Friday, April 24, 2015

Currently 5.24

     Here I am at the end of April vacation. I'm not ready to go back to school yet. :)

Currently:

Watching: Nothing. I have been so tired I've been falling asleep on the couch. Over vacation I did see the new episode of Castle, which I really enjoy. I also watched a lot of other shows that I don't really see often- River Monsters, Dirty Jobs, Survivor, etc. 
Image result for abc castle
     Actually, we did go to see the Aleppo Shriner's Circus last night. It was a lot of fun. They had a lot of great acts this year- some white tigers that were beautiful, a tightrope act, dancers, aerial artists, clowns, camels, bears, motorcycle riders, contortionists, quick change artists, and more. Timmy liked the camels. David was a big fan of the motorcycle act and I think I liked the tigers best. I love that the profits all go to a great cause too. The Shriners are all Freemasons as well. The Masons have greatly helped my Chorale through their donations. I feel like we have made a great community connection with them as well.  

Reading: Still reading "Tchaikovsky" by Herbert Weinstock. I'm still fascinated by his letter writing and his diary, though I do still find him odd. Here are 2 excerpts from last night.
     A woman named Mme La Mara, once asked Tchaikovsky's publisher to give her a letter that would represent Tchaikovsky in a compilation of letters about/by musicians over the past 50 years. The publisher said that none of the letters Tchaikovsky had sent him would work for those purposes. Tchaikovsky agreed saying: "Isn't it strange that it should be hard to find an appropriate letter from a man who has been carrying on- and still carries on- the largest correspondence, dealing with not only business details but artistic effort? I constantly exchange letters with 4 brothers, a sister, several cousins, and with many friends, in addition to a quantity of persons of whom I've often never heard. The need to give so much of my time to letter-writing is such a burden to me that from the bottom of my heart I curse all of the postal systems of the world. The mail often causes me sad moments but it also brings me the greatest happiness. One person plays the leading role in the story of the last decade of my life. She is my good genius; to her I owe all my prosperity and the ability to devote myself to my beloved work. Yet I have never seen her, never heard her voice. All my intercourse with her is by mail. I can certainly say that I flood the earth with my correspondences and yet am not in a position to help you out of your difficulty. "  (p.277)   
    In his diary of July 9, (doesn't mention the year- 1886?) he describes that "It seems to be that letters are never entirely frank. I am judging, at any rate, by my own. No matter what or to whom I write, I always worry about the impression my letter will make, not only on my correspondent, but even on some accidental reader. It follows, therefore, that I am showing off. Sometimes I try to make my letters sound simple and sincere, so, that is, that they should give such an impression. But in no letters except those written under emotional stress am I ever myself. For that reason the latter sort of communication always remains a source of regret and repentance, at times even painful. When I read the letters of famous people, published after their death, I am always worried by an indefinable feeling of falseness and lies."
      This paragraph was disappointing since I was really enjoying reading Tchaikovsky's personal thoughts and correspondences. It made me think about my own letter writing.  People who penpal, what are your impressions of his thoughts? I find that my most honest letters are usually written "under emotional stress" as well but I don't feel like I am not myself in my letters. In fact, I often feel that if someone was to collect all of my letters from everyone I send them to, they would probably know me better than my closest friends do. 

Listening: Not much this week. I've been walking a bit since the weather is nice. When Timmy has practice and Matt is home, I walk the local rail trail. I walked 4 miles today with my IPod shuffle. I listened to everything from Les Miserables to Elvis Presley to Chris Tomlin. I love shuffling my music. I know, I'm a nerd.

Making: I have made a few cute envelopes with a Crafter's Workshop, cherry blossoms template. (The same one I used for the homemade postcard.) I have realized that I'm not the best at stenciling. Doesn't that sound odd? How hard is it to fail at stencils? 

Feeling: Good. Today I did a few things that were good for me. I walked double what I had intended to this morning and then I went down to my parents' house and did some cleaning there. They are trying to improve some things at home and I figured they could use a little help. Now, if you don't know me well- I hate cleaning; with a passion. However, I had a good time knowing that I was doing something that was really benefiting people I love. It was much easier cleaning up their mess than my own. 
    Mail has stunk this week though. Boo. 

