Awards & Prizes

ACDA Newsletter Award

In an effort to acknowledge the excellent work of states in their individual ACDA newsletter publications, and to promote the continual betterment of such publications to the benefit of state memberships, the National Board of ACDA has unanimously endorsed the giving of two awards for outstanding newsletters. These awards will be in the form of a plaque, to be presented every other year at the ACDA National Conference.


The following guidelines have been approved by the National Board.

1. The state newsletter award will be administered by the Coordinator of State and Division Newsletters.
2. Two awards will be presented:  one to a newsletter in a state with a large membership; one to a state with a smaller membership.  The current dividing line would be over or under 300 members as of July 1.
3. The newsletters will be judged by a panel made up of the division newsletter editors.
4. To assure objectivity, editors will not judge newsletters from their own divisions
5. Competing newsletter editors will receive a confidential critique of their newsletters from each judge.

To aid us in this process, please send with your publications a sheet stating the circulation of the newsletter, the press run of each publication, the budget per publication, the number of issues per year, and the number and responsibilities of the newsletter staff.  It is expected that all states will participate in this evaluation.

Six (6) copies of two (2) representative issues from this current calendar year should be sent to: The Coordinator of State and Division Newsletters, 545 Couch Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.

Timetable â€" Winners will be announced at the biennial National Conference.

Any questions concerning any aspects of the procedure should be referred to the coordinator of State and Division Newsletters. (March, 1995)

Previous Winners

1991 - New York Choral Cues editor Richard Kegerreis 
1993 - Illinois Conductor's Podium co-editors Lynn Drafall and Diane Hires
1995 - Texas Sings! editor Dan Wood 
New York Choral Cues co-editors Don Lang and Kraig Pritts
2001 - Indiana Notations editor Robert Nance (large state newsletter)
Oregon Choral Focus editor Julie Adkins (joint recipient of the small state newsletter award)
Kansas Choral Range co-editors Tom Wine and Marie Lerner-Sexton
2003 - Oregon Choral Focus editor Julie Adkins
2005 - Minnesota Star of the North  editor Ryan Connolly
2007 - Oregon Choral Focus  editor Julie Adkins (small state newsletter)
Minnesota's Star of the North editor Kari Douma (large state newsletter)
2009 - Virginia Harmony editor Jerry Myers (small budget)
Kansas Choral Range editor Brad Vogel (medium budget)
Minnesota's Star of the North editor Mark Potvin (large budget)
California Cantate editor Douglas Lynn (best layout & design with non-professional help)
Texas Sings! editor Dan Wood (best layout & design with professional help)
North Carolina Carolina Caroler editor Anne M. Saxon (most improved newsletter)
Iowa Sounding Board editor Ryan Beeken (most creative use of photography) 

Julius Herford Prize

Each year the Julius Herford Prize Subcommittee of the Research and Publications Committee accepts nominations for the outstanding doctoral terminal research project in choral music.  Projects are eligible if they comprise the principal research component of the degree requirements, whether the institution defines the project as a “dissertation,” “document,” “thesis,” or “treatise,” etc. Eligibility is limited to doctoral recipients whose degrees were confirmed during the calendar year prior to the year of nomination.  The winner will receive $1000.00 in cash and a plaque.

Nomination Guidelines:

Nominations must be approved by the dean, director, or chair of the music unit.  An institution may submit only one document.  In the event that there are two nominations of equal merit from one school, the administrative head of the unit must submit a letter justifying the additional nomination.

A letter of nomination signed by the administrative head of the music unit and one unbound copy of the dissertation must be submitted no later than the announced date to the chair of the Julius Herford Prize Subcommittee

Nomination Period: typically opens in the spring of each year by announcement in Choral Journal

Call for Nominations in 2011

Nominations for the Julius Herford Prize closed June 30, 2010. 

Previous Winners

1981 - Graeme Cowen
Igor Stravinsky's Threni:  A conductor's study for performance. Indiana University

1982 - Chester Lee Alwes, Jr.
Georg Otto's Opus Musicum Novum (1604) and Valentin Geuck's Novum et Insigne Opus (1604): A musico-liturgical analysis of two collections of gospel music from the Court of Hesse-Kassel. University of Illinois - Urbana

1983 - Catherine Rose Melhorn
Mendelssohn's Die erste Walpurgisnacht. University of Illinois - Urbana

1984 - G. Roberts Kolb
Tours MS. 168: The music of Guillaume Bouzignac. University of Illinois - Urbana

1985 - Leonard Ratzlaff
A conductor's preparatory analysis of Anton Bruckner's Te Deum. University of Iowa

1986 - Craig Jon Westendorf
The textual and musical repertoire of the Spruchmotette. University of Illinois - Urbana

1987 - Stanley B. Wold
Eskil Hemberg-Swedish composer, choral conductor, and administrator: A survey of his works. University of Cincinnati

1988 Melinda Pauly O'Neal
Berlioz's L'Enfance du Christ: trilogie sacrée, op. 25:  A conductor's analysis for performance. Indiana University

1989 - Carmen Helena Téllez
Musical form and dramatic  concept in Handel's Athalia. Indiana University

