Maryland Music Educator, Spring II 2020, Vol. 66 No. 3

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Vol. 66, No. 3

Spring II 2020


Official Journal of the Maryland Music Educators Association

In this issue: • Choosing Jazz Ensemble Repertoire • Collegiate Chorus During Quarantine • Fall Guidance for Music Education • Music Literacy in Beginning Choirs • New Concert Band Music • Student Leadership in Large Ensembles • Technology Strategies to Enhance Adjudication

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Maryland Music Educator Official Journal of the Maryland Music Educators Association

Spring II 2020 Volume 66, Number 3


16 17 19 22 23 26 28

New Concert Band Music from Carl Fischer by James Bast, Wall Township, New Jersey (retired) Choosing Jazz Ensemble Repertoire by Earl MacDonald, University of Connecticut Teaching Collegiate Chorus During Quarantine: A Personal Journal by Diana V. Sáez, Towson University Students Become Leaders! Including More Student-Led Activities in a Large Ensemble Setting by Elisabeth Sato, Columbia University Lyric Sheets to Music Notation: Music Literacy in Elementary and Beginning Choirs by Kyle J. Weary, Boiling Springs (PA) High School Technology Strategies to Get You a Superior Adjudication! Use Technology to Enhance Your Adjudication Experience by Peter J. Perry, Instrumental Music Director, Montgomery County Fall Guidance for Music Education from NFHS and NAfME

Contents… 08 MMEA Executive Board Directory, Presidents, Article & Ad Information 09 MMEA Giving and Sponsorship, MMEA Hall of Fame, Award Recipients, Executive Directors, Editors 24 Volunteering for MMEA 27 MMEA 2020 Virtual Conference

29 Writing for Maryland Music Educator 30 MMEA/NAfME Membership

Advertisers Index FAME Summer Music Program .......................................36 (Back Cover) Frostburg State Univ. Dept. of Music......5 James Madison Univ. School of Music ..10 James Madison Univ. Jr. Audition Day..11 Loyola University of Maryland..............13 Menchey Music Service ........................12 Univ. of Maryland Baltimore Co. ............4 University of the Arts Summer Studies ..3 Wells School of Music, West Chester University ..................6 Yamaha Corporation..............................14 Young Artists of America Summer Program ...............................2 (Inside Front Cover)

NAfME Resources 15 MMEA/NAfME Membership 21 Free Music Curriculum Units 25 NAfME Member Services

On the Cover: Spring color along Lake Roland at Roland Park, Baltimore, Maryland. © Can Stock Photo. Artist: appalachianviews. Number 36423731. Used with licensed permission. Licensee: Felicia B. Johnston.

The Maryland Music Educator is published for the members of the Maryland Music Educators Association, Inc., a federated state unit of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and music teachers in Maryland four times annually in the months of September, January/February, late March, and May. Articles for publication must be submitted to the editor by August 1, October 1, January 2, and March 15, respectively. Publication dates, advertising rates, and closing dates may be found on the MMEA web page,, under “Resources/Publications”. Maryland Music Educator will be distributed digitally to all Maryland music teachers and all MMEA members. It will also be posted on the MMEA website at (MMEA Executive Board decision, June 8, 2018). Editor: Felicia Burger Johnston, P. O. Box 3362, Cumberland, MD 21504-3362 304-613-2871 E-Mail: Maryland Music Educators Association (MMEA) is the professional association for the school music teachers of Maryland. MMEA is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit association incorporated in the State of Maryland. MMEA's mission is to advance music education in Maryland schools. We do this by providing professional development for music teachers, involving students and teachers in opportunities for excellence through state-wide music activities and events, and serving as an advocate for music education.

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MMEA Executive Board Directory 2019-2020 The MMEA Executive Board and staff listing is updated at Elected Officers

All State Chair Robert Mattera St. Mary’s County

President Brian Schneckenburger Baltimore County

Collegiate Representative Ebonie Pierce University of Maryland Baltimore County

President-Elect Jennifer Kauffman Anne Arundel County

Conference Exhibits Chair Shefali Shah Anne Arundel County

Immediate Past President Angela Adams Anne Arundel County

Membership Chair Janet Gross Calvert County

Member at Large Thomas Pierre Prince George’s County

State Dept. of Education Representative Alysia Lee Maryland State Department of Education State Large Ensemble Festivals Chair Scott Engel Baltimore County Technology Chair Krystal Williams Baltimore City Tri-M Chair Erick Von Sas Anne Arundel County

Component Association Presidents

Music Industry Representative Scott Schimpf Music & Arts

Band Directors (MBDA) Matt Heist Anne Arundel County

Music Supervisors Representative Karl Stewart Carroll County

Choral Directors (MCEA) Katherine Meloro Howard County

Private Schools Representative Joseph Shortall Private School

Orchestra Directors (MODA) Dan Sitomer Anne Arundel County

Public Relations Chair Deborah Turner Anne Arundel County

General Music Teachers (MGMTA) Christie Cook Calvert County

Research Chair Cathleen Russell Baltimore County

College Music Educators (MSMTE) Louise Anderson Salisbury University

Sight Reading Committee Chair Todd Burroughs St. Mary’s County

Event & Membership Assistants (Part-time) Kayde Deardorff Andie Sante

Special Learners Chair Paul Tooker University of Maryland Eastern Shore

*Publications Editor Felicia Burger Johnston Upshur County, WV (retired)

Appointed Officers Advocacy Chair Ronald P. Frezzo Montgomery County (retired)

Young Composers Project Michelle Roberts Montgomery County Staff Members * Board Member *Executive Director JJ Norman PMB#472 6710 F Ritchie Highway Glen Burnie, MD 21061

MMEA Presidents 1941-43 – Robert S. Bolles 1943-45 – C. James Velie 1945-47 – Frances Jackman Civis 1947-49 – Miriam Hoffman 1949-51 – Mary M. Hunter 1951-53 – Mary de Vermond 1953-55 – Thomas R. Lawrence 1955-57 – Blanche F. Bowlsbey 1957-59 – Mildred B. Trevvett 1959-61 – Emil H. Serposs 1961-63 – Chester J. Petranek 1963-64 – Ward K. Cole 1964-65 – Chester J. Petranek 1965-67 – Donald Regier 1967-69 – Nicholas Geriak 1969-71 – Alice S. Beer 1971-73 – Joseph Chalker 1973-75 – Bert L. Damron 1975-77 – Robert E. Kersey 1977-79 – David Marchand 1979-81 – Thomas E. Silliman 1981-83 – Thomas W. Fugate 1983-85 – Clarence T. Rogers 1985-87 – John E. Wakefield 1987-89 – R. Bruce Horner 1989-91 – Patricia W. Teske 1991-93 – Phyllis R. Kaplan 1993-95 – Roger J. Folstrom 1995-97 – Barbara F. King 1997-99 – Richard A. Disharoon 1999-01 – Michael L. Mark 2001-03 – Michael L. Mark 2003-05 – Ann Vaughn 2005-07 – Amy Cohn 2007-09 – Chrystie Adams 2009-11 – Carol Howell 2011-13 – Ginny Flynn 2013-15 – Stephen W. Miles 2015-17 – Katherine A. Murphy 2017-19 – Angela Adams June-Dec. 2019 – Paul Dembowski 2019-20 – Interim Pres. Angela Adams June 2020 – Brian Schneckenburger

Updates, news, and more at: Find MMEA on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter

Maryland Music Educator Official Journal of the Maryland Music Educators Association Issue

Article Submission Deadline


Ad Contract Submission Deadline

Fall 2020

August 1, 2020

Fall 2020

August 1, 2020

Winter 2020-2021

October 1, 2020

Winter 2020-2021

October 1, 2020

Spring 2021

January 2, 2021

Spring 2021

January 2, 2021

Summer 2021

March 15, 2021

Summer 2021

March 15, 2021

Please send article submissions to: Advertising information & contract submission for Maryland Music Felicia B. Johnston, Editor, at Educator and the MMEA In-Service conference programs: or submit articles at mmea-content-submission-form. 8

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MMEA is supported in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts. MSAC on Facebook™: MSAC on Twitter™: @mdartscouncil

