Growth and stability: the maturing of the wisconsin choral directors association, 1985-1999
The Wisconsin Choral Directors Association (WCDA) has a long history leading the professional development and performance standards for choral conductors and music teachers since its formation in 1961. During a period from 1985-1999, WCDA realized an unprecedented 98% growth in membership and expansion of program offerings, revenue, and managerial initiatives resulting in organizational stability into the twenty-first century. The purpose of this research was to: (1) chronicle the historical initiatives of WCDA during the period 1985-1999, (2) document the leadership decisions that created this era of unprecedented expansion, (3) describe how organizational reform transformed WCDA into a major professional advocacy organization prepared for the challenges of the twenty-first century, (4) consider whether this era of dynamic growth can be a model for WCDA itself or other similar organizations in the future. As there are few archival records documenting the history of WCDA, interviews were conducted with decision makers of the late twentieth century. Content analysis of available newsletters, programs, annual reports, and journal articles were cross-referenced with interviews to establish accuracy of the data. Additional supporting data from the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) International Archives for Choral Music helped establish a time-line of the organization. Research provided data for a chronological narrative of WCDA from 1961-2013 with a particular focus on the period 1985 -1999. This study concluded that WCDA, benefited from a peaceful and financially strong period in American history. Through the leadership of its presidents and decision makers, WCDA engaged the challenging issues of the day and pursued a successful course of reorganization. Organizational restructuring, retooling of communication instruments, recruiting initiatives, and visionary thinking, all contributed to the emergence of WCDA as a lead organization in the professional advocacy for its members and the choral art in general. Through its ingenuity and resourcefulness, WCDA positioned itself as a fiscally stable corporation by the end of the twentieth century. By 1998 the Association plateaued as membership stagnated and began a decline. A Sigmoid Curve was used to describe WCDA through each era. Understanding sigmoidal trends could impact future decision making for WCDA and other arts advocacy organizations.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--Boston University