Resonance Singer’s Mask Demo (video version on YouTube)

Introducing an AMAZING product from MyMusicFolders.com! The resonance singer’s mask shown in this short demo is an excellent option for risk reduction in Covid-era singing. Ultimately, for choirs who choose to sing using tools like this, you will need a mask that is conducive to comfortable breathing and articulating. This is the mask for you!

Remember: you MUST use the mask in conjunction with local health guidelines and other risk mitigators like hygiene, ventilation and distancing.

Find the Mask Here!

I am very excited to welcome to the Choralosophy Podcast our newest affiliate. MyMusicFolders.com! They are the inventors and sole distributors of the new “Resonance Singer’s Mask” as well as many other tried and true products for the choir world. You can now shop at MyMusicFolders.com and MyChoirRobes.com and use the “Choralosophy” Check out code to receive a 5% discount!
YouTube version
Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Chose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!
COVID Conversations
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

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Episode 38: Necessity is the Mother of Invention with Dr. Farrin Manian

In this episode, I continue my deep dive into attempting to understand how the pandemic may effect our world generally, but specifically the world of music and the performing arts. However, it should be obvious that parallels to our everyday lives are interwoven into this information. In this conversation, Dr, Manian and I focus primarily on the mode of transmission for this virus. Toward the end we spend quite a bit of energy discussing the much disputed concept of “droplet” spread and “aerosol” spread, as well as the benefits of mask wearing in as many situations as possible.

As always, I submit this conversation NOT for the purpose of providing a solution for you or your singers. Just context, and understanding. A more detailed account of Dr. Manian’s thoughts on the role of aerosol with COVID.

I am very excited to welcome to the Choralosophy Podcast our newest affiliate. MyMusicFolders.com! They are the inventors and sole distributors of the new “Resonance Singer’s Mask” as well as many other tried and true products for the choir world. You can now shop at MyMusicFolders.com and MyChoirRobes.com and use the “Choralosophy” Check out code to receive a 5% discount!

About Farrin Manian, MD

Farrin A. Manian, MD, MPH, FACP, FSHEA, FIDSA, received his Masters of Science in Public Health-Epidemiology and MD (cum laude) degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha National Honors Society. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical School in Nashville. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America and Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Chose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!

Dr. Manian has authored or coauthored more than 90 scientific articles and book chapters. He is the author of the book, Mosby’s Curbside Clinician: Infectious Diseases and was the first editor of APIC handbook of Infection Control. He is a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Infection Control. His publications have appeared in peer-reviewed scientific journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology and the AmericanJournal of Infection Control. He has been voted as one of America’s “Top Doctors” in Infectious Diseases.

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His hobbies include photography and collecting antique medical books and paraphernalia. He created the website http://www.doctorsbestshots.com donating his photographs in return for a donation to the Care for AIDS Patients fund designed to defray the cost of care of indigent patients with HIV infection.

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Episode 37: Speaking of Diversity in High Definition with Arreon Harley-Emerson

National Chair of the American Choral Directors Association’s Diversity Initiatives Committee

This episode flipped the normal script a little bit, where I got to be on the hot seat! I was honored to be invited to be the guest on “And the Beat Goes On” presented by Arreon Harley-Emerson of the Choir School of Delaware. We agreed to co-present this conversation largely centered around diversity and inclusion. This is been a frequent topic on the Choralosophy Podcast, but this time we focused on ideas about how to broaden the conversation to include people who might not currently be engage in this important work.

Are we willing to consider that some of the rhetorical techniques employed by many in equity circles might be a barrier to some people that don’t speak the lingo?

Episode 37
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Music Educator. Choral Conductor. Nonprofit Executive.

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Arreon A. Harley-Emerson was appointed Director Music and Operations of the Choir School of Delaware in June, 2013. In this position, he is responsible for the musical components of the renowned Choir School program as well as the day-to-day operations of the organization.

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Mr. Harley-Emerson began singing with Doreen Falby and the Peabody Conservatory Children’s Chorus at the age of seven. Later, he went on to sing with the Columbia Pro Cantare, under the directorship of Mrs. Frances Dawson. Harley-Emerson began building his technique through private voice and piano lessons in Mrs. Dawson’s studio in
Columbia, Maryland. He would later return to the Peabody Children’s Chorus during his college years, serving diligently as a conducting intern for three years. Mr. Harley-Emerson has had the opportunity to sing with the Columbia Festival Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, and the Baltimore

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Opera Company. Mr. Harley-Emerson graduated with honors from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, with bachelor’s degrees in Music Theory & Composition and Vocal Performance (opera). There he studied piano with Dr. Lisa Weiss, voice with Mrs. Betty Ridgeway, and conducting with Dr. Elisa Koehler. He received master’s of music degrees in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance from the University of Delaware School of Music, studying Choral Conducting with pedagogue Dr. Paul Head and Voice with Dr. Noel Archambeault. Mr. Harley-Emerson has had the opportunity to conduct in venues such as St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, The Kimmel Center for the Arts in Philadelphia, and the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore. Mr. Harley-Emerson also contributed a chapter to The Oxford Handbook for Choral Pedagogy entitled “The Gang Mentality of Choirs: How Choirs Have the Capacity to Change Lives.” He also has a TEDx Talk that bears the same title.

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Committed to the principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB), Mr. Harley-Emerson has established a thriving consultancy to assist arts and culture nonprofit organizations in remaining relevant in the 21st century. His work includes longitudinal studies, strategic planning, Board Excellence training, resource and asset development, and board diversification. Mr. Harley-Emerson currently serves as the National Chair of the American Choral Directors Association’s Diversity Initiatives Committee. An active member of the Wilmington, Delaware community, Mr. Harley-Emerson is on the Delaware Arts Alliance’s Board of Directors, where he serves as President of the Board and chairs the Advancement Committee which is tasked with fundraising, membership development,
and DEIB.

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!


In addition to conducting and performing classical and operatic works, Mr. Harley-Emerson is an avid lover of musical theater. When not performing, you can find him indulging in his true passion…potatoes! He has never met a potato that he did not eat!

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Unscripted with Michael McGlynn Part 2

This illuminating and wide ranging conversation with Michael McGlynn was supposed to be my first ever livestream episode. Well, that didn’t work out… luckily the recording survived! Uploading the first part here. I will publish part 2 early next week. We had NO prior agenda for this chat, so we just started talking. It was my most freewheeling chat yet. Enjoy!

Find Anuna and Michael on YouTube

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Chose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!
www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

Unscripted with Michael McGlynn- Part 1

This illuminating and wide ranging conversation with Michael McGlynn was supposed to be my first ever livestream episode. Well, that didn’t work out… luckily the recording survived! Uploading the first part here. I will publish part 2 early next week. We had NO prior agenda for this chat, so we just started talking. It was my most freewheeling chat yet. Enjoy!

Find Anuna and Michael on YouTube

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

And don’t forget, the show is now on PATREON! Subscribe and receive Patron only content for as little as 3 bucks a month!

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

Episode 36: Are We Asking All the Right COVID Questions? With Dr. David McKinsey of Research Medical Center

In this episode, I bring you a substantially in depth conversation with another expert physician who specializes in infectious disease and is on the front lines of treating COVID-19 patients.

Humans have a strong bias towards pessimism and the disregarding of any good news. As a result, we tend to trust bad news without question, and demand proof for good news. We apply this imbalanced approach to evidence to our peril. We should be making an effort to understand as broad of a picture as we possibly can. The goal of this episode is NOT to view the situation through rose colored glasses. In fact, you will hear explanations of the scary side of this virus here. However, we will be weighing these things against the positive developments that have occurred leading to an overall drop in the risk to our society as doctors have continued to learn and discover new and better ways to care for COVID patients.

Episode 36. Dr. David McKinsey

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My concern during the entire month of May and June in choir world has been our hyper focus on one set of questions related to this pandemic. We have asked important questions about how choirs might contribute to the spread of this virus due to increased expulsion, or “super-spreading” of aerosols and droplets that may be produced when singing. This is an IMPORTANT question, but it is not the only question that we should be focused on as we consider a safe return to ensemble singing. Some critical questions that I think we are missing:

1. What do we know now that we didn’t know a month ago about viral transmission and risks to people exposed? (now that data has been collected over many months, and therapeutics have been developed and improved, the risk picture looks much less severe than it did in early March.)

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2. What do we know that we didn’t a month ago about therapeutics? (discussed in episode.)

3. What do you know about the metrics being used in your area by public health officials to determine ending or changing certain gathering restrictions? (Discussed in episode.)

I addressed some of these questions in Episode 33 with Dr. Adalja from Johns Hopkins. (I address the danger of hyper-focusing in general here.) In this conversation, we were all fortunate that Dr. McKinsey was able to give us a substantial chunk of time to devote to a broader conversation related to understanding our predicament in a deeper way.

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Dr. David McKinsey is a physician with Metro Infectious Disease Consultants-Kansas City. He serves as Regional Medical Director for his group. In addition he is hospital epidemiologist at Research Medical Center, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Kansas, and Infectious Diseases consultant at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. He received his medical degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and completed an Internal Medicine residency at the University of Iowa and then an Infectious Disease fellowship at the University of Tennessee-Memphis. He is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases. He has served on the boards of several organizations regionally and nationally, has been actively engaged in medical research throughout his career, and has published many manuscripts and book chapters.

Just in case anyone still doubts the docs that have been on this show re the regionality of risk:

“I hesitate to make any broad statements about whether it is or is not quote ‘safe’ for kids to come back to school. When you talk about children going back to school and their safety, it really depends on the level of viral activity and the particular area that you’re talking about. What happens all too often — understandably, but sometimes misleadingly — is that we talk about the country as a whole in a unidimensional away.” Dr. Anthony Fauci

Also, some have seen the article from the British Columbia CDC posted earlier related to “no evidence of airborne spread.” Sadly, I didn’t see this until after I had done the interview with Dr. McKinsey. So I emailed him, and he confirmed that within the physicians circles, this seems well accepted. All of the latest data suggests that it is droplet transmission, not aerosol/airborne. ”Bottom line is that since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, droplet transmission has been postulated as the main means of spread and now the data are confirming this. Airborne spread would have been very bad news.” I followed up and asked if that means masked singing would be a significant increase in safety (a different angle than what we were told in webinar on May 5.) He said, “That’s exactly right. Droplets containing virus are trapped by the face mask, protecting the wearer. (And others if they wear one it’s a two way street.) In theory, with an airborne pathogen, a mask would not filter the virus (unless it was a N-95 mask) but that is not of practical importance with SARS CoV-2”

Lastly, I am really embarrassed by the sound quality of this episode. For that, I am sorry.

https://choralosophy.com/2020/06/03/episode-36-are-we-asking-all-the-right-covid-questions-with-dr-david-mckinsey-of-research-medical-center/

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Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Some critical misunderstandings in pandemic world: (As a lay person I had to work pretty hard to wrap my head around this. I am sure some lay people already get this, but many don’t)

  1. Conflating, unintentionally, getting infected or exposed to SARS-Cov-2 (a virus) with being diagnosed with COVID-19 (a disease) One does not always lead to another. (CDC best estimate shows 35% infected will show no symptoms)
  2. Conflating, unintentionally, the Case Fatality Rate or CFR with the Infection Fatality Rate or IFR.
  3. Not understanding that the number you see on the news and on data tracking websites is real time info that is not at all informative or helpful. Starts as a crude number and gets refined with vetting. Many areas have seen this crude number look like 4-7% or 4-7 out of 100 are dying.

Understanding the two vetted numbers:

CFR is the higher number based on the number of people who pass away, divided by the number of people who are sick enough to seek treatment and then get diagnosed with COVID-19. That number is easier to nail down early in a pandemic when testing is not widespread for obvious reasons. The only ones factored in are the ones actively engaged with the health care system. (Though time from onset to death causes fluctuation in the rate due to the lagging indicator and differs from the reported numbers because not all reported cases are ever confirmed.)

Current overall CFR best estimate: .4% or 4 in 1000 (see number broken down by age below in attached image.)

The health care system uses this number to help plan for the allocation of resources that they can predict they will need to devote to those patients who show severe symptoms to save as many lives as possible. (ie, the much touted “having enough hospital beds, ventilators,” etc.)

IFR is the lower number that reflects all people who become exposed and infected with SARS-Cov-2 and the proportion of those people who pass away. It is a much lower number for all viruses because it includes the people who don’t get sick at all, and the ones who only have minor symptoms and don’t seek medical treatment. This number is MUCH harder to pin down, also for obvious reasons. This requires MANY data collection points from across the world to be aggregated and vetted, and it also requires the widening of the testing net to include people in the general population who would otherwise have no reason to be tested. So, a solid attempt at publishing an IFR is impossible in the early stages of a pandemic.

Seeing that current best estimate from CDC is 35% asymptomatic that puts the IFR at .26% or 2.6 in 1000 (you can find these by age below as well, simply by multiplying the CFR by .65)

This number is a better used for individuals in the community to measure the risk to themselves and their families. Because it represents how the disease statistically effects the general population. In other words, understanding the risk if they or their loved one were to be exposed to another person with the virus.

All of this must then be factored in to our best local indicators in order to assess your overall risk. Best local indicators are new hospitalization and new deaths. NOT new cases because new cases vary greatly depending on the local availability of testing. (Which is why comparing “spikes” in one country or even state to numbers somewhere else, is not productive.)

The CDC latest best risk numbers:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html

The Eye of the Tiger

How Narrow Focus and Tribalism Leads to Bad Decision Making

A special edition of the Choralosophy Podcast. It’s basically not about choir at all… But, it’s short and I hope it’s thought provoking, or even helpful!

