The Baton Pass

September 30, 2009

In a relay race, one runner from each team sprints around a track carrying a baton, which gets passed from teammate to teammate, as each runner takes his or her turn. The baton pass is a highly coordinated maneuver designed to minimize the loss of time during the transition between runners. Similarly, when a highly […]

The Unrelenting Ambition of Amanda Roeder

In 2002, fresh out of college, Amanda Roeder joined Marblehead High School as the director of choral music. Over the past eight years, she has doubled the number of students involved in the high school music program, augmenting the music department’s curriculum to the extent that the high school now offers eight different music classes, […]

I Grant You Three Wishes

If only procuring funding for a school music program were as easy as rubbing an old oil lamp and bossing around a startled genie. Of course, there’s much more to it than that, especially in these trying times. Yet, beyond the bake sales and spaghetti dinners, the fundraising concerts and carwashes, there lurks a mysterious […]

School Music Programs Weather the Down Economy

In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the Liberty High School orchestra, band, and choir struggle to keep the winds, strings, percussion, and voices on the stage and in the classroom. Students are stuck wearing old, worn uniforms. The school’s instrument repair budget has been cut by thousands, and forget about seeing any new instruments. The band cannot order […]

New Releases for All Ages

In each article, regardless of topic, I try to feature old stand-bys, worthy pieces that have gone overlooked, as well as new releases. I recently wrote a series of columns highlighting choral music from history, which, by its very nature, neglected new releases. In an effort to achieve balance, I am turning my attention this […]

Uplifting Your Audience

Programming concerts can be especially challenging for choirs, orchestras, and other ensembles in difficult economic times. While it may take some creativity to convince attendees hurt by the recession to pay for tickets, musical performances do have the power to raise the audience’s spirits. In school music programs, this may have a broader application that […]

2009, September

Sensaphonics Upgrades Earphones with Field-Replaceable CableSensaphonics Hearing Conservation, manufacturer of custom earphones for in-ear monitoring, has released field-replaceable cables for its ProPhonic 2X-S and 2MAX dual-driver custom earphones. Designed by Sensaphonics Japan, the new cables are a tour grade, dual-conductor design, featuring a memory-wire insert at the earpiece end and a split adjuster (zipper) to […]

2009, September

Conn-Selmer’s Steinway Piano Contest for Music EducatorsConn-Selmer is giving music educators a chance to win an Essex EGP-155C Classic Steinway Piano for their school or institution. The contest will start September 2nd and end November 15th. With over 15 million students learning music and life lessons as part of a school band or orchestra the […]

The Sound Of Music Turns 50: Musical Activities To Mark The Occasion

Mary Martin as Maria with the Von Trapp family singers in the original 1959 Broadway production. All photos courtesy of the Rodgers Hammerstein Organization. The Sound of Music celebrates the 50th anniversary of its Broadway premiere on November 16, 2009. This classic musical by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II can easily serve […]