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Virtual Conference Update

Hello SD-ACDA friends!

This is just a friendly reminder about our upcoming first ever SD-ACDA virtual conference, which will take place in your homes/offices/decks/patios on Wednesday and Thursday, July 29 and 30. The schedule, presenter bios, and registration information is attached to this email. Remember that the cost is only $25 for the early bird registration, which is until July 15! This information is also on the website:

Even though we won't meet in person, this is a tremendous opportunity to "see" our colleagues and friends, and get some great ideas moving forward as we plan for a new school year, in the midst of many unknowns.

Additionally, you should have received a document from the ACDA national committee response team on Covid 19, which was sent out on June 15. This is a very well written document that may help navigate some ideas and thoughts regarding on how to proceed in our current world. This document is also on the SD-ACDA Website. Bravo to the response team on a job well done!

Please email me with question or thoughts, or if I can help you in any way.

Have a great day!!




SD-ACDA Virtual Conference- Wednesday, July 29 and Thursday, July 30, 2020

“Envision, Create, Inspire”

Wednesday, July 29, 2020- Central Time

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM –Patrick Freer- “Inside the Choral Rehearsal: Teacher & Student Views”

10:15 AM - 10:30 AM - BREAK

10:30 AM - 11:20 AM – Patrick Freer-“Designing Vocal/Choral Pedagogy for Adolescent Singers”

11:20 AM - 11:30 AM - BREAK (10)

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM – Patrick Freer- “What is “Quality” Repertoire ...for my middle school choir?”

12:30 PM-1:30 PM- LUNCH BREAK

1:30 PM-2:45 PM- Gary Packwood- “Programming in the 21st Century”

2:45 PM-3:00 PM- BREAK

3:00 PM- 4:00 PM- Gary Packwood- “Remembering the Y”

4:00 PM-4:15 PM- BREAK

4:15 PM-5:15 PM- Don Langlie- Reading Session- “New Music and Bonus List Titles”

Thursday, July 30, 2020- Central Time

8:00-8:45 AM- SD-ACDA General Membership Meeting

9:00 AM-10:15 AM- Sara Lichtblau- “Sight reading factory: A Great Tool for Teaching Sight Reading”

10:15 AM-10:30 AM- BREAK

10:30 AM- 11:30 AM- Trisha Fisher and Ann Deckert- All-State Chorus and JHC Reading Session

11:30 AM-11:45 AM- BREAK

11:45 AM-12:45 PM- Timothy Michael Powell- “Tech in the Time of Covid”

Total hours Via Zoom: 10 hours and 30 minutes


Presenter Bios for SD-ACDA Virtual Summer Conference

Patrick K. Freer is Professor of Music at Georgia State University where he currently conducts the 130-voice Choral Union and directs the doctoral programs in music education. He is a former Visiting Professor at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg (Austria). His degrees are from Westminster Choir College and Teachers College-Columbia University. Dr. Freer has conducted or presented in 39 states and 29 countries, including recent guest conducting for multiple All-State and Division/Region ACDA Honor Choirs, and more than 75 professional and/or honor choirs in the USA and abroad. Dr. Freer is Editor of the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing, past editor of Music Educators Journal and member of the ACDA National Standing Committee for Research & Publications.

Session Description

Inside the Choral Rehearsal: Teacher and Student Views

A goal of this session is to examine our rehearsal goals and processes so that we are clear about why we do what we do. And, we'll consider how the various participants in our rehearsals might have differing viewpoints

Designing Vocal/Choral Pedagogy for Adolescent Singers

This session will focus on the "why" of what we do in our rehearsals. We'll unpack some of the tensions between curriculum and repertoire, and between performance and pedagogy. And, we'll consider what all of that means for vocal pedagogy with young adolescents and their changing voices.

What is “Quality” Repertoire ...for my middle school choir?

How do you select quality repertoire that “works” with adolescent singers? How will you know quality when you see it? How do you introduce it? We’ll examine several current repertoire selections for some answers that can be applied to any piece.

Sara Lichtblau has been the choir director at Fargo South High School since 2009 and recently completed her 22nd year of teaching. Sara is both the vocal music director and orchestral pit conductor for the musicals at Fargo South. Prior to that time, she taught K-12 general music and choir in Enderlin, ND and K-6 general music and choir in Dilworth, MN. She is on the board of the ND-American Choral Directors Association as the co-chairperson for Music in Worship and the past representative of multicultural music. She is past-President of the EDC Music Committee and serves on the Music Advisory Board for NDHSAA. Her choirs have performed at ND All-State, ND-ACDA conference and the NDSU Choral Festival. She was the guest conductor of the ND-ACDA Middle Level Treble Honor Choir in February 2019.

Sara is a contemporary worship leader at Hope Lutheran Church in Fargo and also leads the adult Praise Choir.

She earned her Bachelor of Science in Choral Music Education and Master of Music in Choral Conducting both from NDSU where she studied with Dr. Jo Ann Miller and Dr. Michael Weber.

Session Description

Sightreading Factory: A Great Tool for Teaching Sight Reading

In just a few minutes a day, you can make your singers better sight readers. No matter how much rehearsal time you have each week, this is an important tool to use to make your singers better music readers. We will navigate the website and show the features that I have used in my own teaching.