We sure are living in a strange time. The mission of the Choralosophy Podcast is to encourage conversation to zoom OUT and see the big picture, whether it be in matters strictly musical, or on any other topic. Please join the conversation.

The Eye of the Tiger
Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!
Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Chose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!

And don’t forget, the show is now on PATREON! Subscribe and receive Patron only content for as little as 3 bucks a month!

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Episode 35: Equity Pitfalls of Online Music Instruction with Emmy Burch

This special episode is a Podcast exchange with the brand new “Music (ed) Matters” podcast hosted by Dr. Emmy Burch. I invite you to check out her show!

I am excited to welcome Emmy Burch to the Choral Podcast “scene” with this episode. She already has several excellent conversations available on her channel. In this conversation we discuss some mutual concerns about what we see as under-discussed issues in what could be the early stages of a new era of online delivery of large group music instruction.

Episode 35 with Emmy Burch
Emmy Burch
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Discussions:

Do virtual choirs create equity issues?

What are some necessary steps to close the opportunity gaps?

When we see our students again, how can we prepare them for future online learning?

Does grading online work help or hurt?

Dr. Emily Williams Burch is the founder and artistic director of RISE Chorales, a community choir organization in Savannah, GA with a mission of experiencing musical artistry, education, and personal growth through the choral arts and community experiences. Burch received her Doctorate in Conducting with doctoral minors in music history and music theory from the University of South Carolina, during which she taught introduction to music, designed and taught the history of rock, and directed the university women’s chorus. Dr. Burch earned her Masters of Music Education from Florida State University, where she assisted with the Capital Children’s Choir, and a Bachelor of Music Education from Louisiana State University, where she graduated magna cum laude. Prior to that, she served on the podium as Director of Education and Music for the Savannah Children’s Choir for nine years and worked as Department Chair/General Music/Piano Teacher at Garrison School of Visual and Performing Arts.

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

She continues to have the privilege of traveling the country as a Teacher Trainer and Choral Curriculum Developer for Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music, an interactive K-8 music curriculum. Additionally, she serves as an Artistic Adviser for Perform International, where she helps organizations create and realize their dreams on tours in the US and abroad. Choirs under her direction choirs have performed regionally, nationally, and internationally. Emmy has volunteered in various roles within the American Choral Directors Association, including Repertoire & Resources Chair for Children’s and Youth Community Choirs for the Southern Region. She and her husband live in Savannah, GA where they are members of the Metropolitan Savannah Rotary Club and marathoners who train with the Savannah Striders.

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Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
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Watch the conversation!
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Episode 34: Copyright Law Myths and the Future of Choral Publishing with Susan LaBarr

As we all look forward to an uncertain future in our choral rehearsals, we might also turn our attention to what was an already RAPIDLY changing market for choral sheet music. For a conversation on this topic I reached out to Susan LaBarr, composer and editor for Walton Music. Our conversation was wide ranging from the changes that have occurred over the last 10 years, to her prognostications of things to come. We also discussed common myths about copyright law and the pros and cons of traditional publishing and self publishing.

Discussions:

  • Rules related to performance and recording rights.
  • Changes in the industry pre-covid
  • What could the future look like due to increasing use of technology and increased online music learning.
  • What does “educational use” ACTUALLY mean…
Susan LaBarr
Episode 34
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Susan LaBarr (b. 1981) is a composer and choral editor living and working in Springfield, Missouri. Her compositions are published by Walton Music, Morningstar Music, and Santa Barbara Music Publishing. Susan has completed commissions for choirs worldwide, most notably Seraphic Fire, the National ACDA Women’s Choir Consortium, and the Texas Choral Director’s Association’s Director’s Chorus. She served as the Missouri Composer Laureate for 2012 and 2013. Her arrangement of Quem pastores laudavere appeared on New York Polyphony’s 2014 Grammy- nominated album, Sing Thee Nowell. Her work for mezzo soprano and piano, Little Black Book, was premiered at Carnegie Hall in October 2019.

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Subscribe to Choralosophy on Youtube for easy streaming from your desktop computer! Please Subscribe and RATE on the iTunes store!Android users can also find the show on the Google Play Store! You can also stream on Spotify

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

Central to Susan’s musical vocabulary is the knowledge she gained from studying with Alice Parker at her home in Hawley, Massachusetts, where she attended the Composer’s Workshop and Melody Studies Workshop. Susan attended Missouri State University in Springfield, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in music and a Master of Music in music theory. Susan, her husband Cameron, and their son Elliott reside in Springfield, Missouri, where Cameron is the Director of Choral Studies at Missouri State University and Susan works as Editor of Walton Music.

Susan’s Notes from the episode

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Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Episode 33: Risk Assessment for Group Activities with Dr. Amesh Adalja of Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

Dr. Adalja is a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security. His work is focused on emerging infectious disease, pandemic preparedness, and biosecurity.

I am honored to be able to publish this in a time in which all of the education field is reeling with the possibility that school might be unrecognizable in the fall. From state educational organizations publishing recommendations that look very scary, to “The Webinar” that blew up facebook.

I publish this NOT because this episode provides a solution, (because there is no easy solution) but simply to begin a dialogue on how to assess our own risks. In our current world, this is a skill everyone will need in order to do their work. We cannot farm risk assessment out completely to politicians or to our bosses.

My goal is to help us be self and singer advocates. The parents of many of our student singers who own restaurants are doing this right now. We are next.

Episode 33
Episode 33

Many of these decisions will not be made by us, but we need our voices at the table armed with solid information. Follow Dr. Adalja on Twitter @AmeshAA

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Dr. Adalja has served on US government panels tasked with developing guidelines for the treatment of plague, botulism, and anthrax in mass casualty settings and the system of care for infectious disease emergencies, and as an external advisor to the New York City Health and Hospital Emergency Management Highly Infectious Disease training program, as well as on a FEMA working group on nuclear disaster recovery. He is currently a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s (IDSA) Precision Medicine working group and is one of their media spokespersons; he previously served on their public health and diagnostics committees. Dr. Adalja is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians Pennsylvania Chapter’s EMS & Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness Committee as well as the Allegheny County Medical Reserve Corps. He was formerly a member of the National Quality Forum’s Infectious Disease Standing Committee and the US Department of Health and Human Services’ National Disaster Medical System, with which he was deployed to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake; he was also selected for their mobile acute care strike team. Dr. Adalja’s expertise is frequently sought by international and national media.

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Dr. Adalja is an Associate Editor of the journal Health Security. He was a coeditor of the volume Global Catastrophic Biological Risks, a contributing author for the Handbook of Bioterrorism and Disaster Medicine, the Emergency Medicine CorePendiumClinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple, UpToDate’s section on biological terrorism, and a NATO volume on bioterrorism. He has also published in such journals as the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Infectious DiseasesClinical Infectious DiseasesEmerging Infectious Diseases, and the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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Dr. Adalja is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American College of Physicians, and the American College of Emergency Physicians. He is a member of various medical societies, including the American Medical Association, the HIV Medicine Association, and the Society of Critical Care Medicine. He is a board-certified physician in internal medicine, emergency medicine, infectious diseases, and critical care medicine.

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Dr. Adalja completed 2 fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh—one in infectious diseases, for which he served as chief fellow, and one in critical care medicine. He completed a combined residency in internal medicine and emergency medicine at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he served as chief resident and as a member of the infection control committee. He was a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine from 2010 through 2017 and is currently an adjunct assistant professor there.

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

He is a graduate of the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, and he obtained a bachelor of science degree in industrial management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Adalja is a native of Butler, Pennsylvania, and actively practices infectious disease, critical care, and emergency medicine in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, where he also serves on the City of Pittsburgh’s HIV Commission and on the advisory group of AIDS Free Pittsburgh.

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Episode 32: Resetting the Voice for the Choral Director with Lori Sonnenberg

Speech Pathologist, Singing Voice Specialist and Classical Soprano

I have notice during my time working from home that my voice felt fresher, freer and more resonant than ever. I immediately began noticing other teachers mentioning this online as well, so I sought out an expert on the physiology and function of the voice who also has an intimate knowledge of the wear and tear that singers and music teachers put on their voices through her clinical practice.

Episode 32

Our conversation is wide ranging from the phenomenon of rest we are all experiencing, to practical tips for staying in shape while not leading choirs, thoughts about how how to “reset” your voice for an even healthier return to school in the fall, as well as common vocal myths or misdiagnoses.

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LORI L. SONNENBERG is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Voice Specialist. In her clinical work, she combines her passion for treating injured voices with her extensive background as a singer and voice teacher. She has achieved remarkable results in working with her own students and patients as well as in assisting some of the country’s most respected voice teachers and clinicians. This blend of talents and skills makes Ms. Sonnenberg a formidable asset to the clinical and singing voice worlds.

Visit Lori’s Website

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Ms. Sonnenberg works exclusively with voice and breathing disorders and specializes in helping singers overcome voice injuries, post-operative voice struggles, and problematic technical voice issues. She is a certified member of the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) holding the Certificate of Clinical Competency (CCC-SLP) and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). She is a former Speech Pathologist with Bastian Voice Institute in Downers Grove, IL, and has been teaching private voice since 1998.

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

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Choir Director Probs: No I Am Not Going to Embrace Distance Learning

Instead, I will temporarily place myself inside of a different box as an educator. Believe me, I will be busting out of that box and shredding it ASAP.

I will start off by saying, that OF COURSE, I will claw and scrape to make Distance Learning meaningful for students. But “embracing” sounds too loving. I don’t love this. Do any of you love this?

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Choir Director Probs

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Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Chose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!

Episode 31: Stuck at Home? Try Composing! With Ryan Main

Have you been looking for an excuse to try your hand at composing or creating custom classroom materials for your students? Ryan Main made the switch from teaching to composing full time years ago and has some advice.

Ryan and I had this conversation about a month ago when we were still allowed to have people in our houses… 🙂 It turns out the conversation was very timely, as many of us now have some time on our hands to spend on being creative. In fact, many of us have been forced to create custom materials for our class. Ryan’s story of transitioning from classroom teacher who began to write for his OWN students, to full time composer contains a lot of helpful ideas for those of us having to reinvent the teaching of choral music.

Episode 31

Of course, we all want to go back to normal, but is it possible that we will discover some NEW best practices in the next month that we can carry forward in to the future? I think so!

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Composer, director and clinician, Ryan Main writes music for choirs and bands at all levels.  An award winning composer, his music has been published and performed internationally. His titles have earned multiple Editor’s Choice distinctions from JW Pepper, and have been performed at honor choir events, honor band events, and conferences around the nation, including the Midwest Band Clinic and the American Choral Director’s Association national conference.

Ryan holds a Master of Music in Music Composition and a Master of Music in Music Education from the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Composition from the University of Missouri – Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance.

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Ryan is passionate about quality music education for all. He founded and serves as artistic director of the Youth Chorus of Kansas City, a non-profit organization serving youth of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds throughout the Kansas City metro area. He is also the Director of Music at Village Presbyterian Church on Antioch.

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Ryan is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Missouri Choral Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Watch conversations on YouTube!
Poem from the show intro

Choir Director Probs: It’s Ok to Suck at Being an Online Choir Teacher

Just a short note of encouragement to those of you colleagues putting a lot of pressure on yourself right now. Stop it! Do your best, but stop it. 🙂

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!
Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Chose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!

And don’t forget, the show is now on PATREON! Subscribe and receive Patron only content for as little as 3 bucks a month!

Most Recent Episode

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Episode 30. How to lead the perfect FINAL rehearsal before festival. If COVID 19 lets us have the festival…

And other musings about my plans to take choir online.

This is a strange time to be posting about choir in a Podcast right now. Considering that choirs are being sidelined all around the world. Of course, we might be the worst kind of activity right now. Sitting in crowded rooms deep breathing… But sadly, we might be one of the most NEEDED activities right now. So how do we keep the social interaction of a choral rehearsal alive and well during this public health crisis?

I will also share my thoughts about how I like to run a “final” rehearsal before a big performance.

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

Are your final rehearsals before big events frantic and stressful? Does it affect your singers negatively?

How do we spend our final hour with a group before an important performance where the details really matter? I present this to you, not as the CORRECT approach, but as MY approach philosophically. I truly hope it helps.

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1. It won’t be perfect. So chill. Instill chill.
2. Your stress will be magnified in your singers.
3. The final rehearsal should be focused on SINGER directed final detail fixes as much as possible. Your ideas are present too, but each singer, if invested has a bunch of things they want to fix. Provide a way for them to voice it.
4. If your demeanor is calm, the singers will bring less nerves into the performance. You can show intensity of purpose while also showing a relaxed sense of calm.
5. Don’t overwhelm them with LONG list of things to fix. If it’s the day before, it’s too late… big picture, big issues only.

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If you would like to see the WHOLE one hour rehearsal, I will be posting video and discussion in March on Patreon as the next patron only episode. www.patreon.com/choralosophy

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Episode 29: Part 4 of “Choral Music: A HUMAN Art Form” with Christopher Harris

Passing the Torch of Representation

In this fourth and final installment of the first Choralosophy Miniseries, Dr. Christopher Harris and I discuss the potential influence of representation on the choral profession and the next generation of students. However, the conversations was quite wide ranging allow us to touch on other topics like cultural influences on music, the universality of music and even rehearsal strategies, including the strategies involving music literacy as well as rote learning. I found Dr. Harris’ take on all of these topics to be uniquely explained and articulated in a way that helped me grow during our conversation. Tune in and I think it will help you too!

