Bite Size Back to School Thoughts- “Cultural Custodians” with Zach Singer

A Back to School Special from Choralosophy Podcast

Zachary Singer

Zach Singer weighed in on the main page of Choralosophy.com with an idea to share with us. He calls it being a “cultural custodian.” As we get back to being busy, I thought you might enjoy a few bite sized episodes with some practical, usable ideas. Tune in to hear Zach’s thoughts about bridging cultural divides in the classroom in order to find a shared classroom culture through music.

Find Zach’s “In Time” Podcast Here!

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Car Thoughts Live: What is Expertise in Choral Music?

Expertise Cannot Be Earned as a student. We must test our academic ideas in the real world.

I recently had a lot of time to think and reflect while driving home from the convention circuit, so I went LIVE in the Choralsophers FB group to discuss some reactions to audience feedback from the Success Rubrics episode. One of the ideas that drew the most attention, is that the primacy of the “degree” as a success marker may not be the best way for us to structure our professional spaces and organizations. So, with comments coming in to the chat while driving, (do not try this at home, I am a trained professional) I reflected further on this issue. As always, let’s keep the conversation going!

The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.

Reimagining the Rubric For “Success” In Choral Careers

Who is in the Choral Cool Kids Club?

Our current rubric is based almost entirely on two factors. What degree do you have? And what level of choir do you direct? That’s not enough.

One of the hot items of choral discussion recently has been “Choral Elitism.” I have done episodes on the show about it, Chris Maunu has written some great blogs, and countless comments in Facebook groups deriding it as a problem. This post is intended to approach the topic from a different angle. I think one of the most dysfunctional aspects of Choral Culture is HOW we decide who the “stars” are in our profession. Who gets asked to present, who gets asked to direct the honor choir, and recently, who can muster large movements of the culture via social media buzz. Having a hierarchy in this way is normal and natural, but the rubric with which we choose our “cool kids club” matters. So let’s play a little game and see if we can’t reimagine the rubric.

The Rubric For Success
  1. Consistent excellence in the final musical product. An important caveat here is that we CANNOT reserve ourselves to basing this on the concert. To understand who is doing GREAT work in this area, we need “before and after” recordings or eye witness. This matters because we don’t all have the same singers, feeders, admins etc. So, to me success in “musical excellence” should be available to elementary to professional choirs. Show me how far your singers can come under your leadership!
  2. Consistent management of choral programs that flourish. Do people want to sing for this person consistently and over years? To me, this says volumes about what is going on in that rehearsal space. I know something’s being done masterfully.
  3. Does the director have a track record of better and better music making? The beauty of this one is that it requires a synthesis of #1 and 2. You can’t make steady improvement in the music unless you have a steady stream of excited and eager singers coming into the program.
  4. Is the director an innovator in one or more areas of their teaching practice? Are they dreaming up, implementing and perfecting NEW ways to deliver the choral art form and all of its nuts and bolts to new generations of singers?
  5. Is the director contributing to the body of scholarship? This could take the form of research within academia, the creation of definitive recordings, or even by curating new discussions on various aspects of scholarship for conventions etc.
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

The Essential PD Library: Starting Your School Year With Momentum

For the Midsummer installment of the show, I am encouraging you to take a professional development break from your summer fun, not to “do work,” but to begin thinking ahead. To start hoping, dreaming, and scheming for your BEST academic year yet. In fact, I believe that in order to be a a”professional educator,” the summer must include this type of reflection AND planning. I know we’re off the clock, but if your goal is to be the absolute best for your students and singers, this time spent is crucial. Trust me, I am all for unplugging and unwinding, in fact, I am doing that right now as I type this drinking coffee in a cabin in the Black Hills.

The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.

In this post, I have curated several discussions from the last 2 and half years, and almost 110 Choralosophy Podcast episodes that I think can contribute to every choral director’s professional development and improvement for next year. The foundation of what we do every day rests upon our mastery of the fundamentals, and our ability to convey these concepts to our students. Please browse the library below, and enjoy your summer!

Summer PD Library!

Understanding the Science

An important part of what we do IS science. Don Brinegar and I had an eye opening discussion about how tuning systems work, and how to teach this concept to our choirs in a way that improves their ear, AND their understanding of how tuning systems vary around the world. Amanda Quist joined me for another tangential, and mind blowing conversation about teaching concepts of resonance.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Another really important conversation regarding the science of our job is the vocal ped conversation. Choir directors are often thought to have an insufficient education in this area, often times leading to some assumptions and oversimplifications being taught to students in a choral setting. For this conversation, I will point you toward a session delivered at the Choralosophy Convention in Atlanta back in April. This session by Beth Munce, my FAVORITE voice teacher specializing in introducing adolescent voices to classical technique, was revolutionary for those in attendance, and we had a lot of great conversations about “Things Choir Teachers Shouldn’t Say” about the voice. The full session can be accessed on the Choralosophy Patreon feed for subscribers only. (normal episodes are always free.)

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.

In Episode 44, Dr. Andrew Crane and Dr. Jami Rhodes joined me for another voice science and pedagogy conversation that is a MUST listen for any director wanting to avoid the pitfall of teaching a diverse group of voice types and body shapes etc by using “one size fits all bandaids.”

Most recently, I did a short “Car Thoughts” video with some easy to try tips related to achieving resonance from young singers WITHOUT asking them to “sing louder.”

Literacy Starts on the First Day of School

Students at any place along the learning curve CAN be taught to read music, and can be taught to do it WITHOUT notes being played simultaneously. This begins of course, with rote training. They must have an aural picture in their mind for pitch relationships, and they must have at least a beginning level of confidence making noises. This can be developed AND connected to literacy concepts on the first day of school. From there, it’s just about consistency, and holding students accountable with logical, growth oriented grading systems. ALL students can learn to be literate.

I recommend listening in the following order: 1. Episode 18Episode 21Episode 52. These are all connected to each other and should be very cohesive. Then, follow up with Episode 69 and “Growth vs. Achievement.”

See Below for a list of Literacy and grading episodes. The podcast players below will contain all of the audio for free!

You can listen from the widgets below which will take you to Apple or Castbox to finish listening, or you can find the show on Google Play, Spotify, Youtube or Stitcher!

Episode 74: Is the Choral Ecosystem a Political Monolith? With Reginal Wright

Over the past year, I began to notice a breath of fresh air in the online choral discourse in the form of Reginal Wright. Like many of you, I have used Facebook to network with other choral directors that I don’t know in real life. This has benefits for me as a Podcast host, but can be a challenge on a personal level. Reginal, however, stood out to me because of his frequent posts inviting polite disagreement and creating a platform for multiple views to be expressed and treated with respect. So, I had to speak with a kindred spirit. In the course of this conversation, he and I talk about our approach to political discussions within professional spaces, in our classrooms, as well as the need to put our differences as choral directors aside in order to support each other, advocate for each other and build each other up.

Episode 74
Reginal Wright

Reginal Wright was born in Henderson, Texas. His life as a musician began in his middle school band as a trombonist. As a 20 year educator, Reginal has earned many awards including Outstanding Teacher, Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and a nomination for the UIL Sponsor Excellence Award. Reginal also earned the 2018 Educator of the Year Award for the Mansfield School District.​Reginal has performed music in Vienna and Salzburg, Austria as well as Munich, Germany and throughout the United States. As a conductor, he is a sought after clinician in both Gospel and Classical genres. He has enjoyed the opportunity to conduct Honor Choirs for many school districts throughout the United States.

The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.

He also serves as a clinician in many Texas All State Choir camps and All State Choirs.Reginal is also an aspiring composer, writing music that caters to school and church choirs.Reginal received both his Bachelor and Masters of Music Education Degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. He is currently the head choral director at Mansfield High School. His choirs are consistent sweepstakes winners in both concert and sight reading contests.

Choirs under his direction also earn “Outstanding in Class” awards at National Music Festivals. In 2012 the Mansfield High School A Cappella Women’s choir was honored as SWACDA honor choir. In 2018 the Mansfield Varsity Men’s Choir performed at the prestigious Texas Music Educators Association Convention in San Antonio. He is a member of Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, American Choral Directors Association and served as Vocal Chair for TMEA Region 5 from 2014-2017. Reginal resides in Arlington with his wife Renetta, son Gabrien, daughter Reece and Yorkie Cooper

Episode 73: Love Supreme with Professor Teodros Kiros

Executive producer and host of the television program African Ascent, W.E.B Du Bois fellow at Harvard, Professor of Philosophy at Berklee College of Music, Author

“I try to argue that they can become better musicians if they become philosophically trained. They will become sensitive to aesthetics in their lives, to the role that art plays in their lives.”

Dr. Teodros Kiros

I feel like I caught lighting in a bottle with this episode. We are all incredibly fortunate to have the chance to absorb wisdom from Professor Teodros Kiros. Dr. Kiros and I discuss the many connections between philosophical training and musical training. I was spellbound many times throughout this conversation hearing about how inseparable music and philosophy SHOULD be. We discuss the common humanity that is unearthed through the sharing of musical and philosophical ideas throughout history, the most scholarly unpacking of cultural appropriation I have yet encountered, as well as Coltrane’s “Love Supreme” and why, with in that one piece of music, we can find a unifying theme for our life and for our music. Don’t miss it.

Episode 73

Podcast Referenced With Cornell West and Glenn Loury

Professor Kiros Books on Amazon

See more of Professor Kiros’ books on Amazon
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Teodros Kiros is considered a leading authority on moral philosophy and a leading voice in African philosophy. He has been a W. E. B. Du Bois Fellow at Harvard University for the past 20 years and has been nominated three times for Berklee’s Distinguished Faculty Award. Kiros is the producer and host of the internationally acclaimed television program African Ascent, which continually gives visibility to Berklee faculty and includes interviews with President Roger H. Brown and Provost Larry Simpson. He is also an essayist for leading websites and has published hundreds of articles in refereed journals and online. He’s also a columnist for leading newspapers.

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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.

Career Highlights· Philosopher and novelist· Has had short stories and an excerpt from his forthcoming novel, Cambridge Days, featured on Bridgeportword.com·

Author and/or editor of 17 books including Towards the Construction of Political Action; Moral Philosophy and Development; Self-Construction and the Formation of Human Values: Truth, Language and Desire; Explorations in African Political Thought; Multiculturalism; Zara Yacob: Rationality of the Human Heart; Philosophical Essays; Ethiopian Discourse; Hirut and Hailu and Other Short Stories; and Cambridge Days; and the forthcoming Self-Definition: A Philosophical Inquiry from the Global South and Global North· W. E. B. Du Bois Fellow at Harvard University·

The absolute cutting edge in helping students understand resonance. visit http://www.vocevista.com/choralosophy to download VoceVista Video for a free 30 day trial. When you purchase, enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off!

Executive producer and host of the television program African Ascent· Professor of Africana Philosophy at Harvard UniversityAwards· Winner of the 1999 Michael Harrington Book Award—Author for Self-Construction and the Formation of Human Values: Truth, Language, and DesireEducation

Episode 72: Artists! It’s OK to be an Entrepreneur with Brian Witkowski

Singers often have the mentality that if they go to the audition and don’t get the gig, they have failed. Choral directors often feel that if someone doesn’t hire them for the tenure track, or the honor choir gig, then they have sufficiently been told “no.” “I guess this isn’t for me after all.” The happy reality, is that this is a mindset you can chose, or reject. Being an entrepreneur simply means rejecting the “Who’s going to let me?” posture, and adopting the “Who’s going to stop me?” mindset. I sit down with Brian Witkowski of the Lucrative Artist, to discuss this anti-entrepreneur bias inside of Classical music, and how to break out of it. Giving yourself permission and tools to earn from the value you create for others.

Episode 72
The absolute cutting edge in helping students understand resonance. visit http://www.vocevista.com/choralosophy to download VoceVista Video for a free 30 day trial. When you purchase, enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off!
Episode 72

From Brian’s Website:

I’ve had a love for singing throughout my childhood, and my passion expanded to the stage when I performed my first ever role of Winthrop Paroo in The Music Man. I was fortunate to have a father who always said I could literally do anything I want in life and find success. So I majored in music and pursued a career in singing with experiences spanning the globe in many genres including opera, musical theatre, sacred music and art song. My aspiration to teach led me to earning my Doctor of Musical Arts degree. 

The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.

Throughout my journey, I’ve faced many recurring physical and mental challenges ranging from having tension down to my toes to limiting beliefs up in my head. Many of those limiting beliefs were about what constitutes a successful “career” in singing and the supposedly “right” way to do it. However, I’ve discovered that for every unavailable or out of reach opportunity, there remains an infinite amount of new opportunities just waiting to be created! 

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.

Anyone can be the creator or catalyst for a wealth of possibilities, even you! I created The Lucrative Artist to help artists and artistically-minded individuals have a safe outlet to realize what they most want out of life and position themselves to develop their own new professional opportunities carrying out or supporting their deepest artistic desires. I love helping people overcome limited beliefs, realize their truest niches and acquire the additional vital entrepreneurial skills and knowledge they need to succeed. I truly want everyone to become empowered to have the successful careers and lives they truly desire and deserve! 

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!

Car Thoughts: The Conductor is ALWAYS Right?

