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We just enjoyed a superb winter conference reconnecting with each other, sharing information, attending sessions and concerts. We certainly appreciated the sessions by our own presenters. However, Dr. Tucker Biddlecombe was a welcomed newcomer, and I hope that we see more of him in our future—either at an all-state festival or honor choir. Even though his reading session addressed content mainly for high school level, he provided such variety within the literature. There was nothing substandard and a majority of the literature is accessible by all. I encourage you to contact Margaret or Tom at Beethoven and Company the next time that you need any literature. They provided his packet of music at no cost to AVA.


discussing with Dr. Biddlecombe the content of his sessions planned for the conference, I attempted to choose other sessions, from the session proposals which would complement his topics. We were afforded sessions targeting functional aspects of the choral rehearsal— vocal health, theory, rehearsal pacing, sight- reading and language we use in the rehearsal. My hopes were that your students rehearsing this spring semester would directly benefit from your attendance. Paul Gulsvig and Jarrod Voss engaged our All-State Show Choir students in quality rehearsal and performance.

I congratulate the fine performances by the ensembles that presented concerts. I want to encourage you to submit for a performance.

To this end, plans are

underway to move our performances to another location in the civic center that is acoustically more beneficial for choral singing than is the performing arts auditorium. We will have more to say about this at the All-State Festival in April, but certainly consider recording your SCPA selections and submitting for a concert performance.

Being chosen for All-State Chorus is one of the highest honors a choral student in the state can receive.

Carl Davis- President, Alabama Vocal Association ensembles.

Those students will interact

with some of our finest vocal conductors. Read the information concerning our guest conductors in the following pages.

Be aware that the all-state schedule this year is quite different. I presented some of the more striking differences from past schedules at the winter conference. We are no longer on one campus. Our students will be split between Samford and First Baptist Church. Although the facilities are close in proximity, pre-arrival planning of the logistics is necessary.

Pay special

attention that the high school SATB ensemble is the only ensemble that is allowed to eat on the Samford Campus. Their rehearsal is planned around them utilizing the cafeteria for lunch. All other ensembles must transport off-site to eat. Please honor this request. Note that the high school SSA/TTBB ensembles and the middle school Mixed/Treble ensembles swap locations from Samford to First Baptist Church. Be expecting your all-state information to be available on the AVA website from our president-elect Ginny Coleman one month prior to the festival.

I’ve asked our district chairman to update their web pages on the AVA website. You should expect all communications for all AVA events to be disseminated via our website. If you are attending an SCPA in another district you should be able to get all information concerning the event you are attending from that district’s web page. Let your district chairman know if you have difficulty accessing the information.

We auditioned

approximately 3,000 students in November with approximately one-third of those being chosen for one of our five all-state

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Lastly, we need to consider the philosophical reasoning of the opportunities we provide our members. First, we currently have our State Outstanding Choral Students perform a solo on the all-state concert. Does this practice duly honor these students? I encourage you to peruse the rubric our adjudicators use to select the winners. Does a solo performance accurately reflect and demonstrate the substance of the award? Is there a more fitting way in which to recognize an outstanding choral student, rather than have them perform a solo?


Secondly, the All-State Show Choir performs at the beginning of the convocation at the All-State Festival. Financially, this costs our organization in excess of a thousand dollars. It is completely un-funded. If we chose to continue this practice, then we must discover and/or develop a revenue stream to render it cost neutral. Is this a practice that you consider so important that we discover a method to have it pay for itself? If it is beneficial, then what are the benefits? Is the gain worth the unfunded cost?

These are two discussion topics for our summer board meeting. We asked you to provide thoughtful written communication to your district chairman as early as fall workshop and we asked again for this at the winter conference. We have received several pages of dialog. Please continue to provide us with your opinion. At the summer board meeting we will attempt to make decisions based on what is going to be best for our students. Please communicate with your district chairman.

See you at Samford.

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