loader image

SWACDA 2020 Information

Dear High School Parents,

It is with pleasure I inform you that the Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy Singers have been selected to perform at the 2020 SWACDA Conference to be held in Little Rock, AR March 4-7, 2019. It is the highest honor to be selected by our colleagues for our regional conference. If you are receiving this letter, your child is a member of the High School ensemble that will be performing at the SWACDA conference.

This puts GPFAA Vocal Music “on the map” as one of the strongest programs not only in our state, but in the entire country, as we will receive national recognition for this honor. Selected choirs perform a 25-minute concert for a packed audience of choral directors (the “toughest crowd”) and show the best of their choir’s abilities. We will sing pieces from our convention concert at our concerts throughout the year and will be performing a pre-convention concert (additional information can be found soon on the vocal music website). For more information about the SWACDA convention, please follow this link:

SWACDA Convention Performance Information

Dates of Travel: March 4-6, 2020
Destination: Little Rock, Arkansas
Parent and Student Expectations:

Parents –

Our classes meet every day. Please make every effort to ensure your student does not miss class.

We are the first choir/musical ensemble in Grand Prairie ISD history to be chosen to perform at a TMEA (2019), ACDA (2019) and now SWACDA Convention (2020)!!

This is a choir program equivalent to winning a State Championship! It is our wish that the students in this award winning choir have a large number of parents, family, and friends in the audience when they perform their Championship choir program. Since our performance venue at SWACDA is a 5 hour drive from Grand Prairie, we ENCOURAGE all parents to come to our performance to support your singers. There is a time prior to our performance where all family members are asked to stand. This being the first time a GPISD ensemble will perform at this conference (SWACDA), let’s make sure we show our support for our amazing singers and directors.

Students –

With this honor comes great responsibility to all involved. Students chosen for this ensemble were chosen due to their leadership, academic ability, conduct, and musical aptitude. If you feel that any of these expectations may be too much, please let the director know and we will discuss whether this group will work for you. We expect that you will confirm your selection to sing by exhibiting the following:

You are the “best of the best.” Being in this ensemble will allow you to experience many great things. As a vocal music student, this year may be difficult at times, and we expect you to be a leader by being encouraging to your peers, showing an excellent work ethic, and by having a positive, infectious attitude.

Eligibility/Attendance –

  • You will be required to maintain academic eligibility throughout the year. It is important that you use your time wisely and are smart with note taking and deadlines. You must pass all of your classes (70 or higher) to remain a member of the SWACDA ensemble. Any member that misses a required event due to ineligibility or absence may lose their membership in the group. You are all important and one voice changes the group, requiring more work for everyone else to fix the sound due to your absence. Singers who are ineligible at the time of our SWACDA performances simply cannot perform and are not eligible for a refund of any trip expenses. Student will also be responsible for any travel expenses/fees that have already been made.
  • All rehearsals MUST be a MAJOR priority in your schedule. Work to schedule doctor appointments, make-up tests, college visits, etc. around our rehearsal. If you are going to miss a rehearsal, it is required that you fill out an absence form that can be accessed by clicking here:  * Please note, if you are not logged in, you must log in to your student account to be able to complete the SWACDA absence form.
  • Complete form no less than 72 hours in advance. You are leaders, and leaders are RESPONSIBLE by planning in advance! Anyone who misses rehearsals or performances face losing membership in the group. If you find yourself asking, “Is this for a grade?”, then you might be in the wrong group.

Class –

  • Being in choir, you must handle yourself with class during rehearsals, while at school, and at any off-campus events. We expect your teachers to know “that’s a Choir kid” based on your actions. This means following all school rules, holding yourself to a high standard, and being of service to others.

Musical Excellence –

  • You were chosen for this group after careful evaluation of your work ethic, sight- reading skills, and musical ability last spring. Congratulations! With your selection, we expect that you walk into the choir room ready to give your all every day. If you are sick, don’t be at school, but be ready to work twice as hard when you return to get caught up on missed work. All of the music chosen is very advanced, but we know that you can handle it, will love it, and will be excited to share it with others. The rehearsals will not always be easy, but we guarantee that the hard work will only bring us closer together as a family and create an amazing product. We strongly recommend with this large commitment that you be enrolled in voice lessons. It will help you to feel more comfortable with the music and allow us all to progress faster. If finances are a concern, let us know.

Timeline/Calendar of Events –

  • Please be sure to log on to the website and check the Calendar to add all of our rehearsal, performance and field trip dates in your calendar, as all members are required to be in attendance for the entire event. Keep in mind that times and dates can change. The Vocal Music Calendar at gpfaavm.com will be the most up-to- date source for our events. Singers in this choir are required to fulfill all of their GPFAA choir commitments including attending all concerts/events throughout the year.

Please check the gpfaavm.com calendar often to ensure you are aware of all scheduled SWACDA rehearsals and performances.


We are doing the best we can to pass as little on to you and your parents as possible. You will work hard enough that we want to take that stress off of you. Please be flexible and know that you will have to cover some costs for the SWACDA performance and trip. The total cost for the choir will be approximately 35,000.00. We are very grateful that GPISD is paying for hotel and transportation costs. This will cover a large portion of the travel expenses; however, it does not cover all of the related expenses. We will be collecting a fee of $150 from each student to cover some of our expenses including but not limited to:

SWACDA T-Shirt and Jacket, String Bag, Pin, Invitational patch, and other related expenses

~The total payment of $150 is due no later than January 15th, 2020~

All performers are required to pay this fee, and all payments are non-refundable. Click here to pay the required fee.

Please see the SWACDA letter below for more information about the conference and performance, and please click below to access the student and parent agreement links below.

Complete the Student Agreement Form  |  Complete the Parent Agreement Form

*Please note:  You must be logged into your student or parent account to complete the agreement forms required.

Thank you so much for your continued support. If you would like to donate toward the trip or volunteer your time before or during the trip, please let me know.
~ Mr. Duarte


Letter from SWACDA
Dear Mr. Duarte,

It is with pleasure I inform you that the Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy Singers has been selected to perform at the 2020 SWACDA Conference to be held in Little Rock, AR March 4-7, 2019. It is the highest honor to be selected by your colleagues for our regional conference. The selection committee wishes to express how impressed they were with this year’s submissions that were chosen through a blind selection process.

Your performance is tentatively scheduled at 11:00 am on Thursday, March 5, 2019, at the renovated, state-of-the-art Robinson Center. Once I have had confirmation for all the groups I will notify you if there is a change in any of this information.

You will have a 30-minute sound check on the Robinson stage at 8:30 am and 30 minutes warm-up at 8:00 am and 10:30 am in Robinson Center Ballroom A/C.

Your allotted performance time is 25 minutes. All given times must include walking on and off and transitional periods in between songs and such. The conference schedule is very compact, so we appreciate your strict adherence to the schedule.

Your convention registration fee will be waived providing you complete access to all convention events (this is only for the director who submitted the group for application). Each singer, official chaperone, and/or instrumentalist in your ensemble will receive a “Performer” wristband for the convention. This provides entrance to the Exhibit Hall and all non-ticketed performances. Performers will also gain access to interest sessions and reading sessions as space allows. Family members and other supporters wishing to attend your performance will be issued a one-performance ticket.

You are responsible for all costs related to lodging, travel, and meals, and any other expense(s) related to your performance at the convention.
Please do not hesitate to contact me for further information. I wish you all the best this summer and for your upcoming school year and seasons.


Julie Yu

President, SWACDA

Dr. Julie Yu • 3404 Newbury St, Manhattan, KS 66506 • 940-595-1183 • julieyu@ksu.edu