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Interest Sessions


Recruiting Boys and Men into your Choral Program in the 21st century

Dr. Nicolás Alberto Dosman

This session will focus on recruiting adolescent males and young men into choral programs in the 21st century. An honest discussion of homophobia, sexism, and other factors that may affect recruitment will be a part of this session. Nuanced recruitment strategies that avoids hyper-masculine approaches will be discussed. Choral directors should leave with recruitment strategies that are effective and inclusive of all males.

Nicolás Alberto Dosman is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music, Choral Conducting at the University of Southern Maine (USM), School of Music. Prior to his arrival at USM, he was the Director of Choral Activities at Colby College and an Applied Music Associate (voice) where he conducted the Colby Chorale, Chamber Choir, and Colby-Kennebec Choral Society. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Molloy College. Under his leadership the Colby College Chamber Choir performed at Carnegie Hall where the Colby Chamber Choir’s performance was described as “an inspired performance, with an enthusiastic audience.” In 2013 he was one of three American choral conductors that was invited to and attended the Musica e Arte Sacra conductor’s invitational in Rome, Italy. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Dr. Dosman is the Maine ACDA youth and student activities chair. Before his arrival to the great state of Maine, he was a conducting fellow with the Continuo Arts Foundation (Westfield, NJ) and was also the director of Casita Sings Children’s Chorus (Bronx, NY). He founded the Miami Choral Festival in 2008 and was also the chairman of the Miami-Dade/Monroe County region of the Florida Vocal Association. He studied choral conducting with Dr. Dino Anagnost at Columbia University and Drs. André Thomas and Kevin Fenton at Florida State University (FSU). Prior to his graduate studies at FSU, he attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he received his B.M. in music education with a vocal emphasis. Dr. Dosman’s research interests include: male-participation in choral ensembles, music teacher preparation, urban school districts and music education, and social justice in urban schools.

They’re Too Pooped to Phonate, but You Need to Rehearse…

Judith Nicosia

When your choir is “sung out,” either too exhausted or vocally impaired to sing well, what can you do to resuscitate the sound and help them get back to singing with better tone? This session will provide exercises and demonstrations that will release laryngeal tension, relax the vocal folds, improve breath flow, assist phonation, give singers a new way to experience resonance on their own, and help rebuild healthy vocal habits. There will be a handout and some freebies! Participants need to bring a pencil or pen, their own power supply (preferably a respiratory system) and a sense of humor.

Ms. Judith Nicosia is Associate Professor in the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where she teaches voice, voice pedagogy, and vocal literature. She has been an invited clinician at local, regional, and national levels for ACDA and NATS and has served as a choral and solo adjudicator for festivals in Canada and the U.S. 

Workshop presentations on vocal technique/vocal health have included NJMEA, NYSSMA, MMEA, MA- MEA, and ACDA state conventions in Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia, New Hampshire and Ohio, among others. In 2014, she became the newest president of the New York Singing Teachers’ Association, an organization for which she was delighted to present repertoire and pedagogy sessions in their Professional Development Program during 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2013.

Prof. Nicosia was a member of the NJ-ACDA State Board from 1991 - 2014 and happily served as NJ State President from 2000-2002. Active at the divisional level as well, she currently serves as Secretary for ACDA Eastern Division and looks forward to the 2018 conference in Pittsburgh, where she hopes you will find her at the Registration Desk. 

She owns a Prius, staffs two wonderful cats and recycles everything she gets her hands on.

Abyssinian Baptist Church Choir

session info TBA

Placement of Singers in Choirs for Sound and Effect

Dr. Jamie Spillane

Utilizing the UConn Chamber Singers as a demonstration choir, Dr. Spillane will present thoughts on singer placement both as individuals in each section as well different standing options for the ensemble that can change the overall choral sound as well as the experience of the audience.  Attention will be given to utilizing the singers involved but also the performing space and options for changing the sound stage provided to the listener.   

