Contact Us:     405.232.8161     Email Us     Search
Follow Us:     Visit ACDA on Facebook Visit ACDA on Twitter Visit ACDA on Pinterest Visit ACDA on YouTube

American Choral Directors Association

Repertoire Children's and Community Youth Choir Leadership

Children's Choir Repertoire & Standards Leadership

National Chair: Cheryl DuPont (


Cheryl Dupont is the Executive/Artistic Director of the New Orleans Children's Chorus and Youth Chorale. Although she is known throughout the United States for her work with children's choirs, Cheryl is equally experienced at working with mixed choirs on the high school, college and adult levels. A former high school teacher, she served as the Interim Choral DIrector at the University of New Orleans for the 1999-2000 academic year. Mrs. Dupont has also served as an Instructor of Voice at the University of New Orleans, Womens' Chorus Director at Loyola University of the South, and as Associate Conductor of the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans. Other experience includes teaching and conducting on the elementary level and in churches. Her choirs have won numerous awards in music festivals throughout the South, and have appeared at ACDA state and regional conventions of ACDA, the national convention of the Organization of American Kodaly Educators, and multiple times at Carnegie Hall with orchestra, under her direction. They have also toured extensively nationally and internationally

Cheryl has conducted many all-state choirs, honor choirs and festivals throughout the country, including elementary, middle school, junior high and high school. She has conducted the ACDA Southern Division Children's Honor Choir in Charleston,WV and the Western Division Youth Treble Honor Choir in Tucson, AZ.  She is a Master Teacher for Choral Music Experience, and has taught advanced teacher training courses in SC, NC and KS for over 15 years.

Cheryl previously served as Southern Division R&S Chair for 6 years. She is the founder, as well as Executive/Artistic Director and Co-Conductor of the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans, which is in its 16th successful year.

Central Division Chair: Angie Johnson (

Angie Johnson received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in music education with honors from Northern Illinois University in 1991 where she studied piano with Donald Walker. Upon graduating, she taught choral/general music for Circle Center Middle School (Yorkville, IL) and Gregory Middle School (Naperville, IL) for 7 years. Conducting choral programs of up to 350 singers in curricular and honors choirs, her choirs were given superior ratings each year. Upon several occasions, she was named a "Most Influential Educator" by the Indian Prairie Educational Foundation.

Mrs. Johnson is an active clinician, adjudicator, accompanist and festival conductor and loves working with choirs in their own classroom setting. Passionate about sharing her love for teaching, she has led panel discussions, workshops and teacher institutes for both future and current teachers specializing in creative rehearsal techniques for young voices. Most recently, Mrs. Johnson spent a week in Singapore directing clinics in 15 schools for primary and secondary level choirs. Now in her 14th season as a director and 6th season as the Artistic Director of Young Naperville Singers, she oversees the music education, artistic programming and visionary leadership of the growing organization. Under her tenure, Young Naperville Singers has grown to 320 singers (7 – 18 years of age) in eight choirs. Mrs. Johnson directs the most advanced choir (Chamber Singers) of 70 young people and has led them on tours throughout the United States and Canada.

Eastern Division Chair: Joy Hirokawa (

Joy Ondra Hirokawa is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Bel Canto Children’s Chorus. She earned a Bachelors degree with honors in Music Education from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA and a Masters degree in Choral Conducting, also from Temple University. She has completed postgraduate work in children’s choral conducting and is currently a DMA student in Music Education at Boston University. She was honored to be selected as a Conducting Fellow at the first Chorus America Orchestral Conducting Workshop for Children’s Choir Directors held in Chicago in June, 2004, and was a Conducting Associate at the 2006 Chorus America Choral-Orchestral Conducting Masterclass. Prof. Hirokawa is a frequent guest conductor and clinician, presenting regularly at MENC and PMEA conferences and conducting numerous middle school and elementary honors choirs.

