Choral Opportunities: MMEA 2015 Conference

by Faith Lueth, MMEA Liaison

The 2015 conference for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (March 19-21 at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center) has much to offer choral musicians. There are three days packed with a variety of
choral offerings that include informative sessions, insightful rehearsals, and performances.

The conductor for this year’s All-State Chorus is Rollo Dilworth. He will rehearse the chorus for two days before going to historic Symphony Hall for a final dress rehearsal and a performance on Saturday. Those who are interested in younger choirs will have the opportunity to observe Dr. Judy Bowers rehearse the Treble Honors Choir (grades 4-6) on Saturday before the performance Saturday afternoon. Two hundred students are expected to participate in this second year of the Treble Honors Choir.

The keynote speaker for the conference is Dr. James Jordan from Westminster Choir College. The subject of his keynote will be The Inner Journey of a Musician: Learning to Affirm Self and Others. He will present three additional sessions:

  • The Choral Warm-up: the Essentials of building Choral Sound
  • The Building Blocks of Expressive Gesture
  • Transforming Your Choir through Inspirited Breath

Dr. Judy Bowers from Florida State University will present three sessions:

  • Tone Building and Expressive Singing CAN Occur Simultaneously
  • Effective Teaching: Yes, We Can All Do This
  • Singing in Parts: A Hierarchy for Success

Other sessions of interest to choral educators are:

  • Vocal Improvisation Techniques (Bob Stoloff)
  • High School Choral Reading Session (Joshua HarperChris Clark)
  • National Standards: Creating, Performing and Responding in the Choral Rehearsal (Dr. Sandra Doneski, Sara Carson)
  • Preparing for an Ensemble Performance Festival: Choral (Ashley Nelson, panel)
  • Vocal Jazz Literature for All (Sean Landers, Kevin McDonald)
  • Singing from the Inside Out (Dr. Sandra Doneski, Dr. Jamie Hillman)
  • Building Atypical Community Children’s Choirs and Developing Conductors – the Essentials (Dr. André de Quadros)
  • The Male and Female Changing Voice (Dr. Felicia Barber)
  • Recruiting Boys to Sing in Chorus (Merissa McCue Armitage)
  • Middle School Choral Reading Session (Abigail Frost)
  • Making Choices for the Singing Child (Dr. Rachel Cornacchio)
  • Building a Successful Concert Program for Young Singers (Jennifer Kane)

It will be a very full conference with additional helpful sessions on the National Standards, DDMs and teacher evaluation. Dr. Glenn Nierman, President of NAfME, is also a featured speaker and will present several sessions.

Make plans now to join your colleagues at the Seaport in March and take advantage of this exciting professional development opportunity!