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Message from the President

James Holleman

Welcome to CODA, a unique organization solely dedicated to college/university orchestra conductors and orchestral conducting students. Our membership is over 400 strong, with conductors’ institutions ranging from small, medium, and large, with other various industry professionals, including composers.

So often isolated as the only orchestra conductors at our institutions, we were once a scattered community of individuals. CODA brings us together as a connected community where we can network with each other to share ideas and support each other as we navigate our daily responsibilities in the unique work we do. Many invaluable mentorship relationships have emerged from this connection of community. As a member of CODA, members have access to all of our resources starting with our website, which is comprised of various initiative projects, documents regarding tenure and promotion, pedagogical materials, and libraries of bowings, program notes, and repertoire. We also welcome suggestions of new initiatives from our members. There are also many opportunities for members to acquire tenure and promotion support by presenting at a conference or by serving in a leadership role, both at the regional and national levels. One of the most valuable resources is our listserv where we can ask each other questions, share ideas, and post workshops/clinics with everyone in our organization; many fruitful discussions occur from a single question from a member. This is a resource rich with the combined experiences and knowledge of all of our members; we are all just an email away.

CODA strives to be inclusive of all college/university conductors, conducting students, and composers from all walks of life. This is reflected in our Women’s Advocacy Initiative, our DEIA committee made up of CODA members, and our member’s dedication to new repertoire and repertoire previously underrepresented from the past. The primary gathering of our membership takes place at our Annual National Conference, typically held in January or February, at a new location every year. CODA members can apply to have their college/university orchestras perform at the conference and also can apply to present sessions at the conference regarding their scholarship and interests in our field. Or members may just attend to gain information and make new friends who share their passion for orchestral music and similar career paths. Our 2024 National Conference will be hosted by Belmont University School of Music in Nashville, TN, February 15-17. I hope to see you in Nashville!

The photo I chose was from my orchestra’s performance at our 2017 National Conference on the campus of George Mason University; this was an incredible experience for my students and a highlight of my college conducting career.

Welcome and all my very best,

Professor James A Holleman
President – College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA)
Director of Orchestras and Choirs
The John E.N. & Dede Howard Department of Music
Hillsdale College
Hillsdale, Michigan 49242

Music Director – Hillsdale Arts Chorale
Office: 517-607-2363