Will Breytspraak: Giving a Kid a Chance

April 10, 2007

The best way to learn is often by doing and hands-on experience can provide insight that might never come from simply being taught. The opportunity to get your feet wet doing something you love, however, can be hard to come by. For Will Breytspraak, the big break came as a high school senior when his […]

Traveling with your Choral Program

Taking a choral group on the road can be a wonderfully enriching experience. Travel can promote bonding, foster trust, expand horizons, and give students a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, while simultaneously providing motivation for high musical achievement and unique educational opportunities. On the other hand, touring can also be an organizational nightmare – successful trips require immense […]

The Music: Poetry, and Influence of Japan

From time to time, this forum has been dedicated to the music of cultures outside our traditional scope. The calm power of Russian liturgical anthems, rhythmic energy of African cultures, and the musics of various European countries are a good start, but all fit neatly within our comfort zones. In this case, I set out to explore the music, poetry and influences of a culture not especially known for ensemble singing. For this reason, choral music of Japan is a rarity. But it is often the rarest gems that have the greatest capacity for beauty�in the right light. So, I hope this column will shed some light on this little explored facet of our art.

A Chance to Lead

Our feature interview this month with Will Breytspraak, choral director at Pebblebrook High School and the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts in Mableton, Ga., highlights an important issue within our field: how to provide students with an opportunity to conduct or lead an ensemble. Breytspraak notes, “The best way to learn […]

2007, February/March

Blues Foundation Awards Nearly $200,000The Blues Music Foundation, a non-profit organization launched during 2003’s Year of the Blues celebration, announced today that it has awarded $191,650 in grants to non-profit organizations and museums that celebrate and preserve the blues. Established in 2003, the Foundation set out to dedicate the net proceeds from the “Salute to […]

Why Mandates Matter

I have been asked over the years why I have been such a forceful proponent of mandates. Many individuals, and even organizations, have commented we should be happy with standards and that we are included in lists of core curriculum. I am not suggesting these have not been important accomplishments in the evolution of music […]