Timothy Michael Powell is a composer, conductor, and music educator (not necessarily in that order!). Currently the Director of Choral Activities at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA, Powell is called "a skilled composer who understands the voice in all stages of development" by New York Concert reviews. Timothy's compositions eclectically span stylistic genres, and include majors works such as Wedding Mass, premiered at Carnegie Hall, Incarnatio Mysteria premiered at Lincoln Center in 2011, and St. George and the Dragon, which premiered in April 2014 at Lincoln Center to rave reviews.

Timothy was one of only 25 educators in the United States to be named a Semi-finalist for the 2016 Grammy Music Educator Award, and won the American Prize in Choral Performance in 2012. He was the 1999 National Choristers Guild Scholar, and a 2002 Fulbright Scholar to Bulgaria.

Timothy has successfully led choral programs in middle school, high school and colleges, performing multiple times by peer-reviewed invitation at NAfME and ACDA conferences. He holds a DMA in Conducting from the University of South Carolina and his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Belmont University where he studied with Tim Sharp. He enjoys membership in ASCAP and Pi Kappa Lambda and serves in leadership roles in NAfME, and ACDA. He and his wife Jennifer have two musical children.

Session Description

Tech in the Time of Covid will endeavor to present two important tools for choral directors to use in the upcoming academic year. MyChoralCoach is a recently released platform for music assessment, developed in conjunction with ACDA and MatchMySound, which allows for guided online practice that includes director feedback, recording capability, and pitch and rhythm assessment. JAMULUS is a free online rehearsal system that endeavors to provide real-time audio rehearsal for small ensembles with very little latency.

Don Langlie is currently owner of Popplers Music, Inc., with stores in Grand Forks, ND and Sioux Falls, SD. In this position, he manages staff and advertising publications as well as reviews nearly 1200 new band and choral publications each year. Langlie also presides as a judge at area music festivals, does music-reading workshops for regional music teacher organizations, conducts the Grand Forks Municipal Band and serves as guest conductor at a variety of band workshops.

He graduated Suma Cum Laude from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Music Degree in 1985. A Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting and Wind Band Literature was completed at St. Cloud State University in May, 2001. Before coming to Popplers Music in 1995, he was the High School band and choral director at Hazen High School in North Dakota (3 years) and band director at Wadena-Deer Creek High School in Minnesota (7 years).

Session Description

Reading session-Choosing the right literature for your ensemble is the most demanding responsibility for conductors. This session will "dip your toe" into some of the new music for 2020, as well as a "bonus list" of other titles that are worthy of your consideration!

Gary Packwood is recognized as an inspirational and motivational conductor, pedagogue, and lecturer, Gary Packwood has appeared throughout the United States as well as in Brazil, Italy, Malaysia, France, Austria, and The Czech Republic. He has been a guest conductor for all-state choirs in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, and Tennessee. Dr. Packwood was honored to conduct the 2018 Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir during the Eastern Region American Choral Directors Association conference in Philadelphia.

Currently, Dr. Packwood is program administrator and director of choral studies at Mississippi State University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting, and conducts all four of the University’s choral ensembles. His administrative duties also include serving as the coordinators for music education and graduate music studies. Dr. Packwood has held similar appointments at the University of Montevallo, Louisiana State University, Citrus Cove Elementary, and William T. Dwyer High School.

A Lifetime member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Dr. Packwood is currently President of Southern Region of ACDA. A member of the National Association of Music Educators: Music Educators National Conference Dr. Packwood served as Vice-President of the Higher Education Division for the Alabama Music Educators Association (AMEA), and is also a member of the Texas Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Teachers of Singing.

In 2017 Santa Barbara Music Publishing began the Gary Packwood Choral Series, which features compositions that specialize in music for developing and advanced young voices. Dr. Packwood earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Southeastern Louisiana University, the Master of Arts degree from Florida Atlantic University, and Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting and literature from Louisiana State University.

Session Description

Programming In the 21st Century

The task of selecting literature for our ensembles is, for some, a daunting task of sifting through dozens of pieces and hoping to find one acceptable and suitable arrangement. For others, the idea of selecting literature is fun, challenging, and can boost our creative energies. I propose an exploration of meticulous ideas designed to organize your thoughts concerning program development and a systematic checklist that can lead towards a more stress less experience.

Remembering the “Y”

With the arrival of Covid-19 and all of its ramifications, it can be difficult to remain optimistic. Our life’s work and livelihood is in jeopardy; our students aren’t singing; and our souls are restless. We all have a story of “Y” we chose to be music educators and it is at times like this that we must remember why. Allow me to share my “Y” story with you - how I lost my right arm as a doctoral conducting student and why I continue to fight for my soul’s calling.


For registration and receiving one hour of credit:

The sessions which will be accessed via a Zoom format amount to 10 hours and 30 minutes. Therefore, to complete the 15 contact hours, attendees may choose to check out articles and write a reflection on each article read. I am pleased to inform you that ACDA is allowing us to view the choral symposium (website listed below) with some wonderful resources through Aug. 3! The required elements of the assignment will include:

1. Access the ACDA Choral Symposium materials

2. Write a summary of each Zoom presentation or article you access, emphasizing concepts you will incorporate into your own rehearsals.

3. After 4 ½ hours of research/writing, email your summary as an attachment to by midnight, Aug. 4, 2020.

Symposium for Research in Choral Singing

545 Couch Drive Oklahoma City, OK 73102-2207 (405)232-8161

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