Join us at our 60th Anniversary Convention for a special Saturday night performance from Season 4 Champions of NBC's "The Sing Off" - Home Free!  

December 9th, 2014                    Choral Notes

Volume 3
Fall 2014

In This Issue...                

  1. 60th Anniversary Convention - Exciting Highlights!
  2. Membership Renewal
  3. Plenty Good Room, by Robin Brockway-Nichols

Dates to Remember:

  • February 2nd - Honor Choir Auditions open online
  • February 9th - 2015 Convention & Hotel Housing Registration opens

 Convention 2015 - TCDA's 60th Anniversary! July 23-26, 2015

This year marks TCDA's 60th Anniversary, we hope you will be able to join us at our annual Convention to celebrate!
  • Convention Registration will open on February 9th, 2015

  • This year will feature a Directors Chorus, conducted by Sandra Snow

  • The 2015 Honor Choir will be Middle School/Junior High students.  Auditions will open on February 2nd.

  • High School Student Day continues to grow!  Encourage your students to attend for a fun and educational opportunity interacting with peers and educators.

  • There will be a special performance on Saturday night, by Home Free - Season 4 winners of NBC's The Sing Off!  Check them out below:
FB: HomeFreeVocalBand
Twitter & Instagram: @HomeFreeGuys
YouTube: HomeFreeVocalBand
Video: Home Free - Home Free – Ring of Fire

Membership Renewal is Open!

The TCDA membership year is January 1 - December 31, so it's time to kick off our membership renewal campaign for 2015.  It's easy!  Go to our website,, click "Join TCDA" or the Membership tab on the top of the page, and click on the box for Renew Membership for 2015.  You will need to log in using the username and password for your profile.  You should have received an email with your specific information included.

If you require a paper membership renewal form, those can be found and downloaded on our website on the "Membership" page. 

With your login, you can access a membership directory and view the member benefits available to you. Please call our office if you have questions at 512-474-2801 or email us, [email protected] or [email protected]

 Plenty Good Room, by Robin Brockway-Nichols - HS Division Vice President

During my tenure as Region Chair, on occasion I was stung by criticism from those I was charged to serve. I can only imagine what it’s like to sit in the TMEA Vocal VP hot seat! God bless those stalwart souls. As fine arts educators and role models, we must help our students cope with criticism, and yes, judgment from others. Singing is the most intimate of arts discipline – even constructive criticism sometimes feels like a personal attack. Then the inner critic kicks in with the nasty refrain of self-doubt –OUCH!  Overcoming the chorus of “haters” is often the greatest challenge we face as artists, educators, and human beings. My friend Tara (Choir Director Extraordinaire, Incredible Mom, and Funniest Human on the Planet) puts it in great perspective:  “haters gonna hate”!  Just this once, let’s chooses to ignore those who project their own insecurities and fears onto us, and instead focus on silencing those insidious INNER voices.

Photographer James Clear wrote a wonderful essay titled “Haters and Critics: How to Deal with People Judging You and Your Work”. I find his words soothing to the Tormented Teacher running around inside my brain. Check it out at:

He sums up with this:

I’ve said this many times before, but it bears repeating: I don’t really have anything figured out. I’m not an expert and I don’t have all the answers. I’m still learning to deal with criticism like everyone else.

But in my limited experiences, here’s what I can summarize about dealing with haters.

  1. First and foremost, don’t be the hater. Don’t be the person who tears down someone else’s hard work. The world needs more people who contribute their gifts and share their work and ideas. Working up the courage to do that can be tough. Support the people who display that courage.
  2. If you’re dealing with criticism, then don’t let the wall keep you from seeing the road. Focus on the path ahead. Another way I heard it put recently, “Ignore the boos. They usually come from the cheap seats.”
  3. If you choose to respond to the haters, then surprise them with kindness. You might just win a new fan while you’re at it.
  4. Finally, and most importantly, make the choices that are right for you. People will criticize you either way.

The overreaching tenet of the “Gospel of Choir” is that there is plenty of room at the table…plenty good room for all who desire to excel, and possess the grit and tenacity to do the work. I wish you only blessings and wonderful music-making this holiday season!

High School Division 2015 Convention Highlights:

Principles of Effective Choral Leadership: Knowing Ourselves, Impacting Others - featuring Dr. Frank Eychaner

Exploring the 2015-2016 All-State Choir Repertoire - featuring Dinah Menger, TMEA's Vocal Vice President

Cross-Division Workshop: "What Not to Wear" for Choral Directors, a 21st Century Update - featuring a panel of moderators and models!

Also hear from our Director's Chorus Conductor, Dr. Sandra Snow.  Dr. Snow will be joining us as a headliner and workshop host for our High School division.


 TCDA Office News

Beverly Schlegel will be transitioning to a part-time role and working exclusively on TCDA publications.

Joining us as our new Member Services Coordinator, is Hallie Miller.  Hallie joins us with a background in administration, and has been working in a start-up software environment in Austin for the last few years.  She is a graduate of Texas A&M University, with a degree in Communications.  Hallie brings a broad range of skills and experience to TCDA, and is accustomed to multi-tasking, event planning, project management, and organizing all of it!  She is looking forward to interacting with as many Texas Choral Directors as possible.

Be sure to visit our Facebook Page


TCDA Board of Directors 2014 - 2015
President - Billy Talley, Amarillo ISD
Past President - Jeff Rice, Midway ISD
President Elect - Kari Gilbertson, Richardson ISD
Vice President, HS - Robin Brockway-Nichols, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD
Vice President, MS/JH - Jennifer Gallagher, Alvin 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 - Terry Berrier, Wylie ISD

Executive Director - Sharon Lutz
Member Services Coordinator - Hallie Miller

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