The rare honor of being chosen to perform at a convention of the Eastern Division of the American Choral Directors Association has been bestowed upon the SUNY Fredonia Chamber Choir.
Only 17 choirs from nine northeastern states have been selected to participate in the 2022 ACDA convention to be held Feb. 9-12 in Boston. Only one other choir from New York State, the Treble Choir of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College CUNY, was chosen.
“This is a huge honor not just for the Chamber Choir, but for our incredible voice program, as well as the entire School of Music,” remarked Dr. Vernon Huff, who is Director of Choral Activities and Conductor. chamber choir orchestra.
“Having a choir perform at an American Choral Directors Association convention really gives the program elite status. The standards are very high and the competition is tough,” noted Dr. Huff. “Only four collegiate choirs have been selected to perform at the Eastern Division Conference this year, so we are very honored.”
The Fredonia Choir will be the third of three choirs to give two concerts, at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday, February 11, at Old South Church, built in the Golden Age and considered one of the finest American examples of Gothic Revival architecture. .
A rigorous audition process was used to select choirs for the convention, with Fredonia representing the best of choral programs across the northern United States, from Maryland to Maine, Huff said. He chose three selections that he felt best represented the Chamber Choir.
This year’s conference committee was interested in showcasing living and minority composers, Huff said, so it crafted a program that was both challenging and reflective of the diversity of choral music currently available.
“It’s hard, because there’s so much great choral music being arranged and composed right now,” Huff remarked. Submitted programs had to be 25 minutes long, allowing for applause or scene changes.
The chamber choir is generally composed of 24 singers, divided equally between sopranos/altos and tenors/basses. Her roster is chosen following auditions held during the first week of classes, Huff noted, “and then it’s off to the races. Everything we do between August and February will be focused on convention performance. But I know our wonderful students will rise to the challenge,” he said. “They always do!”
Reaction to the choir’s selection among current students and alumni has been universally positive, Huff noted, when the School of Music released the announcement.
“I’m thrilled to have the Chamber Choir represent our great voice sector at the convention. There are some truly wonderful things happening in our choir/opera/voice programs and it will be a pleasure to show our neighbors throughout the East Division,” Huff said.
Fredonia is also linked to the Queens College Choir, whose director, Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education Eric Rubinstein, earned a Mus.B. in Music Education at Fredonia in 2008.
Dr. Rubinstein has indicated that he is proud to be a graduate of the Fredonia School of Music, saying he owes much of his professional success to the experiences he gained during his undergraduate studies. “Not only does Fredonia provide a high quality music education, but a safe space to try new things, and a network of support from colleagues and teachers. I felt really taken care of at Fredonia,” Rubinstein said.
Rubinstein went on to earn an MM and DMA, both in choral conducting, from Michigan State University and Louisiana State University, respectively.
“It is because of my training at Fredonia that I am a creative, flexible, and compassionate educator,” Rubinstein said. “My love for choral music and music education is inspired by my work with Dan Ihasz, Laura Dornberger and the late Gerald Gray, and I continue to see their guidance reflected in my own teaching,” he said. .
The School of Music’s acting director, Daniel Ihasz, recalls that Rubinstein was deeply involved in choir, dance, and opera at Fredonia, and he also graduated with a minor in dance. Rubinstein was also one of Mr. Ihasz’s students in the choral program at New York State Summer School of the Arts before enrolling at Fredonia for his undergraduate degree.
The last time a Fredonia choir was invited to perform at an ACDA convention, also held in Boston, was in 1986, when Dr. Donald P. Lang was its director.