Your concert is coming up; you and your students have been working on the selected repertoire for a while now—things are coming along nicely and the time for the performance is close at hand.
The name Eric Whitacre is sure to turn heads anywhere musicians gather. While he is a composer of choral music first, his wide range of talents have enabled him to travel the world, writing music for different ensembles and performing with people from all walks of life.
You have decided on the trip, made all the preparations, and your students and parent groups have been hard at work raising the funds to ensure that every student can participate. Now it is time to choose the repertoire that you will be presenting.
Listening to a master speak about their craft is one of the most enlightening experiences one can have. That was the thinking behind Pepper’s video interview series, The Inside Voice. Our place in the music community gives us the opportunity to speak with many of the best known and most beloved musicians active today. We realized the best way to use this opportunity was to share it with our customers.
Composer Brian Balmages’ sheet music can be found in music rooms across the nation. He has written music for every skill level from very easy to advanced. This, coupled with his ability to write music for both band and orchestra, is a big part of his success over the years, but there is something in his compositions that delves far deeper into the emotions of musicians and listeners alike.His ability to touch on raw emotion with his music is akin to many of the most notable composers throughout history.
One of the most frustrating experiences a music teacher or director can have is a concert audience that is disrespectful. Whether it is cell phones ringing during the performance, shouts from family members to their children on stage, slamming doors or crying infants, all of us have experienced people behaving badly in a concert setting.
Much has been written about recruitment and retention for music programs. With the uptick in access to social media, there are even more opportunities to share and acquire new ideas every day.
Joseph Martin is one of the most influential composers in sacred music today. His music has graced countless congregations and led many to consider with awe the glory of creation. From a very young age, this was his mission. Martin grew up in North Carolina, the son of a minister and a church pianist. Music and faith blended together for him from the very beginning of his life.
Look at any extensive library of musical literature and you will see not one, but many books by James Jordan. No writer is more prolific in the realm of vocal technique, rehearsal strategies, conducting, and what it takes to succeed in the world of choral music. Jordan is a professor and the Senior Conductor at Westminster Choir College, conducting Westminster Schola Cantorum and the Westminster Williamson Voices.
Recently, Pepper had the privilege to speak with Debra Reilly, a 2015 Grammy nominee for the Music Educator Award. Ms. Reilly teaches and directs the string programs for Springhouse and Orefield Middle Schools in Parkland School District in Allentown, Pennsylvania.