Thursday, February 23, 2017

The craziness of conductors

Mostly I'm just complaining about how good my life is today... But just as a quick update on what's happening with me, at the beginning of this month I hosted a Handbell Festival in Omaha. It was a great event! Tomorrow LCA will be on NET radio Friday Live from the Johnny Carson Theatre in Lincoln.

This Sunday I am participating in a Church Choir Festival sponsored by Nebraska Choral Directors Association in Collaboration with Grieg Zielke, Mark Kurtz, David Batter, and First United Methodist Church in Omaha. On Wednesday, Lent begins. And as a full-time church musician this season is almost busier than the build up to Christmas.

Next Friday is the LCA Gala "Crooners Over Lincoln." Then next week I am spending time with colleagues and friends at the National American Choral Directors Association Convention in Minneapolis. These are always great days filled with excellent music and building connections. But it is pretty exhausting. I know that I am privileged to be able to have a flexible working schedule and really do the work I love and serve singers and a conductor and church leader. But boy, when it rains... I am very excited for all these events. But I am also looking forward to some down time in the near future. I am blessed to great people, singers, friends, colleagues around me, supporting me and supporting my love of choral music!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Two other blog posts: Politics in Rehearsal and In Memoriam

I came across two interesting blog posts today on Choralnet. This is an online resource for choral directors. The first is a blog on what might be done to help with issues of politics coming into the community choir or church choir rehearsal. I think there are excellent points in this blog. There are no answers, but there are good questions and suggestions..

Choral Potpourri: Choral Ethics; Politics for Our Time

The second blog is an In Memoriam article about Weston Noble, giant of conductors, who passed in 2016. This blog post has a great link for a very meaningful episode of "Going Beyond Words" a choral music radio broadcast that can be heard on public radio stations across the country. In this episode, Luther College's Nordic Choir under the Director of Weston Noble, remembers Weston through the music he conducted and loved.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Practice, Grit, and Learning: A link to a great broadcast by the Freakonomics Podcast

Inspiration for these blog posts always surprises me. I was doing some laundry this morning, considering what I might post today, when I realized I wasn't paying attention to the podcast I was listening to. I started to pay attention and realized I needed to go back to the beginning. (Being a child of the 80s I always want to say rewind :P) Freakonomics Radio always has wonderful interviews and stories about a huge variety of cultural, scientific, and technological subjects.

Srinath Mahankali correctly spelling his word during the 88th Scripps National Spelling Bee
(photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

This particular rebroadcast comes on the heels of another podcast they produced on practice, also very good. But with this particular episode the idea of practice, who practices, why they practice, and its effectiveness is fascinating. I encourage you to listen to the whole episode. As long time K-12 music teacher and piano/ vocal studio teacher I have admitted to many musicians that I am terrible at practicing. I do not love to practice. But I do love understanding a piece of music or a technique and this pushes me to practice. I think there are many incredible ideas in this short look at Grit and Practice. I hope you enjoy it!

How to Get More Grit in Your Life (Rebroadcast)