ACDA of Minnesota - Chronology of Important Events


Prior to 1972, ACDA activities in Minnesota consisted of sponsoring a session at the MMEA Conference.


Fall 1972

The organization had 66 members.


The first state "board" was developed.  It was a "steering committee" which consisted of six members.

  First "Star of the North" Newsletter.


First ACDA column in MMEA "Gopher Music Notes".


The state was divided into six districts, each of which had a representative on the state board, along with the president and one "at large' member (Jon Romer).


The F. Melius Christiansen Award was established.

Jan. 1974

The first state conference was held at Normandale Community College.


The first presentation of the FMC Award to Leland B. Sateren.

June 1974

The paid, active membership stood at 132, double what it was in 1972.


In addition, Minnesota had its first student members (13).

Fall 1974

A church music coordinator was appointed to the state board (Gene Janssen of Albert Lea) as was the newsletter editor and membership chair (both Wayne Kivell at this point).


The first ACDA/MMEA co-commissioned work for the All-State Choir titled "The Present Hour" by Leland B. Sateren.

Oct. 1976

The "Star of the North" changed from mimeograph to offset press.


The positions of Secretary and President-elect were added to the board.

Feb. 1978

Hosted North Central Division Conference.


Total membership (active, student, industry) now stood at about 430.


Diana Leland, Vernon Opheim, & Wayne Kivell wrote constitution and by-laws which alligned with that of the national organization.  These were accepted by the board and passed by the membership early in 1979.  (See Feb. '79 newsletter).


The positions of Newsletter Advertising Chair and Newsletter Circulation Chair were added as  non-voting members of the board.  The position of Circulation Chair was discontinued in 1988.

Oct. 1979

"Star of the North" had its first photographs and magazine format.  In the next issue of Dec.

Dec. 1979

1979 the blue background masthead appeared which remains in some form to the present day.

Mar. 1984

The idea for "Summer Dialogue" was conceived by a group of Minnesotans at a cafe in Sioux Falls at the


NC Conference.

July 1985

The first Dialogue was held at St. John's University.


The positions of Treasurer and Historian were added as non-voting members of the board.

Nov. 1986

The first Male Chorus Project was held as part of the annual Fall State Conference.  It continued in succeeding years independent of the Conference.

Feb. 1988

Hosted North Central Division Conference.

Fall 1989

The first Treble Choir Project was held as part of the annual Fall State Conference.


Total membership now at 607.

Fall 1990

The first Men's and Women's Combined Choral Festival.


The Summer Dialogue time and location was moved to coincide with the MMEA


All-State Choir camp.


The Metro District is divided into Metro East and Metro West, making 7 total.


The "Star of the North", Ken Hodgson, editor, is one of five state newsletters to receive a national award for excellence.


The American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota becomes an independent, affilliated organization.


Redistricting - the states 7 districts are redrawn into 6 districts with more equity in regard to membership in each.


Total membership now at 716.

Feb. 1996

Establishment of Federal Income Tax Exemption 501(c) (3) Non-Profit status


Sponsorship of F. Melius Christiansen 125th Anniversary Concert – St. Olaf College


College Choirs:  Augsburg • Concordia • Gustavus • Luther • St. Olaf


Launch of the F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund and Committee


The "Star of the North," Mark Howarth, editor, wins national award.


The position of Executive Secretary was established.  Wayne Kivell hired.


The "Star of the North," Mark Howarth, editor, wins its third national award for excellence, the only award given in the large state category.


Total membership now at 823.


ACDA-MN and the IFCM host the Sixth World Symposium for Choral Music and International Choral Festival in Minneapolis/St. Paul.  Organizing Committee and Board of Directors: Bruce Becker, Steve Boehlke, Philip Brunelle, Lauretta Graetz, Jack Hoeschler, BJ Johnson, Wayne Kivell, Diana Leland, Scott Romaine, Kathy Romey, Tim Sawyer, and Frank Stubbs


Receipt of $90,000 to the FMC Endowment Fund for profits realized from the World Choral Symposium and International Choral Festival.

The "Star of the North," David Scholz, editor, wins its fourth national award for excellence, the only award given in the large state category.


The "Star of the North," Ryan Connolly, editor, wins its fifth national award for excellence, the only award given in the large state category.

Reorganization of annual state honor choir program:  4-5-6 Children, 7-8 Boys, 7-8 Girls, and 9-10 HS Mixed


Joint sponsorship of F. Melius Christiansen 135th Anniversary Concert – Orchestra Hall College Choirs:  Augsburg • Concordia-Moorhead • Concordia-St. Paul • Gustavus • St. Olaf


The "Star of the North," Kari Douma, editor, wins its sixth national award for excellence, the only award given in the large state category.