Planning: Returning to school. I pretty much failed at all my goals this week so that's a bit disappointing. I'm looking forward to going back to school. I have quite a few concerts in May and there are lots of things to be done. I'm feeling like I'm in an okay place though. I have a big field trip that I'm struggling a bit with the organization. 

Loving: Watching Timmy play baseball. He has had a lot of practices and seemed like he felt like a bit of an outsider. He had a scrimmage this week and he was a blast to watch. He is not super competitive but he loves playing and doing his best. Today at practice they were doing a drill where he had to hit the ball and try to run the bases before his team could field it. He did and was giggling as he was running through third base. It's just fun. I appreciate all the time the little league coaches put into our children. Watching the kids grow in their skills, act with good sportsmanship and have a good time is one of my favorite spring activities. David starts baseball next week. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Homemade card and incoming 4/22

I made this card for a Postcrossing member who likes homemade cards. What do you think? I used my gelli plate on a piece of old sheet music to create the background. Then I stenciled the bird and flowers on. The purple print is from the bottom of a pair of dress shoes I have. This is headed to Michigan
 Incoming:
     I received a letter from LR in Georgia. (LR If you're reading this, you sent me a few challenging questions I look forward to thinking through!) The cute pirates are from Anne in The Netherlands. She sent some cool music stamps too! I had never seen the stamps before. I didn't know the Vengaboys were Dutch.  The boys thought the card was cute too. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Quick mail catchup

   The mailbox has been quite dismal lately. I have gotten a few good things but the package from Finland got lost and I'm still waiting for other things. I have also been a bit behind on my writing. I'm hoping that this post will be a kick in the pants for me.
     These 2 were outgoing cards. 1 was for a woman in Germany and the 2nd was to a student of mine who just participated in a fencing competition. I also sent a letter out to both Chemobuddies.
    I have had a few interesting pieces of incoming mail. I won another cool book from Goodreads. This one is called "The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook" edited by Kate White. In addition to having some yummy recipes (I tried Louise Penny's Madame Benoit's Tourtiere tonight.), it has some beautiful pictures and the book is textured in a cool way.
    Another great letter and stationary from Neil in the UK!
 A letter from Tseganesh, my sponsor child in Ethiopia. I also tried to get a nice picture of a letter from Angie but I couldn't seem to get a picture that didn't show at least part of our addresses.

      I was doing pretty well with my mail log but I have fallen a bit behind. I will try to catch up tonight.
      Have you been getting anything good in the mail lately?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Districts from a student's perspective

   I've been waiting to post since I was hoping 1 other student would jot down their thoughts. (We're on vacation right now so I doubt he will remember. If he does, maybe I'll add his comments in a different color and repost.)  I gave the kids a few topics and asked if they could write some of their feelings in regards to those topics. So, here are some thoughts from my girls. One is in 7th and one is in 8th grade.

Auditions

    When a student decides to try out for Districts, they have most likely been asked by their music teacher. In my case, I often put it out to the whole group. If I have a ton of interest, I just go with those kids. If I don't have as many as I hoped or if I know there is someone the experience would be very good form I will just find the student and ask them. Both girls who got in had decided they wanted to try out when I first mentioned it.
     The first step in preparing for Districts is learning the audition piece. My student said "Getting into Districts is something I really wanted, so I practiced the piece for over a month." She also graciously said that if you have a music teacher that will help you that this step is very easy. My other student said "If you could imagine excitement and anxiety together as one emotion- that was exactly how I was feeling [while preparing for auditions.] I remember singing the audition piece for the first time and it was really exciting, just very scary. It involved a lot of really advanced skills, including having the best breath control, which I had a lot of trouble with, but in the end, the audition turned out great." Once students have learned the piece, they attend the auditions.
At auditions the students meet in the auditorium with all of the other choral students who are auditioning. (I giggled a bit when I read my students' responses and realized neither of them had written about the actual audition.) Many of my students mention being intimidated hearing all of the other singers from the district. One of my students got extremely nervous and didn't get in. He had never really sung 1 on 1 with an adult other than me. After auditions, students wait to hear if they got accepted to the festival or not. Since I was working at the festival, I knew that night and told my students that night. One thing that was interesting to me was that I asked my students if they wanted me to tell them when I knew or if they wanted me to just tell them on Monday when we got back to school. One of my eighth grade girls asked me to tell her over the weekend "so I can process everything, especially if I didn't get in. It would be really hard for me to find out if I didn't get into the festival when I was trying to go through my normal school day."

