On Thursday night, all of the members of the ACDA Eastern Division were invited to mix and mingle in one of the meeting rooms in the convention center. I was able to reconnect with a friend I had made at a summer program a couple of years ago, and from there I started to make new connections. He introduced me to other students from his school, and we began to exchange ideas about increasing communication between student chapters within the Eastern Division. Before we knew it, faculty members from various schools began to approach us and ask us about our future goals, and we ended up having some lovely chats and exchanging information with professors from several different universities.
I was also fortunate enough to be able to reconnect with the brilliant Dr. Amanda Quist from Westminster Choir College, whom I worked with at the 2013 Vocal Institute program. As she and I were catching up, Dr. Paul Head from the University of Delaware approached us to say hello. I knew Dr. Head from an MMEA All-State Conference, and I had already bumped into him earlier that afternoon and introduced myself. He and I began to reminisce about our shared All-State experience. I told him and Dr. Quist all about how much the All-State conferences had inspired me to pursue choral music education, and that that was how I had come to attend the Vocal Institute at Westminster. I explained that the All-State experience was also what had led me to Ithaca College, and I told them about the exciting things I've been experiencing throughout my freshman year at IC. It was such a privilege to get to talk about my passion with two of the most passionate people I've ever met!
I was so glad to have the chance to thank Dr. Head for all I had learned from him at All-State, and to tell Dr. Quist how much of an impact she had had on my life. I look forward to remaining connected with both of them as I continue my musical journey! In addition, I made a couple of new friends my own age, and we made plans to stay in touch and continue to share ideas about improving ACDA in the future. I'd say my networking experience was a success!
-Juliana Child, Ithaca College '18
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