Episode 19: Seeking Anti-Fragility in the Choral Rehearsal with Eric Barnum

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I feel like this episode might be PHILOSOPHICALLY the most important episode I have published to date. Eric and I pick up right where I left off in Episode 18 when I claimed that students should lose the net when learning to sight read. The psychological principal at play is Nassim Taleb’s coined term, “Anti-Fragility” referring to systems that require stress in order to improve. What processes in the choral rehearsal can apply the right amount of stress on your singers in order to make them stronger, and better.

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Episode 19: Eric Barnum
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A conductor and composer, Eric William Barnum continues to passionately seek new ground in the choral field.  Working with choirs of all kinds, his collaborative leitmotif endeavors to provide intensely meaningful experiences for singers and audiences.

Barnum is currently the Director of Choral Activities at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and previously, the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.  He holds a DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington (Seattle, WA), under the direction of Dr. Geoffrey Boers.  He has an advanced degree in conducting from Minnesota State University (Mankato, MN), primary study with Dr. David Dickau, as well as BAs in Composition and Vocal Performance from Bemidji State University (Bemidji, MN).  He has appeared as a conductor across the United States and the International stage, and has had the opportunity to work with some of the most innovative minds in the choral field.

Be sure to check out the Choral Contrarians Podcast too!

His voice and vision continues to gain popularity around the globe with performances from choirs Internationally.  He composes for choral ensembles of all types, from professional to youth choirs, and has received numerous awards and prestigious grants such as a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship and a McKnight Foundation Grant.  He has also held residencies with such ensembles as Choral Arts (Seattle, WA), Cantus (Trondheim, Norway), The Rose Ensemble (St. Paul, MN), Kantorei (Denver, CO), Magnum Chorum (Minneapolis, MN), Coro Vocal Artists (Tucson, AZ), as well as with many high schools and collegiate choirs.

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