ACDA National Convention plays host, 12 March 2013
choral conductor and teacher
The American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) held its National Convention this year in Dallas, Texas, USA. The IFCM board of directors was invited to hold its 2013 General Assembly as a part of this event. Although modestly attended, the assembly proved to be very informative and welcoming, in a casual and intimate atmosphere characterized by good humor and positive energy.
IFCM President, Michael J. Anderson, welcomed all members and started the meeting with a moment of silence in honor of the recent passing of two choral luminaries and special friends of the organization: Paul Wehrle and Eric Ericsson. After preliminary introductions Michael offered an overview of the reports and issued a special invitation for all attendees to actively take part in IFCM initiatives.
Håkan Wickström, IFCM treasurer, offered a complete financial report for 2010, 2011, and 2012, in addition to presenting the independent auditor’s report for each of these IFCM reports. He also communicated that the accounting had to be moved from Belgium to Finland, where he resides. The internal financial audits for 2010 through 2013 will be completed by Montserrat Gual i Serra and Ann Meier Baker prior to the General Assembly in Seoul, 2014. The General Assembly voted to approve the financial reports.
Francesco Leonardi took the floor and led a presentation on membership centering on strategies to increase IFCM’s current membership base. He also offered a detailed report on the World Choral Day, highlighting the increasing number of participants in this important project of the Federation. Francesco later presented two new IFCM project initiatives: the World Exposition 2015 to be held in Milan, Italy, and the Choral Ambassadors. To conclude, he informed the General Assembly of the new design for IFCM’s website as part of the rebranding strategy that the Federation is currently undergoing.
Michael then informed the General Assembly of the creation of IFCM-US, which is an entity created to help in the fundraising efforts of our organization. He explained that the sole purpose of this non-profit entity is to raise tax-deductible funding for IFCM in adherence with US tax laws. For continuity and consistency, the president of IFCM is also the president of IFCM-US.
Andrea Angelini, Managing Editor of the International Choral Bulletin (ICB), shared information about the Second Competition for Choral Composition, held in 2012. There were 637 entries and three rounds of voting, resulting in Francis Corcoran (Ireland) as the Outright Winner for his Eight Haikus, with two Special Prizes being awarded to Itzam L. Zapata Paniagua (Original Sonic Landscape) and Rudi Tas (Notable Harmonic Originality), and four Honourable Mentions. Andrea added that IFCM was presently advising composers on possible publishing opportunities, this liaison entrusted to Michael J. Anderson. He also reported on the ICB in general, informing the gathering about the structure of the publishing operation, its regular collaborators and assistant editors, and highlighting recent improvements in quality as well as lower printing costs.
Stephen Leek presented the new IFCM logo as part of the organization’s re-branding. He also commented on the communication channels of IFCM (E-news, ICB, and the website), and emphasized the importance of creating solid and long-lasting communication links between composers, IFCM member organizations, and individual members.
Thierry Thiébaut offered a report on the project Conductors Without Borders, while Theodora Pavlovitch reported on the Mediterranean Voices Conference and the upcoming Fifth IFCM Multicultural and Ethnic Choral Conference that will take place from the 22nd to the 28th of July, 2013.
Finally, Fred Sjöberg presented the Urban Youth Choir Festival, a project of VOICE (Vision On Innovation For Choral Music in Europe), which will take place in June 2013, along with the International Master Class in Choir and Orchestral Conducting, which will take place in October 2013.
Michael presented information on the Tenth World Symposium on Choral Music to be held in Seoul, Korea 2014. He reported on IFCM’s efforts to develop its connections with China through efforts like the World Choral Summit and the Asia Pacific Choral Summit, the latter a biennial event (the next held in Malaysia). Finally, he emphasized the importance of encouraging younger leaders to become active. He informed those present that IFCM is working with founding member ACDA to present the Second World Youth Forum sometime within the next two years.
The General Assembly closed with some reflections by the attendees regarding the importance of more member participation and the interaction between different cultures, as well as the role IFCM plays in promoting these values through choral activities around the world. IFCM’s position as an umbrella organization that promotes and connects other individuals and organizations seems key to the development of cultural bonds and global values.
Cristian Grases obtained his Masters Degree in Choral Conducting under Alberto Grau and María Guinand in Caracas, Venezuela; and his Doctorate in Choral Conducting at the University of Miami. He is an award-winning composer active as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator and pedagogue in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. He is a Board Member for IFCM and the chair of the Ethnic and Multicultural Perspectives Committee for the ACDA, Western Division. He is currently an assistant professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, USA, where he conducts the Thornton Concert Choir. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Edited by Aaron Kircher, USA