Episode 29 part 4

Dr. Christopher H. Harris, native of Fort Worth, Texas, is a music educator, conductor, performer, and choral composer. In August 2017 he joined the faculty at Arkansas Tech University as Director of Choral Studies and Assistant Professor of Music. He received his PhD in Choral Music Education from Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL, his Master’s in Choral Conducting from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY, and his Bachelor’s in Music Education from Texas Southern University in Houston, TX. Prior to entering graduate school, Harris enjoyed several years of successful public school teaching in Houston, Texas. His choirs received numerous sweepstakes awards at state UIL competition as well as honors to perform with the Bay Area Chorus and an invitation to perform as a demonstration group at the Texas Choral Directors Association Convention.

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Harris is the founder of the Houston Master Singers and has served as the Assistant Director for the Houston Ebony Opera Guild. He is active as an adjudicator and has presented numerous sessions on choral rehearsal techniques at state and regional conventions. He is a published composer with several accolades including winner of both the Eastern and National Divisions of the 2013 National Association for Music Education Composition Competition, and the Grand Prize Winner of the 2016 Ithaca College Choral Composition Competition. His music has been performed internationally by mixed, men’s, and treble choirs of varied ages and abilities. Most recently Harris was honored through the selection of his music for performance by the 2018 Texas All-State Mixed Choir, the 2018 Southwest American Choral Directors Association Men’s Honor Choir, the 2018 Arkansas Intercollegiate Choir, and the 2019 Arkansas All-State Mixed Choir and New York All-State Mixed Choir.

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As a performer Christopher has performed as guest baritone soloist for concerts with the Texas Southern University Choir, the Houston Ebony Opera Guild, the Houston Symphony Chorus, the 2013 Owego School District’s Production of Faure’s Requiem, with choirs from Florida State University, and the Tallahassee Community Chorus. Harris was guest soloist with the ATU Symphonic Wind Ensemble for their performance at the Southwestern Division of the College Band Directors National Association Convention in Houston, Texas in March 2018.

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Episode 29: Part 3 of “Choral Music: A HUMAN Art Form” with Jazz Rucker

Going on the Equity Journey

In this part of the February series, I invited my friend Jazz Rucker into the studio to discuss a term that has rocketed to the top of education vernacular in recent years. “Equity” is frequently confused with “equality,” but has some very important qualitative differences. Jazz is currently serving as the Equity Chair for the Missouri Music Educators Association, which is a new position in the organization. As a result, Jazz has found himself in a position of inquiry and forging a new path toward an ideal of equity and justice in music education. In this conversation we take a birds eye view of the topic and discuss in depth our thoughts on good ways to get everyone to buy in to this journey.

Episode 29: Part 3

There is so much great space for this discussion. We have to get out of “this way or that way” mentality. I just want people to agree to go on the journey. Whatever that means for you.

Jazz Rucker
www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

Jazz Rucker He recently joined the faculty at Lee’s Summit North High School. He came to LSN from Columbia Public Schools. He began his career as a middle school vocal specialist. He then opened Muriel Williams Battle High School as the Director of the Vocal Arts program which included the launch of the school’s first competitive show choir.  Jazz earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Missouri and is pursuing a Masters of Music Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance. Jazz is grateful for the support of his wife Tara and their two daughters Brynlynn and Berkley.

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Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

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Jazz would like to recommend the following books on the topics discussed today:

Teaching with Respect by Stephen Seick

We Got This by Cornelius Minor

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Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

All Students Must Thrive by Tyrone C. Howard

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Not Light, But Fire by Matthew R. Kay

How to be and Anti-Racist by Ibram Kendi.

Episode 29: Part 2 of “Choral Music: A HUMAN art Form” with Maria Ellis

“Carving out a place for a Girl Conductor.”

Episode 29: Part 2

In this episode Maria Ellis and I discuss the practical aspects of recruiting across cultural lines for our choirs through the telling of her own story. Maria grew up not knowing that a career as a conductor was possible for her, but through a big dream and a big change of life direction, she began her music degree after 12 years in the business world. Now doing what she loves, she reflects back on the journey and offers us great advice in helping to make sure our students never grow up seeing themselves as limited.

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Maria Ellis
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Maria in her own words, “

Music Educator, Choral Conductor,  with over 20 years of choral music experience.  I have been called a Master Educator and a Force of Nature by Dr. Jim Henry, University of Missouri- St. Louis.  I hold a B.M. in Music Education emphasis on Voice (K-12 Certified) Degree from the University of Missouri- St. Louis. 

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  I have served as the Arts and Administrative Fellow for The St. Louis Symphony and I currently serve as the Community Engagement Manager for The St. Louis Children’s Choirs.  I am the Founding Conductor of The Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries’ newly formed City of Music All-Star Chorus. 

http://www.girlconductor.com

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Episode 29: Part 1 of “Choral Music: A HUMAN art Form”

“Why does representation in Choral music MATTER?”

Part 1 of Choral Music: a Human Art Form
Listen now here or on your favorite podcast app!
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Stay tuned throughout February for my first ever Podcast mini series! Choral Music: A Human Art Form


Part 1: Why does representation in Choral Music matter?
In this first installment, I address the question “Why Does Representation in Classical Music matter?” (or choral music) My answer to this question, and subsequent defense of that answer got me kicked off of a Facebook page. So in this episode, I tell that story. It’s a doozy. My answer was, “Representation matters because music is for ALL. From all to all. It can and should transcend innate characteristics.” It turns out this put me at odds with the moderator who had a “music is not universal” perspective which I have noticed has become more prevalent in the last five years or so. I have a lot problems with this trend though I see it as well-meaning one.

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So, I decided to line up a series of episodes and guests during Black History Month in order to advance the conversations around representation, equity, equality and inclusion of ALL in the most HUMAN of all art forms: Choral Music.

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Episode 28: Can Pitches be Perfect?

This is a FASCINATING discussion with Donald Brinegar, author of the recently published “Pitch Perfect: a Theory and Practice of Choral Intonation.” Donald and I discuss the sometimes misunderstood concepts related to intonation and what makes something “in tune” or “out of tune.” Is it possible that we our education related to this topic has been lacking? I think it has been lacking for many, which is why I think this episode is so important. The conversation runs mostly along two tracks. The common misconceptions surrounding the mathematics of intonation as well as practical ways to bring concepts of intonation into rehearsals with singers of all levels.

Episode 28

Find “Pitch Perfect” by Donald Brinegar on Amazon! or on his website.

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Donald Brinegar is a conductor, tenor soloist, voice instructor, educator and master class clinician. Professor Emeritus of Music at Pasadena City College, Brinegar directed the Choral Studies program at PCC for 36 years. Brinegar also conducts the Donald Brinegar Singers, a community choral ensemble in Pasadena, California, Director of Choruses for the Pasadena Symphony and POPS, . During the summers he co-directs the Cal State Los Angeles masters program in choral conducting.

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!
Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Chose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!

He has an extensive background as a performer both as a soloist and a conductor having performed throughout the United States, Japan, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and Canada. Brinegar has performed as a featured soloist with Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling, Roger Wagner, Gerard Swartz, Murray Sidlin, Howard Swan, Charles Hirt, Rod Eichenberger, William Hall, Marvin Hamlisch, Michael Feinstein, and with numerous music festivals, orchestras and opera associations. He has collaborated artistically with Henry Mancini, Barry Manilow, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, John Delancie, and the Chieftains. His choirs have given five performances for the American Choral Directors Association Conferences, California Music Educators (MENC), Choral Conductors Guild, and have performed in Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Music Center, and the Hollywood Bowl. In the Fall of 2017,  Brinegar was recognized by the Pasadena Symphony as their Artist of the Year.

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The Donald Brinegar Singers, choral ensemble, was founded in the Fall of 1997 as an ensemble of former students and colleagues of Professor Brinegar. Their first concert was given in November of 1997. Their second performance was the premiere of Lauridsen’s organ edition of Lux Aeterna, accompanied by organist James Buonemani. The ensemble presented music of the holiday season and was then invited to perform at The ACDA Western Division Convention in Los Angeles, 2000. Shortly following the convention appearance, the Singers recorded Ubi caritas et amor and Madrigali Six Fire-Songs: for Lauridsen’s compact disc, Northwest Journey. The Singers performed the Chansons des Roses with Lauridsen accompanying at the San Antonio, Texas, ACDA National Conference. The Singers followed with two more performances of Lauridsen’s music in Las Vegas, 2004 ACDA Western Division Conference, and the premiere of Nocturnes (The Brock Memorial Convention Commission) 2005, Los Angeles ACDA National Convention.

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Episode 27: Reboot, Restart and Revitalize

Seven important concepts to master to keep your choir moving forward for an ENTIRE academic year.

Sometimes we fall into ruts. Sometimes the singers do… Ultimately, both scenarios are bad and are OUR fault as the director. I have had wildly successful school years and seasons with churches and pro choir. And some that fell flat… In this episode I draw on that experience to come up with list of winning strategies synthesized from my best years on the podium. The list below is NOT ranked in any type of way.

Episode 27
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  1. Keep sight reading every day. If they’re bored, then you’re boring them.
  2. Raise the bar. Once a choir thinks they are “good” they will stop working.
  3. Group building is not just for the first day of school. Do more.
  4. Set goals. Communicate them publicly. Don’t assume they know why.
  5. Create engaging rehearsals by BEING engaging. (Hint: learn to be yourself!)
  6. Interpret text. A lot. If you don’t know how, then ask somebody.
  7. If the morale or rehearsal etiquette is not what you want it to be, it’s time to shock the system.
Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Chose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!
Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Tune in to this episode to hear the full explanations of each concept!

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The Top Choralosophy Topics of 2019

The Choralosophy Podcast is almost one year old as 2019 comes to a close. I launched the website in mid January of 2019, began production and released 4 episodes in mid February. So, I think now is as good a time as any to look back on the top episodes of 2019, or YEAR ONE of what I hope is many for the Choralosophy podcast. As you look back at the most downloaded, streamed, shared and discussed episodes of 2019, be thinking about guests and topics you would like to see me hit in 2020! I am making more plans for choral director mental health, literacy and voice science episodes now, but I would love to hear your ideas too! Special thanks to all of the show guests who make each episode special!

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Most Downloaded Episodes of 2019

# 5 Episode 1: Health, Happiness and Balance for the Choral Director

I am actually really happy this episode, the very FIRST thing I recorded is still getting streamed as new folks come to the show. It has a lot of helpful things in it in terms of building a healthy framework for approaching our job. But more than that, I think it helps listeners to the show get to know the host and where I am coming from. Maybe my motivations behind making this podcast. Highlights include my personal philosophy on setting and maintaining my values hierarchy as well as a segment with my better half, Beth where she keeps me honest. 🙂

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Beth and Chris Munce

#4 Episode 17: Beyond Elijah Rock with Dr. Marques Garrett

In this episode, Dr. Garrett and I discuss the importance of the music of black composers that do NOT fit into categories of idiomatically black music like Gospel, Jazz and Spirituals. And, as many of episodes on this show tend to do, the conversation drifts into the personal and social ways that race affects the interactions of humans and choral directors specifically. I had a lot of fun recording this show and I learned a lot. Conversations like this one can really help us frame the way we learn about and discuss important topics like this.

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Dr. Marquess Garrett

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

I mentioned when I published this one that it might be the most PHILOSOPHICALLY important episode on the show so far. And four month later, I still think that is true. This topic is a passion of mine for a couple of reasons. First, I think the concept outlined in the episode known as “Anti-Fragility” WORKS when used as a guiding principle in the classroom. (It is not the same as “grit” or “resilience” which are fine concepts or buzzwords, but paint an incomplete picture of the psychology at play.) If you have not listened to this episode yet, be sure to do so before your choirs come back from break!

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!
Eric William Barnum

#2 Episode 18: Ripping Off the Bandaid

Why you CAN and SHOULD stop playing notes and making rehearsal tracks for student singers.

Got a lot of blow back from this one… lol. The vast majority was positive. Teachers from everywhere reached out with messages of appreciation for the content and processes outlined in this episode. But, there were a decent number who may have felt, let’s say, challenged by the claims. Looking back now, I still feel good about saying that in ALMOST every case, teaching our singers to be literate, independent and self sufficient musicians is the greatest gift we can give them as teachers. Are there certain choral situations where this won’t work? Like honor choirs, some community choirs or church choirs? Sure. I get that there are exceptions. I do believe that young singers can have the band-aid ripped off on day one and never need the keyboard.

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#1 Episode 26: The Art (or Science?) of Teaching the Vowel with Amanda Quist

Shared over 60 times on Facebook, downloaded or streamed over 3000 times. Each new show launch needs one “choiral” post in its first year, and I think this was it. I think the topic is really important as we move the academic content of choral music fully into the 21st Century. We will need to be literate in the science of what we teach. It is my opinion that being “only” an artist will not qualify us to stay relevant in the education community in the next 100 years. (hmmm, maybe that’s an episode…) Discussions like this are a great start! More to come!

Dr. Amanda Quist

Honorable mention episodes that also cracked into the 2k download club in the first year: Episode 21: Anyone Can Get an A in Choir and Episode 20: Choral Appropriation? or Cultural Sharing with Brandon Boyd

Episode 26: The Art (or Science?) of Teaching the Vowel with Amanda Quist

In this episode I asked the expert, Dr. Amanda Quist to chat with me about teaching the concept of vowels, resonance and intonation. Is it possible to measure a vowel scientifically? Or is the purity of a vowel subject to the opinion of the conductor? We discuss what I believe to be a new frontier in choral classrooms by using technology to teach students how visualize and then hear their own resonant singing. One important topic we discuss is the unfortunate practice of “Choral Band-Aid” vowels. I define this as avoiding the teaching of proper anatomy of vowel structures in order to get to a blended sound more quickly.

