Promising Practices and Core (al) Innovation


  • Tim Sharp American Choral Directors Association


I want to use innovation as the organizing principle for this presentation, to help us get a handle on a complex area. I am going to frame innovation in the three-tiered classification system that helps me as I direct the work of the American Choral Directors Association. Using the categories of core innovation, adjacent innovation, and transformational innovation, my aim is to survey “Promising Practices” in the choral art around the word, as well as survey innovation taking place at the core of our art. As Executive Director of the American Choral Directors Association, it is my joy and opportunity to view and experience a wide variety of choral practice, in the United States as well as beyond our borders. As you would deduce, my motivation is first and foremost to assist our members in ACDA to fulfill our choral mission, which is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy. These four pillars—education, performance, composition, and advocacy—therefore form something of a secondary structure to this presentation.

Author Biography

Tim Sharp, American Choral Directors Association

Tim Sharp is Executive Director of the American Choral Directors Association. An active choral conductor as well as writer, Dr. Sharp came to ACDA from Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, where he conducted the Rhodes Singers and MasterSingers Chorale. Before his appointment at Rhodes, he was Director of Choral Activities at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Dr. Sharp's research and writing focuses pedagogically in conducting and score analysis as evidenced by his publications Precision Conducting, Achieving Choral Blend and Balance, and Up Front! Becoming the Complete Choral Conductor. Dr. Sharp has served ACDA in many capacities, including conducting state honor choirs, as a Choral Journal Editorial Board member, and as a member of ACDA's Research and Publications Committee. Sharp holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the School of Church Music of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. He is a Clare Hall Life Fellow at Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK, has studied at the Aspen School of Music, and the Harvard NEH Medieval Sacred Music Studies program.