2015-2016 TCDA Board of Directors

June 2016                                    Choral Notes

Volume 21
Summer 2016

In This Issue...Only 6 weeks until Convention!                

  1. 2016 Convention - Abbreviated Schedule!
  2. "Classically Choral" - Billy Talley, Past President
  3. Annual Sing-In
  4. High School Student Day - Two sessions! One at Convention and one in the DFW area
  5. 2016 Membership Renewal
  6. 2016 Festival Chorus Information
  7. VOTE - 2016 Candidates for TCDA Board of Directors
  8. Hotel Convention Housing
  9. In Memoriam

2016 Convention!

The 2016 TCDA Convention is quickly approaching!  We are so excited to share our abbreviated schedule with you to give you an idea of everything that will be happening this summer.  Visit our website here to view the schedule and pre-register for convention! 

REMEMBER - even if you are planning to bring payment with you to convention, you can STILL complete the pre-registration form online before July 1st!  On the payment screen just indicate that you will be paying later.  This saves you time when you arrive in July as you are able to get right into the pre-registrants line and submit your payment there.

Classically Choral by Billy Talley, Past President

By the time you read this, the school year will be in its final stages. The UIL contests are completed for another year. The testing for students is about finished. You may have already wrapped up your auditions for next year's choirs. You've got this year in the books and it is time for a well-deserved break. So I won't attempt to inspire you with words of encouragement or some kind of cheerleading session. But I would like for you to think about something as you approach next year.

As I judge in other regions and listen to the choirs in my own region, I am becoming more and more aware of the lack of period music in our programming for UIL contests. I am guilty of this myself. In the process of selecting music for your contest program, do you make an effort to include a number or two written before 1900? Or is your program completely contemporary? When was the last time your choir sang a piece by a dead composer?

Cloys Webb is one of my choral heroes. He was a successful choral director at multiple levels. In his final year as a director, I had the chance to judge his elementary choir from Perryton at a music festival. The music he chose represented three different music periods. He sang Mozart and Bach with his fifth-graders! Of course, the songs were two-part versions that were appropriate for those singers. But those singers had the chance to sing music of the masters!

I did a survey of the titles/composers from my own region's UIL High School Choir Contests over the past six contests. I looked only at high school varsity groups. I found that over 80% of the songs were written since 1980. About 8% were from the Renaissance period. About 4% came from each of the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods. I would bet that the percentages from your region would be similar.

Our Prescribed Music List is full of great literature from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras. I am not sure of the reasons, but we tend to pick new arrangements over the tried and true compositions of earlier centuries. Maybe we think the period pieces are too hard. Or not interesting enough to hold our choir's interest. Or maybe it is because we were never exposed to great literature in our own choral experiences. Whatever the reasons, we are neglecting the choral education of our singers by not exposing them to the great choral music of past centuries.

We have many outstanding composers/arrangers in the music business today. I would never downplay their importance in the choral world. But I am asking you to think about some balance in your programming for next year. Our singers need to experience the vast variety of sounds found in the great choral literature of the past, as well as the quality choral music that is available today.

Happy summer!

TCDA Sing-In

Back by popular demand!! This year's Sing-In will be excerpts from Handel's Messiah.  Don't forget to bring your G Schirmer Edition score or if you can't find it, there will be some available for purchase.  Come and sing along!

  • Thursday, July 21
  • 5:00 - 6:00 pm
  • Stars at Night Ballroom 3 & 4

High School Student Day

TCDA is again offering a High School Leadership day during Convention on Saturday, July 23.  Consider having your student leaders participate in this impactful and transformative event for only $15 each!!  See all the details here.  Teachers register students for this within the Convention registration form.

Now a student leadership day offered in the DFW area! TCDA is offering a High School Day in the DFW area after convention on August 3 at Colleyville HS.  Speakers and schedule have been announced - find all the information on our website HERE!

Membership renewal for 2016 is underway. 

The TCDA membership year is Jan. 1 - Dec. 31.  Renew your membership now to ensure you don't miss a thing!  Click here to get started.

Convention Pre-registration and Hotel Housing is open!  Be sure to make your hotel reservations ASAP (& before June 23 for the lower contracted rates) to ensure you get what you need and want.  All the information you need will be on our website on the Convention page

Grand Hyatt, Marriott RW & RC are sold out!

2016 Festival Chorus

The Festival Chorus will be comprised of adult church choir singers from all around the state as well as outside of Texas.  Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity with Dr. Rosephanye Powell!
Registration is $45.  Complete information can be found here.

Candidates for the TCDA Board of Directors - Please VOTE

The 2016 Board of Director positions to be voted on are: President Elect; Vice President, Church; Vice President, Elementary; and Vice President, College/Community.  Please introduce yourselt to the slate of candidates by visiting our website, Candidates.  Voting is online and open NOW!

In Memoriam

Please help us ensure we are aware of any of our colleagues that may have passed since the 2015 Convention.  We've created a simple and quick way for you to let us know.  Please click here to be directed to our website.


Be sure to visit our Facebook Page

TCDA Board of Directors 2015 - 2016
President - Kari Gilbertson, Richardson ISD
Past President - Billy Talley, Amarillo ISD
Vice President, HS - Thomas Rinn, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
Vice President, MS/JH - Connie Horton, Conroe 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