From the President

AVA: Thank you for your contributions to the AMEA Conference!

Ginny Coleman

It was so nice to see many of you at our conference last month.  I appreciate all those who worked to be sure that everything ran smoothly.  Those who were in attendance enjoyed re-connecting with each other, sharing information, and attending sessions and concerts.  If you did not attend the AMEA conference this year, I encourage you to go ahead and make plans to do so next year.  We are excited and a little nervous about our move to Birmingham in 2018, and are looking forward to the opportunities that a different venue will open up for our conference.

I certainly enjoyed my interaction with J.D. Frizzell at the AMEA conference.  I particularly appreciated his session on teaching philosophy.  It is so important to reflect on what we do each day instead of merely running on autopilot.  I thought his reading session addressed content for various levels and included repertoire appropriate for our singers.  I encourage you to contact JW Pepper any time that you need literature as they provided the reading session booklets at no cost to AVA.  Our other sessions covered a variety of topics from “how to” vocal jazz and a cappella pop to proper diction to recruiting and retention.  If you have something new or interesting that you would like to share, I encourage you to submit to present at AMEA next year.

Congratulations to the students and directors who provided performances at the conference.  Because of our move to an alternate performance venue, we were able to hear more choirs than we have in the past.  We hope to continue the pattern of an alternative venue and a two-hour concert block at the 2018 AMEA Conference.  We encourage you to submit an application to perform.  This year, we will provide you with a recording of your SCPA performance as a part of your SCPA registration cost.  Our hope is that the recording will make it a little easier for you gather the materials needed for your application.


We are looking forward to seeing you and your students who were chosen to be a member of an all-state choir in March.  You will find information about all-state and the conductors in this issue of the Ala Breve.  Or, you may visit the AVA website to view the information.  By the time you read this article your all-state correspondence packet will be available on the AVA website from our president-elect Meg Jones.

We appreciate Samford University for once again hosting all-state.  Kenny Gannon, Brian Ernsberger, and their staff have already begun working to be sure that our event is a success.  Thanks to everyone who has agreed to serve as a choir coordinator, assistant coordinator, or attendance monitor.  Your service is appreciated.


In an effort to connect with our colleagues who are not plugged in with AVA, we are offering a free registration initiative for State Choral Performance Assessment.  Directors may register one choir for free (school fee and student fees waived) if their school has not participated in SCPA in the past three years.  Please share with your colleagues who may be interested in taking advantage of this offer.

We are also pleased to be able to provide additional services this year during our SCPA event.  Each district chair will contract a recording engineer to record all choirs that perform at SCPA.  After SCPA is complete, each director will receive a copy of his/her ensemble’s recordings at no additional cost.


This year we have made an effort to provide the AVA membership with increased instruction and reminders about registration deadlines, etc.  We occasionally get questions about where to find information.  You should expect all information for all AVA events to be available on our website.  For example, if you are attending an SCPA in another district, you should be able to get all information concerning the event you are attending from the AVA website.  Let your district chairman know if you have difficulty accessing anything.

The AVA Board is continually striving to 1) maintain adherence to our mission statement and 2) improve our functionality.  Along those lines, we have begun discussion about the following:

  • Streamlining the All-State audition process using available recording technology rather than sending five judges on a tour around the state
  • Modifying the sight-reading portion of SCPA to allow directors to choose an appropriate sight-reading example for their students based on students’ ability
  • The future of All-State Show Choir and how it fits into the structure of AVA

We are interested in thoughtful, written feedback in the form of an email to me or anyone else on the AVA Board.  Please let us know if you have anything you would like to add to the conversation.  Your thoughts are welcome and appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read about your professional association.  Please send questions, suggestions, or ideas to me at I am looking forward to seeing you in March!