And other silly traps we fall in to due to the nature of our job and its subsequent ego pitfalls. Tune in for this short reflection on the overbearing conductor stereotype. I think it’s possible that we don’t appreciate what constantly having our job evaluated in front of people does to our Psyche…

Car Thoughts

Changing Your Mind on Intelligence Squared

The absolute cutting edge in helping students understand resonance. visit http://www.vocevista.com/choralosophy to download VoceVista Video for a free 30 day trial. When you purchase, 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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Episode 71: It’s All in the Story, with Cecilia McDowall

Episode 71

Episode 71: It’s All in the Story with Cecilia McDowall

Another Installment of the Oxford Series on the Choralosophy Podcast

Episode 71
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!

Episode 71

Shop for the wonderful choral works of Ryan Main at http://www.ryanmain.com! Each purchase will receive a 10% discount when you enter choralosophy at checkout. Plus you will OWN the pdf, and make as many copies as you want!

Cecilia McDowall has long been one of my favorite Choral composers. If I were to boil down my reasons for this it would come to her masterful ability to transport both audience and performer through space and time with her writing. In this conversation, I was able to understand a bit more about how her approach and it all became more clear. She immerses herself in a story with each work. Be a fly on the wall as we discuss her writing process, her thoughts on balancing composition, teaching and motherhood throughout her life, interactions between composer and conductor, as well as an exploration of the vulnerability one must face to sing and to compose.

More About Cecilia McDowall

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.

Born in London, 1951, Cecilia McDowall has won many awards, been short-listed eight times for the British Composer Awards and in 2014 won the Choral category of the British Composer Awards for her haunting work, Night Flight, which celebrates the pioneering flight of the American aviatrix, Harriet Quimby, across the English Channel. McDowall’s distinctive style speaks directly to listeners, instrumentalists and singers alike. Her most characteristic works fuse fluent melodic lines with occasional dissonant harmonies and rhythmic exuberance. Her music has been commissioned and performed by leading choirs, including the BBC Singers, The Sixteen, Oxford and Cambridge choirs, Kansas City Chorale, ensembles, and at festivals worldwide.

The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Recent commissions include When time is broke (Three Shakespeare Songs) for the BBC Singers and Adoro te devote for Westminster Cathedral Choir, London. Three Latin Motets were recorded by the renowned American choir, Phoenix Chorale, conductor, Charles Bruffy; this Chandos recording, Spotless Rose, won a Grammy award and was nominated for Best Classical Album. The National Children’s Choir of Great Britain commissioned a work focusing on ‘children in conflict’, called Everyday Wonders: The Girl from Aleppo. This cantata is based on the real-life escape of Nujeen Mustafa (who is wheelchair-bound) and her sister from war-torn Aleppo; it tells of their harrowing journey across 3,500 miles, through seven countries, eventually arriving in Germany with relief and great gratitude.

Episode 71 on YouTube!

In May, 2019, Wimbledon Choral Society and the Philharmonia Orchestra premiered McDowall’s large-scale choral work, the Da Vinci Requiem, to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death. The work received its first performance on 7 May in the Royal Festival Hall, London. McDowall’s works are regularly broadcast on BBC Radio and readily available on CD.

The absolute cutting edge in helping students understand resonance. visit http://www.vocevista.com/choralosophy to download VoceVista Video for a free 30 day trial. When you purchase, enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off!

In 2013 Cecilia McDowall received an Honorary Doctorate from Portsmouth University and in 2017 McDowall was selected for an Honorary Fellow award by the Royal School of Church Music. In 2019 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from West London University. In 2021 the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, will release a CD of her choral music on the Hyperion label. In 2020 McDowall was presented with the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for ‘outstanding music collection’ for a ‘consistently excellent body of work’. This was a ‘Gift’ from The Ivors Academy (formerly the British Composers’ Academy).Advertisements

Episode 71: It’s All in the Story with Cecilia McDowall

Another Installment of the Oxford Series on the Choralosophy Podcast

Episode 71
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Cecilia McDowall has long been one of my favorite Choral composers. If I were to boil down my reasons for this it would come to her masterful ability to transport both audience and performer through space and time with her writing. In this conversation, I was able to understand a bit more about how her approach and it all became more clear. She immerses herself in a story with each work. Be a fly on the wall as we discuss her writing process, her thoughts on balancing composition, teaching and motherhood throughout her life, interactions between composer and conductor, as well as an exploration of the vulnerability one must face to sing and to compose.

More About Cecilia McDowall

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.

Born in London, 1951, Cecilia McDowall has won many awards, been short-listed eight times for the British Composer Awards and in 2014 won the Choral category of the British Composer Awards for her haunting work, Night Flight, which celebrates the pioneering flight of the American aviatrix, Harriet Quimby, across the English Channel. McDowall’s distinctive style speaks directly to listeners, instrumentalists and singers alike. Her most characteristic works fuse fluent melodic lines with occasional dissonant harmonies and rhythmic exuberance. Her music has been commissioned and performed by leading choirs, including the BBC Singers, The Sixteen, Oxford and Cambridge choirs, Kansas City Chorale, ensembles, and at festivals worldwide.

The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.

Recent commissions include When time is broke (Three Shakespeare Songs) for the BBC Singers and Adoro te devote for Westminster Cathedral Choir, London. Three Latin Motets were recorded by the renowned American choir, Phoenix Chorale, conductor, Charles Bruffy; this Chandos recording, Spotless Rose, won a Grammy award and was nominated for Best Classical Album. The National Children’s Choir of Great Britain commissioned a work focusing on ‘children in conflict’, called Everyday Wonders: The Girl from Aleppo. This cantata is based on the real-life escape of Nujeen Mustafa (who is wheelchair-bound) and her sister from war-torn Aleppo; it tells of their harrowing journey across 3,500 miles, through seven countries, eventually arriving in Germany with relief and great gratitude.

Episode 71 on YouTube!

In May, 2019, Wimbledon Choral Society and the Philharmonia Orchestra premiered McDowall’s large-scale choral work, the Da Vinci Requiem, to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death. The work received its first performance on 7 May in the Royal Festival Hall, London. McDowall’s works are regularly broadcast on BBC Radio and readily available on CD.

The absolute cutting edge in helping students understand resonance. visit http://www.vocevista.com/choralosophy to download VoceVista Video for a free 30 day trial. When you purchase, enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off!

In 2013 Cecilia McDowall received an Honorary Doctorate from Portsmouth University and in 2017 McDowall was selected for an Honorary Fellow award by the Royal School of Church Music. In 2019 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from West London University. In 2021 the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, will release a CD of her choral music on the Hyperion label. In 2020 McDowall was presented with the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for ‘outstanding music collection’ for a ‘consistently excellent body of work’. This was a ‘Gift’ from The Ivors Academy (formerly the British Composers’ Academy).

Episode 70: Legitimate Love and Suffering in the Music Classroom with Dr. Ryan Board

In this episode, Dr. Ryan Board of Pepperdine University and I discuss the role we see for Choral Music education in filling the void of psychological and emotional development of young people and adults. The epidemic of the loss of resiliency in young people is well documented. Dr. Board walks us through the work of Psychiatrist M. Scott Peck by finding parallels between his prescriptions for building a healthy mind, and what we ALREADY provide in a high quality choral environment. You will not want to miss this conversation designed to center you with a renewed sense of purpose as we move the profession forward.

“Spiritually evolved people, by virtue of their discipline, mastery and love, are people of extraordinary competence, and in their competence they are called on to serve the world, and in their love they answer the call.  They are inevitably, therefore, people of great power, although the world may generally behold them as quite ordinary people, since more often than not they will exercise their power in quiet or even hidden ways.  Nonetheless, exercise power they do, and in this exercise they suffer greatly…”

M. Scott Peck
Dr. Ryan Board
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!
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Episode 70
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.

Ryan Board, Director of Choral Activities at Pepperdine University, continues to garner international attention as a conductor, choral artist, teacher, and clinician. In his role as Director of Choral Activities at Pepperdine, Dr. Board directs the Pepperdine Concert Choir and the Pepperdine Chamber Choir and teaches courses in Conducting, Music History, and Music Education. His research interests focus on rhetoric and affections in the sacred vocal music of the Baroque Era.

Dr. Board maintains an active schedule as a professional singer and conductor. For five years he has directed the renowned KC Collegium Vocale and was previously the director of Armonia Early Music Ensemble. He is currently principle conductor for the Prague Choral Festival in association with Prague Proms, and he has recently collaborated with or prepared choirs for Anton Armstrong, Simon Carrington, Joseph Flummerfelt, Andrew Megill, Andre Thomas, The Royal Concert Philharmonic Orchestra, the Daedalus String Quartet, The Kansas City Friends of Chamber Music, Charles Bruffy and the Kansas City Chorale, Jo Jennings, The Jewell Early Music Festival, and The Kansas City Baroque Consortium. He is also an avid conductor of choral-orchestral literature and has conducted works ranging from J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion to Arnold Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw.

Episode 69: Higher Standards-Lower Anxiety

Want your singers to make less mistakes while sight reading?

In this episode I outline some approaches, philosophies and even a rubric. But first, one obvious tip, and one counterintuitive one:

  1. Obvious: SRF assignments, quizzes and most importantly daily class work, and test EACH kid individually at the level appropriate for their current aptitude.
  2. Not obvious: don’t reduce grade for mistakes, or count off “points” for mistakes. Instead, make the rubric about independence and problem solving. Let them fix their mistakes. After all, isn’t that how we use literacy in rehearsal?
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!
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Might seem less “rigorous,” but this model has helped reduce test taking and sight reading anxiety for us big time, and his lead to MORE accurate, fluent music reading.

When we evaluate literacy progress, often times we do this be thinking of sight singing as a game of guitar hero. This does not translate to real world music making. In this episode I offer a different approach complete with two student demonstrations!

The Rubric is very basic-

2- Student is able to sing the entire exercise correctly and independently with no teacher help or instruction

1-Student is able to sing the entire exercise correctly and independently, but needs teacher help or instruction

0-Student is not able to sing all or part of the exercise correctly and independently

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.
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Car Thoughts: Is Social Media Steering or Reflecting Choir Conversations?

I say it’s steering them. And I think that’s bad news. I believe that Social Media has a tremendous upside and potential for good. But only if it is reflective of the common humanity that we experience when we are in person. My concern is that this has been reversed. That, as we begin to return to in person activities, we will have centered our social media conversations as the “Conversation of Record” in our professional space. For healthy balance to be restored, we will need to get to work to reverse this.

See below a recent post on the Choralosophers FB Page.

Colleagues- we can’t let Facebook steer the ship in our profession. The errors of cognitive processing below are so much easier to avoid in person and/or if you know how to look for them. I’m working on a non-music specific Choralosophy Podcast blog and episode complete with expert guest Dr. Erec Smith on the subsequent changes to our communication habits (which spill into our classrooms as well as broader life…) This post is intended to provide some choir specific context.

Just a few of many Human Psychological processes that social media apps actively manipulate:

1. Availability heuristic- if you see the bad thing constantly on your phone, the brain places it in a category that is the same as “existential danger etc.” The thing may be very real and very bad, but it isn’t as prevalent as the phone makes it seem.

2. Anchoring bias- the first context you see something in, or the first fact you see is disproportionately hard to shake when new info arrives. (This is exploited when you rely on a small group of sources for info)

3. Audience effect- every interaction is perverted by an audience. Because the conversations are not between two people. They are between two people with an audience watching. Which means both participants in the conversation feel a very strong pull to perform. It becomes disproportionately important to us to appear to be a good member of our team. And often, the easiest way to do that is to be seen attacking the “other team.”Social media could be a powerful tool for good, and in many ways it is. But, the bad will outweigh the good if the next generation of kids is not taught how to spot and avoid these traps.

Recent Full Epiosde

A Rhetorical Analysis of Toxic Discourses with Dr. Erec Smith

For the first time on Choralosophy, I have written a blog to accompany the podcast episode! This post is not specific to music or musicians. But, as with many topics, we are all trying to navigate a rapidly changing social landscape. I think, write and speak quite a bit about how the quality of conversation has been negatively effected by the influence of social media. In the Podcast, I ask Dr. Erec Smith of York College for his expert perspective on some of my observations. Namely, that many “fights” I observe, or that people attempt to pick with me, seem to follow some recurring rhetorical patterns that may be exacerbated by social media, and its manipulation of some of our mental bad habits.

Find Dr. Smith’s Book here in which he outlines his Empowerment Theory of Anti-Racism.

Dr. Erec Smith
Special Edition!

Just a few of many Human Psychological processes that social media apps actively manipulate:

1. Availability heuristic- if you see the bad thing constantly on your phone, the brain places it in a category that is the same as “existential danger etc.” The thing may be very real and very bad, but it isn’t as prevalent as the phone makes it seem. This is where stepping back to look at data is very important. The 10,000 foot view. 

2. Anchoring bias- the first context you see something in, or the first fact you see is disproportionately hard to shake when new info arrives. (This is exploited when you rely on a small group of sources for info)

3. Audience effect- every interaction is perverted by an audience. Because the conversations are not between two people. They are between two people with an audience watching. Which means both participants in the conversation feel a very strong pull to perform. It becomes disproportionately important to us to appear to be a good member of our team. And often, the easiest way to do that is to be seen attacking the “other team.”

