Annual Elections 2021

The annual elections for ACDA-MN is scheduled for Tuesday, March 2 through Tuesday, March 9, and we are utilizing an on-line form for members to cast your vote (the form is at the end of this page). The voting form will close at 10PM on last day.

Voting is for:

  • State President (6 year term)
  • District Chair positions in the Metro East district (3 year term)
  • District Chair positions in the Northwest district (3 year term)
  • Constitution and Bylaws Revisions

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. Thank you for your support in this election!

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

Daryl Timmer

Woodbury High School

Daryl Timmer is Director of Choirs at Woodbury High School (WHS), a position he has held since 2001.  His responsibilities include directing three curricular choirs, two extra-curricular ensembles as well as teaching individual and group voice lessons.  Daryl is assistant director and music director for the WHS fall musical and serves as the music department chair.   Additionally, he is the Artistic Director of the Valley Chamber Chorale, Stillwater, MN.  Daryl holds an undergraduate degree in K-12 Vocal and Classroom Music from the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, MN and earned his Master of Music degree in Music Education with a choral conducting emphasis from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN.

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

I commit to promoting a culture within our organization that recognizes, validates, supports and brings together the diversity found within the MN choral community be it within school, church, community or professional ensembles.  Building on the premise that we, as directors, seek to create a safe, inclusive, supportive and respectful community within our ensembles, ACDA MN can work to fully embrace this mindset as we intentionally work with our membership and the community at-large.  Guided by our common goals we can be an organization that cultivates and supports equity and true community through integrity, intentionality and unconditional support for all people. 


Jerome Upton

Duluth East High School

Jerry Upton has been a music educator since 1987, and the director of the choirs at Duluth East High School since the year 2000. Choirs under his direction have made numerous appearances at ACDA of Minnesota State Conferences, ACDA North Central Division Conventions, and MMEA Mid-Winter Clinics.

Jerry has been an active member of ACDA of Minnesota since 1987, and he was  honored as their 2008 Choral Director of the Year.   He has served in many leadership capacities, including ACDA of MN Northeast District Chair (3 terms), facilities coordinator for the 1998 ACDA North Central Convention and the 2000 Sixth World Symposium on Choral Music in Minneapolis. He has also served as Choir MMEA Vice President and been a music representative in the MSHSL 7AA Region Board.

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

By continuing to collaborate in the great work that our members of ACDA- MN have done.  One of our goals from our 20/20 in 2020 project was the need to reach out to a more diversified membership, and create programming opportunities that reflect this.  Steps have been taken to achieve this goal by current leadership.   It is my intention to continue working with our board toward this goal to provide even more opportunities to showcase our rich and diverse choral community.

Being a choir director throughout the pandemic has been challenging.  The connectivity with our singers is such an important piece of our being. Many have lost this connection.  This isolating time has forced us to come up with new and innovative ways to create music and connect with each other.  It is my hope that  we will soon come together in song and once again celebrate our rich choral connections!  If elected, I will work to rebuild these connections throughout the state and build collaborations to strengthen our membership.  I look forward to the opportunity to serve the organization!

Amy Jo Cherner

Eagan High School

Amy Jo Cherner has been teaching since 2007, and is in her 2 nd year at Eagan High School. Previously she taught at Apple Valley High School, Valley Middle School, and South View Middle School in Edina Public Schools. At Eagan, Amy Jo directs three curricular treble choirs, three co-curricular ensembles, and co-directs their Musical. She holds a B.M. from Drake University and a Master’s Degree in Music Education with a Choral Conducting emphasis from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. She is an active member of MMEA and ACDA, where she held the post of registrar during 2011, has presented at ACDA-MN’s summer dialogue, served on the MN Sings committee, and served as a MMEA All State Choir section coach.  Her 9th grade non-auditioned grade women’s choir from South View was chosen to perform at the North Central ACDA Conference in Sioux Falls, SD, and in 2013, they performed at MMEA Mid-Winter Clinic. She and her husband Dave reside in Eagan and their proudest accomplishments are their three children.

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

By making sure the voices of all teachers are heard regardless of age/skill levels taught (or “regardless of the age of the students in their classroom”).  Having taught k-12 throughout my career, I see an opportunity to cast a wider net in promoting and supporting all levels of general/vocal music education as well as creating a network for all teachers to grow, develop, support, and inspire.  I have learned so much through meeting and having dialogues with experienced teachers. In our ever-changing world, I would advocate to help make our conferences and honor choirs represent the cultural diversity of the state of MN.


Mari Espeland

Mounds Park Academy

Beginning in 1986, Mari Espeland has worked with children and music in public school, private school, church, and community settings.  Currently, she teaches Pre-K – 5th grade students at Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul and directs the Children’s Choir at Mt. Olive Lutheran in Minneapolis.  Mari has served on Minnesota Music Educators Association board, Twin Cities Choristers Guild board, MN Elementary Honors Choir, and organized the children’s performances for a national American Orff-Schulwerk Association conference.  A graduate of St. Olaf College and the University of St. Thomas, Mari was a founding member of the National Lutheran Choir and now sings in See Change Treble Choir.

