Choral Leadership Academy



California All State Music Education Conference

Fresno Convention Center

Fresno, CA

February 21-22, 2020

This event is for high school, community college, and

university students interested in the choral music profession.


CLA Application and Teacher Recommendation Deadlines Extended!

There are still spots available for students to participate in the Choral Leadership Academy, which will be held at the Fresno Convention Center on February 21-22, 2020. Don’t miss your chance for your students to build friendships with other future educators, to work with veterans in the field, or to develop their “why” as an educator. We are looking forward to having Dr. Alyssa Cossey work with your high school, community college, and university students during this exciting two day workshop!

In order to ensure all high school and pre-service college students who show an interest in choral music education have an opportunity to participate, we have extended the deadlines for student applications and for teacher recommendations to December 31, 2019. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Professor John Sorber, CLA Chair ( or Mr. Ryan Clippinger, CLA Coordinator (

Event Overview

The Choral Leadership Academy (CLA) will bring together high school students who demonstrate an interest in the music profession, together with pre-service college music education majors, for two days of musical and educational activities. These activities will teach musicianship skills, inspire confidence, and build camaraderie among musicians of the next generation. The students in the CLA will:

  • sing new literature
  • work on their musicianship
  • listen to and learn from veterans in the field
  • develop friendships that will support them as they begin their careers
  • develop their “why” as a choral music educator

We are privileged to have an outstanding CLA headliner; Dr. Alyssa Cossey, Assistant Professor of Choral Music and Music Education at the University of Arizona; who will bring expertise, humor, and insight to the CLA students’ experience. The CLA faculty will also include Dr. Angel Vazquez-Ramos (CSU Bakersfield), Professor Lori Marie Rios (College of the Canyons), Professor John Sorber (College of the Sequoias), and Mr. Ryan Clippinger (Arvin High School).

Due to the nature of this event, we must limit our enrollment to 75 students. Acceptance to the CLA is on a “first come, first served” basis, but please be aware that we must have a balance of vocal parts as well as a balance of high school and college students. Therefore, as registration moves forward towards our limit, students might have to be placed on a waiting list. So encourage your students to register by December 15 to be a part of this exciting experience!

Choral Leadership Academy Timeline

November 1, 2019: CLA information packet, online application, and online directors recommendation form will be available here and on the CMEA website.

December 31, 2019 *Deadline Extended*: Application deadline (See below for application).

December 31, 2019 *Deadline Extended*: Directors recommendation submission deadline.

January 3, 2020: Singers and directors notified of acceptance via email. (Participants will be accepted on a first come/first served basis, but leadership reserves the right to insure that a balanced choral ensemble is created.)

IMPORTANT: When you receive Notification of Accepted Application: Make your housing and transportation arrangements right away. Hotels near the convention center will fill up fast during this time.

January 10, 2020: $75 participation fee due (PayPal).

High school students permission and liability forms due.

January 3 – February 21, 2020: All CLA participants, high school parents, and directors receive email updates regarding event.

February 21-22, 2020: The Choral Leadership Academy is held in Fresno during the California All State Music Education Conference, which runs from February 20-22, 2020. Participating CLA students will receive free admittance to attend all sessions before and after CLA begins!

Information Packet/ Application/ Director Recommendation Form

2020 CLA Information Packet

2020 CLA Application

2020 CLA Director Recommendation Form