4. The paradox of morality:-Those who are sincerely want to do the right thing may lie to cover their moral lapses (thus, less moral)-Those who care less about appearing moral may be more honest about their moral failings (thus, more moral) https://journals.sagepub.com/…/10.1177/1088868318811759

Now just my guess: I think most people don’t want to imagine themselves as “susceptible” to such petty manipulation. This is a problem for those “other” people…

Something in the Ether

Probably the most interesting thing about hosting a podcast that “leans in” to sensitive conversations is the type of feedback I get. One “genre” of message I receive quite frequently is listeners, friends and colleagues who PRIVATELY express some type of gratitude or admiration for how I handle arguments online. (I know that sounds like a flex, but it is important for the story.) Namely, that I don’t get rattled, and I don’t get sucked in to the name calling, anger, and accusations. This will also be accompanied by an expression of fear about the common Zeitgeist of how conversations online tend of devolve into suspicion and accusation very quickly. I also hear fear to express one’s true opinions, for fear of losing status in their professional community or friend group.

“What if I don’t get accepted to a post grad program because I am perceived as having the wrong opinions?” “It’s just easier to keep my mouth shut.” etc. I also have found it fascinating that this type of concern and fear has come to me from people with a wide diversity of backgrounds. Conversely, almost every single criticism I get is posted publicly rather than via private attempt to communicate.

Below, I will lay out some of the common rhetorical devices I have seen frequently in the many online conversations I have participated in. Keep in mind, when analyzing something “rhetorically,” we try and focus on the WAY things are being said, and less about the opinions or positions themselves. The sad thing is that this toxic trend is occurring in conversations that are substantially very important. It is for this reason that I feel that we MUST get better at having the conversation.

First, let’s establish what HEALTHY and PRODUCTIVE conversations look like. I believe they must all contain the following:

  • Mutual respect.
  • An attempt at equal footing for all participants
  • A desire to learn from everyone involved, based on the principal that EVERYONE knows something you don’t.
  • Willingness from ALL participants to engage in some type of Cognitive Restructuring. Or, simply put, “intellectual flexibility and humility.” This is the willingness to be wrong.

When these things are not present, it opens the door for a toxic discussion.

A recent Patreon only Episode Discusses this as well! Join that important community for as little as $3 a month!

Narrowing the Window

As the Overton Window for what types views can be productively discussed online continues to narrow, I have outlined some common problems that contribute to negative outcomes in contentious comment threads. An extremely common example of this is the following reductionist statement template:

“I am fine with disagreement when it comes to (fill in the blank super benign thing like pizza toppings), but I will not honor the opinion of someone who advocates for (fill in the blank with some extreme, often violent or explicitly discriminatory position that almost no one holds.)”

This is a common rhetorical device that seeks to draw a simple binary over a complex conversation. This way, the person can avoid contending with the THOUSANDS of points of reasonable disagreement between pizza toppings and violence. This narrows the Overton Window by attaching magnetic poles to the extremes of an argument. “You’re either with us or against us.” When you think about it for more than a few seconds, it becomes baffling that a person would frame disagreement in that way. What a charmed life one must have led, to have NO disagreements with anyone other than paint colors or pizza toppings. The most important thing here is learning to recognize this rhetorical device, to avoid getting sucked in by it.

This meme is a popular way to communicate this fallacy. The problem with this statement is that it only works if everyone in the conversation uses the same definitions for all of those words. In the Socratic method, we start be agreeing on definitions FIRST.

In reality, any complex issue has thousands of variables that could be discussed or explored when a group of people is having a discussion. By framing disagreement in this way, we lose the opportunity to explore the variables. What I am seeing, is that many people seem to THINK they are presenting their own thoughts, but in reality are simply filling in pre-made conversation templates like the ones above.

The Anatomy of an Explosive Comment Thread

It is my belief that there are some folks out there that WANT threads to blow up. Some who actually set out to paint people into a corner, so that an argument is inevitable. You know a thread is going to blow up, and that it’s time to get out of dodge when you see the following sequence. It’s like clockwork, I’ve seen it happen 1000 times at this point. This will usually mean that someone who considers themselves to be an activist on whatever topic is being discussed has arrived on the scene. It is often very important for that person to be seen as a white knight or savior. I will call this person “The Hero.” In addition, there are usually a flock of people reading the thread and liking the activist’s/hero’s posts so that they can signal their support, but they rarely contribute to the conversation. This is what I will call the “audience.” This dynamic creates the performative nature of many conversations online.

Step 1. The Hero ENTERS the conversation telling others what they MUST do. This will usually be established in one of the first, if not THE first volley of the conversation. It will be a statement from authority in which a claim of what the result of this conversation will be from the outset.

Step 2. The Hero jump’s right in to mind reading and the assigning of motives. They will start to translate what people are actually saying (explicitly) into what they “are really saying” despite any protests, as well as what you “are really hoping to achieve.” The picture will not be flattering. (Meanwhile, the audience will be liking and loving the Hero’s attempts to paint their interlocutor as the bad guy. In doing so, they are also using the social media algorithms to draw more sympathetic audience members to the thread. Thus, creating the impression that they are in the majority.)

Step 3. Next, the Hero will “Catastrophize” and claim that the results of this conversation (even if it is in a private FB page) could have real and tragic consequences in the real world and provide no evidence for it. (this is usually the justification for step 4.  (I have tried turning the conversation at this point to the evidence for the catastrophe that could stem from our continued disagreement on the given topic. I do not recommend this. It won’t go well.)

Step 4. Outline the rules for the conversation early on, including who is allowed to speak and who is not, and most importantly make it clear how unwelcome it would be if the “wrong people” give their opinions.  (Sometimes this happens as part of Step 1, but some tend to drag this out a bit and let some people give their opinions before telling them their opinion is not welcome.) This is a part of a ritual almost, during which “teams” become clearly established. You either cheer on all of these rules, or you are on the opposing team.

Step 5. Accusations of bigotry or worse to anyone who bristles at the above steps. This is often accompanied by throwing around the word “tone-policing” or “fragility” when one person expresses discomfort with being called a bigot etc. See below for more thoughts on tone-policing. 

Tone-Policing

This is a term used often in activist discourses. It is often used in online arguments when one person does not like being told that they are being “mean or rude” by their interlocutor. In other words, there is usually a claim that saying another person is mean or rude is, in itself, mean or rude.

This seems incongruous with the recent rise in “consent culture” which I see as a good thing. Loosely defined, consent culture is the long overdue idea that I should be sensitive to your personal and physical boundaries. If I have crossed one, I am honor bound to step back. The current trend, at least in these types of arguments, is a move AWAY from consent culture. A person’s boundaries don’t disappear when they log on to the internet. This should concern all of us.

The term “tone-policing,” as I see it, is incongruous with consent culture. In other words, you and no one else, should have the moral authority to draw the boundaries that you are comfortable with online. If you establish them in a conversation, they should be respected. It’s that simple.

But, in order for consent culture to extend to certain online spaces, this concept MUST be reciprocal. “I find your accusations and rhetoric insulting, please stop” should never be met with “you don’t get to decide how I talk to you, stop tone policing me!

We would never accept this with in person conversation, because it is slimy and cowardly. Finding out you have hurt someone, stepping back and apologizing takes strength. If all participants in a conversation, regardless of age, race, gender expression, nationality, religion or any other identity category cannot accept this as a bare minimum for productive conversation to occur, then we are lost. So, my boundary, or line in the sand, is just that. I will talk to you about ANYTHING. As long as I feel like we are starting the conversation as equals. Some will say that this is impossible. “All conversations have power imbalances.” I disagree, but if that is your position, can’t we at least TRY?

Basically, what I am describing is bullying. In online spaces, we should encourage each other to be sensitive to boundaries of treatment the way we instinctually would in real life. (because this is real life.)

Episode 67 Part 2: Growing Access in a Greenhouse with Vince Peterson

I am very unlikely to to give much credence to a person who is critical of the music education practices of colleagues, if they have nothing better to point to. Criticizing is easy. Building something better is hard. Show me your program and how your ideas have shown results, then I am more likely to listen. I appreciate what Vince is doing here. His criticism is that the Conservatory is not diverse enough. Ok, I hear you. What do you plan to do about it? Tune in to hear Vince’s idea for a NEW model.

Picking right up from where we left off in part one, Vince and I get our hands dirty discussing what we see as one of many important “paths forward” in improving the way music education, and CONSERVATORY education in particular is delivered in terms of philosophy, entry barriers, technology and everything in between. Don’t miss it.

Episode 67 part 2

Vince Peterson is a respected choral conductor, composer/arranger, and teacher of music in the United States. His 20-year hybrid career spans the worlds of choral music, theater, sacred music, and music education. He has, however, established himself most prominently in the world of choral music, notably having founded the “shape-shifting” vocal ensemble Choral Chameleon in 2008. Under his leadership, Choral Chameleon has premiered more than 150 works since its nascence and has won critical acclaim in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The New York Concert Review, I Care If You Listen, The Examiner, and other publications. In 2015, the ensemble was awarded the prestigious ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming. In 2017, the group was named the first vocal ensemble artist-in-residence at NYC’s undisputed new music hub, National Sawdust.

Download the FREE software trial at http://www.vocevista.com/choralosophy and try it for 30 days! When you LOVE it, enter choralosophy at checkout for a 10% discount!


In 2003, Peterson earned the BM in Composition from San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of celebrated vocal music composer Conrad Susa. He has also studied composition with David Conte, Elinor Armer, and Philip Lasser. In 2007, he earned a Double MM in Composition and Choral Conducting from Mannes College of Music where he studied under pioneer conductor Mark Shapiro as well as the composer David Loeb. Upon receipt of his Master’s Degree, he was also awarded the singular Music Teacher’s League Award for 2007.
As a prolific arranger, Peterson has received seven commissions to date from the multi-Grammy® Award-winning ensemble Chanticleer, whose YouTube videos of his work have garnered over half a million views. Several of his choral arrangements and original compositions have become staples for choirs across the United States. Distinguished performance venues include Chicago Symphony Hall, San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House, Bartok National Concert Hall in Budapest, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Carnegie Hall, among others.


A recognized thought-leader in the music world, The New York Times called Peterson “authoritative beyond his… years,”and The Brooklyn Eagle praised his work as “a stunning symphony of the spiritual and secular,” while hailing him as a solo performer “with depth and vigor” who “provided a universal context which resonated with his audience.”

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 2018, Vince Peterson was awarded the Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal by Chorus America, a lifetime distinction he shares with only sixteen of the most influential choral musicians in the United States.
In addition to his work with Choral Chameleon, Peterson is overjoyed to serve as Artistic Director of Empire City Men’s Chorus, which he has recently ushered through its 25th Anniversary Season.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.

Learn More About Vince at His Website

Vince on Insta

Greenhouse Music

Episode 67 Part 1: How to Create your Musician’s Credo with Vince Peterson

One of my biggest pet peeves in Music Education reform conversations is what I see as an outsized focus on discussion of what is wrong with Music Ed when compared to the amount of time spent suggesting solutions. Contrary to popular belief, criticism by itself doesn’t solve problems. Criticism is easy. Building something better is hard.

We must take the next step. Vince Peterson is taking steps. Often, the most important step is the one we take is an internal one. In this episode we learn how to create our own “Musician’s Credo.” An exercise developed by Vince for his students, that I found to be profound and beyond that of a “philosophy of education.” So, in many ways, as Vince is asking me the questions in his worksheet, I am being psychoanalyzed on my own show! You will hear me engage in this work in real time. I highly recommend listening to Part 1 of this talk, downloading the PDF below, and doing this assignment for yourself.

Then, be sure to tune in to Part 2 next week, as Vince discusses his brainstorm that is “Greenhouse Music” and why he thinks some of the problems with music education, and educator training need real solutions by rethinking the model, the access and the outcomes.

Episode 67 Part 1

Vince Peterson is a respected choral conductor, composer/arranger, and teacher of music in the United States. His 20-year hybrid career spans the worlds of choral music, theater, sacred music, and music education. He has, however, established himself most prominently in the world of choral music, notably having founded the “shape-shifting” vocal ensemble Choral Chameleon in 2008. Under his leadership, Choral Chameleon has premiered more than 150 works since its nascence and has won critical acclaim in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The New York Concert Review, I Care If You Listen, The Examiner, and other publications. In 2015, the ensemble was awarded the prestigious ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming. In 2017, the group was named the first vocal ensemble artist-in-residence at NYC’s undisputed new music hub, National Sawdust.


In 2003, Peterson earned the BM in Composition from San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of celebrated vocal music composer Conrad Susa. He has also studied composition with David Conte, Elinor Armer, and Philip Lasser. In 2007, he earned a Double MM in Composition and Choral Conducting from Mannes College of Music where he studied under pioneer conductor Mark Shapiro as well as the composer David Loeb. Upon receipt of his Master’s Degree, he was also awarded the singular Music Teacher’s League Award for 2007.
As a prolific arranger, Peterson has received seven commissions to date from the multi-Grammy® Award-winning ensemble Chanticleer, whose YouTube videos of his work have garnered over half a million views. Several of his choral arrangements and original compositions have become staples for choirs across the United States. Distinguished performance venues include Chicago Symphony Hall, San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House, Bartok National Concert Hall in Budapest, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Carnegie Hall, among others.


A recognized thought-leader in the music world, The New York Times called Peterson “authoritative beyond his… years,”and The Brooklyn Eagle praised his work as “a stunning symphony of the spiritual and secular,” while hailing him as a solo performer “with depth and vigor” who “provided a universal context which resonated with his audience.”

