I am writing today to announce some very exciting news for WCDA and for choral directors across the country. Since 2000, NextDirection has been a signature initiative for our organization and a program that has fostered and encouraged talented youth to consider a career in choral music. The successes of this program can be found leading choirs across Wisconsin and beyond.
Tim Sharp and other ACDA leaders at the national level have taken notice of our work. They have been impressed with the organization and support we have given to the project and the young conductors molded by NextDirection. Due to these factors, ACDA has proposed that we consider taking the program to a national level! This is indeed exciting for all of us in WCDA and a feather in the cap of all those involved over the years.
Of course, modifying a program to meet the requirements of both WCDA and ACDA will take some planning. At this early stage we are not even sure what the final symposium will look like or where it might be held. The one thing we are sure about is that WCDA will remain intimately involved in any decisions regarding the project’s future. In order to ensure a successful transition to a new version of NextDirection, the WCDA Board has decided to not create the symposium in 2017. Watch the Choral Journal, The Voice, and other sites for information about our 2018 NextDirection.
I encourage you to continue to talk with students about a career in choral music. Seek out those bright, talented students who are particularly great communicators and leaders. Help them find the resources that will put them on a path to consider choral music in their future. I know NextDirection will be an even better resource with the support of ACDA in the years to come!
Kevin Meidl, NextDirection Liaison/Past President
Wisconsin Choral Directors Association