CHORAL CONDUCTING

 Statement of Teaching Philosophy

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My "teaching" philosophy might better be described as my "learning" philosophy. As a teacher, I value continuing education and embrace the challenge of being a lifelong learner. My expectations for students are those I have for myself every day, both inside and outside the classroom. These core expectations include collaboration, integrity, and accountability. Watching great teachers (and mentors) over the years has led me to believe that who I am as a person will be the foundation for my effectiveness as a choral educator.

I believe that lessons taught in schools should be applicable to life outside school. Choral ensembles allow students to develop a unique and valuable set of skills in communication and self-expression while encouraging them to value hard work, collaboration, and diversity. I enjoy working with students from a variety of backgrounds to see what new approaches and insights they bring to our classes and rehearsals. We should all be open to ideas and opinions that differ from our own. Emphasizing this belief has become a major characteristic of how I teach.

My goal is to prepare each student to be successful. A nurturing educational environment is key, and this must be created by trust and consistent integrity. This means maintaining honest and open communication, being clear about expectations for students, colleagues, and administrators, and listening and conversing with respect. It can be easy to fall into a state of comfortable mediocrity without even realizing it, so I encourage students to question the status quo and to take ownership of challenging situations to develop creative solutions. I find merit in traditions and both the stability and energy they can bring to a choral experience. I am also excited about creating an environment where people can feel vulnerable, take risks, and start new traditions.

Additionally, I always encourage students to be their own best advocates. There are many ways this can be achieved and I try to model these behaviors. To begin, one must be prepared every day. As a conductor this means knowing what I want to accomplish in rehearsal, what sound I want to hear from the group, and how much time it is going to require. For this to be possible, I must be intimately familiar with the music: the notes, rhythms, and dynamics of the score as well as the theory, history and performance practice of the piece. For students, I expect them to be prepared to learn, to be active participants in the learning process, and to hold themselves accountable for their own performance and how their actions affect the group. While it is my job to be personally invested in the success of my students and ensembles, it is my hope that they, too, will become personally invested. The reward is so much greater when we proudly claim ownership of a job well done.

I am excited to begin the next phase in my career and to see how my teaching philosophy will continue to evolve through the years. I know that every opportunity, every moment, every day is unique and I am prepared to adapt and grow to face unexpected challenges. I look forward to joining a community of passionate music educators with the common goals of preparing the next generation of musicians, making beautiful music together, and sharing it with the world.

Tower Choir

The Northwest Tower Choir is an undergraduate mixed choir with a rich and varied history of outstanding choral performance. Membership is based upon musical and vocal skills, rather than area of study, though most members are music majors/minors.

Bach Cantata - BWV 172

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J.S. Bach composed his cantata Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten! (Resound, ye songs, ring out, ye strings!) in 1714, shortly after being promoted to Konzertmeister of the royal court in Weimar, Germany. He later revised and performed it several times while in Leipzig.

It was written for Whit Sunday (the first day of Pentecost) and was first performed on May 20, 1714 at the court chapel of the Weimar palace.

Doctor of Musical Arts

The Doctor of Musical Arts degree (D.M.A.) is a doctoral academic degree in music. The degree combines advanced studies in an applied area of specialization (e.g. conducting) with graduate-level academic study in subjects such as music history, music theory, and music pedagogy.