Western Division American Choral Directors Association
Candidates for Western Region ACDA President

Lou De La Rosa John Sorber

Candidate Statement: Lou De La Rosa

I am honored to have been nominated to serve as president-elect of the Western Region. I am a Lifetime member of ACDA, having joined in 1981 as a student. It has been my pleasure to organize regional honor choirs for California ACDA, and serve on the Executive Board in California, first as the Bay Area Regional Representative for two terms chairing two regional conferences, and then as President. Prior to my ACDA service, I served eight years on the CMEA Bay Section Board of Directors.

During my tenure as president of California ACDA, with the support of the National ACDA leadership and over 90% of the California constituency, I led the state chapter into affiliate status with ACDA, creating the California Choral Directors Association, a 501c3 tax-exempt, non-profit corporation.

I am proud to have inaugurated and chaired the first two statewide CCDA conferences in San Jose, in conjunction with our music education colleagues, at the California All-State Music Education Conference, CASMEC, after nearly a decade of separation. These conferences, with attendance of 1000 and 1500 respectively, combined the All-State honor choirs, choral interest sessions, performances in the cathedral, and comprehensive reading sessions, meeting the needs of CCDA constituents as well as those music educators who by themselves teach band, choir and more. I am pleased that my predecessors - Travis Rogers, Jon Talberg, and Lori Marie Rios - began the dialog which led to CCDA rejoining what used to be the CMEA State Conference, and that my successors - Rob Istad and Jeffrey Benson - are committed to continuing a united conference for music advocacy.

As you know, we recently experienced a tremendous increase in our dues to solidify the financial stability of ACDA as well as institute creative programs and support services. While the increased dues were long overdue, I was dismayed that none of the increased funding went to state chapters where so much of the vital work of ACDA happens. I believe there is always room for compromise and so as president of Western Region, I would vigorously pursue an increase to the state allocations from the National Office.

It would be my distinct honor to serve you as president of the Western Region.

Lou De La Rosa received his BA Music in Voice and MA Music in Choral Conducting from San Jose State University where he studied with Charlene Archibeque, Mary Breden, Joy Sherman and Ken Hannaford. Lou has taught music in San Jose for nearly 35 years, thirteen of which were at Abraham Lincoln High School, an Academic, Visual & Performing Arts Magnet, where he chaired the Performing Arts Department.

Lou is presently Chair of the Department of Music & Dance at the Cilker School of Art & Design at West Valley College in Saratoga, CA, where he has directed Concert Choir and Chamber Singers for the past 14 years. He is the happily married father of three daughters, all of whom were raised as fans of the San Francisco Giants.

Candidate Statement: John Sorber

My membership in the American Choral Directors Association has played a defining role in my personal life and career for the past 23 years. This organization has been the conduit for building lifelong friendships, experiencing live choral music of the highest quality, learning from mentors and colleagues, expanding my choral music library, and deepening my love of teaching and leadership. My vision for working in Western Division ACDA is to provide servant leadership that will allow colleagues and students to grow and find joy in all the ways that I have and more. The leadership of Western Division ACDA has the amazing opportunity and responsibility to create experiences that will be the foundation of growth, comradery, art, and joy within its membership and beyond. I would like to search out new membership and nurture those that are already a part of this magnificent group. I cherish the thought of helping prepare ACDA Western Division Conferences, events, and honor choirs. It is my sincere desire that my work will strengthen our profession and set others on the wonderful journey that I have been so fortunate to take.

John Sorber is the Choral and Vocal Professor at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA and was recently selected to receive the California Music Educators Association 2019 State Choral Educator Award. Throughout his career, he has conducted elementary, middle school, high school, community college, community chorus and church choirs. In addition to his teaching, Mr. Sorber has served as a musical theater director, choral adjudicator and clinician, honor choir manager at local and national levels, teacher mentor, tenor soloist, and private voice teacher.

As the head of the vocal and choral departments at COS, he oversees the vocal music majors, conducts the Chamber Singers and Concert Choir, and is the vocal music director for the COS musicals. Also Under Mr. Sorber’s direction, the community-based Sequoia Chamber Chorale recently performed the “Messe de Requiem” by Gabriel Fauré and has performed other major works and quality choral literature. He has also served in various leadership positions for California ACDA and CMEA.

In the spring of 2019, Mr. Sorber will be the guest choral conductor for the high school “Grand Night of Music” in Bakersfield, CA and the Northern Section CMEA Middle School Select Honor Choir. He was honored to be the quest conductor for the 2017 California ACDA Central Section TTBB Honor Choir and the 2015 CMEA Capitol Section High School Honor Choir. He has also been the guest conductor for multiple "Real Men Sing" events throughout California. During his teaching career, Mr. Sorber has received the “Crystal Apple Award” for excellence in teaching (2014), the CMEA Central Section Choral Educator of the Year (2006), the TKMEA Choral Educator of the Year (2006), the El Diamante High School Teacher of the Year (2003), and the Dinuba, CA "Excellence in Education" award (2002).

Mr. Sorber received his Bachelor of Arts from Fresno Pacific University in vocal performance and music education and his Master of Arts degree in choral conducting from Fresno State University. He resides in Visalia, CA with his wife Shawna and their children Abigail and Charles.

 

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