Scroll for headshots and bios!
|Caleb Pillsbury||President & Gather at the River Conference Chairfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Stefanie Weigand||Past-President &|
|Molly Clark||Youth R&Remail@example.com|
|Sherrill Blodgett||Collegiate R&R||sherrill.Blodget@castleton.edu|
|Eddie Wilkin||Youth & Student Activities Chairfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ariel Wade||Student Representative|
|Lori Routhier||Life-Long R&Remail@example.com|
|Billy Ray Poli||Encompassing Genres R&Rfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Andrea Nardone||Advocacy & Collaborationemail@example.com|
|Heather Schoppmann||Children’s Honor Choir Festival Coordinatorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Aimee Bushey||Madrigal Festival Coordinatoremail@example.com|
|Matt LaRocca||Robert DeCormier Choral Composition Award Chairfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Vermont ACDA Executive Board
Mount Mansfield Union High School
Caleb Pillsbury is the choral director at Mount Mansfield Union High School in Jericho, Vermont where he conducts four choirs and advises on three student run a cappella ensembles. Caleb also teaches the guitar, piano and the AP Music Theory curriculums. After eleven years teaching Caleb has developed a choral program and music department regarded for its high amount of student participation and musical excellence. Under his direction the choirs perform regularly at Carnegie Hall in New York City, as well as in exchange concerts and workshops in Philadelphia and Princeton, New Jersey. Maintaining a rigorous performance schedule, the choral program focuses students on the development of musicianship and vocal technique. Caleb holds an undergraduate degree in Choral Music Education from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in Choral Conducting from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. While in Cardiff, Caleb served as the American dialect coach for the Welsh National Youth Opera 2013 production of Paul Bunyon by Benjamin Britten, which received the Royal Philharmonic Society Opera and Musical Theater Award. He also performed with the BBC National Chorus of Wales, the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, and the London Symphony Chorus. In 2010 Caleb was named the University of Vermont Outstanding Educator of the Year for the Chittenden East Supervisory Union.
Susanne Norwood is the vocal and instrumental director at Lyndon Institute, an independent
high school, in Lyndon Center, VT. She is the director of five ensembles which include concert band, jazz band, world music, chorus, and an auditioned after school select chorus. In addition to these ensembles, Susanne teaches AP Music Theory and is the musical director and accompanist for the school’s annual musical. Susanne is also the founding director of the Caledonia Children’s Chorus, an advanced choral group open to selected local students in grades 3 and above.
Before moving to Vermont, Susanne taught at Ho’okena School in South Kona, Hawaii and was also the director of the Kona Community Children’s Chorus. Susanne has performed with the Syracuse Oratorio Society, and has been a soloist in the Kona Community Chorus, Lyndon State College Community Chorus, Pumpkin Hill Singers, and in the North Country Chorus.
Susanne graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in music education. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in music education with a specialization in conducting from Colorado State University.
Harwood Union Middle/High School
Stefanie Weigand is a graduate of Ithaca College’s Musical Theatre program. She has toured nationally with Story Salad children’s theatre company and performed with the New York Choral Society. Since moving to Vermont, she has appeared as a vocalist, pianist, and music director for various organizations including TURNmusic, the Vermont Philharmonic, Stowe Theatre Guild, Cafe Noir Productions, Lyric Theatre, Music-COMP, the Green Mountain Mahler Festival, Burlington Civic Symphony Orchestra, and the Green Mountain Opera Festival. Stefanie had the pleasure of portraying Bobbie in the Nielsen/Budbill opera, “A Fleeting Animal” and her background vocals can also be heard on a number of albums released through Lane Gibson studios and Lovetown Recording.
Stefanie enjoys working as a presenter, clinician, and guest conductor. She is currently the choral director at Harwood Union Middle and High School in central Vermont where she teaches MS and HS chorus, acting, and conducts two honors ensembles (I Cantori and Harwood Vocal Jazz). She was also the 2014 recipient of the VMEA’s Outstanding New Music Educator Award. In addition to serving as Past President and Membership Chair of the VT-ACDA until 2021, she will be Youth R&R on the ACDA Eastern Region Board from 2020-2022 under Eastern Region President, Penelope Cruz. Stefanie is also currently on the NAfME Council for Choral Education.
North Country Union High School
Danielle Carrier is the director of choral music at North Country Union High School where she teaches AP Music Theory, Piano, and Chorus. She also conducts three additional ensembles, and is the Co-Director of the Northeast Music Festival. Her students have been accepted to festivals at the District, State, New England, and National levels. She received her BM in Music Education from Ithaca College and is pursuing her Masters in Music Education from the University of Michigan. Danielle also runs North Country’s after-school musical theatre program and will be directing the school musical in the fall. She is a member and frequent soloist of North Song, Newport’s adult choral ensemble, and has performed with Vermont Family Theatre, QNEK Productions, Stowe Theatre Guild, and Lamoille County Players.
