Informative and fun; the WA ACDA/NKE workshop of January, 2014

by Darcy Morrissey, R&S Chair, Children and Community Youth Choirs

Fifty-three choral directors attended this informative and fun workshop that centered on twenty-two unison/two part octavos by master classical composers. The workshop was held Saturday, January 19th, at the Meridian Park Elementary School in Shoreline. Presenters were Darcy Morrissey, Brad Wills, Leora Schwitters, Richard Nance, and Anna Mansbridge.

The workshop was under joint sponsorship by WAACDA and the Northwest Kodaly Educators.

On Friday night participants brushed up on their conducting technique with Dr. Richard Nance, PLU, and five conductors received direct feedback from Dr. Nance in a masterclass format.

Anna Mansbridge, a prominent expert on early European dance, led the Saturday portion of the workshop, teaching dances that fit the time and style of our choral octavos, from Medieval to Baroque.  Based on Anna’s lively presentation, directors came away with the dancer’s perspective on how to interpret scores including tempo, hand gesture, historical context and an uplifted down beat.

Many thanks to Brad Wills and Leora Schwitters who also presented tried and true vocal warm-ups for elementary/middle school aged singers.

Please note that 10 extra reading session packets are available. If you would like to purchase one, please contact Darcy Morrissey at



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