State Presidents

Arizona President

Katie Gerrich is the Director of Choirs at McClintock High School in Tempe and is honored to serve as the President of the Arizona Chapter of ACDA.  She has been teaching choral music for 22 years, the past nineteen at MHS. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Masters in Education/Human Relations, both from Northern Arizona University. While in her undergrad at NAU, she served as President of the Shrine of the Ages Choir, and studied under the direction of Dr. Edith Copley, Dr. Alan Rieck and Mrs. Sally Hanson. Katie has served as the chair for both the Arizona Southwest Regional Choir and the Arizona All-State Jazz Choir. Katie truly enjoys mentoring student teachers, and she is honored to be requested as a guest director, clinician and collaborative pianist throughout the state.  She lives in Chandler with her husband and 8-year-old daughter. 

California President

Arlie Langager conducts the choirs and teaches voice at MiraCosta College. 

After receiving her undergraduate degree in vocal performance, Arlie taught voice in the Conservatory of Music at the University of Lethbridge.  She began her graduate degree in voice performance and pedagogy at the University of Calgary before earning a Master of Music degree in Conducting. She taught courses in choral music education, supervised student teachers at elementary and secondary levels, and directed choirs at several universities in Canada before pursuing her doctoral studies in the US. 

Arlie has conducted tours with children, college-aged students, and adults. With the Youth Singers of Calgary, she toured her 80-voice choir to the Bahamas, New York, Australia and New Zealand.  As Artistic Director of the Calgary Boys Choir organization, she toured across Canada and the United States with the boys and changed-voices choirs. She also conducted a major tour through Mexico City, Guanajuato, and Guadalajara as Conductor of the Mount Royal University Youth Choir. 

Since 2014, Arlie has served in leadership for CCDA (previously California ACDA) and began her term as President in July 2023. She also serves on the board of Vox Peregrini, a pilgrimage choir that has walked in Ireland and Spain.

Hawaii President

Mr. Christopher Serrano is the Music Director at Church of the Crossroads and Music Instructor at Ala Wai Elementary School. He presently serves as president of the Hawai‘i Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. Mr. Serrano holds a BA in General Music from Jacksonville State University and a Post-Baccalaureate in K-12 Music Education from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa along with studies in Ethnomusicology. Mr. Serrano served as tenor section leader for the JSU A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers performing in various festivals including a performance of Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna at Carnegie Hall in 2015. At UHM, Mr. Serrano was a member of the UH Choirs, President of the Ethnomusicology Association, and a conductor for the production of Fights and Delights in 2018, receiving recognition through multiple scholarships including the Grow Our Own Teachers Initiative from 2021 to 2023. In 2020, Mr. Serrano joined the Church of the Crossroads. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Crossroads Choir remained active, achieving over 200 virtual choir recordings with global participation, and was featured during the annual Global HOPE Blue Christmas Service hosted by the National United Church of Christ. In 2024, Mr. Serrano was selected as the Rotary Club of Honolulu Sunset’s “Teacher of the Year” for their annual Rotary Vocational Service Award, reflecting his work within the community and his passion for music education, classical, and multi-cultural music.

Nevada President

Jennifer Lowry is a choir director in the Clark County School District.  She has taught middle school choir for 17 years, 14 of which have been at Del Webb Middle School.  She attended Western Washington University where she earned her Bachelor of Music in Education.  She is honored to serve as the Nevada ACDA President.  Mrs. Lowry’s choirs have performed at Regional and National ACDA Conferences (2014, 2019).  She is committed to helping her students learn to express their emotions through music in a safe and respectful environment.  Mrs. Lowry knows and understands how important music is and hopes to instill that same passion in her students.  She wishes that each student will continue their love of music into high school and beyond. Mrs. Lowry has been a guest conductor and adjudicator in several states.  She lives in Henderson, Nevada with her husband, daughter, and dog.  

Utah President

Emily Mercado, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Choral Music Education and the Music Education Area Head at The University of Utah where she teaches choral music education courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, supervises music education student research, and conducts Voci Altissime, a treble voice choir. Mercado is an active conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and researcher. Her research has appeared in leading music education journals including Research Studies in Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, The British Journal of Music Education, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education and Arts Education Policy Review. Mercado has presented at the Society for Music Teacher Education Symposium, NAfME’s Research and Teacher Education National Conference, the American Education Research Association Annual Meeting, and several state and regional music education conferences. Mercado currently serves as president on the ACDA-UT board. Mercado is also actively involved in developing community partnerships with area schools.

Mercado received a Ph.D. in Music Education from Louisiana State University, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Oregon State University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oregon State University. Prior to joining the faculty at The University of Utah, Mercado taught choir for nine years at Crescent Valley High School and Cheldelin Middle School in Corvallis, OR. Mercado also held the post of Associate Conductor of the Corvallis Repertory Singers