As the American Choral Directors Association enters a new year and a new decade, our agenda is energetic and shows great promise for the further transformation of the Association. As we advance the ACDA choral mission of excellence in education and performance, we will continue to help our membership advance their own skills and professional network, and we will do so by focusing on the following priorities:
1) strategic planning,
2) education and communication,
3) technological advancements,
4) innovative conferences, and
5) choral research.
The first and ongoing step in this list of priorities is the development of a new strategic plan for ACDA. The scope of the last ACDA strategic plan expired in 2010, and throughout last year, our Executive Committee has been in the "quiet phase" of a new strategic planning discussion. This phase included an audit of our existing structure and committee work, as well as the formation of a Strategic Planning Committee to oversee the development of the new plan. Michele Holt, member of the ACDA Executive Committee and chair of the Past President's Council, formed the Strategic Planning Committee, and ACDA President-Elect Karen Fulmer will now move the process forward. Karen and her SPC are poised now to take this process to our standing committee structure and entire membership for widespread input and ownership.
Toward the 2011 priority of education and communication, the former position of ACDA archivist has been redesigned to not only embrace the overseeing of the ACDA archives, but to also make available to our entire membership through digital distribution and viewing the vast educational and instructional holdings of ACDA. This redesigned position moves us to the next stage of making the intellectual content of ACDA's library and conference/performance archive available beyond the walls of our National Office. The description includes "communication" in order to reflect the outbound nature of this staff position. While it has taken great effort, time, and money to organize and catalog this material, ACDA is now ready to make this material and future material available through video, conference technology, and the ACDA website.
Technological advancements are a given for any thriving 21 st century organization such as ACDA, but for 2011 this priority specifically includes our immediate website upgrade to Drupal 6.0, the ongoing integration of ChoralNet and its vast networking and informational assets into the ACDA website, the upgrading of the database and accounting system used for all State, Division, and National record keeping, and added layers of security protection as more and more of our financial, voting, and communication transfers to digital transactions. While this is clearly not the stuff that makes for vibrant dinner conversation, nor does it bring shivers of excitement to any particular ACDA member, trust me, you want this done.
On the other hand, the 2011 priority of conference innovation and entrepreneurial thinking that is going into our future workshops, seminars, masterclasses, and conferences is indeed an exciting topic. In the next year we can look forward to the leadership of our Repertoire and Standards committee bringing us events specifically designed for Middle School and Junior High choral leaders, Boyschoir and Male choir leaders, Children and Community Youth Choir leaders, Music in Worship Leaders, as well as an "Origins" conference designed to explore the historic canon of choral literature, and our Library of Congress co-supported 2012 National Symposium on American Choral Music-all firsts for ACDA. Furthermore, "innovation" is a guiding priority for our ACDA state and division chapters as they look toward their upcoming events.
Finally, as ACDA looks to the future, research and publication into our field of work remains a priority for our Association. The expanded roll of the archives and education staff position, and the National Symposium on American Choral Music are immediate and visible examples of this priority. Our Research and Publications Committee has outlined an aggressive schedule of digital publishing for the coming year, and ACDA's ChoralPedia, an online wiki for everything choral, will move into higher visibility.
These five priorities will shape ACDA's agenda for the start of this exciting new choral decade. Whether you contribute to a piece of the strategic planning, make our education offerings a part of your daily or weekly intellectual diet, log in for the first or hundredth time to ACDA's website or ChoralNet, attend a conference, or add our publications to your choral library, I am certain you will continue to find ACDA a vital part of your professional and choral inspirational life.