Dr. Amanda Quist
Episode 26

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Dr. Amanda Quist is the Director of Choral Activities for the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. Dr. Quist was previously Chair of the Conducting, Organ, and Sacred Music Department, and Associate Professor of Conducting at Westminster Choir College. Dr. Quist is the recipient of Westminster Choir College of Rider University’s 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award, the 2018 Mazzotti Award for Women’s Leadership, and she is the Carol F. Spinelli Conducting Fellow. Dr. Quist was recently invited to be a conductor for the ACDA International Exchange Program, clinician for the 2019 ASPIRE International Youth Music Festival in Australia, juror for the Penabur International Choir Festival in Indonesia, and clinician for the Interkultur International Choral Festival. Westminster Kantorei, winner of the 2018 American Prize in College & University Choral Performance, has performed at the American Choral Directors Association’s (ACDA) Eastern Division Conference, Boston Early Music Festival, American Handel Festival, and Interkultur.

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

The choir recently released its first commercial recording, Lumina, distributed by Naxos, which was hailed by infodad.com as a recording “sung with great beauty of sound and excellent articulation … a CD to cherish” and by National Medal of Arts recipient Morten Lauridsen as “superb, a splendid recording, highly recommended.” During her work with the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Dr. Quist collaborated with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Dresden Staatskapelle. She also serves as Chorus Master for the Philadelphia Orchestra Chorus. Dr. Quist’s role as Chorus Master for the premiere of Toshio Hosokawa’s opera Matsukaze at the Spoleto Festival USA and the Lincoln Center Festival garnered praise from The New York Times and Charleston City Paper, who described the chorus’ performance as “beautifully prepared, gripping,” a “gossamer web of voices” and “bridging the vocal and instrumental textures with perfect intonation.”

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Dr. Quist was Director of the Westminster Vocal Institute, a highly regarded summer program for talented high school students, and Director of Choral Activities at San José State University. Her other honors include the James Mulholland National Choral Award and the Audrey Davidson Early Music Award. An active guest conductor and clinician, her recent and upcoming appearances include the NAfME All National Honor Choir, All State High School & Collegiate Honor Choirs throughout the country, and serving as a headliner for music conferences in the US and abroad. Dr. Quist is the National ACDA Repertoire & Resources Coordinator for Collegiate Activities, and her choral series is published through Walton Music.

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https://choral.frost.miami.edu

Frost School Choral Studies on Facebook

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The pink trombone. Try it!

Episode 25: Loving by Letting Go with Jaclyn Johnson

In this episode, Beth and I chat with our mutual friend, Dr. Jaclyn Johnson about her choice to step away from the choral classroom and her University teaching post to go to Brazil to teach Yoga. We discuss her goals in embarking on this adventure, and how she is using this time away to reboot her focus as an educator and conductor. I think you will enjoy this chat and the fascinating story behind it! Other topics include mindfulness, and cultural norms dealing with physical touch and materialism.

Described as an energetic firecracker, Dr. Jaclyn Normandie-Johnson’s goal is to share her passion for life and music around the world. Her current areas of research include Latin American music, vocal pedagogy, and music-incorporated yogic philosophy. Johnson is a prolific lecturer, honor choir conductor, and clinician around the country. An avid Wellness Life Coach, she spent the last 6 months living in India and Brazil practicing and teaching yoga. 

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!


Johnson earned her doctoral degree from the University of Michigan, and has had a thriving career as a high school, university, and church choral educator. Ensembles under her direction received numerous honors, including performances at the American Choral Directors Association National Conference, Western Division Conference, and Central Division Conference. 

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

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Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Chose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!

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Don’t forget, you can WATCH the episodes now you Youtube!

Episode 24: Thanksgiving-Finding your “Why” by Practicing Gratitude

It’s a FriendsGiving!

“We live in a time where directing choirs for a living is possible. In the broad scope of human history, THAT alone is an amazing luxury.”

Choralosophy.com
Episode 24
Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Chose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!
www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

I believe that an underlying philosophy is a necessity for each successful professional. Some call this a “why statement.” Have you found your “why?” Is it the same as it was 10 years ago? In this episode, I share my thoughts about practicing gratitude as a life principle, as well as an exercise in class. In order to illustrate this, I enlisted the help of some friends. In addition to my thoughts on gratitude, you will hear “why” statements from Dr. Ryan Board of Pepperdine, Mark Lawley of Willard High School, Robert T. Gibson of Reed Academy, Dr. Giselle Wyers of U of Washington, Dr. Jennaya Robison of Luther College and Ryan Main, composer and director of the Kansas City Youth Choir program and Dr. Andrew Crane of BYU. Special thanks to each of them for sharing with us!

Composer Exposer: Paul John Rudoi
Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

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Bonus: Teaching Vowels, Blend and Resonance with 21st Century Tools

I am beyond excited to show you an amazing tool that I use to introduce my students to the concept of vowels, resonance and formants! And, by extension, the concept of blend. This is a passion for me in the classroom. I love watching the students eyes and ears come alive to the power of an overtone rich sound. To that end, we provide visual aid for them to understand if they are doing it correctly. One thing we know about good teaching is that not all students learn in the same way. What if the visual learners could SEE if their vowel is correct or if the choir is tune?!

Bonus episode!

No more arguing with kids about their “O” vowel! You don’t have to be the bad guy anymore!

When singers can SEE if they are in tune, if they can SEE that they are singing the right vowel, it creates an amazing path toward being able to HEAR it in context.

Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Chose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!

Episode 23: Words, Music and Art with Charles Anthony Silvestri

In this episode, I have the privilege of chatting with Charles Anthony Silvestri, noted lyricist, about the artistic magic that is possible when music and text are fused. He believes that this intersection is what makes our beloved art form special, and I whole heartedly agree. I pick his brain about his process from idea to final project for a new piece. We talk about his new endeavors as a composer of notes and not just lyrics, as well as some witty banter about Eric Whitacre’s early years and his role in bringing the choral art form into the 21st Century.

Charles Anthony Silvestri
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Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Poet, composer, and speaker Charles Anthony Silvestri has worked with composers from all over the world to create texts tailor-made for their commissions and specific artistic needs. He has provided custom poetry, opera libretti, program notes and other writing for composers including Eric Whitacre, Ola Gjeilo, Kim Arnesen, and Dan Forrest, and for ensembles ranging from high schools to the Houston Grand Opera, from the King’s Singers to the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, from Westminster Choir College to Westminster Abbey. As a clinician Silvestri speaks to choirs, classes, and concert audiences about his works, the creative process, the marriage of words and music, and about his collaborative relationships with composers. He is the author of three books, including A Silver Thread (GIA 2019), a retrospective of almost 20 years of his lyric poetry. He teaches Ancient and Medieval History at Washburn University, and lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

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Find more about Tony as well as links to his published poetry books mentioned on the website at:

www.charlesanthonysilvestri.com

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Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Find Tony on Social media @CharlesAnthonySilvestri on Facebook @tony_silvestri on Instagram @TonySilvestri on Twitter

Episode 22: The VOCES8 Philosophy with Paul Smith

For this episode, I sat down (twice… long story) with Paul Smith, co-founder and CEO of VOCES8 and the VOCES8 Foundation while he was in Kansas City. We had a lot of great conversations about the state of music education in the U.K. and the U.S. and the role of VOCES8 and other performing ensembles in sparking a passion for choral music in young singers. The talk ranged from discussions of disparity of music education quality regionally all the way to the interesting differences between the preferred “British” choral sound vs. that preferred by most American Choral Directors.

Paul Smith- CEO of VOCES8
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Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Paul Smith is an innovative and creative performer, conductor, composer, an inspirational educator and an empowering public speaker. As co-founder of VOCES8, author of The VOCES8 Method and CEO of the VOCES8 Foundation, his annual programme sees him working globally in prestigious concert venues, festivals, schools and universities.

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Paul is passionate about the impact singing and the arts can have in the widest possible context – from academic improvement to social skills and building more cohesive communities. He uses that passion to design and deliver unique, inclusive and uplifting performance projects.

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In the 2019-20 season, highlights will include: leading the ‘Singing Brussels’ massed choir project with BOZAR in Brussels; touringhis new album and concert programme titled ‘Reflections’; a series of concerts and workshops at the VOCES8 Centre in the City of London; leading his family concert ‘The Winter House’ programme with the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia; conducting the Orchestra of Avignon in a series of concerts for families and young people; conducting the Orchestre D’Auvergne in a new concert for students; leading the Israeli Vocal Ensemble for a series of concerts in Israel; leading a series of concerts across France with VOCES8 and Apollo5, supported by Vivendi,and concerts and workshops in Germany, the USA, New Zealand and Japan. Paul will be continuing his work at the University of Cambridge in 2019.

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

The VOCES8 Method, written by Paul, is published by Edition Peters in four languages, and is now being used in thousands of schools in numerous countries around the world. The Method is designed to link specific music-making activities with academic improvement in numeracy, literacy and linguistics.

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https://youtu.be/qwyqJoTmPCM
 – Paul’s new setting of the Nunc Dimittis. There’s a link to the sheet music on the video blurb.

https://youtu.be/kSZubXsjUmI – New arrangement of the Edo Lullaby, a Japanese traditional song. Again, sheet music links are in the video blurb.

Our new VOCES8 digital release:https://music.apple.com/us/album/after-silence-i-remembrance/1484535596

The full album referenced in podcast, Reflectionshttps://music.apple.com/us/album/reflections/1467740424

Episode 21: Anyone can get an A in Choir…

Is choir a real class? Can the group goals be balanced with the individual academic accountability that we owe to our students? I think the answer to all of this is yes. You can grade your students INDIVIDUALLY in sight singing to ensure that no one falls through the cracks, and stick to a rehearsal rubric that can nearly eliminate classroom management issues. The secret? It’s how we grade.

Episode 21
Anyone can get an A in choir…

Let’s talk about assessment. One of the biggest challenges as I see it facing our field is the fact that many in education don’t see our content as an academic subject. How many of you are governed under the “Activities” umbrella in your school or state? Yet, you can get a PhD in Choral Music, but you can’t get a PhD in Football…Choral music is an academic field of study for good reason. It is rigorous. It requires research, practice, and individual skill development to learn it and understand it. I believe that one of the reasons our Education colleagues don’t see us as a subject on par with theirs is the way that we grade. They see our students getting almost all A’s with very little individual accountability due to the “group” nature of our performance goals. 

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

In this episode, I will walk through some systems that have worked well for me to balance the group performance goals with the educational IMPERATIVE to hold each student accountable as well as to hold ME accountable to teach each student.

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

We will talk about daily rehearsal grades and why I DON’T grade on participation. We will talk about grading kids on the QUALITY of their singing both alone and in small groups. We will also talk about moving past “showing up is enough” at concerts. 

By increasing the rigor, and accountability in your classroom you may experience a backlash at first. It will take time to adjust and you might lose a student who doesn’t want to do the work. However, if you frame it the right way, they will give it a chance. In my experience, this type of rigor only makes kids feel more pride in their work in our classroom. The reality is that a student who is riding on the coattails of stronger singers in the section, but still getting an A, KNOWS they are not earning that grade. Humans will usually accept the unearned, but it takes a toll on the self esteem. 

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Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

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Episode 20: Choral Appropriation? Or Cultural Sharing with Brandon Boyd

One of the hottest topics of discussion online in the last few weeks in the choral world has been the topic of cultural appropriation. Who should be allowed to perform, compose or arrange which kinds of music? Where do we draw the line? Does intent matter? What should a conductor do if they are worried about how a performance will be interpreted? In our chat, Brandon and I make no attempt to define what is or is not appropriation. That is not our focus. Instead we center on the WAY we should communicate about this important topic as professionals and as fellow human beings.

Brandon Boyd
Ep 20: Choral Appropriation?
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Dr. Brandon A. Boyd is the Assistant Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at the University of Missouri, where he conducts the Concert Chorale Men’s Ensemble. In addition to his conducting duties, he teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting, choral arranging, and choral music education. He appears regularly as a conductor, clinician, composer in residence, collaborative pianist, and lecturer for conferences, conventions, collegiate choirs, church choirs, choral festivals, and workshops.

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

As a proponent of choral singing to help build community, his research interests include organizing choirs for the homeless, social and physical effects of choral singing on seniors and field experience for music therapy and choral music education students. For three years, he co-directed three community choral partnerships: The Tallahassee Senior Choir, RAA Middle School Chorus, and the MTC Women’s Prison Glee Club. He was recently invited by the Santa Fe Desert Chorale to serve as the composer in residence and community engagement lead for their Giving Voice to the Voiceless program. The Chorale premiered his commissioned work, “I Search,” during their 35th Anniversary Summer Justice Concert series where he served as assistant conductor, pre-concert lecturer, and guest pianist.  Boyd used a text written by “Poet V,” a participant in the Voces de Libertad program at the Santa Fe County Youth Development Center, to set to music. His duties also included organizing and conducting the Interfaith Community Shelter Street Choir, creating a safe place for men, women, and children experiencing homelessness within the Santa Fe community.

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

An active composer and arranger, his music is sung regularly by ensembles throughout the United States and abroad. In 2018, the “Brandon Boyd Choral Series” was launched as a division of Hinshaw Publishing Company. His music also appears in GIA Publications’ catalog.

He holds a Ph.D. in choral music education and M.M. in choral conducting from Florida State University, where he studied with Drs. André J. Thomas and Judy S. Bowers. He earned a B.S. in music education (emphasis in piano) from Tennessee State University. He is a proud member of the American Choral Directors’ Association (ACDA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM), American Guild of Organists (AGO), and Chorus America.

October Edition!

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

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.

Episode 19: Eric Barnum

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Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

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.

