Singing Proud

Choir Students Perform for ACDA, Discuss Experience


Photo Courtesy of Lisa Holt

Standing together, the Varsity Mixed Choir poses in a local chapel on Jan. 18 for their ACDA performance. After submitting their blind recordings, the choir was chosen to perform ACDA, which will hold a virtual convention on March 18-20. “I felt super excited and honored,” senior Sydney Solberg said. “Mrs. Holt had previously mentioned that it was one of her biggest dreams to perform at ACDA, so I knew it was a big deal and it was going to be a once in a lifetime experience.”

Morgan Kasel, Assistant Editor

After months of preparing at home, on Jan. 18, the Varsity Mixed Choir came together at a local chapel to record their final performance for the ACDA convention.

Every two years, The American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) invites multiple ensembles, from professional choirs to children’s choruses, to audition and possibly perform at a national convention. While the Varsity Mixed Choir was invited to perform at the Texas Music Educators Association Conference (TMEA) last year, which is the equivalent of winning “state” in other organizations, this was the first year that they had been selected to perform at the national level, or ACDA.

“Having attended a convention in 2019, I thought I had an idea of how to orchestrate taking a choir to ACDA,” Head Choir Director Lisa Holt said. “Still, with the constant limitations and setbacks brought on by the pandemic, I am incredibly proud of the artistry level these students were able to accomplish. I will never forget the choir’s reaction the first time they saw their ideas of telling a story through music come to life on stage.  It is a thrill like none other, and I am so very grateful for all of the hard work the CP Choir put into this production.”

The ACDA selects ensembles based on a blind recording audition. In order for a choir to be selected to perform, they have to submit multiple years of recordings. After being selected, the Varsity Mixed Choir was set to perform at the Meyerson Symphony Center. However, because of the pandemic, the choir recorded their final performance at a local chapel.

Although all members of the Varsity Mixed Choir were allowed to participate in the audition and learn the music, the number of students who were able to participate in the final recording process was limited due to COVID. Senior Sydney Solberg, a member of the Varsity Mixed Choir, said that she was thrilled that the choir was invited to participate in the ACDA convention.

“I felt super excited and honored,” Solberg said. “Mrs. Holt had previously mentioned that it was one of her biggest dreams to perform at ACDA, so I knew it was a big deal and it was going to be a once in a lifetime experience.”

Despite not being able to perform in front of a live audience, Solberg said that she still enjoyed the overall experience, especially the final recording.

“My favorite part was definitely getting to film our performance,” Solberg said. “We went to a really beautiful Church in Austin and it was a surreal experience. I also loved how we all got to finally come together and sing and perform as a whole choir, after having to learn the music by ourselves at our homes.”

Even with the changes to the convention this year, senior Jasmine Cooper, who also attended the choir’s final recording, said that she enjoyed the opportunity to perform for ACDA. 

“[I was] super excited and pumped,” Cooper said. “Being selected as a choir to perform ACDA was definitely a huge honor. It was unfortunate that our choir will not be performing in Dallas due to these uncertain times but COVID did not impede on our dedication and commitment to choir. Many of us were still able to learn new music for ACDA and record some incredible and breathtaking audio and visuals.”

The virtual conference for ACDA will take place on March 18-20. While the Varsity Mixed Choir’s performance will be played on March 18, students and parents have the opportunity to attend a watch party in the PAC on March 10 at 6 p.m. For more information about ACDA, visit their website