Rehearsals

After the students find out they get in, they are mailed a packet of music. It is their responsibility to learn it before rehearsals. When they come together as a group, they have about 12 hours to get it to performance level. I rehearsed with each of my students whenever they could- usually during our lunches. One student said: "Rehearsals at Districts at first was not as great as it could have been because there had been some kids like me who had practiced the music multiple times, and there were kids who were sight reading it for the first time. On the second day, it was much better because everybody had already practiced it at least once. The morning of the concert (dress rehearsal) was the best practice of them all. Learning the music was kind of difficult because since I am an alto, I had to learn both alto 1 and 2 because it didn’t specify what I was singing. When I tried out, I auditioned for alto, not alto 1 or 2. After I knew what part I was singing and I practiced the music with all the girls in the choir, it was pretty easy. " This girl practiced with me close to 40 times. Every lunch and then some.
The other student said: " Getting in was a huge honor since I had seen how advanced the chorus was from the year before. I remember coming into the big chorus room at the high school and seeing all these girls. I felt so intimidated, but it was so cool to sing with these talented girls! Our conductor was great. She commended us for everything she likes, but never feared stopping us when we did something wrong. I believe the most important quality in a music teacher/conductor is understanding the music and not just the notes. It is necessary to feel the emotion that comes with a certain piece and I would say that was her strongest quality and I really admired that." 

Concert

    After rehearsing for their final 3 hours or so, the kids eat lunch, change into concert attire and prepare to "do their thing."
    Student 1: "The concert was amazing! During the concert, the people there shut the lights on the parents, so the people performing could not get distracted. In my opinion, it was very helpful. After the concert everybody had to leave the auditorium and go to the cafeteria. It was very chaotic and crowded. It was very hard to find my family. After awhile I found my family and got to go home. I had a great time at Districts singing and hope to get in again next year." (Side note: We have 2 concerts. The first concert is for the choruses. The orchestra, band and jazz band have the 2nd concert. This has the potential of being a logistical nightmare when 1 set of parents is leaving the concert while the other set is arriving for theirs. This is what she was talking about when she mentioned the cafeteria.)
Student 2: "The concert turned out SO well. I had my little group of friends that I had made and the whole performance I couldn't stop smiling! The District chorus is by far one of the greatest experiences I have been gifted with and I hope to be involved with it in high school."
---------------------------
If your child ever expresses interest in one of these festivals, say yes! It is a lot of work but there are great benefits. For your student: exposure to new repertoire, learning under a new conductor, performance skills, audition experience, chance to make new friends, confirmation that they know their craft, and obviously a great opportunity to learn. I always see a great change in my students who have participated in Districts after they are home from the festival. Just this week student #1 has been singing louder than she ever has in class before. She sat herself down in the middle of a bunch of younger students when we were rehearsing a 5th-8th grade piece (for the 2nd time) and was a great leader. Student #2 I have only seen once since Districts but she also acted as a leader in the girls' piece. Student #3 (the boy) was a great leader in the 5th-8th rehearsal of the boys piece by trying to encourage the older guys to sit with someone they didn't know and help them in their music. He also made a suggestion in the warm-ups of my after school chorus, I asked if he'd like to try taking over the warm up section of that rehearsal and, surprisingly, he did. (He did well too. I might do this with some other kids for the rest of the year.) 
I have already started preparing for next year's festival. I have to submit 3 choices of conductors by June 1.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Currently

   I just wanted to update to let you know I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth. My "busy season" is officially over. I start April vacation tonight. I don't really have any plans but I hope to write some letters, catch up with some friends and get a ton of housework done. I'm behind on everything but work. I have pushed myself to exercise a few times this week so I guess that's a success. I always see the "currently" lists that people post so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon. Here's what's was going on this week.

