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FROM THE “WHY AM I WATCHING THIS” DEPARTMENT: Danish chamber orchestra films themselves trying to perform after eating ultra-spicy “ghost” peppers.

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RICHARD SPARKS CONTINUES with a great point about how to improve one’s skills: “All of us have things we’re comfortable with: our conducting technique, rehearsal technique, our usual way of doing things. Sometimes in order to grow, we have to give up our comfortable ways and change our technique—in a very real sense, change who we are. This almost certainly will mean that for a period of time you’ll be uncomfortable and, in fact, probably won’t do as well. But you need the time to grow those new connections in your brain—and perhaps, feel ‘stupid’ for awhile. But if you’re not willing to go through that process you won’t grow.

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MARIE GRASS AMENTA continues discussing choral ethics: “In our business ‘manners,’ or whatever you call it, can make a world of difference in our relationships with those we work with us.” I have found this to be extremely important in the music world, as it has an important effect on whether we want to work with individuals in future endeavors.

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PAUL CAREY: Music Publishing Trends, Continued with an article by Fahad Siadat: “The reason I started See-A-Dot Music Publishing was because I saw a need for a different kind of publisher, one who partners with an artist to help their career grow and provides a well curated resource of quality music to ensemble leaders. It’s important to understand publishers don’t serve composers, we serve conductors.

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ACDA PRESIDENT Tim Sharp writes about collaboration between ACDA and travel and concert productions. “The good news for all of us who tour and participate in concert productions away from home that are created by our industry partners is that ACDA and the travel and concert production industry members of ACDA want to work even closer together for the promotion of choral excellence in the United States and around the world. Even more exciting is the fact that we have identified specific areas where we can work even more closely together at connection points in our overlapping mission. These specifics include the 2016 America Cantat Festival, our International Conductor Exchange Program, our hosting of international choirs at division and national conferences, and the future possibilities of choral festivals in the United States.

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RICHARD SPARKS Continues on Improving Skills: “I know I can trace some specific gestures or rehearsal techniques I use to particular teachers, mentors, or conductors I’ve observed. But you have to find a way to make these skills yours. That comes with practice. You have to absorb it so thoroughly that it now belongs to you.