Dr. Jamie Spillane is Director of Choral Studies at the University of Connecticut where he directs the UConn Concert Choir and Chamber Singers and teaches undergraduate and graduate choral conducting and choral literature classes. Dr. Spillane and the UConn Concert Choir recently presented the world premier of Steven Sametz’s new work for chorus, children’s chorus, and orchestra, A Child’s Requiem dedicated to those who lost their lives in the Sandy Hook tragedy. In Mach 2016 the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers toured Ireland and Germany. An active festival conductor, Dr. Spillane has directed all-state and honor choirs in twelve states, and was pleased to conduct the MCP National Festival Chorus in Carnegie Hall last March. He has presented interest sessions at state and division conventions of ACDA and NAfME and colleges across the country. Spillane is equally at home conducting large choral orchestral works, vocal jazz ensembles, and a cappella choral music of all styles and periods. For 14 years, Dr. Spillane was chair of the Ledyard High School Music Department in Ledyard, Connecticut where he directed a choral program that grew to over 400 singers in 12 choirs. Dr. Spillane’s choirs performed throughout the United States and Canada and in the great cathedrals of Europe. Dr. Spillane holds degrees from Ithaca College, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Arizona and he has been very active in ACDA and MENC/NAfME. He is on the NAfME - National Advisory Board for Choral Music Education and is a Past President of the Connecticut Chapter of ACDA.


Using the part-song in the choral rehearsal

Brian Stevens

Part-song repertoire is oft neglected, but can serve as an exciting tool for small group voice lessons and for choral repertoire at the High School level and beyond. The session will discuss the ways we can incorporate the part-song repertoire into our vocal/choral curriculum as well as explore the vast amount of repertoire in this genre.

Mr. Brian Stevens is currently a doctoral student at the University of Connecticut, where he studies with Dr. Jamie Spillane and serves as Director of the UConn Festival Chorus. Brian holds undergraduate degrees in Music Theory/Composition/Jazz Piano from SUNY at Geneseo, a Master's of Music Education from the University of Buffalo, and a Master's of Music in Choral Conducting with a concentration in vocal pedagogy from Houghton College, where he studied with Dr. Brandon Johnson and Dr. Adam Leubke. Prior to pursuing his doctoral studies, Brian served as a high school choir director for more than ten years in New York state, and served in the US Air Force as a pilot. When not making music, he is an avid fly fisherman and birder, and enjoys backpacking, world travel, wildlife photography, and cooking.

Unique Rounds for Warm-Ups and Performance

Joanne Hammil

From poignantly beautiful to deliciously complex, rounds can provide rich material for both choral warm-ups and exciting concert repertoire. We’ll sing canons, catches, rounds, African-style cyclical songs, and quodlibets as we explore this exciting genre.

We’ll cover a wide range of levels and styles, from quick-learns to very challenging pieces, incorporating tips for achieving great blend, variety of textures, arrangement considerations and voicings, as we sing through rounds in classical styles, jazz mediums, contemporary compositions, rounds with body percussion, with movement, from 2-12 parts. 

Participants will leave with a packet of unique rounds they can immediately use with their choruses.

Ms. Joanne Hammil is a nationally renowned community choral director, music educator, composer and performer. She directs the Greater Boston Intergenerational Chorus and presents engaging workshops and performances across the country.
Joanne has given workshops and taught courses for ACDA NH/VT and ACDA MA conferences, many AOSA national conferences, OAKE national conference, many different MENC states and Eastern Division conferences, Augusta Heritage Center, the Swannanoa Music Institute, Common Ground, UUMN Musician’s Network, and many others as well as chapter presentations around the country. Her songs have been published in textbooks by Silver Burdett-Ginn, MacMillan, Heinemann, Teaching Tolerance, have been printed and recorded in many songbooks and CDs, and have been enjoyed and performed in countless choruses, schools, churches, and communities. Joanne’s own recordings and songbooks of her original material have received the highest acclaim from music educators and choral directors.
"You are one of the best songwriters I know." --Pete Seeger

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