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Ohio Choral Directors Association Update

Jeanne Wohlgamuth
I am deeply honored to begin my term as President of OCDA (and thank you for your trust and support). I approach this role with great enthusiasm and a deep sense of responsibility and am eager to work alongside each of you in the upcomi
As you prepare to take the journey into a new season with your school, church, community, and professional choirs, I trust that you have spent the past few weeks/ months reading through repertoire and planning performances and programs, all in anticipation of the year ahead. Do you have the sense of being somewhat unprepared, like me? Do you still have a handful of pieces to select for a particular program, scores that need exploring, or rehearsals to plan? Does a stack of music from our summer conference sit unopened on your desk, waiting for your attention? While these feelings may sometimes be overwhelming, they are a testament to your passion and dedication. The start of a new school year or season isn’t just a beginning; it’s an exciting time full of possibilities. It is a chance to embark on a journey with your choirs, delve into uncharted musical territories, introduce and experiment with different genres, and build deeper relationships with returning singers or cultivate new relationships with incoming singers.
As you navigate these uncertain times, remember that growth often comes from challenges. Embrace these moments as opportunities to push your creative boundaries and refine your artistic skills. Your passion, artistry, and commitment to your choirs will help drive you forward and bring you much success. Before we delve into plans for the 2023-2024 season, I want to thank Doug O’Neil, Kathleen Pellington, and the OCDA board for your tireless efforts in orchestrating a successful summer conference. I hope that each of you had the opportunity to attend and left with your toolboxes filled to the brim with valuable, informative, and fresh new ideas. As we look ahead, mark your calendars for the 2024 OCDA Summer Conference. The conference is June 24 - 26, 2024, on the campus of Capital University. The conference will feature headliners Dr. Julie Yu, Director of Choral Studies at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music, Oklahoma City University, and Dr. Derrick Fox, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Creative Endeavors and Professor of Choral Music at Michigan State University. I challenge you to invite at least one, maybe two colleagues to join OCDA and attend our summer conference. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements about additional clinicians who will join us.
One of the most gratifying moments in my career was when my singers were selected to perform at the OCDA Summer Conference. Would you like your ensemble to experience this at the 2024 Summer Conference? If you answer yes, the deadline to submit your application and three audio samples is March 1, 2024. The application can be found through this link: Summer Conference Performing Ensemble 2024. Additionally, please plan to attend the ACDA Midwestern Regional Conference, themed “Reflect, Rejuvenate, Rejoice.” This event is February 7-10, 2024, in Omaha, Nebraska. The conference will be at the CHI Health Center Omaha, with accommodations available at the Hilton Omaha and the Omaha Marriott Downtown, the designated conference hotels. I am thrilled to share that Ohio will be well represented. Amy and Andrew Blosser will present an interest session titled “You Are the Voice Teacher: Teaching Technique and Authenticity of Vocal Production in Choral Singers.” Additionally, Bowling Green State University’s Ensemble Volaré, under the direction of Emily Pence Brown, will be featured performers. Please join me in extending congratulations to both for this remarkable achievement.
I extend my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has concluded their tenure, whether as an elected board member or as an R&R Chair. Your tireless efforts and commitment to OCDA are truly valued. Your contributions have had a lasting and positive impact on our organization. In addition, I would like to welcome our newly elected board members and R&R Chairs. Your dedication and guidance will undoubtedly shape the growth of OCDA and its members. For those already a member of the OCDA community, I am confident you have discovered a wealth of benefits in being a part of a vibrant community of choral directors dedicated to the art of choral music. For those of you who are not yet a member of OCDA, I encourage you to join. In addition to our Summer Conference, OCDA provides access to a wealth of resources. These include ChoralNet, ACDA Choral Journal, ChorTeach, and OCDA News. These publications feature outstanding articles by gifted and seasoned directors in our profession. OCDA takes pride in our commitment to supporting new and early-career directors through a mentorship program. We also offer opportunities for your singers to participate in special performance activities, such as our Elementary Choir Festivals, Treble Honor Choir, and High School Mixed Honor Choir. In closing, as we journey through this year, I encourage you to remember that OCDA thrives thanks to the vibrant involvement of our members. It’s the passion, dedication, and love for choral music that drive our accomplishments and shape our identity as an organization. If you haven’t already become a part of OCDA, I wholeheartedly encourage you to consider doing so. Together, we will further fortify OCDA into a robust and dynamic organization!