Our Mission: To Inspire & Support a Community of Choral Musicians in Our State

ACDA-MN Vote 2019

/ACDA-MN Vote 2019
ACDA-MN Vote 20192019-02-26T00:01:00-06:00


The annual elections for ACDA-MN is scheduled for March 1-8, and we are utilizing an on-line form for members to cast your vote (the form is at the end of this page).

Voting is for:

  • State President Position (6 year term: 2019-2024)
  • District Chair positions in the Metro West district (three year term: 2019-2022)
  • District Chair positions in the Northeast district (three year term: 2019-2022)
  • District Chair positions in the Southwest district (three year term: 2019-2022)
  • ACDA-MN Bylaw Edits

We are thrilled to announce this lineup of these exceptional candidates that are eager to support our growing professional organization. Please take the time to become familiar with the reasons they wish to serve by clicking on their profiles listed below.

Your voting districts should be per your work or school location. If you are not sure of your district, please go to this page to locate your district based on the county that you work in.

Meet the Candidates

Stephanie Trump

Stephanie Trump has directed choirs at Armstrong High School for 22 years. Her prior years of teaching were at the middle level and in studio voice. She has been Director of the Women’s Chorale at the University of Northwestern for the past five years. She has served on Boards for ACDA, MN Arts Consortium, MSHSL, was elected as MMEA Choral Vice President, has presented sessions and coordinated events for ACDA-MN, MMEA, NAfME, and C/NCACDA.

If elected, this is how I would support our mission to “inspire and support a community of choral musicians in our state”

As we anticipate the release of the 2020 Strategic Planning Report, we maintain a vision focused on the needs of our membership in all areas. We must continue to promote programming and events that encourage collaboration and mentorship, support conversations that enhance our knowledge and skill, as well as inspiring motivation and passion. The tremendous benefits of membership in our state organization become fully realized the more actively we engage with our colleagues through ACDA-MN events.


Jerome Upton

Jerry Upton has been an active member of ACDA of Minnesota for over 30 years. He currently serves as the Northeast District Chair. In 2008, he was named Choral Director of theYear by the organization. Throughout his career, he has served in numerous leadership capacities for ACDA-MN. He has has also served as Choir Vice President for the Minnesota Music Educators Association from 2003-2005. Jerry is the director of choirs at Duluth East High School, where he conducts 5 curricular ensembles. Under his direction, the Duluth East High School A’Cappella Choir and Choralaires have made several appearances at ACDA state and regional conventions.

If elected, how will I support and inspire a community of choral musicians in our state?

Serving on the ACDA-MN board for the past three years has been an exciting journey. I have worked with the ACDA-MN 20/20 @ 2020 Task Force to help shape the future of our organization. Being a part of this task force since its beginning, it has been exciting to collaborate with such a talented, diverse, and passionate collection of choral directors that are all united in their interest in making ACDA-MN a relevant, sustainable, and innovative organization for years to come. I look forward to the opportunity to carry our mission forward by working with other state choral leaders to bring innovative choral projects throughout Minnesota, and help to provide programming to conferences and dialogue that is both relevant and enriching to our members.

Chris Larson

Chris Larson is vocal music director at Wayzata Central Middle School, where his singers were selected to perform at the 2015 American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Minnesota State Convention. He received his Bachelors Degree in Vocal Music Education from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI, and his Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Chris has served as co-chair of the ACDA Minnesota All-State 7/8 Boys’ Honors Choir, and has presented at the Minnesota ACDA State Conference.

If elected, this is how I would support our mission to “inspire and support a community of choral musicians in our state”

I am interested in bringing together the voices of many different members of our community.  As a middle level choral director, I find it exciting to think about the whole journey of a singer – from elementary school to college and beyond.  It is important for us as an organization to support directors at all levels, and to provide opportunities for reflection and growth for each one of us.


Kelly Newell

Kelly Newell graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in vocal music education.  Her experience is extensive and broad. She directed children’s choirs at Lynnhurst Congregational Church for over a decade and the adult choir at Edina Morningside Church for five years. Kelly has conducted community children’s choirs, elementary school choirs and middle school choirs in district 112 and 277, and most currently the Mound Westonka high school choirs, where she is also the performing arts center coordinator.

