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I saw this earlier but forgot about it — a really cool new blog by J.D. Frizzell.

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Thoughts on the Minnesota Orchestra Lockout by Joshua Bronfman and how he views it through the lens of a choral director.

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Jeff Tillinghast has a post on 5 Steps to Choral Public Domain Library Mastery.  If you aren’t familiar with www.cpdl.org, it’s a fantastic site that features links to choral music in the public domain.  It takes a bit of effort to understand how it works at first, but is an essential resource for all choirs.

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Richard Sparks with more on how to audition singers:

For many of us with advanced choirs, a group recall audition by section is an important part of the selection process. It’s a possible next step after the individual auditions, which can serve several purposes:

    • a chance to compare voices that you may have heard over several days (we just heard around 200 singers in our auditions)
    • trying out different combinations of voices to see which voices work together best in a section
    • to check musicianship and ability to follow rehearsal suggestions in a different way
    • to set placement within the section

It takes time to do this, but it can be quite valuable.

A really great post, especially for someone who is green at running an audition.

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Here’s Paul Rardin with a message on why you should be an ACDA member:

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Washington Post critic Philipp Kennicott has a long examination of what is going on with today’s orchestras in America, and seems to agree with a lot of what I said here about fixing the subscription model.  Here’s a key bit from Kennicott:

Many in the managerial class, especially those who first trained as musicians, care deeply about the rich, variegated, and complex history of classical music, but can find no practical way to offer that history to like-minded patrons. Instead they work with a caricature of the audience, dividing it into two classes, one made up of younger, adventurous listeners willing to try anything, and the other composed of older, problematic ones, who want only Beethoven’s Fifth night after night. But the serious listener, who is adventurous and critical, open and discriminating, does not fit into either of these categories. Among the most worrisome signs for the orchestra is how little concern there is for listeners who care deeply about the infinite variety of orchestra music—Mozart, Mendelssohn, or Lutosławski—but have little use for syncretic hybrids. As always, there is an economic explanation for the marginalization of the serious listener: interesting repertoire takes more time to rehearse, it is difficult to market, it cannot be repeated with the frequency of more popular fare. And serious listeners are resistant to the basic ideological sleight-of-hand behind so much programming: they do not believe that trivial music is worth the same investment as the core repertory, and so they vote with their feet and stay home. This gets them marked as fickle supporters of the civic institution.

You should read the reall