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.

Sesere Eeye (SSA) arr. Mark O’Leary, Mark O'Leary Music Publisher ID YVM058
(Melody and Harmony 1. Harmony 2 will be an optional part)
Kyrie Eleison (Two-Part) Dan Davison, Walton Music Publisher ID WLG118
Where Go The Boats? (Unison) Paul Bouman, Earthsongs Publisher ID W-13
(Part of his Three Rhymes Set 1)
Cantamos (Two-Part) James Desjardins, Boosey & Hawkes Publisher ID 48023897
Drunken Sailor (Two-Part) arr. Emily Crocker, Hal Leonard Publisher ID 42304012
Come Sing With Me (SATB) Ken Berg, National Music Publishers

Domine Deus, Agnus Dei (Unison w/piano) Antonio Vivaldi, ed. Janet Galvan, Roger Dean Publishing Company 15/1857R
Imagine a World (Two-Part) David Waggoner, Alfred 38286
Kusimama (Two-Part) Jim Papoulis, Boosey & Hawkes 48021188
You’ve Got a Friend in Me (Two-Part) Randy Newman, arr. Mac Huff, Hal Leonard 08200616
Let Freedom Ring with “America the Beautiful” (Two-Part) Ruth Morris Gray, Alfred 45451
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
Come Sing With Me (SATB) Ken Berg, National Music Publishers

*not available on

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!

Meredith Devore:
Shirley Ellison:
Lisa Latham:

Young Voices

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


Event Schedule
Director Registration Form
Student Registration

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 a musician whose passion for musical excellence and youth led him to pursue a career in music education. He holds a B.M. in music education from Palm Beach Atlantic University, where he graduated summa cum laude. In the summers, Mr. Valls has worked as a cabin counselor at Interlochen Arts Camp and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, both in Michigan. In summer of 2013, he traveled as a performer and staff member for the Blue Lake International Choir, which toured throughout Germany, France, and Luxembourg. Mr. Valls is currently the Associate Director for the Girl Choir of South Florida. He has had the privilege of serving as director for the Primes, Apprentice, Concert, and Chamber choirs. His choirs at Girl Choir have performed at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Disney, Arizona, and The White House. In addition to Girl Choir, Mr. Valls conducts the Men’s Chorus for the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches which holds multiple performances throughout the year at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.

Mr. Valls is in his fifth year of teaching and his second year of teaching at Bak Middle School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, FL. Prior to Bak, Mr. Valls built the choral program at Eagles Landing Middle School in Boca Raton. The program grew from 80 to over 200 students in three short years. Choirs under his direction consistently received high ratings at district assessments and competitions. They have also received first place in their divisions at the Festival Disney competition, Music USA competition in Orlando, Heritage Music Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, and most recently, The Heritage Festival of Gold in Chicago, Illinois. Students in his program have participated in many district, state, and national honor choirs. Mr. Valls is an active clinician throughout the state of Florida. Devoted to cultivating music education in the community, he holds memberships in the National Association for Music Education, the American Choral Directors Association, the Florida Vocal Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity.

Kim Davidson has served as artistic and administrative director of the Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir and its predecessor Roanoke College Children’s Choir since its founding in 1987. Under her 31 years of direction, the choir has grown from 23 singers to a choral program including 250 children, ages 7-18 in four choirs.

A graduate of Valparaiso University, Ms. Davidson has taught music at the elementary and middle school levels and directed various church choirs. Ms. Davidson has served as an adjudicator, All-District Director, and Festival Choral Director on numerous occasions.

Ms. Davidson’s goal as a director is not only to bring out the beauty in the music, but also the beauty in the child, and their capacity to find beauty and joy even during the most difficult of times. Known for her warm smile, her serious work ethic and mostly for her sincere love for the choristers, the title of director is not only her life’s work, but her passion.

The challenging program of choral repertoire in the RVCC demands dedication and discipline from its young members.  This commitment and Ms. Davidson’s tutelage has resulted in an impressive resume for the Children's Choir: A joint concert with the United States Army Band, being chosen twice as the Official Choir of the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, three featured solo choir performances at Carnegie Hall, selected to sing at the 2008 and 2014 Southern Division ACDA Convention, and regular performances with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and Opera Roanoke. The Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir was a featured performing choir at the National American Choral Director’s Association Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah in February 2015. In 2016 the RVCC was selected to sing a solo performance at Carnegie Hall and in 2017 the Concert Choir was selected to be the Honor Solo Choir in the International Children’s Choir festival at Canterbury Cathedral in England.

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.