ACDA Eastern Conference 2018

The 2018 Eastern Division Conference will be held in Pittsburgh, PA. This year’s theme is “Building Bridges” and will feature some truly incredible presenters, performing choirs, and conference choir conductors.

Registration will open in early October and more information can be found on their website HERE.

We hope to see you there and connect with our Vermont community in Pittsburgh!

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Choir audition & Interest Session for ACDA-East Pittsburgh due April 15

Mark your calendars for the ACDA East biennial conference takes place March 7-10, 2018 in Pittsburgh.

Please note the April 15, 2017 deadline for interest proposals and choir audition materials.
Links to the ACDA East web provide details:

Applications for individual singers (elementary through high school) to perform as part of an honor choir are due June 30, 2017. See details for each choir at


ACDA East: 2016

This year’s Eastern Division Conference, Pushing Boundaries, will take place in Boston from February 10-13, 2016.

The WEBSITE contains a clear overview, schedule, and registration information.
The board will be attending on the ORANGE track and hopes to see you there. We look forward to having a strong VT representation at the conference to support the wonderful VT student singers participating in the Eastern Division Choirs.

See you in Boston!


Sherrill Blodget to present at Eastern Division Convention

Exploring the music of the Mexican Baroque: Introduction and performance suggestions for the newly edited Los Maitines de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción by Ignacio de Jerusalem (1768).
Sherrill Blodget, Castleton State College

In recent years the music of sixteenth to eighteenth century viceroyal Mexico has gained exposure through research and modern performance. Motets, Masses, and villancicos by composers such as Ignacio de Jerusalem, Juan Gutierrez de Padilla, Manuel de Zumaya, and Juan Garcia de ZŽspedes have been performed and recorded by ensembles worldwide. Despite this recent rise in popularity and ongoing research into these musical traditions, much of this music remains inaccessible to modern choral and orchestral ensembles due to a lack  of published editions and performance practice guides.

Ignacio de Jerusalem (1707-1769), maestro de capilla at the Mexico City Cathedral from 1750-1769, has been lauded as one of the most talented and important composers in eighteenth-century Mexico. Of his extensive output, which includes Matins settings, Vespers psalms, Latin motets, loas, villancicos, and several single- and double-choir Masses, the Matins services from his last decade are the most monumental in scale. The responsories include elaborate choral-orchestral settings and virtuosic concerted arias.

In an effort to make more of Jerusalem’s delightful music accessible to the public, my doctoral research focused on creating a historically informed performance edition of Los Maitines de Nuestra Se–ora de la Concepci—n (The Matins for Our Lady of the Conception) composed by Jerusalem in 1768.  The Matins, which previously existed only in manuscript, is scored for SATB choir and soloists, and a chamber orchestra of violins, trompas (baroque horns and trumpets), oboes, flutes, basso continuo, and organ. The music exemplifies Jerusalem’s exquisite compositional style, which combines the galant, late baroque, and individual traits. In this setting the invitatory, hymn, and Responsories 1, 3, 4, and 6, are scored for choir and chamber orchestra, with solo sections. Responsories 2, 5, and 7 are set as arias for tenor, soprano, and alto. The arias display the theatrical, operatic aspects of Jerusalem’s writing, contrasting the simpler choral style in the choral responsories and introductory movements. The combination makes it possible for ensembles of varying experience to successfully perform sections or all of the Matins.

Based on my edition, the premier modern performance of the Invitatorio and first two Nocturns of the Matins was given by the Arizona Choir as the capstone concert for the Second International Symposium on Latin American Music  “Exploring Exchange: Church and Theatre, Iberia and the Americas, Past and Present” at the University of Arizona in January, 2009.  The music was very well received. I am currently working on the final Nocturn and preparing the entire edition for publication in 2010.

At the Eastern Division ACDA Conference Research Paper Session (Source Studies in the Music of the Baroque Era, Friday 4:00pm) I will provide an overview of the Matins for Our Lady of the Conception and will discuss performance practice challenges and programming considerations for modern concert settings. In addition I will highlight aspects of preparing the edition, presenting slides of the manuscript and the Cathedral and Archive of Mexico City to put the work in the context of the glorious setting for which it was originally composed and performed. Through sharing my research I hope to encourage further performances of this glorious Matins, and to spark further interest in creating performance editions of the wealth of manuscripts remaining in the archives of the Mexico City Cathedral and elsewhere in Latin America.


Vermont at ACDA Eastern Div. Conference (Feb. 2010)

From Frank WhitcombCongratulations to our 14 selected Eastern Honor Choir members and their directors! As far as I can tell, the following students have been chosen from Vermont.

Women’s Honor Choir
Hannah Chambers   Anne Hamilton, Teacher     North Country  Union, Newport
Kaleigh Clowery   Anne Hamilton, Teacher     North Country Union
Leah Cornelius    Anne Hamilton, Teacher     North Country Union
Julia Doiron      Mary Ellen Harlow, Teacher Mill River Union
Emy Geer          Glory Reinstein, Teacher   Essex High School
Lydia Koch        Glory Reinstein, Teacher   Essex High School
Alyssa Korol      Alan Rowe, Teacher         St. Johnsbury Academy
Tess Lebowitz     Kathleen Fields/Esther Holland, Teachers  Lyndon Institute
Olivia Root       Chelsie Henderson/Melissa Towle, Teachers B.F.A. Fairfax
Men’s Choir
Robert Little     Frank Whitcomb, Teacher    Burlington High School
Zach Smejkal      Caleb Pillsbury, Teacher   Mt. Mansfield
Bengamin Stevens  Anne Hamilton, Teacher     North Country Union
Mark Tkach        Glory Reinstein, Teacher   Essex High School
Children’s Choir
Elizabeth Sachsse Kathy Sherlock-Green, Teacher 
Additionally, we should also acknowledge Sherrill Blodget, Choral Director at Castleton State College and ACDA R&S Chair for Community Choirs, for being chosen to present a research paper, and Glory Reinstein, ACDA R&S Chair for High School Choirs, for being selected to conduct an opening choral selection at one of the Conference Sessions. Middlebury’s Jessica Allen will be one of the conductors for the Worship Music reading sessions.
Also announced earlier was our sole choral group being conducted by Larry Gordon as a featured choir from Vermont.
Congratulations to  Jeff Buettner, director of choral activities at Middlebury College and VYO Chorus director, for his acceptance as one of the conductors that will be working one on one with Helmuth Rilling at the Bach Institute during the Eastern Division Conference in Philadelphia. This is a distinct honor and credit to Jeff, Middlebury College and to Vermont ACDA.
We should all feel very proud of the students, choral directors and choirs that will be representing our state at this Eastern Division Conference in Philadelphia in February. Most of your ACDA VT Executive Board will be attending; I would appreciate hearing from other members that might be planning on attending?
Most Sincerely,
Frank Whitcomb