January 2015                              Choral Notes

Volume 5
Winter 2015

In This Issue...                

  1. Membership Renewal
  2. 2015 Honor Choir - Middle School/Junior High
  3. "A New Year's Pep Talk!" by Kari Gilbertson, President Elect
  4. 2015 Convention Highlight: Directors Chorus

Dates to Remember:

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

Membership Renewal!

The TCDA membership year is January 1 - December 31, so it is time for you to renew your membership for 2015!  It's easy! Go to our website, www.tcda.net, 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.  You can also use the "Forgot Password" link or call our office for assistance if needed.

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]

2015 Honor Choir - Middle School/Junior High

Dr. Andrea Ramsey, Conductor
Associate Director of Choral Activities at the University of Colorado Boulder

Patricia Neighbors, Accompanist

TCDA is pleased to announce the 2015 Middle School/Jr High Choir, under the direction of Andrea Ramsey.  This elite chorus of 180 students is chosen from hundreds of students who audition from around the state who have completed 7th or 8th grade in 2015. Those chosen for this elite choir will be expected to come mentally and musically prepared for rehearsals starting Thursday afternoon, July 23.  The 2.5 musical and fun filled days will conclude in a concert/performance for over 1,000 choral directors at our state convention in beautiful San Antonio. This is a once in a lifetime experience for a middle school/junior high singer!

Audition information can be found on our website here(The tempo was revised. Be sure you have the score with a half-note = 64).  Click here for the complete audition packet.

Auditions will open on February 2nd, and all applications and payment will be due on March 27th.  A current 2015 membership is required. Please renew your membership by going to the TCDA website, Membership tab, click on "Renew Membership for 2015".

 A New Year's Pep Talk! by Kari Gilbertson - President Elect

Am I the only one?  Maybe it’s just me?  Some days, as I browse through the Facebook newsfeed, I wonder if I’m the only one who is thinking, “Hey, look!  They’re hiring at the Aldi.” I understand that it’s natural for people to want to share successes, but aren’t there times where you just wonder if everything is always so perfect?  Really?  Does your principal come to your room with hot cocoa weekly to see how your UIL preparations are coming along?  Does your spouse send flowers whenever your grades are due? Does your choir really flawlessly read a Burt Szabo sight-reading octavo the first week of school?  Do you feel like you’ve reached the pinnacle of your career and you feel financially and emotionally compensated for all the work you put into getting there?  Really?!
Please don’t be offended if one of the above scenarios belongs to you.  I’m happy for you! Truly!  I post my happy celebrations too!  But in reality, sometimes that’s not the way I feel about every day.  And I don’t think I’m alone.  Realistically, we are all going to have those moments in our lives, careers, and relationships where we have uncertainties.  Like the Peggy Lee song, “Is That All There Is?”  Call it a mid-life crisis, but I think most of us have mid-career, mid-term, maybe even mid-week doubts.  So as I considered what to write to “inspire” for the New Year, I thought of sharing what I personally needed to hear:  How to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and find joy in life and work even when the struggle is real!
Those who know me know that Pinterest is my guilty pleasure and mental escape.  Recently, I ran across a meme that gave steps to living a more contented life.  It resonated with me.  
  • “Re-evaluate your priorities” Make a list of whom and/or what gets most of your time each day.  Then ask yourself what matters?  Make it a goal to give more time to that which matters most to you.  And remember, it’s ok to put yourself first sometimes.  My mother had a framed print that quoted a Native American proverb, “Walk in Balance.”  (Remind me of this around the time of my pop show, will you?)
  • “Stop comparing” Each of us has different gifts.  Celebrate your own journey!
  • “Count your blessings” Time to repeat my oft quoted motto, “Perspective is a beautiful thing!”
  • “Live passionately” Safe isn’t always the best path.  Taking risks, venturing beyond, and even learning from failures can be exhilarating!
  • “Find positive friends” CLEARLY, you will find them at the TCDA Convention in July!  Make your reservation and renew your membership now.  You NEED this community!!
  • “Pray for Change” My dad would say, “Make a change.”   A wise friend said to me recently, “You can’t change the time this job takes, but you can change what you do with the job.”  Teach a new song you’ve never taught.  Change a daily routine in your class.  Stop eating lunch at your desk and go to the teacher’s lounge!  You’ll never know until you try and a new approach can get you out of a rut.

So that is my belated New Year’s wish to all of you.  To find contentment that makes your best years of teaching challenging and fulfilling. (Come to TCDA!)  And for those of you at the beginning of your life as a choir director, to find ways to pace yourself as you strive for the success and passion that called you to this profession...and will keep you teaching for years to come!  (Come to TCDA!) And for all of us to, “Walk in Balance...” ...and come to TCDA!  Happy New Year!

2015 Convention Highlight: Directors Chorus

Our 2015 Convention will feature a Directors Chorus, conducted by Sandra Snow! 

The Directors Chorus will be comprised of adult choir directors from all around the state, as well as outside of Texas.  These Directors will have the opportunity to work with the accomplished Sandra Snow, and will premiere a special 60th Anniversary commissioned work by Susan LaBarr.

All Directors involved MUST be a TCDA member!  Registration will open with convention on February 9th, and will be $35/singer.

Directors who join will be expected to participate in rehearsals throughout the TCDA convention, before the final performance on Sunday, July 26th.  More information regarding registration to follow!




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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