MMEA Awards for Excellence Recipients Rosemary & James Walters Service Award 2002 – Thomas W. Fugate 2003 – Chrystie L. Adams 2004 – Richard A. Disharoon 2010 – Mabel Leonore Sawhill 2011 – Howard L. Miskimon 2011 – Sabra C. Steward 2012 – Deborah Turner 2013 – Jan Strevig 2014 – James L. Turk 2015 – Sally Wagner 2017 – Ginny Flynn 2020 – Janet Gross Corwin Taylor Music Education Leadership Award 1994 – Karen Douglas 1995 – Rosa Fletcher Crocker 1996 – Mary Ann Mears 1997 – James L. Tucker, Jr. 1998 – Roger J. Folstrom 1998 – Phyllis T. Kaplan 1999 – Barbara F. King 2002 – Mary Ellen Cohn 2004 – Chris Tuel 2005 – Linda Patton 2006 – Gary Beauchamp 2009 – Joan Orcutt 2010 – Katherine A. Rodeffer 2011 – Richard J. Deasy 2012 – C. Nelson Fritts 2013 – Nancy S. Grasmick 2017 – Anita Lambert 2018 – Michael L. Mark 2019 – Scott Herman 2020 – Todd J. Burroughs

Maryland Music Educators Association: Giving and Sponsorship MMEA provides in-service networking and professional learning for music teachers, opportunities for thousands of music students and teachers, and serves as an advocate for music education. MMEA provides student and teacher enrichment by sponsoring professional learning conferences, annual Awards for Excellence, and eight music groups for student All State music events. MMEA and five component associations, with over 300 volunteers, host district and state Solo and Ensemble events. During the spring, orchestras, bands, and choruses perform in festivals with nearly 10,000 students participating. Give Today! Become an MMEA Sponsor!

Executive Directors Maryland Music Educators Association 1998-Dec. 2018 – Mary Ellen Cohn Editors, Maryland Music Educator 1954-57 – Homer Ulrich 1957-61 – Corwin H. Taylor 1961-65 – James L. Fisher 1965-67 – Robert E. Kersey 1967-73 – W. Warren Sprouse

Nov. 2018-Feb. 2020 – Mariama Boney May 2020– JJ Norman 1973-84 – James H. Avampato 1984-86 – W. Warren Sprouse 1987-96 – Thomas W. Fugate 1996-01 – Ray H. Zeigler 2001-08 – Thomas W. Fugate 2008-09 – Dawn Farmer 2008-09 – Felicia Burger Johnston

MMEA Hall of Fame 1988 – Margaret Black 1988 – Robert S. Bolles 1988 – David Burchuck 1988 – Frances Jackman Civis 1988 – John Cole 1988 – Mary G. Cross 1988 – John Denues 1988 – Nicholas Geriak 1988 – Thomas L. Gibson 1988 – Rose Marie Grentzer 1988 – S. Fenton Harris 1988 – Miriam Hoffman 1988 – Mary M. Hunter 1988 – John Itzel 1988 – Henrietta Baker Low 1988 – Otto Ortmann 1988 – Philip S. Royer 1988 – Osmar Steinwald 1988 – Charles C. T. Stull 1988 – Eugene W. Troth 1988 – Homer Ulrich 1988 – C. James Velie 1988 – Levi Wilder 1988 – Dorothy Willison

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1988 – William Llewelyn Wilson 1989 – Alice S. Beer 1989 – Thomas R. Lawrence 1989 – Corwin H. Taylor 1990 – Robert E. Kersey 1990 – Dorothy S. Pickard 1991 – John Fignar, Jr. 1992 – Blanche F. Bowlsbey 1992 – Joseph F. Chalker 1992 – James L. Fisher 1993 – Thomas W. Fugate 1993 – C. William Johnson 1993 – Michael Pastelak 1994 – Mildred R. Reiner 1994 – Shirley J. Shelley 1994 – Donald Regier 1995 – David Marchand 1995 – W. Warren Sprouse 1996 – James H. Avampato 1996 – Carmelo J. Palazzo 1997 – Clarence T. Rogers 1998 – Maurice R. Feldman 1999 – Sr. Mary Theresine Staub S.S.N.D. 1999 – Nancy M. Cook

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2000 – Mildred B. Trevvett 2003 – Leroy Battle 2003 – Glenn Patterson 2004 – Roger J. Folstrom 2004 – Phyllis R. Kaplan 2005 – Barbara F. King 2005 – Michael L. Mark 2006 – Mary Ellen Cohn 2006 – John Wakefield 2007 – Olivia W. Gutoff 2008 – Richard A. Disharoon 2008 – James L. Tucker, Jr. 2009 – Leone Y. Woodall 2010 – Bruce D. Wilson 2011 – Lee Stevens 2012 – C. Scott Sharnetzka 2012 – Cherie Stellaccio 2013 – Ray Danner 2014 – Dana Rothlisberger 2018 – Gilbert A. Brungardt (Posthumous) 2019 – Chris Vadala (Posthumous) 2020 – Charles Haslup (Posthumous)


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THE JMU AUDITION CLINIC FOR SOPHOMORES AND JUNIORS SATU R DAY, APRIL 18, 2020 Students thinking about applying to study music at a university won’t want to miss this free, one-day event featuring mock auditions in a friendly, non-threatening environment. Students will have an opportunity to gain insight into what it is like to audition at a university music school. They will have the chance to perform a short practice audition for university music professors. Following the audition, faculty members will provide feedback on students’ strengths and areas for improvement, and share strategies for preparing for a college audition. Students will also learn about what to expect as a collegiate music major, including a typical day/week/year, workload, courses and potential career paths.


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New Concert Band Music from Carl Fischer by James Bast, Middle School, Wall Township (Retired); Director, Greater Shore Concert Band Republished with permission from Tempo, The Official Magazine of the New Jersey Music Educators Association, October 2019.


n this article are reviews of six concert band selections, reviewed by a retired middle school band teacher in October 2019.

Eight Nights of Light by Jonathan Leshnoff Grade 3.5 My first thoughts when I saw the description of this piece was: “Do we really need another rehash of the same pieces which have been arranged many times?” After reviewing the score, my answer is “YES”. This version is much different than the older ones which have been around for many years and it keeps the melodies fresh and interesting. The woodwind section is kept very busy with running 16th notes. It is a lively medley of traditional Hanukkah and Jewish tunes playable by middle and high school concert bands. A nice addition to holiday programs, it includes the tunes O Chanukah; Sivivon Sov Sov Sov; Maoz Tzur; Mi Yi’ malel and Vi’ ya’ datem. Better Angels by William G. Harbinson Grade 3 In Abraham Lincoln’s first Inaugural Address (March 4, 1861), he stated: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature”. Harbinson weaves a very interesting composition which starts Vivace and eventually slows to a rubato Larghetto during which the solo flute plays in a pseudo-free style. There are several tempo changes during the composition and the Vivace at 86 moves quickly through meter changes (4/4, 3/4, 5/8, 6/8, 3/8). This is a great piece of music to play and hear, but also to present challenges and learning experiences for the students.

Fanfare: Generation Next by Zachary. Cairns Grade 3 Cairns wrote this piece to honor the retirement of Dean Zirkle, who was a long-time director of bands at Camp Hill High School near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Cairns was his marching band arranger/composer for eleven years, and you can feel the marching band influence in the accented rhythms contained in this composition. He built the piece on a rendering of the name “DEAN”. D, E, and A are all musical notes, but N is not, so he chose to use a “neighbor tone” G# as its replacement. This interesting piece would make a dynamic opener for any concert. Chasing Mercury by Travis J. Weller Grade 3 There is some duality to the title of this work. The first reference is Weller’s impression of what a playful chase of the winged messenger Mercury sounds like. The other reference is the opening motif chasing two themes from Gustav Holst’s The Planets: Mercury around the rest of the work. This is a very playful and interesting composition by Travis J. Weller. Bay Shore Park by Joseph Compello Grade 3 Actually written for beginning bands, this work is appropriate for more advanced groups as well. It features interesting melodies created in a traditional concert march style. An Arizona Celebration by Andrew Balent Grade 3 This piece was commissioned by and for the City of Glendale Summer Band in Glendale, Arizona. It begins with a bold fanfare and moves directly into a polka section based on the tune Westward Ho. A calm middle section represents the “Desert Twilight” and a dynamic celebration brings the piece to a resounding climax.

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Choosing Jazz Ensemble Repertoire by Earl MacDonald, Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies, University of Connecticut


electing repertoire is one of the most important decisions a jazz band director makes each year. Beyond choosing what will be performed at the next concert, repertoire selection reflects the director’s core beliefs about jazz education and curriculum. It is through repertoire that lessons are taught in style, musicality, articulation, technique, and even history. The selections need to challenge and captivate the band’s interest over an extended period, while also engaging an audience. This problem is compounded for new directors with limited big band experience. They are the intended audience for this article, although the following considerations, insights and approaches should be helpful for any director in finding appropriate jazz ensemble pieces.

