American Choral Directors Association

The American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is a non-profit organization with the stated purpose of promoting excellence in the field of choral music. Its membership comprises approximately 22,000 choral directors representing over a million singers.

Background information

ACDA is organized in seven Divisions, i.e., Central, Eastern, North Central, Northwestern, Southern, Southwestern, and Western. Every year, conferences with topics pertaining to choral conductors are held - in even numbered years, a division conference is held in each division, and in odd numbered years, a national conference takes place in a major U.S. city. In 2009, ACDA celebrated its 50th Anniversary in Oklahoma City; in 2011, the national conference was held in Chicago, Illinois. The 2013 national conference was held in Dallas, Texas. James Madison University was the host for the national chapter for 2011. Each year a different university hosts the yearly ACDA chapter.

Conductors can apply to have their choirs perform at these conferences through a blind audition-CD process. Being accepted to sing at an ACDA conference is considered a great honor, both for a choir and for its conductor. Individual singers may also apply to sing with ACDA National or Regional Honor Choirs. About 300 singers are selected from around the country to sing in each national or regional choir.

Their official publications are the Choral Journal, as well as the scientific research journal International Journal of Research in Choral Singing (online only).

In addition to the division organization, a similar break out is done along specialization lines. The specialties are:

  • Boychoirs
  • Children's Choirs
  • College and University Choirs
  • Community Choirs
  • Ethnic and Multicultural Perspectives
  • Jazz Choirs
  • Junior High & Middle School Choirs
  • Male Choirs
  • Music in Worship
  • Show Choirs
  • Senior High School Choirs
  • Two-Year College Choirs
  • Women's Choirs
  • Youth & Student Activities

Each specialty is organized under a Repertoire and Standards (R&S) Committee system, with a National Committee, Division Committees, and State chairpersons. The National Chairperson for each specialty is also a member of the National R&S Committee which meets annually to discuss issues common to all specialties.

Brock Commission

Since 1991, the ACDA awards the "Raymond W. Brock Memorial Commission" to "a recognized composer to write a choral composition in an effort to perpetuate quality choral repertoire."[1]

1991Theron KirkO For A Thousand Tongues
1993Carlisle FloydA Time to Dance
1994Daniel E. GawthropSing a Mighty Song
1995Daniel PinkhamAlleluia for the Waters
1996James MulhollandThat I Shall Never Look Upon Thee More
1997Stephen PaulusGod Be With Us
1997Gian Carlo MenottiJacob’s Prayer
1998Samuel AdlerA Psalm Trilogy
1999Gwyneth WalkerI Thank You God
1999Adolphus HailstorkThe God of Glory Thunders
2000David BrunnerThe Circles of Our Lives
2001Eric WhitacreLeonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine10 min
2002Richard NancePsalm 36
2003René ClausenMemorial
2004Z. Randall StroopeWe Behold Once Again the Stars
2005Morten LauridsenNocturnes
2006Mack WilbergDances to Life
2007David ConteThe Nine Muses
2008Eleanor Joanne DaleyLife's Mirror
2009Dominick ArgentoCenotaph
2010Joan SzymkoAll Works of Love
2011Steven SametzThree Mystical Choruses
2012Chen YiDistance can’t keep us two apartA capella mixed choir5 minText by Wang Bo[2]
2013Steven StuckyTake Him, EarthSATB choir and 9 instruments 13 min
2014Alice ParkerThe Definition of BeautySSAA, unaccompanied 4:45 min
2015Jake HeggieStop this Day and Night with MeSATBBB, unaccompanied
2016Ola GjeiloThe Riverchoir, piano and string quartet[3]
2017 J.A.C. Redford Homing Mixed chorus and orchestra 28 min
2018 Tarik O'Regan All Things Common Acapella SATB 5 min
2019 Jake Runestad A Silence Haunts Me SATB choir and piano 11:30 min Text by Todd Boss

See also


  1. "American Choral Directors Association". Archived from the original on 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2017-02-18.
  2. Make (2012-02-17). "2012 Brock Commission – ACDAEast". Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2017-02-18.
  3. "Ola Gjeilo (pronounced Yay-lo) is one of the most frequently performed composers in the choral world" (PDF). Retrieved 1 September 2019.
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