A Choral Conference


Photo by Nathan Cornelius

National Honor Choir members Madison Phillips, Olivia Morris, Sloan Roberts, and Jordan Boehme at the 2023 National Conference.

   On Friday, February 24th, Madison Phillips, Olivia Morris, Sloan Roberts, and Jordan Boehme represented our school in the National Honor Choir. 

   The four singers attended the 2023 National Conference led by the American Choral Directors Association, more commonly abbreviated as the ACDA.

   The conference took place in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was advertised as “A Place of Belonging,” where singers celebrate their diversities and all attendees are to be heard, understood, seen, and valued. 

   Numerous choirs from around the world were invited to this conference, including the Latinoamérica Immersion Choir, the Black Diaspora Immersion Choir, the Indigenous People’s Immersion Choir, the Jazz Immersion Choir, and dozens of other auditioned choirs. 

   Before the conference began, there was even a welcome concert titled “Your Hand and Mine,” performed by local choirs to ensure the diverse range of attendees feel right at home. 

   Sophomore and National Honor Choir member Sloan Roberts speaks on her experiences with the conference and all the emotions brought on from being accepted. 

   “I was so excited. I’d never thought that I would get into it. It was just a crazy feeling getting a phone call from my director and I was just like ‘Wow,’” Roberts said. 

   To audition for the choir, everyone interested had to sing an excerpt from a song provided, perform a solo of their own, and then sing scales before sending it in. Roberts explains what she and the other accepted members did leading up to the event. 

   “They provided part tracks for us so we had to learn it on our own time and we had to memorize a few of the songs so that we could do the choreography on stage. […] The other girls and I, we practiced during choir about a week prior,” she said.

   Roberts has solely positive feedback on her conference experience as she was able to learn, sing, and make connections with the staff and fellow attendees.

   “The experience was just great. My favorite part about it was all of the people there. Everyone was so kind and you could talk to anybody. I met some really great people there,” Roberts said. 

   The time she dedicated to practice had ultimately paid off as she performed a distinct set with her peers, a solo, and faced an especially engaging audience.

   “We had a concert at the very end of it. It was in this really huge music hall and it was crazy. We had about seven different songs,” Roberts said.

   The songs she and the other vocalists performed were titled “Look Out Above,” which Roberts had a solo on, “Zadok the Priest,” “Cliff Notes,” “Set Me as a Seal,” “Dilmano Dilbero,” and then “United in Purpose.” Roberts has a few words on what she enjoyed about the music. 

   “My favorite thing about [the songs] is that they were all just so different and contrasting from each other. There were some that were just so powerful and then there were some that were just fun and got the audience laughing and then there were some that were so quiet and peaceful. It was just a wide variety of songs,” Roberts said.

   Having four fellow students take part in a nationwide conference is a massive honor considering the number of applicants and it was a phenomenal experience for the singers accepted.