2016 - 2017 TCDA Board of Directors

March 2017                                    Choral Notes

Volume 29
Spring 2017

In This Issue...                

  1. Reading & Singing, Debra Johnson, Elementary Vice President
  2. TCDA MS/JH Honor Choir - see note
  3. Sarofim School of Fine Arts - Conductor's institute
  4. TCDA Treble Directors Chorus
  5. 2017 TCDA Membership renewal
  6. Make your summer hotel reservations now! And register for convention.
  7. Sandra Snow - Conducting Master Class

Reading & Singing, by Debra Johnson, Elementary Vice President

During this Read Across America Week,  I read Dr. Seuss' Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? to an enthusiastic kindergarten class who eagerly "mooed", buzzed", and "cock-a-doodle-dooed" in response. It occurred to me that I love combining two of my passions - reading aloud to children (and just books in general) and music. As a mom, I do believe the shared activity my children and I enjoyed most was when I read to them.  I have always read to my music classes, and my collection has grown as I've explored how to use my favorite children's books. It is my hope to encourage others to branch out into books and stories we don't usually associate with music.

We all understand the importance of encouraging children to explore vocally, and books are ideal for this.  Here are just a few of my favorite vocal exploration books. You may be familiar with many of them, but hopefully you will discover some new gems.

  • Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig - This one is also great for beat as its title suggests.
  • Moo! By David LaRochelle
  • How to Speak Moo! By Deborah Fagerman can also be used for TEKS of loud/soft, fast/slow, and high/low.
  • Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
  • Buzzzzzzz Said the Bee by Wendy Lewison can also be combined with all the bee chants and songs.
  • The Little Scarecrow Boy by Margaret Wise Brown is great for high and low.

Then there are books that are awesome for their irresistible beat or engaging rhymes.  These abound so I've only listed a couple.

  • Possum Come a-Knockin' by Nancy van Laan
  • Sailing off to Sleep by Linda Ashman - Combine this one with lullabies. 
  • Smile, Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

I particularly love collecting seasonal books.  These are fun to use when students can perform several songs and chants during the course of the story.  My favorite seasonal books to combine with songs and rhymes are:

  • White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Snow by Uri Shulevitz
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

There are seasonal books that I enjoy reading at the end of class after we've sung a number of seasonal songs.  They fit the seasonal theme and are a fun (and calming) way to conclude class.

  • Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
  • Ghosts in the House! By Kazuno Kohara
  • Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner

I teach at a very small school where I see everybody every day.  These books work well at the end of class or on a Friday, as they are a little longer.  I combine some of them with songs or rhymes they've been learning.

  • Lentil by Robert McCloskey
  • Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey (combines well with several songs and chants and vocal exploration, high/low, loud/soft)
  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey which I also combine with folk songs

Whenever you have the opportunity to really explore children's books with an eye for including them in your music lesson, creative ideas will begin to spring forth. These ideas can be used for the children's enjoyment and pleasure or worked into a program.  The inspiration is endless.

Whatever you do, read with great expression and drama to keep your listeners spell bound.  Have fun, too.  Happy reading and singing!

2017 TCDA MS/JH Honor Choir Auditions - FIRM Deadline is midnight, Saturday March 25

We've re-evaluated the HC application deadline and due to spring break and UIL conflicts, we have moved it to Saturday, midnight, March 25.  This is a FIRM DATE and there will absolutely be no other changes to this date.

We are pleased to have Dr. Derrick Fox, Director of Choral Activities and Asst Professor of Music at the University of Nebraska-Omaha as this year's Honor Choir Conductor. Derrick is an active adjudicator and clinician for regional, state, national and international organizations from middle school/junior high to the collegiate level.

Read all about him and all the details for YOUR kids to participate in this year's TCDA Honor Choir.  It's always a highlight of the convention.

MS/JH Honor Choir Information & Audition Details




Conducted by Lori Hetzel, University of Kentucky

Important Information:
Registration Deadline: May 15, 2017
Registration Cost: $35/singer (includes music, commemorative certificate, and a fabulous experience!)
Dress: Concert Black
Voice Parts: The chorus will be limited to 160 singers, 40 in each voice part (S1, S2, A1, A2)

Important Dates:
Music sent - early June
Sectional Rehearsals - July 20th 
Rehearsals - July 20th (afternoon), July 21st (morning)
Dress Rehearsal, July 21st (afternoon)
FINAL Performance, Saturday July 22nd, 10:30am

Directors Chorus Information & Registration

Renew your TCDA membership for 2017 now so you don't miss a thing! 

Click here to get started

Important links:

2017 Convention Pre-Registration and Housing



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TCDA Board of Directors 2016 - 2017
President - Kari Gilbertson, Richardson ISD
Past President - Billy Talley, Amarillo ISD
President-Elect - Pam Elrod Huffman, Southern Methodist University

Vice President, HS - Thomas Rinn, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
Vice President, MS/JH - Connie Horton, The Woodlands 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 - Leigh Ann McClure, Keller ISD

Executive Director - Sharon Lutz
Member Services Coordinator - Hallie Boone

Texas Choral Directors Association
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Austin, TX  78754