AVA COVID-19 Recommendations
The Alabama Vocal Association is committed to the vital task of educating our students through the empirically tested medium of choral singing. The prodigious evidence that music is essential for the neurological, social and cultural development of our students not only suggests the continued instruction of our students is important but mandates we continue to do so. Current research from peer-reviewed journals and publications, as well as the endorsement of the Alabama Vocal Association Board of Directors, recommends the following for the safety of our students and teachers until such time a vaccine has been proven effective against COVID-19:
- Students and teachers should wear N95 masks for covering their nose and mouth while rehearsing in a closed space/classroom.
- Students and teachers should practice social distance protocols prescribed by the CDC and the WHO regardless of their rehearsal environment.
- Where possible, and with the safety of students as the primary concern, choral rehearsals should take place outdoors.
- If well-ventilated rehearsal areas are not feasible, an HEPA-type air purifier (such as a Winix 5300-2) is recommended for every 360 square feet of rehearsal space.
- Recommended rehearsals strategies should include wearing masks while singing or humming as a means for learning vocal parts.
- Finally, it is recommended that Fall/Winter concerts should not occur in a performance space where social distancing cannot be maintained for both the audience and the performers. Alternative solutions would include virtual concerts streamed live or recorded and made available via web services such as FaceBook Live or YouTube.
*These recommendations will be updated as more research becomes available.
From the President
It was great to see and visit with many of you virtually at the AMEA Winter Conference in January. Congratulations to choruses from Hewitt-Trussville Middle School, directed by Ben Cook, and Spain Park High School, directed by Jim Schaeffer for presenting inspiring performances during the conference.
Your AVA Board has approved modifications to our events for spring semester. I appreciate all the work the board has done to make sure students and teachers across the state have the best possible choral experiences in these uncertain times. I also appreciate the emails, messages, and calls from several AVA members offering help, locating venues, and finding creative ways to move forward. I am truly humbled to serve a community of such caring professionals.
We looked at several venues and dates, and determined that the best option is April 26 and 27 at Von Braun Center in Huntsville. I know this is the same week, but not the same dates as All-State Show Choir, and I apologize for scheduling these events so close together. Our clinicians are Dr. Brady Allred, High School SATB; Dr. Jami Rhodes, High School SSAA; Victor Johnson, Middle School Mixed; and Dr. P. Phillip Shoultz, III, Middle School Treble.
Rehearsal time will be limited with this schedule, but hopefully, even those who are traveling the longest distances will be able to travel without incurring the expense of a hotel. For this year only, there will be no penalty to students who were selected for All-State but do not register. The concert will be live-streamed and we may need to limit the number of people in the audience because of physical distancing requirements. When we get guidelines from the venue, we will send an update to directors.
Students who were selected for TTBB chorus and who want to perform with the SATB chorus will need to submit recordings through Google Classroom. Directors will need to include these students in their SATB registrations. Refund of registration fees will be issued to the school for any TTBB student who registers but does not pass the proficiency. Meg Jones will set up the screening and will send the invitations.
The deadline to register students for All-State was January 27. If you have registered, but have not received conformation/invoice, please reach out to our Webmaster, Jim Schaeffer. Payment is due by March 15 for the exact number of students registered.
There will be a virtual general membership meeting during All-State week.
All-State Show Choir
This event will be April 28-30 at Enterprise High School. The final concert will be live-streamed at 8 PM April 30. Thanks to Cameron Weiler for serving as the All-State Show Choir Coordinator. Our clinicians are Mark Myers and Shane Coe.
OCS auditions and interviews are usually held the day before All-State and are adjudicated by District Chairs. This year, student resumes and recorded performances are due by March 3. Students will submit these items through Google Classroom. A schedule for virtual interviews will be sent to the students and their directors.
OA auditions and interviews are also usually held the day before All-State and are adjudicated by members of the Executive Board. This year, student resumes and recorded performances are due by March 3. Students will submit these items through Google Classroom. A schedule for virtual interviews will be sent to the students and their directors.
ME interviews are usually held the evening before AMEA conference in January. This year, these interviews will be later in the year. Student resumes are due by March 3. Students will submit these items through Google Classroom. A schedule for virtual interviews will be sent to the students and their directors.
SCPA will be virtual this year. Directors may record two selections and submit them through Google Classroom. There will be no sight-reading component this year. Because many schools have restrictions on who may enter their facilities while students are present, recorded accompaniments may be used this year only. Once directors complete registration—with payment, they will be invited to submit their recordings through Google Classroom.
Important dates to know for SCPA 2021:
February 1 Online registration opens
March 4 Deadline for registration with payment
April 15 Deadline for directors to submit recordings for adjudication Solo and Ensemble.
Solo and Ensemble will also be virtual this year. The submission process for this event will be similar to All-State auditions. Recorded accompaniments may be used this year only. Directors will complete registrations for each soloist or ensemble. Once registration (including payment) is complete, students will be invited to submit their recordings through Google Classroom.
To help simplify the calendar, due dates for Solo and Ensemble follow those of SCPA:
February 1 Online registration opens
March 4 Deadline for registration with payment April 15 Deadline to submit recordings
AVA Executive Board Positions Open
Carl Davis has resigned from his position as Executive Secretary. We will certainly miss Carl, but his responsibilities in his new career in the medical field are demanding his time and energies. He has assured us that he will help with the transition of his replacement. Because the responsibilities of this position are so vital to the operation of our organization, and because Meg Jones is already familiar with most of those responsibilities, I have asked her to serve as interim Executive Secretary. Of course, that will leave our Vice President position vacant. I am working on filling that position now. We will post the Executive Secretary and the Webmaster jobs this spring; we need those positions officially filled well in advance of our summer board meeting so both people can attend the meeting.
As always, your board and I welcome your feedback. Please reach out to your district chair or me whenever we can help you meet the needs of your students.