Colchester High School
Melissa Towle is the choral music teacher at Colchester High School where she conducts the freshmen Chorus, Concert Choir, the Testostertones, and two auditioned ensembles: Chamber Singers (SATB) and Chorale (treble). She also conducts the 5th grade chorus for her school district. Towle is a Vermont native who grew up in Jeffersonville. Having grown up in a musical family, she decided as a teenager that she wanted to teach music. Throughout the past twenty years she has taught elementary general music, beginner instrumental, and high school choral music.
She received her Master of Music Education from Gordon College in Wenham, MA, and received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Johnson State College. Her students have been placed in District, All State, New England, NAfME All-Eastern/All-National and ACDA choral festivals.
Melissa lives in Colchester with her amazing husband and three teenage boys.
Leland & Gray Union Middle and High School
James Pecsok is the Choral Director at Leland & Gray Union Middle and High School. He teaches middle and high school Chorus as well as woodwind lessons. James is also the Music Director for the musical, Chamber Choir and the adviser to the Tri-M chapter at Leland & Gray. In 2017 James received his Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education at the University of Hartford’s, The Hartt School. James has a diverse musical background and has had private study in several areas. He has studied saxophone with Carrie Koffman and Steven Klimowski, piano with Kevin Parizo and voice with a variety of people including Jessica Allen. James has commissioned works from composers such as Mark Ceppetelli and Justin Gates. He has a vested interest in musical theater. James has played in several pit orchestra’s and has performed as a vocalist. He is formerly the Assistant Musical Director for the University of Hartford’s only all-male a cappella group, Hawkapella. He has arranged for the group as well as for The Wheaton College Thundertones. As an educator James has taught privately and in group settings, through his degree program at The Hartt School, as well as through the Middlebury Community Music Center.
Repertoire & Resources Chairs
Montpelier High School & Main Street Middle School
Molly Clark is the choral teacher at Montpelier High School and Main Street Middle School. She directs the High School Honor Choir, Concert Choir, and Treble Choir, as well as two choirs at MSMS. She also teaches 6th grade general music at MSMS. Molly serves as the music director for both the MHS Masque Theater Program and the MSMS Drama Club. She is also the music director for the Chandler Music Hall Annual Youth Musical and has performed in and music directed local adult theater productions. As a performer, Molly has sung with the VSOC, the Green Mountain Monteverdi Ensemble of Vermont, the Gettysburg College Choir and Camerata, and local community choirs. As a student, she conducted the Gettysburg Children’s Choir, Gettysburg College Choir, and Bermudian Springs High School choirs. Molly received her Bachelors of Music Education from the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College.
Sherrill Blodget is the Director of Choral Activities at Castleton University where she directs the Collegiate Chorale and The Castleton Chamber Singers, and teaches voice, conducting, vocal pedagogy, music appreciation, and global music. Dr. Blodget has directed university, community, church, and high school choirs across the United States, working with a wide spectrum of abilities and ages. She is in demand as an adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor, and serves as the Vermont representative on the National Board of the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO). She actively pursues research on the music of viceroyal Mexico, and has presented her work at the 2006 and 2008 International Symposiums on Latin American Choral Music held at the University of Arizona. She will present on her edition of Los Maitines de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción (1768) by Ignacio de Jerusalem at the research forum of the 2010 Eastern Division ACDA. Blodget holds a DMA from the University of Arizona, MM in Choral Conducting from the University of Oregon, and MM in Music Education from the Pennsylvania State University. She was appointed to the Castleton faculty in 2008.
Youth & Student Activities Chair
Fair Haven High School
Dr. Eddie Wilkin thoroughly enjoys working with all ages of vocal and instrumental ensembles with varied sizes and experience levels; while finding a deep-rooted passion in need to create a collaborative system in which we are changing the role of education through a living, breathing, and nurturing environment that fosters educating the child as a whole; including culture, mindful awareness, and metaphysical understanding of self-discovery, under one unified house with a strong community connection.
Currently, he is the Director of Choral Activities at Fair Haven Union High School in Fair Haven, Vermont. He is also the Artistic Director and founder of the Slate Valley Singers (a community chorus), the Conductor for the Rutland City Band, and at the Union Church of Proctor. Previous conducting appointments have been with Lakes Region Youth Orchestra, Grace Church in Rutland Vermont, and as a guest with The Philharmonic Orchestra “Mihail Jora” of Bacau, Romania. Eddie holds an Ed.D. from the University of New England, MM in Choral & Orchestral Conducting from the University of Rhode Island, and both an MM.Ed & BM.Ed in Music Education from Castleton University. For more information, please visit: www.edwardwilkin.com
Ariel Wade is a junior music education major with a vocal concentration at Castleton University. She currently performs in the university chamber singers, chorale, and string ensemble, and is an active member of the cNAfME and ACDA chapters. Ariel enjoys taking leadership roles in her community such as serving on the President’s Student Advisory Council, the Music Education Chair Selection Committee, and as president of the university chorale for the 2019-2020 school year. Recently, Ariel has joined the Weston Playhouse as an assistant in their early stages program.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church
Lori Routhier has been an active musician in Vermont for many years now, having been involved in the music ministry of late at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church in Rutland, Vermont. Lori is a gifted choral director, music educator and spiritual director and has shared her very special talents with numerous students and adults over the years. Lori has an engaging style that puts everyone at ease, and her dedication to the music ministry is contagious. For several years Lori was the choral director at Mill River Union High School in North Clarendon, Vermont where she conducted the school choral program and taught other music courses. She was responsible for teaching many students there and imparting her love of the choral art to them. Additionally Lori has been involved in many events in the church over the years, and is consistently called upon for special events that require her email@example.comImmaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church
Lori Routhier has been an active musician in Vermont for many years now, having been involved in the music ministry of late at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church in Rutland, Vermont. Lori is a gifted choral director, music educator and spiritual director and has shared her very special talents with numerous students and adults over the years. Lori has an engaging style that puts everyone at ease, and her dedication to the music ministry is contagious. For several years Lori was the choral director at Mill River Union High School in North Clarendon, Vermont where she conducted the school choral program and taught other music courses. She was responsible for teaching many students there and imparting her love of the choral art to them. Additionally Lori has been involved in many events in the church over the years, and is consistently called upon for special events that require her expertise.
