As we emerge from our COVID-induced hibernation, aren’t you READY to get out?!? WE are! After lengthy deliberations, we are moving ahead with the 2022 Children’s and Community Youth Choir Conductors’ Retreat live and in person! Our original plan was to be in Phoenix, but due to conflicts with other conventions occurring the same weekend, we have moved the location to nearby Tucson, Arizona. Tucson offers a culturally rich and distinctive location, in the heart of the West! We have a great team working to create a retreat that will remain true to the spirit of this event and also highlight the region, with three areas of focus:
Reflect: While no one would have wished to have the kind of year we have just endured, one positive aspect of our enforced isolation was the time we were given to slow down and reflect on our practice. We had to find new ways of teaching, new ways to connect with others, new ways of thinking. Moving forward, what do we want to carry with us as we return to more traditional, in person teaching and rehearsing? What might we do differently than we have done in the past? The social unrest of last summer also gave us pause to re-examine our commitment to equity/diversity/inclusion/access. What changes might we want to make as we think about making our choirs and rehearsal spaces more welcoming to all?
Reconnect: As a group, singers are very social beings! The solitude of this past year has been hard on everyone. While we connected virtually, there is nothing like being in a room with colleagues buzzing about a presentation you just experienced, batting around responses, discussing differences in opinion, or brainstorming how you might like to apply what you just heard. The Children & Youth community is incredibly supportive – we all have such a passion for sharing our love of choral music with the next generation. Connecting with those of like mind at the retreat is re-energizing and inspiring.
Rebuild: Our field has taken a real hit this past year. How crushed we all were last year when the news came out of how detrimental singing was to the spread of COVID. How could something so benevolent and benign suddenly be so harmful? While we individually may need to work on rebuilding our belief in what we do, our programs have suffered mightily and also are in need of rebuilding. How might we nurture our creative and artistic souls? What practical ideas can we apply right away to our programs to get our singers back on track?
Over the years, the C&CY Retreat has become the go-to professional development for many. We hope you will join us for what will be an inspiring weekend of sessions, music making, and nurtured healing. Cash strapped or no funding available from your organization or school? We are hoping to make some (not all) of the retreat available digitally. Given what we have learned in the past year about virtual conferences, it seems like the right time!
The retreat is scheduled for January 15 – 16, 2022, with an optional limited enrollment pre-conference session on Friday, January 14, focused on a personal exploration of our attitudes on Access, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Watch for detailed announcements on our Facebook page (ACDA Children & Youth Choirs Repertoire Forum) and here. You know you need to be there!
Questions? Please Contact:
Joy Hirokawa, ACDA National Chair for Children & Community Youth Choirs