The All State Board has been working hard, alongside CMEA and CHSAA, to consider the impacts of the coronavirus and discuss the viability of an All State Choir Festival this spring. After spending considerable time together as a Board, we are making changes for this year only to protect our ASC festival, our students, clinicians, accompanists, audience members, and you fabulous Directors. I must tell you that this has been a difficult year to transition to Chair of ASC, and my heart is heavy because I know you will have to make adjustments based on these changes. Please know I am here for you, I understand these are significant alterations, I do not take this lightly, and the entire ASC Board is here to help you every step of the way.

First and foremost, we are changing the ASC Festival dates to April 25th-27th, 2021 at the Embassy Suites. Our concert will be at the Buell the evening of April 27th. This change is for many reasons, the most important being restrictions we have already heard about with student travel in the fall. For example, Cherry Creek SD is one of several districts that has eliminated all student field trips in the fall. If school districts are still disallowing student field trips in January or February, they may be lifted in the warmer Spring months. We may have better research, we may have a vaccine or medical solution. The point being that we are all unsure, but time is our best insurance against cancellation. We are also thrilled with the layout and relationship at the Embassy Suites, and are excited to be back at our normal hotel. Plus, free breakfast for hungry teens and Directors! I’ll see you at the bacon station…

For this year only, we will be conducting online auditions. This is a directive from CHSAA, and we agree with going online to protect our students and older judges. We will be using Opus Auditions, a platform used by the ACDA Honor Choir and 26 All State choirs across the country to record all auditions. There will not be a live option this year. Opus Auditions is an amazing platform; you will register your students through Opus, pay your audition fees on Opus, and your students will record directly through Opus – it really is a one-stop-shop for us this year. A huge thank-you to Josh Jackson at Chatfield Senior HS for all his research into Opus Auditions! Josh will also be making you and your students step-by-step tutorials that will be posted on the ASChoir.com website on August 1st. I am listing all changes to our audition process below, but please email me at miller.aschoir@gmail.com with any further questions.

  • August 1st | Audition materials will be posted on aschoir.com

  • November 1st-15th | Audition Registration and Submission Window. This means you will need to go online, register your students, and make sure they complete auditions during this timeframe. Students will be able to complete parts of the audition and save their progress. They will not have to complete the audition all in 1 day, but will need to complete all sections of the audition no later than November 15th. For those of you not teaching face-to-face this fall, we hope that moving the audition deadline a little later will grant you more time to teach your students these important audition skills. ASC will also be providing resources and tutorials for your students to learn scales, triads, solos, etc.

  • Week of Jan 18th | ASC Board Announces Audition Results – order your music right after you receive your results!

  • February 5th | Acceptance Deadline

  • Changes in Solo Audition Portion – No live accompaniments this year. ASC will provide multiple solo options for each voice part, including a recorded accompaniment track for your singers to practice with and use for their solo recordings. If a student would like to learn a different solo, they must provide their own recorded accompaniment track to sing with. ASC will not accept live accompaniments this year. We will have learning tracks, pronunciation tracks, and music available for our ASC solo selections by August 1st.

  • Scales, Triads, & Intervals – Very similar to previous years. Just like previously, there will be a bank of interval options that Opus Auditions will rotate through. These variations will not increase or decrease in difficulty.  Make sure your students know not to share answers, because they’ll be different for each singer.

  • Sight-Reading – Just like intervals, there will be slight variations for each sight-reading. These slight variations will not increase or decrease the difficulty, but make sure your students know not to share the sight-reading, it will be altered slightly for each singer. Just like last year, there will be 2 sight-singing examples and 1 rhythmic example.

This is just the beginning of communications you will be receiving from the ASC Board regarding the changes we are making this year.  We are working hard to ensure we have a viable festival for your singers next April, and we will remain as transparent and communicative as possible. As our districts keep responding to coronavirus we will be in touch with you. One last thought – CHSAA has notified us of some great research happening that centers around the disbursement of COVID molecules in band and choir. Here’s the link to that study:

 

NFHS Study – Effects of COVID-19 in rehearsal halls, and specifically to examine the aerosol rates produced by wind instrumentalists and vocalists:  https://www.nfhs.org/articles/unprecedented-international-coalition-led-by-performing-arts-organizations-to-commission-covid-19-study/