University of Alabama at Birmingham Collegiate Choral Festival Auburn University Sandra Snow University of Alabama Singers Samford A Cappella Choir

Collegiate Choral Festival Returns to Birmingham

The Collegiate Choral Festival is an annual, non-competitive and educational choral festival held each November. Choirs representing two and four year colleges from across the state gather to perform concert literature for each other and enjoy the opportunity of working with a nationally recognized guest clinician. All two and four year schools in Alabama whose directors are members of ACDA are eligible to participate. Directors who are not currently members of ACDA are encouraged to join and participate in this festival. It is a wonderful day of music making and sharing, and we hope all collegiate choirs will be able to join us!

Each participating choir will have 20 minutes onstage to perform their chosen literature followed by a 20 minute offstage in-depth clinic with one of our clinicians. This time limit is established to allow a maximum number of choirs to participate. A piano will be available for use, though no accompanist will be provided.

Performances will be professionally recorded by Zac Upton and sent directly to the conductors of each choir. After the festival, he will mix and master each individual choir’s performance at his studio to get a very high-quality live recording. He has committed to a one week turnaround for this service.

To balance the participating choirs' scheduling needs and to insure each performing choir an adequate audience, we will perform in two separate blocks, morning and afternoon, and allow schools to eat lunch off-site as they choose. The morning block will last roughly from 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. (depending on the number of participating ensembles), and the afternoon block will last roughly 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (again, depending on the number of participating ensembles).

While all participating choirs will be invited and encouraged to attend the full day, it will be necessary for a choir to attend the entire block in which they are performing. This means that in whichever block a choir performs, morning or afternoon, they will need to be seated in the audience from the beginning to the end (other than their performance time, of course!). No lunch will be provided on-site, so all are free to explore the offerings in the Birmingham area.


The deadline for registration is Tuesday, October 16, 2018. The registration fee is $250.00 per school choir, or $300.00 if registering after the October 16th deadline.

To register a choir for the Collegiate Choral Festival, please submit the following by October 16th:
1. Registration Form
2. Payment
3. Program Information

1. First, complete the online registration form. Register early! Space is limited, and requests for morning or afternoon blocks will be granted on a first come, first served basis. You will receive confirmation of performing block via email.

2. Send $250.00 payment ($300.00 if registering after October 16th) by check or credit card (see below). Make checks payable to Alabama ACDA.

Mail check to:
Spain Park High School
Attn: Jim Schaeffer
4700 Jaguar Drive
Birmingham, AL 35242

To pay by credit card, call Alabama ACDA Treasurer, Jim Schaeffer, at 334-750-3608. The following information is required for credit card transactions: card number, expiration date, security code/CVV, and billing ZIP code. There is a 2.75% processing fee.

3. Email Dr. Andrew Minear your anticipated program with composers' dates and translations of any non-English text. Program information deadline is October 23rd.

NOTE: Your school's registration fee must be paid to participate in the festival. Payment should be made prior to the festival or brought to the festival. As most schools' budgets turnover around October, we understand that there may be delays in receiving your payment. If you plan on participating but have complications and/or delays regarding the payment of fees, please go ahead and submit registration to reserve your spot right away and then follow up with payment as soon as possible. Remember, space is limited.

ACDA AS VENDOR: Most schools will require Alabama ACDA to become an official vendor in order to issue checks. This is easy to do, all your school will need is the Alabama ACDA W-9 form. If your school participated in the festival last year, there should likely be no need to repeat this process. If this is your first time participating (welcome!) then please make sure to take care of this as soon as possible to avoid undue delay.

For more information, contact the College and University Repertoire and Resources Chair and Alabama ACDA Collegiate Choral Festival coordinator, Dr. Andrew Minear.

Collegiate Choral

  • When:November 13, 2018
  • Where:Birmingham, AL
  • Who:Collegiate Chors
  • How:Register Now


Registration Form

Guest Clinicians

  • Dr. Kent E. Hatteberg
    University of Louisville
  • Dr. Gary Packwood
    Mississippi State University
  • Dr. Cara Tasher
    University of North Florida



  • Morning Block
    Coming Soon
  • Afternoon Block
    Coming Soon


Dr. Kent E. Hatteberg

University of Louisville

Dr. Gary Packwood

Mississippi State University

Guest Clinician Bios

Dr. Kent E. Hatteberg is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Louisville, where he conducts the Collegiate Chorale, Cardinal Singers, and University Chorus, and teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting and literature courses. He received the Bachelor of Music degree in piano and voice summa cum laude from the University of Dubuque and the master’s and doctorate in choral conducting from The University of Iowa, where he studied conducting with Don V Moses and conducted the renowned Old Gold Singers.