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!
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com


In 2018, Vince Peterson was awarded the Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal by Chorus America, a lifetime distinction he shares with only sixteen of the most influential choral musicians in the United States.
In addition to his work with Choral Chameleon, Peterson is overjoyed to serve as Artistic Director of Empire City Men’s Chorus, which he has recently ushered through its 25th Anniversary Season.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Learn More About Vince at His Website

Vince on Insta

Greenhouse Music

Episode 66: “I Shine!” Music as Self Care with Sarah Quartel

Another Installment of the Oxford Series on the Choralosophy Podcast

I had the joy and privilege of chatting with Oxford Choral Composer, Sarah Quartel. We centered our conversation around the ideas of collaborative music making, and choral music specifically, and their ability to build community, increase well being, flourishing and growth. We ranged also to “how the sausage is made” in the Choral Publishing industry, the reality of online school for kids and more. Also, be sure to stick around and find out if I was able to convince Sarah to join a choir again soon. 🙂

Episode 66: Sarah Quartel
Episode 66
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!
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Canadian composer and educator Sarah Quartel is known for her fresh and exciting approach to choral music. Deeply inspired by the life-changing relationships that can occur while making choral music, Sarah writes in a way that connects singer to singer, ensemble to conductor, and performer to audience. Her works are performed by choirs across the world, and she has been commissioned by groups including the American Choral Directors Association, the National Children’s Chorus of the United States of America, and New Dublin Voices. Since 2018 she has been exclusively published by Oxford University Press, and she continues to work as a clinician and conductor at music education and choral events at home and abroad.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

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Car Thoughts: How To Get Choirs to “Sing Louder”

Spoiler- Don’t Ask Them To Sing Louder

One of the most common questions I get from choir teachers is “How do I get my kids to sing louder?! I beg and I plead, but they just don’t make any noise.”

The first mistake you made was the begging and pleading. The second mistake was asking for louder. If kids aren’t singing with enough decibels for your liking, they don’t know how. Trust me. If they did, you will be spending most of your time getting them to shut up and sing softer! Once kids figure this out, they LOVE to hear their own resonance. Tune in for some ideas on my preferred approach.

Car Thoughts

Once you establish these expectations, the next step is accountability. This is where your grading system is HUGE. Once they know how to sing this way, continuing to do so becomes part of their grade. See more about this system here:

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!
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
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.
10th Graders Applying Concepts of Resonance during Sight Reading AND rehearsal
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
For an example of masked and distanced rehearsal with advanced kids who are well versed in these ideas.

Episode 65: The Art of Community with Dr. Iona Italia

Shared goals are more important than any other factors when building community. Not shared cultures, shared backgrounds, or shared talents. We just need to want the same things. Choirs are typically natural breeding grounds of this type of shared interest. In this episode I compare notes with writer, podcaster and Tango instructor Dr. Iona Italia on the the ways we build community in our artistic spaces. She brings her experience living all over the world and participating in many cultures and the common threads in all of those efforts, while I just continue to notice more and more parallels to what we do in group singing. There is a little bit of something for everyone here, including my first E for explicit rating. Something about Iona just makes you want to take off the filter. Tune in and prepare to be fascinated by one of my most interesting guests!

Episode 65

Highlights include:

  • In both group singing and in tango, the music looses some of its value when we are apart.
  • The importance of accountability to each other
  • Thoughts about how music and dance can cause a beautiful melding of cultures when we allow it.
  • The intimacy of the connections formed. Dance and choir romances! Why is sexual connection so common in choir and tango?
  • An entire bonus episode about an hour in on our political philosophies related to discourse.

About Iona From Her Website:

Half Scottish, half Indian by origin, I lived in the UK, Germany and the US before settling in Argentina, where I have been working as a freelance writer and translator since 2006. I speak three foreign languages—Spanish, German and French—with fluency and confidence.

I am currently subeditor of Areo Magazine and host of the magazine’s podcast, Two for Tea.

I have translated texts ranging from literature, through business and technical material, to websites and advertising.



With a PhD in English Literature from Cambridge University, I have taught English at universities in both Europe (including Germany) and the US and have extensive experience in academic writing and editing. I’m the author of the book Anxious Employment, a history of early journalism, published by Routledge UP. I’ve published essays and articles on journalism and was joint editor of an essay collection on early periodicals (with Prof Robert Clark).

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!
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
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 64: Student Perspectives on Choir in a Pandemic with Highland High Choir and Steve Hickman

The Next Installment of the Student Perspectives Series

In this episode, I “Zoomed” in to the choral classroom of Steve Hickman at Highland High School in Gilbert, AZ. I had the privilege of speaking with Steve and his students in the Advanced Vocal Ensemble about a variety of things related to “making choir happen” over the last year during a pandemic, as well as what it meant to these kids, in their OWN words, to be able to make music together. You will also hear open and honest, unfiltered teens talking about what being in a close knit choir family means to them. I continue to find it interesting hearing about choir from the singer/student perspective. It’s why we do this after all. So, tune in and be a fly on the wall, and as always, let me know what you think!

Episode 64
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!
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

From Steve Hickman about Highland High School Choral Music: Highland High School is a public high school in Gilbert, Az with a little over 3,000 students. Our choir program includes 200 students, with five choirs and two teachers, one of which also teaches half her day at our feeder junior high. The choirs include two entry level ensembles separated into treble and bass, an advanced women’s ensemble, an auditioned large mixed ensemble (“Concert Choir”), and a small mixed auditioned group (Advanced Vocal) that studies chamber/vocal jazz music (though due to the peculiarities of this year we only did jazz last quarter). Our first quarter was online, second fully in person, and we are currently in a hybrid model (half the alphabet on alternating days).

Steve Hickman is currently in his 14th year teaching choral music in the Gilbert District.  A native of Arizona, Mr. Hickman grew up in Gilbert and is an alumnus of Highland High School.  Mr. Hickman was also the director of choirs at Highland Junior High for nine years and opened Gilbert’s newest High School, Campo Verde, in 2009.  He holds an undergraduate degree in Music Education from Northern Arizona University and is currently pursuing a graduate degree from Arizona State University.  Choirs under his direction have performed at numerous regional, state, and national competitions/festivals, and consistently earn superior ratings.

Mr. Hickman sings professionally in the Phoenix area, including four seasons with the Grammy award-winning Phoenix Chorale, Arizona’s only professional choral ensemble, and has served as tenor soloist at Victory Lutheran Church in Mesa for the past five years.  He has held state office and leadership positions with the American Choral Director’s Association (AzACDA) and Arizona Choral Educators (ACE) organizations and is currently the Vice President for Jazz and Show Choirs for ACE. Mr. Hickman is active as a choral clinician/adjudicator around Arizona.

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.
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Episode 64: Student Perspectives on Choir in a Pandemic with Highland High Choir and Steve Hickman

The Next Installment of the Student Perspectives Series

In this episode, I “Zoomed” in to the choral classroom of Steve Hickman at Highland High School in Gilbert, AZ. I had the privilege of speaking with Steve and his students in the Advanced Vocal Ensemble about a variety of things related to “making choir happen” over the last year during a pandemic, as well as what it meant to these kids, in their OWN words, to be able to make music together. You will also hear open and honest, unfiltered teens talking about what being in a close knit choir family means to them. I continue to find it interesting hearing about choir from the singer/student perspective. It’s why we do this after all. So, tune in and be a fly on the wall, and as always, let me know what you think!

Episode 64
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!
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

From Steve Hickman about Highland High School Choral Music: Highland High School is a public high school in Gilbert, Az with a little over 3,000 students. Our choir program includes 200 students, with five choirs and two teachers, one of which also teaches half her day at our feeder junior high. The choirs include two entry level ensembles separated into treble and bass, an advanced women’s ensemble, an auditioned large mixed ensemble (“Concert Choir”), and a small mixed auditioned group (Advanced Vocal) that studies chamber/vocal jazz music (though due to the peculiarities of this year we only did jazz last quarter). Our first quarter was online, second fully in person, and we are currently in a hybrid model (half the alphabet on alternating days).

Steve Hickman is currently in his 14th year teaching choral music in the Gilbert District.  A native of Arizona, Mr. Hickman grew up in Gilbert and is an alumnus of Highland High School.  Mr. Hickman was also the director of choirs at Highland Junior High for nine years and opened Gilbert’s newest High School, Campo Verde, in 2009.  He holds an undergraduate degree in Music Education from Northern Arizona University and is currently pursuing a graduate degree from Arizona State University.  Choirs under his direction have performed at numerous regional, state, and national competitions/festivals, and consistently earn superior ratings.

Mr. Hickman sings professionally in the Phoenix area, including four seasons with the Grammy award-winning Phoenix Chorale, Arizona’s only professional choral ensemble, and has served as tenor soloist at Victory Lutheran Church in Mesa for the past five years.  He has held state office and leadership positions with the American Choral Director’s Association (AzACDA) and Arizona Choral Educators (ACE) organizations and is currently the Vice President for Jazz and Show Choirs for ACE. Mr. Hickman is active as a choral clinician/adjudicator around Arizona.

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.
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

How NOT to Write Your Cancellation Essay

UNLOCKED

This episode is an UNLOCKED Patreon only episode that I released in October at the Choralosophy Podcast private feed. I am releasing it here now in an effort to encourage some deep thinking about the Choral Profession and our recent flourish of colleague cancellation. This particular episode looks back at the essay written by composer Daniel Elder as an attempt to protest his treatment by Choral Zeitgest.

Unlocked Analysis of Daniel Elder Essay

You Can Unlock ALL Private Podcasts by subscribing for 3$ a month at Choralosophy’s Patreon Page

In this line by line analysis of his essay I discuss the concepts outlined therein of “Critical Theory,” color blind auditions, and whether or not we have abandoned a “golden age” of diversity for something worse. Or, are we truly and equally marching forward? Tune in to this analysis and let me know what you think.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Episode 63: “We Face People.” The Courage of the Choir with Bob Chilcott

An installment of the Oxford Series on the Choralosophy Podcast

In choral music, in a different way than in other types of music making, WE ARE the instrument. This creates a unique vulnerability within choral music. If my saxophone is flat, I can fix the ligature, and EXTERNALIZE the problem. With singers, we must still fix technical things, but we can’t escape INTERNALIZING the problem. In a profound way, the same reason many are attracted to singing, is the reason many are also afraid of it. There is power in conquering that fear.

In this open conversation, renowned composer, arranger and long time King’s Singer Bob Chilcott and I discuss performance anxiety, the unique properties of choral music, his transitions between performer and conductor, and much more. This conversation is a must listen!

Episode 63: Bob Chilcott
Episode 63

Learn More About Bob and His Music!

As a composer, conductor, and singer, Bob Chilcott has enjoyed a lifelong association with choral music, first as a chorister and choral scholar in the choir of King’s College, Cambridge, and for 12 years as a member of the King’s Singers.  He became a full-time composer in 1997, and has produced a large catalogue of music for all types of choirs which is published by Oxford University Press.  His most often performed pieces include Can you hear me?A Little Jazz MassRequiem, and the St John Passion.

Bob has conducted choirs in more than 30 countries worldwide and has worked with many thousands of amateur singers across the UK in a continuing series of Singing Days. For seven years he was conductor of the Chorus of The Royal College of Music in London and since 2002 he has been Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers. In 2017 Bob was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by The Royal School of Church Music and in 2019 takes up the role of Principal Conductor Birmingham University Singers.

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!
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

His music has been widely recorded by leading British choirs and groups including The King’s Singers, King’s College, Cambridge, Wells Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, The Sixteen, Tenebrae, The BBC Singers, The Bach Choir, Commotio, and Ora. In 2016 he enjoyed a collaboration with the celebrated singer Katie Melua on the album In Winter.  In 2017 two new discs were released by Commotio and Choralis – All Good Things on Naxos, and In Winter’s Arms on Signum, his first recording collaboration with an American choir.  Newer recording projects are with the BBC Singers, Houston Chamber Choir, and Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
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.

Thoughts on What ‘Elitism” Means in Choral Music

Many people use the term “elitist” to describe aspects of choral music.

The problem, as I see it is that this term means different things to different people. So in this short verbal essay, I reflect on the need to be specific when we criticize. I also discuss some places that I see Elitism in choral music. From the teacher training programs to the trenches of the profession, as well as in conversations on what it means to be a “great” choir. Should we avoid language that seeks to elevate some choral ensembles as “great” and risk creating an elitist culture? Or, is such a hierarchy a necessary outgrowth of working toward performance art related goals? *audio on this episode is not normal. I am traveling!

A Car-less episode of Car Thoughts!

Some possible areas that draw this type of critique:

  • The concept of “what it means to be a good choir.”
  • How much focus gets placed on musical elements being “perfect.”
  • How does Academia contribute to elitism in the training of teachers?
  • Are there aspects of teaching “in the trenches” that are hard to see until you’re 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!
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Tune in via podcast platforms or on YouTube for the first volley of the conversation. Then feel free to add your thoughts in the Choralosophers facebook group or in the response form on the main page of choralosophy.com

A modified Car Thoughts Episode
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.
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Episode 62: Filling in the Gaps with Choir

Featuring Laura Ritter and her Walters State Chamber Choir

In this episode, I feature Laura Ritter and her Walters State Chamber Choir. I asked students to reflect on why they NEED choir, what it has meant to them to return to singing in our current troubled time, what has created a sense of safety and belonging for them in choir. In the first two years of the show, I have mostly focused on the perspectives of directors. So, I have decided to add another category to the show! STUDENT PERSPECTIVES. After all, it is the experiences for our singers that we are trying to create. They are why we engage in professional development like Podcasts anyway!

