Saturday, February 22, 2014

Solo and Ensemble 2014

On February 7th, a small band of singers traveled to Douglas Anderson School of the Arts for the annual Florida Vocal Association's "Solo and Ensemble MPA."  I had 14 entries this year (6 soloists, 1 octet and 1 large ensemble).

MPA is an acronym for "music performance assessment" and it is exactly that - an opportunity for a soloist or small ensemble to perform before a judge for a grade.  A "Superior" rating is the best you can get.

The students run the show at this event.  My job is to make sure we have originals of each musical score for the judge.  I wish I had had the nerve to take a photo of the music spread before me on the floor, complete with bright orange sticky notes with student's name, page number of song and song title carefully inscribed on each one.  My chair was in the middle of a half-circle of musical scores fanned out in front of me.  It resembled the layout of a Black Jack dealer's cards on the table in front of him.

Sitting on a chair to my right, was the list on which the students' performance order had been printed.  As each one sang, I checked them off the list and opened the next two scores for the judge.  While he was writing comments on his adjudication sheet, I was switching out music and preparing for the next performance.  I was like a sleek machine humming along until one student's music could not be located and he was next in line to sing.  Panic ensued and I put a parent on it so I could keep the machine humming until his music could be found.  We skipped this student and moved on the next one, hoping that the music would turn up prior to the end of our session.  I found out later that the music had been sent down with a runner who took it to the wrong classroom and it took the parent and the voice coach forever to track it down.

Overall, it was a good experience for all of us and I am happy to report that I had 6 soloists receive a "Superior" rating and my large ensemble received "Superior" also.  This group of students will now advance to the State competition in April.

Congratulations to each of you!! You are a joy to teach and I am very proud of your accomplishments!!

Until next time...

Friday, February 21, 2014

After 22 years....

Twenty-two years ago, I was nearing the end of my graduate program at Florida State University.  Because I was getting married three months after graduation, I opted out of buying the academic regalia required to walk at graduation.  The Master's hood cost over $200 and I didn't have the money to spend on such frivolity.  My mom was disappointed, but I had no other options at the time.

Fast-forward 22 years....

I am now teaching at a high school whose new requirements for all faculty include participating in the graduation ceremony while wearing full academic regalia to the highest degree conferred.  That means that after all these years, I will finally get my hood and I won't have to pay a dime for it! AND...I get to keep it!!

God is good to those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose.  Celebrating with a grateful heart today!!

College of Music 

Until next time....