The Bethel College Concert Choir is no stranger to statewide choral showcases in the form of the Kansas Music Educators Association annual meeting. This year, the choir has stepped up a notch.
The 60-voice choir, under the direction of William Eash, will perform March 21 in Little Rock, Ark., for the Southwestern Division convention of the American Choral Directors Association.
Bethel’s was one of 18 choirs selected to perform at the convention and one of five traditional college choirs. This year, there will be five college choirs representing a student population ranging from 1,500-3,200 students and one choir representing a campus of 18,000.
“There is one collegiate jazz choir,” Eash said, “and the remainder are high school choirs, community choirs, women’s choirs and men’s choirs.”
ACDA is the umbrella organization for all choir directors across the country. The SWACDA territory includes Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
“ACDA member directors cover all aspects of the choral spectrum, from elementary school, middle school, high school and college to community and church music,” Eash said. “Each year, the organization gathers to hear the most recent research on singing, discover new music, listen to choirs and network with other choral directors. In preparation for these events, any choir director who is a member of ACDA may submit recordings to audition their choir for the performance aspect of the convention.”
The auditions are blind auditions -- selected professionals from within ACDA listen to unlabeled CDs.
“You are required to submit a recording that contains one selection from each of the previous three years of choral singing,” Eash said. “This ensures that there is a record of excellence in the choral program.”
Learn more on Bethel’s website.