How to Speak ACDA: A Guide to the Terms and "Lingo" Spoken by ACDA Members

ACDA – American Choral Directors Association. Our national organization, with headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

ACDA-PA – The Pennsylvania Chapter of ACDA.

Board of Directors/Executive Board – comprised of the Executive Committee (president, vice president, president-elect, secretary, treasurer), R&S and Regional Chairs, and Outreach staff. The board meets as a whole 3 times per year – August, immediately following the conference; October; and February.

Choral Journal – The national magazine of ACDA.

Delegate – a conference attendee.

Director’s Chorus – this is a time at the summer conference where all delegates gather together to learn choral works from a conference headliner. In some years, a public performance of these selections ends the conference.

Eastern Division – encompasses the ACDA state chapters of: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland/D.C.

Elaine Brown Award for Choral Excellence - presented to an individual for outstanding lifelong work in the choral art. This award is named in honor of Elaine Brown, the founder/director of Singing City in Philadelphia, PA. Previous winners have been Elaine Brown, Fred Waring, Robert Page, Elma Heckler, Pierce Getz, Helen Kemp, Douglas Miller, Lois Williams, Cyril Stretansky and Alan Harler.

Endorsement – ACDA-PA “endorsed” activities or events are those for which no ACDA-PA funds are required or requested. The endorsement means that ACDA-PA finds value in such projects and wishes to support planners and help the project succeed. These endorsed projects are created and managed by ACDA-PA members and considered beneficial for our members and their choirs.

Executive Committee – consists of the state president, vice president, president-elect, treasurer, and secretary.

Gala Banquet – the annual semi-formal dinner held at the summer conference. At this banquet, an award is presented to a new and aspiring young conductor, and the Elaine Brown Award is presented in honor of life-time achievement in the choral arts.

Headliner – one of the distinguished keynote speakers and features of the annual summer conference. Headliners usually come from outside of the state, bringing fresh ideas to reinvigorate our members for the coming choral year. These individuals present interest and reading sessions, deliver remarks to the conference attendees as a whole, and sometimes also serve as a guest conductor for one of the featured honor choirs.

Honor Choir – a choral festival experience hosted by ACDA at the national, divisional, state, or regional level. Its purpose is to provide a positive quality musical experience that transcends a singers’ traditional level of expertise and to expose singers, chaperones and ACDA members to exceptional clinicians and accompanists and superior choral literature.

Interest Session – workshop sessions that are offered at conferences that focus on specific areas of interest for various types of choral directors.

Membership Categories:

Active - Active membership is for anyone that is active teaching, directing, or performing choral music.

Associate - Associate membership is for administrators and other non-directors.

Student - Student membership is for any student registered in a high school, college, or university and is actively pursuing a degree in choral music, music education, or related area of study.

Retired - Retired membership is for those choral directors that have retired from an active career of teaching, directing, or performing choral music, but wishes to remain a vital part of the choral community.

Institutional - Institutional membership is designed for an educational or other similar type of institution that wishes to become a member of ACDA. The Institutional membership comes with a subscription to the Choral Journal and allows for two paying attendees at ACDA conventions. Institutional membership is ideal for school music departments, church music programs, music booster clubs, or other such organization as well as performing groups. Please note: Institutional membership is not designed for those ACDA members whose school or church pays for a single director's active membership. These members should remain as Active members.

Industry - Industry membership is designed for music-related businesses that wish to become a member of ACDA.

Paid Life or Paying Life - Paid Life or Paying Life membership is for active choral directors that wish to make a lifetime commitment to ACDA and a significant contribution to the life and work of the Association. New Life memberships are payable in yearly installments of $200 or more. A Paying Life membership becomes a Paid Life membership upon completion of $2,000 total payments.

Additional Information - Membership in ACDA is for the twelve-month period beginning in the month the membership application is processed. Renewal notices are sent by mail beginning two months before membership expires. We encourage members to renew membership before it expires to ensure membership remains current.

Outstanding Young Conductor Award - presented annually at the summer conference gala banquet to a new and aspiring choral conductor.

President-Elect Designate – voted upon in the year before current officers’ terms expire, this person will take over as president-elect in the next Board, and is responsible for planning the summer conference during the year they assume the role. The president-elect fills a 6 year term on the board: 2 years as president-elect, 2 years as president, and 2 years as vice president, before rotating off the board.

R&S – Repertoire and Standards. "The Choral Repertoire and Standards Committee shall seek to improve the quality of choral performance and literature in the United States" ~ Article XIII, Section 4, ACDA Bylaws. The twelve R&S Committees, established by the National Board of Directors, provide support, vision, and resources for every major area of choral work within ACDA. R&S Committees play an important role in serving their respective choral areas. R&S Committees provide: leadership, information, networking, excellence among colleagues, professional growth, choral music in the lives of people. R&S Chairs, appointed at the national, division, and state levels, serve conductors, teachers, composers, and constituencies who share similar interests. Chairs possess demonstrated expertise in a specific choral area and serve as leaders in the three primary ACDA efforts: Collaboration, Communication, & Commitment. The R&S Committees have a vital role in ACDA. R&S Chairs and their committee members provide resources which promote excellence in all aspects of the performance of choral music.

Reading Session – a workshop which focuses on exposing members to new music in a particular repertoire and standards area. Sometimes, a clinician will give background on a piece, but mostly, the sessions are read-throughs in an attempt to increase repertoire options.

Region Chairs – representatives on the state board who serve as communicators to the six regions in our state: Central, Central East, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest.

Sponsorship – Activities or events “sponsored” by ACDA-PA are those for which ACDA-PA is responsible for both the planning and the finances. Examples of sponsored events would include our annual summer conference and various honor choirs as well as some events developed by regional or R&S chairs.

Troubadour – the newsletter of the Eastern Division of ACDA.