About Star of the North


The Star of the North magazine is official publication of the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota (ACDA-MN). It is published online only three times a year in Fall, Winter, and Spring. The magazine is part of ACDA-MN organization to be the choral director’s source for engaging and ongoing professional development.

Articles may be submitted to the copy editor for consideration:

Ben Henschel
Star of the North Editor
Phone: 952-988-3759
Email: sotneditor@acda-mn.org


Recognizing the broad diversity of cultures and beliefs by our member directors, by our singers, and by all those touched by performances of choral music, ACDA of Minnesota reaffirms its commitment to balance and diversity in programming. It is important that we, as the leading proponents of choral art in our state, actively encourage and model sensitivity to and awareness of diversity, particularly with regard to sacred and secular repertoire. We recommend that no more than fifty percent of the literature chosen for Honors Choirs, All-State Choirs and Pick Six packets contain music with sacred text. Performances and lists pertaining to music in worship are exempt.

Adopted by the ACDA of Minnesota Executive Board, January 13, 1996.


All website contents are © Copyright of ACDA-MN and may not be copied, reproduced and distributed in any form without specific written permission from ACDA-MN.

Each article can be saved as PDF file or printed (see the buttons at the bottom of each article & page, including this page) for your personal use only.

About ACDA of Minnesota


The American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), founded in 1959, is a non-profit organization whose active membership is composed of choral musicians from schools, colleges and universities, community, industrial organizations, churches, and professional groups.


To inspire and support a community of choral musicians in our state


Artistry • Community • Excellence • Inspiration • Legacy • Renewal • Support

ACDA is one of the largest professional organizations for choral directors in the world, with a membership of over 20,000 conductors representing one million singers.

ACDA has as its highest purpose to encourage the finest choral music and to promote its development in all ways, including performance, composition, publication and research.

ACDA is organized in the United States into seven geographical divisions, each with its own activities. In addition each of the fifty states has its own officers, thereby making it possible for members to be in close proximity to persons actively involved in choral music and ACDA.

ACDA has a number of national committees engaged in exploring materials, techniques and standards. Among these are committees representing children’s choirs; junior and senior high school choirs; college and university choirs; choral music in the community and in the church; vocal jazz groups; show choirs; ethnic music; male and female choruses; and activities for students.

ACDA sponsors festivals, clinics and workshops on the state level as well as division and national conventions where ideas are shared and explored, problems discussed, and music is heard. Industry representatives frequently exhibit material at these conventions; members have the opportunity to examine firsthand the latest publications and music-related supplies.

ACDA publications include The Choral Journal, published then months each year, which contains important articles, reviews of books, records, music and general information about choral music and musicians throughout the world. Members also receive Melisma, published by the North Central Division, and Minnesota’s own newsletter, The Star of the North.

ACDA has student chapters in many high schools, colleges, and universities, whose members are contributing fresh ideas to the thrust of the national organization.


  1. To foster and promote choral singing, which will provide artistic, cultural, and spiritual experiences for the participants.
  2. To foster and promote the finest types of choral music to make these experiences possible.
  3. To foster and promote the organization and development of choral groups of all types in schools and colleges.
  4. To foster and promote the development of choral music in the church and synagogue.
  5. To foster and promote the organization and development of choral societies in cities and communities.
  6. To foster and promote the understanding of choral music as an important medium of contemporary artistic expression.
  7. To foster and promote significant research in the field of choral music.
  8. To foster and encourage choral composition of superior quality.
  9. To foster and promote international exchange programs involving performing groups, conductors, and composers.
  10. To foster and encourage rehearsal procedures conducive to attaining the highest possible level of musicianship and artistic performance.
  11. To cooperate with all organizations dedicated to the development of musical culture in America.
  12. To disseminate professional news and information about choral music.



Ongoing annual professional development activities

  • Summer Dialogue and New Music Reading Sessions
  • State Conference with targeted Interest Sessions and performances for all levels of singing

Connections with over 800 colleagues in all areas of teaching and conducting

State Honor Choir Program featuring 750 auditioned students

  • 4-5-6 Boys
  • 4-5-6 Girls
  • 7-8 Boys
  • 7-8 Girls
  • 9-10 Women
  • 9-10 Mixed

Access to National Award Winning State Website

  • On-Line Membership Directory
  • State Archives
  • Pick Six Repertoire Resource – 1250 searchable titles

Access to Award Winning Publications

  • ACDA-MN Star of the North
  • North Central ACDA Melisma
  • ACDA National Choral Journal

ACDA-MN Newsletter – Statewide Electronic Messaging

  • Special Notices
  • Concert Events
  • Auditions
  • Job Vacancies

Annual Commissioning Projects

Statewide festivals



President — Susan Zemlin

Vice President — Brian Stubbs

President-Elect — Paula Holmberg

Secretary — Gillian Teoh-Berbee

Central District Chair — Nate Raabe

Metro East District Chair — Chad Garrells

Metro West District Chair — Jeff Dahl

Northeast District Chair — Jerry Upton

Northwest District Chair — Michael Culloton

Southeast District Chair — Kristin Kivell

Southwest District Chair — Seana Graber

Student Representative — Aspen Bue

Star of the North Editor — Ben Henschel


Director of Development — Dawn Thomsen

Web Editor — Dariush Akhavan

Executive Assistant — Barb Geier

Executive Director — Bruce W. Becker


Children’s & Youth Choirs — Marie Scholtz

College and University Choirs — Michael McGaghie

Community Choirs — Tim Sayer

Ethnic & Multicultural Perspectives — Carole Whitney

High School Choirs — Randy Schafer

Jazz Choirs — Jennifer Parker

Junior High/Middle School Choirs — Reid Larsen

Male Choirs — Gene Peterson

Music and Worship — Vacant

Show Choirs — Erynn Millard

Two-Year College Choirs — Teresa Ashworth

Women’s Choirs — Sarah Ludwig Cohen

Youth and Student Activities — Brad Miller

Repertoire & Resources Coordinator — Allan Hawkins



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