ACDA Executive Director
In a joint statement by ChoralNet President James D. Feiszli and ACDA Executive Director Tim Sharp, ChoralNet, the online choral communications and social networking site (www.choralnet.org), and ACDA, the professional association for American choral directors (www.acda.org), will merge effective November 30, 2009.
Feiszli, a former two-term President of South Dakota ACDA and life member of ACDA stated, “ChoralNet has always been about connecting choral musicians to each other and to resources which assist them in their work. ACDA shares those goals, and at this point in time the two entities are perfectly situated to create a synergy that is mutually beneficial.” Commenting on the merger, Tim Sharp said, “This action advances ACDA’s initiative to utilize the full extent of technological communication for the benefit of choral directors without reinventing the wheel. ChoralNet is the premiere communications and social networking source for the global choral community, and it is an honor for ACDA to be partner to this fusion as we better advance one of our core purposes ‘to disseminate professional news and information about choral music’.“
Feiszli founded Choralist in 1993 with former ACDA President Walter Collins and then-ACDA President-Elect Lynn Whitten. Choralist, an email distribution list, developed into ChoralNet, which is now a nonprofit corporation supported by major choral associations including ACDA, the International Federation for Choral Music, Chorus America, along with commercial partners Smallworld Musicfolder, Rehearsal Arts, J. W. Pepper, and Kingsway International.
ChoralNet operates online forums to exchange ideas, make professional connections, and share information about choral music. An estimated 10,000 individuals access these forums. ChoralNet provides links to other choral communities and organizations and over 5,000 choir websites. Over 3,000 individuals visit the ChoralNet website daily and read over 9,000 pages. ChoralNet’s online resources include repertoire lists, reference materials, rehearsal tips, choral accessories and technology, and areas in which items may be announced or advertised. Its ever-expanding Multimedia section has podcasts, blogs, videos, and downloadable scores and recordings. In April, it launched an entirely new format which allows users the flexibility to interact with ChoralNet in ways similar to other social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook.
ChoralNet will remain freely available to all users, and will maintain its leadership structure, domain location, and revenue streams. It will merge into ACDA’s administrative structure through the ACDA Technology Committee, one of ACDA’s six standing committees, and the Technology Committee’s constitutional connection to the ACDA Executive Committee. ChoralNet users will see no change in services as a result of the merger, with ACDA providing additiional forums and moderators, sustainable resources drawn from its strength as an association, and database and website development resources.
Commenting on this structure, ACDA Executive Director Tim Sharp stated, “I celebrate an independent and uncensored communications and social networking site for the global choral community.” ChoralNet will benefit from new features currently in development by ACDA including the implementation of SOLR, a searchable index for information from both ChoralNet and ACDA’s websites, ACDA Choral Radio and collaboration with Naxos Recordings, ChoralPedia, a wiki based information and research tool, ACDA’s Digital Publishing House, and additional future web-based tools and resources.