Refresh rgb
Dear WCDA members,

I hope that you and your family are doing well in this difficult time. It is hard to believe how much has happened in the past 2.5 weeks since my last email. At this time, we have a better understanding of the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has affected our work and family lives.

Those of you who are in the choral education field, thank you for your quick and diligent work to make online learning and connection possible for your students. Those of you who are involved in music in worship, thank you for making the needed adjustments so that you can minister through music online and in other ways. Those of you who are leaders of community choirs and work in the music “gig” economy, we ache with you for the loss of your music-making income. We are all grieving the loss of making music with our singers, of our events, our trips, our connections. I so appreciate the support that I have seen us giving one another online and particularly in the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association Facebook group (please join if you have not!).

The WCDA Executive Committee and Summer Conference Project committee met via Zoom Saturday afternoon. We have decided to postpone the 2020 NextDirection and Refresh conference until 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • We have secured the 2021 dates of July 12-16 for the Summer Conference at UW-Eau Claire.
    • 2021 NextDirection: Collegiate July 12-16 and High School July 14-16 
    • 2021 Refresh July 14-15
  • Jefferson Johnson, our featured conductor, is able to attend these new 2021 dates
  • Applicants are being notified directly. Students had made no payments.
  • ACDA and national student chapters are being notified.
  • The WCDA Awards Luncheon (which was to take place at Refresh) will be postponed to the January 2021 conference, where there will be two years of Award winners celebrated.

We offer our deepest gratitude to Derek Machan, Karrie Been, and Matt Wanner for their devoted leadership to prepare an exceptional summer experience for us and for our students. Our great appreciation to additional WCDA members who helped to build a strong 2020 summer conference: Frank Watkins, Randy Swiggum, and Eva Stokes. We grieve the loss of this conference with you and know that your hard work will bear great fruit in 2021! Let’s all put the dates on our calendars right now and plan to participate in Refresh 2021 and send students to NextDirection 2021!

Before I close this email, I would like to encourage you to reach out to fellow choral directors in this challenging time. No one needs to figure out this alone. Everyone can use a sympathetic ear. Check out the Facebook group mentioned above as there are extremely helpful responses available rather quickly. Our WCDA leadership is ready to serve you as well. You can email them through the WCDA website:

Be encouraged, my friends. You are intelligent, hard-working, creative, and profoundly dedicated to your singers. Let's continue to reach out and encourage one another during this challenging time.

Wishing you safety, strong health, and peace.

Rebecca Renee Winnie
WCDA President 2019-2021

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