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

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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Coddling of the American Mind Audiobook

Episode 18: Ripping off the bandaid

Why you CAN and SHOULD stop playing notes and making tracks for kids tomorrow.

The sight reading episode
www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

In this episode I will take you through a topic that I believe should be CENTRAL to all of our philosophies as choral educators. Should I be the high priest in my classroom or the shepherd? The high priest is the conduit that the masses must pass through in order obtain musical knowledge. Put plainly, the student cannot learn the song without your help. Or do you want to be the shepherd who guides the class to the source of the information and then steps back to allow them to drink it in?

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Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

This really is NOT an elitist position. I know many will list the reasons it can’t work in their classrooms. I believe it can happen ANYWHERE at any level. If it CAN happen, then I think it is our job as educators to put a system in place for our students. This episode outlines my system. I hope you find something you like!

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Be sure to head to the Patreon Page for the FULL powerpoint for this episode.

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Episode 17: Beyond Elijah Rock with Dr. Marques Garrett

In this episode Marques and I discuss importance of the music of black composers that do NOT fit into categories of idiomatically black music like Gospel, Jazz and Spirituals. The conversation ranges from the social aspects at play in spreading the word about this music, all the way to what it’s like to be minority seeking to be seen. Since composers like R. Nathaniel Dett, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and others are gone, Dr. Garrett is fighting for their music to be seen AND heard. You find the Rep list referenced in episode here!

You can now find Dr. Garrett’s FULL and ever evolving list here!

Episode 17: Marques Garrett

Marques L. A. Garrett

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MUSIC IN CHORAL ACTIVITIES 
AREA OF FOCUS: CONDUCTING, VOICE PhD, Music Education, Florida State University
MM, Choral Conducting, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
BA, Music, Hampton University

A Virginia native, Marques L. A. Garrett is an Assistant Professor of Music in Choral Activities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the Glenn Korff School of Music. Before earning his PhD in Music Education (Choral Conducting) at Florida State University, he was the Director of Choral Activities at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, he holds an MM from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA from Hampton University.

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An active conductor, Dr. Garrett has served as a guest conductor or clinician with several church, community, and collegiate choirs throughout the country and served as the festival conductor for the Harry T. Burleigh Spirituals Festival at Tennessee State University. At the Hampton University Choir Directors’ Organists’ Guild Workshop, he has served as the basic conducting workshop clinician. His formal conducting studies were with Dr. Andre J. Thomas, Dr. Carole J. Ott, Dr. Carl G. Harris, Jr., and Mr. Royzell Dillard.



A versatile voice that performs both as a baritone and countertenor, Dr. Garrett has sung with several community, church, and university groups as both a chorister and soloist. He was the baritone soloist for the Germantown Concert Chorus’s performance of Haydn’s Missa in Augustiis. Recently, his premiere as a countertenor in Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo served as the work’s European premiere in Limerick, Ireland. Additionally, he performed the role of Lil Lud in Bernstein’s White House Cantata with the Tallahassee Community Chorus.

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!


Dr. Garrett is an avid composer of choral and solo-vocal music whose compositions have been performed to acclaim by high school all-state, collegiate, and professional choirs including the Santa Fe Desert Chorale and Seraphic Fire. His music can be heard on recordings by the National Lutheran Choir, Winston-Salem State University Choir, and Missouri State University Concert Chorale. GIA Publications, Walton Music, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Hinshaw Music, G. Schirmer, Beckenhorst Press, and Carus-Verlag have published several of his compositions.

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!


Dr. Garrett holds membership in the American Choral Directors Association; American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers; National Association for Music Education; National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc.; National Collegiate Choral Organization; and Pi Kappa Lambda.

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Episode 16: Growing the Choral Pie with Beth Philemon

In this episode, I had a blast chatting with Beth Philemon of the Choir Baton Podcast and Instagram Takeover account about MANY concepts related to the business of the choral profession. We hit scarcity mentality and the fixed pie fallacy of economics all the way to being more mindful of the “products” we create with our students. I am also excited to feature the first COMPOSER EXPOSER episode brought to you by Graphite Publishing, featuring composer and cofounder Tim Takach. I hope you enjoy.

Episode 16
Beth Philemon- Choir Baton
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
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Composer Exposer with Tim Takach

Beth Philemon is National Board Certified Teacher and choral conductor based out of Raleigh, NC, where she is currently pursuing her Masters in Business Administration with a focus in marketing and entrepreneurship from North Carolina State University. After ten years of teaching choir in public schools, she found a personal and institutional gap in the understanding of how to run school choir programs like the businesses they are and she hopes to educate others how to effectively promote, manage, and build choral music programs through the art of business. Conversely, Beth believes the world of business has much to learn from choral singing and she is passionate about delivering opportunities for community involvement in choir.    

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Beth earned an undergraduate music education degree from Trevecca University in Nashville, TN, and a master’s degree in choral conducting from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ. At NAU, Beth conducted the Shrine of the Ages choir, Women’s Chorale, Chamber Singers, Northern Voices vocal jazz ensemble, and opera scenes. Beth was Assistant Director for the 100+ member Flagstaff Master Chorale and Arizona Mountain Chorale and currently serves on the choral music faculty of the North Carolina Governor’s School. Beth taught middle and high school choral music in Tennessee and North Carolina (and several other courses along the way like musical theater, fundamentals of music, show choir).

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In 2018 she founded CHOIR BATON, a collaborative online community about life and choir. CHOIR BATON seeks to engage others through social media takeovers, the CHOIR BATON podcast, and online resources, under the mission of #morepeoplesinging. CHOIR BATON sends weekly newsletters to the community and information about how to sign-up for an Instagram takeover. Sign up at bit.ly/ChoirBatonEmail or follow along @choirbaton on Instagram. While on Facebook and Twitter, Beth’s main love is Instagram where you can see what shenanigans she’s up to @bethphilemon. And because she’s in business school, know you can also connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/bethphilemon.

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Episode 15: Making Your Choir Thoughts Public with Adam Paltrowitz

I have noticed in the 6 months I have been doing this show that there is a hunger for questioning and exploring choral and educational topics at a philosophical level, about asking why, offering answers, and dialogue. We don’t get much of this at conventions, we get presentations. We get it a bit in college, but they are mostly lectures and prescriptions. So I invited Adam Paltrowitz of the Choral Clarity Blog to join me in discussing this brave new world and his experience in the choral blogosphere.

Making Your Choir Thoughts Public with Adam Paltrowitz

Adam Paltrowitz is a master educator, composer, conductor, and clinician. 

During his 21-year tenure as the Director of Choral Activities at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School in New York, his groups have toured throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States.

What makes his choirs unique is his belief that anyone can sing; as a result, his ensembles are always self-selected, while maintaining the highest standard of musical excellence. He also has pioneered a philosophy that every student is a soloist. All students in his choirs continually learn and perform solo repertoire in various languages. Adam’s choral program has also gained great acclaim for the cultivation of eight student-run a-cappella ensembles; some of these ensembles have performed on national and local television programs.

Adam earned his B.S. in music education from New York University, M.A. in vocal pedagogy from Columbia University – Teacher’s College, and Ed.M. choral conducting from Columbia University – Teacher’s College.

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His weekly blog, Choral Clarity, has gained a large international audience as it provides a unique perspective to both the role of the choral director and the empowerment of all students.

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Be sure to check out all of Adam’s great work at www.choralclarity.com and on the Choral Clarity facebook page.

Adam resides in Manhattan with his wife, Blair Goldberg, a professional Broadway actress, and their daughter, Lyla, and son, Nolan.

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Episode 14: The Divide Between Pro and Amateur Choirs with William Baker and Patrick Neas.

In this episode, I joined William Baker and Patrick Neas of the Choral Conversations Podcast to discuss a variety of topics including the distinctions and practices that set the amateur choral ensemble apart from the professional ensemble, and in what ways they are similar. Is a professional ensemble “better” than an amateur one? Are they so structurally different, that a comparison is useless? We discuss programming for large and small ensemble, the development of a sound ideal, as well as the business aspects of running a choral organization. Dr. Baker is the founder of the William Baker Choral Foundation . Patrick Neas is an arts contributor to the Kansas City Star and KC Arts Beat and serves as the moderator for the conversation.

Choral Conversations meets Choralosophy!
Dr. William O. Baker

For the Festival Singers recordings you heard in the episode. You can find the Kantorei KC recordings on their site, or on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon or most music streaming sites.

William O. Baker has earned a reputation as an entrepreneurial conductor and creator of choral organizations.  He founded the DeKalb Choral Guild in 1978 at the age of 19.  By the age of 21 he had conducted Brahms’ German Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Schubert’s Mass in G, and Handel’s Messiah with professional orchestras, launching a career of ambitious artistic leadership that now has extended over forty years.  In the last few years he has conducted the St. Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor of Bach, and the Sacred Service of Ernest Bloch, at the time of the performances the only Kansas City-based conductor to lead the works in over a quarter-century.

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Baker created the Atlanta-based William Baker Festival Singers, originally called Gwinnett Festival Singers, in 1985, and established the William Baker Choral Foundation in 1990.  In 1998 the conductor moved his home to the Kansas City area and created the Kansas City ensemble of the Festival Singers. The Choral Foundation has created over a dozen ensembles based in three states, involving hundreds of singers during the course of any year. His choirs have performed for numerous conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education, and the American Guild of Organists, in addition to the 1982 World’s Fair and music festivals in the United States and Great Britain, most notably appearances before capacity audiences at Charleston’s Piccolo Spoleto Festival since 1989.  He has led the Festival Singers in the production of 25 nationally released recordings and in television and radio appearances across the nation, including The First Art, The Sounds of Majesty and National Public Radio’s Performance Today.

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

 No stranger to the orchestral podium, William Baker created the Mountain Park Wind Symphony in 1994 and the Kansas City Wind Symphony in 1998.  Recent orchestral performances have included Vivaldi: The Seasons, Sibelius: Finlandia, Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, Bizet: Suite L’Arlesienne, Haydn: Symphony No. 59 “Fire,” Mozart: Symphony No. 41,Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 and Symphony No. 9. Choral collaborations have included projects with members of the Kansas City Symphony, the Kazanetti Chamber Orchestra, the Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, the Baton Rouge Symphony, the Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and, in recent years, the Atlanta-based Orchestra of the American Heartland.

An Atlanta native, Dr. Baker studied voice and choral conducting at Mercer University and the University of Georgia before culminating his formal education at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago where he earned the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting.  His accomplishments have been recognized in his home states through proclamations by two Georgia Governors, Joe Frank Harris and Sonny Purdue, by Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer, by United States Congressman Phil Gingrey, by proclamations from the cities of Kansas City, MO and Roeland Park, KS, by the Johnson County (KS) Commission, and by a 2015 proclamation by the State of Georgia House of Representatives.  In 2012 he was honored for his contributions to the cultural life of his hometown by the Pro-Mozart Society of Atlanta.  In 2015 he was named Conductor Emeritus of The DeKalb Choral Guild.

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Special Edition: Summer Institute Panel Discussion

Bonus Episode!

A special JOINT production of the Kantorei Summer Choral Institute and the Choralosophy podcast that took place on June 19th, 2019. Each of the guests were in Kansas City working with the 120 regional young singers that participate in a one of a kind week of intense rehearsals, collaboration with adult professional educators and performers, and finally, a performance in beautiful acoustical venues. While they were here, I thought it would be great to sit them all down and pick their brains. This special episode features Dr. Allen Hightower of the University of North Texas, Dr. Alyssa Cossey of the University of Arizona and Robert T. Gibson of Reed Academy in Springfield, MO.

I moderated a broad range of topics from the stories that led each of the guests to where they are today, their philosophies on programming, representation, tone building and much more. As always, if you have anything to add after listening, be sure to head over to FB, and join the Choralosophers private group and share your thoughts. You can also find the show on Twitter and Instagram! I hope you enjoy!

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Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Episode 13: Choral Snobbery? with Chris Maunu

In this episode I dig deeper with Chris Maunu on his “choiral” blog called “Choral Elitism” which has been a frequent conversation starter on choral conversation pages. I identified with his article very deeply, and felt the need to talk to Chris more about this topic. My hope is to use this show to help the audience gain a deeper understanding of the cultural change that is possible in our profession. Join us for an in depth discussion on the pressures we put on each other as choral musicians, conductors and teachers.

Episode 13: Choral Snobbery? with Chris Maunu
Chris Maunu- Arvada West HS

The question is How do we make our profession a reflection of the choirs we trying to build? NOT, how do we make our choirs a reflection of us.

Chris Munce

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Chris Maunu is a conductor, educator, and professional singer based in the Denver-Metro area. GRAMMY® nominated conductor Maunu is the Director of Choral Activities at Arvada West High School. A passionate teacher, Mr. Maunu was 1 of 10 Finalists for the 2018 Music Educator Award at the 60th GRAMMY® Awards. He was also 1 of 10 educators named as a 2019 CMA® National Music Teacher of Excellence. Since starting his career at Arvada West in 2006, the department has nearly tripled in size and has become one of the premiere high school choir programs in the United States. Choirs under Maunu’s direction have performed at 10 state and national music conferences, including Arvada West’s Vocal Showcase being one of two high school mixed concert choirs in the nation invited to perform at the 2017 National American Choral Directors Association Conference in Minneapolis. They were also recent winners of the prestigious American Prize in Choral Performance and have been invited by audition to perform in the Champions Competition of the 2020 World Choir Games (the 9th American high School choir in history to receive this invitation).

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Mr. Maunu received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Northern State University where he delivered the 2018 Commencement Address. He was also a recipient of a Commendation from the 71st House of Representatives for his work as a choral educator.

