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TEXAS SINGS! Volume 29 Number 1

Official Publication of the Texas Choral Directors Association

Jeff Rice president

Amy Allibon past president

Fall 2012

Billy Talley president-elect

2012–2013 Randall Hooper college/community

Laura Rachita elementary


Mark Rohwer high school

Gary Mabry church

Karen Gonzalez secretary/treasurer

Kari Gilbertson middle school/junior high

Sharon Lutz executive director

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage Paid Austin, Texas Permit No. 789

Texas Choral Directors Association

The dates for the 2013 Texas Choral Directors Association Convention are set! Mark your calendar now for Sunday, July 21– Wednesday, July 24, 2013. On-site registration for TCDA members and the Middle School Honor Choir will begin Sunday afternoon, followed by our annual not-to-be-missed Soiree that evening. Workshops, reading sessions, and exhibits will begin Monday and go through noon on Wednesday. The TCDA Board is hard at work finalizing plans for an incredible convention. We cannot wait to share them with you in the coming months as plans become reality!

NEW for 2013 Texas Choral Directors Association, Texas Orchestra Directors Association, and the Texas Bandmasters Association will share convention dates and a combined exhibit hall. Beginning in 2013, TCDA, TODA, and TBA will share convention dates and a combined exhibit hall. Prompted by extremely challenging economic times, the TCDA Board carefully evaluated ways in which we can ensure a strong and healthy future for TCDA. After thorough financial and logistical research and analysis conducted over the course of the past year, a partnership has resulted between TCDA, TODA, and TBA in order to share costs of convention center space and revenues from the combined exhibitors. Representatives from all three boards have met numerous times and thoughtfully designed plans for an equitable partnership whereby all three associations can minimize costs and maximize the success of our conventions. TCDA, TODA, and TBA will continue to operate as separate associations with their own executive directors, boards of directors, convention programs, and publications unique to each association. The distinct identities and ways of operating we have known for more than five decades will remain our own! You will see some changes in where sessions are located at convention, but all of the great clinics, workshops, and performances to which you are accustomed will be there. The future of TCDA is strong, and this new venture will ensure that the lifeblood of our revenue stream, our exhibitors, will continue to be supportive through their convention participation. This new format will make convention attendance more attractive to vendors by decreasing the number of days they pay to stay in San Antonio from six to three and more than doubling the traffic in the exhibit hall. Not only will our returning exhibitors be happy, but this new format will spark interest in new vendors coming to our convention. This larger audience for our exhibitors makes us one of the largest music shows in the country! Mark your calendars—July 21–24, 2013—and get ready for an amazing convention. It will be an exciting time for everyone with a vision toward the future! Jeff Rice President

Amy Allibon Past President

Billy Talley President-Elect

Sharon Lutz Executive Director

TEXAS SINGS! TEXAS CHORAL DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION President Jeff Rice, Waco Past President Amy Allibon, Fort Worth President-Elect Billy Talley, Amarillo

Volume 29

Number 1

Fall 2012

contents President’s Page Inspired, Renewed, and Energized by 2012 Convention by Jeff Rice 2012 TCDA Scholarship Recipients and Awards


9–10 13

College/Community Vice President Randall Hooper, Commerce

The Power of Music to Heal by Paula D’Arcy TCDA 2013 Convention—Be There!


High School Vice President Mark Rohwer, Flower Mound

Suggestion Box by Sharon Lutz


Middle School/Junior High Vice President Kari Gilbertson, Richardson

In Memoriam Martha Jim Palmer Bender Charles Michael Brock Joan Davis Kenneth R. Steele


Elementary Vice President Laura Rachita, Friendswood Church Vice President Gary Mabry, San Antonio Secretary/Treasurer Karen Gonzalez, Rowlett Executive Director Sharon Lutz, Austin

TEXAS SINGS! Co-Editors Sharon Lutz and Beverly Schlegel Layout and Design Ben White, Lubbock Official Publication of the Texas Choral Directors Association 7900 Centre Park Drive, Suite A Austin, Texas 78754 512-474-2801 © 2012 Texas Choral Directors Association No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the Executive Director.

columns President 4 Jeff Rice Past President Amy Allibon


President-Elect 8 Billy Talley College/Community Vice President Randall Hooper


High School Vice President Mark Rohwer


Middle School/Junior High Vice President Kari Gilbertson


Elementary Vice President Laura Rachita


Church Vice President Gary Mabry


Secretary/Treasurer 27 Karen Gonzalez

TCDA is an affiliate of ACDA. Fall 2012 · Texas Sings!


President J e f f

R ice

Inspired, Renewed, and Energized by 2012 Convention


he 57th Annual TCDA Convention has come and gone. I hope it was a worthwhile time of renewal and inspiration for you. Not only were we encouraged by Craig Hella Johnson, moved to worship by Ken Medema, and inspired to musical excellence by Cynthia Nott and the Elementary Honor Choir, we were informed and educated by many of our own wonderful TCDA members who shared their experience and expertise in everything from conducting to composing, iPhone apps, booster clubs, and much more. We introduced a new registration format and new program design, and our new Executive Director, Sharon Lutz, experienced her first convention at the helm of TCDA!

Stay energized and renewed by accepting challenges. Set goals to work toward during the course of the school year. Thank you to everyone who had a part as clinician, conductor, accompanist, exhibitor, committee member, volunteer, etc. A special thank-you goes to Kathy Hackett and Cathy Koziatek, Ways and Means Committee Chairs; Connie Horton, Nominating Committee Chair; and Chris Ahrens, Ballot Committee Chair. There are many moving parts that must work in harmony to make a TCDA Convention happen. We are already hard at work finding ways to improve for next year. TCDA 2013 will be something you do not want to miss! We owe a debt of gratitude to former TCDA Board members Greg Shapley, Pam Elrod Huffman, and Phyllis King. Your contributions over the past two years will have a lasting impact for years to come. Thank you for volunteering your time, talent, and passion in service to TCDA!


Texas Sings! 路 Fall 2012

The TCDA Board is excited about our new agreement with Texas Bandmasters Association and Texas Orchestra Directors Association to offer you a combined exhibit hall experience next summer! As you now know, our three associations have agreed to share convention center expenses and exhibitor revenue for the mutual benefit of all. For more details, please see the letter to the membership on the inside front cover of this issue. Driven by a desire for a stable financial future for all associations, our goals are to decrease our convention center costs, increase the number of exhibitors, and significantly increase the exhibit hall traffic for our exhibitors. This is a win-win-win situation for all three associations. Each association will maintain their own distinct identity and programming at the summer convention while enjoying the shared benefits of a joint exhibit hall. How do we stay energized and refreshed from year to year? As I began my 27th year of teaching, I found myself needing a morale boost. I was energized by the presence of so many young choral directors at the convention last summer. Their presence provided a spark of energy to those of us who have been around a while. My first TCDA convention was in the summer of 1986 before I started my first teaching job. TCDA was an expectation of my district music supervisor, and was I ever glad he got me hooked. One way to stay energized and renewed is to accept challenges. Set goals to work toward during the course of the school year. Choose a piece of music that scares you a little. Learn how to teach and conduct that piece in a performance. Accept student teachers if available in your area. Open yourself to them as a mentor and example. Soak in some of their energy and technology know-how.