In 2001, Prof. Hirokawa was awarded the high honor of 2001 Middle School Teacher of the Year by the Pennsylvania State Middle Schools Association as well as the 2001 President’s Award for Leadership in Education from the Upper Perkiomen Chamber of Commerce. Prof. Hirokawa is also a published arranger, specializing in authentic jazz arrangements for treble voices. Her arrangement of My Favorite Things is available from Hal Leonard.

North Central Division Chair: Pamela Burns (

Pamela Burns joined the staff of the Lake Agassiz Girls Choir in 2003 and continues to serve as Artistic Director and Director of the advanced choir, Cantare.  Under her direction, Cantare has performed in San Diego, Chicago, New York City, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Charleston, SC.  Mrs. Burns holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Music and in Elementary Education.  She is an experienced music educator and has conducted choirs of all ages.  In addition to her position with LAGC, Mrs. Burns is a guest conductor for honor choirs and workshops, and enjoys serving as the vocal director for area musical theater productions.  She directs a children’s choir at First Presbyterian Church in Fargo, and formerly directed choirs for Fargo Public Schools, the Red River Boy Choir, and the Fargo Catholic School Network. Pamela has served as a consultant, composer and performer for Playground Publishing and its performing arm, Penny and Pals.  She is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, currently serving as the North Central Region Repertoire and Standards Chair for Children’s and Youth Choirs.  Mrs. Burns is also a member of Music Educator’s National Conference and Sigma Alpha Iota, a professional music fraternity for women.  Pamela is married and has four grown children and three adorable grandchildren! 

Southern Division Chair: Emmy Williams (

Emily Williams serves as Director of Education for the Savannah Children’s Choir and General Music/Piano Teacher at Garrison School of Visual and Performing Arts.  Emmy received her Bachelors in Music Education from Louisiana State University where she studied with Kenneth Fulton, Sara Lynn Baird, and Cornelia Yarbrough.  While there, she received numerous musical and leadership awards and recognitions, and served as President of the College of Music and Dramatic Arts as well as the Collegiate ACDA Chapter. She earned her Masters in Music Education from Florida State University, where she assisted the Capital Children’s Choir and worked with Andre Thomas, Kevin Fenton, Judy Bowers, Clifford Madsen, and Alice-Anne Darrow. She also holds an Orff Level 1 certification. Choirs under her direction have performed regionally, nationally, and internationally including appearances at the Georgia Music Educator’s Inservice Conference and the 23rd Annual Concors Internazionale Di Canto Corale, an international choir competition in Verona, Italy, where they received a gold award. Emmy serves on the Georgia American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) board and is the Children’s Honor Choir Coordinator for the 2014 Southern Division ACDA Conference in Jacksonville, FL. Most recently, Emmy was appointed the Repertoire and Standards Chair for Children’s and Youth Community Choirs for the Southern Division ACDA. She lives in Savannah, GA with her dog Maestreaux.

Southwestern Division Chair: Jena Dickey (

Founder of the Young Voices of Colorado, Jena Dickey has always had a burning desire to inspire people with vocal music, and what better way to do so than by leading an organization that gives thousands of children the skills necessary to develop their voices and musical talent? Her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the University of Texas (Austin) and her Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Colorado (Boulder) formally prepared Jena for this mission. Her postgraduate study through Choral Music Experience (Doreen Rao), the Kodály Institute (in both the U.S. and Hungary), Toronto Children’s Chorus Symposia (Jean Ashworth Bartle), Creating Artistry (Henry Leck) and other specialized courses has propelled her to the forefront of children's choral organization leadership. In addition to inspiring her choirs to achieve excellence, Jena has led over 100 individual children through successful auditions for national and regional honor choirs and has coached two boys to win international solo competitions in the U.S. and Wales. She has prepared children's choruses and soloists for many of the leading choral and instrumental conductors in the state. As a leader in the field, Jena serves the Southwestern Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) as R &S chair for Children’s Choirs. She had a leadership role in ACDA’s national Children’s Choir Conductors’ Retreat, whichwas held in Denver in 2012. Her moments of greatest joy are found in the highs of rehearsals and performances of the Young Voices choirs and the Sing A Mile High International Children’s Choral Festival.