Be sure to visit Chris’ great blog! https://choirthoughts.wordpress.com/

Christopher has enjoyed serving as a clinician for all state and honor choirs in numerous states, including a recent appointment to the faculty of Guest Artists at Manhattan Concert Productions (MCP) in New York City. An active member of NAfME, CMEA, and ACDA, Christopher currently serves as the High School Chair for Colorado ACDA and is a past member of the CMEA Vocal Music Council.

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

Mr. Maunu is also co-founder and artistic director of Colorado’s Anima Chamber Ensemble, an elite 16-voice ensemble of choral professionals. New to the Rocky Mountain choral scene, Anima has enjoyed plenty of time on the classical music airwaves and packs the halls with enthusiastic concert goers of all ages. In addition, Maunu has sung professionally with various ensembles. Such groups include St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, Evans Choir, and Colorado Bach Ensemble. He has also performed with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Central City Opera, and Opera Omaha.

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Christopher holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Bachelor of Music Education from Northern State University in South Dakota. When not on the podium or singing in an ensemble, Christopher enjoys sharing his life with his beautiful wife Aleisha, and their pets, Paavo and Ligeti.

Episode 12: Does the Performance Goal of Most Choirs Lead to Exclusion? With John Perkins

Episode 12

In this episode we parse our way through a Choral Journal Article from December of 2018 called “What is Written on our Choral Welcome Mats” with the author, Dr. John Perkins of Butler University. In the article, Dr. Perkins seeks to tie the tendency toward valuing a performance standard and competition in choral culture to racial and cultural prioritization. As the reader I found myself bouncing back and forth between agreement and disagreement with the premise. While I do see the pernicious influence of COMPETITIVENESS in choir (ie. choir is NOT a sport…), I do not share his view that this can be tied in any way to race or culture. So, I just HAD to talk to him about this and he graciously accepted the invitation to parse out the particulars in the article. The end result was a civil and productive conversation that left me a greater understanding of his view on this topic. I hope you find it informative.

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Be sure to take the time to read the whole article here for context discussed in the episode.

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Dr. John Perkins owes his professional career to his loving partner, Emily, and children, Lili Amna, and Noah Ameen. He is the Associate Director of Choral Activities and an Associate Professor of Music at Butler University. Instruction at Butler includes the Butler University Choir (SATB ensemble) and Spectra (SSAA ensemble), Aural Skills I, and Conducting (undergraduate), and Graduate Choral Conducting Seminar. Combining with Nassim Al Saba Choir (United Arab Emirates), Sao Vicente Acapella (Brazil), and five local high school choirs, Dr. Perkins created a transnational course in Spring 2016, entitled “Peacebuilding through Choral Singing.” The course focused on social justice dialogue, relationship-building, and community leadership through choral singing. In the summer of 2019, Dr. Perkins will lead a similar course with partners in Malaysia, entitled “Musicking Futures.” Recently, the Butler University Choir has partnered with Eastern Star Church, Fishers campus, to encourage dialogue between predominantly Black and White communities. He practices choral-dialoguing with his ensembles and in the community as a way to more deeply engage in justice learning.Outside of Butler’s campus, Dr. Perkins is the Director of Music at Castleton United Methodist Church, a Fellow at the Desmond Tutu Center for Peace, Justice, and Global Reconciliation, and an Advisory Board Member for Euro Mediterranean Music Academy (EMMA) for Peace, and a member of the American Choral Directors Association Diversity Initiatives sub-committee.

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Before arriving in Indianapolis in Fall of 2014, he taught at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 2008-2014 and developed the country’s first music program in higher education. There, Perkins directed the university’s choral program and founded the Nassim Al Saba Choir, the first Arabic, four-part choir in the Gulf region. The ensemble, aimed at building bridges between Arab and non-Arab countries, performed extensively in the UAE and abroad in New York City, Indonesia, and Jordan.As a guest clinician, Dr. Perkins has been a resident artist and has given conducting masterclasses in the United Arab Emirates, USA, Indonesia, Oman, Lebanon, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His research and professional contributions include, presentations, articles, and arrangements concerning social justice through choral musicking, Arabic choral music, cross-cultural initiatives, the choral works of Lili Boulanger, music of the Symbolist (Belle Époque) era, conducting technique, and collaborative music projects. Perkins’s new choral-orchestral arrangement of Lili Boulanger’s Psaume 130, Du fond de l’abîme and Arabic choral arrangements have been internationally premiered.

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

Dr. Perkins has presented at the International Society for Music Education (Azerbaijan), Research in Music Education (United Kingdom), New Directions in Music Education, ACDA statewide and regional conferences, the Lund International Choral Festival (Sweden), Aswatuna Arabic Choral Festival (Jordan), International Symposium on Choral Music (Indonesia), and the International Musicological Conference: Marginal Figures in 20th-century Music (Russian Federation). His research is published in the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, the Choral Journal and the International Choral Bulletin.Originally hailing from Titusville, New Jersey, Perkins holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from the University of Arizona (Tucson), a master’s degree in choral conducting, from Temple University (Philadelphia), and a bachelor’s degree in theory and composition from Westminster Choir College of Rider University (Princeton). He continues to grow through many transformative moments with his students.

Visit Dr. Perkins at his Butler University Website

Episode 11: Breaking Down Barriers with Jason Max Ferdinand

In this episode I sit down with the biggest star in the Choral World right now. Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand of the famed Aeolians, fresh off their WORLD changing performance at the ACDA National performance in Kansas City this spring. Our topics are wide ranging including his upbringing in the Caribbean and early life, his planning process for ACDA, the proper approach to spirituals, racial stereotypes in Choral Music and the social significance of the Aeolians’ rise to prominence.

Episode 11: Breaking Down Barriers with Jason Max Ferdinand
Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand- Oakwood University
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Jason Max Ferdinand is a Full Professor, Chair of the Music Department, and Director of Choral Activities at Oakwood University where he conducts the Aeolians of Oakwood University.

A native of Trinidad & Tobago, Ferdinand received his Bachelor of Arts degree in piano from the Oakwood College (now Oakwood University), the Master of Arts in Choral Conducting from Morgan State University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Maryland.   

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

As a doctoral student, Dr. Ferdinand was privileged to have studied under the heedful eyes of Dr. Edward MaClary who is a protégé of the late Robert Shaw and also studied and collaborated with Helmuth Rilling, Margaret Hillis and Robert Page.  During his time at the university, he served as co-director for the University Choir and was an assistant conductor for the Chamber Singers and the Maryland Chorus. In addition, he taught undergraduate conducting classes. In the summer of 2006, Ferdinand was selected to lead the Summer Choral Festival Program at the University of Maryland.  Jim Ross, a former pupil of Kurt Masur and Leonard Bernstein served as his orchestral conducting teacher. The late Dr. Nathan Carter at Morgan State University changed the life of Dr. Ferdinand in a potent way. He served as graduate assistant to Dr. Carter and it was here that a true and clear vision for his life work was formed. Dr. Ferdinand attained his undergraduate degree in piano performance at Oakwood University.  He studied piano with Dr. Wayne Bucknor. Dr. Lloyd Mallory was his choral director and he was afforded the opportunity to serve as student conductor, student accompanist and had his arrangements performed.

Under Dr. Ferdinand’s baton, the Aeolians of Oakwood University have graced stages the world over.  Their repertoire of choral music which ranges from the Baroque era to the 21st century has been sought after and performed at venues throughout the USA, Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Canada, Poland, Romania, Great Britain, Russia, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and Hungary.  Capping off a successful 2011 – 2012 Concert Series which saw the Aeolians visiting Moscow, Russia as part of the Russia-US Bilateral Presidential Commission on development of cooperation between Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama, they made their inaugural entrance at the 7th World Choir Games held in Cincinnati, USA, resulting in the choir earning gold medals in all three categories of entrance and the overall championship for the Spiritual category.  

In October 2015, Ferdinand made his debut at Carnegie Hall conducting the Aeolians, the Altino Brothers Concert Chorale and the Beyond Boundaries Symphony Orchestra.  Later that month, Ferdinand directed the Aeolians as they accompanied the world acclaimed soprano, Kathleen Battle at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center in her, “Underground Railroad: A spiritual Journey” Concert Series.  In January 2016, Ferdinand directed the Alabama Symphony Orchestra as they accompanied the Aeolians in a collaborated annual Martin Luther King Jr. tribute at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center in Birmingham, Alabama.

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The summer of 2017 was a highlight in Dr. Ferdinand’s career.  Having attended the LLangollen International Musical Festival, in Wales, UK as a doctoral student with the University of Maryland in 2007, he returned as the director of the Aeolians of Oakwood University and won the coveted “2017 Choir of the World” award along with the event’s first ever “Most Outstanding Director” award.

Ferdinand maintains an active schedule as a presenter, adjudicator and guest conductor for high schools, collegiate, and church choirs throughout North America, Europe, and the Caribbean.  He is a former board member of the Alabama American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). A choral series bearing the name of Jason Max Ferdinand is now in circulation by Walton Music publishers.  He continues to actively compose and to mentor up-and-becoming composers. His greatest passion is watching those who he has mentored as conductors and composers, become conductors and composers in their own right.

Dr. Ferdinand loves to teach and was named “Teacher of the Year” for the 2017/18 school year by Oakwood University. Dr. Ferdinand is thankful for his parents, Dr. T. Leslie and Mary Ferdinand who are both retired educators.  His siblings Alva Ferdinand, J.D., Ph.D. and Abdelle Ferdinand, M.D. tribute any academic accomplishments they have attained to their parents.

Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand is married to Meka, who is a registered nurse and they are the parents of Caleb, Ava and baby Jamē.

You can learn about the Aeolians here.

Episode 10: A Voice in Transition with Theo Wren

A nuanced discussion about the trans experience.
Theo Wren

Is it possible that removing gendered language from our choral rehearsals solves the problem of inclusion? Is it possible that it DOESN’T solve the problem? Is there room for nuance in the conversation? This week, I open up a dialogue with Theo Wren, a freelance musician, multi-instrumentalist, choral singer and Trans Baritone. So far on the show, I have conversed only with Choral Directors. This time, I thought it might be informative to flip that a bit and sit down with someone who has spent many years on the other side of the baton. We in the choral profession have seen a recent wave of cultural shifts related to the use of gendered language in our choral ensembles. So, I sought out the perspective of a singer who, for years felt as if he was in the wrong section.

Find more about Theo below

http://www.soundcloud.com/felixtheowren for Theo’s solo project, and you can find his band at http://www.alicesweetalice.com

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

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Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

And don’t forget, the show is now on PATREON! Subscribe and receive Patron only content for as little as 3 bucks a month!

And don’t forget, the show is now on PATREON! Subscribe and receive Patron only content for as little as 3 bucks a month!

Episode 9: How Should Choralosophers Handle Contentious Choral Topics?

Greetings, friends and colleagues. As Choral Directors, we stand in front of large diverse groups of people from different backgrounds, races and religions. With that comes a beautiful diversity of opinion. For people in our position, we should be a beacon of peace and reconciliation in a world coming apart at the seams.

Seem dramatic? I don’t think it is. As we all consolidate our time and energy online, it is creating a necessary convergence of many people into public sphere. When that happens, we will come across more people than ever before with whom we disagree. Never before have I seen such aggressive online behavior in my feeds. From COVID-19 all the way to virtual choir question shaming. We can do better.

Episode 9 follows Chris through the core principles of the Choralosophy Podcast.

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Chris Munce-Host of Choralosophy Podcast
Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Chose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!

Why would I need to address this? First, this show, as promised from the beginning, did not set out to be a nuts and bolts focused show. I will occasionally approach the occasional “how to” episode that would be a safe interest session at a convention. But that is not the main mission of this project. I think talking about elephants in the room within the choral profession is important also, and there are very few venues that achieve this in a way that is civil and open conversation. If a discussion topic elicits NO contention at all, then what will anyone learn. I think deep down, no listener want to listen to a bunch of stuff that is so safe that it doesn’t challenge them. That is ultimately what I hope to provide through this platform. My goal is to promote a culture where open inquiry, the pursuit of greater understanding and support for each other as colleagues becomes the norm. I am wary of what I see as a culture of fear on social media and in academia that causes many to just keep their opinions to themselves because they might be accused of Orwellian wrong-think. I think this is dangerous to any field of study. Iron sharpens iron as the saying goes, which means we do NO good when we only smile and nod.

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So, in an effort to do this, I will lay out my core principles for this show.

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  1. Knowledge and Truth that are shareable by all of us are not only possible, but worthy goals. Some would suggest that we cannot really know anything, and that nothing is really true. Our only way of knowing is through our socialized minds with biases that we cannot escape. This is PARTIALLY true, but NOT because of socialization. Each person holds some part of the story that you don’t know, because no two people look at the world from the same perspective. It is precisely because we all see things differently that we MUST have conversations. It is only through challenging each other’s perceptions can we discover that tiny bit of truth that each person possesses and synthesize it into one BIG axiom or truth. So, we will talk on this show, agree or disagree, and pursue knowledge and truth as an ideal. We will speak as if there is no such thing as a “Two-Sided” issue. All issues have 7+ billion sides and all we need to do today is try to have my perspective and your perspective mingle until we arrive at a truth neither of us had before our conversation.
  2. I believe that people have good intentions and are speaking with me in good faith. I like to avoid assuming the worst about people, and I know that even if someone holds a diametrically opposed position to mine, I know that they are a person who wants what is best for the world. They are a person who loves their children, their spouse, their students etc just like I do. We are fellow humans. Treating people with contempt will have no place on this show. Please hold me to this if I ever slip. This also applies to any online discussions moderated by me on the page.
  3. Since everyone knows something I don’t, I want my guests to be HAPPY with their chance to get their point across. All of my conversations are free form, so there are no timed or “gotcha” questions. If I ask a question, I genuinely want to know what the person thinks about it. That being said, I will rarely do “interviews” and I am not a journalist. My opinions and analysis will be very much a part of each show.
  4. I will strive to avoid logical fallacies but no one is perfect… I will also hold guests to this. The big no-nos will be ad hominem and straw man arguments. I am not interested in this platform being used to impugn anyone’s character, talent or ability. I will also try very hard to understand someone’s position by asking very pointed precise questions when necessary. I don’t want to force someone to defend a claim that they didn’t make, and I would like it to not be done to me… 🙂

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One of the things that excites me about this show is it’s potential to be a platform that promotes the profession as an academic discipline, as well as an art form. I seek to promote YOU and what great work you are doing. And if you don’t feel like you are doing great work, I hope these discussions serve as a sharpening tool for you as you listen, and as always keep the feedback coming. Even if you think I’m wrong.

Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!


Episode 8: Renovating the Voice

Voice lessons for a fourteen year old, admittedly are not the same as a lesson for a college freshman. In fact, when many high school students begin voice study, they are fresh off of puberty, or at its tail end… For many, learning just get their dang vocal folds to touch is a challenge, let alone singing Lieder in a stylistically accurate way! What then, should be their starting point, or Step 1? Are we happy if they just memorize a song? When we are fortunate enough to get our students to take voice lessons, what do we want them to learn? What is best for them? What is best for our choirs? Are all voice lessons the same? We have so many questions… and, we think, some answers for those questions! We invite you to listen and join the conversation! As always, each episode is just a conversation STARTER, so join the conversation on Facebook in the Choralosophers group!

Stream Episode 8 on your favorite Podcast Ap!

In this episode we discuss at length the philosophy of healthy singing as a starting place for young singers. We take the position that classical training is THE route to this goal. Classical training is not just a style of repertoire, but a type of instruction. Like classical dance or theater training, it builds fundamentals and technique first. Flare, photo ops, and competition ratings MUST come second.

Episode 8 is available now!

Find more about Beth’s studio at www.muncemusic.com

And don’t forget, the show is now on PATREON! Subscribe and receive Patron only content for as little as 3 bucks a month!

Subscribe to Choralosophy on Youtube for easy streaming from your desktop computer! Please Subscribe and RATE on the iTunes store!Android users can also find the show on the Google Play Store! You can also stream on Spotify

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!
Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Why I Gave Up Sacrifice for Lent

We are constantly hearing about the value and necessity of sacrifice. You have to do it to get where you want to go… You have to do it for your fellow man… You have to do it if you really love some one…

As you might guess, I reject all of these ideas. I don’t believe in sacrifice…ever. Not because I am cold and heartless, but because I have done some logical and philosophical filtering of what the word ACTUALLY means. Below is what I have come up with. It might challenge you, or you might agree. The Socratic method welcomes discussion! I know that to many, these may seem like semantics… the parsing apart of the word, its parts and its definitions is a silly waste of time. You are free to feel that way. I, on the other hand, find words and the concepts they are attached to, to be VERY powerful tools in the right hands.

Webster defines sacrifice as:

a : destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else

b : something given up or lost <the sacrifices made by parents>

Conventional wisdom would accept these definitions, but they are both logically flawed and they contradict each other… Let’s take “a” first. What if you destroy something bad in favor of something good? According to this definition you have “sacrificed” even though you have yielded a net gain of value. Webster’s definition provides no value judgement and is, therefore, incomplete. For example, if you give up a bad job so you can take a better one is that a sacrifice? Of course not. You cannot have sacrifice without a hierarchy of values in place. The first definition should read: “destruction or surrender of something one values more in favor of something that one values less.” It is not a consistently usable definition without those parameters. It must involve a net loss of value. The contradiction comes in the first definition’s allowance for a net gain vs. the second one’s requirement for a loss.

How would this be applied? How does this understanding change the way we would think of sacrifice, or even better, how we live our lives?

Scenario 1: The Damsel in Distress Archetype

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Damsel in Distress

For as long as human’s have told stories, we have loved to hear of the “great sacrifice” of the handsome knight to save the woman he loves. Often risking great peril or even death in order to rescue the “Damsel in Distress.” (How many stories can you name in the comments?) Most would agree that the man dying for the woman is a sacrifice by any definition, and it may be by Webster’s first definition, but not by mine.

To love is to value highly. If the knight loves the woman, then he values her life. If he loves her enough, he may even value her life more than his own. If this is the case, he has not sacrificed. She is his highest value, and he has kept her alive. He is the winner. He has received a net gain.

I am fortunate to have found the love of my life who has given us two amazing children.

My crew.

All three of them are of higher value to me than me. (I am actually welling up a bit as I type this, I feel so strongly about it.) Let me make this clear; I LOVE myself. My friends and family would agree that my ego is robust and healthy. Yet, I still value my family that highly. It is not out of self-hatred, but of profoundly understood love that I have ranked my values. If I was placed in the position of having to save any of their lives at the expense of my own, it would be the easiest possible choice, and NOT a sacrifice. If I were to die knowing that my family would have a chance at life, I would die feeling like the winner. (I would, of course be sad to go, but I value their lives higher than my own pain or sadness.) This willingness to die for my family is not sacrifice, but a profoundly selfish position that I would not want to live in a world where they were not provided the opportunity to live full lives.

Scenario 2: The “Sacrifices” Made By Parents

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Now we will take Webster’s definition “b” and put through our filter.

b : something given up or lost <the sacrifices made by parents>

Here, we finally have a value judgement in the definition. Webster is getting warmer! For this scenario, I will focus on my daughter, Clara, simply because,

Clara

of my two children, she has been alive the longest… I love Clara with all my heart, as I explained above. I can’t think of one sacrifice that I have made for her. What kind of monster am I?! Again, consider my improved definition of “sacrifice.” Could I be spending more of the money I work very hard for on other things like cool gadgets, games, trips, wine, clothes, etc if I didn’t have to buy things for Clara? Of course. After all, she hasn’t earned any of that! Is that a sacrifice for my child? No! Clara being fed clothed and cared for is of MUCH higher value to me than those things, however fun they would be to have.

Could I have pursued more illustrious career avenues if I didn’t have two children?(or had remained single for that matter) Probably. Have I sacrificed my career for my family? No! I would not trade them because they are of higher value than any career advancement that I may have missed. I would argue that it is a negative quality for parents who sacrifice (under my definition) for their kids. Sometimes parents give up what they really want out a sense of duty to their offspring, and then make their kids feel guilty about all of their missed opportunities in life. Whether done intentionally or not, kids can absorb this guilt. Happy parents are more likely to raise happy children.

So then, what IS a sacrifice?

“destruction or surrender of something one values more in favor of something that one values less.”

A person who takes on a burden of any kind out of a sense of guilt or duty, instead of an adherence to their values.

Is it a sacrifice if I were to take the life bread from my own child’s mouth to feed my neighbor’s child? Yes. My own children are of higher value to me than my neighbor’s. (I know people don’t normally admit that out loud, but I am unapologetic about it. I think if most people are truly honest with themselves, they would agree.) But sharing my food with a starving neighbor if my children have what they need, is NOT a sacrifice.

I want to help if it is within my power. It is of a high value to me to see my neighbors happy as long as I have met the needs of my children. It furthers my values to live in a happy, healthy community. Giving to charity in general is not a sacrifice if done with this mentality. People tend to contribute to charities that further their own value system or support causes they find important. If you give to a charity because you feel like they are entitled to it, and get no joy from helping, then this is a sacrifice. Maybe find a different charity? There are many that need your help!

What’s the Point?

Having this clarity in my life helps me to live objectively. I try to look at every choice and personal interaction through this filter. Recently achieving this understanding has led to the happiest years of my life. When I have to put down something I enjoy to spend time with my kids, or save money I would like to spend on an iPad app, or give up the remote, so Beth can watch the show she wants, I see the happiness of my family which is my highest value. I am not bound by bitterness that eats me up as I think about what I have given up. I simply think of what I have gained instead of what I have lost. I become emotionally richer knowing that every decision I make, yields me a net gain in value. The opposite side of the coin is constant regret created by a focus on all of the things in my life I have missed out on. If I chose to think about my life that way, I would be filled with resentment. That’s a path we should avoid.

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Don’t surrender, don’t sacrifice, don’t give up.



Episode 7: The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci with Jocelyn Hagen

Episode 7: The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci

What can we learn from the philosophies of Leonardo on Art and Music? Does he have anything to say to us in the 21st Century? The host discusses da Vinci’s ideas sourced from “Thoughts on Art and Life” by the great artist himself, then is joined by Jocelyn Hagen to discuss her new multi-media symphony “The Notebooks of Leonardo Davinci” as well as her recent TED talk about the work.

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Jocelyn Hagen composes music that has been described as “simply magical” (Fanfare Magazine) and “dramatic and deeply moving” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis/St. Paul). Her first forays into composition were via songwriting, and this is very evident in her work. The majority of her compositional output is for the voice: solo, chamber and choral. Her dance opera collaboration with choreographer Penelope Freeh, titled Test Pilot, received the 2017 American Prize in the musical theater/opera division as well as a Sage Award for “Outstanding Design.” The panel declared the work “a tour de force of originality.” Her melodic music is rhythmically driven, texturally complex, and has recently become more experimental in nature. In 2013 she released an EP entitled MASHUP, in which she performs Debussy’s “Doctor Gradus Ad Parnassum” while singing Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team.” Jocelyn is also one half of the band Nation, an a cappella duo with composer/performer Timothy C. Takach, and together they perform and clinic choirs from all over the world.

Jocelyn Hagen
www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

www.jocelynhagen.com

www.graphitepublishing.com

Her commissions include Conspirare, The Minnesota Orchestra, the American Choral Directors Associations of Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut and Texas, the North Dakota Music Teacher’s Association, Cantus, the Boston Brass, the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and The Houston Chamber Choir, among many others. She is currently an artist-in-residence at North Dakota State University and regularly composes for their ensembles. For ten years she was a composer-in-residence for the professional choir she also sang in: The Singers, under the direction of Matthew Culloton. Her music has been performed all over the world, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City. Her work is independently published through JH Music, as well as Graphite Publishing, G. Schirmer, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Fred Bock Music Publishing, and Boosey and Hawkes.

You can also find Jocelyn on Twitter @jocelynhagenmus

Episode 6: Avoiding Burnout and Other Life Hacks. Elisa Janson Jones

Are students prepared to enter the profession… with all that goes into teaching music that can’t be taught in a Music Ed Program?

“If you are there for the music, you’re in the wrong profession. It has to be student centered, or you will burn out.”

Elisa Janson Jones
Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Elisa Janson Jones specializes in helping music educators build, grow, and manage thriving school music programs. With an MBA alongside her degree in music, she is also a coach and consultant to small businesses and nonprofits around the country, and serves as the conductor of her local community band. She has been teaching music for nearly 20 years and currently holds the prestigious position of elementary music teacher at a private K-8 Catholic School in Grand Junction, Colorado. Elisa has presented at state, national, and international music education conferences. She is the founder of the International Music Education Summit and the author of The Music Educator’s Guide to Thrive.

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Elisa is also the host of the Music Ed Mentor podcast. Find her show in iTunes, Google Play or your favorite platform!

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

Links:

https://nafme.org/actions-you-can-take-today-to-ensure-youll-still-love-teaching-tomorrow/

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0772QLF1G/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_hHKHCb9SQ717D

https://nafme.org/7-things-dont-teach-music-education-majors-youll-wish/

http://professionalmusiceducator.com/

http://www.elisajanson.com/

https://www.musicedsummit.org/

Episode 5: What I Suck At

Or, What At Which I Suck

In this episode I share a small part of my “suck list” as well as my “not suck” list to demonstrate the healthy balance we all must have between acknowledging our struggles and giving ourselves credit where credit is due. I will also offer a short reflection on the National ACDA Convention including WHY I MISSED THE AEOLIANS concert at Helzberg Hall and the inspiration of Eph Ehly’s session at the Folly Theater, “What’s Really Important.” Finally, I will be responding to some Choralosopher responses from our Facebook page. Several listeners responded with one item from their “suck” and “not suck” lists.

Chris Munce
www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!
Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

Episode 5
  • I am horribly messy and unorganized.
  • If it is not written into my calendar, I forget it and even that is no guarantee…
  • In the classroom, I am not good at sticking to a plan, so I don’t even make one.
  • Musically, I have a MUCH better ear for pitch than I do for rhythm, so often times I struggle to hear the trickier patterns in my head. This also causes my to avoid music with those challenges…
  • Keyboard skills are not where I want them to be.
  • I am not good at reading people’s body language and recognizing their emotional needs.
  • I am not a good listener. Working on it… Way better than I used to be….

Initial Podcast Content Release!

Choralosophy Podcast with Chris Munce

It’s time! I have been burning the candle at both ends to get this first batch of episodes ready for you! I hope you listen, enjoy, subscribe, and come back for more! I know I said Feb. 21st… but then a crap-ton of snow days happened, and Jack’s a Donut, here we are. Ready to go! Find the show here or on your favorite Podcast Platform! 

Episode 1: Health, Happiness and Balance with Beth Munce. At times, we as working professionals, struggle to maintain our health and balance. As a result, our happiness suffers. In this episode, I will share my thoughts on this as well as get a reality check from my wife, Beth on whether or not I am “balanced.”

Beth Munce

Episode 2: Part 1. Advocating for our Art with Elise Hepworth. How do we “sell” our profession? How do we tell the story of what we do to people that don’t understand? We all know our “why,” now let’s share it with the world! In this episode I will discuss Music Education Advocacy with Dr. Elise Hepworth.

