Mechanicsburg, PA. During the 29th Annual ACDA-PA Summer Conference for Choral Musicians banquet on July 31, 2023 at Messiah University, the Elaine Brown Award for Choral Excellence was presented to Robert Drafall.
The Elaine Brown Award for Choral Excellence is presented to an individual for outstanding lifelong work in the choral art. Started in 1998, this award is named in honor of Elaine Brown, the founder and director of Singing City in Philadelphia, PA.
Robert W. Drafall earned both B.S. and M.S. degrees in Choral Music Education at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. A Chicago native, Drafall spent 10 years teaching in Illinois before moving to Pennsylvania in 1992 with his wife, Lynn. From 1992-1996, Bob was Co-Director of Choirs at Williamsport Area High School. In 1996, he was appointed as Choir Director at State College Area High School. In 2011, he became the K-12 Coordinator of Music for the State College Area School District until his retirement in June, 2015.
Choirs under Drafall’s directions have performed at State and Regional Conferences for IMEA, PMEA, NAfME and ACDA. The State College Master Singers were selected to perform at the Eastern Region Convention of ACDA in both 2002 (Pittsburgh) and 2006 (New York). They were also selected to participate in The Carnegie Hall National High School Choral Festival in March of 2008. Four choirs were selected nationally to this year-long program which included a residency in Salt Lake City, and concluded with a performance of Ein deutsches Requiem, Craig Jessop, conductor with Orchestra of St Luke’s and international soloists at Carnegie Hall.
Drafall served PMEA as District 4 President and ACDA-PA as President and founder of the Summer and Fall Choral Conferences. Robert continues to be active as an adjudicator and consultant, and currently serves on the ACDA Eastern Region Board as Membership Chair.
During the presentation, remarks were shared by several of Bob's nominators, including his former student and successor at State College Area High School, Erik Clayton. Video congratulatory messages were shared by former students and colleagues from across the country. Drafall shared in remarks that this was particularly special as he was involved in the creation of the award and his late wife, Lynn, was also a recipient. Congratulations, Bob!