Northwestern Division Chair: Marcia Patton (

Marcia has taught music at all levels (K-12) in Casper, Cheyenne, and Newcastle, Wyoming, and in Olathe, Kansas.  She is retired as choral director at Casper Kelly Walsh High School, where her choirs were chosen to perform on state and division ACDA and MENC conventions. Marcia is in her thirty-second year as director of the Casper Children's Chorale, which has appeared on state, division, and national ACDA and MENC conventions, most recently at the 2009 Regional MENC in Spokane, WA.  Her cross-generational women's choir, "Alla Breve", toured China in summer 2008, and performed for the 2010 Regional ACDA Convention in Seattle.  Marcia was honored as Outstanding Alumna from the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Wyoming.  She was featured in January of 2009 as Choral Director of Note by Choral Directors Magazine.  She is past regional recipient of the High School Activities Association Music Educator Award, and has been recognized multiple times as an influential educator for the Natrona County Schools Academic Awards. In addition to the NCSD #1 Teaching Medallion of Excellence, and National Who's Who in Education, she was the 2007 Casper "Woman of Distinction", honored with the 2005 Casper Rotary Community Service Award, a 2004 recipient of the Wyoming Governor's Arts Award, and the 2002 Wyoming Teacher of the Year.

Marcia is past president of Wyoming ACDA and has completed three terms as Northwest Division Repertoire and Standards Chair for Women's Choirs. Her presentation, "The Venus Factor", was featured on the 2007 ACDA National Convention in Miami, she has published on the Junior High/Middle School Singer in the ACDA Journal, and she has been referenced by MENC as a national chorus expert. Marcia founded the Wyoming ACDA Children's State Honor Choir, now in its 15th season.  Her musical experience as a performer and conductor has taken her to Europe, Southeast Asia, China, Brazil, Canada, and across the United States, conducting Honor Choirs in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oregon, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.  She is a frequent adjudicator for Heritage Music Festivals.  Marcia is on faculty with the University of Wyoming College of Education, serving as Partner School Facilitator.  She is married to Dr. Patrick Patton, director of choirs at Casper College.

Western Division Chair: Herbert Washington (

Herbert Washington serves as the Director of High School Choral Activities at Gilbert Christian High School and the Cadet Choir Director of the Phoenix Children’s Choir. In 2004 he graduated from St. Olaf College in Minnesota with a B.A in Music and Fine Arts. While there he sang in the St. Olaf Choir, conducted by Dr. Anton Armstrong. Washington, an avid composer and arranger; directed “Voices of Praise,” the St. Olaf Gospel Choir; led the choir to record its first CD. During that time the choir grew in membership from 20 to 80 singers, and became an official choir of the College. Washington served as assistant director of the choir under the professional leadership of Keith McCutchen. Since 2008, Washington returns to St. Olaf to direct a high school Gospel Choir and teach a Sight-singing and Ear-training course at the St. Olaf Summer Music Camp.


During his five-year tenure with the Phoenix Boys Choir, Washington served as Director of the Cadet and Town Choirs and Artistic Assistant to the Tour Choir. In addition, he performed as a tenor vocalist and soloist with the Arizona Choir and “The Masters” of the Phoenix Boys Choir. In 2009 he completed a Masters of Music degree in Choral Conducting and founded Cat-Call A Cappella from the University of Arizona.  He has served as the guest clinician and conductor for the Fifth Annual Southeastern Arizona Children’s Choir Festival, the Priority M.A.L.E. Festival, Deer Valley Elementary/Jr. High Choral Festival, and the Voices of the Valley Festival. He is an active member of Arizona Music Educators Association (AMEA), and in 2011 began to serve on the board of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) as the Western Division Repertoire and Standards Chair for Boy Choirs and in 2012 was appointed the Western Division R & S Chair for Children’s Choirs.  Recently married, Herbert resides in Phoenix with his beautiful wife Yadira and their son Elian.