1990 - Christine De Catanzaro
Sacred music in Mozart's Salzburg: Authenticity, chronology, and style in the church works of Cajetan Adlgasser.  University of North Carolina

1991 - Edward J. Lundergan
Benjamin Britten's War Requiem: Stylistic and technical sources. University of Texas at Austin

1991 - A. Christopher Munn
Medieval and renaissance prescriptions regarding text underlay and their application to music of the fifteenth century. University of Oklahoma

1992 - Marika Kuzma
Dmitrii Stepanovich Bortnianskii (1751-1825): An Introduction to the composer through an edition of his choral Concertos Priidite, vospoim and Hlasom moim. Indiana University

1993 - James Armstrong
Litaniae Laurentanae: Sacred music at the Viennese Imperial Court, ca. 1700-1783. University of Wisconsin - Madison

1994 - David Newby
Igor Stravinsky's Oedipus rex: Literary background, musical structure, and dramatic symbolism. Indiana University

1995 - Betty Karol Fairchilds Wilson
Choral pedagogy: Crossroads of theory and practice in sixteenth-century Germany. Boston University

1996 - none selected

1997 - Richard Sparks
The Swedish choral miracle: A Cappella choral music. University of Cincinnati

1998 - none selected

1999 - Kirin Nielsen
The spiritual madrigals of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.  University of Illinois - Urbana

2000 â€" Andrew Kuster
Stravinsky's topology: An examination of his twelve-tone works through object-oriented analysis of structural and poetic-expressive relationships with special attention to his choral works and Threni. University of Colorado

2001 - James John
Johannes Brahms’s Nänie, Op. 82: A study in context and content. Eastman School of Music

2002 - Elizabeth Zobel
Benjamin Britten's War Requiem. University of Colorado

2003 - none selected

2004 - Timothy Newton
A Study and critical ediition of Samuel Capricornus’s Theatrum musicum (1669, 1670) and Continuatio theatri musici (1669). University of Illinois

2005 - Laurier Fagnan
The acoustical effects of the core principles of the Bel Canto Method on choral singing. University of Alberta/IRCAM

2005 - Christopher Jackson
An examination, reinterpretation and application of selected performance practices in four motets of Luca Marenzio (1553-1599): Implications for a modern choral performance context. University of Arizona

2006 - Robert Lamb
Michel-Richard de Lalande's In convertendo Dominus: A performance edition with performing commentary. University of Cincinnati

2007 - Mark Chaney
Four motets from the Florilegium Portense.  The Ohio State University

2007 - Robert Gehrenbeck
An analysis of Giles Swaynes CRY, Magnificat I, Missa Tiburtina, and Stabat Mater.  Indiana University

2008 - Kevin Leong
The Hymn Settings of Ludwig Senfl's Liber vesperarum festorum solennium, D-Mbs  Mus. Ms. 52.  Boston University

Outstanding ACDA Student Chapter Award

The Outstanding Student Chapter Award was established by the American Choral Directors Association in 1978 as a means for recognizing an ACDA student chapter which, through its activities, best supports the advancement of choral music.  The award consists of a plaque that becomes the permanent property of the winning chapter and two monetary awards:  $250 to the student chapter and $200 to help defray expenses of an officer or designated representative of the chapter to attend the national conference and receive the award for the chapter.

The Outstanding Student Chapter Award will be determined on the basis of the following criteria:

1. Service to chapter members through projects that directly benefit the student members in developing the insight and skills necessary for a successful choral musician.
2. Service to choral music through activities that in some way advance the field of choral music either as a direct benefit to choral musicians or to the public perception and understanding of choral music.
3. Service to the institution that enhances and strengthens choral music’s educational program on the chapter’s campus.

Nomination Deadline:

Nominations for the Outstanding Student Chapter award will be accepted until December 31, 2010.

Previous Winners

1979 Ohio State University - Maurice Casey, Advisor
1981 East Carolina University - Rhonda Fleming, Advisor
1983 East Carolina University - Rhonda Fleming, Advisor
1985 Florida State Univeristy, Tallahassee - Colleen Kirk and Clayton Krehbiel, Advisors
1987 East Carolina University - Rhonda Fleming, Advisor
1989 Northern Arizona State University, Flagstaff - Jo-Michael Scheibe, Advisor
1991 Florida State University, Tallahassee - Colleen Kirk and Andre Thomas, Advisors
1993 California State University, Long Beach - Gregory Lyne and Lynn Bielefelt, Advisors
1995 Northern Arizona State University, Flagstaff - Edith Copley and Merry Carol Spencer, Advisors
Honorable Mention: Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA - Peggy Detwiler, Advisor
Honorable Mention: Clark County High School District, Las Vegas, NV - Craig McCauley, Advisor
1997 Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA - Peggy Detwiler, Advisor
1999 University of Tennessee - Angela Batey, Advisor
2001 Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA - Peggy Detwiler, Advisor
2003 Adams State College, Alamosa, CO - Elizabeth Schauer, Advisor
2005 Ball State University, Muncie, IN - Jeffrey Carter, Advisor
Honorable Mention: Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA - Peggy Detwiler, Advisor
Honorable Mention: University of North Texas, Denton, TX - Alan McClung, Advisor
2007 Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY - Janet Galvan, Advisor
2009 Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY - Janet Galvan, Advisor

The Robert Shaw Choral Award

The Robert Shaw Choral Award will be given to a choral leader who has made unusual contributions to the art of choral music. The recipient shall be chosen by the ACDA Past President’s Council.  The Robert Shaw Choral Award will be presented during each National Conference.