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

By asking critical questions.  How can we be inclusive and inspire anyone who wishes to sing? Are our traditions life giving? What can we recreate or reimagine to benefit the whole? Late Senator John Lewis said, “We may not have chosen the time, but the time has chosen us.”  Together we can use the artistry and compassion of this amazing organization to be a force for unity and positive change in this time.  I look forward to sharing questions, concerns, and ideas generated by East Metro MN-ACDA members with our statewide organization.

Erynn Millard

Minnesota State University Moorhead

Erynn Millard has been teaching music and conducting choirs since 2002 and has worked at the elementary, middle, high school, and collegiate levels as well as with church and community choirs. She is currently the Associate Professor of Choral Ensembles and Music Education at Minnesota State University Moorhead, where she has taught since 2014. Recently, she has presented with the European Music Educators Association in Brussels (2018) and Munich (2020). She has studied at Old Dominion University (B.M., M.M.E.) and Florida State University (Ph. D.) and is completing Kodály certification.

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

Fostering positivity and sharing successes. The choral music community is an extraordinary place where “my success is your success,” and it is a privilege to support the exchange of ideas, resources, pedagogies, and strategies. Such interaction is critical as we traverse all stages and conditions of our careers. Each of us is lifted in positivity when we reach out to our colleagues, whether it be to actively exchange ideas or navigate difficulties and challenges effectively.


Laura Odden Quaintance

Minnesota State Community & Technical College

Laura Odden Quaintance began teaching vocal music education in 2007.  She currently holds a faculty position at Minnesota State Community & Technical College in Fergus Falls, where she directs three choirs, teaches individual voice lessons, sight singing camp; ear training and music survey courses. Prior to M State, she spent eleven years at Milaca High School directing the seventh through twelfth grade choirs. Quaintance is a graduate of Fergus Falls High School, M State Fergus Falls (Associate of Arts), Minnesota State University Moorhead (B.S. Vocal & Classroom Music) and North Dakota State University (Master of Music Education). Since 2013, she continues her role as 9-10 ACDA Honor Choir Co-Chair.

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

By continuing to advocate for the needs of choral directors and singers in outstate and rural Minnesota. I believe connecting these directors and singers to resources and colleagues that relate to their needs makes ACDA-MN and the singers in it stronger.

Constitution & Bylaws Revisions

All Members Vote

Add to Constitution Article II – Purposes of ACDA

13.  To foster and promote choral singing in the pursuit of peace and justice that enhances social and emotional well-being.

14.  To foster and promote diversity and inclusivity through active engagement with underrepresented choral musicians and potential choral participants.

Will reflect and include recent approval and addition to ACDA national constitution.

Add to Constitution Article V – Elections & Bylaws Article II – Government

  1. Annual Elections shall be conducted during the first full week of March.
  2. Adjust office of State Secretary from elected position to appointed position by ACDA-MN Board of Directors (see additional language specifying length of term below in Article II Section A – Duties of Officers)

(1.) Determines an established time period for annual statewide elections.
(2.) Retains qualified and experienced personnel in a supportive leadership position for a longer length of time.  Provides for more leadership continuity to the organization.

Add to Bylaws Article II – Government – Section A – Duties of the Officers

Add newly appointed positions of State Secretary, Diversity Initiatives Committee Chair and Social Media Editor as voting members of the ACDA-MN Board of Directors.

4.  The State Secretary (appointed)

a. Shall be appointed by the Board of Directors for an initial three-year term, with renewal option for additional term/s.

8.  The Diversity Initiatives Committee Chair (appointed)

a. Shall attend all state board meetings and provide a written report.
b. Shall act as liaison between the state board and the Diversity Initiatives Committee.

10.  The Social Media Editor (appointed)

a. Shall attend all state board meetings and provide a written report.
b. Shall actively manage all social media platforms approved by the State Board of Directors.

Adjust Bylaws Section C – Committees

Remove the following Repertoire and Resource (R&R) Coordinators from state R&R structure:

  • Repertoire Specific
  • Youth
  • Collegiate
  • Lifelong

Addresses unnecessary redundancy in current R&R leadership structure.

Add to Bylaws Section C – Committees:  Diversity Initiatives Committee

The Diversity Initiatives Committee is a permanent standing committee of ACDA of Minnesota.  The mission of the Diversity Initiatives Committee is to foster diversity and inclusivity in our membership, ensembles, and repertoire through active engagement with underrepresented choral musicians and potential choral participants.

Reflects our growing mission to be more responsive and supportive to underserved and underrepresented populations.

Adjust Bylaws Article V – Activities of the Organization:  Section D – Annual Awards Program

Change the name of the Outstanding Young Choral Director Award to Emerging Choral Director Award.

Removes “agist” designation from award title.

Voting Ballot