Assess Strengths, Weaknesses and Growth Start by identifying the strongest players and sections of your band. Determine who could be featured. Assess what brass ranges are feasible. Diagnose where there are less experienced players. Given the band’s current performance level, imagine how they might improve and grow as players by year’s end, given the right challenges and motivations. You might consider incorporating music at an increased level of difficulty in the second half of the year. Listen, Listen, Listen Peruse the various catalogues and web sites of publishers and listen to sound bites. Beyond J.W. Pepper, investigate eJazzLines, Sierra Music, Pro Jazz Charts, UNC Jazz Press, 3-2 Music Publishing, and Smart Chart Music. Take a copy of the program when attending concerts, festivals, and conferences. Write down titles and arrangers’ names. Know Your Arrangers If you are looking for new publications, certain arrangers “hit the ball out of the park” every time; Mark Taylor, Mike Tomaro, and Eric Richards never disappoint. Their charts are well-crafted and accessible. Mike Mossman and the late Fred Sturm also fit this category, but the difficulty level increases. Considerably more important is exposing students to classic big band repertoire, from which they can learn the nuances of swing by studying and playing along with recordings. Citing Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Thad Jones as being comparably significant to Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, only in a different genre, wouldn’t be unreasonable (although I’ll clarify that Basie had others write for his band). The Count Basie Big Band produced countless classics. Sammy Nestico, Neal Hefti, and Frank Foster are quintessential Basie arrangers. A short list of their notable works includes: • Sammy Nestico: Basie Straight Ahead, The Queen Bee, Hay Burner, I’m Beginning to See the Light, Smack Dab in the Middle, High Five

• Neal Hefti: That Warm Feeling, L’il Darlin, Splanky • Frank Foster: Blues in Hoss Flat, Four-Five-Six, Shiny Stockings Thad Jones made an extraordinary contribution to the classic big band canon. Until recently, most of the music was beyond the technical reach of the average high school ensemble. However, Mike Carubia of Smart Chart Music has created a solution to this problem. He thoughtfully re-scored many of Thad Jones’ charts in lower keys (thereby reducing range demands), added breathing spots, simplified solos, and provided some written solos, etc. These orchestrations are really well done and receive my unequivocal endorsement. David Berger’s transcriptions of Duke Ellington repertoire are a tremendous resource. Written for the annual Essentially Ellington high school competition at Lincoln Center, they are available through eJazzLines. Ellington’s music can be difficult. There are often clarinet doubles in the reed section and extended ranges in all of the brass parts; in addition, many of his orchestrations are for a somewhat smaller band (three trumpets and three trombones). Representing many eras and bands would be an admirable goal in programming. Charts by the Jimmy Dorsey and Artie Shaw bands would nicely complement and contrast Ellington in the category of authentic 30s and 40s dance band music. Basie typifies the 50s, as Thad Jones does with the 60s and early 70s. Buddy Rich (John LaBarbera, etc.) and Woody Herman (John Fedchock) and Maynard Ferguson led the bands which thrived in the 70s. And no arranger embodies the 80s & 90s better than Bob Mintzer. Although Maria Schneider could be considered the most highly regarded jazz composer of the current era, her music is written at an extremely challenging professional level and requires woodwind doubling expertise. Ask Clinicians, festival adjudicators, guest artists, jazz educators, and professional players are all great resources for finding appropriate charts for your band. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations. Additionally, many of them will gladly express their opinions regarding what writers and publishers produce second-rate pablum (off the record, of course), and what songs they would wish to never hear again at an educational festival. Retention When working as a high school director, my UConn colleague, Doug Maher, used the following motto as a guide: “One for the kids, one for the parents, and one for you.” One for you might be a Thad Jones piece. One for the kids might be a funky selection. One for the grandparents used to be “In the Mood,” although these days, great-grandparents are the ones who might recognize a Glenn Miller hit. This approach can be especially helpful in the early stages of building a program, when parental support is needed. The challenge is to not cross continued on next page

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the line into audience pandering. From the standpoint of curricular value, I would suggest that there is no place for a unison arrangement of “Louie, Louie” in a jazz band set. Is there pop music for jazz band worth playing? Perhaps. If you firmly believe kids will stay in the band if their parents relate to the music, Mike Tomaro’s charts of Stevie Wonder, Tower of Power, and Steely Dan tunes are valid options, but only in conjunction with introducing them to great repertoire and jazz in general. In my experience, students and audiences alike gravitate towards whatever is excellent. Aiming High or Aiming Low The dilemma for most music educators is whether to select easier charts which cater to the strengths of young bands, or to pick music slightly above their band’s level, to challenge and motivate the group. Students typically appreciate the challenge and will be better served by not taking the safe route. That said, disregarding range (and some technical limitations) can yield disastrous results. Modify, As Needed After identifying potential selections, evaluate the charts’ playability in relationship to the band’s strengths. Some slight edits might be necessary; if the arrangement calls for a trombone solo, and you don’t have a trombone soloist, simply transpose the solo changes for trumpet (or another instrument). If you have too many tenor saxophonists and not enough trombones, transpose a trombone part for a saxophonist, etc. Festival Sets In a three-song festival set, you can’t go wrong with two canonical selections, say Basie and Thad Jones, with something more contemporary or unconventional to provide contrast. This could be a Latin or straight-eighths funky piece. One of the three selections could be a ballad. A ballad could be a great vehicle for featuring an especially capable soloist. It is a reality that, at most schools, festival music is rehearsed from September until the festival date, and it may not be ready for the winter concert in December. Because festival charts typically feature advanced players, selections that encourage all students to try improvising would be advisable for winter and spring concerts. Sometimes you get a beginning soloist, but he/she is encouraged to keep working at it, and the parents are thrilled.

© Can Stock Photo. Artist: jlbouzou. Number 964123 Used with licensed permission. Licensee: Felicia B. Johnston.


Commissions Commissioning up-and-coming jazz composers to create new, customized pieces for your band not only gives your students the amazing opportunity to work directly with a composer, but you get to play a personal role in helping to advance the artform. The experience is worth every penny. If the higher rates of some well-known composers are inhibiting, you can easily identify skilled, younger composers by searching the internet for the major, annual competitions for jazz composers and arrangers. These include the Sammy Nestico Award, the Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize/Manny Albam Commission, and the Wohlhueter Jazz Composition Contest at Ithaca College. Commissioning fees are generally negotiable and surprisingly affordable, considering the benefits. If possible, include at least one rehearsal with the composer in your agreement. Standards At the easy levels, there is a glut of weak music published, much of which is void of strong melodic content. Working with arrangements of American Songbook standards by George Gershwin or Cole Porter, for example, ensures the presence of strong melodies. A litmus test for identifying standards is searching a song title to see if it has been recorded by known jazz artists. If so, then it is more likely to be a worthwhile investment of the band’s time. Have students listen to a variety of versions, including renditions by vocalists like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Tony Bennett. There are so many choices at a music educator’s disposal. Unfortunately, there are just as many pieces not worthy of consideration as there are gems. I hope these guidelines help you choose wisely.

About the Author: Earl MacDonald’s seemingly inexhaustible commitment to the jazz art form is apparent in his performing, composing and teaching. The former musical director and pianist for Maynard Ferguson serves as the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Connecticut and teaches annually at UMass Amherst’s Jazz in July program. The Winnipeg native earned a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz performance at McGill University and a Master’s degree at Rutgers, where he apprenticed with Kenny Barron. A recipient of the Sammy Nestico Award for outstanding big band arranging, MacDonald has released five albums as a bandleader; two of which earned JUNO nominations for jazz album of the year. For his chamber jazz explorations on “Mirror of the Mind”, MacDonald was described as “a magical, musical alchemist of hip hybrids” (Owen McNally, Hartford Courant). Similarly, his large ensemble project, “Re:Visions” was touted as having “gone beyond where most big bands go, establishing Earl MacDonald as a major force in the world of jazz composition” (Dan Bilawsky, Visit MacDonald’s web site,, where you can take a free online lesson, read articles and reviews, hear his music, peruse his blog, and learn more about Earl MacDonald’s performances, teaching, and latest projects. Comments are welcome and may be directed to the author at