Elise Hepworth

Episode 2: Part 2. Advocating for our Art with Dale Trumbore. In the second part of this episode, I chat with Composer Dale Trumbore about “telling our story” as performers and composers in an authentic and vulnerable way.

Dale Trumbore

Episode 3: What’s in a Gesture? with Bradley Ellingboe. In this episode, I sit down with noted conductor and composer, Bradley Ellingboe to discuss what attributes makes a great conductor.

Bradley Ellinbgoe

Episode 4: Part 1. Seeing the Trees (There is no forest…) with Stephen Rew. In this episode I make the shocking claim that there is no such thing as a choir. Then, I bring on Stephen Rew for a discussion about connecting with students on an individual level.

Stephen Rew

Episode 4: Part 2. Seeing the Trees (There is no forest…) with Anthony J. Maglione. In the second part of this episode, I look to Anthony Maglione for insight into this topic from the collegiate perspective.

Anthony J. Maglione

Stay tuned for future episodes every 2-weeks. Next one: POST ACDA wrap-up and recap. March 15th.

Episode 4: Part 2. Seeing the Trees (There is no forest) with Tony Maglione

In the second part of this episode, I look to Anthony Maglione for insight into this topic from the collegiate perspective.

Anthony J. Maglione- William Jewell College

Conductor/Composer/Tenor Anthony J. Maglione is a graduate of Westminster Choir College of Rider University, East Carolina University, and the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the Director of Choral Studies at William Jewell College where, under his direction, the Concert Choir was Runner Up (2nd Place) for the 2015 American Prize in Choral Performance, College/University Division. In addition to his responsibilities at William Jewell College, he serves as Conductor Emeritus of the Freelance Ensemble Artists of NJ, a symphony orchestra based in Central NJ and is Artist-in-Residence and Choir Master at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City.

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An active composer, Anthony’s choral works are growing in popularity and are published on GIA’s “Evoking Sound” choral series. In the last several years his music has appeared at state and national-level conventions, on TV, in video games, and has been recorded on Gothic Records, Albany Records, and Centaur Records. In 2014 and 2015, Anthony was honored as a Semi-Finalist and Finalist (respectively) for the American Prize in Composition, Professional Choral Division and was recently awarded the 2016-2017 William Jewell College Spencer Family Sabbatical, a year-long fully funded sabbatical in order to compose two new large-scale works for choir, soloists and chamber orchestra. Anthony was also been commissioned by the American Guild of Organists for a new cantata which premiered at the AGO National Conference held in Kansas City in 2018. As a tenor, Anthony has appeared with Kansas City Baroque Consortium, Spire Chamber Ensemble and currently performs and records with The Same Stream Choir conducted by James Jordan.

A link to my essay on this topic on FB

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Episode 4. Part 1. Seeing the Trees (There is no forest) with Stephen Rew

In this episode I make the shocking claim that there is no such thing as a choir. Then I bring on Stephen Rew for a discussion about connecting with students on an individual level.

Stephen Rew- Raymore-Peculiar High School
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Stephen Rew holds his Bachelors and Masters of Music Education from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri, Kansas City where he studied with Charles Robinson.  In over a decade as a public educator he has received his district’s Teacher of the Year Award two times (Drexel in 2005 and Raymore-Peculiar in 2013) and is a sought after clinician and motivational speaker with “Fired Up” Presentations.  Currently, he also is the President-Elect for the Missouri Choral Directors Association.  Rew was the music teacher at Eagle Glen Intermediate School in Raymore, MO for 8 years after spending 3 years teaching at the Middle School level and one year as a K-12 band and choir teacher and is also entering his 17th year as a professional church musician serving as the music director at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. 

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At the start of the 2017-18 school year took the reins of the Raymore-Peculiar High School program from his mentor and friend Roxanne Martin upon her retirement.  This was a homecoming for Rew as he was an All-State choir member under the direction of the late Steve Orr.  He lives in his dream home with his beautiful and supportive wife, Cindy and two children Mason (age 12) and Chloe (age 9) that are often the subject of a ridiculous amount of Facebook posts and photos.

Links to Stephen’s Teaching Resources discussed in the episode.

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Episode 3: What’s in a Gesture? Bradley Ellingboe

Bradley Ellingboe 

In this episode, I sit down with noted conductor and composer, Bradley Ellingboe to discuss what attributes make a great conductor.

A Practical Guide to Choral Conducting published by Kjos Music

Bradley Ellingboe

Bradley Ellingboe has led a wide-ranging career in the world of singing,  including accomplishments as a choral conductor, soloist, composer, scholar and teacher.  As a choral conductor he has led festival choruses in 35 states and 14 foreign countries. He made his operatic conducting debut in December, 2011, leading the world-premiere  of Stephen Paulus’s opera Shoes for the Santo Niño in a joint production by the Santa Fe Opera and the University of New Mexico.  As a bass-baritone soloist he has sung under such conductors as Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling, and Sir David Willcocks. Ellingboe has over 140 pieces of music in print, including the Requiem for chorus and orchestra, which has been performed more than 300 times in this country and Europe, and his newest work, Star Song, which had its New York debut (Lincoln Center) in May of 2014, and its European debut in July of that year.   For his scholarly work in making the songs of Edvard Grieg more accessible to the English-speaking public, he was knighted by the King of Norway in 1994. As a teacher, the University of New Mexico Alumni Association named him Faculty of the Year in 2008.

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Bradley Ellingboe retired in 2015 after serving on the faculty of the University of New Mexico for 30 years, where he was Director of Choral Activities, Professor of Music and Regents Lecturer.  During his three decades at UNM he also served at various times as Chairman of the Department of Music and Coordinator of Vocal Studies.  He is a graduate of Saint Olaf College and the Eastman School of Music and has done further study at the Aspen Music Festival, the Bach Aria Festival, the University of Oslo and the Vatican.

Ellingboe has won annual awards for his choral compositions from ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Arrangers and Publishers since 2000.  His choral music is widely sung and is published by Oxford, G Schirmer, Augsburg, Walton, GIA, Hal Leonard, Mark Foster, Choristers Guild, Alliance, Concordia, Selah, and particularly the Neil A. Kjos Music Company, for whom he edits two series of choral octavos. In 2017 he became Acquisitions Editor for National Music Publishing.

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Episode 2: Advocating for Our Art. Part 2-Dale Trumbore

In the second part of this episode, I chat with composer Dale Trumbore about how we, as performers and composers, can tell our story in an authentic and vulnerable way.

Dale’s Essay discussed in episode

Dale Trumbore

Dale Trumbore is a Los Angeles-based composer and writer whose music has been praised by the New York Times for its “soaring melodies and beguiling harmonies.” Trumbore’s compositions have been performed widely in the U.S. and internationally by ensembles including the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, Modesto Symphony, Neave Trio, Pacific Chorale, Pasadena Symphony, The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists, and VocalEssence.

Trumbore is Composer in Residence for Choral Chameleon and was previously Composer in Residence for Nova Vocal Ensemble. She has been an Artist in Residence at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, Copland House, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, and Willapa Bay AiR.

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How to Go On, Choral Arts Initiative’s album of Trumbore’s choral works, debuted at #6 on Billboard’s Traditional Classical Chart. Choral Arts Northwest, The Esoterics, Helix Collective, New York Virtuoso Singers, and soprano Gillian Hollis have also commercially recorded works by Trumbore. Her music is published through Boosey & Hawkes, G. Schirmer, and MusicSpoke.

As a composer who works frequently with words, Trumbore is passionate about setting to music poems, prose and found text by living writers. She has written extensively about overcoming creative blocks and establishing a career in music in essays for 21CM, Cantate Magazine, the Center for New Music, MusicSpoke, and NewMusicBox. She is currently at work on her first book, Staying Composed.

Trumbore holds a dual degree in Music Composition and English from the University of Maryland and a Master of Music degree in Composition from the University of Southern California. A New Jersey native, Trumbore lives in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of L.A. with her fiancé and their two cats.

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Episode 2: Advocating for Our Art. Part 1-Elise Hepworth


How do we “sell” our profession? How do we tell the story of what we do so that non-musicians can understand? We all know our “why,” now let’s learn how to share that with the world! In this episode I will discuss Music Education Advocacy with Dr. Elise Hepworth.

Dr. Elise Hepworth

Dr. Elise Hepworth is associate professor and Director of Choral Activities and Music Education at Missouri Western State University. This is her fourth year as an alto in Kantorei of Kansas City, and is the founding director of the Robidoux Chorale, a semi-professional chamber ensemble in Saint Joseph.

and Music Education at Missouri Western State University. This is her fourth year as an alto in Kantorei of Kansas City, and is the founding director of the Robidoux Chorale, a semi-professional chamber ensemble in Saint Joseph.

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Dr. Hepworth was recently awarded the Foundation for Teaching Excellence by Missouri Western State University, the Mayor’s Award for Arts Educator of the Year and the Shine On Award for the community of Saint Joseph, and the MCDA Northwest District Outstanding Director for the year 2016.  She is an avid performer and presenter at state, national, and international conventions.

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Links mentioned in the podcast
https://mmea.net/ 
(click on Advocacy Network Form) to join the Advocacy Networkhttps://nafme.org/advocacy/what-you-can-do/

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Episode 1: Health, Happiness and Balance, with Beth Munce

At times, we, as working professionals, struggle to maintain our health and balance. As a result, our happiness suffers. In this episode, I will share my thoughts on this as well as get a reality check from my wife, Beth, on whether or not I am “balanced.”

Beth Kakacek-Munce, a coloratura soprano, is renowned for her “beautifully effortless” and “stunning” singing.  Beth is passionate about the choral arts and actively sings in several professional choral ensembles and as a featured soloist for chamber works. Beth has sung with Kantorei of Kansas City since its inception in 2009 and has been a featured soloist on Kantorei’s albums “To Bethlehem,” and “Music and Sweet Poetry,” recorded by the UK-based label, Resonus Classics. 

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Beth has also been a member of the Grammy-award winning Kansas City Chorale and was fortunate to add her voice to the recording of “The Sacred Works of Joseph Reinberger” which was nominated for two Grammy Awards.  Beth was also a founding member of the nationally renowned Early Music Ensemble, Armonia, under the direction of Dr. Ryan Board. Beth was consistently a featured soloist with Armonia and was featured at the Piccolo-Spoleto Festival in 2006 and 2007 and The National ACDA convention in 2007. Recent projects Beth has enjoyed lending her voice to include performing the production of the Medieval musical play of “Daniel” under the direction of Anne Azema, a collaboration with Boston Camerata and KC’s Te Deum Antiqua.  Beth has also recently performed the soprano solos for Handel’s Dixit Dominus under the baton of Dr. Jacob Narverud, the soprano solos for The Biber Requiem under the direction of Matthew Shepard as well as the soprano solos for Handel’s Messiah under the direction of Dr. William Baker.  Beth also frequently lends her voice to professional demo recording projects.   

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Beth completed her Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance at the Conservatory of Music at UMKC in 2006 under the tutelage of Dr. Rebecca Sherburn and Dr. Scott Anderson.  Prior to that Beth earned her undergraduate degree from Idaho State University.  Beth has enjoyed performing operatic roles such as The Doll” from Les Contes d’Hoffman, Papagena from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Zerlina from Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Guinone from Monteverdi’s “Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria” and “first witch” from Purcell’s Dido and Aneas.  Beth is a passionate voice teacher and has an active voice studio of 34 students. Beth and her husband Chris are the proud parents of Clara and Colin, their biggest pride and joy in life.

Link to post on FB and Twitter about Happiness and Teen suicide so you can see them in their contexts or share them if you there are people that you think need to see them.

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The goal

After twenty years as a part-time church music director–I haven’t had free Sundays since I was 19. Crap. I just gave away my age–I’ve decided to funnel that energy into something new: nerding out about choral music, talking with my colleagues about it, learning new things, exploring ed psych and teaching methods, vocal ped, acoustical science, linguistics, music history and much more! Planning to launch content on Feb 21st. In the meantime, follow the Podcast in any or all of the places (Twitter, FB, Insta and the link below) so you will get updates and a reminder of when episodes are coming online. Eek! 

Episode 1: Health, Happiness and Balance for the Choral Director

Episode 2: Being an Advocate for Music Education

Episode 3: Is Conducting gesture really that important?!

Episode 4: Elevating the Individual in your SEA of faces.

Bonus Episode: Vocal Pedagogy for the Choral Rehearsal (with Panel of experts. Will take a bit longer to prepare. Stay tuned!)

The Philosophy of Choral Music

Available on iTunes, YouTube and Spotify

In order for us as choral musicians to ensure the continued growth and relevance of our art form and profession, I feel that it is vital for us to become advocates for ourselves and our field. Too often, as musicians, we allow non-musicians to determine our value. It is well known that people often expect musicians to work for free. The number of memes devoted to this topic is proof enough of that. Musicians typically choose one of these three options when asked to perform for free: 1) Work for free. If you can afford to do this, more power to you, but you kind of drag down the market for the rest of us; 2) Apologetically inform people that you have a rate, and then apologize again for how much you charge; or 3) Become an advocate for your profession. One who is capable of explaining in ways anyone can understand why music performance, music study, music in worship and music education are not luxuries to pay for when you have extra, but are essentials to life in a civilized society that wants to grow intellectually and spiritually. This page is dedicated to driving a conversation for choral musicians with the PHILOSOPHY of Choral Music at the heart of every post and podcast episode. Topics will be wide ranging from the technical aspects of our jobs and careers all the way to the artistic interpretations and values that make us who we are as artists. Join me in this conversation in which I hope we can learn from each other.

Podcast Launch: Feb 21st!!