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Interest Session 3

Saturday, August 5, 8:45-9:45 am
Avoid the Repertoire Rut: Expanding Your Knowledge of Choral Repertoire – Ryan Kelly
Do you prioritize learning new repertoire? The health of our programs is dependent on one’s ever-growing knowledge of choral repertoire. The vast amount of unknown choral music can be daunting, but there are systematic ways of expanding your knowledge of repertoire so that you need not rely on occasional reading sessions and publisher recommendations to find engaging music that revitalizes your concerts and teaching. Ryan Kelly will demonstrate how to develop a personal “repertoire discovery plan”—from researching composers past and present, making your personal library useful, maintaining a “want to program” database, culling music from festival lists, exploring foreign recordings, and perusing niche “off the beaten path” sources for genre-specific music. The session is designed for conductors and teachers of all levels…school/church/community/elementary-adult. Avoid the "repertoire rut;" if you develop the discipline to regularly learn new repertoire, your teaching, students, and audiences will thank you!
Dr. Ryan Kelly is associate director of choral activities at West Chester University of Pennsylvania where he directs Mastersingers, Cantari Donne, and Chamber Singers and teaches courses in conducting and choral music. Dr. Kelly earned his D.M.A. in choral conducting from Michigan State University; he also has an M.M. from the University of Oklahoma and a B.M. from Houston Baptist University. He is an active lecturer and clinician with numerous appearances at national, regional, and state conferences of the National Association for Music Education, the American Choral Directors Association, and the American Guild of Organists. His publications include performance editions and compositions with Carus-Verlag, Boosey & Hawkes, G. Schirmer, and Augsburg Fortress publishers, multiple articles in Choral Journal, and his book Handel’s Messiah: Warm-Ups for Successful Performance with Hal Leonard. Also an experienced church musician, he is director of music and organist at Proclamation Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr, PA.
Distracted Musicking: Choral Singing as Multitask – Jason Vodicka
Choral singing requires coordinated attention to multiple brain activities including music reading, vocal technique, musical style, and language. Choral singing isn’t just walking and chewing gum, it’s walking and chewing gum while rubbing your head and patting your stomach (and emoting in a foreign language!).
Research on multitasking shows that the human brain is only capable of focusing on one activity at a time, especially when learning new tasks. How then might choral rehearsal technique be designed to help singers accomplish the many varied tasks they must attend to when singing in a choir?
This session presents a new theoretical construct of the choral enterprise as multitask. It then explores ideas about how to structure the choral rehearsal to make the most efficient use of time and focus, with the ultimate goal of creating self-sufficient singers.
Jason Vodicka is Assistant Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Education at Susquehanna University. He is also Music Director of the Harrisburg Choral Society and has been a member of the Westminster Choir College summer session faculty for the last twelve years.
Essence of Joy: One, Two and Three – Anthony Leach
Essence of Joy is a choir in the Penn State School of Music that performs sacred and secular choral music from the African and African American choral idioms. It is the foundation of the EOJ singing community that also involves Essence 2, Ltd. and the Essence of Joy Alumni Singers. The session will provide a historical glimpse of the musical and organizational evolution of the choirs since 1991 with Dr. Anthony Leach, founder and artistic director.
Sing for the Moment – Rachel Cornacchio
Modeled after the Giving Voice Chorus of Minnesota, the Sing for the Moment Choir of Central Pennsylvania continues building an evolving support system with people who understand the struggles and challenges those with Alzheimer’s or related dementias (ADRD) face.  The chorus provides an opportunity for people in the early to middle stages of memory loss, as well as their care partners, to enjoy music and socialize with other people living with the disease.
This session will give an overview of how the program began in Pennsylvania.  Ideas of how the rehearsals are structured and the ways in which choir members participate will be outlined.
A brief review of literature that discusses the wellness aspects of singing for persons with ADRD will be given.
Dr. Rachel Cornacchio is Associate Professor of Music and Director of the Graduate Program in Conducting at Messiah College. As a public school educator, she has taught in New York, New Jersey, and Florida in grades K-12. Dr. Cornacchio served as an elementary general music specialist in Peekskill, NY and Director of Choral Activities at Newburgh Free Academy in Newburgh, NY. While in Newburgh, choirs and soloists under Dr. Cornacchio's direction received top honors at solo and ensemble festivals. Community organizations with which she has worked include the Newburgh Symphonic Chorale, the Oregon Young Women's Choir, and the Sing for the Moment Choir. Before coming to Messiah College,
Dr. Cornacchio acted as Visiting Instructor at the University of Oregon where she directed the University Concert Choir and taught courses in Choral Music Education.
Dr. Cornacchio has presented papers at the regional, national, and international levels.  She currently serves as Repertoire & Standards Chair for Women’s Choirs for the American Choral Directors Association – PA.  Dr. Cornacchio is active as a guest conductor, clinician, and presenter.