Maryland Music Educator

Spring II 2020

Teaching Collegiate Chorus During Quarantine: A Personal Journal by Diana V. Sáez, Director of Choral Activities, Towson University


ehearsal had just begun with Chorale, a mixed ensemble of 32 voices at Towson University, when breaking news flashed on the students’ phone screens: “Classes will be canceled for the rest of the week in advance of spring break. The University will transition classes to a distance learning format.” The university also requested that the students take all essential belongings from their residence halls and workplaces in case campus restricted access after spring break. The announcement was unexpected, if not a total shock. Having followed the developing news earlier that week about COVID-19, I had planned to have a conversation during rehearsal about the coronavirus global pandemic and how it was emotionally affecting the students. I hadn’t, however, planned for breaking news that would turn all the students toward their phones, notifying them that this would be our last rehearsal until further notice. I ordered everyone to stop looking at their screens and announced that we would finish rehearsing this opening piece and then dedicate time to talk about the university’s announcement. I was as nervous and baffled as they were, but I wanted to stay strong for them. When the conversation began, I led it with questions: What do you know about coronavirus? What are your fears? How do you feel about what is happening? A myriad of emotions poured out while a student volunteer documented the answers on the board. They expressed confusion, anxiety, and financial concerns. Some, especially the seniors, felt frustration and anger for the uncertainty of not knowing what was going to happen with the performances and recitals that they had worked so hard to present. During the discussion, one of the students suggested that we sing in the stairwell of the Center of Fine Arts and Communications where the Department of Music is located and where students pass each other when going from one classroom to another. The space also has wonderful acoustics. Everyone immediately agreed and we rushed to the stairwell to sing “Even When He Is Silent,” a poignant poem set to music by Kim André Arnesen, which we had performed at a school event the previous week. It was a cathartic ending to our rehearsal before the students rushed back to their dorms to pack and return home. Even When He Is Silent “I believe in the sun, even when it's not shining I believe in love, even when I feel it not I believe in God, even when He is silent.”

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First Meetings on Zoom™ and Rehearsal Participation Little did I know that performing in a stairwell wouldn’t be the most creative space in which we sang during the following months. Rather, that day was just the beginning of a long, challenging improvisation in our state and in the rest of the world. The faculty received instructions from school administration to use the university-scheduled spring break to work on a ‘teaching plan’ for Spring II 2020

online teaching. But I had no idea where to start. After all, choral art is all about togetherness and creating harmonies! In the end, I decided to start by checking in on my students, setting expectations for communication, and figuring out what they needed. After spring break, I scheduled a Zoom meeting with each of my choirs. I needed to see them and make sure that they were ok even though I still wasn’t sure what the ‘teaching plan’ was going to be for the rest of the semester. At the first virtual meeting for each ensemble, I made several announcements. First, we would use Zoom to meet once a week and we would open a private Facebook™ page. That would allow me to communicate and stay connected with both Chorale and Women’s Chorus. The Facebook page in particular would be our ‘safe’ space. It would be a platform to share music videos, links, ideas, and reflections. I also spoke about the class expectations. They were expected to attend the weekly Zoom meetings, participate in group discussions, post assignments on Facebook, and show creativity, although I still wasn’t sure how creativity online was going to look. The first assignment for Chorale, a mixed choir comprised of mostly music majors, consisted of posting a link to their favorite choral piece and sharing why the piece was special to them. From this assignment, other ideas started popping up. As opposed to Chorale, the first assignment for Women’s Chorus asked the students to record themselves singing a song that had helped them cope with the isolation. They could use their computer or any other device or app of their preference and then post it on our private Facebook page. I used this assignment in part because this ensemble presented a different challenge to Chorale. They are a diverse group comprised of music students and non-music majors, all with different levels of musicianship and I wanted to emphasize the role music was playing in their current lives. This would also be a challenge, as most of them had expressed that they didn’t feel comfortable singing alone without the support of the ensemble. Thankfully, by the end of the second week, every single member had posted a song. Some performed a cappella, others accompanied with an instrument, others used a pre-recorded track, and some used apps such as TikTok™ or Acapella™. Personally, it was humbling to hear and see the students singing alone from a home space. This could be their childhood bedroom, a closet, a locked bathroom, or a

Overall, we learned...that our choir is a community that, in addition to needing to sing, has an immense need to connect; that despite the uncertainty, we can come together to learn, create, and celebrate our humanity. And for this lesson, we will be forever grateful.

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wood-paneled room. The fact that each one of the members dared to post a song assured me that we had created a safe space where they felt comfortable letting the rest of us take an intimate glance into their lives. Weekly ‘Rehearsals’ Start Taking Shape In the following weeks with Chorale, we broke out into four to five groups during Zoom time. Each group was assigned to watch and listen to two or three videos from the ones they had posted. I gave them a set of guiding questions to lead their discussion. After 15 minutes, a spokesperson from each group reported back to the whole class about (1) the style, texture, and composing devices of the composition, (2) how the music helped convey the meaning of the text and (3) whether they would like, or not, to perform the piece. By the end of the semester we had an annotated list of 34 choral works from different historical periods, styles, and composers. To move into group performance, I decided that it would be most appropriate with Women’s Chorus to compose a simple melody rather than work with traditional repertoire, which was proving almost impossible to do under the new conditions. I composed a melodic round that I aptly named “The Quarantine Round.” In addition to learning the notes and recording quartets using the Acapella app, the ensemble was also required to break out into groups and add lyrics to the round. The initial quartets gave me an opportunity to assess melodic and rhythmic independence, while the lyric assignment allowed me to assess their capacity and willingness to collaborate. By the end of a session we had four different versions of the round written by the students. One such sample is below.

piece to which they had no reference whatsoever, since no choir had ever sung it before. The piece also presented some inherent challenges such as dynamic contrasts and contrapuntal passages. Nevertheless, they approached the challenge with enthusiasm, and after a few extra sectionals, to add breathing marks and dynamics, they were set to record their individual parts. Very soon I realized that singing into a recording device was no substitute for singing together. I noticed how much many of the students depended on others to execute the markings on the score. No matter how much we discussed dynamic levels or the placement of a consonant at the end of a phrase, there were always inconsistencies on the individual recordings. As I reflect on the experience, I learned that it would have been helpful to start earlier than we did, to allow time for me to hear everyone, to identify their challenges and to provide individual feedback. The experience, while time-consuming, was enlightening: getting to hear the recordings of every student allowed me to know everyone’s voice better than I did before. We finished the semester by working on a different project with Women’s Chorus. It turns out that for the first assignment, one of the members from Women’s Chorus had posted herself singing “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles on our Facebook private page. As soon as I heard it, I knew that the song would be good for a virtual choir project. It was both simple and joyful. I wrote a simple vocal arrangement and scheduled a few sectionals to teach the voice parts. After a music student volunteered to edit the video, we proceeded and recorded it. Looking back, it amazes me that only five weeks before, we had no idea how to produce a virtual choir and now we had three songs: a recording of “Our Hope,” an original creation by Chorale to share with the world; a recording of the school Alma Mater; and a recording of the Beatles’ popular song “Here Comes the Sun.” Since then all the videos have been posted or featured in the university social media outlets. This was an unexpected reward that gave pride to all the choir members, myself, and the whole university community. Links to the virtual choral performances: Women's Chorus: “Here Comes the Sun” - Chorale: “Our Hope” music by Chorale member Jacob Hastings; lyrics by Vanessa Daelemans - “Towson University Alma Mater” -

Becoming Creative In the meantime, our department chair had asked Chorale to record the university’s Alma Mater. The recording was going to be a gift for the graduating students - sent out by email. It was our first venture into virtual choir production and an exciting project for Chorale, but I still wanted them to have another project where they would have ownership over the music. As such, a student suggested that a member of the choir compose a piece for us. One of our basses was also a composition major and offered to do it. In less than two weeks he had composed an SATB piece named “Our Hope” with lyrics by his fiancé. Recognizing that it would take me forever to learn how to produce and edit a virtual choir, I asked for help. Graciously, another member of Chorale offered to edit the audio and video. This project was more challenging than singing the Alma Mater since they had to learn a 20

End-of-Semester Reflections During Chorale’s last rehearsal, we read an interview with Estonian composer Arvo Pärt about what it means to be a musician in times of isolation. He said that “our current situation is paradoxical: on the one hand, it means isolation, on the other, it brings us closer.” We agreed that Pärt was describing the ironic situation in which we find ourselves even now: on the one hand, we are not able to gather and sing, but on the other, this experience has brought us more emotional intimacy. So, in the end, what did it mean to be part of a choral ensemble during this pandemic and what did we learn? For my part, I learned how I can incorporate technology in my teaching, even when students are struggling to feel confident recording and

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singing by themselves. I discovered new ways to deliver group and ensemble instruction online. I also learned, from the students’ endof-semester reflections, how challenging it is for them to stay motivated in the arts without engaging with other artists in person. They missed singing together. But it must be said: there’s always a silver lining to every story. And to my surprise, the students found many. For one, even though the students missed singing together, this absence helped them learn to appreciate choir in a new way. As one student said, “Being in a choir is less about the music and more the sense of community and togetherness. During this time, we have realized how much we miss our

time together and how much we value it right now.” Another student agreed: “We have found that the musical bond is a lot harder to break than it seems. While we do not have the privilege of performing together right now, we are still able to create music. We learned how to adapt and think outside the box to get things done. We have continued to let music be a light in a dark time, which is inspirational”. Overall, we learned - both the students and myself - that our choir is a community that, in addition to needing to sing, has an immense need to connect; that despite the uncertainty, we can come together to learn, create, and celebrate our humanity. And for this lesson, we will be forever grateful.