Episode 62

I felt helpless, and I felt sad. That’s when I realized there was a class called choir. I felt myself as family, and was welcomed there.

Jomarie Duites
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!
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Laura Ritter and Walters State

Video Version coming soon!

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
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.
Click Here For More Info on Atlanta Convention!

Episode 61: Give Me Some Humanity! With Will Todd

Part of the Oxford Series on the Choralosophy Podcast

Join us in this thought provoking and jovial conversation in which Will and I discuss a comparison of the US and UK music education paradigms, his approach to the creative process, and the possible pitfalls of training “sight reading machines.” While this can result in singers with world class ability, it can also result in performances that, at times can lack humanity. We also discuss the influences on his music made by his eclectic listening tastes growing up. How do we stay connected to the humanity in the music making?

Be sure to visit Will’s Website!
Episode 61

English composer Will Todd is well known for his beautiful and exciting music. His work encompasses choral works large and small, opera, musical theatre and orchestral pieces, as well as jazz compositions and chamber works.

His anthem, The Call of Wisdom, was performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations with a TV audience of 45 million people. His breakthrough work, Mass in Blue (originally titled Jazz Mass), has been performed hundreds of times all over the world. His arrangement of Amazing Grace was performed at President Obama’s Inauguration Day prayer service in 2013 and as part of the BBC’s Nelson Mandela Thanksgiving Service.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

He has collaborated with award winning choirs The Sixteen and Tenebrae, as well as with the Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Opera Holland Park, BBC Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra, The Halle Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, The Bach Choir, St Martin’s Voices.

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!
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

His discography includes best selling choral discs Lux Et Veritas and The Call of Wisdom, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Mass in Blue, Ode to a Nightingale, Passion Music and Jazz Missa Brevis all on the Signum Classic label. His clarinet concerto recorded by the BBC Concert Orchestra and Emma Johnson was released in 2016His music is regularly broadcast on Classic FM, as well as on BBC Radio 3.

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.

Will Todd’s music is valued for its melodic intensity and harmonic skill, often incorporating jazz colours, and his choral music is much in demand from amateur as well as professional performers.

Recent commissions include an oratorio for The Bach Choir written with former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen and operas for Welsh National Opera and Opera North.

Episode 60: Labels Won’t Stick to Isaac Cates

Isaac Cates is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. A classically trained pianist, who is also a gospel music specialist, but also a singer-song writer… Oh! and also a choir clinician. Turns out he is also a fantastic podcast guest! Join Isaac and I in studio for this multifaceted conversation. We discussed Isaac’s approach to forging new paths with his group Isaac Cates and Ordained, his feeling of “never quite fitting in” to a musical category, our thoughts on current trends in music education and much more.

Isaac Cates
Episode 60
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Learn More about Isaac on his Website!

Isaac Cates began singing and playing the piano at age four and started composing as a teenager.  While a student at the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri-Kansas City, he arranged spirituals, composed original chorales and set sacred text. Currently, Cates is in demand as a choral clinician and music educator throughout the United States and Europe. In addition to his leadership at music seminars, he is also a prolific producer, Music educator and recording artist. Isaac is a gifted pianist and vocal arranger, sought after for his vocal coaching expertise. He has a unique ability to blend genres, utilizing different musical techniques such as bel canto style with speech level singing. His original composition, “Strong Tower”,  is sung and translated in over 17 different countries languages. Firmly rooted in both gospel and classical training, Isaac combines soulful harmonies, polyphonic rhythms and dazzling piano accompaniments to create his trademark sound.

Click Here For More Info on Atlanta Convention!

In 2004 Isaac collaborated with a colleague to form Ordained, a small musical ensemble of skilled vocalists.  Together, Isaac Cates & Ordained have appeared in concerts and been featured alongside some of the worlds greatest artists; From gospel artists Bebe and Marvin Winans to country sensations Trace Adkins and Lyle Lovett.  Ordained has toured all over the united states and Switzerland. Made up of soloists, worship leaders, music educators and instrumentalists, Ordained is praised for their dynamic sound. Ordained released their first album in 2006 entitled “Take My Life”, a Christmas EP, “Carol Of The Bells” and numerous singles. Ordained’s music videos of “Hold On” and “Carol Of The Bells” have over 1 million views on social media. Ordained is preparing to release a new recording at the end of the Year.

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!
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Isaac on Facebook!

Find Isaac on Insta

Follow Isaac on Twitter!

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 59: Married to the Choir with The Robison’s and the The Munces

This special episode comes at Podcasting from a bit of a different angle. Enjoy a spot as a fly on the wall while two couples, both comprised of two choral musicians, sit down to discuss the benefits and possible pitfalls of being married to someone who shares your professional sphere. My wife Beth and I welcomed Dr. Jennaya Robison, from the Conservatory at UMKC and Dr. Brett Robison of Viterbo University to join us in our living room for a candid and open sharing of experiences being “Married to the Choir.”

We covered how choral music brought both couples together, how competitiveness can create a challenge in the relationship, how it’s important for us to remember our role as supporter and fan for each other while also wanting honest professional feedback, and much more. We are still all trying to walk this tight rope, but I believe you will find the conversation interesting and engaging.

Episode 59
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.
Click Here For More Info on Atlanta Convention!
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Why You May Have Misunderstood Singers Masks and the Aerosol Study

Special Update!

From myself, along with Robin and Jon at MyMusicFolders

Colorado STATE Testing: We were given the opportunity in early July to send prototypes to Colorado State aerosol lab for testing, and those results were published, along with several others, as part of their interactive mask effectiveness charts, and people continue to reference those results. Again, those published results contained tests on our PROTOTYPE Mask.  When we realized that their published comparison charts declared that “ALL Singers’ masks” performed badly, we entered in to several conversations with Dr. John Volckens and more often his assistant, who actually conducted the tests, Dr. Christian L’Orange. We made changes or improvements in the RESONANCE Mask fabric choices and construction as a direct result of those tests.

Short Update About Singers Masks

More info here

We continued to improve our mask by adding the sewn-in polypropylene filter layer beginning with October production.  Unfortunately, the prototype Resonance test results were  permanently published in their charts and embedded in the Music & Performing Arts video broadcasts. Dr. L’Orange has assured us that when they update their Colorado State Lab website, they will include the more recent test results of our actual production Resonance masks, but since their website update has been delayed several times (they are busy working on air exchange measurements for classrooms now) they offered to take down the specific results for our prototype mask for now.

Me in the original prototype

They agreed that leaving those results up were causing mis-information to continue to be distributed.  Filtration is important, but equally important is how the Mask FITs: Simply stated, the Colorado State aerosol labs’ test is for filtration only. There are 2 masks that specifically “look great” in their tests, that do not function nearly as safely as one might assume, as the fit of the mask is loose & in-secure on the face as well as made of a difficult to breathe through neoprene material (TMF Vocal Performance mask) , or in one instance (The NOTEable Mask), instructs the wearer to be certain to leave “2 fingers’ width open at the bottom of the chin”. The NOTEable mask is constructed of such tightly woven material that to actually breathe through the fabric is very challenging, thus the need to allow air passage up from the bottom. 

There are some important factors one needs to consider when choosing a mask for SINGING that differ from considerations for a daily use mask. The mask must fit closely to the face, without moving/slipping/dislodging from the face when engaging the face and mouth in complete width of movement necessary for a healthy singers’ vocal production. The mask must provide “breathability” – early on, the recommendations were to find “tightly woven cotton” and very tightly woven or extruded fibers (such as neoprene) in fact do prevent aerosol transmission, but can be extremely difficult to breathe in, especially when singing. We now know that several layers of more breathable fabrics can provide very good or better protection without impeding breathing.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

The mask should be able to accommodate “double-masking” either by adding further filters or by being able to fit securely over a second mask in order to protect against the newer more transmissible Covid virus variations. Even though we added the silver-infused polypropylene filter layer sandwiched between the cover fabric and the lining, we continued to offer the additional disposable filters as an option, and always include 3 in every mask package. Those additional filters are a 3 layer non-woven melt blown polypropylene that we have 3rd party tested each production. Those filters have come back consistently at over 95% filtration efficiency. (Note the Colorado State Lab tests only the mask, not the optional disposable filter.) Using our 3-layer resonance mask with the additional filter should give even higher filtration protection.


Performers using various singers masks seem to prefer either ours or the Broadway Relief mask. Between these 2 masks, the RESONANCE Mask is better fitted – no gaping at the edges of the cheeks, fits snugly beneath the chin, and the silicone lining under the wide cheek-nose-cheek moldable wire really secures the Resonance mask to the face. The main complaints about the Broadway mask that I hear is that their nose wire is very stiff and difficult to adjust, and that the BR mask cannot be wet-laundered, only sprayed with disinfectant for sanitization.


I attach the most recent results from Colorado State regarding the RESONANCE Singers mask. Jon has created an overlay with these results within the graph Colorado State provides on their current website.  The RESONANCE Mask results are the dashed lines (these are 3 separate test – results) and you can observe that our mask is more protective than the Broadway mask (even without  our extra filter) at the lower levels of aerosol transmissions.

Lastly, our Resonance singers’ mask is used by the Colorado State University choirs, after consultation with the testing lab. We know this because their choral director, Dr. Gregory Gentry, spoke with us more than once throughout their Singers Mask selection process, although his University has advised against him actually “endorsing” us – I think they – Colorado officials – are worried about liability.
Second attachment is the current certification at 97% avg. efficiency filtration of the disposable bio-filters that we provide for use with the masks. 

Episode 58: Telling the Story of American Choral Singing

With Dr. Jerry Blackstone, Matthew Workman and Brian Gaukel

Have you heard about this yet?! What an exciting project this is. My three guests for this episode have teamed up to create a monumental expression of what choral singing means to us here in the United States. “CHORAL SINGING IN AMERICA: NURTURING THE AMERICAN SOUL.”

So Jerry, Matt, Brian and I hooked up to discuss the behind the scenes scoop on how how this project came together and where it’s headed. You will definitely want to hear this story and continue to follow it closely over the next year. I believe the end result will be something we can all be proud of.

Episode 58

Learn More about the Film

PRODUCTION TEAM

Brian Gaukel, Filmmaker

Jerry Blackstone, Artistic Director

Matthew Workman, Executive Producer

SYNOPSIS

This documentary series gives voice to choral singing in America, the roots from which it grew, and what so many have felt for generations: in times of division and challenge, joy and sadness, heartache and ecstasy, life is better when we sing and even better when we sing together.

Donate to the Project!

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 57: Working Between Worlds with Reena Esmail

The Oxford Series on the Choralosophy Podcast!

Reena Esmail is currently the composer in residence for the LA Master Chorale and the composer of TaReKiTa published by Oxford University Press. Reena works between the worlds of Indian and Western classical music, to bring communities together through the creation of equitable musical spaces and holds degrees from Juilliard and Yale. In this engaging discussion, I had the opportunity not only to help you get to know Reena, but also to get her perspective on many critical issues facing the classical music community. We discussed:

  • The beauty of working with organizations that truly value relationships
  • Reena’s criteria for accepting commissions
  • Indians/South Asians representation in Western classical music
  • The distinction between the organizational level conversations about representation and the interpersonal
  • Working with both Western and Indian classical music styles
  • How it’s exhausting when there’s always a qualifier in front of your name

And much more! This was a VERY fun conversation! So be sure to tune in!

Episode 57

www.reenaesmail.com

Reena Esmail works between the worlds of Indian and Western classical music, to bring communities together through the creation of equitable musical spaces. Esmail holds degrees from The Juilliard School and the Yale School of Music. A resident of Los Angeles, Esmail is the 20-23 Swan Family Artist in Residence with Los Angeles Master Chorale, and the 20-21 Composer in Residence with Seattle Symphony. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Board of New Music USA, and Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Shastra, a non-profit organization that promotes cross-cultural music connecting musical traditions of India and the West.

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.

Car Thoughts: I Think We Dis the Super Bowl Music Because We’re Jealous

I said what I said.

The hot topic this week has been choir snobbery online in regards to pop music, or commercial music. I think this is an important topic, but as always, I have my own little angle that might be different than most. It could be that telling people what they must support can be just as elitist as not supporting things. I will call it “Preference Policing.” So, where is the line?

  • Can we express our likes and dislikes just like other consumers of music?
  • Or do we, as music educators need to vocally “cheerlead” all music?
  • Is the tendency for vocalists to nitpick the techniques or “validity” of pop singers a sign of our corruptly elitist view of singing?

Maybe. But it could also be that we’re just jealous…

Car Thoughts

Car Thoughts: Why Conversations Online End Badly

I saw a few posts from colleagues recently that seemed to lament our inability to have good discussions among people who disagree online. The first problem: we aren’t actually having discussions anymore…


The best conversations I’ve ever had with colleagues have been in the bar at conventions. Or on my show!