Currently

Watching:

Image result for images home movie 

     David really wanted to see this for his birthday. So, here we are almost a month later. We went out for a Mommy Date tonight and watched it. The beginning was slow but it was cute. It was good for young kids trying to figure out feelings. Tim said "I loved it" and David said "I just loved all of it."  There was one part in the movie where a 3 year old sitting a few seats down from me was worried about a character and she began weeping passionately because she thought something bad was going to happen. I was sure her mom would reach out and try to console her but she just let the girl sob. It was heartbreaking. I don't know if I've ever seen such an empathetic kid. I was moved by this little girl.

Reading:
"Tchaikovsky" by Herbert Weinstock. I started reading this a long time ago and didn't finish it. I just recently picked it up again. Tchaikovsky was a pretty odd guy. I was just reading about his relationship with his patroness Nadezhda von Meck. Both Tchaikovsky and von Meck seem to be avid letter writers. There are over 500 surviving letters between the 2 of them. A really strange fact is that, even though they wrote very often and von Meck was an unwavering source of financial (and emotional?) support for Tchaikovsky, they never actually met in person.  
     This book is a little slow but I'm learning some things. I'm thinking I'll finish it by May.

Listening:
   Anything by Gondwana Choirs- Gondwana Voices, Singers, etc.. I'm becoming obsessed with this group.
     "Lost Boy" by Ruth B. A student recommended it and it's stuck in my head. 
     This exact moment I have Pandora streaming spa music in hopes that it will make the boys fall asleep. (Honestly)  It is playing Radio Ballet by Eluvium at this second.

Making:
    Nothing? Actually, I plan on making a to do list before I snuggle into bed with a book.

Feeling:
     This week has been a draining week. Here are the highlights:
     In pain- I did something to the inside of my left foot. (Remember the skipping incident months back? I think this has some connection) It hurt so badly yesterday.  It just feels really tight today.  
     Disappointed- I had a really bad rehearsal with my own choir boys. Most of the guys worked hard but some of the 5th graders were just silly and disrespectful. We had a personal chat today where I gave them a little tough love. I am pretty sure most of them got the fact that I really enjoy having them sing for me but I expect to be treated like they are a group of gentleman.
     Proud- I confessed to my female students that the young men didn't do so well so I would really appreciate it if they worked hard at their rehearsal. They did and we had a fantastic time. I was really proud of their hard work and grateful that they really put a lot of effort in.
     Relieved- It's finally April vacation. I just need 1 day to recharge on my own and I'll be good to go for the rest of the year. 
     Grateful- for my health. I have so many friends who I'm praying for that are going through a multitude of horrendous health issues. If you're reading, I love you and am continuing to pray!  

Planning:
     I'm planning what's going to happen for the week. I'm going to have a list of things I want to get done. I'm also going to have a second list of things that I should get done but will not put a ton of guilt on me if I don't. 
     I'm planning on spending some time exercising and writing. Did I mention that one of my 8th grade boys has run over 100 miles this school year? This doesn't seem huge when you look at it from September, but if you look at the days where snow made outside exercise pretty much impossible, I'm impressed. He has inspired me to try to walk at least 100 miles before the end of the school year. It has been a good time to spend time with God too. (I'm hoping the foot injury doesn't ruin my plan. I didn't tell the boy so you guys can help me stay accountable.)

Loving:
  Did I mention it's April vacation?Matt also made a really yummy buffalo chicken calzone for dinner. Oh, and I just got the cookbook I won from Goodreads. It's beautiful. I'll show it in my next mail post. 

     Ok. That's enough for tonight. I'm waiting on 2 students to finish their thoughts for Districts and then I'll put that info up. I see a lot of people have read those posts. Thanks!




