Collegiate Choral Festival Returns to Birmingham
The Collegiate Choral Festival is an annual, non-competitive and educational choral festival held each November. This year's festival will be held at Canterbury United Methodist Church in Birmingham, AL. 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 Montgomery area.
The deadline for registration is Tuesday, October 12, 2021. The registration fee is $250.00 per school choir, or $300.00 if registering after the October 12th deadline.
To register a choir for the Collegiate Choral Festival, please submit the following by October 12th:
1. Registration Form
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 12th) 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. Eliezer Yanson Jr. your anticipated program with composers' dates and translations of any non-English text. Program information deadline is October 19th.
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. Eliezer Yanson Jr..
2019 Guest Clinician Bios
Dr. Jennaya Robison is in high demand as a conductor, clinician, and soprano throughout the United States. She currently is an Assistant Professor of Music at Luther College where she conducts Aurora and Collegiate Chorale and teaches courses in conducting and vocal pedagogy. Prior to teaching at Luther College, she was the Artistic Director of Scottsdale Musical Arts, a multi-generational organization comprised of a professional orchestra and choir as well as children’s choirs and youth orchestras.
She has held faculty and teaching positions at the University of Arizona, Luther College, and the University of New Mexico. She has conducted orchestras at the University of Arizona, Luther College, and as well as community orchestras in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. As a public-school educator, she has taught in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
As a soprano, has sung as a soloist with the Grammy award winning True Concord, Tucson Symphony, Arizona Opera, Scottsdale Arts Orchestra, Scottsdale Symphony, St. Andrews Bach Society, Phoenix Youth Symphony, Tucson Masterworks Chorale, Rochester Choral Arts, Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque. As a chorister, she has sung as a member of the Arizona Choir under the direction of Bruce Chamberlain, Las Cantantes under the direction of Bradley Ellingboe, the Dale Warland Singers in Minneapolis, Minnesota under the direction of Dale Warland, and in the Nordic Choir of Luther College under the direction of Weston Noble.
Her primary area of research is in the field of vocal health within the choral ensemble. She has presented lectures and workshops on vocal health in the choral setting at regional and state ACDA conferences and state NATS conferences. She has been an invited conductor and clinician at numerous festivals including All State Choirs in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, Wisconsin Middle Level Honors Choirs, Texas Collegiate Women’s Honor Choir, Montreat Music Conference Festival Choir and various regional and state honor choirs in Texas, Nevada, Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona, the Master of Music in conducting and voice from the University of New Mexico, and the Bachelor of Arts in music from Luther College. She is currently the coordinator of Collegiate Repertoire and Standards and director of Student Activities for the North Central chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. Her choral series is published with Pavane Music.
Dr. Brandon Williams is an assistant professor of choral music and choral music education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He conducts the Voorhees Choir and teaches a variety of courses related to choral music education. Williams appears frequently as a guest conductor, clinician, and presenter throughout the country. He was most recently featured in Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and West Virginia.
As a secondary vocal music educator, Williams amassed a decade of middle and high school teaching experience in St. Louis, Missouri, where he also served as a conductor with the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus, the St. Louis Children’s Choirs, and as an adjunct faculty member at Maryville University. His school ensembles received invitations to perform at the 2010 and 2013 Missouri Music Educators Association conventions, and his middle school students were featured on the GIA DVD titled “How to Make A Good Choir Sound Great!” Williams was awarded the 2009 Missouri Choral Directors Association Prelude Award for excellence in choral music, an Outstanding Teacher Award from the University of Missouri-Columbia Honors College, and was a graduate level Semi-Finalist in the 2015 ACDA National Student Conducting Competition.
Williams holds degrees from Western Illinois University (BA), the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (MME), and Michigan State University (DMA), where he was awarded the prestigious University Enrichment Graduate Fellowship Award. He also earned an Artist Teacher Diploma from the Choral Music Experience: Institute for Choral Teacher Education. His conducting teachers include Dr. Chet Alwes, Dr. Joe Grant, Dr. Doreen Rao, Dr. David Rayl, Dr. Jonathan Reed, Dr. Sandra Snow and Dr. James Stegall.
As a composer and arranger, Williams is published with Hal Leonard in the Henry Leck Creating Artistry Series and with G. Schirmer in the Andrea Ramsey Choral Series. His research interests include the retention and attrition of middle-level vocal music teachers, the intersection of music and identity, and choral music as social justice, specifically in the William Grant Still choral orchestral cantata And They Lynched Him On A Tree (1940). His articles on choral pedagogy are published in the Choral Journal. Williams is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Michigan School Vocal Music Association, and the National Association for Music Education.
Dr. Craig Zamer is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Tennessee Tech University where he directs a non-auditioned Concert Choir and the Tennessee Tech University Chorale, Tennessee Tech’s top auditioned choir. Dr.Zamer also teaches undergraduate courses in choral conducting, choral literature, and secondary choral methods.
Dr. Zamer received his Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Virginia Tech University. He also holds the M.M.E. and Ph. D. degrees in Music Education and Choral Conducting from The Florida State University. Before his graduate work he taught high school choral music at Stone Bridge High School in Loudoun County, Virginia.
In 2018 Dr. Zamer debuted in Carnegie Hall conducting choirs from Tennessee and Mississippi in a performance of Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo with full orchestra. Dr. Zamer has been an invited clinician, conductor, and adjudicator in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee, and Virginia. Dr. Zamer has conducted abroad in Austria, China, the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.