Constitution & Bylaws
The Constitution & Bylaws of the National Collegiate Choral Organization were last revised and approved by the National Board on May 26, 2021, and took effect immediately by National Board vote on that same date.
Article 1: Name
The organization shall be known as the National Collegiate Choral Organization.
Article 2: Purpose
The National Collegiate Choral Organization exists to serve the specific needs of university and collegiate conductors, choral faculty, and music students by:
- Convening a biennial conference through which the NCCO membership has the opportunity to perform with their collegiate ensembles, to present on topics of interest to our community, and to provide professional development and assist in program growth and maintenance;
- Fostering the discovery of new research and scholarship and presenting it through publication to the membership;
- Encouraging the creation of new compositions for collegiate choruses through commissioning, master classes, and publishing;
- Mentoring NCCO student members as they work to become full members by offering programs to support their professional development;
- Advocating for the value of our profession and its members through collaborations with other professional organizations and by publishing guidelines on tenure and promotion for our members.
Article 3: Vision Statement
NCCO believes that singing together in post-secondary spaces can be a vital force for culturally responsive teaching and learning, one that connects us with each other, builds empathy, and inspires joy.
Article 4: Mission Statements
- We believe that the choral field and the act of singing communally can have transformative effects on society.
- Therefore, we help our students build a lifelong connection to singing and other forms of artistic expression. We aspire toward a collaborative choral community that models the world we wish to see.
- We recognize that the choral field has historically created divides between choral performance and education, between pre-professional and avocational choral study, and between types of post-secondary spaces.
- Therefore, we assert that all conductors are teachers, and we recognize that the choices we make in our post-secondary choral programs have the potential to influence the perspectives and practices of future generations of educators and singers.
- We commit to serving all educators and students engaged in the choral arts, whether they envision careers in music performance, music education, or wish to cultivate a lifelong connection with music.
- We embrace all post-secondary spaces, including research institutions, conservatories, liberal arts colleges, two-year and community colleges, and all organizations that foster continuing growth of students who wish to further their musical education.
- We acknowledge that our profession has been a site of harm for many through our colonial ideals of repertoire, pedagogy, aesthetics, and perspectives, and we envision and promote practices that foster the ongoing growth and transformation of our field.
- Therefore, we will work to uncover and understand the ways in which the post-secondary choral field has perpetuated harm.
- We will form and seek right-relationships with all members in the building of beloved community.
- We support the development of pedagogical strategies and curricula that respond to students’ own cultural ways of knowing and doing.
- We provide resources for educators to program repertoire and cultivate aesthetics that reflect diverse cultures and lived experiences.
- We provide ongoing development for educators to focus on cultural consciousness through examining one’s own cultural beliefs/perspectives, recognizing students for who they are and their cultural identity/assets, and building a capacity for cultural resilience in our spaces so that all singers are seen.
- We celebrate an expansive and ever-evolving vision of choral excellence.
- Therefore, we cultivate repertoire, pedagogy, aesthetics, and perspectives that reflect our world and serve all students.
Article 5: Membership in the Organization
- Membership Categories
- Regular Membership:
- Conductors of university or college (four or two-year) choirs
- Choral faculty of university or colleges (four or two-year)
- Retired university or college (four or two-year) choral conductors and choral faculty
- Conductors of non-university/college choirs, or other ensembles
- Corporate and Individual Members of the Music Industry
- Friends, any individuals who support the choral art and is not listed above
- Student Membership: Students of universities or four or two-year colleges
- Institutional Membership: any school or institution that supports the choral art and the purpose of the Organization
- Honorary Memberships:
- Charter Members (honorary title) -- founders and original members who joined the organization in 2005
- Founding Institutional Members (honorary title) -- any school or institution that supported the founding of NCCO with a donation of $500 or more prior to 1 November 2006
- Honorary Life Membership may be conferred by the Officers as a formal recognition of exemplary contributions to the welfare of college and university choirs. This honor is awarded at each national conference to one or more recipients. Each recipient is decided and agreed upon by the Officers.
- Regular Membership:
- Rights and Privileges
- Conductors of university or college (four or two-year) choirs shall be entitled to hold Elected Office.
- All members holding a current and active Regular Membership shall be entitled to vote on Organization business such as the General Elections.
- Membership categories are determined at the time of application and extend throughout the dues period.
- Honorary Life Membership may be conferred by the Officers as a formal recognition of exemplary contributions to the welfare of college and university choirs. This honor comes with a lifelong membership to the organization, all the privileges of regular membership, and complimentary registration for the Organization's biennial national conferences following the conference at which this honor was awarded.
- Charter Members are the founders and original members who joined the organization in 2005. It is an honorary designation and comes with no special rights or privileges other than recognized as such.
