By Bruce W. Becker, Executive Director


We are pleased to announce the recent appointment of Dawn Thomsen as the ACDA-MN Director of Development who will be leading the efforts to support the mission of the FMC Endowment Fund.

Dawn brings twenty years of experience and a unique level of insight to her work as a nonprofit strategy, communications, and fundraising consultant.  Dawn has generated proven results for dozens of organizations working in-house or as counsel including the Seleni Institute, the Southwest Initiative Foundation, the Child Mind Institute, Criterion Ventures, Lutheran Services in America, The Women's Funding Network, The SJF Institute, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.  She is passionate about her work and dedicated to helping nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and artists increase their visibility, raise money, and achieve their missions.  Dawn is an alumnus of Worthington (MN) High School and Grinnell College.

In a special message to ACDA-MN members she states, "I am delighted to work with ACDA of Minnesota and its F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund to raise the funds necessary to support your mission and goals.  While I have the voice of a frog, I have long been a fan of choral music and look forward to expanding what's possible for ACDA-MN!"


During the remaining months of the 2015 calendar year, ACDA-MN members have an unprecedented opportunity to have their donations matched dollar for dollar meeting this criteria:

New donors to the fund
Donors who exceed their 2014 contribution
Previous donors (1996-2014) who did not contribute in 2014

Plan to donate to the FMC Endowment Fund this calendar year and help us reach our goal of seeking $10,000 in matching funds offered by the Katherine B. Andersen Fund of the Saint Paul Foundation.

To donate online go to:

(note:  a 4.9% transaction fee will be charged)

Or, send check payable: FMC Endowment Fund directly to:

Bruce W. Becker
Executive Director
ACDA of Minnesota
12027 Gantry Lane
Apple Valley MN  55124


The F. Melius Christiansen (FMC) Endowment Fund Committee extends a big thank you for the ACDA-MN members (75 persons) who generously pledged and/or donated $3776.50 to the FMC Endowment Fund during the 2015 Summer Dialogue.  A total of $2037.50 were contributed above 2014 giving levels and has qualified for matching dollars.  Your contributions and support will help forward the mission of the FMC Endowment Committee to guarantee a vibrant future for exemplary choral music in Minnesota.

Seven scholarships were awarded by the FMC Endowment Fund Committee for Minnesota choral directors to attend 2015 Summer Dialogue.  Included below are brief statements from these scholarship recipients about what they experienced throughout the week at Concordia College-Moorhead.

I was so grateful to be able to attend my first ACDA-MN Summer Dialogue.  Being originally from Texas, the conference really helped me to finally feel 'plugged in' to the greater choral community and to meet and network with colleagues around the state.

Richard Carrillo, Providence Academy, Plymouth


While the reading and interest sessions were most valuable, the highlight was meeting so many great Minnesota choral directors and sharing creative ideas to make our students' choral experiences more meaningful!

Mary Kay Knapp, St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, St. Paul


The reading session devoted to sacred music was exactly on point, and each of the reading sessions included some sacred titles that could easily be adapted for use in a church setting.  I also found the variety of topic presentations to be quite interesting, ranging in content from healthy singing technique to engaging rehearsal warm ups.

Rick Latterell, St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Waconia


It is remarkable how many conductors in Minnesota desire to build and be part of community!  They clearly make music as an expression of their joy of doing it together with excellence and beauty.  Thanks for the opportunity to have such a wonderful first experience of MN choral music community.

Gene Peterson, Bethel University-St. Paul


I enjoyed connecting with colleagues I have known for years and was truly impressed with the quality of the presenters and the warm welcoming nature of ACDA-MN.  Bravo!

Jody Martinson, Minnesota Center Chorale


I crammed every possible activity and discussion and experience into the week and learned that MN has an amazing network—a community—of choral directors who are delighted to encourage one another and who care deeply about both the educational excellence of what/how we teach.

Jeanne Anderson, Calvin Christian School, Fridley


Between the reading sessions, presentations, and just talking with the other choir directors, I learned so much and will take many ideas to incorporate into my first year of teaching. Having just moved to Minnesota, I now have so many connections to teachers in my area and throughout Minnesota.

Megan Rustad, Central Minnesota Christian School, Prinsburg

PHOTO - 2015 FMC Endowment Fund Summer Dialogue Scholarship Recipients


Due December 1, 2015

ACDA North Central Division Conference
Sioux Falls, SD • February 24-27, 2015
Must be an ACDA-MN member

Undergraduate junior or senior vocal music education majors
Graduate students in choral conducting
Conductors who are in their first six years of teaching

Consider submitting an application for this special funding opportunity!  To learn more about the FMC Endowment Fund scholarship program, go to:


The annual Give to the Max Day will be held on Thursday, November 19.  We invite and encourage 100% participation from our ACDA-MN membership.  Contributions starting at $10 are welcome for this event!

PHOTO:  2015 FMC Endowment Fund Student Conducting Workshop Scholarship Recipients: