August 2021 Choral Notes


2021 Convention Wrap-Up
Thomas Rinn, Past President

As I reflect on the success of the TCDA summer convention I continue to be amazed by the work of the innumerable volunteers and their dedication, talent, and time offered to our organization to make this possible not only during the three days of convention, but also during the months and years leading up to this event. Our return to an in-person convention alongside an online convention was a feat supported by the work of the board of directors and an army of over seventy five member volunteers. The willingness of the membership to serve is at the heart of TCDA and exhibits the deep love and commitment Texas choral directors have to our organization.

I would like to specifically thank our board of directors for their work in making the impossible possible over the last two years as well as our convention committee chairs Evan Key (logistics), De’Evin Johnson (registration), Nick Standish (socials), and Hayley Scoggins (socials) for their work. This convention would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors and vendors. In a year when many were facing unprecedented financial difficulties, they continued to support TCDA. I encourage you to review the list of sponsors on our website, thank them and continue to support them with your business.  

Finally, I would like to recognize past-president Pam Elrod-Huffman as she departs the TCDA board after over a decade of service. Pam has been steadfast in her vision, her leadership, and her love of TCDA and as past-president has been a model of encouragement, mentorship, and leadership that I will strive to achieve as I move into her role.

The past years have brought many challenges and also exciting changes to TCDA. As we continue to examine the practices of TCDA and work to transform into an organization that supports and serves all choral musicians in Texas we continue to welcome your voice and participation. In the coming months you will see exciting announcements from TCDA, calls to join in leadership, calls to participate in committees that will shape the future of TCDA, and opportunities to submit proposals and performances for TCDA events.

Please consider serving in whatever capacity you feel you will best contribute to TCDA. The future of TCDA, its purpose and vision, are all in the hands of the membership. It has been a highlight of my career to have the opportunity to serve as TCDA president and to learn and grow as a leader and choral musician in this role. I look forward to continuing to serve our organization alongside each of you. 


The Future is Bright!
Carolyn Cruse, President

TCDA’s High School Leadership Day 2021 edition was a huge success with nearly 500 students participating from 49 high schools across the state. This was our first venture into a “hybrid” format for this event -- Dr. Kelly Miller from the University of Central Florida joined us virtually during the morning portion of the schedule and shared characteristics of great leaders, strategies to increase leadership skills, and activities that encouraged attendees to build verbal and nonverbal communication. The afternoon portion of the schedule included various offerings for each location with in-person presenters and interactive activities for the HS choir leaders. Check out the full schedule HERE.

Many thanks to the HSLD 2021 host sites and coordinators:
    Houston Area: St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Justin Bair & Grace Roman
    Central TX Area: Stony Point HS, Michael Zook, & Andre Clark
    DFW Area: Trinity HS, Michael Dean
    West TX Area: Texas Tech University, Carolyn Cruse
    South TX Area, Virtual Option: Melody Eriksson

If you did not have a chance to participate in TCDA’s HS Leadership Day this year, we encourage you to consider adding this to your choral calendar for 2022! The date(s), locations, and schedule will be announced prior to TMEA in February.

Welcome New Board Members:
TCDA is honored to welcome our newly-elected Board members:
    Audrey De La Cruz, Bush MS (San Antonio) - MS/JH Vice-President
    Ryan Forkner, North Mesquite HS (Mesquite) - HS Vice-President
    Nicholas Likos, Cy-Fair HS (Houston) - Secretary/Treasurer

The TCDA board members look forward to serving YOU, our TCDA Membership this coming year in promoting the art and artistry of choral singing and providing multiple professional development opportunities for all members!


2022 Winter Conference

We want to hear from you!  Submit your ideas for topics and clinics for the 2022 Winter Conference.  Please submit by October 1.


2021 Award Recipients

In case you missed it, TCDA recognized 13 outstanding colleagues for various achievements including NEW awards established this year. Take a look at the TCDA website to see all the recipients and the new awards.

Read More About the 2021 Awards
Nominate An Outstanding Colleague

If you would like to nominate someone for any of the TCDA Awards, please do so.  The nomination forms are available through April 1, 2022.


Middle School Music Grants


150 Middle School Music Grants Available The Peter R. Marsh Foundation, headquartered in Camas, WA, is offering 150 Music Grants to middle school music teachers during the 2021/22 school year. A Music Grant has a value of $1,000.00 and is limited to one per middle school per year.

Founded in 2002, the Foundation’s primary mission is to support schools in their efforts to embed social and emotional intelligence in students. With student public service widely recognized as an effective way to accomplish this goal, the Foundation maintains the annual “Student Silent Servant Award” program that annually recognizes and awards scores of high school students for their altruistic deeds.

The Foundation is now extending its benefaction to middle schools. “This streamlined Music Grant Program is consistent with our high school student-service mission.” says Peter Marsh, Board Chairman. “A teacher can complete and submit a Grant Request in just ten minutes. The teacher also decides how the funds will be used for music education in their school.”

Middle school teachers, nationwide, can view the Grant Guidelines and the Music Grant Request Form on the Foundation’s website: Grants are limited to the first 150 qualified grant requests received.

Media Contact Person: J. Greco
Title: Program Director
Director’s Phone Number: (509) 680 3130
Directors Email: [email protected]
Foundation Name: Peter R. Marsh Foundation {501(c)(3) non-profit}


Contact Info:

Texas Choral Directors Association
PO Box 50250, Austin, TX 78763
Phone:  512-474-2801
Email:  [email protected]

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