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posted Aug 23, 2016, 9:17 AM by Darin Shryock

Hello High School Choral Directors!

I would like to take a minute of your highly limited time to encourage you to enroll your ensemble(s) in the Fall Choir Festival hosted by the Arizona Choral Educators. The festival is hosted in both the Tucson and Phoenix areas. The Tucson-area festival will be held on Thursday, October 27th at Catalina Foothills High School, and the Phoenix-area festival will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, October 26th and 27th at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. This year your choirs will get to opportunity to work with some outstanding clinicians. Dr. Ryan Holder (from Northern Arizona Univeristy) and Dr. Sharon Hansen (formerly from University of Wisconsin Milwaukee) will be adjudicating at our Tucson site, and Lori Marie Rios (College of the Canyons and past president of California ACDA) and Dr. Joshua Palkki (California State University Long Beach) will be adjudicating at our Phoenix site. If you have participated in the festival in the past you will notice a few small differences. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Scheduling is limited. Ensembles will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis. That being said, I will keep a live, in-progress schedule posted HERE so that you can see if there are viable time slots available before you register. Once you have registered you will be required to pay even if your assigned performance slot is not ideal. I will make every effort to facilitate all the ensembles and will publish a finalized schedule when registration is closed.
  • Sight Reading has changed slightly (for the better!) The sight reading exercises will be available in SSA, SA, TB, TTB, TBB, SAB, and SATB at the director’s discretion. These exercises have been provided by You can go HERE and create your own, free sight reading exercises for your choir to prepare! The other change has been made in the 2-minute recap period after the first reading of the exercise. Students will now be allowed to sing during these two minutes. They may sing individually or in sections, but cannot sing the exercise all together homophonically. Directors are still not allowed to sing other than the tonic triad and starting pitches.
  • We have also aligned our adjudication process more closely with state standards and choral education goals. The new performance adjudication form will include numeric values for each of the ten evaluation criteria which will be added for a total point value, from which your rating will be determined. The sight reading adjudication form also has specific point values which will be awarded based on a detailed rubric. You can find these forms HERE if you would like to examine them further.

Registration is now open on the Arizona AMEA website HERE. The registration deadline is September, 30th but there may be very limited time slots available if you wait to register. Please read your ACE handbook (also available at the AMEA website HERE) for complete details. If you have any questions you can email me at