Submit recordings to TMEA and ACDA to be considered as an Invited Choir for one of the conventions. This will give you an opportunity to challenge yourself and your students to higher levels of excellence in musical performance. Challenge yourself to serve as a volunteer on a TCDA or TMEA committee or at a convention. Sing in your church or community choir. Enjoy being around other adults who love to sing and want to use their talent to serve God and better their community. One of the best ways I have found to be renewed professionally is simply to focus on the students in front of me every day. They are precious children, and I have been called to give them the best I have every day. Of course, there are days when you wish they would all just go away, but those days are few. They don’t care how many degrees you have (well, some do) or how many times you have been to TMEA, or that you are the president of TCDA. They just want your attention and to be prepared to

teach them something exciting every day. The days that I have just gone through the motions and shut kids out are the least rewarding days of my teaching career. I am blessed to teach some of the most wonderful kids on the planet. Let’s all take time to really see the young men and women sitting in all those chairs we spend so much time arranging. I have just this moment decided that is what I need to do better this year. One of best ways I have found to be renewed personally is to count my blessings and be grateful. Look for the good in every situation. Let go of the things that you cannot control. Do not beat yourself up over decisions or actions you cannot undo. When I am feeling down, I stop and consider the many blessings in my life. That simple change of perspective lightens my burden and puts energy and focus back in my daily life. Best wishes on a wonderful year!

Fall 2012 · Texas Sings!


PAST President A m y

A llibon

Our Private Lives in a Public Sphere — Social Media and Our Profession


wish I could look into the future and know how sociologists will write about social media. How will they define the importance, the impact, and its place in communication history? For the past ten years, Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter have reached into our lives, extracted whatever information we put out there, and sent it into the cyber playground where our “friends” can see it. I know more about people who are casual acquaintances or colleagues than I would have ever known without this media. I enjoy seeing their family pictures, knowing where someone has “checked-in,” reading funny quips about a particularly challenging rehearsal, seeing the inevitable pregnancy and sonogram pictures of first-time mommies, being able to console someone who is facing a difficult situation, or patting someone on the back who has shared a personal victory. I marvel at this invention, and in my busy life that makes it difficult to keep up with even close family members, I am grateful for this media.

Is it really in our best interest to share everything? Using social media to promote our choral programs seems like a no-brainer in this environment of techno-savvy, information-at-your-fingertips culture. Even if you are not a huge fan of Facebook, you have probably succumbed to having a fan page for your choral program. It can be used for advertising upcoming events, reminders to members, and posting a cyber scrapbook for the entire group to see. Since students today are less likely to check their email, we have to reach them with their tools of communication—the cell phone and social media. At some point in the past 25 years, beginning


Texas Sings! · Fall 2012

with the Jerry Springer talk show style of communication to the invention of social media, our personal filters are almost nonexistent. We live in an environment where sharing any and every opinion, emotion, or political or religious view is not only easy but also quite accepted by our society. From blogging to tweeting, whatever one is thinking seems relevant to share with everyone willing to read it. But just because it is the norm to do so, is it really in our best interest to share everything? There are countless articles published regarding the use of social media and professionalism. As professional choral directors, we must consider these boundaries. Here are some suggestions: 1. If you want the benefits of connecting with students on Facebook, use a fan page or set up an alternative personal page that is strictly for your classroom information. Teachers should not be friends with students on their personal Facebook accounts. Most school districts have this rule to protect teachers. If your district does not, protect yourself and remove current students from your friends list. 2. If you use a Fan Page, set up security so that posts or photos must be approved. Check the page daily. 3. Remember that your posts are seen by those colleagues who are in your friends list. Posting about “terrible administration” or “lousy UIL judges” will be seen by all, and more than likely those comments will make it back to those people. 4. If you use social media to profess your political or religious views, be prepared for the wave of feedback that does not agree with you.

5. Photos speak louder than words. Provocative or revealing photos are demeaning to you as a professional. Use dating websites if you are looking for a companion. 6. Know how to use the particular format of social media before posting. Nothing is more embarrassing than thinking you are writing a private comment to someone and the entire world can see it. I have many colleagues as friends on my Facebook—choral directors, teachers in my building, teachers and administrators in my district. I even have a school board member on my friends list— he’s an avid Rangers fan just like me, and we share

a lot of baseball banter (we never discuss school!). Because of all these professional ties, and knowing that this broad spectrum of my profession sees my posts and pictures, I keep my personal page professionally friendly. Ask yourself before posting a picture or status if it undermines your professionalism in any way. If it does, hit delete. Our profession is a conservative one—we are teachers and church musicians, and these areas are by nature, conservative arenas. Enjoy the fruits of 21st-century technology, but enjoy them with the caution and care they deserve. Represent your private life in the public sphere without compromising your professional image.

Toni Ugolini demonstrates hospitality skills

No paper forms!

Karen Gonzalez—in charge at registration

As a relatively new teacher, I find the reading sessions particularly beneficial. They help me build my repertoire arsenal. Project Eve dancer

Cynthia Nott, Honor Choir Conductor

Sally Schott and American Classic Tours

Mary Goetze, Commissioned Composer

Kathleen Reimer, Diamond Hill-Jarvis HS, Fort Worth, Texas

Fun Times at the Soiree

Caitlin Wells, Project Eve Conductor Fall 2012 · Texas Sings!


President-Elect B ill y

T alle y

Let’s Promote Patriotism in Performances


hat an honor and a privilege to be elected President-Elect of TCDA. I have to admit, it was a real ego trip for about 24 hours. Then reality set in. There is much work to do in preparing for the 2013 TCDA Convention. Thankfully, your TCDA Board is ready for the challenge! I love watching the Olympic Games. Once every four years, we have the chance to see the world’s greatest athletes competing in events we didn’t even know existed. Rhythmic gymnastics: really? It is so inspiring to see our American athletes winning medals and standing on the podium. Is there anyone who is not moved by the playing of our national anthem after we win a gold medal? We love to see the winner singing along, then becoming overcome with emotion halfway through the song. I have to admit, though, it bothers me when an athlete does not sing along while the anthem is played. At some point during this year’s Olympics, it hit me: many of these athletes don’t sing because they just don’t know our national anthem. And maybe we, as music directors, are partly to blame.

