Children's & Community Youth Choir Conductors' Retreat

Dream a World of Song: Connections/Community/Creative Thought

2020 ACDA Children's and Community Youth Choir Conductors' Retreat

January 18-19, 2020
The Renaissance Hotel Midtown
866 W. Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30308

Join us for an inspiring two days of sessions, singing, and community with colleagues who are passionate about working with young singers!

Who Should Come?
Everyone! Whether you work with elementary school choirs, community youth choirs, faith-based choirs, or are a classroom music teacher, there is something for everyone at the retreat! Most importantly, you will be surrounded by colleagues who love working with young singers as much as you do!

Interest Sessions to inspire your pedagogy and boost your organizational chops!

  • Susan Brumfield: From Classroom to Chorus Building on the K-5 Foundation
  • Pam Burns: Healthy, Beautiful Tone Production in the Children's Choir
  • Stefanie Cash: Use of Movement to Enhance Choral Rehearsal and Performance
  • Maria A. Ellis: Ease on Down the Road: Ways to Teach Historical and Contemporary African-American Music in the Choral Setting
  • Sandy Holland: Steps to Musical Independence: Working with Young Singers
  • Melissa Keylock: No Spandex Required: Yoga Stretches for Your Choirs
  • Karol Kimmell: Children's Choir in Sacred Spaces
  • David Langley: Reflections on Motivation and Retention in New Choirs
  • Angee & Rick McKee: Where Do We Begin? Developing Choral Artistry in the Elementary Choir
  • Tim Powell: An Introduction to Emerging Digital Publishing Alternatives
  • Tim Sharp: Children Make Glorious Music: Music Makes Glorious Children
  • Tom Shelton: What Are My Hands Doing??? Conducting for the Elementary Chorus Teacher
  • Cuffy Sullivan: A Well-Oiled Machine: Tips for (Almost) Touch-Free Organizational Management
  • John Tisbert: Sight Singing Fun with Tiz

Informal Round Table Luncheons to Brainstorm with Colleagues

What do you want to talk about? Submit your ideas here:

Reading Sessions with GREAT Repertoire!
  • Southern Specialties: Songs about the south, by southern composers, and songs that demonstrate the vast variety of cultural heritage in the South (Gullah, Cajun, etc.).
  • Gets ’em Every Time: Killer pieces that tell a story, are all-around concert jams, or elicit emotions every time - pieces your choir can't wait to perform. Fast, slow, barn-burner, tear-jerker, heartwarming, thought-provoking - the gang's all here.

Performing Ensembles to Inspire You!
  • RISE Young Women's Chorale (Savannah, GA), Emily Williams Burch, Director
  • Atlanta Young Singers, Mill Turek and Paige Matthis, Directors
  • Spivey Hall Children's Choir, Martha Shaw, Director

Featured Guest Speaker: Dr. André Thomas

Time to Make Connections - All Included in Your Registration!

Friday Evening Welcome Gathering (cash bar)
Saturday Dinner Sign Up (we organize, meal is on your dime)
Saturday Evening Reception (food provided, cash bar)
Breakfast with Friends (and time for conversation with leaders in the field!)


Friday, January 17, 2020
9:00 PM - 11:00 PM Welcome Gathering!

Saturday, January 18, 2020
8:00 - 9:00 Breakfast with Friends
9:00 - 9:15 Welcome
9:15 - 10:15 Session I
10:30 - 11:30 Session II
11:30 - 1:00 Roundtable Lunches
1:00 - 2:00 Session III
2:15 - 3:15 Session IV
3:30 - 4:30 Reading Session
4:30 - 6:30 Dinner Break
6:30 PM Evening Concert at All Saints Episcopal Church (634 W. Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA)
8:30 - 10:30 Reception (food provided, cash bar)

Sunday, January 19, 2020
8:00 - 9:00 Breakfast with Friends
9:00 - 10:00 Session V
10:15 - 11:15 Session VI
11:30 - 12:30 Reading Session
12:30 - 2:00 Roundtable Lunches
2:00 - 3:00 Session VII
3:15 - 4:15 Session VIII
4:30 - 5:30 Closing Session

Early Bird $125 (up to December 1)
Regular $150 (up to January 1) No online registration after Jan. 1, 2020
On-Site $200

Atlanta Chapter Choristers Guild Add-a-Day
We are delighted to offer our colleagues attending the Choristers Guild Atlanta Chapter Mid-Winter Conference the opportunity to join us on Sunday, January 19, 2020 for just $50!

* Please note that a $5 processing fee will be assessed to all registrations.

Register Now

Bring a First Timer!
Bring a first-time attendee with you, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card! Let us know when you come to check-in on-site to enter!

A block of rooms has been reserved for the retreat at:
The Renaissance Hotel Midtown
866 W. Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30308

A dedicated website is available for you to book your hotel room online. Reservations can be made at this web address:
Booking Website:

Rooms are $169 for a double, $159 for single. Reservations must be made by Thursday, December 26, 2019 to receive the discounted rate.

Looking for a roommate to share the cost? Contact Joy at to be connected with others also seeking a roommate.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is a major hub for Delta Airlines, but several low-cost carriers such as Frontier, Southwest, and Spirit also consider Atlanta a focus city.

Ground Transportation:
You can get from the airport to the hotel using the MARTA Red or Yellow line for under $10 round trip! Trains depart the airport every 10 minutes. The hotel is only two blocks (about a 5-minute walk) from the MARTA stop in downtown Atlanta. Click HERE for detailed printable directions from the airport to the hotel.

Follow us on Facebook on the Children’s Choir Conductor’s Forum for the most recent updates and information on the retreat!

Questions? Please Contact:
Joy Hirokawa, ACDA National Chair for Children & Community Youth Choirs
Emmy Williams Burch, Site Chair 

Join us for what will be an inspiring weekend!