Saturday Sounds: ‘Kingfishers Catch Fire’ by John Mackey

A week of snow and cold brings a Saturday of coffee and music. With things warming up it is a great time to listen to John Mackey’s Kingfishers Catch Fire. What a week it has been! After two separate winter storms trudged through the area, schools were out for six days. Five snow days and Martin …

The Ensemble Director’s Snow Day Survival Guide

They are the most exciting and terrifying words for teachers across the nation: Snow Day. Here is how you can make the most of the missed time. We are in the midst of a nationwide epidemic. Snow and ice forced thousands of school districts to close their doors in the name of safety for students …

The challenges of selecting literature for your ensemble

Few things are as maddening as selecting literature appropriate for your ensemble. Everyone has opinions on what to play. Who is right? As many of you return to school from the holiday break – likely with a snow day or two thrown in there for good measure – the task of selecting literature for your …

Saturday Sounds: ‘One Life Beautiful’ by Julie Giroux

A snowy Saturday is ripe for a cup of coffee and some good music. On the listening list today is Julie Giroux One Life Beautiful. Saturdays in winter require only a few things: kids that sleep in a bit, a cup of coffee and good music. Of course, my kids don’t know the meaning of sleeping in, …

One change leads to more expressive conducting

Old habits die hard, but one slight change in conducting position can make a huge difference. I will be honest: there are several things I could adjust in my conducting technique. Before I spent time working on the ways I moved my arms while in front of an ensemble, I thought my performance was adequate. …