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July 2010

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Americans Join India Choral Tour

Sixty-six Americans joined 119 other choristers from 20 countries on a 16-day choral tour of India. The Voices of Bahá tour featured sacred music, Ravi Shankar compositions blending western choral elements with classic Indian vocal melodies, and vocal music from five continents.

Over the last 16 years, the Voices of Bahá tour has brought 1,200 singers and musicians to 30 countries to sing in some of the most prestigious concert halls and record with leading orchestras. The 2010 Voices of Bahá tour included concerts at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai and other venues. The performances included sacred music mostly in English, Ravi Shankar compositions in Hindi, and selections in African, Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, and Persian. The tour spanned June 11 to 27 and included sightseeing.

To learn more about the Voices of Bahá, visit www.bahai.us.

Disney’s Broadway Magic Workshop Students Get Surprise Visit

To help launch Disney’s Broadway Magic Workshop, three cast members from the North American tour production of “Mary Poppins” paid a surprise visit to students from The Florida Academy of Performing Arts in Tampa Bay during one of Disney’s Broadway Magic workshops held at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort’s Performance Hall. Cast members Caroline Sheen, Troy Edward Bowles, and Jesse Swimm taught the group portions of the choreography to the song “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and participated in a special Q A with the students.

For more information, visit www.disneyyouthgroups.disney.go.com.

International Songwriting Competition

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) offers songwriters and artists the opportunity to have their music heard by some of the world’s most iconic and successful recording artists, as well as many major and indie record label presidents.

Open to both amateur and professional songwriters, ISC offers 22 categories to enter, representing all genres of popular music. Past winners have included artists at all levels, from Grammy winners to hobbyist songwriters and everyone in between. To better level the playing field for unsigned artists, ISC has added this year the “Unsigned Only” category which is open to songwriters and artists not signed to a major label record deal, publishing company, or distribution deal. This category provides an opportunity for unknown artists to compete against others on a similar level.

Now accepting entries for the 2010 competition, ISC gives away more than $150,000 in cash and prizes (shared among the 66 winners) including an overall grand prize consisting of $25,000 cash and $20,000 in prizes.

To enter, go to www.songwritingcompetition.com.

2011 ACDA National Conference’s Research Poster Session

The American Choral Directors Association will sponsor a session to disseminate the results of excellent research in any aspect of the choral art at its National Conference in Chicago, March 9-12, 2011. Participants chosen for presentation will be required to prepare a poster describing their research and to be available during the presentation session to discuss their work with interested conference attendees. The intent of the research poster session at the National ACDA conference is to bring current research to light and to encourage colleagues in the choral world to stay in touch with research in choral music, applying what they learn to performance practice and repertoire choice. Of particular desire are papers about repertoire, performance practice, conducting pedagogy, editions, analysis that will illuminate performance, vocal or compositional practices in contemporary choral music, and so on.

A poster session is a research report format used widely in the natural and social sciences, and increasingly in the humanities. Presenters prepare a poster (usually on tag board or something heavy that will stand up) showing the main points of their research with brief text and illustrations. Then the presenter stands next to his/her poster during the session, answering any questions from people who come to see the displays. Most of the presenters selected by the committee will also have about 12 minutes to talk about their work.

For more information, visit www.acda.org.

Comforting Voices of the Threshold Choir

In September, Indian Hill Music, a nonprofit music education and performance center in Littleton, Mass., will celebrate its 25th anniversary and its community outreach. In 2007, Pam Espinosa of Indian Hill Music started Threshold Choir to honor the ancient tradition of singing at the bedsides of people who are struggling: some with living, some with dying. The hospice choir movement was started in California and has blossomed in New England with groups in western Massachusetts and Vermont.

When invited by the family, small groups of two or three singers visit the bedsides of people who are sick, dying, or in a coma. Music is chosen to respond to each client’s musical taste, spiritual direction, and physical capacity. Pam Espinosa started the all-volunteer choir after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

To find out more, visit www.indianhillmusic.org.

Do Something!

In partnership with the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, DoSomething.org recently mobilized 90,000 students nationwide to take action by petitioning school boards, writing letters to elected officials, creating music videos, raising funds, and taking other actions on behalf of a complete education that includes music. Do SOmething! empowers teens and young people to advocate for causes of importance to them, and music education is among their high priority concerns.

For more information, visit www.dosomething.org.

The Benefits of the Study of Music

The Benefits of the Study of Music: Why We Need Music Education in Our Schools. Research indicates the study of music helps students achieve success in society, success in school and learning, success in developing intelligence and success in life. This new brochure from The National Association for Music Education (MENC) captures the latest facets and viewpoints from science and industry regarding music education’s impact on student growth and achievement.

To find out more, visit www.menc.org.

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