Summer Conference

July 17 and 18, 2017

The University of Alabama | Tuscaloosa, AL

Registration Form  Call for Proposals  Reading Session Form

New this year we will accept credit cards on-site and during preregistration. The following information is required for credit card transactions: card number, expiration date, security code/CVV, and billing ZIP code. There is a processing fee of $3.80.

We have reserved rooms at Hotel Capstone at a reduced group rate of $130/night.
Please click here to reserve online or contact Ashley Russell, Sales and Catering Manager.
Email: | Phone: 205-343-1114
Hotel Capstone |
320 Paul Bryant, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401

We have also reserved rooms at Hampton Inn at a reduced group rate of $114/night.
Please click here to reserve online.
Hampton Inn Tuscaloosa-University |
600 Harper Lee Drive, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35404

Our Alabama Choral Directors Association Summer Conference will take place on Monday and Tuesday, July 17-18, 2017. 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.

All attendees are invited to a Monday evening pre-concert social at Tuscaloosa’s famous Glory Bound. Alabama ACDA will going to provide a buffet prior to the Monday evening concert (a cash bar will be available). The social will be held right down the street from the concert at First United Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa. Make plans to come enjoy the great free food and fellowship!

Glory Bound
2325 University Blvd
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401


The 1st Annual after-concert Karaoke Fest will be held at Wilhagan’s following the concert. Come share your talent, or just come and (tastefully) criticize everyone else’s!

Wilhagan’s Grille and Tap Room
2209 4th Street
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401


2016 Guest Clinicians


Jerry McCoy, 2013 winner of the Texas Choral Directors Association’s prestigious Choirmaster Award, is Regents Professor of Music Emeritus for the University of North Texas, where between 2000 and 2015 he conducted the internationally renowned UNT A Cappella Choir and served as Director of Choral Studies, leading one of America’s foremost choral studies and performance programs.  More than thirty of his graduates serve on university faculties across the USA, South Korea, Mexico, and Shargah (UAE). From 2007 to 2015 he was a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Executive Committee, serving as the organization's national president from 2009 to 2011.  In addition, his academic work includes serving as Director of Choral Activities for the University of Arizona, Oklahoma State University (OSU), and Nicholl's State University.

Dr. McCoy currently is Artistic Director/Conductor for Schola Cantorum of Texas and serves on the advisory boards of INTERKULTUR, Choro in Schola (Portland, Oregon) and

the Young New Yorkers Chorus (New York City). He has served as guest conductor/clinician in thirty-nine US states, in addition to serving in guest roles in Austria, Canada, China, Cuba, Great Britain, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, and Venezuela.  Guest engagements for 2015-2016 include appearances in Canada, Alabama, Arkansas, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota, and Texas. Beginning in the fall of 2016, he will serve as visiting professor and interim conductor of the A Cappella Choir at Baylor University.

Under his leadership, the UNT A Cappella Choir was featured on the programs of: the 9th Taipei (Taiwan) International Choral Festival (2009), the 2nd Daejeon (Korea) International Choral Festival (2012), two national ACDA conferences (2005, 2013), the national conference of the National Collegiate Choral Organization (2008), two TCDA conferences (2004 and 2011), and three TMEA conventions (2004, 2010, 2015). His OSU Chamber Choir was featured on the national ACDA conference in Chicago (1999) and the national conference of the Association of British Choral Directors (2000). In addition, his OSU Concert Chorale sang on the national ACDA conference in San Diego (1997) and for six ACDA Southwestern Division conferences.

His commercial recordings include releases by Klavier Records and GIA Music Publications, as well as the premiere recording of Jake Heggie’s Ahab Symphony, released in the fall of 2014 on CD Baby.


1) Creating a Sound Ideal: What constitutes a beautiful tone?, Building the vocal technique of the choir, Establishing the maximum dynamic efficiency of the choir.

2) So, Is That All?: The role of the audition process, The role of the seating chart - voicing the choir, The role of the daily warm-up process, The roles of vibrato and resonance, The role of tuning and overtones, The role of texture - who is important at what moment and why, The role of rhythmic synchronicity, and more!

3) Who's Listening?: How we listen to our choirs and those of our colleagues, Justifying what we hear in our minds with what the choir is really doing, What should we listen for?, and How to listen more deeply into the colors and texture of the sound your choir is making.

Detailed Session Descriptions



Julie Whittington McCoy, soprano, enjoys a career that combines singing and teaching.  She has performed as guest soloist with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Texas Camerata, Denton Bach Society, Orchestra of New Spain, Tulsa Ballet, and New Orleans Opera.  She is also an active recitalist and professional ensemble singer.

At the invitation of the U.S. State Department, Ms. McCoy and pianist Cynthia Cortright served as Artistic Ambassadors in a four-week tour to Israel, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Syria.  As a member of Conspirare Chamber Choir, she sang on the Grammy®-nominated recordings Threshold of Night (2009) and The Poet Sings: Pablo Neruda (2015), the 2012 recording Barber: American Romantic, and as a soloist on Sacred Spirit of Russia, winner of the 2015 Grammy® Award for Best Choral Performance. As a member and soloist, Ms. McCoy performed and recorded with the Robert Shaw Festival

Singers in France and New York City for nine years. The Festival Singers are featured on several releases from Telarc Recording Company, including Amazing Grace, Evocation of the Spirit, Liebeslieder Waltzes and Appear and Inspire.

Ms. McCoy holds the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from The University of Texas at Austin. A dedicated teacher of singing, she has taught at the University of North Texas, Texas Christian University, Oklahoma State University, and is in her 11th year at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth.


1) Singing 5x5: Exploring vocal technique: five concepts in vocal technique with five exercises for each.

2) French or Foe!: Addressing diction from a choral perspective

3) A Singer By Any Other Name...: Singing with the integrated voice.

Detailed Session Descriptions


Guest Choirs

Sursum Corda was founded as an ensemble of twelve singers in late 2006. Its mission began as an ensemble to perform great choral music of the Christian and Jewish traditions, and over the years, has broadened that repertoire to include a variety of secular works, including commissions for original works. Based at Canterbury United Methodist Church in Mountain Brook, Alabama, the group has performed yearly in Birmingham, around the South, as well as at the 2011 national conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Chicago.

In 2012, Sursum Corda members performed individual roles and as the chorus for a critically-acclaimed concert performance of Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra under Justin Brown. The ensemble’s debut compact disc, Illumine Our Hearts [MSR Classics], primarily featured Jewish-themed music and was warmly received in Gramophone and numerous other publications. The group’s second release, Welcome Yule!, was well received, with Fanfare noting the group “offers an appealing blend of voices, clarity of diction, tasteful phrasing, all of which comes together to produce an elegant, often ethereal, transparent sound.”


Quint Harris is the Director of Music Ministries at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church in Birmingham, AL where he directs the Chancel Choir, Bell Choir, and Youth Choir as well as supervises the music staff. He has been a member of the Fellowship since 2006 and has served as the Handbell Committee Chair and now currently the Membership Committee Chair.

Prior to Vestavia Hills UMC he was the Director of Music Ministries at Paradise Valley United Methodist Church in Phoenix, AZ. He has a Bachelor’s in Music Education from the University of Mississippi and a Master’s in Music Education from the University of Alabama. Throughout his career Quint has directed on the Middle School and High School levels as well as part-time and full-time church music ministry.

Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church Music Ministries