From the President

AVA: Updates and Upcoming Events

AVA Updates And Upcoming Events

It was great to see many of you at this year’s Fall Workshop. We greatly appreciate Huntingdon College and Dr. Damion Womack for hosting us again this year. Thank you also to everyone who responded to our membership survey. We received wonderfully positive feedback from those in attendance about all of the sessions. Please continue to send us any feedback or ideas for our future workshops. For those who were unable to attend, please see the AVA website for handouts and presentations.

CHANGES FOR 2019-2020
Here are the changes that were shared during our Fall Workshop General Membership Meeting:

All-State Festival student fees were increased to $35 in anticipation of increased costs due to being at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex this year.

The State Choral Performance Assessment adjudication form now includes an auxiliary information form. We hope this form will be useful to the adjudicators in providing relevant feedback. The score spreads on the adjudication form were also adjusted slightly. The minimum point total to receive a superior rating is now 74 points.

The SCPA sight-reading rubric was revised to add the dotted quarter note to the Advanced MS/Intermediate HS level.


All-State auditions are fast approaching. Prior to the auditions, please make sure that your students have all of the required pieces, including “Alabama;” that all of their measures have been numbered; and that their adjudicator forms have been signed by a parent. Also, be certain to follow the instruction pages included in the music packets to ensure that your students are learning the correct notes for your district.

We are continuing to evaluate our All-State audition process in order to make it easier on our judges while also maintaining the integrity, rigor, and low cost of our current format. I shared with the membership at Fall Workshop that we will vote during AMEA to revise our bylaws in order to broaden who is allowed to judge our auditions. A motion will be made to change Article VII, Section 7.1 to read “The Executive Board will determine who serves as All-State audition adjudicators. Adjudicators will not judge their own students.” The handbook currently states that the Executive Board and Past-Presidents will serve as adjudicators. We believe we have qualified, capable, and willing retired directors who could serve as adjudicators in the future, if needed. This change will allow us to utilize those directors.


The Honor Choir Festival will take place during the AMEA conference. You may nominate up to two balanced quartets of your best sight-readers. The clinician for the festival will be Dr. Deana Joseph from Georgia State University. We hope to see great participation from across the state due to the new sight- reading format! There is no screening or preparation required for your students to participate. Register your students, order the music packets, and bring them to the festival to enjoy learning great music with a great clinician!


The 2020 AMEA Conference will be January 16-18 at the Renaissance Montgomery. Our guest clinician will be Dr. Tim Seelig, Artistic Director and Conductor of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Dr. Seelig, who is said to be known for his enthusiasm and sense of humor, is the author of multiple best-selling books and DVDs on choral technique. I am very excited to be bringing him to Alabama and I hope to see his sessions completely full with AVA members!

Congratulations to all of the choirs who were accepted to perform at the conference. We will have performances from middle school, high school, and collegiate choirs from across the state. It is a great honor to be selected to perform during this state-wide conference, so please be sure to come and support these groups and enjoy the music they are going to share. In addition to these groups, we will also have performances by the Alabama Honor Choir and Alabama All-State Show Choir.

I am looking forward to seeing you all in January. Until then, if I can be of help in any way or if you have any suggestions or ideas, please contact me at See you at AMEA!