Annual Awards Program

Four distinguished Awards

These four awards for outstanding contributions to choral music in Minnesota are presented (annually) at the ACDA of Minnesota state conference each November. The award titles are:

  • F. Melius Christiansen Award

  • Minnesota Choral Director of the Year

  • Outstanding Young Choral Director Award

  • VocalEssence Award for Creative Programming

Recipients of these awards are selected by a secret ballot at a regular scheduled meeting of the State Board of Directors. The board reserves the right to withhold conference of any award in any given year. All nominations shall be kept in an active file for up to three years, and may be extended at the discretion of the Executive Board.

Advocate for Choral Excellence (ACE) Awards

The ACE award is designed to celebrate the efforts of people across Minnesota who have done outstanding work for their communities, serving the choral art.

Established 1973

F. Melius Christiansen (FMC) was a Norwegian immigrant who is considered the father of unaccompanied choral singing in the United States. He founded the St. Olaf Choir in 1911 (at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota) and shaped it into arguably the best-known college choir in the “‘rorld. For nearly thirty years, he used an ethic of hard work to achieve perfect intonation, seamless blend, and crisp diction. ACDA of Minnesota recognizes Christiansen’s inspirational contributions to the choral art by presenting an annual lifetime achievement award in choral music and through an endowment fund that was established in his name.

Criteria:

This award is for members who have:

  1. Lifelong conducting experience providing outstanding contributions and distinguished service to choral music in Minnesota.
  2. Significant and noteworthy accomplishments that embody the distinction and significance of the name “F. Melius Christiansen,” founder and director of the St. Olaf Choir.

Nomination:

Please fill out the form at the end of this page.

Announcement:

F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award Winner will be announced and honored at the State Conference awards luncheon in November.

Established 1988

Criteria:

This award is for members who have:

  1. Eleven or more years of conducting experience
  2. Establishment of high performance and literature standards
  3. Promotion of choral music in the community
  4. Consistent ACDA membership
  5. Attends and supports ACDA functions and statewide activities
  6. Contributes to ACDA through work in district, state, regional or national conventions, committees, etc.

Nomination:

Please fill out the form at the end of this page.

Announcement:

Director of the Year Award Winner will be announced and honored at the State Conference awards luncheon in November.

Established 1988

Criteria:

This award is for conductors who have:

  1. Ten or fewer years of conducting experience
  2. Establishment of high performance and literature standards
  3. Promotion of choral music in the community
  4. Consistent ACDA membership
  5. Attends and supports ACDA functions and state-wide activities

Nomination:

Please fill out the form at the end of this page.

Announcement:

Outstanding Young Director Award Winner will be announced and honored at the State Conference awards luncheon in November.

 Sponsored by VocalEssence

The purpose of the ACDA Award for Creative Programming is to uphold high standards of excellence in repertoire selection, to acknowledge and reward creativity in performing choral performance, and to affirm the importance of quality secondary and undergraduate choral training throughout the State of Minnesota.

The Award for Creative Programming is presented annually in November by Philip Brunelle or a representative of VocalEssence to a non-professional choral organization in the state of Minnesota. Award selection will be made by a review committee determined by Mr. Brunelle. The decisions of the review committee will be final and the committee reserves the right not to make an award.

The winner receives a framed certificate and a $500 cash prize. The award alternates between two categories. In even years, college and university/community choruses, may apply; and in odd years, middle/junior high school and high school chorus may apply.

Criteria:

To be eligible the choir must fit the stated category, and the director must be a current member in good standing of ACDA of Minnesota. A winning director may not receive the award consecutively. Any choir meeting the entrance categories and the eligibility requirements is encouraged to apply.

Application:

Application for this award is not processed online. It requires the following application information in a packet which must include:

  • The name of the choir, (and supporting institution, if applicable)
  • The director’s name and home address
  • The number of members in the choir (indicate whether auditioned or not)
  • A concisely written statement regarding the choir’s programming philosophy
  • An original copy of each printed program for the most recently completed year of concerts
  • A CD containing four (4) representative selections from the most recent year, performed by the ensemble applying for the award. Concert programs and CDs will not be returned.

Completed application packets must be postmarked no later than June 1 of each year and mailed to:

VocalEssence
ACDA Award for Creative Programming
1900 Nicollet Avenue
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403

Established 2008

First presented in 2008 by the ACDA-MN Board of Directors, the ACE (Advocate for Choral Excellence) Award was established to recognize the outstanding efforts of individuals who support the choral art in their communities.

Overview/Purpose:

  1. The ACE award is designed to celebrate the efforts of people across Minnesota who have done outstanding work for their communities, serving the choral art.
  2. The ACE award helps “bring to light” the creative ways people have nurtured the choral art.
  3. The ACE award increases the awareness of the ACDA-MN membership of the quality work being performed on a regular basis throughout our state.
  4. The ACE award provides a way for each District to celebrate their members’ work, increasing awareness and building on our statewide history of “grassroots” development.

Criteria:

  1. An ACE award is chosen by an ACDA-MN District Chair, with nominations from district members.
  2. ACDA-MN District Chairs may only award a ACE to residents who work in their respective district.
  3. ACE awards, being at the discretion of the ACDA-MN District Chair, may be awarded for a myriad of reasons, as long as recognition goes for “outstanding work for a program or community, serving the choral art.”
  4. An ACE award nominee does not have to be a member of ACDA-MN.
  5. District Chairs must submit ACE recipient names in their reports before the June Board meeting, and may not contact recipients until the Board has met.
  6. ACEs will be awarded at the concluding banquet of Summer Dialogue, and will be recognized again in the fall issue of Star of the North.
  7. An ACE recipient is expected to receive the award in person or through a proxy at the Summer Dialogue banquet.

Nomination:

Nomination for ACE Award does not require any special form. Names for consideration may be forwarded via email to any of the District Chairs.

Awards Nomination Form

This form is used to nominate a person only for one the following three awards:

  • F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement
  • Minnesota Choral Director of the Year
  • Outstanding Young Choral Director awards

  • Your Information


  • Nominee Information


  • Upload Support Documentation

    Upload 3 letters of support (one each) from the following three people from the institution served by the nominee:
  • A colleague of the nominee
  • Administrator
  • A singer
  • Please make sure that the contact information of the writers are included in the letters.

  • You may zip the 3 files together into one file and upload the zip file. Allowed file extensions are PDF and Zip with a maximum file size of 3 MB.
    Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: pdf, zip.

If you have a question and can not find the answer here please contact us using the following form:

  • Enter "0" if you are not a member.
  • Select N/A if you are not a member or just don't know which district.