Thanks to the 2014-2015 TCDA Board of Directors for an outstanding 60th Convention!

August 2015                                    Choral Notes

Volume 11
Summer 2015

In This Issue...                

  1. Take a Break...and Enjoy It!, by Joshua Taylor
  2. Lose Anything?
  3. What a Party!, by Billy Talley
  4. Submit your ideas for 2016 clinics by Friday, August 28

Natural Bridge Caverns is seeking volunteer choirs for Caroling in the Caverns this holiday season.  Many performance spots inside the caverns are still available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings from November 28th through December 20th, as well as Monday December 21st through Wednesday the 23rd.  There is no charge to participating choirs.  Interested choirs should contact Jo Posey,  [email protected], or phone her at 210-651-6101, ext. 1230.

 Take a Break…and Enjoy it!, by Joshua Taylor, Church Division VP

I’m writing this edition of Choral Notes from a condo at the beach in Florida. My family and I are enjoying these last few days of summer vacation before the fall schedule kicks into full gear. As tempted as I was to pack some scores I need to study, load the iPod with recordings of this fall’s choral anthems, or carry along a couple of new books I picked up in the exhibits at TCDA last month, I resisted. I finished what I needed in the office, turned on the out of office assistant, and left it all behind. Flip flops, my James Patterson novel, and sunscreen are the agenda this week!

And yet… I packed my computer. And I checked my email (only to realize I had a deadline for the Choral Notes!). And I find the conversation with my wife (who is my colleague at our church) floating toward our plans, dreams, and hopes for the new year of choir activities about to kick off. Regardless of the interruptions, the time away has provided a much needed break and an opportunity to get excited about my call all over again.

The need for summer vacations and these escapes is not a new idea. It is even biblical! The practice of Sabbath has been around a long time… and we’ve struggled with the concept for just as long. Mary Ann McKibben Dana frequently writes about observing Sabbath on her blog, In one post she writes the following:

“Some years ago I read a quote about the difference between speed and haste. It’s long gone now, but my version is that haste is speed without mindfulness. Sometimes, life moves quickly, and speed can be healthy and appropriate. If I’m crossing the street and a car is coming faster than I’d anticipated, I’d better pick up the pace. But sometimes we are—or I should own it and say I am—in a hurry without purpose.”

Isn’t that how it can be for choir directors, church musicians, and music administrators? We are pulled under by the calendar and set adrift by the next thing so often that we hastily ignore the gift of what we do as musicians. We are entangled in the business of inspiring through music that we forget to be inspired ourselves.

I hope this summer has provided you some time for Sabbath. I hope in the moments away from the music, you found the space to dream about it. I think we owe that fresh approach to all of those folks that sing in our ensembles and commit their time making music each week- many of whom look to choir for their own version of Sabbath. Most importantly, it is my hope that we choir director types might find ways throughout the year to experience Sabbath, to refresh our minds and souls so we’re ready to plunge in each time the next rehearsal begins.

The beach is calling. I’m going to practice what I preach and close the lid of this laptop. Best wishes for the beginning of a great new year of music making. May you come up alongside some of those hopes and dreams along the way and have the opportunity to slow down and make the moment last, and when you’re feeling lost at sea midway through the craziness may you have the opportunity to observe Sabbath and be refreshed to go at it all again.

For now, cue the music… “nibbling on spongecake, watching the sun bake…” You know the rest.

Did you lose anything at Convention?  We brought back a pair of children's glasses and a baton.  If you lost one of those, please call us, 512-474-2801.

What a Party! by Billy Talley, Past President

From the opening sounds of the Schubert “Mass in G” to the amazing sounds of “Home Free”, TCDA’s 60th Anniversary was everything your Board hoped it would be. Thank you to all of our members and guests who attended. I know you left with more tools in your choral toolbox and possibly some new tunes to use with your choirs this year. Our souls were refreshed by the outstanding performances by the Texas Master Chorale, the Middle School/Junior High Honor Choir, and the Directors’ Chorus. Thanks also to the Corpus Christi Cathedral Choir for their part in the very meaningful Worship Service. And to every clinician, conductor, committee member, and presenter who volunteered their time and expertise, you are our most valuable players! To those of you who could not attend this year, we really want to see you in San Antonio next summer. Start making plans now to attend what promises to be a spectacular 2016 Convention! TCDA belongs to all of us who share a love for the choral art.

Submit your clinic ideas for 2016

We want to hear from you!  Please submit your ideas for a new clinic or workshop for the 2016 Convention by Friday, August 28.

The Clinic Submission Form is now online. Click here to get started.

A few pictures from Convention....



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TCDA Board of Directors 2015 - 2016
President - Kari Gilbertson, Richardson ISD
Past President - Billy Talley, Amarillo ISD
Vice President, HS - Thomas Rinn, Colleyville ISD
Vice President, MS/JH - Connie Horton, The Woodlands ISD
Vice President, Elem - Michele Hobizal, Katy ISD
Vice President, College/Community - Lynne Gackle, Baylor Univ
Vice President, Church - Josh Taylor, First Presbyterian Dallas
Secretary/Treasurer - Leigh Ann McClure, Keller ISD

Executive Director - Sharon Lutz
Member Services Coordinator - Hallie Boone

Texas Choral Directors Association
7900 Centre Park Drive, Suite A
Austin, TX  78754