About the Author: Diana V. Sáez is the newly appointed Director of Choral Activities at Towson University in Baltimore where she directs the TU Chorale, Women’s Choir, and Choral Society. Before coming to Towson, Sáez served as Visiting Choir Director at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where she conducted the College Choir and Madrigal Choir. Previously she served as Visiting Choir Conductor at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She also directed the Catholic University Women’s Choir for six years. Sáez is frequently invited as guest conductor, adjudicator, and lecturer in the United States and abroad. She has presented interest sessions at national and regional ACDA conventions. She has served as guest conductor in Colombia and has directed regional honor choruses in Virginia, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania. As a leading specialist in the field of Latin American music, she served as artistic director of Cantigas, a chamber choir that she founded with the mission to increase awareness and appreciation of

the many rich styles of Latin American and Spanish choral music. For 25 years, Cantigas was a principal performer of Latin American music, with appearances at the ACDA Eastern Division Convention, Kennedy Center, Strathmore Center, museums and embassies, and in international tours in Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. In 2014, the choir was awarded the Choral Excellence Award for Most Creative Programming by the Choralis Foundation in Washington, DC. Dr. Sáez began her musical education at the Escuela Libre de Música in San Juan, PR. She earned a Master of Choral Conducting degree from Temple University, and a Doctorate in Musical Arts degree at the University of Maryland in College Park. Her choral music and arrangements are published by Boosey and Hawkes and by the Roger Dean Publishing Company, a division of The Lorenz Corporation. Comments are welcome and may be directed to the author at

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assigned to at least one upperclassman student as a coach. Prior to the start of coaching sessions, I met with all student coaches to discuss score study and some strategies they could use when facilitating a small chamber ensemble rehearsal. For repertoire, I selected four to five level-appropriate pieces of music for each ensemble and gave the ensembles the choice of what they wanted to play. The chamber ensembles rehearsed once a week during the regular instructional period. After each rehearsal, I asked students to submit a rehearsal reflection summary to summarize what they had focused on during that rehearsal. Also included in the reflections were items such as areas of improvement and successful and unsuccessful moments. The chamber ensembles rehearsed for just over three months. Within that time frame, I was able to arrange several informal and formal performance opportunities such as performing for the orchestra members during class and traveling to another school in the district to perform. At the conclusion of the student-coached Spring II 2020

chamber ensemble experience, I scheduled an evening “final presentation” in which the ensembles performed for their parents and guardians. The night was definitely a nice way to highlight all of the students and chamber ensembles! Conclusion Including more student-led activities such as sectionals, student conductors, and student-coached chamber ensembles in instruction can provide students with leadership opportunities within a traditional large ensemble setting. By participating in these activities, students can learn new skills and become more independent musicians. Including these activities into instruction can also be beneficial for the teacher because they provide an outside view of the ensemble that can guide and influence future instruction. All of these activities can help students become leaders and contribute to new and meaningful music-making experiences.

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Students Become Leaders! Including More Student-Led Activities in a Large Ensemble Setting by Elisabeth Sato, Teachers College, Columbia University Republished with permission from Tempo, The Official Magazine of the New Jersey Music Educators Association, January 2020.


ow might we encourage more leadership from our students within a traditional large ensemble setting? As an orchestra teacher at the high school level, this is a question I frequently ask myself. I would like to share with you some of the instructional activities I included in my traditional large ensemble setting last school year to create more leadership opportunities for my students in high school orchestra. I hope to give you some new ideas to try in your own teaching setting!

This activity was also very informative for me because I could get a better sense of areas in our music that might require further attention. When I listened to each mini orchestra’s recording, I could hear specific sections in the music where students had trouble and use these recordings to guide my own instruction. I would focus on these areas when we met again as a whole ensemble, or if I noticed a pattern in a specific instrument part, that area could become the focus for sectionals or small group lessons.

Sectionals Sectionals provide a great opportunity for students to take on leadership roles, and many music educators currently have students work in sectionals. By dividing students by instrument or instrument part, they can focus on any tricky passages within that specific part. Principal players or section leaders can take the lead by facilitating the rehearsal, which may also encourage peer learning and mentorship, especially within a mixed grade and level ensemble. On days when we had sectionals, I might have all students rehearse within their sections simultaneously or have only one or two sections rehearse in sectionals while the remaining students in the orchestra rehearsed as a whole ensemble.

Student Conductors Having students conduct gives them the chance to lead the entire ensemble and also learn a new skill. For an annual performance, the orchestra has performed the same selections every school year. Since most students were quite familiar with these pieces, I decided to offer the upperclassmen the opportunity to conduct the performance since they were the most familiar with the tunes. I made a list of some of the pieces and created a sign-up sheet so students could choose the piece they wanted to conduct. When we worked on those pieces during our rehearsal period, the student conductors would step to the podium one after the other, conduct their piece, and rehearse specific sections if they chose to. While the students conducted, I could move around the room and sit in difference sections of the orchestra and play along. By doing this, I was also able to assist some students if they were having trouble with any of the pieces.

Mini Orchestra Mission To take sectionals a step further, I included a new activity in my teaching last school year that I named the “Mini Orchestra Mission” and was originally suggested to me by a colleague. Instead of dividing students by instrument or instrument part, students were assigned to a mixed small ensemble consisting of all parts in the orchestra. They were provided with a “mission” (I assigned specific sections from our concert repertoire) and had to rehearse and record the assigned sections and submit the recordings electronically at the end of the class period. Having the students record their playing may have also helped with rehearsal productivity. Each time we did this activity, I would try to vary the ensemble sizes and change the ensemble formations so the students would get to work with different members of the orchestra. The Mini Orchestra Mission activity encourages students to play more independently, and in a sense, become their own leader. Instead of relying on a whole section, only one or two students might be playing the same part. Students must also work together to identify problematic areas, rehearse their music together, and evaluate their own playing. By strategically forming the mini orchestras, you may even see new students become leaders! 22

Student-Coached Chamber Ensembles A new activity I included in my instruction last school year was student-coached chamber ensembles. Providing students with more chamber music opportunities was an area I wanted to include more in my teaching, but always found difficult in the large ensemble setting. However, by structuring the experience, I was able to build this into my instruction. One of the aims for this activity was to provide more experienced orchestra students with an opportunity to take on a new leadership role and have a new type of learning experience, while less experienced students would have the opportunity to participate in a small chamber ensemble. Because this experience was new for the younger students, I thought it might be more beneficial to have a more experienced student as a coach to help guide the rehearsals. I assigned younger students in the orchestra to small chamber ensembles based on similar playing abilities, and each ensemble was

