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

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.

Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Choose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!
Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

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.

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

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.”

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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.

Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Choose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!
Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

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

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

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!

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

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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.

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

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
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!

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.

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

I am very excited to welcome to the Choralosophy Podcast our newest affiliate. MyMusicFolders.com! They are the inventors and sole distributors of the new “Resonance Singer’s Mask” as well as many other tried and true products for the choir world. You can now shop at MyMusicFolders.com and MyChoirRobes.com and use the “Choralosophy” Check out code to receive a 5% discount!
Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

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

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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.” 

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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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.

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

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.

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

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Who Does This Guy Think He Is?

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

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

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

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.
I am very excited to welcome to the Choralosophy Podcast our newest affiliate. MyMusicFolders.com! They are the inventors and sole distributors of the new “Resonance Singer’s Mask” as well as many other tried and true products for the choir world. You can now shop at MyMusicFolders.com and MyChoirRobes.com and use the “Choralosophy” Check out code to receive a 5% discount!
Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Choose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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. 

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

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.

I am very excited to welcome to the Choralosophy Podcast our newest affiliate. MyMusicFolders.com! They are the inventors and sole distributors of the new “Resonance Singer’s Mask” as well as many other tried and true products for the choir world. You can now shop at MyMusicFolders.com and MyChoirRobes.com and use the “Choralosophy” Check out code to receive a 5% discount!
www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Companion Episode!

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

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

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.

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

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.  

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

Episode 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. 

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

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.

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

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

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

Visit Troy’s Website

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!

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

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

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.

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

Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Choose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!
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.
I am very excited to welcome to the Choralosophy Podcast our newest affiliate. MyMusicFolders.com! They are the inventors and sole distributors of the new “Resonance Singer’s Mask” as well as many other tried and true products for the choir world. You can now shop at MyMusicFolders.com and MyChoirRobes.com and use the “Choralosophy” Check out code to receive a 5% discount!

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am very excited to welcome to the Choralosophy Podcast our newest affiliate. MyMusicFolders.com! They are the inventors and sole distributors of the new “Resonance Singer’s Mask” as well as many other tried and true products for the choir world. You can now shop at MyMusicFolders.com and MyChoirRobes.com and use the “Choralosophy” Check out code to receive a 5% discount!
A look back to Lori’s first appearance on the show.
Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Choose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!
www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Episode 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.

I am very excited to welcome to the Choralosophy Podcast our newest affiliate. MyMusicFolders.com! They are the inventors and sole distributors of the new “Resonance Singer’s Mask” as well as many other tried and true products for the choir world. You can now shop at MyMusicFolders.com and MyChoirRobes.com and use the “Choralosophy” Check out code to receive a 5% discount!
Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Choose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Episode 21: Anyone can get an A in Choir…
Visit www.ryanmain.com for PDF site licenses of some GREAT arrangements and compositions. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off!

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!

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

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

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

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

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!
I am very excited to welcome to the Choralosophy Podcast our newest affiliate. MyMusicFolders.com! They are the inventors and sole distributors of the new “Resonance Singer’s Mask” as well as many other tried and true products for the choir world. You can now shop at MyMusicFolders.com and MyChoirRobes.com and use the “Choralosophy” Check out code to receive a 5% discount!
www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!
Now, Choralosophy listeners can use this tool in their classrooms and studios at a 10% discount by going to www.vocevista.com/choralosophy . Choose the version that is right for you enter “Choralosophy” at checkout!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find the Mask Here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Farrin Manian, MD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Episode 37
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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Episode 36. Dr. David McKinsey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Understanding the two vetted numbers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Eye of the Tiger

How Narrow Focus and Tribalism Leads to Bad Decision Making

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

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

The Eye of the Tiger
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Episode 35: Equity Pitfalls of Online Music Instruction with Emmy Burch

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

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

Episode 35 with Emmy Burch
Emmy Burch
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Discussions:

Do virtual choirs create equity issues?

What are some necessary steps to close the opportunity gaps?

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

Does grading online work help or hurt?

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

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

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Watch the conversation!
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Episode 34: Copyright Law Myths and the Future of Choral Publishing with Susan LaBarr

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

Discussions:

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

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

Susan’s Notes from the episode

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

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

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

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

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

Episode 33
Episode 33

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Speech Pathologist, Singing Voice Specialist and Classical Soprano

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

Episode 32

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

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

Visit Lori’s Website

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

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

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

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

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

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Choir Director Probs

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

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

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

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

Episode 31

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

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

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

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

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

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Poem from the show intro

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

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

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Most Recent Episode

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

And other musings about my plans to take choir online.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Passing the Torch of Representation

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

Episode 29 part 4

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

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

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

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

Going on the Equity Journey

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

Episode 29: Part 3

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

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

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

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

Teaching with Respect by Stephen Seick

We Got This by Cornelius Minor

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Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

All Students Must Thrive by Tyrone C. Howard

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Not Light, But Fire by Matthew R. Kay

How to be and Anti-Racist by Ibram Kendi.

