Call for Performing Groups 2024
ACDA Western Region (WACDA) is extending an open invitation to performing groups for the 2024 Many Voices, One Song regional conference in Pasadena, California. We encourage submissions from conductors and choral ensembles that address the conference theme Many Voices, One Song, highlighting both the diversity of our membership and the way music unites us. In establishing greater inclusivity within the conference, applicants will be asked to share about who they serve in their respective communities, and how the ensemble embodies the theme of “Many Voices, One Song.”
Video/virtual choirs will not be considered for the 2024 conference.
A conference is an opportunity for attendees to learn and grow. ACDA Western Region wants to celebrate the diverse voices that are emblematic of our entire region. The 2024 regional conference is seeking to feature performing groups that amplify voices both seen and unseen. Choral excellence is representative of our individual communities, and as musicians, our strength is in our diversity.
ACDA Western Region wants to ensure that every performing choir that applies will benefit from this perspective and experience. This year we are excited to share that all applications will be returned with comments and feedback, regardless of acceptance status. ACDA Western Region is doing this to show that we are committed to the growth process that is a part of applying for any conference performance. This isn’t just an application, but an opportunity to receive cyclical feedback from members of our community.
Applicants will be asked to tell the story of their choral organization without identifying the name of the ensemble or the conductor. “Telling the story” includes, but is not limited to the sharing of the mission, philosophy, and legacy of the ensemble; who participates in the ensemble; the surrounding community that the organization serves; the programming practices of the choral ensemble. Stories should be no more than 300 words.
The electronic application will include:
- Conductor’s name, home address, phone, email address
- Name of institution/organization, address
- Name of choir, number of singers, voicing, age level
- Willingness to participate as a demonstration choir
- The story of the choral organization (see above)
o 300 words or less
o The text should tell the story of the choral organization without identifying the name of the ensemble or the conductor.
- Three performance programs scanned in pdf format as proof of conducting and programming for each year represented on the recordings
o Documents are representative of the auditioning group’s programming.
o Programs should correspond with the recordings represented in the audio file submissions (i.e. one program from 2019-2020 OR 2020-2021, one from 2021-2022, and one from 2022-2023). Remove all identifying information from programs, i.e., conductor name, school name, logos, etc. Failure to do so will result in disqualification of your application.
o For the 2024 conference, a program/recording from the 2019-2020 year OR the 2020-2021 year may be included as one of the three scanned documents.
- Proposed repertoire for the 2024 conference
o Include title, composer, and approximate performance time in minutes and seconds.
o Total program time may not exceed 25 minutes including stage set up, entrance, exit, and applause.
o ACDA encourages conductors to program a variety of styles from various eras unless proposing a concert by a single composer or genre. When you submit your application on Submittable, your proposed program is part of your application and approval. Any changes to your program must be approved by the performing choirs team prior to October 1, 2023.
o One manuscript (unpublished) piece may be included.
o The use of photocopies or duplicated music at ACDA conferences is strictly prohibited.
- Three recordings in mp3 format (Unedited, live recordings. No videos will be accepted on Submittable) based upon the following specifications:
o Files are unedited, complete pieces.
o Files should correspond with the years of programming represented in the program documents.
o Files are from no earlier than fall 2019.
o An audio recording from the 2020-2021 year/season is not required, and a file from 2019-2020 may be used for the application in its place (exception for the 2024 conference). If audio files from 2019-2020 are used for the application, the conductor needs to have been with the organization since at least fall 2019.
o Files submitted are contrasting selections to illustrate the breadth of the ensemble’s repertoire and ability.
o Files have no mention of the ensemble or conductor’s name in the recording (to ensure unbiased listening on the part of the audition committee).
o Please name the recording file as follows: Conductor’s ACDA Membership Number + Choir Type + File Number (i.e., 1234567HSSATB2.mp3)
All applications must be submitted online at the link provided by ACDA Western Region by April 15, 2023.
The director of an ensemble applying for choral performance at an ACDA Conference must be a current member of ACDA; membership shall not expire on or before the last day of the Conference.
The director of the ensemble must have been employed in the same position for no less than three consecutive years.
No ensemble or director may appear at successive National or successive Region Conferences. Ensembles that appear at a National Conference may audition and appear at the following Region Conference and vice versa. Ensembles that appeared only as a demonstration choir are exempt from this rule.
Choral ensembles and conductors that appeared at the 2022 ACDA Western Region Conference in Long Beach will not be allowed to appear in the 2024 ACDA Western Region Conference in Pasadena.
It is understood that ACDA Western Region will not assume financial responsibility for travel, food, or lodging for conductors or choir participants. Submitting an application implies that the ensemble is prepared to travel and perform at the conference if accepted.
No recorded accompaniment may be used on an audition recording or in performance at an ACDA Conference. Only live accompaniment is permitted.
“As an ACDA member, I will comply with the copyright laws of the United States of America, including the illegal downloading of music from the Internet. Compliance with these laws is a condition of participation by clinicians and performing ensembles that appear on any ACDA sponsored event or Conference.”
(ACDA Policies and Procedures Manual Guide, adopted by the National Board of Directors August 2002.)
All audition applications will be handled via the ACDA online system to ensure a fair and unbiased review of all submissions.
Reading the stories of applying choral organizations will be key to the selection process. Any identifying information included within application materials will be redacted by Conference Performing Group Co-Chairs in order to ensure an equitable and blind listening process among conference listening panels. Listening panels will select performing groups without specific knowledge of the identity of the choir or conductor.
Schedule of Dates:
Applications for Performance Choirs Due: April 15, 2023
Letters of Acceptance/Rejection Sent to Applicants: starting June 15, 2023
Information Letter to Performing Choirs: Mid-August 2023
Performance Choir Bios/Info Due: September 1, 2023
Performance Choir Photos for Choral Journal/ACDA App Due: October 1, 2023
Information Letter to Performing Choirs: Mid-November 2023
Final Information Letter to Performing Choirs: Early February 2024
Download this information as a PDF here.
If you would like to see how Performing Choir Applications are evaluated, view the Performing Choirs rubric here.
Performance Application FAQ
What are you looking for in the “Story of the Organization?”
This is an opportunity for the committee to understand the circumstances of each choir in order to consider excellence that exists outside the traditional paradigm of performance application.
Inspirational choirs come in all manner of expression.
We are looking for ways to open the application process while still maintaining high standards of excellence AND anonymity. To that end, we will have layers of screening and blind auditions. Knowing a bit about each choir’s story will help us seek excellence in ways other than simply performance.
What if I already submitted and wish to make adjustments as a result of these clarifications?
Please write to Michael Short, for individualized attention.
Instructions say to not label anything with either conductor or school/community name but then later in the instructions to label the recording as conductor name/community etc. That seems contradictory.
This does seem contradictory, but if we have no identification on the file, it can be easily mixed up. We will have one person setting up the recordings for a blind audition by others. Please keep any identification out of the performance recording, but rest assured that your file name will be changed to an anonymous designation by the non-voting organizer.