Friday, September 5, 2014

"Art Lives Here," Take Three

"Art lives here." This is Interlochen's motto, and for good reason. There are literally hundreds of performances that take place during the camp season. No matter your interests, there's something for you at Interlochen. Below is a list of what I was able to experience this summer :)

6/14: Oboe faculty recital (Linda Strommen and Dan Stolper)
6/15: Oboe faculty recital (Mary Lynch)
6/22: First Gathering
6/25: Air Force Band: Airmen of Note
6/26: Air Force Band: Airmen of Note masterclass
6/27: Faculty Recital
6/28: World Youth Wind Symphony
6/29: World Youth Symphony Orchestra
7/2: Intermediate Wind Symphony & Intermediate Symphony Orchestra
7/2: High School Jazz Ensemble & Jazz Band
7/5: Interlochen Shakespeare Festival: The Tempest
7/6: World Youth Symphony Orchestra
7/7: Collage
7/8: Collage
7/13: World Youth Symphony Orchestra
7/20: Interlochen Philharmonic with Festival Choir
7/20: World Youth Symphony Orchestra
7/23: Intermediate Wind Symphony
7/23: Faculty Recital
7/24: Faculty Jazz Recital
7/26: Singer-Songwriter Recital
7/26: World Youth Wind Symphony
7/27: World Youth Symphony Orchestra
7/31: High School Musical Theatre: Les Miserables
8/3: World Youth Symphony Orchestra and Les Preludes
8/6: Adult Band Camp faculty recital
8/7: Adult Band Camp (Terry Riley's "In C")
8/9: Adult Band Camp chamber recital
8/10: Adult Band Camp

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

WYSO 2014

Another amazing summer completed!
So proud of these kids. They accomplished a lot in a very short amount of time.
Here's a quick rundown...

Week 1

Jung-Ho Pak, conductor

Williams: Happy Birthday Variations
Hanson: Symphony No. 2 "Romantic"

WYSO led by Jung-Ho Pak

Week 2

Carlos Kalmar, conductor

Dvorak: Carnival Overture
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

WYSO led by Carlos Kalmar, with soloist Alessio Bax

Week 3

Erik Nielsen, conductor
Joshua Bell, soloist

Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel Overture
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
Debussy: La Mer

WYSO led by Erik Nielsen, with soloist Joshua Bell

Week 4

John Axelrod, conductor

Brahms: Symphony No. 4

WYSO led by John Axelrod

Week 5

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Ani Kavafian, soloist

Saint-Saens: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5

WYSO led by JoAnn Falletta, with soloist Ani Kavafian

Week 6

Jung-Ho Pak, conductor

Glinka: Russlan and Ludmilla Overture
Strauss: Death and Transfiguration

Jeffrey Kimpton, conductor

Liszt: Les Preludes

Les Preludes rehearsal

And how much work did all of that require of me, their librarian?

Let's just leave it at "a lot." It was a ton of work, but it was 100% worth it when I got to sit backstage and watch this orchestra make such beautiful music.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Interlochen, Year Four

This summer, I am once again up at Interlochen to work as an ensemble librarian! Working at Interlochen has been a great way to spend my summers in grad school, and I'm so excited to spend one more summer here.

There are nineteen ensembles at Interlochen: seven orchestras, six bands (including both concert and jazz bands), and six choirs. There are seven ensemble librarians, and each of us is responsible for two, three, four, five, or even six ensembles. All of the ensembles have very different demands, so having more ensembles isn't necessarily more work.

This summer, I am once again working with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Reading Orchestra. Ensemble groupings change a bit from year to year, so my position isn't exactly the same as last year. Festival Choir now falls to another librarian, but this will be my second summer with both WYSO and Reading Orchestra.

The World Youth Symphony Orchestra (WYSO) is the top high school orchestra. WYSO has new repertoire every week, two and a half hours of rehearsal six days a week, and a concert every Sunday night. This summer, conductors will include Jung-Ho Pak, Carlos Kalmar, Erik Nielsen, John Axelrod, and JoAnn Falletta, and featured soloists will include Joshua Bell, Alessio Bax, and Ani Kavafian. As of now, repertoire will include:
  • Brahms: Symphony No. 4
  • Debussy: La Mer
  • Dvorak: Carnival Overture
  • Glinka: Russlan and Ludmilla Overture
  • Hanson: Symphony No. 2 "Romantic"
  • Humperdinck: Hansel und Gretel Overture
  • Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor
  • Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances
  • Saint-Saens: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
  • Strauss: Death and Transfiguration
  • Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1
  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5
  • Williams: Happy Birthday Variations
Reading Orchestra (RO) is a volunteer orchestra consisting of faculty and staff, although we do invite high school string players to attend to help us fill those sections. RO usually meets three times over the course of the camp, and repertoire is determined at the beginning of the summer once conductors are confirmed. Some conductors want to play a particular piece because they are preparing it for the upcoming season, while other conductors ask us to explore the library's holdings and offer a few suggestions of our own. After conductors are secured and repertoire is determined, RO is pretty low maintenance. As the name suggests, the orchestra will just read through the music once for fun, so it nicely balances out the extremely demanding workload of WYSO.

