It seems like at every conference you attend, there is plenty of opportunity for “convention snark.” Nitpicking the performances, criticizing lecture sessions, or just dishing about colleagues and what they’re doing: they are all ways of making yourself feel better about what you do.
But I refuse. I celebrate the dedication, commitment, and gumption of any conductor willing to submit a recording to perform at an ACDA convention – whether state, divisional, or national. Knowing that your peers will hang on your every phrase, and silently or publicly critique you? That is bravery, and the kind of bravery that furthers the art form.
No one who hasn’t already accomplished what those brave conductors and choirs have done has the right to snark. Recognize and acknowledge strengths and weaknesses, certainly – that’s how we improve our ears and develop our skill set – but not snark.
If you aren’t willing to put yourself out there, you haven’t earned the right to snark.