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"Promoting choral excellence throughout Ohio."

OCDA Presents "New Directions" Webinar Series

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The OCDA Professional Development committee is excited to continue the “New Directions” online webinar series in Spring 2021. Based on OCDA member feedback and suggestions, each session will focus on a topic that will provide new insight into navigating through the future of choral music making. We invite all members to join us via Zoom as we continue our dialogue on teaching choral music that is accessible, meaningful, and inclusive.

OCDA Members were emailed the links to these webinars. If you are not an OCDA member and would like to participate, please contact the chair of the Professional Development Committee, Emily Pence Brown.

All webinars begin at 7:00 PM EST.
January 11

Virtual Choral Music Making
Dr. Troy Robertson, Tarleton State University and Founder of ChorAmor

ChorAmor is a coalition that offers free and open resources to choral directors related to repertoire, hybrid, and distance learning. In the fall of 2020 Dr. Robertson worked with high schools, collegiate ensembles, community choirs, and church choirs, creating more than 40 virtual choir experiences. In this session Dr. Robertson will discuss the lessons he and others have learned this fall, and the ways in which he hopes to create meaningful, impactful experiences for singers and audiences of all types in the spring of 2021. Dr. Robertson will give an overview of the virtual choir process, best practices for online instruction, and tips for keeping the workload manageable. Dr. Robertson will also give an overview of the many hours of training and training materials available for free via ChorAmor.
February 8

Creating Inclusive Choral Artistry with Trans & Gender Expansive Singers
Dr. Matthew Garrett, Case Western University

Creating choral ensembles that celebrate gender diversity can be an impactful way to teach artistry to all students. In this interactive session, participants will learn vocal techniques that can be particularly helpful with trans singers. Teachers currently working with trans and gender expansive students will have an opportunity to share their ideas for vocal success. We will also consider inclusive language and ensemble policies useful in creating safer and more welcoming choirs.

OCDA College & University Commissioning Consortium

We are pleased to announce the second OCDA College and University Commissioning Consortium. While this project is geared toward collegiate-level ensembles, but it is open to any and all choral directors/groups who feel a moderate level collegiate choral piece is appropriate for their ensemble. Full details and registration can be found on the Commissioning Consortium Page.

Previous OCDA Webinars Available

The "New Directions" Webinar series offers OCDA members and choral directors throughout the world the opportunity for professional development in a diverse field of timely topics. If you missed any of the previous webinars or would like to watch them again, they are available here. Please click the button below to access the webinar of your choice.

View the video recordings of the October and November webinars:


Fall 2020 Edition of the OCDA News Now Available

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The Fall 2020 OCDA News, the newsletter of the Ohio Choral Directors Association, is now available for viewing as a PDF.

In this issue:
  • President Brandon Moss touts our New Directions webinar series;
  • Jason McKee and Chris Venesile offer helpful responses to the pandemic;
  • Hae-Jong Lee provides an insightful introduction to Baroque performance practice;
  • Mario Buchanan shares some books that can help you stay grounded; and
  • Amy Gelsone highlights past Distinguished Service Award recipients from the past two decades.

Also included is an important call for board member nominations, a Summer Conference recap, the Treasurer’s annual report, and the current leadership roster.

Click the link and benefit from the expertise and experience of our board members!

Previous editions of the newsletter are available here.

OCDA News Archive Now Available

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OCDA is proud to announce the introduction of the OCDA News Archive. Thanks to the efforts of OCDA Historian, Amy Gelsone and IT Coordinator, Eric West, OCDA News issues dating all the way back to the late 1960's are now available for viewing and downloading in PDF format.

Click here to access this new OCDA resource and peak back into what OCDA was and what it become over the past six decades.

Virtual Conference A Great Success

OCDA hosted it’s first ever Virtual Conference on Tuesday, June 23rd using the Zoom platform. Hundreds of participants from all over North America and beyond participated in presentations, panel discussions, roundtable discussion, virtual concerts, and a virtual “happy hour.” Thank you to our guest speakers, Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt & Dr. Scott Edgar for their enlightening and engaging presentations. Thank you to our panelists and roundtable participants for their candor and their expertise. Thank you to the ensemble directors that provided amazing performances for our virtual concerts. Thank you to all who spent the day with us as participants.

Resources from the conference are available by going to our Virtual Conference Webpage. You can access video recordings of the featured presentations, you can download PDF documents of slideshows and discussions, you can access videos of the virtual concert performances and you can view the virtual reading session list with links to demo recordings.

Access the Virtual Conference Webpage here.

Sandra Mathias Receives the 2019 Distinguished Service Award

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OCDA has the distinct pleasure and honor of presenting the 2019 Distinguished Service Award to Sandra Mathias. Sandy has a lengthy record of service to OCDA and Choral Music.

*Sandy is absolutely passionate about choral music, and about children’s choral music in particular. She has dedicated her life’s work to singing, teaching children to sing, training teachers of singing, and planning and organizing singing opportunities for children. She has been, and continues to be, very involved in OCDA, serving as a board member in the recent past, as a satellite director for the children’s honors choir, as the clinician in 2014 for the children’s honors choir, and as a committee member for the children’s honors choir. She also served as a clinician for the Elementary Choir Festival in 2013.

**For many years her name has been synonymous with excellence in choral performance and choral pedagogy. From her work as a professor at Capital University, to her founding and administering the summer Kodaly Institute at Capital University, to her artist-level work with the Columbus Children’s Choir, Sandy has been a beacon of inspiration with regard to integrating systematic pedagogy with choral performance.

One need only look at her list of professional awards to see that her work and teaching is respected both in the United States and abroad. Guest lectures, a national ACDA conference concert with the Columbus Children’s Choir, international tours with the CCC, and awards from prestigious musical organizations all attest to the distinguished career she has led.

Additionally, Sandy has taught and mentored numerous young teachers who devote their careers to students in Ohio. Long after completing a degree at Capital University or a certification program at the Kodaly Institute, students appreciate Sandy’s ongoing interest in their careers and they seek her counsel with regard to pedagogical challenges. They know, as do many OCDA members, that Sandra Mathias possesses wisdom by virtue of time served.


*excerpted from Suzanne Walters’ nomination letter
**excerpted from Robert Ward’s nomination letter

Join The OCDA Mailing List

If you are not currently receiving emails from OCDA and would like to be added to our email list, please sign-up here: OCDA Email List

Links to Other Resources

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Community Choirs in Ohio

Ohio is home to a wide variety of community choirs. Learn more about them on our feature page for community choirs, and check out where they reside and how they can enrich your life in the art of choral music today.

Check out the OCDA Community Choir page.
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