ACDA & Salt Lake City in the Rearview Mirror

Last week I joined 12 of our choristers (with a parent chaperon for each) and four of our faculty at the American Choral Directors Association national convention. The boys were in three different honor choirs – their parents were responsible for getting them to their many rehearsals on time (and feeding them and getting them to bed. I’m not sure if that’s easier or harder on the road).

We other adults were presented with an array of special concerts, roundtables, and lectures on things like voice change. But the most memorable were the concerts: children’s choirs, high school choirs, college choirs, community choirs, professional choirs – it was like trying to take a sip from a fire hose. And then there was the mighty 360-voice Mormon Tabernacle Choir – truly a force to be reckoned with, especially with its own symphony orchestra.

It’s the honor choirs, though, that I’ll likely remember the best and longest. There were the exquisite strains of the Children’s Honor Choir singing Peace like a River and Amazing Grace. The Middle School Boys sang some truly challenging music by Australia’s choral rock star, Steven Leek, and by their conductor, Bob Chilcott, with a spectacularly mature sound. And two of our YME participated in the Community/Latin Honor choir, singing music in Spanish (most at a furious clip) with a conductor who danced more than he waved his arms. They rocked the house!

We hope the boys always remember their moments on a national stage, in front of the most discerning of audiences (thousands of choral conductors). We pray that they internalize a sense of accomplishment and reward for their hard work and make it their new north star.