Saturday, November 8, 2008

Tribute to Jerry Swalley

A great man recently left this life to be with his Heavenly Father. Jerry Swalley passed away last August, after retiring from the Swalley Music store in Boulder, Colorado, which he had owned and operated for 35 years. He was my employer for only three of those years, but during that time I was inspired by his warmth and amiable personality.

I loved working for Jerry. He was always pleasant, loved to tell stories, and usually found a way to laugh about everything, regardless of how unsettling the circumstances may have been. Although he knew he had Dementia, I often tried to convince him otherwise. His recollections of the store during better times were so enjoyable that I wished I could have been a part of it then. I learned from his wisdom and from his example.

Jerry Swalley was a great man. His family should be proud of the legacy he left behind in the hearts of many through his generosity and kindness.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Christmas Concert Checklist

While Christmas is a hectic season for most people, it hurls forward at a maddening pace for musicians, and shoots by at warp speed for choir and band directors. The annual Christmas concert requires a great deal of preparation and organization. The following checklist is provided to help your event run more smoothly:


8 weeks before: Finalize selection of music. (I actually begin selecting music 3-4 months prior to the concert because my groups only meet once per week to practice.) Secure location and date. Communicate date to students.
7 weeks before: Announce dates of solo auditions.
6 weeks before: Begin memorizing music.
5 weeks before: Hold auditions for solos.
4 weeks before: Announce soloists.
3 weeks before: Finalize order of performances and begin preparing concert program
2 weeks before: Make sure students know dates, times, and locations for dress rehearsals and concert.
1 week before: Final rehearsals should be concert run-throughs with all music memorized. Remind students about proper concert attire and appropriate concert behavior.
4 hours before: Arrive to begin setup.
3 hours before: Students arrive for dress rehearsal/walk-through.
30 minutes before: All dress rehearsals should be finished as audience begins to arrive.
When concert begins: Enjoy each moment and bask in the success of all your hard work.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Music Education Blog

Attention all Music Education bloggers: is starting a "100 Music Education Bloggers" (ME Too!) campaign. Join the discussion and share your ideas with music educators from around the globe.

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