Summer Conference

July 13 and 14, 2015

The University of Alabama | Tuscaloosa, AL

Conference Schedule

Summer Conference Forms

Ryan Beeken Handouts
Presented Tuesday, July 14, 2015.

Our Alabama Choral Directors Association Summer Conference will take place on Monday and Tuesday, July 13-14, 2015. Please mark your calendars to reflect these dates. The conference will include much of what we return for year after year: interest sessions by Alabama choral directors, reading sessions that encompass all ACDA R&S areas, food, fellowship, and fun.

NAfME Members: Alabama ACDA will cover ACDA membership for AVA (Alabama Vocal Association) members who are attending the summer conference for the first time. Include a completed ACDA Membership Form with your registration.


Guest Clinicians


Paul Rardin joined the faculty of Temple University as director of choral activities in 2011. He conducts the Concert Choir, teaches graduate conducting, and oversees the seven-choir program at Temple’s Boyer College of Music and Dance. He previously taught at the University of Michigan and Towson University, where his choirs appeared with the Kirov Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Baltimore Choral Arts Society. Under his direction the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club performed at the 2010 American Choral Directors Central Division Convention.

Rardin has served as a guest conductor for all-state choirs in fifteen states, for divisional honor choirs for the ACDA and Music Educators National Conference, and for Manhattan Concert Productions at Lincoln Center. He has presented clinics for state, regional, and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association.

His engagements for 2014-2015 include conference presentations to the Eastern Division of the National Association for Music Educators, Maryland Music Educators Association, and Alabama ACDA, and guest conducting at Carnegie Hall with Manhattan Concert Productions, as well as with choirs in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Texas. In May 2015 he will conduct the Deer Creek Chorale and bluegrass ensemble Monroe Crossing in Carol Barnett’s The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass.

Rardin is a graduate of Williams College and the University of Michigan, where he received the M.M. in composition and the D.M.A. in conducting. He has studied conducting with Theodore Morrison, Jerry Blackstone, and Gustav Meier, and composition with Leslie Bassett, George Wilson, and Robert Suderburg. He has also participated in conducting master classes with Helmuth Rilling, Charles Bruffy, and Dale Warland. His arrangements of spirituals and folk songs are published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and his articles, many on the topic of contemporary music, have appeared in the ACDA publications Choral Journal, Troubadour, Resound, and Bel Canto.

Rardin lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife, Sandy.


1) Publishers Packet Blues: Bad Choral Music and How to Spot It

2) Brushstrokes and Downbows: Movement in the Choral Rehearsal

3) Choral Artistry: Going Beyond Getting it Right


Ryan Beeken proudly serves as director of Choral Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he conducts the University Chorale, Chorus, and Chamber Singers. In addition, he teaches graduate and undergraduate choral conducting and supervises student teachers. Beeken also serves as artistic director for the Blair Concert Chorale, whose mission includes fostering a growing appreciation of quality choral music for the population of south-central Pennsylvania. He received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Bachelor of Music Education degrees from Drake University and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts Degrees in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University.

Dr. Beeken’s choirs have performed at state, regional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. His collaborations include projects with Simon Estes, Cantus, the King Singers, David Dickau, James Mulholland, and Andrea Ramsey.

A frequent clinician and festival director, Dr. Beeken is regularly engaged as a conductor, clinician, and adjudicator throughout the United States; recent engagements include All-States and Honor Choirs in Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, Ohio, Maryland, Mississippi, Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania. He has served on the executive committee of the American Choral Directors Association at both the state and regional level and is currently serving as Northwest Region chair for Pennsylvania ACDA. Beeken regularly presents sessions for symposia on topics that include repertoire, rehearsal techniques, motivation, conductor-student relationships, and program building.

Prior to his appointment at IUP, Dr. Beeken taught at Michigan State University, where he conducted the Women’s Glee Club, and, while residing in Des Moines, Iowa, directed the Drake Chorale at Drake University. He also taught elementary, middle school, and high school music for 16 years, most recently serving as director of Vocal Music for Waukee Schools in suburban Des Moines, where he led a program of over 300 students and 12 ensembles to national distinction.