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Lyric Sheets to Music Notation: Music Literacy in Elementary and Beginning Choirs by Kyle J. Weary, Director of Choirs, Boiling Springs (PA) High School; Past Vocal Director, Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in Hagerstown, MD usicianship is essential in all ensembles, whether they are found and if that practice is not carefully sequenced, it is of little value. He in the community, elementary school, middle school, or high also points out that it is valuable to have common systems for tonal school. So often within the choral ensemble of the elementary syllable and rhythmic syllable systems. school, we lose the educational tool that choir can be: a direct extension of the general music classroom. As educators, we should help the stu- Where to Start First To start, choose choral repertoire in which the students can read dents transfer the learning from the general music classroom into the chorus rehearsal. There are potential problems with this model. The first tonal and rhythm patterns of the majority of music patterns without problem would be a “one size fits all” mentality for music pedagogy. much aid from the teacher. If music learning is sequenced in a way Using this “method” can stunt the learning of many students. Second, that students are learning in order, mastering repertoire will come we compound this issue when we put a choral octavo in front of chorus quickly and easily. With meter, compound and simple meters should students, but we haven’t introduced this in the classroom. This results be taught at the same time. Simple meter learning would include beat in overwhelmed students who do not know where to look, what line and beat division (quarter note/quarter rest), divided beat (paired they are on, and what all of the symbols mean. Many times, students are eighth notes), ties and extension dots, syncopation, borrowed beat, only following along with the words of the octavo or they are only lis- subdivision (sixteenth notes), and subdivision with extension dots. Compound meter learning would include beat and beat division, subtening to those around them to learn the music. division, ties and extension dots, syncopation at subdivision level, Starting with the Basics and borrowed beat. For tonal learning, minor and major should be Quite often, we hear teachers explain Sound-Before-Sight methodol- taught at the same time: major/minor pentachord, major/minor tonic ogy that they use in their classroom. But when it comes to their triad, major/minor scales and tonic arpeggios, and major/minor chord choral ensembles, the first thing they do is hand out music for the functions (Ester 2010, Krueger 2017). choir to sing. When looking at music, students must have it broken Separate the tonal patterns from the rhythmic patterns and teach down for them in the beginning so we do not overwhelm them. one at a time. Breaking tonal and rhythm patterns apart from one According to Stephanie Standerfer (2019), we give our students too another allows students to focus on one element at a time. much information - and visual processing is needed to decode all of the symbols - and that can be overwhelming. Teach with a methodol- Sound-Before-Sight Implications for the ogy in the choral rehearsal, just as in the classroom. William C. Beginning Singer in the Choral Rehearsal Prepare the students aurally first, then train their eyes. Both Ester Woodbridge was the first American to speak about the Sound-BeforeSight skill sequencing in 1830. Speaking at the American Institute of (2010) and Krueger (2017) suggest that by developing the ear first Instruction, Woodbridge referenced Heinrich Pestalozzi, and his book, with a neutral syllable until students are able to reproduce those syllaHow Gertrude Teaches Her Children. From there, he synthesized how bles is the foundation of music literacy. Most of this entails the teacher learning to read text can be applied to music reading. In his speech, saying (or singing) the pattern on a neutral syllable (“pa” or “bum”) he introduced a few pillars in the fundamental ideas of music peda- with the students echoing. The second level is then to say (or sing) the gogy: teach sounds before signs (students should hear and imitate Don Ester points out that…music sounds first); teach one music element at a time (rhythm, melody, and expression before combining them together); assess student mastery literacy must be developed over a long of each step before going onto the next; and introduce principles and period of time, methodically. Students theory after the practice and mastery of each step (Jorgensen, must have consistent practice, and if 1984/2009). that practice is not carefully Don Ester (2010) points out in his book Sound Connections that there are many challenges to teaching music literacy: there is no sequenced, it is of little value. shortcut or quick fix - music literacy must be developed over a long continued on next page period of time, methodically. Students must have consistent practice,


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So often within the choral ensemble of the elementary school we lose the educational tool that choir can be: a direct extension of the general music classroom. syllable (solfège or rhythm syllables) with students echoing. In the final level, the teacher will say (or sing) the pattern on a neutral syllable and the students will say (or sing) the pattern on the solfège syllables or rhythm syllables. After this is complete, and students can complete the third step, introducing the students to the visual aspects of music must be done in a carefully sequenced method as well. Overwhelming students at this point of music learning is very easy to do. If you show students a measure of music notation, they will see many different symbols at once. A simple measure may consist of a clef sign, a time signature, the staff, different notes, etc. That one measure can overwhelm a beginning singer quite quickly (Standerfer, 2019). The teacher should use the rhythm and tonal patterns from the repertoire that the students will be singing. This is sometimes the step that is missing. Teachers will use a method book, but that book usually has very little to do with the repertoire that the students are learning. This is a way for students (and teachers) to be immersed in the repertoire, rather than seeing musicianship (i.e. sight reading) as a separate activity from the repertoire. Introducing notation must be well thought out. If I am introducing a song that consists tonally of the major pentachord and rhythmically of paired eighth notes, quarter notes/rests, and half notes with my beginning choir then I have a LOT to introduce. Hopefully, they will have learned most of this already in the general music classroom. After doing all of the patterning, and I begin to introduce to notation, I would start with a single line instead of a staff of 5 lines and 4 spaces. This would allow the students to see there are three possible notes (in my case do, re, and mi). I would use the words written out with no staff first, then I would add the line, then I would change the wording to note heads. This allows the students to process each step individually. I would then add another line (creating a 2 line staff) so that students can see that do and mi can be on lines together, or spaces together. I would then move to a 5 staff line. At that point, students are ready to be introduced to the choral octavo.

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Introducing the Octavo This can be the trickiest part of working with beginning singers who have no previous musical background since so much of elementary general music involves rote teaching. Train the singers’ eyes to read an octavo. When students are handed an octavo, teachers may assume that students will immediately know how to read a choral score. Wrong! Just as we prepared their ears, we should prepare their eyes as well by breaking down the elements of an octavo for the students. Brooke Boswell Crego of Glacial Drumlin Middle School, Monona, WI, has a great bulletin board resource, “What’s Our Address”, for teaching singers how to know where they are in a score (see photo). The only addition I would suggest to this is having a part that adds what part the student is singing. continued on next page 24

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Developed by Brooke Boswell Crego, Glacial Drumlin Middle School, Monona, WI Spring II 2020

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Con fME Member Services Servic at ontact NAfME 1-800--336-3768 or MemberServic MemberServices@nafme2 ‫ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך‬ ‫ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך‬ www 0XVLF (GXFDWLRQ Q Ɏ 2UFKHVWUDWLQJ 6XFFHVV 6 ‫ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך‬ ‫ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך‬ continued from previous page

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Developing Life-Long Learners (and Singers) About the Author: Kyle graduated with both bachelor’s and mas‫ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך‬ The key to getting students to “buy in” is to make it fun. When I am ter’s degrees from Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in teaching rhythm patterns, we “say it and play it”. The students are able Winchester, Virginia, where he was awarded the 2018 to sit at tables or desks while doing the patterning and we say the Distinguished Alumni Award for Young Career Achievement. A cur‫ך‬ ‫ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך‬ rhythm and then they drum on the table. While doing tonal patterns, rent PhD music education student at Auburn University, Kyle is I use boomwhackers or bells, and the students play the tonal pattern recognized as a leader in teaching music literacy and contemporary as a group. This has also been great for differentiation in the classroom. commercial music. Kyle has been invited to present educational ‫ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך‬ I have put more advanced students on instruments first for playing the sessions at the State, Regional, and National levels. Kyle’s articles tonal patterns. When teachers tell me they “just don’t have time” to on teaching music literacy and vocal pedagogy in the choral teach music reading skills in their choir, I respond with, “You don’t have rehearsal have appeared in Choral Director magazine. Kyle has ‫ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך‬ time to NOT teach musicianship. With it, students are able to learn earned nominations for the GRAMMY Music Educator Award in music faster and take ownership and pride in their own learning.” 2018 and 2016 where he advanced as a quarterfinalist both times. In 2015, Kyle was nominated for Washington County’s Teacher of ‫ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך ך‬ the Year. Kyle was the founder of the Vocal Music program at the References Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in Hagerstown, MD. Vocal Ester, D. Sound Connections, 2010. Self-published by author. majors were selected as members for Maryland All State Junior and Senior choirs, All Eastern Choirs, and All National Choral ensemJorgensen, E. William Channing Woodbridge’s lecture “On vocal bles. While at Barbara Ingram, he was the music director for the allmusic as a branch of common education” revisited. Visions of Music school musicals and conducted multiple choirs. The choirs perEducation, 14(June), 1-32, 2009 (Original work printed in 1984). formed at multiple regional and state conferences, and the Barbara Krueger, C. Progressive Sight Singing (3rd ed). Oxford University Press, Ingram Choral ensembles had their first Carnegie Hall appearance 2017. singing under the direction of Eric Whitacre in the premiere of his Standerfer, S. Line by Line. Oxford University Press, 2019. new opera: Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings in 2010. Kyle is the Director of Choirs at Boiling Springs (PA) High School, Artistic Director of the Harrisburg Gay Men’s Chorus, and the Director of Music at Silver Spring Presbyterian Church in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Comments are welcome and may be directed to

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Spring II 2020


Technology Strategies to Get You a Superior Adjudication! !"#"$%!"$$& Use Technology to Enhance Your Adjudication Experience

