ACDA’s International Conductors Exchange Program represents an opportunity for a new generation of choral specialists to affirm that choral music-making transcends national borders, ideologies, religions, and all those demarcations that too often divide us.
Established in 2010 and coordinated by ACDA’s International Activities Committee, the program has connected choral conductors in the United States with counterparts in Cuba, China, Sweden, South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Uruguay, Kenya, and South Africa. Between 2012 and 2019, 63 U.S. conductors have participated in the exchange program, hosting an international conductor and traveling abroad to observe and lead rehearsals, present lectures and master classes, as well as other activities.
The application period for the 2023 exchange program closed on June 1.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Program (Germany-United States Edition – 2023)
How does this program work?
In 2022, six American and six German conductors will be selected to participate in a bilateral, mutual exchange to take place in 2023. Conductors will be paired based on backgrounds and interests, and will visit each other’s choral communities, sharing techniques and learning best practices.
How long is the residency and when?
The typical residency is about 9-10 days, including travel. The visiting conductors from Germany will come to the U. S. for the ACDA national conference (February 22-25, 2023, in Cincinnati), and will be hosted by the U. S. conductors in their local communities (region visits) for 3-5 days either before or after the national conference.
American conductors will visit Germany in late May/early June 2023 to experience choral competitions and other activities taking place at that time of year. As with the Germans coming to the U. S., the typical residency will be 9-10 days, with some flexibility as local conditions warrant.
What are my responsibilities as a U. S. conductor?
American conductors host visiting German counterparts in their local regions for approximately 3-5 days either prior to, or following the national conference in Cincinnati (Feb. 22-25, 2023). American hosts are expected to create a schedule of activities for their guest. Typical activities include leading rehearsals, giving workshops, teaching classes, participating in music for faith communities, rehearsal and concert observations, and in some cases leading concerts or portions of concerts. Itineraries that reach a broad community and multiple organizations are encouraged.
What opportunities will I have if I am selected?
As on the U. S. side, local activities in Germany will be arranged by the hosts, and will vary with each location, depending on local circumstances, and the interests of each conductor. It is expected that U. S. conductors will have the opportunity to experience at least one choral competition during their visit.
What are the financial responsibilities of participating in this program?
American conductors going abroad are responsible for their own travel to and from Germany. They will be hosted while in country. Similarly, visiting German conductors are responsible for their own travel to the United States. ACDA hosts the visiting Germans at the national conference, and also provides for their travel to or from the region they are visiting before or after the conference.
American participants selected for the program are expected to host the visiting German conductor during their region visit (typically 3-5 days). Hosting means providing housing (homestays or hotel), meals, and local transport as necessary for the planned activities.