Are we at a place in our society where being patriotic is not politically correct anymore? During my 34 years of teaching, I have seen a dramatic shift in our music away from patriotism for our nation toward international globalism. We sing songs from Africa, the Far East, the Slovak nations, and Mexico. Singing music from around the world is fine, but we should never exclude music about our own country. When was the last time you programmed a patriotic piece for a concert or parent meeting? It is almost automatic that a convention


Texas Sings! · Fall 2012

performance ends with a rousing, rhythmic African folk song of some sort. Why not program an appropriate patriotic American piece instead? For years, I have used My Country ’Tis of Thee as an audition song for incoming students. The singing range is easy and, with my very limited piano skills, I can play the melody in just about any key. But for the past few years, I find that most students have never heard the song before. I believe this is a tragedy. Singers who have been in public school music programs for many years don’t know My Country ’Tis of Thee or God Bless America or The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Are we at a place in our society where being patriotic is not politically correct anymore? I pray this is not the case and I challenge each of you to intentionally teach your singers the songs that are important to the United States of America. Organize a Veterans Day concert at your school or take your choir to sing patriotic songs at a local veterans home. Combine all your choirs at the end of a concert to sing This Is My Country or Song for the Unsung Hero. Take a day and use patriotic songs for your sight-singing. At my school, we combine our band, choir, and orchestra to perform The Battle Hymn of the Republic during the graduation ceremony. Teach your singers the national anthem, and then book them to sing for volleyball and basketball games. I hope you will consider programming a few songs about our great nation this year. Who knows? Maybe someday, one of your former students will be standing on the podium at the Olympics to receive a gold medal. And maybe, just maybe, when the national anthem is played they will sing every word and every note. God bless the United States of America!

2012 TCDA Scholarship Recipients past preside n ts

Gandy Ink

L i z V o lk

J ackie C o cke

Sally Vasquez

Catherine Goode

Sean Stultz

Trey Davis

C l o y s W ebb

W illiam G o rham

J im a n d G le n da C ase y

A bb o tt I pc o

Anne Marie Boeding

Bethany Cowan

Tammy Benton

Billy Ferguson

University of Texas– Pan American

University of Texas at Arlington

University of Houston

Texas State University

University of Houston

Texas Tech University

Midway ISD

Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD

G e n eral

Sophia Bohannon Texas Christian University

Levi Duncan

Lamar University

John Kassen

Tarleton State University

Samantha Pearce Texas Tech University

Julia Powers

Stephen F. Austin State University

Fall 2012 ¡ Texas Sings!


2012 TCDA Awards Young Director of Distinction The Young Director of Distinction award was established by the TCDA Board to recognize outstanding young directors who, within their first five years of teaching, have achieved significant accomplishments in their careers. Every year the membership has an opportunity to nominate candidates. We received many nominations for outstanding young directors and the choices were difficult. Two directors were selected for recognition, Bethany Green and Carisa Niemeyer. Congratulations!

Bethany Green, Lovejoy HS

Carisa Niemeyer, Forest Meadow JH

Choral Excellence Award

Denise Eaton, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville Cecile Johnson, Woodrow Wilson Elementary, Denton Mike Ware, Director of Music, Polk Street United Methodist Church, Magnolia


Texas Sings! · Fall 2012

TCDA created The Texas Choral Excellence Award in honor of its 50th anniversary as a way to recognize and celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of choral directors. The membership also has the opportunity to make the Board aware of individuals you thought were worthy of this award through nominations and letters of recommendation. This award is bestowed on individuals based on their contributions to choral music in Texas in mentoring and inspiring colleagues and students as well as continued advocacy for the future of choral singing. Past recipients of this prestigious award are Glenda Casey, John Hemmenway, Janet Scarcella, Ron Shirey, Robert Young, Terry Price, Betsy Henderson, Rosemary Heffley, Dennis Boyter, Carroll Barnes, Barbara Perkins, Sally Schott, Loyd Hawthorne, Linda Ice, Dianne Brumley, Jan Juneau, Michael O’Hern, and Jo ScurlockDillard. This year’s recipients are Denise Eaton, Cecile Johnson, and Mike Ware. Congratulations to all!

There was FOOD at the Soiree

San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers

Sarah Allen, College clinician

Fall 2012 路 Texas Sings!


Phyllis King introduces Honor Choir

Reading choir

Project Eve

Greg Shapley with University Baptist Church Chamber Singers

Church musicians

Brave Combo

Loyd Hawthorne conducts benediction 12

Texas Sings! ¡ Fall 2012

Dancin’ at the BBQ


Power of Music to Heal E

ven though many years have passed, if I close my eyes and move back in memory to August 1975, strong images remain. One moment I was traveling in a car with my husband and our 22-month-old daughter, Sarah, returning from a weekend visit with my parents. I loved everything about my life, including the fact that I was three months pregnant with a second child. In the next second a white car thundered out of control and flew across the divided interstate, a drunk driver at the wheel. It was like being in the vortex of a great storm. No time to think. No way to process the power of the darkness that was about to descend. Everything shattered at once. When I opened my eyes an emergency room physician leaned toward me with grave concern. My unborn child and I miraculously survived, but everyone else was gone. It felt as if the life I’d known had been swallowed by a rogue wave. Pain swept in with that tide and tore everything apart. There was little wise counsel for the journey ahead. I was 27 years old, young and idealistic, and not equipped to deal with this forceful meeting with life and its shocking brevity. Where are the real teachers, I wondered—the ones who might have cautioned me to take nothing for granted? I who loved words could not be soothed by words, no matter how well meant. Even though I was alive and able to open my eyes and look around, still, I was lost to myself. “This is what it means,” writes author Amy Hempel, “to live the details of your life.” She understood. In college, when I studied human anatomy, we viewed diagrams that pictured the way sound enters the body through the delicate mechanisms of the ear. None of the texts spoke of music or mentioned a possible relationship between healing, music, and pain. But now, I began to make that connection. Weeks passed, and I noticed that when I listened to certain music it momentarily lifted the darkness, or at least held it in such a way that the music reached right through the pain and calmed me. The music touched places that my mind couldn’t access. Each healing journey has its own timetable, and mine felt agonizingly slow and deliberate. Everything I’d previously relied on had changed and I was filled with questions: What is this journey? Is there something more than the events that fill the surface of our lives? One night I pulled out a Barry Manilow album and put it on. The Manilow lyrics and notes reached into me that night: Just One Voice / Singing in the darkness / All it takes is One Voice . . .

