The below was originally posted in the Virginia ACDA e-newsletter.
As an organizer, I believe deeply that this experience is vital in fostering the skills and nurturing the choral art in the life-long singer. There are far fewer opportunities for adult singers to participate in an honor choir than for singers who are still in school, yet many adults are longing to continue the All-District and All-State experiences they typically had. Voices United Festival Chorus fills the bill! This year the Festival Chorus was directed by Dr. Janet Galván who brought the chorus to an artistic peak on a diverse program that included choral classics, American folk, gospel and world music. Coincidentally, Dr. Galván also directed another intergenerational honor chorus at the Pennsylvania ACDA summer conference just before ours.
Quotes from singers:
-MaAs one of the oldest singers there and without prior participation in that large and talented a group, the whole experience was truly awesome for me. I had practiced a LOT beforehand, and taken voice lessons, but am a better singer now, as well as musically enriched. Hope I have opportunities for similar activities in the future.
I just want to thank you guys for this opportunity to sing along with my son in the ACDA Festival Chorus. I always treasure working with new directors because I love the thought of gleaning new techniques. Plus it's cool to sing with my kid :)
I had a marvelous time last week. I noted how well the youngers mixed with the olders. I never dreamed I could do 2 of the selections but out they came- in fact quite loud!
Thank you so very much for all of your efforts. Festival Chorus was a wonderful experience for me and my two teenagers.
I hope you realize how much many of us look forward to this event each year; and -- although we may not remember to mention it at the time -- we do realize that your tireless efforts pay a great role in making it possible.
Thank you for all your hard work. It was so much fun for my son to sing and for me to watch and listen! I thought Dr. Galvan was a brilliant clinician. As a soprano, I got so much out of listening to her excellent comments and suggestions to the sopranos. I am applying her ideas in my singing in my church choir.
I learned a lot this year under the direction of Dr. Galvan and enjoy singing the songs over and over. The importance of looking at a piece and putting heartfelt expression into the music according to the meaning of the words, really made an impression on me. I am also grateful for the experience.
Thank you again, Mary-Hannah! One of the best and most educational weeks of my year!
Chair, Community Choirs
Virginia American Choral Directors Association