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The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Patricia Norton

Location: Vermont, USA
Composer, pianist, conductor, poet, educator.
2001-June 2015 Minister of Music at a small (~150 members, 50-80 attenders on regular Sundays) New England UCC church. I have been in this position since September 2001.  My first Sunday was immediately following 9/11.  I had the choir sing "The Lone, Wild Bird" with a second verse: "Buildings may fall by cruel deeds and fear and vengeance trouble the deep, yet I am thine," etc.
In September 2012, I started a Choral Singing School set up along the lines of an exercise class -- $90 for 10 weeks plus a materials fee (partially refundable). More information at my website, This school is now my full time focus.
I have written music on commission for four different singing groups in the area, variously including clarinet, cello, piano and organ.
I have an odd musical background; classical piano for seven years, a year of high school music in Denmark, six years on bassoon, and I have also played clarinet, saxophone, French horn and percussion as needed. I played bassoon in all-state orchestra and bands in high school, then piano at college for a jazz band and quartet.  I studied piano for two years with Middlebury's pianist-in-residence, Diana Fanning.
I have sung with a wide variety of vocal groups and some solo guitar singer-songwriter stuff, but I don't have a big solo voice.  That has been a gift as I have moved into choral conducting because I really had to learn technique to sing well, and I can share that process with my choir members as they find their voices. 
I am certified as a speaker for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) with their program to combat stigma. I did not come into adulthood with strong coping skills; my parents both faced major challenges during key times of my childhood and they were unable to parent well at those times.  This has made living with major depression more of a challenge than it needs to be, but has also meant that I have experienced deep, fruitful personal growth as an adult.  I believe that growth is part of what gives meaning and vulnerability to my music and poetry, allowing both to become means of connecting with others.

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