by Paula D’Arcy

Music became a vehicle. It contained none of the judgment that always seemed to accompany advice; it simply helped me feel what I couldn’t express, and led me inward. My softened heart began to open, and I wrote about my progress in a journal: I’ve joined a church choir. I told the choir conductor that I am seeking the fellowship and joy of choral singing. I really want to heal my life, but I could never have said that without sobbing. Now every Wednesday evening I arrive at choir practice and there’s a different arrangement to learn. Harmonies. The blend of voices. The beauty and power of Handel and Bach. Requiems. They move right through my fear and confusion, carrying me into the mystery of being here at all. I see that I am hardly the only person who suffers. I’ve stopped asking, “Why me,” and begun to ask, “Who might I be, past this heartache?” The little family of the choir accepted me without question. And when I sang, the stories I’d been telling myself about pain and loss fell away. I remembered what it was like to know beauty, and in time a deeper song of hope became audible. Geraldine Brooks writes, “[Loss] is the unwelcome current that forced you to an unintended harbor. But here, perhaps, the vessel lies that will carry you onward to the place where you were always meant to go” (Caleb’s Crossing). Sometimes I imagine life as the beginning of a great concert, and picture the way a conductor’s raised hand brings the choir to attention. The raised hand is followed by a forceful moment of no sound—the anticipation before the downbeat. In that quiet moment, the music lives in anticipation both in the minds and hearts of those about to sing and those who will listen. Somewhere in the audience are persons who hurt the way I was hurting. These individuals privately wonder if they can make it through the day. Everything stands still. Then the conductor’s hand moves, a simple gesture, and with the first note love and healing are set in motion—the sheer miracle of it all. The choir picks up their music and begins to sing. All it takes is one voice. Paula D’Arcy is a writer, retreat leader, and speaker who travels widely in the United States, Canada, and abroad. She is also president of the Red Bird Foundation, which supports the growth and spiritual development of those in need and furthers a ministry both to those in prison and those living in third world or disadvantaged cultures. Fall 2012 · Texas Sings!


2013 Convention July 21–24

! E R E H T BE New for 2013: New-Member Initiative

A first-time teacher will be entitled to a one-time 50% reduction in convention fee.

New-Teacher Academy

This session will offer valuable tips and information for new teachers. Look for more information after the holidays.

Soiree New-Member Welcome

Held the first night of convention, this event is the perfect opportunity to meet new and current members and learn firsthand the value of TCDA membership.

Watch for 2013 Convention information on the we

Our Members Return Year After Year to Convention—Why? • Continuing education credits through world-class workshops, reading sessions, and performances • Meet and enjoy the fellowship of other choral musicians • Experience powerful performances • Learn new ideas to take back to the classroom • Read an incredible amount of new music with amazingly talented colleagues • Visit the exhibit hall to browse over 500 booths, and personally visit with staff for new music, fundraising opportunities, tour/travel info, bling and much more • Inspiration, renewal, and just plain fun in historic San Antonio

You Can Help Us Grow Our Membership

We exist for our members and because of our members. Attending the TCDA Convention is a major benefit of membership. To reduce attendance costs, consider preregistration and/or sharing a hotel room with a colleague. Once you attend convention, you will be hooked!

ebsite at or call us at 512-474-2801.

The Suggestion Box by Sharon Lutz As usual, we received excellent feedback from our convention attendees. While we can’t address all suggestions in this forum, please know the Board reads each and every one of them, discusses them, and considers whether change is needed. We want to improve our convention every year, and hearing from members is important to us. Thanks for your feedback, and I hope our 2012 convention enabled you to start the year with inspiration and new ideas! Let’s get started . . . Comment: Please have exhibitor badges preprinted; the line was really long and slow. Response: We agree, and we will definitely preprint exhibitor badges so next year’s process is faster. Comment: Please consider lowering the price of the family badge to $5. This would help those of us bringing spouses and children. Response. We try hard to keep costs low, and we certainly want members to bring their children and spouses. We will take a look at our costs once again while we plan next year’s convention. Comment: Awesome changes in the printed program! Love the layout of the program. Enclosing the ballot, door prize tickets, soiree tickets, and CPE credit form in the program was sheer genius. Response: You can thank Jeanne Kuhn for many of the improvements to our program this year. Including the tickets and forms in the catalog was very popular, and we will do this again next year. Way to go, Jeanne! Comment: My students LOVED STUDENT DAY! Response: We agree Student Day was a hit. It is growing each year, and we welcome your help in promoting this very successful program. Comment: Not enough exhibitors/vendors this year. Many resources and services are located here. Consider serving wine and cheese in the exhibit hall on the first day during registration. Response: Recognizing this is a changing paradigm, our new format in 2013 of combining the Exhibit Hall for the three associations (TCDA/TODA/TBA) will translate into a much bigger audience for our exhibitors, and thus for our members. We are discussing the idea of some type of event in the Exhibit Hall as well. The catering costs by the exclusive food vendor for the convention center are exorbitant, though, and we want to spend our dollars wisely.


Texas Sings! · Fall 2012

Comment: Instead of the board selecting music, allow the publishers to sponsor reading sessions and present their best new music. This would also take pressure off the board for music selection. Response: This is a complicated issue requiring extended Board consideration. At this time, we are not able to institute such a process, but we continue to evaluate methods to ensure the best new music is presented. Comment: Please remember as you look at holiday music (particularly for church) there are more holidays than Christmas. Repertoire for Lent, Easter, and Pentecost literature exposure would make the selection of music for a church choir easier. Response: These are good ideas for future conventions that will be passed on to Gary Mabry, our Church Division Board member. Comment: The booklets of music given out for Tried & Proven Sessions were amazing. Would love to see more like that, great for consolidating space and quick reference. There were problems handing out music, with not enough assistants and boxes of music not opened and ready at the start of each session. Make all handouts available before the conference so we can print them beforehand. Response: We recognize this area needs improvement and we did try to have handouts in advance of convention. It’s a work in progress and we will continue to work on improving in this area. The catalogue style booklets of music are coming in 2013 for all reading sessions thanks to our bid vendor, J.W. Pepper.

I love the workshops where the clinicians treat us just like the students. I enjoy seeing seasoned teachers in action so I can “steal” their tricks and ideas for my own students!

