Choral / Opera Room Rehearsal Dr. Tucker Biddlecombe and the Boychoir Mr. Ken Berg and the Boychoir Dr. Judy Bowers and the Girls Choir

Young Voices Festival Welcomes New Clinicians

The Alabama ACDA Young Voices Festival is a unique opportunity for 4th-9th grade public school, homeschool, community, and church choir students in the state of Alabama. The Young Voices Festival offers choral students a challenging opportunity to perform advanced choral literature under the direction of nationally recognized music educators.

Held every spring since 1993, 4th - 9th grade students are eligible to participate in one of three choirs: Junior High Mixed, Girls' Choir, and a Boychoir. Each choir is under the direction of a renowned guest clinician over the course of this two-dayday event. Rehearsals begin Friday afternoon, and students present a final public concert on Saturday afternoon.

Students in 4th-6th grades wishing to participate will be chosen by their teachers and should be registered by March 15th. Google registration forms for the two children's choirs will be available at and A director may bring a maximum of ten students for each of the two children's choirs. If a teacher teaches at two schools, or at a school with an elementary and middle school campus, a director may bring ten from each school or section of the school. All singers should know all of their music before arriving in Tuscaloosa for the festival.

Auditions for the Mixed Choir (grades 7-9) will be Friday, February 15th at Simmons Middle School in Birmingham, AL. Other cities will be added as needed. Girls Choir (grades 4-6) and Boychoir (grades 4-6) will consist of students selected by their teachers.

7th-9th grade students will audition in groups and will audition on a portion of every song. Students will hold music for their audition, should be very familiar with all of the music, and should be able to match pitch and sing with confidence. Unlimited students may audition from a school, but we ask that directors do their best to bring a balance of voice parts to audition.

Please read the following information carefully and feel free to share with colleagues: The registration deadline for those who wish to participate in the Mixed Choir is January 20th. A Google registration form should be completed here, but registration is not complete until money has been mailed to Jim Schaeffer, ACDA treasurer, Spain Park High School, 4700 Jaguar Drive Birmingham, AL 35242. The audition fee is $10.00 per student and includes Dropbox rehearsal recordings. An invoice will be emailed upon receipt of the Google form. Once accepted to the choir, there is a $40 school fee and $45 student fee.

All music lists are available under State & Festival Lists at, and are also listed on Music should be ordered separately by each director.

Come Sing With Me (SATB) Ken Berg, National Music Publishers

Gloria from Heiligmesse (SATB) Haydn, ed. Michael Woodman, W2031 Hal Leonard 08500622
Here and Now (SATB) Randall Hooper & Gary Packwood, MusicSpoke
Sisi Ni Moja (SATB) Jacob Narverud, Santa Barbara Music Publishing SBMP 1338
Agnus Dei (SATB) Kinsey Lange, Walton Music, HL 08501465
Dream a Dream (SATB) Ed Robertson, Walton Music, Alfred Publishing Company-SV7701

Dropbox rehearsal recordings will be included with ALL audition registrations as well as festival registrations. Recordings will be emailed to all registered directors upon the receipt of completed (paid) registration. Please note that this is a change and there is a slight price increase due to this service. We hope this will alleviate the headache of sending a different check for rehearsal recordings.

A block will be reserved for Young Voices at the Hotel Capstone in Tuscaloosa. Ask for the Young Voices Festival rate.

All Young Voices participants should be current members of the American Choral Directors Association. Click Here to join. This information will be checked before students are allowed to audition. We hope to have many participants in 2019. Please pass this information along to teachers in your areas, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

Lisa Latham:
Meredith Devore:
Shirley Ellison:

Additional information is available on the Young Voices Festival website. Or you may contact Lisa Latham, event coordinator.

Young Voices

  • When:April 26-27, 2019
  • Where:Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Who:4th-9th Graders
  • How:Register Now


Registration Form

Guest Clinicians

  • Jorge Valls, Boychoir
    Bak Middle School of Arts
  • Kim Davidson, Girls Choir
    Roanoke Valley Children's
  • Gary Packwood, Mixed Choir
    Mississippi State University


Kim Davidson

Roanoke Valley Children's Choir


Gary Packwood

Mississippi State University


Guest Clinician Bios

Jorge Valls is...

Kim Davidson is...

Recognized as an inspiring and motivational conductor, pedagogue, and lecturer, Gary Packwood has appeared throughout the United States as well as in Brazil, Italy, Malaysia, France, Austria, and The Czech Republic. During the 2017-2018 academic year his engagements included guest conducting in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Dr. Packwood was honored to conduct the 2018 Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir during the Eastern Region American Choral Directors Association conference in Philadelphia. His 2018-2019 conducting schedule includes all-state choirs in Delaware, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Tennessee, and honor choirs in Texas and Alabama. Notable guest conducting/teaching appearances include the International Music Festival of Piaui, the Federal University at Uberlandia, thrice for the International Music Festival of Campina Grande, and Professor-in-Residence at the Sultan Idris University at Tanjung Malim, Malaysia.

Dr. Packwood is currently program administrator and director of choral studies at Mississippi State University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting, and conducts all four of the University’s choral ensembles. His administrative duties also include serving as the coordinators for music education and graduate music studies. Dr. Packwood has held similar appointments at the University of Montevallo, Louisiana State University, Citrus Cove Elementary, and William T. Dwyer High School.

Dr. Packwood made his Carnegie Hall debut on Easter Sunday in 2012 conducting the Mississippi State University Singers and the New England Chamber Orchestra. The MSU Singers has quickly garnered a stellar reputation, as evident through invitational performances at The White House for the Holidays Open House (2016), two successful European tours (2014, 2016), Louisiana ACDA State Conference (2013), Southern Region ACDA Conference (2014) and the Mississippi Music Educators Association/MS-ACDA State Conferences (2013, 2014, 2019).

A Lifetime member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Dr. Packwood is currently President of Southern Region of ACDA. He was the President-elect of the Alabama Choral Directors Association, and Repertoire & Standards Chair for Multicultural Music Perspectives for Southern Region. A member of the National Association of Music Educators: Music Educators National Conference 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.

In 2017 Santa Barbara Music Publishing began the Gary Packwood Choral Series, which features compositions that specialize in music for developing and advanced young voices. He also has additional music publications through Dr. Packwood has published articles in the Choral Journal, Teaching Music, the 2nd Edition of the AmeriGrove Dictionary, and is currently working on a project with GIA Publications. He is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Pi Kappa Lambda. Dr. Packwood has given two separate interviews discussing his life and choral music for Mississippi Public Broadcasting Station and has been awarded the Outstanding Music Alumnus from the Department of Music at Southeastern Louisiana University, 2008 Outstanding Faculty from the Dean of College of Fine Arts at the University of Montevallo, and the 2015 Lucinda Rose Teaching Award from the Dean of the College of Education at Mississippi State University. Dr. Packwood earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Southeastern Louisiana University, the Master of Arts degree from Florida Atlantic University, and Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting and literature from Louisiana State University.