Named a Fulbright Scholar in 1990, Dr. Hatteberg studied conducting and choral-orchestral literature in Berlin, Germany with Uwe Gronostay (conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Choir and Professor for Conducting at the Hochschule der Künste), pursued research on the works of Felix Mendelssohn, and sang in the Berlin Philharmonic Choir. His doctoral thesis contains urtext editions of Mendelssohn’s Gloria and Große Festmusik zum Dürerfest, two previously unpublished works for chorus and orchestra. In 1997 he conducted the world premiere of the Gloria on the University of Louisville campus. The Große Festmusik was given its first modern performance at the Konzerthaus in Berlin on November 10, 2000, with the score provided by Dr. Hatteberg. He has lectured on Mendelssohn’s early works in the United States and Germany.

Dr. Hatteberg made his international professional conducting debut in 1993 as a guest-conductor with the Nederlands Kamerkoor, a professional choir in Amsterdam. He is co-director of the Kentucky Ambassadors of Music, a program that affords students from across the state of Kentucky the opportunity to perform and tour in Europe. He was the choral director for the Iowa Ambassadors of Music in 1988 and 1990.

Dr. Hatteberg is active nationally and internationally as a guest-conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. He has conducted numerous All-States and Honor Choirs in the United States, and recently served on the International Jury at the Tolosa Choral Contest in Tolosa, Spain. He serves as Chorus Master for the Louisville Orchestra and has prepared choruses for performances with the Choral Arts Society, Kentucky Opera, and the Louisville Orchestra.

Dr. Hatteberg taught at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids from 1983 to 1989. In that time the Washington High School Concert Choir and/or Madrigal Singers were chosen to perform at the North Central ACDA Convention in Minneapolis (1988), the National MENC Convention in Indianapolis (1988), the North Central MENC Convention in Columbus (1989), the North Central MENC Convention in Minneapolis (1987), the National MENC Convention in Anaheim (1986), and the state IMEA convention in Des Moines (1989, 1985). The Show Choir “Momentum” won or placed at numerous show choir competitions. He taught secondary choral music in Solon, Iowa from 1977-1980.

After fulfilling his Fulbright Scholarship in 1990-1991, Dr. Hatteberg served five years as Director of Choral Activities at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas (1991-1996). He conducted the Sam Houston Chorale in performances for the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Convention in San Antonio in 1995 and for the MENC National Convention in Kansas City in 1996.

Dr. Hatteberg was named a University of Louisville Faculty Scholar in 2002. In 2004 he was named the Kentucky Music Educators Association College/University Teacher of the Year. His biography appears in the newly-published International Who’s Who in Choral Music. In 2008 he received the Robert K. Baar Award for Choral Excellence from the Kentucky Choral Directors Association. The University of Dubuque, his undergraduate institution, awarded him the Alumni Professional Achievement Award in 2008.

Through his work as overseer of the Margaret Comstock Choral Endowment Fund in the School of Music, Dr. Hatteberg has commissioned new music, hosted international choral ensembles in the Margaret Comstock Concert Series, recorded compact discs with the Cardinal Singers, and afforded students in the choral program the opportunity to attend and participate in choral events nationally and internationally.

In 2005, Dr. Gary Packwood received the prestigious Outstanding Music Alumni Award from Department of Music at Southeastern Louisiana University and in 2008 the Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Montevallo named him the Outstanding Faculty Member for the college. Dr. Packwood made his Carnegie Hall debut on Easter Sunday, 2012, conducting the Mississippi State University Singers and the New England Chamber Orchestra in a performance that included the premier of “Where I Live” by Richard Ratner. Choirs under his guidance have performed with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, the MSU-Starkville Symphony, during the 2014 Southern Division American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Conference, the 1996 National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and for state conferences of both the ACDA and NAfME in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. His choirs have also appeared in a number of international venues including Notre Dame Cathedral, Chatres Cathedral, La Madeleine Church,Sacra Coeur Church, Church of St. Saint Sulpic, eand The American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, Normandy.