- Founding Institutional Members are any schools or institutions that supported the founding of NCCO with a donation of $500 or more prior to 1 November 2006. It is an honorary designation and comes with no special rights or privileges other than being recognized as such.
- Institutional Members are any schools or institutions that support the choral art and the purpose of the Organization. Benefits of this non-voting membership are decided upon by the Officers and may be revised as necessary.
- Membership dues for NCCO are valid for a two-year period from the date of subscription.
- The amounts for Dues will be determined by the Officers, and revised by them on an occasional basis as they deem necessary.
- Statement of Inclusivity
Membership in the NCCO is open to all individuals engaged in choral music in post-secondary contexts, without discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, sex, religion, age, marital status, national origin, the presence of any physical or sensory disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other basis prohibited by applicable federal, state, and local laws.
Article 6: Officers and National Board Members
- The Elected Officers of NCCO shall be
- Vice President
- National Board Members: Ten members of the National Board will be selected from each of five regions.
- Central: AR, KS, NE, ND, OK, SD, TX, LA, MO
- Eastern: CT, DE, DC, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, VA, WV
- Midwestern: IL, IN, IA, MI, MN, OH, WI
- Southern: MS, AL, FL, GA, KY, NC, SC, TN
- Western: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY, Canada
- Officers and National Board Members of NCCO must be Regular Members at the time of election or appointment.
- The Executive Board of NCCO will be comprised of the five elected officers, plus the Chief Editor of Publications (ex officio and non-voting), and the Director of Affinity Groups (ex officio and non-voting).
- The Chief Editor of Publications shall be a non-elected Officer of NCCO, appointed by the Executive Board.
- The Director of Affinity Groups shall be a non-elected Officer of NCCO, appointed by the Executive Board in consultation with the Mission and Vision in Governance Committee.
Article 7: Meetings and Conferences
- NCCO will hold biennial national conferences in the autumn.
- Business meetings of the Organization will occur at the site of the biennial conference, preceding the start of conference activities. The Business Meeting is open to the Executive Board and all National Board Members.
- The Officers will decide upon the location and dates of the biennial conferences.
- Concerts and instructive sessions presented at the Conference shall be open to all members of NCCO through registration.
- The Executive Board will hold regular meetings for the purpose of running the organization and planning the biennial conference. Meetings will be scheduled and held at their discretion.
Article 8: Authority
The Officers of NCCO are vested with the authority to carry out all decisions that fall within the stated purpose in Article 2. Any decisions requiring authority beyond the stated purpose must be approved by the National Board, as the governing authority of NCCO. If any situation arises where the question of authority is unclear, it is to be understood that the National Board has ultimate authority.
Article 9: Amendments
Proposed amendments to the NCCO Constitution and Bylaws may be presented by any active member to the Officers via the President. Proposals may be made anytime up to one month preceding the biennial Business Meeting. Prior to the biennial Business Meeting the Officers shall determine, by a majority vote, which proposed amendments will be considered at the Business Meeting. Proposed amendments must receive a two-thirds majority vote of the National Board Members who are present at the Business Meeting. An approved amendment becomes effective upon the new term that the elected Officers will serve following the conference (1 January) unless otherwise stated in the amendment.
Article 1: Duties for National Officers
- Serves Executive Board: plans agendæ, leads meetings, supports other officers
- Serves membership: promotes NCCO and serves as public face of NCCO especially with other professional organizations
- Serves at conferences: works with hosts and vendors, secures headliners, secures invited choirs, selects Lifetime Achievement Award candidates
- Serves Executive Board: runs elections, assists President, leads Executive Board meetings as required, leads conference evaluation and forward planning
- Serves at conferences: coordinates all conference calls, selects site for next conference
- The President-Elect assumes the duties of the President in the absence of the President
- Serves membership: liaison to and support for National Board, maintains Board membership, coordinates National Board Meeting at conferences
- Coordinates communication: oversees ads, website, social media, e-newsletters, and conference program book
- The Vice President assumes the duties of the President in the absence of the President and the President-Elect
- Serves Executive Board: schedule all executive board meetings, maintain minutes of all meetings, run elections in coordination with President-Elect, maintain timeline and deadlines
- Serves at conference: Coordinate onsite registration at conference
- Serves Executive Board: maintains all financial accounts and budgets, guides financial conversations at meetings, issues checks, oversees tax preparation, coordinates ACDA booths
- Serves at conferences: guides all sponsor-related activities, presents a "Treasurer's Report" (2-year scope) to the National Board at our biennial conference meeting and again as term comes to an end, guides the determination of all pricing
Article 2: Election of Officers
- The President and all other elected officers shall begin serving on 1 January following the post-conference election. The President shall serve only one two-year term.
- The President-Elect shall serve only one two-year term and shall automatically accede to the office of President.