1) Pitch Is A Specific Address NOT A Zip Code: Develop Healthy Singing & Teach Musical Independence & Literacy

2) Creature VS Teacher: Relationships, Rapport, & Collaboration

3) You Want Me To Teach What!!?: Popular Music Ensembles in Secondary Choral Programs


Guest Choirs

The Magic City Choral Society (MCCS) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit community-based choral organization that provides high quality choral/music education and performance opportunities to any male or female over 18 without audition. Access to the arts and excellent choral music performance specifically, along with community service, is central to the identity of MCCS. The MCCS fulfills its mission of creating an inclusive community of singers and supporters united around the performance of choral music by employing highly-degreed musicians/educators, offering one of the finest non-auditioned men’s and women’s choruses in country, providing scholarships/due waivers for people who desire to sing, offering music and vocal education to members, providing free concerts, and through collaborations and partnerships.

Every year more than 100 people participate, without audition, in the Magic City Choral Society's (MCCS) men's and women's choruses and MCCS makes up to $5,000 of scholarships available to people in need who desire to sing with MCCS. The choruses present 3-4 free concert series each year, and each concert is performed at least twice. Each concert series costs MCCS an average of $15,000 to produce and represents a total of 12-16 hours of live concerts. These include choral masterworks of the highest caliber that entertain, educate, and inspire more than 3000 concert attendees from across the region. Two of Birmingham's best cultural distinctions are always featured at each performance: the citizen performers and some of Birmingham's finest concert venues. Each performance represents more than 60 hours of music and vocal education that members receive during weekly rehearsals from August through May. MCCS is also committed to good citizenship and the community. We pay forward the good will and generosity we receive by singing an additional 10-11 outreach concerts for other earnest nonprofits, community groups, and organizations throughout the year. In the past seven years, dedicated volunteers have managed the administrative needs of MCCS; however, because of our steady growth, MCCS has grown beyond the ability of our volunteers to manage the organization without professional assistance. During 2013-2014 fiscal year, MCCS acquired the services of a part-time, volunteer general manager to meet these needs and usher MCCS into the next phase of its service to this community. MCCS hopes that this volunteer position will soon become a paid staff position.

Since 2007 the Magic City Choral Society has performed concerts in the following venues: Gadsden’s Wallace Hall, Southside Baptist Church, UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, Samford’s Wright Center, BJCC Concert Hall, Bluff Park United Methodist Church, Grace Episcopal Church, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Pell City Center for the Performing Arts, the Montgomery Convention and Visitors’ Bureau and River Walk, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Covenant UMC in Dothan, Asbury United Methodist Church, Baptist Church of the Covenant, and Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. MCCS has also collaborated with the following entities: Red Mountain Chamber Orchestra, Blue Galaxy String Project, Magic City AIDS Walk, the Nature Conservancy’s Earth Day Celebration, PFLag regional conference, First Light Women’s and Children’s Shelter, the Apollo Bal, Integrity Alabama, Alabama American Choral Directors Association, the Seasoned Performers, Birmingham AIDS Outreach, Episcopal Place, Pepper Place, Sloss Real Estate, Central Alabama Pride, AIDS Alabama, Southside Baptist Church Food Bank, West Alabama AIDS Outreach, the 1917 Clinic, Whatley Middle School, Ramsay High School Choir, UAB Choir, Macy’s at the Riverchase Galleria, SAKS 5th Avenue at the Summit, and the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center at their grand opening.


The mission of the Huntsville Master Chorale is to foster creativity by keeping excellent choral singing alive in North Alabama. Of particular interest is nurturing renowned and emerging composers by commissioning and performing new works. Past seasons have included new works by Emma Lou Diemer, Holland Hopson, Ray Braswell, Bryan Page, Adriana Perera and Susan Fletcher. Also the Huntsville Master Chorale performs a variety of chamber choral music from Renaissance to contemporary eras.



Originally the Eugene Brasher Chorale, the Huntsville Master Chorale was founded in 1998 by Dr. Eugene Brasher. Other directors through the years have included Handy Avery, Tom Dooling, and Dr. Erin Colwitz.

In May 2012, Dr. Patricia Ramirez Hacker was appointed as conductor of the Huntsville Master Chorale. The group is thriving under her direction and is attracting regional attention as a force in vocal music excellence.

Most concerts are provided free of charge for all to enjoy, with donations accepted to defray expenses. The Chorale relies greatly on corporate and individual sponsorships, as well as its annual Valentine’s Day fundraiser, Mosaic of Love.