Comment: I would like more choices for workshops/sessions. The church division was thin this year. We need more elementary workshops including Orff instrumentation. Maybe facilitate group activities for building choir programs, advocating support, fundraising, and festivals. Comment: Loved the sessions with Craig Hella Johnson. The Men-Only session was great! Jason Dove’s session was spot-on. Comment: Would love to hear ideas and suggestions from choir directors on how they prepare for performances aside from learning the music, such as tips for managing elementary students before and after performance, attire, taking attendance, teaching stage entrance/exits. Comment: Advance JH/HS Training; more MS/JH SATB; Pop/Jazz & Seasonal, please add Middle School choices. Comment: A workshop on teaching techniques should be offered—diction, breathing, performance tricks for adult choirs. Response: Thank you for your great feedback, all worthwhile thoughts and ideas that we will certainly consider for next year. We always want to improve on our workshop options and provide selections that are beneficial to our members. The Board is charged with putting together a convention program that actually contains the same number of workshops each year. Since there is cross-divisional interest in sessions, we give our members offerings divisionally, but also assume that there will be cross-divisional interest with many sessions. Remember to look outside of your division for great sessions that apply to all choral musicians. Comment: On-site registration costs have increased dramatically. On-site registration felt more like a penalty than a convenience with the extreme price jump. Comment: Can we keep online registration open longer now that we are “digital”? After a certain date, you could just up the price. This would help alleviate the long registration lines. Comment: It would be nice if there were a way that people with smartphones or tablets could register online, decreasing the wait time. Also, extend pre-reg until a few days before convention. Response: These are worthwhile ideas for the future as more people use technology. We are already working to ensure next year’s online registration is even easier for members, and we want on-site registration to be as painless as possible. If you are able, preregistering will make your life easier, and it’s cheaper. On-site registration has always been higher than preregistration (this year it was $20 more). We may be able to push out the preregistration deadline, and we always want to shorten our registration lines. While we understand that costs are increasing for

members, please know TCDA operates with very little margin, and our goal every year is to manage costs versus services. Unfortunately, costs for our convention continue to increase. The new format in 2013 will enable us to sustain and improve our convention and offer members a quality event with relevant workshops, music reading sessions, master classes, panel discussions, and performances. The new format will benefit everyone. Comment: Missed seeing officer candidates working at registration. Response: This year, the candidates assisted in other ways, directing members in the registration process and greeting members as they arrived. In 2013, we may again ask the candidates to assist in the registration process. Comment: Let’s get the Pentatonix to perform at a future TCDA BBQ. Comment: I enjoy the BBQ each year, but as a vegetarian I pay full price to eat the sides. Can we try to find vegetarian alternatives to offer at the BBQ? Comment: BBQ—So much fun! Food delicious and loved being with so many happy people. Response: We will be restructuring our BBQ for 2013, as La Villita is not available due to renovations. Look for more information to come, once we make decisions about the event. Comment: When announcing the winning choirs, please announce school districts and city as well. Some of us don’t know where the choir is from. For church service— something like a hymn fest—I always get uplifted when we sing together. Response: Good ideas!

Thanks for your great feedback! TCDA offers me the opportunity to network with others who are passionate about choral music. The workshops provide a window into what other professionals are doing around the state. Rarely are we afforded the opportunity to learn from one another like we are able to do at TCDA. Joshua Taylor, Director of Worship & Music, Dallas, Texas

Fall 2012 · Texas Sings!


in emoriam

Martha Jim Palmer Bender

Martha Jim Palmer Bender, a longtime, beloved Texas Public School music educator, passed away on July 5, 2012, after a lengthy illness. Martha, a native of the Valley, began her teaching career at the age of 20 in Pharr–San Juan–Alamo ISD, after completion of her degree at Texas A&M University in Kingsville. She quickly acquired a reputation as an outstanding elementary school teacher, but her teaching career took a different direction in 1973 when she followed her husband to Sweeny, Texas. Bill Bender became choral director of Sweeny High School, and Martha was soon appointed choral director of the junior high school, a position she held for 13 years. An unusual husband-wife partnership developed, and Martha and Bill successfully team-taught their students daily for many years. Martha, an accomplished musician and pianist known for her artistic flair and musical drama, coordinated popular musical performances at Sweeny, injecting history lessons into programs as much as possible. One such performance was based on the life of Thomas Jefferson and another on Tom Sawyer. Martha loved her students and they loved her, and she motivated them in nontraditional ways. She taught her junior high students with a level of sophistication and a high standard typically reserved for a more advanced level of student, and they thrived under her instruction. Martha served the choral arts in many ways, including Vice President of TCDA, representing the Elementary Division. While Martha is sorely missed by her family, friends, and the many students she taught, she influenced countless lives with her devotion, enthusiasm, and commitment to music.

Charles Michael Brock by Randy Hooper

Mike Brock of Greenville, Texas, passed away on May 7, 2012, after an illustrious 40-year career in music education. Mike accepted his first teaching position as choir director at Greenville Junior High in 1964, followed by fifteen years as choir director for Marshall High School. He directed the Texas Youth Chorale on their 1982 European Tour, served as a member of the Fred Waring summer workshop staff at East Stroudsburg State University in Pennsylvania, and had the honor of his choir performing for the Texas State Teachers’ Association. In 1983, Mike left Marshall to become choir director at Brazoswood High School in Clute, Texas, and once again directed the Texas Youth Chorale on their 1985 European Tour. Mike spent two years as choir director at MacArthur High School in San Antonio and then made his way back to his beginnings in Greenville, where he finished his career as choir director at Greenville High School. He was awarded the district’s prestigious title of Key Communicator, was named Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers twice, and was named an Ambassador by the Texas A&M University–Commerce Alumni Association. Mike retired from teaching in 2004, after amassing a long list of accomplishments, including 59 sweepstakes choirs and 64 All-State students. He was elected vocal chairman in UIL/TMEA Regions IV and XVII, as a member of the State UIL Advisory Board, to the UIL/TMEA Region Advisory Committee, and to the TMEA State Board of Directors. Mike is survived by a large, loving family; his wife of 47 years, Pat Brock; five children; and many grandchildren.

Joan Davis

by Jo Scurlock-Dillard and Sam Davis Joan Davis passed away July 12, 2012, at home after a valiant fight against lung cancer. “Joanie,” my friend and music “soulmate,” was born in San Antonio on January 22, 1951. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Incarnate Word and a master’s degree in theological studies from the Oblate School of Theology. Joanie was married to Mike Davis, and she and Mike produced four extraordinary children, Josh, Will, Sam, and Tynan. Joan touched and inspired many lives through music. When her children were young, she provided piano accompaniment to the Joffrey Ballet and Incarnate Word Ballet companies and a dress rehearsal performance by the famed Russian Ballet dancer, Rudolf Nureyev. She served as the organist and pianist for several San Antonio Churches and the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio. She earned a teaching certificate and taught for several years in the distinguished choir programs at MacArthur and Reagan High School, encouraging and inspiring students to pursue their musical talents. 18

Texas Sings! · Fall 2012

Joan was funny and bright, and her sense of humor could be tickled by the intellectual musings of The New Yorker, a Mel Brooks film, or a robust Dr Pepper belch, but more often by the antics and one-liners of her beloved husband, Mike. Joanie left this world far too soon. She was sassy, spunky, and had an amazing spirit. Her family and friends dearly miss her, but Joan’s legacy of love, laughter, and music will continue to live on with those who were blessed to have known her.