- The Vice President shall hold the office for no more than two consecutive, two-year terms.
- The Treasurer shall hold the office for only one four-year term. Terms begin January 1, 2018, 2022, 2026, etc.
- The Secretary shall hold the office for only one four-year term. Terms begin January 1, 2020, 2024, 2028, etc.
- Candidates for the office of President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be nominated and one shall be elected through the following procedure:
- Candidates will be nominated at the biennial Business Meeting by the Officers and Members of the National Board. The two candidates receiving the highest number of votes by the National Board Members will be chosen as nominees. Should there be an insufficient number of nominations, additional nominations may be solicited by the Officers after the biennial Business Meeting, as needed.
- The election will take place following the National Conference and prior to 1 January in a manner to be determined by the Officers.
Article 3: Chief Editor of Publications
- The Chief Editor of Publications will have two primary responsibilities: 1.) to serve as principal editor of The Choral Scholar; and 2.) to manage the Choral Series.
- The Chief Editor of Publications is selected and appointed by the Officers.
- The term of the Chief Editor of Publications is two years and is renewable as deemed by the the Officers.
- The Chief Editor of Publications is an ex-officio and non-voting member of the Executive Board and will attend and participate in select Executive Board meetings.
- The Chief Editor of Publications will also oversee a Poster Session at the national conference as requested by the board.
Article 4: Appointment of National Board Members
- National Board Members will be selected and appointed by the Officers.
- The term of office for board members is four years. Members may not serve consecutive, complete terms.
- Board members will be divided into two groups with five board members per group per region. Group A's terms begin on January 1, 2018, 2022, etc. Group B's terms begin on January 1, 2020, 2024, etc.
- National Board Members will maintain NCCO state membership lists, regularly communicate with board members and the NCCO Vice President, file annual activity reports, and attend at least one NCCO conference every four years.
Article 5: Mission and Vision in Governance Committee, the Director of Affinity Groups, and the Establishment of Affinity Groups
- The Mission and Vision in Governance Committee will work to ensure that the actions, structures, and activities of NCCO consistently serve and embody the mission and vision of the organization, including supporting the NCCO’s efforts in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Members of the Mission and Vision in Governance Committee will be appointed by the Executive Board with representation of diverse perspectives in mind.
- This committee will make further recommendations to the NCCO membership for additional governance structures, committees, and/or changes to the bylaws, which will come to the National Board for action.
- This committee will be chaired by a member of the Executive Board. The function of the chair will be to facilitate meetings, provide agendas and minutes, and to ensure communication between the committee and the Executive Board.
- This committee will solicit and evaluate applications for the position of Director of Affinity Groups. This person will serve as an ex-officio (non-voting) member of the Executive Board for a term to be determined by the Committee and will receive an honorarium.
- This committee will, with the Director of Affinity Groups, propose the creation of Affinity Groups. These affirm the importance of embracing our complex web of identities and seek to honor them by serving as brave and safe spaces for our members to seek mentorship, community, and sustaining professional development.
- The types and names of affinity groups will be proposed through a collaborative process with the full membership, reflecting the needs of the membership. Affinity groups may include opportunities for discussion among individuals sharing particular aspects of their identities, or individuals sharing similar conducting/teaching positions. Further details will be elaborated after requesting feedback from the membership.
- The Director of Affinity Groups will relay concerns and ideas from the Affinity Groups to the Mission and Vision in Governance Committee where appropriate, and the Committee will be responsible for following up with timely action and accountability.
- The Mission and Vision in Governance Committee and the Director of Affinity Groups will also collaborate to propose and then enact strategies to cultivate and nominate prospective Executive Board and National Board members, ensuring that the process reflects our mission and vision.
- The ongoing form of this Committee will iterate this process in perpetuity and ensure transparency and proactive communication.
Article 6: Filling of Vacancies
In the event that a vacancy occurs in a National Office and the procedure for filling the vacancy is not specifically provided elsewhere in the NCCO Constitution or Bylaws, then the President shall appoint a member qualified to fill the position subject to the approval of the Officers. Such an interim appointment will be only for the remainder of the current term of office at which time the vacancy will be filled by election.
Article 7: Additional positions and special committees
The National Officers may consider the creation of additional positions, and special committees as necessary. The filling of such positions will be agreed upon by the Officers and carried out by election or appointment as deemed appropriate.
The Constitution and Bylaws prior to the above stood from January 1, 2020 - May 26, 2021. See the 2020-21 version here (in PDF).
The Constitution and Bylaws prior to the above stood from January 1, 2018 - December 31, 2019. See the 2018-19 version here (in PDF).
The Constitution and Bylaws prior to the above stood from January 1, 2016 - December 31, 2017. See the 2016-17 version here (in PDF).