Car Thoughts: Feb 5
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 56: Sound Engineering for Dummies with Josh Williams

The lead sound engineer for Hallmark Corporation walks us through the basics of how to create a respectable digital representation of your ensemble.

A nuts and bolts episode covering everything you need to know before you get started!

Many of us will exist at different places on the learning curve on this topic, but Josh is a true expert and leader in this field, so tune and you may learn something new!

Episode 56
Josh Williams
  • USB Mics vs. XLR pros and cons (what to look for when shopping.)
  • Editing softwares like Garage Band vs fancier ones (Is it worth upgrading if you don’t know what you’re doing?)
  • Features of the basic softwares. Dos and Don’ts
  • Placement of mics in the space relative to you ensemble
  • Choosing a space to record
  • mp3 vs. WAV (why does it matter? pros and cons)
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Click Here For More Info on Atlanta Convention!
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.

Car Thoughts: The Performance is still critical.

Just a random rant in my car. As performance opportunities dwindled over the last year, we have been quick to rationalize this as a good thing. Maybe because we needed to in order to cope with the loss? Either way, maybe it’s not that simple. Maybe the performances are critical.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
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 55: Music At the Intersection of Identities with Deborah Stephens

In this conversation, Soprano Deborah Stephens and I engage in an open and raw conversation about many aspects of identity and how it effects our concepts of self as well as how this effects our view of the music world. We hit the hot button topics of our own identities and how we see ourselves, tokenism, stereotypes in musical tastes, blind auditions, appropriation, “who is this music for?” and much more. You won’t want to miss a minute of this one!

Episode 55
Deborah Stephens
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Deborah Stephens graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia in December 2019 with a Bachelors of Music in Voice Performance. She is currently in a Master of Music in Early Music, Oratorio, & Chamber Ensemble at Yale University. In September 2017, Deborah founded and began to direct VERITAS Vocal Ensemble, a small group of 10 UGA students passionate about choral singing. VERITAS has performed on the UGA Student Spotlight Concert, many faculty and student recitals, and hosted a joint-ensemble benefit concert to support music education. Deborah currently enjoys speaking engagements at universities and on music podcasts, has been featured by Early Music America, and performs with professional choral ensembles such as Kinnara, Coro Vocati, and the Lake Junaluska Singers, and is a sought after freelance soloist.

Featured Links:

deborahsopranos.wix.com/debyousee

https://www.liftmusicfund.org/

Episode 54: Choir Teacher TikTok and Tips for Social Media Use for Educators with Katherine Rosenfeld

Your TeacherGram can’t be your main focus. Make sure your kids remain at the center of everything you’re doing.

Katherine Rosenfeld
Katherine Rosenfeld

We are now in a time in which the line between our day to lives and our social media lives are becoming ever harder to keep separate. Almost like a living business card, we are curating public personas that for some people are the closest they will come to knowing the “real” person. As teachers, we are citizens of the world and are not immune to this rapidly changing landscape. The pandemic has only increased the amount of time we spend on social media. Katherine Rosenfeld has been winning this game as far as I can tell. She has managed to create a truly positive, professional and FUN web persona. As a new teacher, she is seeking ways to stay connected with her students whether in or out of the classroom.

Episode 54
@ms.rosenfeld

7th grade Katherine would never believe these would be the things to stick around #TortillaTrend #middleschool #teacher #teachersoftiktok

♬ Wii – Mii Channel – Super Guitar Bros

Katherine Rosenfeld graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2019 with a degree in choral music education. Her time at NAU was marked by leadership roles including serving as the President for both the NAU chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and the Shrine of the Ages Choir. After finishing her student teaching in December of 2019, Katherine accepted a position teaching 7th and 8th grade choir at Arizona School for the Arts, a charter performing arts school in downtown Phoenix, where she currently teaches. Since the majority of Katherine’s teaching career has been online thus far, she seeks creative and innovative ways to connect with her students including her presence on social media. In addition to teaching, Katherine sings in church choirs and professional ensembles in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Sedona and runs a private voice studio.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
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 53: The Enneagram As a Tool for Harmonious Rehearsals with Kailin Kane

I was recently introduced to the Enneagram, so I cannot claim any expertise on it, so I called in a knowledgable friend! I invited Kailin Kane to come explain the Enneagram in a way that can enhance the context for those that know about it already, or as an introduction to noobs like me. As a music educator, she also has some really interesting ideas for using Enneagram as lens through which a director could view our students, singers or players. If we have groups of any size in front of us, it is safe to say that we have each of the nine distinct points of view operating within our rehearsal. Understanding these human truths can help us create an environment of empathy and compassion in our rehearsal spaces.

Episode 53

Kailin Kane has taught oboe and faculty development courses at the U.S. Army and U.S. Naval Schools of Music as well as coaches student chamber groups. She enlisted in the Army in 2007 and has served with the U.S. Army Ground Forces Band, U.S. Army Europe Band & Chorus, and the 323d Army Band “Fort Sam’s Own,” and has been a guest musician with U.S. Military Academy Band. A native of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, she earned her Bachelor’s of Music in Oboe Performance from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. She is currently seeking certification and training to teach the Enneagram.

Episode 53

Kailin’s Recommended Reading.

“The Essential Enneagram” by Dr. David Daniels

“The Enneagram” by Don Riso and Russ Hudson www.enneagraminstitute.com

enneagramapproach.com

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
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.

BONUS Virtual Unit on Resonance- VIDEO VERSION RECOMMENDED.

JUMP STRAIGHT TO VIDEO

Resonance Unit With Voce Vista

https://youtu.be/ByzbVgYTXsw
Bonus!
  1. Define Resonance
  2. Define overtones
  3. Discuss (let kids chime in as much as possible) the examples of simple musical instruments. Why does a piano sound like a piano, or guitar like a guitar etc. (I recommend having your computer ready with some simple instrument sounds mp3s that can be imported and shone in Voce Vista.)
  4. How is the human voice different? It’s way more complicated than a piano. Why?  The human voice is complicated because the air speed, vocal fold proximation,  and almost infinite number of shapes created by the resonating cavity allows for infinite numbers of sounds and timbres. Show this video https://youtu.be/au92XTLm_SU You could also ask kids to make goofy noises into the meet one at a time to prove the point.
  5. Define pitch vs. noise (Show live examples in Voce Vista)
  6. Discuss spoken language. “Why can we understand each other?
     Our brains are able to detect the subtle changes of overtones that occur when a person is moving their mouth. Show in Voce Vista, and be sure to point out that we speak in pitch. Without pitch our brain would not be able to detect the overtone patterns.
  7. Then move into singing sounds. Demonstrate some clearly sung, resonant examples of the 5 major vowels live into Voce Vista. Point out the singers formant up around 3500 hz, and point out the shifting overtone pattern as your mouth changed shape. Optional video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N5q85G3ydk 
  8. This is a good chance to explain the importance of blend in a choir.
  9. Next, I “imitated” young singers in a loving way… “The breathy kid,” “Kid who’s too cool to open his mouth” and any other funny ones you come up with. Recorded these live in Voce Vista and showed the kids some of the lack in overtone clarity that happens with those types of singing errors in technique. Always good to put good examples up for comparison. A nice review of concepts here: https://youtu.be/PKengo7y28U 
  10. On the last day I gave the kids 3-4 minutes to record and send their own sound sample for analysis. I imported and shared them all and let the kids see the “pictures of their sound” which they got a kick out of. It also gave us a chance to address the issue of “I don’t like the sound of my voice. I sound weird on recordings.” Well, yes Sally, that’s because you hear your own voice before the RESONANCE is complete. Ties things together nicely.

visit vocevista.com/choralosophy to download the software for a free 30 day trial. If you chose to purchase it, you will get 10% off when you enter Choralosophy checkout! 

COVID and Social Justice: A Look Back at Audience Favorites of 2020

Tune As I Reflect On The Year, and Look Forward to 2021!

2020 is coming to a close (thank God) and I wanted to thank the readers and listeners here on ChoralNet, the Podcast channels, YouTube, or wherever you engage with Choralosophy content! This year has been year of growth for the show, and it wouldn’t have been possible without all of you!

A huge portion of that growth in 2020 were centered around two themes that got a lot of attention on the show for obvious reasons. Covid, and Social Justice related issues.

When the May webinar came out, I jumped into the fray be creating the Covid Conversations Series in which I interviewed some of the top infectious disease experts in the world in order to cut through a bit of the hype around the topic and offer a different way of looking at the issue than many had been exposed to. This project drew a lot of both positive and negative attention to the show, but it definitely drew in listeners! Ultimately, that’s why I did it. Covid affected our professions this year in a rather unique way, so I felt that a full exploration of the topic beyond “how do aerosols behave when we sing?” was warranted. As 2020 rolled on, it turns out that assumption was correct as hundreds of choirs around the world have returned to singing with risk mitigation strategies in place.

The Year 2020 in Review

Back in February, prior to the tragic killing of George Floyd, I had decided to do a mini-series on topics surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion called “Choral Music: A HUMAN Art Form.” The episodes did well in terms of audience response and downloads prior to the pandemic. But, when the summer hit thousands more came back to download many of the episodes housed there. This was an interesting development as the discourse on social media heated up, and often times turned contentious, the conversations on this series took a different approach. Real people, just talking. In a way a Facebook discussion group cannot offer.

With both of these topics, it is likely more episodes will be added in 2021. Though, wouldn’t it be great if the world healed in a way that I didn’t feel the NEED to do more? Oh well, I guess we can dream. In the mean time, keep tuning in, and keep being part of the conversation.

Audience Favorites in 2020!

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.
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Episode 52: Better Choirs with Less Work After Hours with Guest Host John Sargent

Don’t bring work home with you. Grading practices and making literacy the core of the curriculum can lead to better choirs, less stress for the teacher and more time in class for a rich and in depth learning experience.

This episode takes on a unique format, in that it was birthed from listener response from a past episode on teaching literacy, and grading practices. John Sargent had been sending me some questions mostly centered around Episode 18: Ripping Off the Bandaid. I was finding answering the questions via text was too tricky, so I asked John to come on with me and flip roles and just grill me on how all of the ideas I talk about in the show play out in the real world. As we prepared to record, Nathan Connell jumped on over on Patreon with a bunch more questions.

So, tune in for a real nuts and bolts discussion about how a strategic curricular approach to literacy, vocal technique, and grading practices can make your job more fun, more fulfilling, less stressful and WAY less consuming of your free time.

Tune in below!
Episode 52
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
John Sargent

Mr. Sargent is Choral Music Director at Newbury Park High School, where he conducts the Concert Choir, Women’s Ensemble, Chamber Singers, Men’s Chorus, and Advanced Women’s Ensemble. John graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor of Music Degree in voice and music education There, he sang in major opera productions, and studied under the tutelage of John Alexander. At Littlerock High School in the Antelope Valley, he initiated a choral program from the ground up with an enrollment of over 120 singers in three choirs, and from 2000-2003, he served as Assistant Conductor of the Antelope Valley Master Chorale at Antelope Valley College. John earned his Master of Music degree in choral conducting at California State University, Los Angeles, where he studied with Dr. William Belan and Donald Brinegar. Also known affectionately as “Sarge,” this is his 18th year teaching at Newbury Park High School.

Below are video examples of many of the ideas discussed in the episode

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Choir Director Probs: Rose Colored Glasses on Virtual School

I am really struggling with teaching online. I know many of you are too. Since, I pick up a vibe that this is a touchy subject to discuss, I have no choice but to discuss it. Such is the lot of the podcaster, I suppose. I hope this helps somebody.

Choir Director Probs
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
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 51: Diversifying Repertoire is a Personal Journey with Dr. Janet Galván

When you do music from a culture that is not your own, it is like you are holding someone else’s dreams and past in your hands.

Janet Galván

In this touching and vulnerable conversation, Dr. Galván and I discuss the very important issue of programming and preparing to perform music from an ever growing number of traditions and cultures. This can be an overwhelming topic to approach in many ways. Partly due to the sheer number of styles and performance practices that exist. None of us can master them all, and that’s ok! Downstream from this problem is whether or not we give ourselves and our colleagues grace when they make mistakes. Do we shame the conductor who presents an inauthentic performance or do offer help and resources?

This episode is structured as a help and a resource. Dr. Galván has done a tremendous amount of work in the trenches on this topic in her storied career. That experience has left her with some very solid practices and procedures for each of us to use when we approach a new style of music to introduce to our ensembles.

Episode 51: Dr. Janet Galván
Episode 51: Janet Galván
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Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Dr. Janet Galván, Director of Choral Activities at Ithaca College, was recognized by her New York colleagues for her contribution to choral music when she received the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) New York Outstanding Choral Director Award. Dr. Galván was awarded the Ithaca College Faculty Excellence Award for teaching, scholarship, and service in 2018. Galván was presented the 3rd Distinguished Alumni Award in Music Education and Choral Music from the University of North Carolina in  2016.