The first day of rehearsals was yesterday, and camp is now in full swing. Hopefully I'll find some time over the next few days to update again soon!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Getting the Most out of Conferences

I didn't really ease in to the conference scene. The very first professional conference that I attended was a national conference that took place on the opposite end of the country, during which I completed a joint presentation with two experienced librarians. It was a completely new experience and, looking back, I don't think that I really knew what to expect.

So, what would I recommend to someone attending their first conference?

Look at the conference schedule before leaving. Identify any sessions that you absolutely need to attend due to professional or personal commitments. This should include, at the very least, your own presentations and the meetings of the committees, round tables, and interest groups of which you are a member. After that, identify sessions that are relevant to your current work or special interests, as well as your future goals. These are sessions that you're not obligated to attend, but that excite you and that would benefit you. If you hope to eventually join a particular committee, their meeting would also fall under this category (if it is open to non-members). Finally, identify the gaps in your schedule and select a session to fill each one.

With that being said, prepare to be flexible. Have a plan, but don't let it rule you. If you run in to an old friend, take a break to go for coffee. If a former boss invites you to dinner, go. If you're exhausted and simply need a break, take it. I've never regretted saying yes to one of these spontaneous outings, and in some cases they have turned out to be one of the most memorable parts of the week.

Network, network, network. This can be difficult, but be willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you know someone else at the conference, ask them to introduce you to someone (their boss, friends, colleagues with similar interests, etc.). Sit next to someone who is alone at a session, and introduce yourself before it begins. I've actually managed to meet people face-to-face because we had previously "met" by following each other on Twitter. You can learn a lot from these connections, especially early in your career, so don't let fear get the best of you!

Take notes. Some organizations and presenters make slides available after the conference, and some provide handouts containing all of the important information, so use your judgment about how much you need to write down to revisit the subject later. Don't rely on your memory, because you will have a lot of information coming your way throughout the week. At the very least, I recommend taking a minute or two after each session to reflect on the experience and jot down a few sentences. What were your main takeaways? Was there anything that you would like to try in your own library? Was the session particularly good or bad, and why?

Use social media. I personally think that one of the best uses of Twitter occurs during professional conferences. More and more conferences are promoting official hashtags, making it easy to share ideas and see what others are saying about the conference. Using Twitter at conferences has filled me in on sessions I couldn't attend, introduced me to others at the conference, and even helped me find great local restaurants through others' recommendations. Additionally, Twitter can benefit people who could not attend the conference by sharing the knowledge gained throughout the week in the form of real time updates.

Plan ahead when packing. Pack professional, weather-appropriate clothing for the conference, as well as something more casual for traveling. Bring comfy shoes, because you will be in them all day (depending on your conference location, you may also be walking some distance in the city for meal breaks). Bring Ibuprofen or Tylenol just in case. I also suggest bringing something to snack on -- I usually bring along a box of Nature Valley granola bars to hold me over in case I need to have a later lunch or dinner.

Explore the area. When I go to a conference, I usually try to do at least one tourist-y thing. The first conference that I attended was in California, and the Local Arrangements Committee had actually planned a few optional tours to take place the day before the conference began. I had never been out west and I had never seen the ocean before, so I went on a whale watching tour in Monterey Bay, and it was an amazing experience. I haven't traveled a lot, and conferences, in addition to helping me grow as a professional, allow me to see and experience more of the country. We go to conferences to learn and make connections, but it's also important to take some time to have fun and gain new experiences.

Do you have any other conference suggestions? Leave them in the comments!

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Things We Find in Music #2

When you spend hours preparing a single piece of music, you're bound to encounter some rather interesting markings left by previous musicians. My first post on this topic is one of my most popular to date, so I'm going to try to continue the series!

Here's a cute little drawing to start you off...

...followed by a polite request to one's future self.

Next, we get some conductor quotes!

Left: "It doesn't do any good to stand there like you have a big old broomstick up your butt."
Middle: "You're like a bride who didn't quite reach her wedding weight."
Right: "Clog dance. My name is Helga. I vill be your vife."

 Some musicians, like the one below, genuinely feel bad when they hurt their music and try to make amends.

And some have some very high aspirations. Dream big, buddy :)