Guidelines for Robert Shaw Choral Award

The following criteria for selection were approved by the Past President’s Council in November, 1990.

1. The recipient should be a member of ACDA (though there may be exceptions).
2. The recipient should be someone whose primary career is/was in the United States.
3. The recipient has made a significant contribution to the cause of the choral art in America.
4. Such contributions made may have been through teaching, conducting, or leadership.

Nomination deadline:

Nominations for the Robert Shaw Choral Award will close on December 1, 2010.                    

Past Winners

1991 Charles C. Hirt
1993 Roger Wagner (presented posthumously)
1995 Howard Swan
1997 Harold A. Decker
1999 Weston Noble
2001 Colleen J. Kirk
2003 Warner Imig
2005 Paul Salamunovich
2007 Dale Warland
2009 Gene Brooks (presented posthumously)

2011 Ann Howard Jones

ACDA Student Conducting Competition 

The ACDA Student Conducting Awards were initiated during the 1993 ACDA National Conference in San Antonio, Texas. We again offer this highly successful event at the 2009 ACDA National Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The ACDA Student Conducting Awards are now funded through ACDA’s Endowment Trust.

The objectives of the ACDA Student Conducting Awards are three-fold:

1. To acknowledge and reward outstanding graduate and undergraduate student conductors;
2. To encourage score preparation and advancement of conducting and rehearsal skills; and
3. To promote student activity at the ACDA National Conference.

These cash prizes are awarded to the winners of the final round of the conducting awards:

First Prize, Graduate Level: $1000
Second Prize, Graduate Level: $500
First Prize, Undergraduate Level: $500
Second Prize, Undergraduate Level: $250.

In addition, the sixteen semi-finalists (up to eight undergraduate and eight graduate) each receive a $200 stipend toward the registration cost for the National Conference.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

1. Hold valid ACDA student membership.
2. Be a full-time undergraduate student (junior or senior status) or a full-time graduate student at a college or university in the United States at the time of application.
3. Submit a complete application portfolio.

Submissions for the 2011 Student Conduction Competition must be uploaded to YouTube (  It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the selection committee with the correct URL for accessing the video.  Applicants whose videos are not accessible to the committee will be disqualified.

2011 Student Conducting Competition Application Postmark Deadline:
Nominations for the Student Conducting Competition closed at 11:59 p.m. on October 31, 2010.

Past Winners

1993 National Conference
Graduate Level                                        
First Place: Thomas Lloyd                                       
Second Place: Shaun Amos                                        
Undergraduate Level
First Place: Christine A. Rees
Second Place: Scott Crandal 

1995 National Conference
Graduate Level                                      
First Place: Jin Kim                                                 
Second Place: Maritza Caceres-Larrondo                    
Undergraduate Level 
First Place: Eugene C. Rogers, Jr.
Second Place: Daniel Hughes

1997 National Conference
Graduate Level                                     
First Place: Allen Hightower                                   
Second Place: Brad Wells                                          
Undergraduate Level
First Place: Jason Paulk
Second Place: Kristofer Johnson 

1999 National Conference
Graduate Level                                     
First Place: Catherine Sailer                                   
Second Place: Eduardo Garcia-Novelli                        
Undergraduate Level
First Place: Alissa Mercurio
Second Place: James Rimington 

2001 National Conference
Graduate Level                                    
First Place: Daniel Bara                                         
Second Place: David Gardner                                    
Undergraduate Level
First Place: Carrie Kirby
Second Place: Korey Jackson 

2003 National Conference
Graduate Level                                   
First Place: James Miller                                        
Second Place: Britt Cooper                                      
Undergraduate Level
First Place: Christopher Lee
Second Place: Kristy Cawthon 

2005 National Conference
Graduate Level                                   
First Place: Lee Nelson                                       
Second Place: Kimberly Dunn                                 
Undergraduate Level
First Place: Shelby Sievers
Second Place: Jill Davis 

2007 National Conference
Graduate Level                                 
First Place: Sooyeon Lee                                   
Second Place: John Trotter                                     
Undergraduate Level
First Place: Jason Holmes
Second Place: Rebecca Cole

2009 National Conference
Graduate Level
First Place: Beverly Shangkuan
Second Place: Glen Thomas
Undergraduate Level
First Place: Gregory McDaniel
Second Place: Jon Riss

2011 National Conference
Graduate Level
First Place: Philip Moody (University of Arizona)
Second Place: Kristina Caswell-MacMullen (Texas Tech University)
Undergraduate Level
First Place: Kenneth C. Sieloff (University of Michigan)
Second Place: Danielle Kinderman (University of Wisconsin â€" Stevens Point)