MSI Director's Philosophy....
"....courtesy, thoughtful respect and common sense...."
Audition to "include", not "exclude"....!
In this day
and age, people have a myriad of evening and daytime commitments,
which often can and do conflict with rehearsal schedules and concert
performances. How do we as choral conductors deal with, and
to solve, this obvious statement of fact to the benefit of our own
community chorus and its progressive growth?
I am constantly reminded of what Dr. Howard Swan taught me in one of my early choral conducting classes at Occidental College.
are the chorus director and something goes wrong in your first rehearsal and
you are unable fix it, go home and look in the mirror and ask yourself 'what
am I doing wrong'? If, in your second rehearsal the same thing goes
wrong and you are unable to fix it, go home and look in the mirror and
ask yourself 'what am I doing wrong?' Finally, if in the third
rehearsal the same problem persists and you are unable to fix it, you
then have the right to go to the mirror and blame "yourself"
again. NEVER BLAME THE CHORUS!"
If an individual
singer is willing to give of his or her time to rehearse and perform with
the MSI, the very least I can do as a choral conductor is to allow
him or her the opportunity to experience their singing
wants, needs and desires (with regard to
actively participating) during those periods of time conducive to their busy
work schedules and family responsibilities.
members certainly should not have to work around my schedule. Sensible
programming, proper rehearsal time scheduling, and use thereof is an
absolute given. This is a responsibility that can only be reconciled
by the director and his or her sincere use of "common sense".
As for chorus rules, Master Singers, Inc. has none, neither written nor stated.
If a choral group must have rigid,
solid rules, regulations, signed letters of intent, and such, then they must
be rigidly and solidly adhered to by each and every member of the chorus,
and especially the Director. Solid rules are inevitably going
to be broken or bent. If the director purposely or inadvertently
overlooks this, the group's morale and cohesiveness will and can be
jeopardized. This can and always does lead to an underlying current of
confusion, misunderstanding and ultimately an atmosphere of discontent and
questionable equality among individual chorus members.
if there are specific, fair and properly administered rules and regulations
in place and all chorus members are properly informed and treated with
equality, fairness and respect, any "true" community chorus
can survive and grow knowing that the only "true" rules are
"courtesy", "thoughtful" respect", and "common
sense". The Director must absolutely exemplify and maintain this
"true" honesty among his/her singers. And, more importantly,
the Director must accept any and all responsibility for the proper or
(improper) administering of these "common sense" expectations.
I want singers to be allowed to sing with the freedom of knowing that they can sing while experiencing a meaningful and constructive "no time wasted" rehearsal. This last statement is easily stated as fact yet very difficult to appropriately apply. The chorus members are the only ones who can honestly evaluate a "no time wasted" rehearsal, and not the Director.
To that end, I have dedicated my time and effort to each and every singer’s personal circumstance while sincerely attempting to adapt accordingly for the betterment of the whole group.
I merely want each singer to enjoy a choral experience in their own private and personal way while knowing that they are an integral and important part of the rehearsal procedure and ultimate final performance. AND, most importantly, I want them to know (individually) that they are truly appreciated.
The support of the Northeast Ohio community has been overwhelming. I am fulfilling a lifelong desire with the Master Singers Chorale and proving that choral masterworks have a large and appreciative following in our community. I am thankful to the group of friends and musicians, who suggested I do something to expand, develop and encourage a higher degree of performance standard for a true community chorus in Northeast Ohio. I have formed an organization that brings the best of orchestra members together with experienced and novice vocalists. It is my desire to make music, which emanates the passion, style and emotion that each choral composition so richly deserves. And, to adhere strictly to the highest of standards with regard to rehearsal procedures and performances.