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Dear Wisconsin Choral Directors,

Spring 2020 has been a time of great upheaval and change. This message is to update you on how WCDA and our national organization, ACDA, are working to serve you.

Regarding the Impacts of Racism and Racial Injustice, please see this statement from ACDA.
Recently, I've been moved by this recording from Sweet Honey in the Rock and I share it in hopes that we might hear this voice in our time of reflection.

In the past year, WCDA has added a Diversity Initiative Liaison to our board (Erica Breithbarth) and we have had ongoing discussions on how to assure more under-represented students, teachers, and programs are able to participate in our WCDA projects. To this end, an ad hoc committee of 4 past-presidents (Rick Bjella, Bob Demaree, Susan McAllister, Matt Wanner), myself, and team leader Jerry Hui to work on creating a funding source through a foundation to assure access to all. This is a long-term commitment of WCDA that is well underway with 2-3 committee meetings a month and pro bono professional financial advice.

Regarding Advocacy and Curriculum support, please take time to check out information from several roundtables on our website and the new Wisconsin Music Strong website. Also, watch for the work coming from the Task Force headed by Stephen Sieck, Past President. Here are additional resources available from the ACDA website.

Regarding the WCDA Singing in Wisconsin: The WCDA Board has voted to cancel the 2020 Singing in Wisconsin festival, which was to take place on November 14. 
  • Sincerest thanks to Katelyn Peterson for her dedicated work to the Singing in Wisconsin project over the last three years! Brava!
  • I am pleased to announce that Jaclyn Kottman has agreed to be the Singing in Wisconsin Chair beginning July 2020.
  • Prior to the pandemic, the SIW ad hoc committee met and has developed many ideas to tweak and perhaps reimagine SIW 2021 so that it better serves the choristers of Wisconsin. This extra time to make their proposals to the board and to prepare to implement changes will be beneficial.

Regarding the WCDA All-State Choirs and State Conference in January:
The WCDA board also voted to grant authority to a 5-member committee consisting of the Executive Committee and the 2021 All-State Chair to
  • Cancel the 2021 All-State Choirs if or when it becomes clear they cannot be held safely.
  • Cancel the 2021 All-State Choirs if it is still unclear by August 17 whether the event can be held safely.
  • Adapt the 2021 WCDA conference appropriate to physical-distancing recommendations. 

Obviously there are many considerations as WCDA plans for a January conference. Virtual options and a number of other creative ideas have been discussed. WCDA wants the membership to know about our All-State Choir and Conference plans by the time you begin your fall instruction. You can expect a notification before the end of August.
  • Sincerest thanks to Schuyler Pietz for her dedicated work to the All-State Choir project over the two years! Brava!
  • I am pleased to announce that Michael Jones will be the All-State Choir Chair beginning July 2020.
  • Zack Durlam (President-Elect) is the 2021 Conference Chair; the conference dates are January 15-16. 

In closing, I know that some of you have finished up an extremely challenging school year while others are still in session for another week or two. Thank you for your hard work to serve your students! To the worship music directors, thank you for the extra and special work providing music virtually to your congregants. To the community choir directors, thank you for your efforts to stay connected to your singers, your audience, and your patrons.

Your dedicated and creative work to the choral art and to your singers is shining even more brightly in these difficult times. Thank you for your generous support of one another and leadership as we make music together. May you find rest, grace, and inspiration as we look ahead.


Rebecca Renee Winnie
WCDA President 2019-2021

To foster musical excellence within an inclusive singing community through education, collaboration, and inspiration!