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

“Carving out a place for a Girl Conductor.”

Episode 29: Part 2

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

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

Maria Ellis
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Maria in her own words, “

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

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

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

http://www.girlconductor.com

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

“Why does representation in Choral music MATTER?”

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


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

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

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Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Episode 28: Can Pitches be Perfect?

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

Episode 28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Episode 27: Reboot, Restart and Revitalize

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

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

Episode 27
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  1. Keep sight reading every day. If they’re bored, then you’re boring them.
  2. Raise the bar. Once a choir thinks they are “good” they will stop working.
  3. Group building is not just for the first day of school. Do more.
  4. Set goals. Communicate them publicly. Don’t assume they know why.
  5. Create engaging rehearsals by BEING engaging. (Hint: learn to be yourself!)
  6. Interpret text. A lot. If you don’t know how, then ask somebody.
  7. If the morale or rehearsal etiquette is not what you want it to be, it’s time to shock the system.
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Tune in to this episode to hear the full explanations of each concept!

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

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

Dr. Amanda Quist
Episode 26

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

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

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

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

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

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https://choral.frost.miami.edu

Frost School Choral Studies on Facebook

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The pink trombone. Try it!

Episode 25: Loving by Letting Go with Jaclyn Johnson

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s a FriendsGiving!

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

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

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

Composer Exposer: Paul John Rudoi
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Bonus: Teaching Vowels, Blend and Resonance with 21st Century Tools

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

Bonus episode!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.charlesanthonysilvestri.com

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

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

Episode 22: The VOCES8 Philosophy with Paul Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Episode 21: Anyone can get an A in Choir…

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

Episode 21
Anyone can get an A in choir…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October Edition!

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

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

Episode 19: Eric Barnum

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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.

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

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

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

Be sure to check out the Choral Contrarians Podcast too!

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

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Coddling of the American Mind Audiobook

Episode 18: Ripping off the bandaid

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

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

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

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

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

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Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

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

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Episode 17: Beyond Elijah Rock with Dr. Marques Garrett

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

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

Episode 17: Marques Garrett

Marques L. A. Garrett

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

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

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Paul Rudoi and MANY more.



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



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

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


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

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


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

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Episode 16: Growing the Choral Pie with Beth Philemon

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

Episode 16
Beth Philemon- Choir Baton
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Composer Exposer with Tim Takach

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

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

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

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

Episode 15: Making Your Choir Thoughts Public with Adam Paltrowitz

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

Making Your Choir Thoughts Public with Adam Paltrowitz

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choral Conversations meets Choralosophy!
Dr. William O. Baker

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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Special Edition: Summer Institute Panel Discussion

Bonus Episode!

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

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

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

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

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

Episode 13: Choral Snobbery? with Chris Maunu

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

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

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

Chris Munce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Episode 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit Dr. Perkins at his Butler University Website

Episode 11: Breaking Down Barriers with Jason Max Ferdinand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can learn about the Aeolians here.

Episode 10: A Voice in Transition with Theo Wren

A nuanced discussion about the trans experience.
Theo Wren

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

Find more about Theo below

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

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

Episode 9: How Should Choralosophers Handle Contentious Choral Topics?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Episode 8: Renovating the Voice

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

Stream Episode 8 on your favorite Podcast Ap!

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

Episode 8 is available now!

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

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

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

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

Episode 7: The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci

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

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

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

www.jocelynhagen.com

www.graphitepublishing.com

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

You can also find Jocelyn on Twitter @jocelynhagenmus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Links:

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

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

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

http://professionalmusiceducator.com/

http://www.elisajanson.com/

https://www.musicedsummit.org/

Episode 5: What I Suck At

Or, What At Which I Suck

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

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

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

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

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

Anthony J. Maglione- William Jewell College

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

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

A link to my essay on this topic on FB

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bradley Ellingboe 

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

A Practical Guide to Choral Conducting published by Kjos Music

Bradley Ellingboe

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

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

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

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

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

Dale’s Essay discussed in episode

Dale Trumbore

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Dr. Elise Hepworth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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