countries of the world. A unique and powerful way to cultivate musical awareness and understanding, and applicable to all ages and learning levels, the Dalcroze method utilizes the physical response to music, redefining the coordination between ear, brain, and body to develop musicianship and musical imagination in a joyful and stimulating way.

Blue Heron Renaissance Choir


Blue Heron Renaissance Choir

Blue Heron Renaissance Choir

Directed by Scott Metcalfe, Boston-based Blue Heron is a professional vocal ensemble that combines a commitment to vivid live performance with the study of original source materials and historical performance practice. Their July 25 concert will feature the music of Johannes Ockeghem, performed by eight singers, accompanied by medieval fiddles, harp and rebec. “…Handsomely polished and beautifully delivered…” (Boston Globe)

One ticket to the Blue Heron concert is included with each Conference registration; to order additional tickets please click HERE

Housing and Meals

Accommodations: Inexpensive ($40 per night), modest, single, un-airconditioned dorm rooms are available on the Hampshire campus—Wednesday thru Friday, plus Saturday if desired. Breakfast included (not Sun). There are also many attractive hotels, motels, and B&Bs in the area; however, they do tend to book up far in advance.

Meals: Wednesday BBQ, Thursday & Friday buffet lunches and several refreshment breaks are included in registration fee. Dinners are independent—an opportunity to experience the outstanding and varied cuisine of dozens of local restaurants.

Graduate Credit and PDPs

PDPs: Professional Development Points are available to Conference participants at no charge.

Graduate Credit: Up to two graduate credits are available from UMass, contingent on enrollment of eight students. Cost: one credit $145; two credits $245, payable by check to UMass on the first day of the Conference. Students are expected to attend Conference sessions W-F, and submit a short summary paper. For more information, please contact Dr. Tony Thornton:

Conference Registration

Before June 1, W-F fee:

  • undergraduate student $90
  • ACDA member $275
  • non-member $310

June 2-July 24, W-F fee:

  • undergraduate student $100
  • ACDA member $300
  • non-member $335

No reduced fees for fewer days.

Berkshire Extension: $95, plus $32 for optional chartered bus transportation.

All Conference registration must be accomplished online through the MassACDA website.

Click Here to Register Now!

Most Conference activities will take place on the campus of Hampshire College, which includes the Yiddish Book Center and The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. A few events will take place at nearby Smith College and the University of Massachusetts. Having a private car will be an asset, and parking is free; car pools will be provided for Conference registrants without cars.

MassACDA would like to thank these Conference sponsors: World Cultural Tours, Cousins Concert Attire.