Dr. Packwood’s international appearances includes conducting and teaching in Brazil at the 2007 International Music Festival at the Federal University of Piaui, 2010 and 2013 International Music Festival at Federal University of Campina Grande, the Federal University at Uberlandia in 2009, and Professor in Residence at the Sultan Idris University at Tanjung Malim, Malaysia. He has presented interest sessions at various state, regional, and national conventions of ACDA and NAfME and has served as guest conductor and adjudicator in 21 states. During the 2014-2015 season Dr. Packwood teach and present a voice recital in Uberlandia, Brazil as a part of the “Cantus” music series, guest conduct the Oregon All-State Elementary Choir, as well as and other honor choirs in Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana. He is also slated to conduct the All-Region XX choir in Texas and the South Carolina All-State choir during the 2015-2016 school year.

A Lifetime member of ACDA, he was President of the ACDA Southern Region, President-elect of the Alabama Choral Directors Association, Repertoire & Standards Chair for Multicultural Music Perspectives for Southern Division ACDA, and a candidate for president of the ACDA southern division. A member of the National Association of Music Educators: Music Educators National Conference (MENC), Dr. Packwood served as Vice-President of the Higher Education Division for the Alabama Music Educators Association (AMEA) and is also a member of the Texas Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Teachers of Singing. From 1992-2000, he led the choral program at William T. Dwyer Community High School in Palm Beach Gardens (FL), founding conductor of Montevallo Community Chorale, and served eight years as the Music Director for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham.

Dr. Packwood has served in numerous leadership roles with including membership on six consecutive divisional convention-planning committees and Editor of Reprise (Alabama ACDA publication). He is a member of Golden Key International Honour Society, Phi Mu Alpha and Pi Kappa Lambda. Current publications include choral review articles for the Choral Journal. Other articles have been published in MENC’s journal Teaching Music and the 2nd Edition of the AmeriGrove Dictionary. He has given two separate interviews discussing his life and choral music for Mississippi Public Broadcasting Station.

Dr. Packwood is currently the Program Administrator and Director of Choral Activities at Mississippi State University. His duties include conducting all choral ensembles and administering the choral activities area. Dr. Packwood also conducts the semi-professional vocal ensemble based in Birmingham, Opus 8. He served as Associate Professor and Associate Director of Choral Activities, and Head of Music Education at the University of Montevallo (AL) from 2003-2011, where he taught graduate and undergraduate courses in choral music, music education, and conducted the Chamber Singers and University Chorus. He earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Southeastern Louisiana University, the Master of Arts degree from Florida Atlantic University, and Doctorate of Musical Arts (Choral Conducting & Literature) degree, with a minor in Music Education from Louisiana State University.

Dr. Cara Tasher has served as Director of Choral Studies at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville since 2006 where she oversees the choral program, conducts the Chamber Singers and Chorale, teaches the conducting curriculum, and mentors future choral conductors in the undergraduate and graduate programs.

Proficient in several languages, Tasher’s concerts, workshops, and guest performing engagements as both conductor and singer have brought her to over twenty countries for concerts, recitals, master classes and workshops. She has garnered experience as singer, chorus master and/or conductor with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Conspirare, Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus, Mexico City’s Opera de Bellas Artes, Trinity Choir-Wall Street, Xavier University, and Young People’s Chorus of New York City. She has prepared choruses for Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic and most recently, Josh Groban. Cara has performed international recitals, and as a professional choral singer has recorded with conductors Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Owen Burdick, Christoph Eschenbach, James Levine, Robert Shaw, and Sir Georg Solti.

Dr. Casher studied at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, University of Texas at Austin, La Sorbonne de Paris, and Northwestern University where she received several honors and awards. Dr. Tasher is a sought-after clinician and adjudicator within the national and global community and active in the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), International Federation of Choral Music, National Association of Teachers of Singing and the National Collegiate Choral Organization. She received the 2010 University Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, presented at the 2014 World Symposium of Choral Music in Seoul Korea, and was awarded the University of North Florida Outstanding International Leadership Award in 2016. She is currently serving as President-Elect of Florida ACDA.