Survey: Back to School

August 2, 2011

While the annual summer break offers both teachers and students a welcome respite from the grind of the academic year, it is also a unique opportunity for finding new music, professional development, strategic long-term planning, and other critical tasks and activities that might be difficult to fit into the cramped mid-year schedule.

Repertoire Forum: New Holiday Music

This issue includes reviews of works especially well suited for holiday concerts, with a variety of voicings and difficulties represented. You won’t find in my column a lot of pieces that are in the public eye, such as pop arrangements from the “Glee” series, or viral videos easily available on YouTube. My focus here are those hidden gems that you sometimes have to hunt to find.

Hometown Hero: Center Grove’s Chris Pratt

This summer, between working 9-to-5 at his graduate program and serving as president of his district’s Teachers’ Association, Chris Pratt has been busy planning the seasons of Center Grove High School’s nine different choral ensembles. His students have bolted for family vacations, summer jobs, and camps while Pratt begins studying new choreography, plowing through hours of new music, and mapping out a packed calendar of performances and competitions. Time off has been tough to come by, but he wouldn’t want it any other way.