Receipt of $100,000 matching gift to the FMC Endowment Fund from the Wenger Foundation


The "Star of the North," Kari Douma, editor, wins its seventh national award for excellence, the only award given in the large state category.

The position of Executive Director was established.  Bruce W. Becker hired

Retirement of ACDA-MN first Executive Secretary Wayne Kivell, 1997-2009

State dues initiative of $15 per active, paid, paying, and retired members

Bylaws for the F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund Committee written by Bruce Becker. Mary Kay Geston, Diana Leland and Carl Lipke approved by ACDA-MN Board of Directors.

Joint sponsorship of Minnesota Collegiate Choral Festival – Benson Great Hall, Bethel University College Choirs:  Minnesota State University-Mankato; Northwestern College; St. John’s University; University of Minnesota-Duluth; University of St. Thomas

ACDA-MN 50th Anniversary Taskforce established.  Founding members are:  Steven Albaugh, Bruce Becker, Steven Boehlke, Mary Kay Geston, Jan Gilbertson, Amy Johnson, Diana Leland, Carl Lipke, Judy Sagen, and Linda Smith

Legacy articles on Minnesota choral luminaries regularly featured in Star of the North


Hosted North Central Division Conference

"Star of the North" converts to interactive on-line publication

Bylaws for the F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund Committee written by Bruce Becker. Mary Kay Geston, Diana Leland and Carl Lipke approved by ACDA-MN Board of Directors.

Development of extensive on-line state archives

25th Anniversary of Summer Dialogue celebrated

Retirement of Charles Hellie, ACDA-MN state treasurer, 1999-2010


The “Star of the North,” Mark Potvin, editor, wins its eighth and ninth national award for excellence

The ACDA-MN website named “Best State Website” National Award from ACDA, Tom Hale, webmaster

First SATB Commissioning Consortium world premiere of “Music in the Night” by David Dickau

Official launch of ACDA-MN 50th Anniversary Celebration at Summer Dialogue

Unveiling of new corporate logo

Development of on-line auditions for statewide honor choirs


Second Commissioning Consortium for SSA ensembles, “Some Glad Day”, Carolyn Jennings, composer.

Hiring and appointment of Barb Geier as Executive Assistant.

Launch of new and redesigned ACDA-MN website and on-line membership database and The Daily Beat.

Minnesota Sings!  Nine state-wide simultaneous choral festivals:  Bemidji, Duluth, Edina, Mankato, Marshall, Moorhead, Rochester, St. Cloud, and St. Paul.

50th Anniversary Celebration:  One Amazing Weekend:  Three Inspiring Concerts, featuring in public performances-VocalEssence, Cantus, St. Olaf Choir, Magnum Chorum, Concert Choirs of the Angelica Cantanti and Northfield Youth Choirs, ACDA-MN Anniversary Directors’ Chorus, Concordia Choir-Moorhead, The Singers, University of Minnesota Singers, Minnesota Boychoir, ACDA-MN State 11-12 High School Honor Choir.

Honoring of past recipients of the FMC Lifetime Achievement Award at Summer Dialogue Banquet.

Honoring of past presidents and ACDA charter member Murrae Freng at 50th Anniversary Banquet.

Addition of a Student Representative position to the Board of Directors.


Outstanding State Hybrid Newsletter and Website Award (our 11th national award) presented at Dallas National Conference to Bret Amundson, Star of the North, Editor.

Addition of new State 9-10 Women's Honor Choir

Celebration of the Alice T. Larsen Legacy Concert during the annual state conference weekend with Edith Copley as guest conductor.  Appearance of the State Grade 12 Women's Select Choir, St. Olaf College Manitou Singers, combined women of Chanhassen, Wayzata, and White Bear Lake High Schools.

Establishment of the Alice T. Larsen Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Bequest of $500,000 to the FMC Endowment Fund by an anonymous donor.

Establishment of St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi as the permanent host of the annual state conference weekend.

Launch of a nationally sponsored new membership initiative with 49 new ctive and 68 new student members received.

Registrants at Summer Dialogue and State Conference utilize Guide Book for the first time.


Third Commission Consortium project featuring SATB church choirs with Aaron David Miller as composer.  16 church choirs participated and premiered "A Glorious Day is Dawning" at state conference.

Launch of the new Star of the on-line (web-based) state newsletter

Launch of a nationally sponsored new membership initiative with 44 new active and 51 new student members.

Engagement of professional management of the FMC Endowment Fund by JNBA Financial Advisors.

New Board Policy:  On-line registration fees for Summer Dialogue and State Conference paid exclusively by credit card.

Launch of the 20/20 @ 2020 strategic planning initiative.