%'(%)%*'+"*,4,$*0%#")52'-.%)-0%6"$+,$7'-.%78('59%:%;:+/ +,8$#2%5,-("58#'3"%&")$%)(%?-(#$87"-#)*%/8(' by Peter J. Perry, Instrumental Music Director, Richard Montgomery High School, Montgomery County C52,,*%'-%A,5D3'**"1%/)$&*)-09%B"$"%2"%5,-08 Republished with permission from NAfME Blogs. This article from February 4, 2020, can be accessed at: F$52"(#$)1%!'#%F$52"(#$)1%C&762,-'5%G)-01%H . /)$52'-.%G)-09%J2"("%"-("7=*"(%5,-('(#"Special thanks to Catherina Hurlburt, Marketing Communications Manager, NAfME, )-0%-)#',-)*%*"3"*(9% @$9%!"$$&%'(%)%(#$,-.%)03,5)#"%+,$%78('5%#"52 for providing access and facilitating permission for this article. 0,5#,$)*%0'(("$#)#',-1%KJ2"%<++"5#%,+%L*"M'=*">! Editor’s Note: This article was posted February 4, 2020, on NAfME Blogs, in E,.-'#'3"%C#&*"%,-%#2"%@"3"*,67"-#%,+%/8('5 anticipation of a normal season of festival adjudications before the COVID-19 wonderful tool. Reflecting on these ?-(#$87"-#)*%C#80"-#(1N%+,58("0%,-%2,4%#2"%6 performances and how they compandemic closed schools and MMEA events. It will be useful in 5,.-'#'3"%(#&*"(%,+%+'"*0%0"6"-0"-5"%)-0%+'"*0 pare to the goals you have set will give evidence of the degree of planning for future years that do include adjudications, but many ideas within will prove useful in other areas as well. improvement that has been made. (D'**%0"3"*,67"-#9%B'(%=,,D1%!"#$%&'&()*!+,A Bluetooth microphone (I use a FM+,$0%P-'3"$('#&%!$"((1%'(%#2"%+'$(#%#"M#%#,%(6 s the last memories of winter break melt away, our thoughts Blue Yeti) in coordination with an application like Band Lab™ can be '-(#$85#',-)*%(#$)#".'"(%8('-.%#"52-,*,.&%'-%#2 B"%2,*0(%)%@,5#,$%,+%/8('5)*%:$#(%0".$""%'-%/ move from winter concerts to the upcoming “festival” or useful for this. The recordings can be edited as necessary in Band Lab adjudication season. Depending on where you are and what and then posted on the LMS you E,-("$3)#,$&1%)(%4"**%)(%)%/)(#"$%,+%/8('5%@ use. Using the STREAM page in E,-085#'-.%E,-5"-#$)#',-1%)-0%)%G)52"*,$%, you teach, this is closer than you may want and can be hindered by Google Classroom (or another message board style format) allows <085)#',-1%=,#2%+$,7%#2"%P-'3"$('#&%,+%/)$&*) weather delays, holidays, and other distractions. Additionally, the students to comment on the recording remotely and outside of !"$$&%4)(%)4)$0"0%#2"%6$"(#'.',8(%E$")#'3"%) pressure to perform well at these adjudications can become an rehearsal. These discussions can be?-%RSST1%@$9%!"$$&%$"5"'3"0%)%H)6)-%L8*=$'.2 used to develop critical thinking L8*=$'.2#%/"7,$')*%L8-0%J")52"$%!$,.$)79%? obstacle in itself (both for you and your students). Altogether, this skills and teach students how to talk/write about music both critical7#$&'3/*!"3#$"/*893/59%?-%RSVU1%2"%$"5"'3"0 can become a hectic part of the year and can elicit anxiety and ly and constructively. Additionally,8'=1%+*8#$+">"1"%6*893/5%+$,7%W)66)%W)6 you can use Google Forms™ to 5,-#$'=8#',-(%#,%("5,-0)$&%78('5%"085)#',-9% stress. Many people believe there is nothing “festive” about festi- create a digital version of the adjudicator’s rubric sheet and have the (#80"-#%78('5')-(%#,%X'*)-1%J)'4)-1%#,%6"$+,$ val. Using some specific technology strategies, however, can be students use that to score their performance. This method focuses the $"6$"("-#'-.%#2"%P-'#"0%C#)#"(%Y#2"%#2'$0%:7" helpful and make the season both instructionally effective and students’ comments on the aspects they will be assessed on by B"%'(%)-%)5#'3"%.8"(#%5,-085#,$1%5*'-'5')-1%)0 hopefully a little less stressful. judges and allows you to better inform them on the different criteria 6"$+,$7"$9% L,**,4%@$9%!"$$&%,-%J4'##"$1%]6"#"$6"$$&VSV1 While the “assessment” or “competitive” aspects of adjudication (e.g. tone, intonation, technique, other factors, etc.). % can focus us and force us to find a “competitive edge,” this mindset Concurrently, I use individual performance assessments to assess !"#$%&'()*#+,-&.&/0)1"*%+.#()20)!#*#")!#" is not the healthiest (either for us or our students) and can distract the individual needs of my students. Typically, I assign sections in the •% 4#+,-&.&/0)%-)*,#)51"/#)6-(#72.#) >1+?)*&)@+,&&.% from having an instructional focus. In my experience, an effective and music that the students need to especially work on and practice. A •% 4#+,-&.&/0)@*"1*#/%#()=&")*,#)!#"=& healthy approach to the adjudication process includes the following: platform like Google Classroom or Canvas can let you:


1. Find the most appropriate quality literature for your ensemble. 2. Prepare the ensemble literature focused on the instructional needs of the students. 3. Perform the literature as musically and expressively as possible. 4. Use the adjudicators’ feedback to build students’ understandings about performance and assessment. This approach can be time-intensive, and therefore, technology can be useful in making it work well for you in your teaching situation. Make a Plan Planning out rehearsals and measuring out the time you have to prepare for the adjudication is important. Setting performance goals throughout (see below) and identifying ways to determine if you have met them will help keep everyone on task. Making the students aware of this timeline using a communal calendar like Google Calendar™ or one included in a Learning Management System (LMS) like Canvas™ or Google Classroom™ can place everyone on the same page.

• Assign the assessment to the entire ensemble. • Listen to all the student assessments remotely • Assess all performances using a self-created rubric • Provide individual feedback directly to the student. I use video performance assessments assigned and submitted on Google Classroom. See a method I outlined in a previous blog here: More formalized technology with error detection tools, like SmartMusic™ by MakeMusic or PracticeFirst™ by MusicFirst, are also good options for this. I listen to these assessments in one sitting. While this seems like an exercise in self-punishment, I feel I get a deep understanding of what my students are capable of and what their immediate needs are. I use the data I get from these assessments to adjust my ensemble’s performance goals and timeline. A side benefit of assigning such performance assessments is that while students are working on the assigned excerpts, you can focus on the other material for adjudication in the full rehearsal, maximizing both your workflow and effectiveness.

Find and Identify Your Ensemble’s Strengths (and Weaknesses) Within the timeline, recording the ensemble periodically can be a 26