Billy Ray Poli
Encompassing Genres R&R
Burlington High School
Billy Ray Poli is currently the Choral/Vocal director at Burlington High School. He conducts the Concert Chorus, and Senior Chorus. He is also the director of Vermont Voices, Burlington High School’s select auditioned group, and the Vermont Youth Choral (grades 6-8) for the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association. Billy Ray moved to Vermont in summer of 2013 and began his teaching career at Chelsea Public School, where he taught K-12 Music for two years, and served as the Theater Director as well. In his second year of teaching he also took on being the Theater Director at the South Royalton School, and was named Musical Director for the Chandler Youth Summer Productions at the Chandler Music Hall located in Randolph, Vermont. Billy Ray graduated from the University of Rhode Island as a double major in both vocal performance and music education. During his time in Rhode Island he competed both at the state, and regional level, and preformed as a guest performer in many of Opera Providence’s productions. Since moving to Vermont he has focused on his teaching career and is looking forward to conducting two middle school festival choirs this year. He also has preformed in some regional choirs such as, Thetford Chamber Singers, Barn Arts Chorale and Bel Canto.
Advocacy & Collaboration
Hartford High School
Andrea Nardone is the choral director at Hartford High School where she teaches Broadway Performance, Guitar, World Drumming, Music Theory, various Music Appreciation classes, Concert Choir, and Chamber Choir. In addition, she is the Vocal Director for the high school musical productions. Since moving to Vermont, Andrea has become the choral manager and president-elect for the Vermont District 6 Music Festival Association, as well as Co-Manager for Vermont All-State Chorus. She received her BA in Music Education and Special Education from Westfield State University and her Masters in Music Education: Applied Voice from UMass Amherst. She is also an active choreographer in both Upstate New York and Vermont.
Festival, Award, and Scholarship Coordinators
Festival Coordinator – Children’s Honor Choir Festival (Grades 6-9)
Chair – Robert DeCormier Choral Composition Award
Executive Director: Music-COMP
Matthew LaRocca is a composer, conductor and educator based in Burlington VT. He is on the faculty of UVM and directs the Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra and South Burlington Community Choir. Matt is also the Executive Director of Music-COMP, a Vermont organization that teaches composition to elementary through high school students and facilitates live performances of their music by professional musicians. Committed to new music and innovation, Matt is the Artistic Curator of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Jukebox’ concert series.
As a composer, Matt’s work has been commissioned by groups such as the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, the New Jersey Youth Symphony and the Great Falls Symphony Orchestra. From 2007-2008 he was the Faculty Composer in Residence for the Montana State University Symphony. Artistic residencies include an expedition to the high arctic through The Arctic Circle organization and free improvisation residencies at schools in New Hampshire and California. He frequently performs as both a violist and a guitarist.
Matt attended Middlebury College, graduating with a B.A. in chemistry and music. He holds a Masters of Music from Carnegie Mellon University and a doctorate from Boston University.
Festival Coordinator – Madrigal Festival (High School)
South Burlington High School
Voting for a President-Elect…
Every two years (January of odd-numbered years), Vermont elects a president-elect, who serves two years on the board in that capacity, then two as president, followed by two years as past (vice)-president. A nominating committee is charged with assembling the ballot every two years, but here are some basic guidelines in preparing statements for the ballot:
Personal statement (ca. 250-350 words is appropriate)
What should your state ACDA members know about you, in terms of your interest in the ACDA board? Our board works together, and the president is responsible largely for organization, for idea development, and any matters related to the national office. It is useful to share your ideas of what is important to you in choral music, what you appreciate about ACDA and what attracts you to a board position. You might include ideas that you would like to see happen with ACDA Vermont, or dream scenarios that you feel are in fact realistic for Vermont choral musicians.
Biography (150-250 words is sufficient)
This allows your colleagues to see a snapshot of your experience, and remind them of what you are doing presently.
A recent photo of professional nature is best; there are not specific guidelines and professional photography is not necessary but a clear, up close and relatively formal photo is best.