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A ROBOT CHOIR SINGS BEETHOVEN: I’m not particularly impressed with the singing, and even less so than the conducting. Perhaps this is good evidence of how difficult choral singing can be.

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TIM SHARP on the State of ACDA. “I now enter what I consider my third phase as ACDA’s Executive Director, looking to the next four years and the work that lies ahead for us. In this extended blog (spoiler alert!), I would like to reflect on what I know now that I may not have known as clearly earlier in my work, where I think we are as an Association at this point in time, and where I see my work headed in the years to come.

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GOOD NEWS FOR MUSIC IN AMERICA: Gustavo Dudamel And Youth Orchestra L.A. To Perform At Super Bowl Halftime. ”

Dudamel said that ‘this is a wonderful honor and an extraordinary showcase for YOLA, as well as a tribute to youth orchestras worldwide. When we play, it will be for the youth of the world so they can be inspired to create both a better life for themselves and a better future.‘”

Coldplay will be headlining the show, which will also feature performances by Beyoncé and Bruno Mars. While I doubt they will be given much air time (or be asked to play anything very artistically substantial), it’s good press. Last year’s halftime show had over 118.5 million U.S. viewers.

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MARIE GRASS AMENTA On Giving Credit To Others. Please treat people well.

He wasn’t called the “assistant music director” to begin with since Felicity*, the music director (a retired director of choral activities from the university), felt he was “only” accompanying, and should be called the “pianist” of the group, not the “accompanist” or even the “collaborative pianist” but the plain, ‘ol pianist. Felicity’s attitude then should have tipped him off….

After the most time consuming and detail bogged down holiday concert he has ever worked on, his name was COMPLETELY left off of the program and he wasn’t given a bow during the concert. He thinks Felicity did it on purpose because he is taking over much more of her Music Director’s job….and not by choice. He has two more concerts to oversee before the end of the subscription year and isn’t sure he will be able to do them without blowing up.

 

 

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CHORAL NET: Happy New Year’s Resolutions.

Set one goal that you believe you can achieve and one that is a dream. So often if we set out to make the first happen the second can then find its place in our collective reality.

Here are a few unsolicited suggestions:
            *Choose a new composer to use for score study
            *Try teaching a score in a new language that you have not done in the past
            *Pay it forward in line for your daily coffee/tea habit – the joy will surprise you
            *Talk with colleagues about ways to set boundaries for balanced work hours
            *Find a new walking/hiking path to explore once a month with a friend/partner
            *Set time to be off electronics if even for a few hours a day
            *Try out a new hobby – a recent choral grad of mine just took up the violin!
            *Buy a new book and promise to read it in its entirety
            *Make plans to go to your divisional conference – and introduce yourself to at least two new people you meet there.

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MICHAEL WU writes on Conducting For The Keyboard. “3. Practice your accompaniment, including choir cues. Much like organists who have to make color changes (pushing/pulling individual stops or using pistons, or manipulating swell shades) have to practice on the exact instrument on which they perform in order to coordinate the necessary movements in the sequence they will occur, conductor/accompanists need to plan when a hand or a head works best for cuing. Ideally, memorizing the accompaniment and cues allows you as director to be more in the moment of the music-making. Ideally.