Wednesday, March 19, 2014


My mother always told me that "dynamite comes in small packages" and she was right.  Of course, my mom was barely 5'2" on a good day.  

Meet Lois.  She's barely 5 feet tall, but packs a powerful punch.  Had it not been for Lois, I would not have survived the first six weeks of my new job.  Lois was "praying me through" on a daily basis.  I was at the top of her prayer list for many months.  Maybe I still am, although, she could probably move me down a notch or two these days.

Dee Dee and Lois

For the past 11 years, Lois lived down the street from me.  She was in the neighborhood before I arrived.  I would walk down the street on Sunday afternoons at 4:00 pm. for a cup of coffee and a "prayer list update" for the upcoming week.  She never turned me away.

Lois and her husband had to move out of the neighborhood last month.  I promised I would come visit her in her new place as soon as we got to Spring Break.  I made good on my promise today.  She gave me a tour of the place and introduced me to several of her new neighbors.  She made me a cup of coffee and I updated my prayer list.  We caught up on things since our last visit while her husband napped in the living room.  It was beautiful.  She is beautiful (inside and out).  I promised her I would return, but it may be June before I make it back.  Fortunately, I can e-mail her when I need to update my prayer list and even though she is no longer down the street, she is just a phone call away.

Everyone needs a Lois in their life!! She radiates love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control and I am so grateful to have her in my life.  Thank you, Lois!! You are loved and adored!!

Until next time... 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Martin Gui

Last week, I had the privilege of hosting a lovely young man from Shanghai, China.  His name is Martin Gui.

Martin Gui, Conductor

He is the Resident Conductor of the Shanghai Children's Radio Chorus and was in Jacksonville to attend the American Choral Director Association's "Southern Division" conference.  Martin was in the audience on Friday, February 28th when my choirs performed at Mandarin High School for the Florida Vocal Association's Music Performance Assessment.  He enjoyed listening to choirs from Duval and St. John's County and was impressed with their professionalism and musicality.

Martin was part of a "Conductor's Exchange" through ACDA and visited several area schools including La Villa School of the Arts, Mandarin High School, Fletcher High School and the Jacksonville Children's Chorus.  He taught a simple song in Chinese to my Ladies' Chamber Chorus and did a presentation for my World Music students on ethnic Chinese instruments.

Martin with Ladies' Chamber Chorus

Chinese sheet music - notice text is in Chinese characters

Mrs. Tamburrino and Martin Gui

My students greatly enjoyed this cross cultural experience and learned a lot about Chinese schools, food and culture during his visit.  Maybe one day I can return the favor in Shanghai.

3/17/14 - I heard from Martin today.

Hi Dee Dee,
I got the photos, I still looked for you at those days [ACDA conference]. Now I'm in Shanghai, start my works. Thank you for your kindness , I got very nice time in your class, hope we can meet again.
Best Wishes

Until next time...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Miss Fletcher 2014

Miller, Alyssa, Korin, Rachel, Hannah, Sarah

These beautiful ladies all belong to me.  Well, sort of....

They are members of the Fletcher High School Chorus and each of them competed in the Miss Fletcher pageant on Friday, March 7th.

If you recall, one of my guys named Roger was crowned Homecoming King last fall.  Now, one of my girls is wearing the tiara for Miss Fletcher.  It has been a clean-sweep this year for Chorus in the pageant arena!!

Congratulations to Miller who received the Director's Choice award for her dedication to the pageant experience; and to Alyssa who received the "Metamorphosis Award" for her transformation during the pageant; and to Korin for placing 2nd runner-up; and to Rachel - Miss Fletcher 2014!! I am so very proud of each of these beautiful, talented, intelligent, articulate women.  It is an honor to know them and a privilege to be their teacher.

Brava, ladies!!

Until next time...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Incredible Moment

For the past two days, I have been attending the Southern Division Conference of the American Choral Directors Association at the Hyatt downtown.  As part of the conference experience, we are treated to various choirs from around the country who perform a 30-minute program in a 2-hour block.  One of the highest honors a choral director can receive is an invitation from ACDA to perform at one of their regional or national conventions.

As I sat in Jakoby Hall this morning, I realized that I recognized the woman who was announcing the choirs prior to their performance.  It was Sara Lynn Baird.  She was working on her doctorate at FSU when I was working on my Master's degree and is now the Department Chair in the School of Music at Auburn.  The final performance of the morning was conducted by William Powell who was in the same cohort.  His wife, Rosephanye Powell, was accompanying at the piano.  Rosephanye has become a pre-eminent choral conductor, composer and arranger of African-American spirituals.  She is an amazing woman.  Our former professors were sitting in the box seats to my left and grinning from ear to ear as this performance unfolded. I was texting my former roommate who was also a doctoral candidate at the same time.  She couldn't believe we were all experiencing this moment together and she was teaching in North Carolina.

The "musical" stars aligned today and I experienced such an incredible moment of music-making.  I graduated 22 years ago and haven't seen these folks in as many years.  Chances are, they wouldn't even remember me.  (I was the only Master's student among them!)

I never connected the dots when I was in school.  It never occurred to me that the person sitting in class with me would one day be my colleague, my confidante, my fellow conductor.  What a weird and wonderful musical moment I enjoyed today.  It was absolutely incredible!!

Until next time...

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Choral MPA 2014

Well....yesterday was another "round of firsts" for Mrs. Tamburrino.

My first cross-county field trip on school buses.

My first Choral Music Performance Assessment.

My first time conducting in front of my peers.

My first time as a director in a sight-reading room.

My first time wearing my new concert dress.

I was so proud of my students for giving their best effort last night at Mandarin High School during the Florida Vocal Association's Music Performance Assessment.  I took my top auditioned choirs to participate in this district competition and it was such a great learning experience for all of us.  I especially liked the sight-reading judge.  She was so positive and encouraging to my students.  Sight-reading can be a rather nerve-wracking experience, especially if you are not comfortable doing it.

The scores are in....Vocal Ensemble - Superior overall.  Ladies' Chamber - Excellent overall.  Not bad for a rookie's first run!

If we can swing it financially, I will take my Vocal Ensemble to Tallahassee in April to compete at the State level.  Road trip!! Can't wait!!

Until next time...