Kenneth R. Steele

by Pam Elrod Huffman Blessings often come in unexpected packages. In the fall of 1973, a blessing came to me in the form of a big, jolly man with Santa Claus eyes and a heart as big as the universe. It was my senior year at Reagan High School in Austin, Texas, and Jim Sheppard—who had been my choir director for three years—was no longer there. He had made the decision to leave Reagan to pursue a doctorate. I was devastated, but somewhat comforted by the fact that Ken Steele, who had been serving as our assistant choir director, would assume the role of head director. I needn’t have worried, as my senior year would become as equally fulfilling musically as the first three years had been. I learned about great repertoire, great singing, and great relationships. And I quickly grew to love and revere the man who provided me with those learning opportunities. Ken Steele passed away on July 21, 2012, after being diagnosed with lung cancer only weeks before. On Saturday, September 15, 2012, a celebration of his life was held in Austin. Present at this memorial service were members of his family and a very large group of friends, colleagues, former students, and former church choir members. Every person in attendance had a story similar to mine—a life that had been changed for the better because of the impact of this remarkable musician and equally remarkable man. In every aspect of his life—as husband, father, mentor, colleague, and friend—Ken Steele gave completely of himself. His legacy of musical excellence and loving care is being lived out today in the lives of everyone he knew. He was—in every respect—a blessing to us all.

Fall 2012 · Texas Sings!


College/Community R andall

H ooper

Thank You For a Great Summer Convention!


he 2012 TCDA Convention has come and gone, and we have all begun carrying out the plans we made during the summer. Hopefully we are facing the challenges of this season with a new energy and determination. The College/Community Division owes Pam Elrod a big thank-you for planning and organizing such a wonderful convention. On behalf of our division, I want to sincerely thank Pam for her elegant planning and execution of the 2011 and 2012 TCDA Conventions. We have all benefited from her leadership and service.

Thank you for giving so enthusiastically. It takes a commitment from a large number of people to offer such a thoughtful, organized, and inspiring event. Thank you to all of the TCDA members who contributed to the success of this summer’s convention. Craig Hella Johnson offered us the opportunity to reflect on our craft and recharge for a new season of teaching, conducting, and creating art. Everyone who conducted or accompanied a reading session, coached conducting students, led an interest session, or volunteered equally contributed to the success of the convention. Thank you for giving back so enthusiastically to TCDA. The TCDA Board would also like to thank the college student workers. You worked so hard and cheerfully to help the convention run smoothly. It takes a commitment from a large number of people to offer such a thoughtful, organized, and inspiring event such as the TCDA Summer Convention and New Music Reading Clinic. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this unified effort.


Texas Sings! · Fall 2012

A Student Named Matt I am privileged to teach wonderful students, often commenting on what fine human beings they are. I truly enjoy coming to work each day knowing I will be given the opportunity to lead them. Matt is an example of one of these students. He is a junior this fall and just beginning his upper-level music education classes. He is a very gifted and talented young musician who is serious about pursuing a career in performance but also sees the benefit of getting his undergraduate music degree in music education. I fully expect him to apply to a graduate school and pursue a degree in vocal performance. Each fall semester I teach a Secondary Choral Methods course. One of the first assignments in the class is to read the chapter on “Philosophical Foundations” from Barbara Brinson’s choral music textbook Choral Music Methods and Materials and then write a philosophy of music education statement based on the guidance in the chapter. Every year this assignment leads to energetic discussion, and I always get such joy from seeing my students begin to formulate their philosophy of music education. Here is a portion of the final paragraph of Matt’s paper. He writes, “Overall I see a music educator as one who is a musician, an educator, a mentor and a professional. A music educator should share his/her love and passion for music with the students and be a positive example and role model. Music educators should strive for academic, musical, and educational excellence.” Many of the students in the class came to similar conclusions and expressed this same passion about music education. After class I felt a sense of accomplishment on the discussion of the day and a little extra proud continued on p. 27

High School M ark

R ohwer

Change Is Good — Isn’t It?


’m worried that I’ve become “that guy”—the one who, during an in-service given by a passionate, zealous (read: young) administrator, finds himself thinking, “You know, we tried this five (or ten, or twenty) years ago, and it didn’t work all that well then.” I’m not entirely sure how this happened, because when I was passionate, zealous, and young—and, at best, I can now be considered only two out of three—I was most annoyed with “that guy.” What is wrong with him? All of us young, zealous folk are just trying to change the system, and change is good—isn’t it? Change of Scene (cue “emotional backstory music”) . . . I moved to Texas in the fall of 1997 and stepped into a choir job at North Mesquite High School (Go Stallions!). I was hired late in the summer, and I attended TCDA only because some peers told me that I should. I knew no one when I arrived; when I went to the Soiree, I still knew no one, and, being an introvert, I was uncomfortable striking up conversations with strangers. In a fit of frustration, I got two drinks with my tickets and took them back to the Menger Hotel and shared them with my wife. “Welcome to Texas,” a long way from the Midwest. Change is good—isn’t it? There is an important lesson here. Change is indeed good; however, change is not easy, nor is it often fun. As I write this, I am working during my conference period, in the morning. After 13 years of teaching a predominantly morning schedule, I am now adjusting to teaching a predominantly afternoon schedule. For those of you who have experienced a complete shift of schedule, you know that such a move is a bigger deal than it first sounds like. I have to reconsider all the little things I do in my day without thought or hesitation; I need to find the energy to fight the midafternoon blahs, and if I want to run off-campus for a snack, now it’s breakfast food. To be honest, I’m struggling a bit. On the other hand, now my students can take an AP Music Theory class on campus, something I’ve advocated for awhile, all because of the change in schedule. Plus, my varsity students are sharper later in the

day. So, regardless of my opinions, the schedule change is of great benefit. Rule of Change #1—If the students benefit, then Change is Good. Considering in-services . . . it is easy to be just a little bitter while marching through our obligatory sessions each year. Often, it feels like there just isn’t enough to benefit me; certainly, much of the in-service training presented over the course of a year doesn’t seem like an exact fit for the performing arts or the choral classroom. On the other hand, I’ve learned a lot about presenting a wide array of topics, because this is how the TCDA Board plans for each summer at the annual convention. I’ve learned that if one person finds every session and every piece useful, then probably someone else found nothing of value. So, in a week of in-services, I won’t find everything of immediate use. But, with an open mind, there are certainly things I can borrow or use. Rule of Change #2—If it adds variety and helps instruction, then Change is Good.

