Since September 2013, Resounding Achord has assisted high school students who are unable to afford the participation fee for the California Choral Director’s Association (CCDA) Honor Choirs. A number of our founders were involved in honor choirs when they were in school, and we recognized as an organization how impactful these programs can be for students.
In that first year, Resounding Achord Productions provided the $100 participation fee for 6 students. We have continued to expand this program over the years, and we are pleased to be able to offer 50 scholarships for the CCDA Coastal and Central Region Honor Choirs, and 10 scholarships for the CCDA All-State Honor Choir.
For the CCDA regional honor choirs, we require that each student-teacher pair fill out an application that provides justification for the need of the scholarship. The application deadline is usually mid-October—tied to the CCDA schedule.
Note: Details for the CCDA Regional Honor Choirs scholarship application process will be announced shortly.
Need a place to sing when your choir is off for the summer? We have the perfect gig for you.
The Summer Conducting Lab gives conductors-in-training an opportunity to work with a choir in a rehearsal setting, gaining valuable podium time and real-time feedback. During the 2-hour sessions, 3-5 conductors work with the all-volunteer choir, made up of singers from all over the Silicon Valley. Dr. Jeffrey Benson and Kristina Nakagawa provide feedback to the conductors both during the session and afterward in private communication.
What else is great about the Summer Conducting Lab?
Just show up, sing, and have fun.
Resounding Achord provides music for all participants. About 20 pieces are selected each year that represent different styles, musical eras, and difficulties. About 25-30% of the music changes each year so that there is sufficient variety for returning singers and conductors. It is a perfect opportunity to practice your sight-reading skills.
Session Dates for 2022
Monday and Wednesday nights, 7:30 – 9:30
July 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, & 27
All sessions are located at:
St. Francis Episcopal Church
1205 Pine Ave, San José, CA
What do the lab choir singers like best?
“I loved getting to learn more about the insides of conducting!”“Making great music.”
“I loved being a part of a group of extremely skilled musicians; both the singers and directors!”
“The feedback given by Dr. Benson and Kristina Nakagawa and their effect on the conductor/choir were eye- (and ear-) opening for me as a singer.”
We started the conducting lab in 2014 in conjunction with San Jose State University (SJSU) as part of their Three Summer Master’s Program in Music Education. The summer masters students are music educators, and many are conductors of community or school ensembles. The SJSU program offers advanced conducting instruction as part of their program; however, because their residency is held during the summer, there are no ensembles at SJSU for the students to conduct. Our lab provides a live conducting opportunity for the students.
Each year the program follows a basic framework:
There are 5-6 evening sessions — typically two evening sessions per week for a 3-week period.
Conductors sign up for one or more 20–40 minute conducting time slots and arrive prepared to conduct 1–3 pieces.
The conductors can either be members of SJSU’s Three Summer Master’s Program, regular-term students at SJSU, or community members who are seeking an opportunity to sharpen their conducting skills.
There is no participation fee for conductors or singers, and all music is lent to the conductors and singers free of charge for the program.
We invite and welcome singers of any age and any level to be part of the choir. They don’t have to make a commitment to show up for all or even most of the sessions, and singers do not need to practice.
Dr. Jeffrey Benson and Kristina Nakagawa give instruction and written feedback to the conductors.
“The Summer Lab Choir partnership between SJSU and Resounding Achord provides a tremendous opportunity for our SJSU Summer Masters students to gain much-needed experience in front of a choir. Thank you to RA for the amazing leadership in our field.” — Dr. Jeffrey Benson, SJSU
Our IMPACT program allows all students high-school age or younger to attend our RAP Produced concerts for free. Prior to each concert, we send information to music teachers in order to help provide outside musical opportunities to their students. The goal of this program is to educate our youth about choral music and to assure them that high-caliber performance opportunities exist outside of the education and faith-based organizations.
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