If elected, this is how I would support our mission to “inspire and support a community of choral musicians in our state”

Given the opportunity to serve in this capacity, I would create opportunities for members to gather more frequently and connect on specific topics that are of interest or concern. I believe our inspiration comes from the incredible knowledge and experiences of our fellow directors. Through this connection, we then have the ability to better support ourselves and one another through meaningful mentorships, provide opportunities to collaborate with one another on new projects, and expand our choral community.

Richard Robbins

Richard Robbins is Director of Choral Activities at the University Minnesota Duluth. He has served as choral director at three universities, taught award-winning high school choirs in Texas for 10 years, and has led multiple church music programs. An active clinician, he conducts festivals and adjudicates contests across the country. Richard is also chorusmaster for the Duluth Superior Symphony Chorus and is a past executive board member of the Southwestern Division ACDA.

If elected, this is how I would support our mission to “inspire and support a community of choral musicians in our state”

If elected, I would inspire and support the choral community of the Northeastern District by listening to our members, finding creative ways to connect with one another as we support singers in our schools, community choruses, and churches. I hope to advocate for the priorities and concerns of all our members, finding ways to encourage and inspire new choral directors in an age of rapid turnover, and bringing events and workshops to our region.


Frank Wells

Wells began his teaching career at Bisbee-Egeland Junior/Senior High in Bisbee, ND (1982-1985). He currently teaches choir and classroom guitar at Cambridge-Isanti High School, a position he has held since 1985. Duties at CIHS have included five curricular choirs, classroom guitar, music theory/composition, extra-curricular jazz and TB choirs, and music theater director. Since 1988 Wells has been the choir director at Common Ground – A United Methodist Community.

If elected, this is how I would inspire our mission “inspire and support a community of choral musicians in our state.”

At this stage of my career I am reducing some of my regular responsibilities, providing additional time and flexibility for me to connect more strongly with the wider choral community. Availability is the best way to support others, and I make it my goal. I am a passionate proponent of diversity in all its forms, and combined with my years of experience, this provides an important perspective to the choral conversation in Minnesota.

Chad Felton

Chad Felton started his career teaching 7-12 Choirs and K-1 General Music at Murray County Central in Slayton, MN.  He moved onto Cloquet and taught 7-12 Choirs and now teaches 5-12 Choirs and 5-6 General Music at Lac qui Parle Valley in Madison, MN.  He has also directed the SWMN Men’s Chorus, church choirs, and been involved with fourteen musical productions.

If elected, this is how I would support our mission to “inspire and support a community of choral musicians in our state”

I believe my experience at three different school districts and crisscrossing the state has left me with a broad sense of the different choral needs throughout the state.  If elected I will do my best to aid and assist our members in any way possible.  ACDA-MN has always been there for me and I would love the opportunity to serve this wonderful organization.


Jeff Iverson

Jeff Iverson is in his 14th year teaching in the Yellow Medicine East School District. A native of Glenwood, Minnesota, Iverson received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota-Morris. He has degrees in vocal and piano performance with K-12 teaching licensure in vocal, classroom, and instrumental music. He earned a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Southwest Minnesota State University. His duties at YME include directing the Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Junior High Choir, 6th Grade Choir, directing the Fall Musical, and coaching Knowledge Bowl.

Besides his duties at school, Iverson conducts the Granite Falls United Church of Christ adult choir, teaches private piano lessons, and serves as a staff member for the Minnesota Ambassadors of Music Choir.

Under Iverson’s leadership, the YME choir program has seen major growth. Since arriving at YME in 2005, he has tripled the number of students involved in the choir program overall, and encourages more participation in solo/ensemble contest resulting in the most vocal entries the school has sent in recent years.

If elected, this is how I would inspire our mission “inspire and support a community of choral musicians in our state.”

If I had the honor of being elected, I would be delighted to carry out ACDA’s mission. I truly believe that ACDA offers the best professional development opportunities for choral educators on a state, regional, and national level. Thanks to our dedicated ACDA leadership personnel, we have experienced fantastic workshops and conferences that continue to inspire us every year. I have reaped the benefits of being an ACDA member for the past fourteen years, and now I would like the opportunity to give back and dedicate my time to help serve.

Bylaws Revisions

It is policy that the Bylaws of our organization are studied and amended every two years. ACDA-MN members will be asked to cast an on-line vote on these Bylaw edits that have been recently ratified by the ACDA-MN Board of Directors.

The proposed edits center around three purposes:

  1. to clarify language and improve intelligibility
  2. to provide documentation for practices that haven’t formerly been documented
  3. to provide inclusions in job descriptions that haven’t formerly been documented

Voting Ballot