Sought after as a guest conductor of choral and orchestral ensembles, she has conducted professional and university orchestras including Virtuosi Pragenses, the Madrid Chamber Orchestra, and the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra in choral/orchestral performances. She has conducted national, divisional, and state choruses throughout the United States for ACDA, the  National Association for Music Educators (NAfME),and  the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE. She has conducted choruses and orchestras in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Washington’s Constitution Hall, Minneapolis’ Symphony Hall, Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall, and Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center. She has conducted her own choral ensembles in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and Avery Fisher Hall as well as in concert halls in Ireland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Austria, Canada, and Spain. Galván was the sixth national honor choir conductor for ACDA, and was the conductor of the North American Children’s Choir which performed annually in Carnegie Hall. She was also a guest conductor for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Galván has been a guest conductor and clinician in the United Kingdom, Ireland, throughout Europe, Canada and in Brazil as well as at national music conferences and the World Symposium on Choral Music.  She was on the faculty for the Carnegie Hall Choral Institute, the Transient Glory Symposium and the Oberlin Conducting Institute.

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Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Composer Exposer: David Von Kampen

I am pleased to introduce you to the next EXPOSED composer from Graphite Publishing, David von Kampen. I am doing a piece of David’s this winter with my students, and was inspired to pass along how great it is! So, why not resurrect this segment on the show. Enjoy!

David von Kampen
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Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Episode 50: An Eagle’s Eye View with Dr. Eph Ehly

“To stimulate thinking you must ask questions. The instant you give YOUR philosophy, the thinking stops. What you want is for them to think for themselves.”

Dr. Eph Ehly

It’s difficult to describe the impact that Eph Ehly has had on the choral profession. In fact, it may be impossible to quantify. He has cultivated the passion to teach and conduct in multiple generations of young teachers. He has impacted thousands upon thousands of singers in honor choirs, and in his own choirs. Perhaps I can only illustrate this with an anecdote. He was my teachers in the late 1990s, but also inspired my mother to become choir director while directing the South Dakota All-State choir in the 1970s. He is truly an intergenerational choral legend. Meanwhile, in Idaho, he came to work with my wife’s collegiate ensemble where he inspired Beth to come to Kansas City for her Masters. Where she and I then met! So, when I say I owe this man a lot, I mean a lot.

In this episode, Dr. Ehly and I discuss the changes he has seen in the choral profession over the decades as well as what has stayed the same. We discuss his philosophy of education, and where he sees music fitting into that philosophy. We also discuss the concept of teachers being models of curiosity rather than the source of answers.

Episode 50: Dr. Eph Ehly
Dr. Eph Ehly
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Named “one of the most sought-after choral conductors/clinicians” by The American Choral Directors Journal, Eph Ehly is renowned as a conductor, author, and lecturer. Ehly has appeared in 48 states, as well as Canada, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and several countries throughout Europe, and presented on more than 100 college and university campuses. DCINY’s Maestro Jonathan Griffith—the recent winner of the 2014 American Prize in Conducting—comments: “Dr. Eph Ehly has been a major influence in my life, not only musically but also personally. Much of who I am today as a conductor goes back to the early days of my doctoral studies at the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and specifically with my daily contact with Dr. Ehly. It is a sincere privilege to honor this wonderful and giving musician and human being.”

After 27 years of service – and conducting over 80 All-State Choirs, and over 600 festival ensembles – Dr. Ehly retired from the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri-Kansas City. He also served an Interim Professorship at the University of Oklahoma in 2006-07. More than 90 Doctorate and 100 Masters Degree students have graduated under his supervision. He imparts a lifetime of wisdom and expertise in his popular memoir, “Hogey’s Journey,” published by Heritage Press, and Hal Leonard Publishing Company released a series of video master classes which feature Dr. Ehly’s philosophies in conducting and rehearsal techniques. He has received numerous important teaching awards and fellowships.

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 49: Cutting Through the Hype of Covid in Schools with Dr. Tracy Høeg

Is school really driving community spread? Or is school safer than the general community?

Dr. Høeg joins me to discuss a topic that is directly pertinent to many of my listeners as colleagues and friends who are concerned or at least interested in understanding how Covid is affecting school from a science and data perspective. We take a depoliticized, hype-free deep dive into what has been going on in the data surrounding Covid in schools during the last few months. Should schools be open? Should they stay closed? What are the risks to students and teachers in terms of data? What are other countries doing about schools? What are the risks of NOT opening schools? Has the politicization of this issue caused us to miss an important middle ground?

Episode 49. Dr. Tracy Høeg
Episode 49

The Brown University Covid Schools Data

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Dr Tracy Høeg is a Physician Scientist (MD, PhD) Danish-American double citizen based in Northern California, specializing in Sports and Spine Medicine and with a PhD in Epidemiology. In private practice at Northern California Orthopedic Associates. She is also an Associate Researcher at UC Davis and a journalist at UltraRunning Magazine. Mother to four, long-distance runner, lover of mountains, music, photography and anything that makes her kids happy.

Find Dr. Høeg on Facebook!

  • Analysis of in school transmission data
  • Discussion of risks to students and teachers.
  • Review of the varying approach to school opening around the world.
  • The negative affects of politicization and media hype
  • Much more!

Infection Fatality Rate Published by WHO

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Episode 48: The Choral Marathon with Dr. Emily Williams Burch In the Studio

A choral musician with a “marathon mindset” would never listen to a choir and think, “well, we’re done. We’ve done all we can do.” The same is true of our lives as teachers/conductors.

Episode 48

Welcome Dr. Emily Williams Burch BACK to the show, but this time IN my home studio. A personal and vulnerable conversation in which Emmy and I discuss the ways in which the process of learning for our students AND for ourselves as teachers/musicians must be viewed as a marathon and not a sprint. You will not want to miss this candid conversation that we hope you will find not only helpful in the classroom for your students, but also for you and your growth as a professional.

Tune in as we discuss negative ways choral directors compare ourselves to each other, the need to appreciate our growth through reflection on where we started, being honest with ourselves about our goals and much more! (Apologies for some technical issues with this episode. It was my first attempt with some new gear. Podcasting is also a marathon!)

Look back to Emmy’s first appearance on the show. (includes bio!)Episode 35: Equity Pitfalls of Online Music Instruction with Emmy Burch
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.
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Navigating Post-Election Conversations at Thanksgiving Dinner with Angel Eduardo

As many listeners know, quality conversation is my passion. Building our resistance to vitriol and judgment in online conversation is a huge part of that. Angel Eduardo is a writer that I came across on Twitter when his article “Three Tips for Having Difficult Conversations” came across my feed. I instantly knew I had found a kindred spirit. So, if the election has you stressed, followed by the prospect of an increase in family time at Thanksgiving in which you will surely be dragged into a tough chat, then this episode is for you! Perhaps more importantly, this episode is for EVERYONE of any political background or profession that wants to put anger and judgement in conversation behind them.

Angel Eduardo

Find more at AngelEduardo.com!

Angel Eduardo has published prose in The Ocean State Review, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, and The Caribbean Writer;poetry in Label Me Latino Journal; and has read publicly at various New York and New Jersey events. He holds a Master of Fine Arts for Memoir from CUNY Hunter College, and is a staff writer for Idealist.org.

His photographs have been published in The Olivetree Review and exhibited at various shows in Northern New Jersey, most notably Jersey City’s Casa Colombo as part of the Eye Write photography exhibit, and at the Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center as part of an event called The Photographic Code. Angel has also provided cover art for books, including Personal Effects: Essays on Memoir, Teaching and Culture in the Work of Louise DeSalvofor Fordham University Press, which makes use of his photograph entitled “Early Bird.” 

Angel has been writing, performing, and recording music since the age of 15, and has gigged at numerous venues in the tri-state area and beyond. His former band, Blue Food, released a full-length album and, through fan votes, beat out dozens of other groups for the chance to join the lineup of 2014’s Mantrabash outdoor festival in Ferguson, North Carolina.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

An autodidact with a passion for presentation and big ideas, Angel has been intimately involved in every creative facet of his projects, from songwriting, producing, mixing and mastering, to designing and overseeing the creation of album artwork, concert posters, and merchandise. His tireless work ethic and boundless devotion to the act of creation has him dipping into multiple mediums, experimenting with myriad crafts, and endlessly searching for the biggest, best, and most exciting ideas.

Episode 47: The Mental Gymnastics of COVID Rehearsals with Dr. Kyle Nielsen

As we march through what has been the most challenging semester possibly to EVER face the field of education, we find ourselves twisting our minds in pretzels to discover what works and what doesn’t work on the fly. Every day is an experiment whether you are in person with masks, hybrid or all online, you are having to treat each day as if you are a first year teacher. We cannot predict outcomes because we have never done this. We have to innovate every day. Dr. Kyle Nielsen of Southern Virginia University has been putting together a highly innovative programme for his students this year that changes fluidly all of the time. In this conversation, Dr. Nielsen and I talk through the ideas and the processes that he bas been experimenting with.

Episode 47
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Dr. Kyle Nielsen is the Director of Choral Studies at Southern Virginia University, where he was voted Professor of the Semester in Spring 2019 by the students and faculty. He conducts the Chamber Singers and Men’s Chorus, teaches Conducting, Choral Literature, and Applied Voice, oversees the Vocal Music Internship and Music Education programs. Previous to Southern Virginia, Nielsen completed the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. While at Frost, he led the university men’s chorus Maelstrom, taught in the Experiential Music Curriculum, directed marketing and recording services for the Choral Studies area, and was the assistant conductor for the internationally-acclaimed Frost Chorale.

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.

An active clinician and researcher, recent conference presentations have included the Western Division and National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in addition to a recent webinar with Chorus America. An excerpt of his dissertation research was recently published as a Case Study in the Eastman Case Studies series, titled “Kinnara Ensemble, A Project-Based Ensemble.” Upcoming engagements include the Utah State Large Choir Festival coupled with various high school clinics throughout the mountain west.Nielsen also collaborates with some of the country’s leading professional vocal ensembles.

Recent positions include conducting fellow with Grammy-nominated Seraphic Fire in addition to Artistic Administrator for the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, where he coordinated all artistic contracting and operations. Additional appearances as a professional ensemble singer include the Piedmont Singers (Virginia), Schola Cantorum at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (Virginia), Brevitas (Utah), and Musica Judaica (Florida).In addition to the University of Miami, Nielsen holds the Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Theatre from Southern Virginia University and the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting as well as Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from East Carolina University.

Who Does This Guy Think He Is?

Reflections on posting opinions on the internet, as well as thoughts about “cancel culture” in choral music.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
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 46: Teaching With Heart with Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand

When we see and hear the Aeolians perform we impressed by the technical precision. We are in awe of the dynamic range, the tone, the diction and the phrasing. But we are INSPIRED by the emotional buy-in and engagement from the singers in the ensemble. This culture doesn’t happen naturally in choral ensembles. It is taught. It is a an art in and of itself to convince singers to pour their whole selves into each piece of music.

Episode 46

In Dr. Ferdinand’s second appearance on the show (Episode 11) we discuss the philosophy behind his “Teaching With Heart” book that seeks to inject tools into the conductor’s arsenal to address the most important issues of our world. In doing so we do a deep dive into the rehearsal techniques that foster connection to each other through the making of choral music.

Find Jason’s Book Here!

Click image to buy the album!

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.
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Episode 45: It’s Time to Transfer the Deed to Our Singers with Dr. Betsy Cook Weber

Dr. Weber, in my mind, is one of the legends of the choral profession due to the contribution of her body of work over many years and at all levels of teaching. I find the combination of her high level of music making, along with her experience in classrooms with young kids and everything in between to be a fascinating model to which we can all aspire. I can’t think of a better person to guide us through our thinking about concepts related to ownership and professionalism within our ensembles.

Is it possible for us as conductors to “let go” of some of the control? What would that look like? Could our choirs actually improve by us getting out of the way? How would our egos handle that…? In this refreshing episode Dr. Weber and I tackle these and many more questions. Be sure to tune in!

Episode 45: Dr. Betsy Cook Weber See Dr. Weber’s Show Notes
Episode 45

Dr. Betsy Cook Weber is a Madison Endowed Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at the University of Houston Moores School of Music.  She teaches a full load of coursework, oversees the large and varied choral area at the Moores School, and is also highly active internationally as a conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and lecturer.  

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Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

The University of Houston Moores School Concert Chorale, which she directs, has established a reputation as one of the world’s finest collegiate choirs and has been a featured choir at multiple state (2002, 2005, 2008, 2013, 2017) and national conventions (ACDA 2007, 2017, NCCO 2017). Internationally, Chorale has received acclaim at six prestigious competitions, winning or placing in every category in which they were entered. These include the Eisteddfod in Wales, Florilége Vocal in Tours, France, International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf, Germany, the Grand Prix of Nations in Magdeburg, Germany, the Bela Bartok International Choral Competition in Hungary, and the European Grand Prix in Arezzo, Italy.  Judges’ comments include “de luxe singing, eliciting admiration and gratitude,” “wonderfully elegant and humorous,” “sophisticated choir — expertly prepared and with a finely-tuned corporate ear.” In 2015, Musica mundi, in its ranking of the top 1000 choirs in the world, placed UH Concert Chorale #1 in its age category and #3 among all choirs worldwide.

In addition to her work at the University of Houston, Dr. Weber serves as director of the Houston Symphony Chorus. Under Weber’s leadership, the Houston Symphony Chorus has performed over 200 concerts consisting of repertoire as varied as Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem and Video Games Live.  She is privileged to collaborate with some of the world’s best conductors, including Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Jane Glover, Christoph Eschenbach, and Nicholas McKegan. She has led the HSC and HS Chamber Singers on two European tours to the Czech Republic in 2017 and in Poland and Germany in 2019, including a performance at the world-renowned Bachfest in Leipzig.