Change is indeed good, but it’s not easy, nor is it often fun. My favorite way to find ideas for change is by watching other amazing people in the craft. Sometimes it is an in-service actually focused on teaching singing, led by acknowledged leaders in the profession. Other times, it’s a student teacher reminding me what passion for excellence and a genuine love of students looks like when coming fresh out of college. I’ll steal ideas from anyone: other teachers in my school, cool ideas posted on social media, ideas that come from my students, ideas from people outside of schools, and outside of teaching. By being willing to listen to just about anybody and openly consider what I’m hearing, I can add new ideas, move in different directions, and do so with energy and drive. Rule of Change #3—If it adds passion and direction to teaching, then Change is Good. Go forth and change; change is good!

Fall 2012 · Texas Sings!


Middle School/Junior High K ari

G ilbertson

One Man’s Recycling Is Another Man’s Treasure


always remember this updated expression during the reading sessions at TCDA. Now that I’ve been on the board for a year, I know firsthand the voting process by which the board selects from the music that is sent to us from the publishers. As you can read in the convention program, it is a democratic process, by which the songs with the highest number of votes from the board are read. That being said, we all know there are songs that don’t fit your needs for that particular year. How many times have I taken out my pen and marked an “x” on the corner of an octavo and turned to a colleague who passionately says, “Oh, my gosh . . . this is just perfect!” And likewise, I’ve thought that the lower range of a song was great for my guys and another director nearby says, “My boys can’t sing that low!” Each year in the suggestion box, there seem to be equally as many compliments as there are constructive comments about the same items. To each his/her own. Many times, I hear a song that I love, but I keep it in my files for another time. It goes in my “maybe later” file.

Before you assume that no one else would want it . . . consider sharing it. This got me thinking . . . one director’s recycling is another director’s treasure! What else in our teaching lives could follow that path? Is it time to clean out your files? Do you really need that program cover from 1972 or the invoice from piano tuning from the ’80s? Could we do some choral recycling? What about going through your library and finding the songs that may no longer suit your needs. Could you offer those to another director who may have better use for them? Take a picture of the equipment in your room that you are no longer using and email it to your district colleagues. You may not


Texas Sings! · Fall 2012

need those orange Wenger risers, but someone else may just be one riser short of a full set. Before you write off those cassettes and VHS tapes, could you convert them to current digital media and have a whole new resource to use? So, I ask you to take a few minutes before the craziness of holiday concerts and auditions take over your life to consider what is your treasure, and don’t hold on to what isn’t useful anymore. Likewise, consider sprucing up an old resource and making it work for a whole new generation. Before you assume that no one else would want it . . . consider sharing it. Convention Kudos I hope you had a great time at the 57th Annual Convention in San Antonio. If you didn’t attend, you missed one of the most fun, practical, and yet spiritually fulfilling TCDA Conventions I can recall. It is so important to have the opportunity to get excited about why we teach before our singers arrive! I hope you put some music in your repertoire from the reading session packets and Tried & Proven books so graciously provided by the publishers and our bid vendor J.W. Pepper. Thank you to Kasey Pope, Kim Ahrens, Debra Moses, Deborah Barrick, and Bo Shirah and accompanists Lindsey Spitsberg, Laura Taylor, and Melanie Moore for your preparation for those reading sessions. In addition, I know all of us left with important information from presenters Joel Price, Terrence Jennings, Donna McGinnis, Laura Weidel, Connie Horton, and Linda Ice. Your new ideas, tricks, technology, and tips will help us to be better educators. Thank you for taking time to share what you know instead of keeping it all for yourself. One of my favorite things about TCDA continues to be the selflessness that our colleagues show by freely sharing what they do well, so that others may be successful. Thank you!

Connie Horton

Middle School Clinic

Many of us work both in schools and churches. TCDA is an excellent use of my limited time. I can read literature for both areas as well as attend workshops that regenerate my enthusiasm for sharing the gift of music. Bonnie Kuehl, Killeen ISD, Covenant Lutheran Church, Temple, Texas

Dr. Z Randall Stroope at High School Student Day

Festival Chorus

BBQ Conga Line Fall 2012 路 Texas Sings!


Craig Hella Johnson

Ken Medema with the Festival Chorus

Honor Choir

Nick and Julie Boltz in reading session

TCDA has always provided the inspirational jump-start needed for the beginning of my school year, since my first convention in 1978. The workshops, reading sessions and opportunities to glean ideas from colleagues are always invaluable. Georgia Kornegay, Mesquite HS, Mesquite, Texas

Jannifer Rice, High School Clinician

Kari Gilbertson conducting

David Angerman, Church Clinician 24

Texas Sings! 路 Fall 2012

Men of TCDA

Elementary L a u ra

R achita

Every Day Has a Teachable Moment


hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiish! What is that, you say? This is the sound of the year zipping by at lightning speed. I know this is not only happening in Southeast Texas! But before we jump feet first into the craziness of the school year, I want to take a minute to reflect on the AMAZING TCDA convention in July. If you missed it, you sure missed out on a treat. The children’s choir was spectacular under the expert musical direction of Cynthia Nott. The purity of the tone from the children made your skin tingle. Hats off to Phyllis King, Past Elementary Vice President, for her leadership, passion, and organization to TCDA. We are in the works to present to you a fantastic convention for 2013, which will be packed with music, ideas, tips, tricks, and new approaches that will benefit both the rookie and the veteran teacher. So as we move on to a new year, we have been given the opportunity for a clean slate—a fresh look on our classroom management procedures, our favorite repertoire, or a new “find” from a workshop we recently attended. What will you do differently? I challenge you to go beyond the lesson plan—think about what you do that is being watched by your children. Ever hear the phrase: “Do as I say, not as I do”? If only it could be that simple! Many of us (okay, yes I am dating myself!) grew up in a time when a parent or teacher might have said, “Because I said so,” as an answer to that ever present question of “Why?” Today’s 21st-century learners simply don’t take “NO” for an answer! They are inquisitive, questioning, and a bit challenging at times. They seek to

know the reason and relevance behind everything. Today’s students learn more by seeing something modeled by actions than by hearing or reading something. Have you ever thought about the message that you model with your actions? As a parent, I have been thinking twice before I roooooll through the stop sign, with a teenager about 6 months away from getting her permit. Or when I say, “You should have gotten all your school stuff together last night,” as I am racing around trying to find my keys and phone. As teachers, we are charged with a great responsibility that goes far beyond the TEKS.