Maryland Music Educator

continued on next page Spring II 2020

continued from previous page

Reflect on the Results About the Author: Peter Perry is a lifelong Maryland resident, and Once the adjudication is completed, I find it very important to create an open dialog with students that includes the following: has traveled the world teaching and performing music. A NAfME • the judges’ scores and feedback member, he is currently in his twenty-fourth consecutive year as • the students’ own experiences Instrumental Music Director at Richard Montgomery High School in !"#$%&'()(#*+$%&'&+,'-&.$'+/,0&'+$%&+,1231(.,$(4#+&5-&6(&#.&+/46&+/&,#(#*738+$%,#+ • my impressions Rockville, Maryland. Here he conducts the Chamber Orchestra, 23'$+,+93#.%+47+'.46&'+:*441+46+9,1;<+=>3,88"+(/-46$,#$?+@+9&8(&A&+(#+3'(#*+$%&+ Synthesizing these aspects makes the adjudication experience more Concert Orchestra, Pit Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, ,1231(.,$(4#+,'+,#4$%&6+9&#.%/,60+(#+$%&+*64B$%+-64.&''+,#1+3'(#*+$%&+7&&19,.0+764/+ meaningful than just a bunch of scores (good or bad). Equally imporConcert Band, and Marching Band. These ensembles consistently $%&'&+1('.3''(4#'+$4+736$%&6+,3*/&#$+$%&+*4,8'+@+'&$+746+/"+&#'&/98&<+C#&+$&.%#484*"+ tant, I believe in using the adjudication as another benchmark in the receive critical acclaim on local, state, and national levels. growth process and using the feedback from these discussions to furDr. Perry is a strong advocate for music technology usage in the $448+$%,$+.,#+A('3,8()&+$%&'&+1('.3''(4#'+:&($%&6+B%,$+$%&+231*&'+B64$&+46+B%,$+$%&+ ther augment the goals I set for my ensemble. One technology tool large ensemble. His doctoral dissertation, “The Effect of Flexible'$31&#$'+7&8$;+('+,+!"#$%&'"($%:D(*<E;<+F&6&?+$%&+B461'+$%,$+,--&,6+$%&+/4'$+(#+$%&+ that can visualize these discussions (either what the judges wrote or Practice Computer-Assisted Instruction and Cognitive Style on the .4//&#$'+,--&,6+8,6*&6+$%,#+$%4'&+$%,$+,--&,6+8&''+76&>3&#$8"<+G6&,$&+,+B461+.8431+ what the students felt) is a word cloud (Fig.1). Here, the words that Development of Music Performance Skills in High School 4#8(#&+746+76&&+%&6&<+ appear the most in the comments appear larger than those that Instrumental Students,” focused on how the practice software, + appear less frequently. Create a word cloud online for free here: SmartMusic™, and the cognitive styles of field dependence and field independence affect musical performance skill development. His book, Technology Tips for Ensemble Teachers, published by Oxford University Press, is the first text to specifically outline technology use and instructional strategies using technology in the large Ensemble. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Education from Shenandoah Conservatory, as well as a Master of Music Degree in Music Education-Instrumental Conducting Concentration, and a Bachelor of Science Degree-Instrumental Music Education, both from the University of Maryland. While at the University of Maryland, Dr. Perry was awarded the prestigious Creative and Performing Arts Scholarship in Music. In 2006, Dr. Perry received a Japan Fulbright fellowship and participated in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program. In 2009, Dr. Perry received the Presidential Scholar Teacher Award. In 2019, he received the Brent Cannon Music Education Alumni Achievement Award from Kappa Kappa Psi, recognizing outstanding contributions to secondary music education. In October 2019, Figure 1. Word Cloud courtesy Peter Perry he took a group of student musicians to Yilan, Taiwan, to perform + !"#$%&'(')*%+',-*$+' in the Yilan International Arts Festival, representing the United .*$%/&01'2&/&%'2&%%1' States (the third American ensemble in the festival’s history). He is + I outline these tips as well as many other ways to use technoloan active guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, lecturer, author, @+43$8(#&+$%&'&+$(-'+,'+B&88+,'+/,#"+4$%&6+B,"'+$4+3'&+$&.%#484*"+(#+&#'&/98&+$&,.%(#*+ gy in ensemble teaching on my website: composer, and performer. 4#+/"+B&9'($&H+BBB<-&$&6-&66"/3'(.<#&$+,#1+(#+/"+#&B+9440+!"#$%&'&()*!+,-*.&/* and in my new book Technology Tips for Ensemble Teachers pubFollow Dr. Perry on Twitter, @peterperry101, or at www.peterlished by Oxford University Press. Feel free to check them out, and 0%-"12'"*!"3#$"/-+-398('%&1+9"+C57461+I#(A&6'($"+J6&''<+D&&8+76&&+$4+.%&.0+$%&/+43$?+ Happy Festivus! ,#1+F,--"+D&'$(A3'K+


Don’t miss the 2020 MMEA Virtual Conference! Thu, Jul 16, 2020 10:00 AM Fri, Jul 17, 2020 5:00 AM The Maryland Music Educators Association (MMEA) is pleased to announce the 2020 MMEA Virtual Conference (July 16-17). This event provides twelve hours of live, interactive sessions presented by leaders from MMEA and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Space is limited. For more information and to register, go to

Spring II 2020

Maryland Music Educator


Fall 2020 Guidance for Music Education from NFHS and NAfME Prepared by the National Federation of State High School Associations and the National Association for Music Education

The mission of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is to advance music education by promoting the understanding and making of music by all. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) provides leadership for the administration of high-school based activities, emphasizing health and safety to develop leaders and increase opportunities for all. In the time of COVID-19, we collectively believe that music programs are more vital than ever, given their ability to support the social and emotional wellbeing of students and their ability to foster community. This document provides practical guidance for PreK-12 schools as administrators and music educators seek to provide meaningful music instruction for students of all ages and grade levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this unique time, music educators are modifying their practices not only in teaching, but in classroom orientation, cleaning, spacing and management. It is understood that, as trained professionals, music educators want to offer the very best instruction so all students can learn and grow in their knowledge, understanding, and love of music. This guide asserts that music educators can still do that, but also acknowledges that how we deliver teaching may be different than in the past. continued on next page


Maryland Music Educator

Spring II 2020

ʚʚ ʚ ʚ

Fall 2020 Guidance for Music Education, continued from previous page

Have you ever wanted to... Have you ever wanted to...

By maintaining access to safe and meaningful music-learning, music educators will continue to support the artistic, social and emotional development of students, schools, and • be a academic, published writer? • communitiesbe across United States. writer? a the published

• help other music teachers? •• help other music teachers? To that end, the two most important things to bear in mind about Fall 2020 Guidance for Music share your music teaching expertise? • share your music teaching expertise? Education: 1.! The guide does not purport to replace or contradict the guidelines issued by the Centers You can! You can write for Maryland Music Educator*! for Disease Control or your statefor or local public health departments regarding the Youtiming can! You(CDC) can write Maryland Music Educator*! or protocols for how schools should operate in our new normal of education.


2.! There is no expectation thatTOPICS all schools in states and districts will or should follow toallCONSIDER: ! every recommendation included here. Every state is handling the pandemic differently and those differences may even! vary district to district. Perhaps your school will return to classes and you will be able to restart your music•program in a very similar way as in the • successful warm-ups enrichment past. Conversely, you may initially be conducting your classes entirely through a virtual •• successful •• enrichment motivatingwarm-ups students rehearsal techniques platform. Either way, this guide seeks to support you. • motivating • rehearsal techniques students

• intonation • All State preparations •• intonation • State preparations • All sight reading scheduling Please click the link below to review the full 21-page •• sight •• scheduling reading general musicFall 2020 Guidance for Music advocacy Education: •• general •• advocacy music assessment dealing with downsized •• assessment • dealing with downsized small-group learning programs •• small-group learning • programs serving at-risk students summer music camps •• serving • at-risk students summer music camps • communicating visual aids with parents, Have you ever wanted to... •• visual • aids communicating with parents, technology colleagues, administrators •• technology • colleagues, remediation fund-raising administrators • be a published writer? • remediation • fund-raising


• help other music teachers? • share your music teaching expertise?

If you would like to write for Maryland Music Educator, please submit inquiries or articles If you would like to write for Music for Educator, please toMaryland be considered publication to: submit inquiries or articles to be considered for publication to: Felicia Burger Johnston, Editor, at, or submit

You You canEditor, writeatfor Maryland Music Educator*! Feliciacan! Burger Johnston,, or submit articles to: to: submission-form


Deadlines for quarterly issues: August 1, October 1, January 2, March 15 Deadlines for quarterly ! issues: August 1, October 1, January 2, March 15 *Maryland Music Educator is the official journal of the Maryland Music Educators Association (MMEA) ( MMEA is a federated unit of NAfME: NationalAssociation Association(MMEA) for Music *Maryland Music Educator is the official journal ofstate the Maryland MusicThe Educators • successful • NAfME: warm-ups enrichment Education ( MMEA’s mission is tostate advance education in Maryland schools. The ( MMEA is a federated unit ofmusic The National Association for Music sponsors student All State events, assessment festivals, and teachers’ professional • organization • Education ( MMEA’s mission is to advance music education in Maryland schools. The motivating students rehearsal techniques development through conferences, in-service festivals, days, and publications. sponsors student All State events, assessment and teachers’ professional • organization • intonation All State preparations development through conferences, in-service days, and publications.

“When people, serious people, believe in you, they give you some of their best, so - take care of it…”

• sight reading

• scheduling

~Mr. Harsanyi, Pianist and Teacher, to his Piano and Voice Student Thea Kronborg, • general music • advocacy in The Song of the Lark (1915), a novel by Willa Cather, American Author, 1873 - 1947 • assessment • dealing with downsized

• small-group learning Spring II 2020• serving at-risk students • visual aids •

programs • Maryland Music Educator summer music camps • communicating with parents,


MARYLAND MUSIC EDUCATOR Vol. 66, No. 3 Spring II 2020 Official Journal of the Maryland Music Educators Association Maryland Music Educators Association, PMB#472, 6710 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie, MD 21061 This issue of Maryland Music Educator will be posted at

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his unique and fun-filled summer program is designed for students, grades 7 through 12, who are interested in careers or learning more about music composition, recording or production, and singing. The program is conducted at the state-of-the-art and friendly atmosphere of the University of Maryland College Park School of Music. The program includes:

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FAME Jazz Band Program Intensive Monday through Friday, 9:00am - 4:00pm July 13-17, 2020, FAME Jazz Band students only

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