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Major Choral Directors’ Conference Comes to Santa Barbara

By Joseph Miller

If some passing satellite decided to train its electronic ear on Santa Barbara from February 20-22, it heard the city humming — literally. Santa Barbara hosted the 50th anniversary conference for the Western Division of the American Choral Directors Association (WDACDA), and teachers, conductors, composers, singers, and voice aficionados of all stripes descended on the coastal mecca by the hundreds to talk shop, show their wares, and get inspired — and humbled — by the knowledge and talents of their peers.

The anticipation was mounting like a crescendo, and every indication points to bright major sevenths in multiple octaves. After two years of planning, regiments of volunteers, assisted by the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission and city funds, have managed to secure headquarters at the Fess Parker DoubleTree Hotel, as well as primo performance venues like the Granada Theatre and the Old Mission.

Headliners included the L.A. Master Chorale in a tribute to composer/honoree Morten Lauridsen; the English early music ensemble Alamire; the Havana-based men’s group Camerata Vocal Sine Nomine de Cuba; and the pop beat-box sensation House Jacks.

The ACDA Western Division Conference took place February 20-22. For info, visit

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