Think about what you do that is being watched by your children. Think about how you can be a model for your students. We ask for respect for authority and peers. Check your body language, your tone, and other nonverbal cues. Replace outward frustration with a positive reframe. Address unwanted classroom situations as an opportunity to teach, advise, and redirect. Is this easy? Not always. Is it beneficial? Definitely. Those teachable moments that are not under the “Objectives” portion of your lesson plan are some of the most worthwhile moments of your day. We are teachers . . . every day has a teachable moment . . . seize the opportunity and run with it!

Fall 2012 · Texas Sings!


Church G ar y

M abr y

Make Music, Make Friends


fter all the workshops, seminars, camps, and summer trips have come and gone, the TCDA Convention signals the end of summer and the advent of a new music year. Within days, school bells ring, bands march, churches navigate through stewardship campaigns, and college students duel with financial aid offices to seek admission for just one more semester. Our convention is a sort of convocation, a calling together of friends and colleagues who are about to invest themselves in another year of sharing what has been shared with them. For some, it is the maiden voyage. At this last hurrah of the summer, we recharge our batteries, renew longtime friendships, make new friends and expand our horizons. Sometimes it is learning by discovery—a fresh octavo or an “aha” moment. It might be a lesson by confirmation—“That’s what I’ve been saying for years!” At the barbecue, we come together in fun; at the worship service, we come together in faith.

Let us celebrate our diversity and offer our stories for the edification of all. Many thanks to all who gave of themselves to make the 2012 TCDA Convention a success. I’d like to extend my personal gratitude to Greg Shapley, who guided our Church Division with such energy and devotion during the past two years, especially with the development of the Festival Chorus. Our thanks go out to every clinician, conductor, and accompanist who steered our event by sharing their expertise and offering their leadership. I was richly blessed by Ken Medema’s presence among us, reminding us that God has a sense of humor and that authentic worship might best be experienced


Texas Sings! · Fall 2012

as a “sacred dialogue.” I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve our organization for the next two years in the area of music and worship. As I mentioned in a recent email to many of you, I would like this process to be collaborative. As we make music, let us also make friends. I have already gotten to know a few folks I didn’t know before and have heard accounts of how music ministry works in their fellowships. If I missed you in the first “blast,” please email me at, so we can be in touch. I envision a network that will help us pool our knowledge and experience and serve as a resource to one another. I’d like to facilitate a system by which we can make our constituency aware of workshops, clinics, and seminars that occur throughout the state during the year. Whether by blog, email, call, or text, we can share strategies, octavos, concepts, and stories of music and worship that enrich and inspire. As we search together for choral music that exemplifies the highest standards of authentic theology, inclusive language, and the best marriage of text and music, let us engage in a “sacred music dialogue” and bring together our insights and our journeys. We serve a diverse community of faith. Smaller fellowships may have different needs than those who number in the thousands. There are imaginative ideas and successful music ministries related to children and youth. There are vivacious ensembles composed of senior adults. There is a wealth of musical tradition in the Jewish community. Many worship styles bless the people of Texas each week. Let us celebrate our diversity and offer our stories for the edification of all. In the words of the robot Johnny Five in the movie Short Circuit: “Need input!” Grace and peace to you. Let’s talk!

Secretary/Treasurer K aren

G on z ale z

Past, Present, and Future


s I reflect on my years of teaching (this is year 29), I am reminded of those who inspired me and those I deemed “untouchable” because they were the best teachers and directors. I wanted nothing more than to just be around them whenever possible. Feeling like I was a “part of the gang” made me feel I had worth and something to offer. Today, I have a son who just received his music education degree, and he is extremely excited to join the ranks of those he respects and deems “untouchable.” It was incredibly touching to see and hear him share his “aha” moment at Craig Hella Johnson’s first session this past summer. Seeing his friends who are entering or getting ready to enter the profession was such a joy as I saw their enthusiasm and zeal for teaching. This got me to thinking: they are the next generation of untouchables. Those of us who are veteran teachers and directors have the responsibility of reaching out to these young people and make them feel like a part of the gang. We must nurture and encourage them through our knowledge and experience and pass on to them the same useful information that our untouchables shared with us. I encourage you to find ways to share and be inclusive of young teachers. Be a mentor by taking on a student teacher or leading an in-service. Find any way you can to encourage and include our younger teachers. Not only are they the future of TCDA, they are the future of our world!

College/Community continued from p. 20 of how this assignment had inspired the students. As I was walking back to my office, Matt walked up behind me and said, “Is it bad that I really want to be a teacher?” This question stopped me in my tracks. I turned to find Matt standing behind me with a huge smile on his face. Of course I told him it is great that he is excited about being a performer and a music educator. His love and passion for music as a performer, an educator, and a conductor will allow him so many opportunities. As I stood there talking with Matt, I realized how much he inspires me. Matt’s young, unencumbered, and a little naive passion for music-making is an

This past convention was absolutely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Moving to an automated registration system posed many challenges—all of which were brand new to TCDA! I would like to thank the board for their support and ongoing vision for our organization and to Sharon Lutz for her never-ending work ensuring that changes were smooth and timely. I appreciate my student workers who ran to do whatever was necessary at a moment’s notice. The candidates who instructed registrants through the convention program and

Those of us who are veteran teachers and directors have the responsibility of reaching out to young people and make them feel like a part of the gang. various other items were invaluable and greatly appreciated. A special thank-you to Kay Owens and Mary Jane Phillips for listening to me on numerous occasions and arriving early to help with registration. Also, a special thank-you to Terry Berrier, Robin Brockway-Nichols, and Debbie Seitter, who stood for hours and helped people with online registration. Last, but not least, a huge thank-you to Toni Ugolini and TJ Hoffman for co-chairing the Hospitality Committee. Their hard work and enthusiasm was wonderful. You all are gems!

inspiration. Being around Matt and all young musicians is a daily inspiration. As college professors and conductors, we should take a moment each day to refresh our souls with all the positive, pure inspiration our students and singers bring to us. I am thankful this career chose me and that I am allowed to make music and lead our students to discover their full potential as a performer, educator, and conductor. We all need a little dose of Matt’s spirit each day. I hope you all have an inspired, musically uplifting season of teaching and music-making. Thank you for trusting me to lead the College/Community Division of TCDA. Fall 2012 · Texas Sings!


Texas Sings! Fall 2012 Issue  

Volume 29, Number 1

Texas Sings! Fall 2012 Issue  

Volume 29, Number 1