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.

In the coming year, in addition to her return to work once again with the Arkansas All-State, Dr. Weber looks forward to engagements in California, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, and Germany.

Dr. Weber frequently prepares singers for early music orchestras Ars Lyrica and Mercury Houston and is also routinely called upon to prepare choruses for touring shows, including Josh Groban, Andreas Bocelli, NBC’s Clash of the Choirs, Telemundo’s Latin Grammy’s, Star Wars in Concert, and the Eagles. 

In the summer of 2013, Weber became the 13th person and 1st woman to receive the Texas Choral Director Association’s coveted Texas Choirmaster Award.

She holds degrees from the University of North Texas, Westminster Choir College (Princeton, NJ), and the University of Houston.

Choir Director Problems: The Psychology of Growth vs. Achievement in Assessment

How can we set up our music courses to truly meet students where they are and encourage students that singing is skill to be built, and not a talent one “has” or “doesn’t have?” Can we create a curriculum and grading structure that does not reward and punish students for their exposure to music, or lack of it, BEFORE they signed up for our classes? We can if we grade on growth.

“NOT teaching literacy every day to every student is elitist.”

Chris Munce
Choir Director Probs

In this short episode I will present some ideas and processes that have been very successful for me and my students, and how those processes have changed through trial and error. At one time, I held the belief that students should be held to a standard to be “reached.” Now, the academic goal for each student is to leave the class a better singer and musician than when they came in. Achievement is simply a byproduct.

Our Instructions for weekly SRF assignments.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
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.

Companion Episode!

Episode 44: Prioritizing Technique. Not Style with Andrew Crane and Jami Rhodes

At the end of the year the students should be better singers. Not better CHORAL singers. Better SINGERS.

Dr. Jami Rhodes

This special episode is a tag team. Dr. Andrew Crane of Brigham Young University and Dr. Jami Rhodes of East Carolina University join me to discuss some common myths, misconceptions and vocal pedagogy practices that many of us undertake in a choral rehearsal that cause us more work in the long run. Need to fix the intonation? Have you fixed the technique first? Or are you talking to the singers about their “ears.” Trying to achieve blend? Maybe a unified technical approach to healthy vocal production can do all of the heavy lifting for us. This episode had SO MANY good one liners and quotes, that I had trouble choosing them for the promo materials. Don’t miss this one.

Episode 44

This conversation is not only informative, but practical and flat out fun! Tune in and bring your note pad! You will want to try a lot of these ideas in your rehearsal tomorrow!

Episode 44
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Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Andrew Crane was named Associate Professor of Choral Conducting and conductor of the Brigham Young University Singers in 2015. Previous to this appointment, he served for four years as Director of Choral Activities at East Carolina University, and six years in the same position at California State University, San Bernardino. He is also the former choral director at Provo High School.

Choirs under his direction have appeared by invitation at multiple conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO). Recent such performances include the 2017 NCCO biennial conference in Baton Rouge, and the 2019 ACDA national conference in Kansas City.

On the international stage, in 2015 Dr. Crane led the East Carolina University Chamber Singers to a first place finish in the 13th Maribor (Slovenia) International Choral Competition Gallus, the only American choir to win in the history of the contest. He has also appeared as a guest conductor and lecturer at the Conservatory of Italian Switzerland, the Military University of Culture and Arts in Vietnam, the Choral Musicians Association of Hunan Province (China), and the Indonesian Institute of the Arts.

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.

Jami Rhodes, mezzo-soprano, appears regularly in recital, opera, and concert works throughout the United States.  Dr. Rhodes is currently Associate Professor of Voice at East Carolina University where she teaches applied voice, serves as coordinator of vocal pedagogy, and conducts ECU’s treble ensemble, the ECU Concert Choir.  She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in vocal performance and pedagogy from Louisiana State University, a Master of Music in vocal performance from the University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Music in music education from East Carolina University.  Dr. Rhodes is the 2018 ECU recipient of the NC Board of Governors award for Excellence in Teaching.

Recent and upcoming appearances include Anita in Bernstein’s West Side Story and mezzo-soprano soloist in Corigliano’s Fern Hill, Handel’s Messiah, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Mozart’s Requiem, Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody, Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio, Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil, Durufle’s Requiem, Forrest’s Jubilate Deo, Arnessen’s Tuvayhun, Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Mahler’s, Symphony No. 3, and Dvorak’s Stabat Mater.  She can be heard as the Baroness von Krakenfeldt on the Ohio Light Opera’s recording of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Grand Duke released by Albany Records in 2003.  Her recording of Dinos Constantinides’ Marche de Galvez with the Louisiana Sinfonietta and Schola Cantorum was released by Centaur Records in February of 2008.  

Episode 43: The Tools for Our Time With Troy Robertson of Chor Amor

At this point you have probably heard of Chor Amor. If you haven’t then get out from under that rock, and listen! 😉

They, under Troy Robertson’s leadership, have hosted brainstorming sessions, virtual choir performances, and teaching resource content on choramor.com and so much more. The value of a centralized location and effort of professionals collaborating to rise to a challenge like our current one cannot be over stated. In this conversation, Dr. Robertson and I discuss the story BEHIND Chor Amor and the thinking that led to this idea becoming so valuable to many in our profession.

Episode 43 with Troy Robertson

From the website:

Creativity: We are singers, conductors, and teachers. We first gathered to create. The singing we do gives us the opportunity to be creative, but it does far more than that. It leads to new resources that serve as an example of what we can accomplish together: scores, guide tracks, video, and audio.

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.

Learning: The thrust of our efforts is in developing and showcasing techniques, speed, and opportunities we can carry forward into whatever comes next, whether face-to-face, at distance, or some hybrid of the two. We believe these opportunities will prove to be exponential in number and variety as individuals come together to brainstorm and solve problems. 

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Service: We use our social media and professional service channels to invite all to take part. Our members join in Zoom meetings and webinars, and some choose to sing with us. We invite them to mix and master their own choirs into a digital musicking experience that will include thousands from across the nation and around the world. The challenges of the moment are evolving, but they have exposed inequity in our ability to serve using digital solutions. We will explore and develop the means to serve singers, students, and parishioners without access to high quality hardware, software, and internet service.

Dr. Troy Robertson is the Director of Choirs at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, TX. Before coming to Tarleton Dr. Robertson taught at Ithaca College and served for several years as choral director at East Gaston High School in Mount Holly, NC. He is a composer whose works are published with Hinshaw Music, Santa Barbara Music Press, Colla Voce, and Music Spoke. Dr. Robertson holds degrees from Florida State University (Ph.D.), the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (M.M.), and Furman University (B.M.Ed.). He is a lifetime member of ACDA and an active member of NCCO, TMEA, and TCDA.

Get involved with Chor Amor

Visit Troy’s Website

A Conversation and Concert With Michael McGlynn and Anuna

This Choralosophy Podcast special has been recut and reimagined by Michael himself to include the most salient portions of our free wheeling conversation on many choral topics including the role of the conductor, the reimagining of the performing arts during our hiatus, and the secrets of the Anuna brand of small ensemble singing, and much more! Interspersed throughout with stunning video and music performed by Anuna and curated by Michael for this special. A truly unique presentation that will leave you inspired, informed and excited about the future of our art form.

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.
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Episode 42: Tips And Tricks for Vocal Health. Masked or Online. With Lori Sonnenberg

In this short episode, I welcomed Lori Sonnenberg, speech pathologist and singing voice specialist, BACK on the Choralosophy Podcast to help us with a pressing issue. The school year is starting again, and many of us are know using our voices again in new and unique ways. Namely, teaching or singing in a mask, or online, or BOTH. This will present unique vocal health challenges for singers and teachers. We hope this little tutorial will serve as a useful resource for you as the wear and tear increases on your instrument.

Link to Lori’s bullet points here!

Episode 42

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.

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 Lori’s Website

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
A look back to Lori’s first appearance on the show.

Episode 41: The Kids are Not Ok-Class of 2020 Edition

A Choralosophy First attempt at a front porch conversation. I invited members of my recently graduated choral program to talk about what life has been life in lockdown.

Featuring Eghosa Ogbevoen, Avery Beavers and Zaria Jackson.

This episode is an experiment for sure! I began to feel like much of our conversation had been a little too teacher focused on the show. A bit too “informational” and not enough “relational.” So, I became very interested in hearing from some of my students to hear what it was like from the perspective of some graduating seniors who watched their Senior year of high school evaporate in front of them. What was that like for them? What was the emotional roller coaster, and how has it affected their mindset for the future?

Episode 41

We discussed their feelings about losing choir of course, but we also discussed other realities of life for the class of 2020. Isolation, the forcing of all conversation into an online forum, the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement and ensuing protests, and much more.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Apologies for the audio quality. We recorded outdoors for safety, and much of it turned out ok, unless my AC unit was on.

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 40: When Artists Have to Learn Science with Nick Sienkiewicz

When Science gets thrust to the center of our artistic world, how do we react, how do we gather info, and how do we decide?

An enlightening conversation about our singing with Covid situation with Nick Sienkiewicz. Nick is a young colleague preparing to earn his Masters in Choral Conducting at IU Bloomington. But before that, Nick earned a degree in Bioechemistry. I was very impressed with Nick’s ability to explain the scientific process, as well as some of the pitfalls that those of us who are not trained in science can step into when we aren’t careful. On this show, a major undertaking has occurred and collected under the Covid Conversations page on this site to collect extremely relevant expert opinion on a broad range of virus related topics to help us ask the full range of relevant scientific questions beyond the important aerosol questions. This is unfathomably important as schools and communities begin to open. I think you will enjoy Nick’s perspective and tips for navigating this complicated web.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Nicholas Sienkiewicz is a conductor and scientist currently based in Bloomington, Indiana. Nick obtained his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, and Bachelor of Musical Arts from Western Michigan University. During his time at WMU, he served as Music Director for the Unitarian Universalist Community Church, Choir Director for the Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus, and the Executive Director of Open House Theatre Company. On the scientific side, Nick worked as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant and Supplemental Instructor for the Chemistry Department at WMU. Nick also served as a Research Assistant in the Teske Laboratory and a Protein/Vaccinology Intern for Zoetis Inc. Nick is pursuing his Master of Music in Choral Conducting at Indiana University Bloomington.

Find more about Nick at www.nicksienkiewicz.com

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.

Bonus Episode: Plans for a Hybrid Rehearsal Structure

How can we streamline the rehearsal process to make the most of student contact time?

If you are like me, you have seen a TON of ideas for online activities to keep our choirs engaged. And that’s wonderful! We need as many tools in our belt as we can get. However, what about the times when we may encounter a “hybrid model,” where contact time to sing together in person is allowed, but drastically limited? How then, do we prioritize our time?

Sadly, I cannot offer this short episode as “tried and true tips” for obvious reasons. It is very likely that this will be the situation for myself and many others soon. So instead, I will be hopefully offering some helpful ideas that I THINK will work nicely all things considered. We will focus on some time saving strategies that can maximize our precious minutes with the students.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
  • If it can go online, get it online (music theory, individual sight reading, listening activities and analysis, maybe even some rehearsal elements)
  • Sight reading instruction is more important now than ever. It will speed up your rehearsals.
  • Adjustments of repertoire to fit the time demands. What priorities rise to the top?
  • Hybrid performance ideas?

Below you can find links to the other Choralosophy Resources mentioned in this episodes designed to SPEED UP your rehearsals and empower singers.

Ripping off the BandaidEpisode 18: Ripping off the bandaid
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.
Anti-Fragility in the Choral Rehearsal
Episode 21: Anyone can get an A in Choir…

Episode 39: The Birth and Maturation of the Virtual Choir with Eric Whitacre

Eric Whitacre may be the father of the virtual choir. But could he have ever envisioned what it would become?

In this episode, I have the honor of speaking with the FATHER of the virtual choir. Eric Whitacre. We discuss the origins of his virtual choir “franchise” and his thoughts on watching that concept evolve during the pandemic. I really appreciated his openness in discussing his “behind the memes” persona, as well as the philosophy behind the virtual choir and its community based ecosystem.

“I am ACHING to make music again. I never realized it was my oxygen. Lot’s of people feel this way. When we come out of this, we will enter a golden era of singing. People will cherish and make time for it like we’ve never seen before.”

Eric Whitacre

Find the Sacred Veil Here!

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
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.

Bonus Episode: Stepping Outside the Choir World with Sociologist Dr. Roderick Graham

Our online choral conversations are frequently centered, especially recently, around culture. How do we negotiate a diverse society within our classrooms and the online conversations that result?

Dr. Graham invited me on his YouTube channel to discuss topics that fall under this broad umbrella like cancel culture, race, discourse and why so many of these topics are difficult to discuss. I was honored to participate it Dr. Graham’s series on his show on “The Culture Wars.”

Teaser: in this conversation I refer to Robin DiAngelo as Beverly D’Angelo… TWICE. Cancel me now…so embarrassed.

Dr. Rod Graham- Old Dominion University
Bonus Episode!
Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
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.

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!

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
YouTube version
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.

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.

Find the TOP of the line Resonance Singers mask as well as all of your choir folders, choir supplies as well as choir robes at MyChoirRobes.com. Use Choralosophy at checkout to get a 5% coupon every time you shop!
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.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.


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.


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!

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

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.)

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.

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/