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Awards 2016-2023

2018-Roberta Jackson-Podium Award Recipi
McClean-Will -2018w Campbell and Nordqui


Podium Award
Kathy Briggs







Emerging Conductor
Aubrey Patterson






Service to Profession
Steve Peter




Hall of Fame
Ron Jeffers and
Royce Saltzman


2017 - No awards given


Podium Award
Roberta Jackson






                      Becca Hollen
                       and Will



Hall of Fame Award
Gil Seeley, Retired,
Lewis & Clark University













Podium Award
Sharon Paul, University

of Oregon











Emerging Conductor Award
Cole Haole-Valenzuela (R)











Service to Profession Award
Howard Meharg, Web Editor










Hall of Fame Award
Doree Jarboe and Dwight









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2018-Ryan Lee with Gil Seeley-Choral Hal

Service to Profession Award

Julie Adkins, Former Editor
Choral Focus



Emerging Conductor Award

Andrew Bergh, who steps into his new position as director of choral music at Tualatin High School was named the recipient of the Emerging Conductor Award" for 2020

The Service to the Profession Award


The Service to the Profession Award for 2020 went to Cynda Reeves-Snyder. Cynda has over 39 years experience, teaches at the Alder Creek Middle School in the N. Clackamus School District. Kaeli Porter presented the award, lauding Cynda's mentorship work and saying that Cynda's advice was "Keep at it!"

The Podium Award


Steve Peter presented Marci Taylor with the prestigious Podium Award for the year. Marci has spent 30 years in the classroom, teaching K-12, but most recently at Westview High School.

Hall of Fame Award


This year's Hall of Fame Award went to two superb choral luminaries...Dr. Bruce Browne (Beaverton) and Dr. Solveig Holmquist (Salem)

Both of these outstanding leaders have a resume a mile long.

Bruce Browne was director of choral activities at Portland State University from 1978 to 2006. His professional accomplishments are the stuff of legend. ORACDA is so very proud to claim Bruce's friendship and leadership. 

Dr. Solveig Holmquist, revered for her warmth and choral conducting excellence taught at Western Oregon University in Monmouth. She founded "Chorale Oregon," beginning with eight over 100, performing major works both in the Salem area, and in addition, developing an international following. 

One of ORACDA's most satisfying events is the presentation of four awards for outstanding service and choral work in the state. 


Emerging Conductor Award ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​


Christopher Benjamin has taught at Henley Middle School and High School (Klamath Falls) since 2016.  President Karen Bohart has this to say: "Christopher Benjamin was my student at Reynolds High School. From the day I met him, I knew he was born to be a choral educator." He is a graduate of George Fox University

where is directed the Gospel Choir, was a member of the Concert Choir, the Men's Chorale and also served as the Minister of Music for the "Consumed by the Harvest Ministries" organization.

Service to the Profession Award

The Service to the Profession Award for 2021 went to Debbie Glaze.  A leading figure in Oregon Music Education for over twenty years, Debbie Glaze serves as the Coordination of the Music Education Program and is a tireless advocate for the new

Bachelor of Music with emphasis in Music Education degree. President Karen Bohart says, "Debbie Glaze has been a mentor, colleague, and friend to me since I started my career as a choral music educator.  She has been truly inspiring in the profession."

The Podium Award

The 2021 Podium Award went to Kimberly McConnell. "Kimberly  had a very successful career  in Oregon.  The West Salem High School Choirs under her direction were award winning and superior!  Kimberly is now teaching At Colleyville Heritage High School in  

Colleyville, Texas." (Karen Bohart)

Earlier in her career, Kimberly taught at South Eugene High School where she led three choirs:  Concert Choir, Treble Choir, and Dorians (Vocal Jazz).  The South Eugene Choirs were also award winning, always striving for excellence.

The Hall of Fame Award

This year's Hall of Fame Award went to two superb conductors of choral music, a husband wife team  who have contributed mightily to choral music in Oregon and the northwest! They are Lynn and Doris Sjolund. 

Lynn Sjolund’s career highlights demonstrate his dedication to music and community. From 1956 to 1986, Sjolund was choral music director and fine arts chair at Medford High School, where he established a reputation as one of the most outstanding choral conductors in the Northwest. Sjolund's ensembles appeared frequently at gatherings of music educators, and he was often asked to conduct honors choirs.

Upon Sjolund's retirement from public school teaching in 1986, Medford High School named its auditorium in his honor. 

