2018 - 2019 TCDA Board of Directors

February 2019                                             Choral Notes

Volume 51
Winter 2019

In This Issue... 

  1. We Are Not In A Mediocre Profession!, by Christina Chapman, MS/JH Vice President
  2. Take a look at recently added Benefits for Members
  3. Important Dates for Scholarships and Awards
  4. Announcing the 2019 TCDA MS/JH All-State Choir
  5. Recommended Tunes


 We Are Not In A Mediocre Profession!, by Christina Chapman, MS/JH Vice President

As the saying goes... You did not wake up today to be Mediocre! You also did not choose this profession to be mediocre. As choral educators we should have a constant desire to learn and improve upon what we already know and take advantage of every opportunity to learn new methods and strategies.


Mediocre choral directors don't write lesson plans.

Mediocre choral directors repeat the same repertoire every couple of years.

Mediocre choral directors don't challenge their students each day.

Mediocre choral directors don't allow themselves to be vulnerable.

Mediocre choral directors don't attend "extra" professional development workshops like TCDA...

Don't be "Mediocre"... plan now to attend TCDA, July 25-27th, 2019!

The 2019 TCDA Convention is going to be loaded with sessions and clinics that will leave you inspired and ready to start a new school year. This summer's convention also brings a small bit of change in focus and direction. Go register NOW!

The fabulous Tom T. Shelton, Jr., Associate Professor of Sacred Music at Westminster Choir College, is our featured clinician and conductor for the 2019 TCDA MS/JH All-State Choir. Mr. Shelton will rehearse and lead the All-State middle school singers through a wonderful program  of pieces including one of his very own publications. Mr. Shelton will also present a session on new ways you can introduce a new piece of music entitled Getting Out of the Rut-Ideas of Introducing a New Piece to Developing Singers.

Do you need to learn ways you can improve on choral tone in your Treble Choirs? Masters of the Middle School Choral Tone: Princesses of Vowels - presented by Kimberley Ahrens, Jennifer Crawford and Amy Moore will give you insight on ways to build that beautiful tone with your choir as well as pieces that they find are best for building that tone. (Reading packet for SA/SSA will be included)

Changing Times, Changing Voices by Theresa Arnold Pritchard - Reading packet included of TB and TTB. We've all had him... the boy who didn't sing in the 6th or 7th grade and arrives in your choir post-voice change, and shows no signs of pitch matching capability.  Is there any correlation between pitch matching and all his struggles? Pritchard will argue there is absolutely a correlation, and that getting these boys "on pitch" can radically change these young men in and out of the choir room.  

How do you know if your students are really audiating? Dr. Carolyn Cruse's session "Training the Voices in Their Heads: Teaching Singers to Audiate From Day One" will share specific strategies for teaching audiation to all levels of choral singers starting with the first day of school. Preparation for UIL Sightreading Contest begins on day one of audiation training and practice!

Starting out the choral year can be overwhelming and tricky, but allow Tammy Benton and Jodi Hill Coke to take you through - How the Heck Do I Start the Year?! - This will include a beginning of the year repertoire list.

Learning Centers 2.0 - They're Baaack!! - So many have talked about they way they use Learning Centers in their Choral programs. Well, the Learning Center Team of Heather Bolin, Matthew Spitsberg, Alyssa Guerra and Kelly Morgan are back to show you how you can use these centers to improve your classroom engagement and more.

A panel of choral directors from diverse backgrounds and experience levels will take you through a Racial Diversity Discussion, as they relate to the choral classroom. Lauren Knebel will facilitate the panel of directors including: Jennifer Gallagher, Eunince Marrero, Jasmine Reed, and Reginal Wright.

Do you have a hard time Choosing Appropriate Repertoire for 6th grade - NV 7th and 8th grade? - Classroom veterans Mary Jane Phillips and Seini Miller are going to show you pieces that work for these age groups and voicings so you have pieces to start the year or choose for contest. (Includes a reading packet)

These are the Greatest Games!, seriously, you will get to play some of the "Greatest Group Games" that are inspiring for your choir program and some that have been created by the fabulous Bethany Stuard and Nathan and Ashley Dame.

Google 2.0 in the Choral Classroom- Last year we had a great intro session into what Google can do for you but now let's actually create some of those projects. This session will be a hands-on Google experience where experts will take you step-by-step how-to's for Forms, Google Slides, What are add-ons, and more. The more you know about Google for the Choral classroom the more that you will want to put it to work for you.

Our TCDA Board has such a great convention planned for everyone in every division. The Elementary division will have an immersion day and the High School, Church and College/Community division are exciting. If you know someone who has never been to a TCDA Convention, please invite them and we can't wait to see you there this summer!


TCDA MS/JH All-State Choir Auditions FAQs  See all the details here, CLICK

  1. What do you sing the scales on? Solfege or neutral syllable? Please have your singer sing the pitches on solfege or "loo".

  2. What if I have a singer who can't sing all the pitches well? Make sure that the tempo is marked. Have the student sing their "best notes". If there are some at the beginning or end of the scale that are not their best, have them audiate those pitches. Do the best that you can.


Recented Added Benefits exclusively for TCDA Members!

We are happy to announce a new partnership with AAA Texas.  TCDA members can now take advantage of discounted rates.  To take advantage of these discounts, call or email Todd Alexander, 832-339-3605 or [email protected]



, Thank you for renewing your 2019 membership.  You are among those that have done so and are receiving this discount code to use for purchases made with Sightreading Factory.  Please enjoy this exclusive benefit of membership. 



20% discount to TCDA members for purchases from Sightreading Factory.  Use this discount code to take advantage of this great offer, TCDASRF


Visit the TCDA Member Benefits page to see MORE benefits as a TCDA member!



2019 TCDA Scholarship Application - deadline is March 31, 2019

2019 Choral Excellence Award Nomination - deadline is April 15, 2019

2019 Young Director of Distinction Award Nomination - deadline is April 15, 2019

 2019 TCDA All-State MS/JH Choir

We are pleased to announce Tom Shelton, Jr. will be the 2019 TCDA All-State MS/JH Choir conductor.  Online auditions are now open.   For more details and audition information, please go to our website, 2019 TCDA All-State MS/JH Choir. 

Supporting TCDA

TCDA provides wonderful opportunities for professional development, peer to peer networking, personal growth and development and scholarships for college students and professionals striving to improve their skills and career opportunities.

Fortunately, these opportunities are made possible by our very own members and their generosity.  Please consider giving to this organizaiton to ensure we can continue to give back to you when needed.  There are many ways to give and anything helps!  Please visit our Giving Opportunities page to learn more.

  This month's tunes, courtesy of Christina Chapman




TCDA supports the international copyright laws for music publications and all directors should be aware of these laws regarding permission to use, copy, perform, that is protected under these laws.  We encourage all directors to be mindful and follow copyright laws.

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TCDA Board of Directors 2018 - 2019
President -  Pam Elrod Huffman, Southern Methodist University
Past President - Kari Gilbertson, Richardson ISD
President Elect - Thomas Rinn, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD

Vice President, HS - Jason Dove, Deer Park ISD
Vice President, MS/JH - Christina Chapman, Richardson ISD
Vice President, Elem - Katy Flowers, Midway ISD
Vice President, College/Community - Jeb Mueller, University of Houston
Vice President, Church - Robert Stovall, First United Methodist Church Fort Worth
Secretary/Treasurer - Carisa Niemeyer, Richardson ISD

Executive Director - Sharon Lutz
Member Services Coordinator - Tiffany Downey

Texas Choral Directors Association
7900 Centre Park Drive, Suite A
Austin, TX  78754