2017 - 2018 TCDA Board of Directors

January 2018                                             Choral Notes

Volume 39
Winter 2018

In This Issue...                

  1. Text and word meaning - "Diving into the Words", by Christina Chapman, MS/JH Vice President
  2. Texas Sings!
  3. Renew your 2018 TCDA Membership - Honor Choir and Convention Registration
  4. Favorite Tunes from Christina

 Text and word meaning - "Diving into the Words", by Christina Chapman, MS/JH Vice President

Happy New Year and I hope you are becoming comfortable with 2018 wherever you happen to be. During the winter break I took some time to think about the Spring semester... and what it brings to our students and our school environment.

It is a halfway point for so many reasons.

It is halfway through the school year, halfway through the year of musical and personal growth for our students.

This new semester marks the halfway, or if you will, starting point of the UIL preparation process. Students have learned half of what we want them to learn and we hope they are on their way to becoming better choral students, better human beings.

During the first two days back to school, I led a reflection exercise with my students to compare themselves as singers/musicians between August and January. They are not the same students, singers, or even humans that they were at the beginning of the school year. The students in each class period may still be part of the same ensemble, but they do not form the same "Choir" that they did in August. They are better human beings, a better choir.

During the Fall we learn "How to be a Choir Person", how to look at and analyze choral music, how to work with each other as a team, and how to navigate learning, friendships and life in middle school. Oh the joys and challenges of middle school and what they bring! For ALL of us though...the second semester brings the opportunity for another level of learning.

Text in choral music include poetry, stories, and/or scripture that bring inspiration, meaning, understanding...ALL the feels. Just as we dive into God's word to understand what His meaning is behind the scripture, it's important to dive into the meaning behind every story that each choral piece is telling us.

Recently many of us have been inspired by the music from The Greatest Showman, the film inspired by musical movie about P.T. Barnum and the start of the circus. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song for "This is Me" - an empowering song about those pushed out of the norm for being different and is a fight song of empowerment and overcoming doubters.

Even though it's a musical number, it reminds me that all the music we choose for our students can speak to us in many different ways. Last week my Varsity Girls were reading through Laura Farnell's, "In You I Found", on syllables. While we were talking about adding dynamics and writing those in our score, I asked the girls to look at what the text is saying at that moment. One of the girls came up after class and said that after reading through the entire piece, she can't wait to perform it for our audience. I asked her why, and she said, "Because it reminds me of my mother, she is my world where I want to always be close, she gives me wings and no matter what is going on she is like a pool unstirred and I come to her for advice and she will calmly reply with infinite wisdom"

I stood there for a moment with tears, because what she referenced was so beautiful, #1, and second......we haven't even started to touch the text yet.

In the next few weeks we will study the text line by line, phrase by phrase, meaning by meaning, so that the students become closer to what they are singing. How will each song impact your singers? What will they take away from the text of that piece? Is it an empowering anthem, is it a tear jerking remembrance?

What ways will you help your student to connect with what they are singing through their music for UIL Contest, Spring Concerts and Pop Shows?

We as choral musicians "Get To" connect with word meaning. Make sure you are helping your students or members of your choral ensemble achieve this connection.


The latest edition of Texas Sings! is available online. 

Click on the image to see the latest news from TCDA.





Renew your 2018 TCDA membership now

GUESS WHAT?!  TCDA membership is still the same low and reasonable price it's been for years!  What a deal!

Go to the TCDA membership page to renew your membership for 2018.

2018 TCDA Elementary Honor Choir - auditions open on February 1!  Your 2018 membershipship must be current to submit applications.  See all the details on our website, HERE.

2018 Convention Registration AND Hotel Reservations will open on February 12!  Be sure your 2018 membership is current to get your registration and hotel rooms made EARLY!

 New Tunes for your playlist

The TCDA board would like to share some of their favorites with you periodically.  This month's selection, courtesy of Christina Chapman.  Thanks Christina!

Perfect Symphony, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiDiKwbGfIY
Ed Sheeran & Andrea Bocelli

Several tracks from the movie "The Greatest Show":
The Greatest Show
A Million Dreams
Come Alive
Never Enough
This is Me
From Now On

Bleed the Same, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVKuA1s5I3o

Sure On This Shining Night, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwxlMvV6LkE
Morten Lauridsen

Will There Really Be a Morning?, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa9Zx_3K0DA
Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare



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TCDA Board of Directors 2017 - 2018
President -  Pam Elrod Huffman, Southern Methodist University
Past President - Kari Gilbertson, Richardson ISD
Vice President, HS - Jason Dove, Deer Park ISD
Vice President, MS/JH - Christina Chapman, Lovejoy ISD
Vice President, Elem - Debra Johnson, Belton ISD
Vice President, College/Community - Carolyn Cruse, Texas Tech University
Vice President, Church - Dan Baker, First Baptist Church Amarillo
Secretary/Treasurer - Carisa Niemeyer, Richardson ISD

Executive Director - Sharon Lutz
Member Services Coordinator - Hallie Boone

Texas Choral Directors Association
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Austin, TX  78754