Sjolund was founding director and conductor (1973-2013) of the Rogue Valley Chorale, a tenure spanning 40 years, and interrupted only by a position (1987-1990) as director of choral studies at Loyola University in New Orleans. Sjolund has conducted the Britt Festival Orchestra and the Rogue Valley Symphony in concerts with the Chorale.

Doris and Lynn met when he was in Ludwigsburg, Germany, where Sjolund studied as the graduate assistant for the German Center for Music Education in 1969-70. Doris, now founder and Director Emerita of the Rogue Valley Children's Chorus.

Doris Sjolund has degrees from the University of Northern Iowa and University of Oregon.  She has taught in Iowa, Louisiana and Oregon,  K-college, and served as elementary music chair in the Medford School District.  Doris has presented  workshops for OMEA and NWMENC (whatever is is called now) and served on OMEA and ORACDA boards.   Forty years ago she founded the Rogue Valley Children’s Chorus, which has expanded and now includes three youth choruses.   For many years she coordinated a concert at the Craterian Theater for state solo winners from Jackson County.  Other music related activities: singing and serving as assistant accompanist in the Rogue Valley Chorale, substitute organist, member of the Southern Oregon Concert Band, written articles for the ORACDA Journal, where she served one year as interim editor, co-hosted a TV show for OMEA , “Singing, our Next Goal,” Community concert board member, and initiated a pre-K music program for Britt. She currently resides at the Rogue Valley Manor, where she accompanies the chorus which her husband directs. 


Emerging Conductor Award

The Podium Award


 Ken Graber, choral director at North Bend High School not only received the 2022 Podium Award from ORACDA, he was also named Outstanding Music Educator recently by the Oregon Music Education Association. 

Much of his inspiration for teaching came from his dad who

also worked with the Education Service District and was known for utilizing the family unity model.

“This was where schools changed how people thought of families and foster parenting,” Graber explained. “This was realizing that these people needed resources to be the best they could be … You see, every child wants to succeed. There isn’t a child who doesn’t. It’s our job not to say they’re doing it wrong, but for us to give them the skills and tools to become who they want to become. We have to think on a higher level and help them figure out how to become that. That’s a huge driving force for why I wanted to teach.”

The Service to the Profession Award


Pam Nordquist was Co-Director of Choirs at South Medford High School in Medford, Oregon. In addition, she directed an advanced group of the Rogue Valley Youth Choruses. Pam is the Founding Director of the Rogue Valley Youth Ensemble, a highly

select mixed choir for grades 10- 12. Up until 2013, she was also the conductor of the Rogue Valley Cantare Chorus, a mixed choir for grades 7-9.

Mrs. Nordquist holds degrees from The Wichita State University, the Conservatory of Music-University of Missouri-Kansas City (Master’s in Choral Conducting) and has additional professional development credits from Portland State, University of Portland, University of Oregon, and George Fox University.

Pam has served 12 years on the board of the Oregon American Choral Director’s Association as Repertoire and Standards Chair for Junior High and Middle School Choirs, the Membership Co- Chair, and now State President. In addition, she has recently served as the Audition Chair for the Oregon Music Education Association’s All-State High School Choir, and secretary for the District #8 SOMEA leadership team. In January 2012, the Rogue Valley Cantare Chorus (grades 7-9) and members of the RV Youth Ensemble (grade 10) performed at the OMEA state conference as a demonstration choir for a session Pam presented on quality repertoire for middle level and high school choirs.

The Hall of Fame Award

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Dr. Wallace Harris Long, Jr. is a choral conductor, educator, and vocalist. He was director of choral activities at Willamette University from 1983 to 2020, founded the Willamette Master Chorus and conducted the group from 1985 to 1998, and was a member of Male Ensemble Northwest. Long has been called "a world-class conductor" and

"the ultimate professor, scholar and community-builder"

Long joined the faculty at Willamette University in 1983 and was chair of the Music department from 1994 to 2001. At Willamette, he directed the Chamber Choir and Willamette Singers (A jazz ensemble), as well as teaching conducting and other courses. Long oversaw the construction of the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center, which houses the University's primary concert and rehearsal halls.

A frequent adjudicator and clinician, Long has served as a guest conductor for the Kansas and Wyoming All-State Choirs as well as the Texas Two-Year College All-State Choir, the Fairbanks Festival of the Arts, and the Bangkok International Choral Festival. He sang as a member of the Robert Shaw Festival Singers from 1993 to 1996. In May 2006, Long conducted Haydn’s Mass in the Time of War in Carnegie Hall. He is a past president of the Oregon chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.


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ORACDA  2023
award winners!

Loren Wenz - Hall of

Helen Deitz - Service to
the Profession

Emma Bergman -
Emerging Conductor

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