Revitalized literally means “made alive again.” And I am pleased to share that the 2015 Michigan Music Conference has revitalized me in the best possible ways.
Every January I look forward to this opportunity to connect with colleagues, hear new ideas and performances, and springboard into the second half of the school year. Here are a few highlights for me from this year’s conference.
- Dr. Joey M. Martin (Texas State University) was our headliner and was among the most inspiring in a long time. Joey’s sessions were about nuts & bolts – the basics and helping us all to step back and reevaluate. His sessions were full of humor, passion, and humanity.
- Three fabulous choral performances. Three honors choirs directed by Mike Mitchell, Sandra Snow, and Shirley Lemon – each inspiring and each reminding me of things I love about choral music. The MSVMA Honors Choirs are consistently excellent not only for the students, but also for all the teachers present.
- Six more fabulous choral performances. I love the two “Choral Hours” at MMC because each of the performances reflect the teachers’ individuality and give a glimpse inside their classroom. I am also always awed by the bravery of those getting up there and sharing what they do. This year, the six brave conductors all did a lovely job – thank you to Andrew Hathikhanavala, Mark Krempski, Kent Wattleworth, Brandon Ulrich, and Greg Cleveland.
- Finally a special note for Heather Albrecht, who prepared the Pierce Middle School Eighth Grade Choir but didn’t get the joy of standing in front of them. Carolyn Gross filled in since Heather was about to have a baby! The performance was especially meaningful to me because Heather and Carolyn are friends and former colleagues, Heather was a high school classmate, and I was in the Pierce choirs in 1989-91.
- On a personal note, I am humbled and honored to have earned the MSVMA Carolyn Leep Scholarship for further study. I’ll be using it to help fund a weeklong personal study with Alice Parker this summer. A number of friends mentioned to me that they were previous Leep recipients and I am proud to be in their company.