Vermont ACDA Board Members & Repertoire & Resources Chairs 2019-2021
Mount Mansfield Union High School
Caleb Pillsbury directs the Vermont Youth Chorus (high school students) of the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association, and 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.
168 Institute Circle
Lyndon Center, VT 05850
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.
Past-President & Membership Chair
Director of Vocal Music Harwood Union Middle and High School email@example.com
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 currently serves as Past President and Membership Chair of the VT-ACDA and is 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.
Director of Choral Music
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.
12 Stone Drive Colchester, VT 05446
Frank Whitcomb taught in the Burlington Public Schools in Vermont for more than 10 years, teaching classes in AP Music Theory and Music Literature. He also conducted the Concert Chorus and the select 16 voice Madrigal Singers, and has also acted as rehearsal accompanist or orchestra conductor of the annual musical productions at Burlington High School. Prior to teaching at Burlington, Frank taught for 21 years at Colchester High School in Colchester, Vermont. Frank has been very active in music organizations over the years and was for many years the manager of the Champlain Valley District Choral Festival. He has managed the Vermont All State Music Festival Chorus and Orchestra and has managed the New England Music Festival Chorus for eight years. He has been active as an accompanist for many young musicians and presently acts as the long standing accompanist for the Colchester Community Chorus, as well as accompanist for the Bella Voce Women’s Chorus. Frank is assistant conductor of one of the region’s newest choral groups, the Solaris Vocal Ensemble.
Repertoire & Resources Chairs 2017-2018
Youth & Student Activities
Fair Haven High School
Eddie Wilkin studied Music Education at Castleton State College. As a result of the opportunities he had with the ensembles under the supervision of Sherrill Blodget and Glenn Giles, he realized that he wanted to pursue choral conducting. After graduating with a Bachelors degree of Music in Music Education, he went on to pursue a Masters degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Rhode Island where he studied with Mark Conley, Ann Danis, Gene Pollart and Brian Cardany. He serves as Director of Choral Activities at Fair Haven Union High School, the Artistic Director and founder of The Slate Valley Singers, the Conductor for the Rutland City Band, and the Conductor for Lakes Region Youth Orchestra Concert Band.
High School Choirs
Vergennes High School
Cailin O’Hara is now the choral director at Vergennes High School after five years with Montpelier Public High School and Middle School where she directed the High School Honor Choir, Concert Choir, and two Main Street Middle School Choirs. She also works as the Vocal Director for the high school musical productions and has served as an adjudicator for the Vermont All State Music Festival. Before moving to Vermont in 2012, Cailin taught at Brunswick Central Schools in Troy, NY and Cairo Elementary School in Cairo-Durham, NY, where she was awarded Rotary’s Teacher of the Year. Miss O’Hara received her undergraduate degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY and her master’s degree in Music Education from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Cailin has performed with the Stowe Theatre Guild and is a freelance pedal harpist in her spare time.
Middle School Choirs
Choral Director/General Music
North Country Union Jr High School
Daniel Johnstone is the choral music teacher at North Country Union Junior High School where he teaches general music and an advanced composition class. He also directs the school chorus, boys chorus, the auditioned select chorus, and is the Vocal Chair for the Junior High Northeast Festival. Daniel performs both as a soloist and ensemble member in various community groups and has several private voice students. He received his undergraduate degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam.
Show & Jazz Choirs
Billy Ray Poli
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.
College and University Choirs
Dibden Center for the Arts, Room 219
Johnson State College
Bethany Plissey directs the Johnson State College Chorale and Chamber Singers, in addition to teaching conducting, music history and choral music methods. She holds an M.M. degree in choral conducting and a bachelor’s degree in music – voice performance – from Indiana University. When she arrived at JSC in fall 2010, she had completed her doctoral coursework at the University of Miami and was finishing her dissertation on Scandinavian and Baltic Techniques in Choral Conducting – the final step in securing her doctorate in musical arts degree in choral conducting. Bethany taught choral music and choral conducting in several colleges and high schools across the country before signing on with Johnson State. She has served as music director in a range of settings, from church level to semi-professional chamber ensembles, and led choral groups of all ages. She’s also coached and directed musical theatre productions. Her list of choral and solo performance credits, from Maine to Florida, is extensive. A member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Music Educators National Conference and the International Federation of Choral Music, Bethany is nearly fluent in German and has received numerous awards and honors.
Music in Worship
29 Madison St.
Rutland, VT 05701
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
Ethnic & Multicultural Perspectives
Fine Arts Center, Castleton State College
45 Alumni Drive Castleton, VT 05735
Sherrill Blodget is the Director of Choral Activities at Castleton State College 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.
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.
Festivals / Conferences/Awards
Festival Coordinator – Children’s Honor Choir Festival (Grades 6-9)
BIO Coming Soon!
Festival Coordinator – Madrigal Festival (High School)
South Burlington High School
Ms. Bushey holds degrees in Music Education from Duquesne University and the Eastman School of Music. She has been a choral music educator for 17 years, 16 of which have been in the state of Vermont and 13 of those serving the students and community of South Burlington where she is the Choral Educator for students in grades 7-12. Ms. Bushey has been an active adjudicator for the Vermont All-State Music Festival and the New England Music Festival. She served the American Choral Director’s Association for three years as the Eastern Division Repertoire and Standards Chairperson for High School Choirs. She is a long-time member of the Oriana Singers of Vermont and enjoys a few private students when she has the time.
Chair – Robert DeCormier Choral Composition Award
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.
VT-ACDA Annual Scholarship
Applications for this $500 scholarship are reviewed each spring by a committee of board members.
Every two 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.
Headshot 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.