After a competitive audition process, the Biola University Chorale was selected as one of four universities out of a six-state western region to perform at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Western Region Conference on March 8. 

“The performance was an unforgettable experience. I am so proud of the singers for so beautifully representing Biola and choral music through their skilled, nuanced and heart-felt singing. All praise to God for this opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Shawna Stewart, associate professor and director of choral studies.

Image shows the Biola Chorale
Biola University Chorale

More than 800 choral conductors and others attended the performance. Likening the event to the NCAA division championship, the prize, according to Stewart, for the chorale’s efforts was the opportunity to perform.

The chorale had the additional honor of being asked to perform the annual Raymond W. Brock Memorial Commission, “In Time of Silver Rain,” composed by André Thomas. The Biola Chorale is comprised of 38 undergraduate voices from various disciplines on campus, with 55% of the ensemble being made up of music majors, 18% voice majors and 26% being non-music and non-voice majors.

Under Stewart’s direction, the Biola Chorale previously performed at the ACDA Western Region Conference in 2016, 2020, and now 2024. Under the direction of Stewart’s predecessor Loren Weibe, the Chorale had the opportunity to perform at ACDA one other time in 1990. ACDA is a “nonprofit music-education organization whose expressed purposes outline the association's dedication to the advancement of choral music.”

“We were also blessed with the presence of many Conservatory Music Education alumni and Loren Weibe, former Chorale director,” said Stewart. “Between the two of us, there are over 65 years of Chorale leadership. It was an extraordinary experience.”

Conservatory alumni including many former Biola Chorale presidents who now work as choral directors were also in attendance at the conference. Including Tyler Wigglesworth (’12) and Talin Emmerson (’22), who was also selected to conduct in the New and Emerging Conductors Masterclass at the conference.

The Biola Chorale has had the privilege of touring both internationally and domestically with yearly local tours and an international tour every four years. Recently they performed in Italy and have also sung in Ireland, South Korea, Germany, Czech Republic, and Austria. They have also performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, at Disney’s D23 Convention, in Carnegie Hall and with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.

Written by Grace Morales, University Communications intern. For more information, contact Media Relations at