Monday, April 13, 2015

Districts- Perspective of a music teacher

    I love having my students involve with Districts but it is a lot of work if you take the responsibility of preparing them seriously.
      It starts in the fall, when the audition lists are posted. Again, speaking from the choral side of things, we have a restriction on how many females we can send and we can send as many boys as we can force get to audition. Here are the things that go through my mind when selecting students to audition:
- Who needs a challenge?
- Who are my leaders?
- Who is performing at a higher level than some of my students?
- Who would benefit with working with different musicians/conductors?
- Though sometimes this is a little scary, who do I feel would represent me and our school well?

     Usually I give everyone an opportunity to "sign up." I usually see who comes to sign up and then I actively pursue kids who should be on the list that aren't. If a student that I hoped would try out doesn't want to, I usually just let it go. This year there was a boy that I hoped would try out that didn't want to try out because he was worried he'd be a little overwhelmed.  Knowing him well, his abilities and the requirements for the festival, I was pretty disappointed that he didn't want to take the chance.. but I understood his decision. Unfortunately, over vacation I kept thinking about what a great thing it would've been for him. So, when we got back from Christmas break, I told him the things that had been going through my mind and asked him to think about it once more. He trusted me enough to audition. (He got in and performed last weekend) For the girls, I can only send 9, so I teach everybody the music and then pick the top 3 from each voice part. I haven't had too many years when I've had more than 9 girls interested. My only concern for the girls is if there is a girl who struggles and wants to try out. If there are enough spots, I'm glad to give her an opportunity but I don't want it to be a negative experience if vocally she wouldn't be able to do well. (AKA. I don't want to intentionally set someone up for failure but I do want kids to gain experience and learn audition skills. This doesn't mean I assume all of my students will get into the festival.)
     In preparation for auditions (or auditions for auditions), I practice the piece with each student. Ideally I would say "We're rehearsing on this day" and students would magically show up all together. Realistically, I don't have the same prep time  as any time my students don't have class. This means I'm trying to fit in small rehearsals with each kid with a few group practices. By January, I want their piece learned and them to have the confidence to sing it for me alone. There are some times that I would like to push students further than they want to go. These are usually the kids who could've gotten in but miss it due to needing to practice a bit more- or nerves about singing by themselves.
      In January, on a Saturday, I bring my students to auditions. Many years I ask for a bus but it would have to come out of our music budget. There are a few years when I've had a lot of students and I've been able to get funds from general funds. If they do not provide transportation I usually beg ask them to pay the registration fee. Then I beg parents to carpool the kids. I usually spend some time this day warming the kids up, calming their nerves and hoping that they will do what they are capable of. I'm proud of all of my students for attempting the audition, even if they don't get in.
     After auditions, I anxiously wait to hear which students get in. I know I will have to tell some kids bad news and I look forward to sharing in the joy of the other kids. I like having the score sheets with me at this time since I can give them specific strengths and weaknesses of their audition.
     Once students hear if they get in, the real work begins. Each student is sent a packet of music to learn. It is understood that the child will work independently on their music but it is also assumed that their music teacher will be responsible and help them prepare. I had 3 students get in this year- 2 girls, 1 boy. The girls learned the same music but they are in different grades so they were never "off" at the same time.  Between January and March I am also involved with the production of a musical so between musical rehearsals, after school choral rehearsals and meetings I have had no days of leaving school before 3:30 (or later) since the beginning of 2015. In addition to meeting after school, I have also given up every lunch to work with students.  I have also rehearsed before school. A few important things to point out-1) I don't mind doing this if it's helping students and they appreciate it. 2) This is a free voice lesson. Every day. 3) If you schedule a time to rehearse, I will be angry if you don't show up since I scheduled my time around that appointment.  4) If you have a music teacher who is working with your child, please understand that some of the time they are putting into your child are sacrificial times in their own families so a thank you is always appreciated. I don't expect anything from anyone but I always appreciate a sincere thank you. On a personal note, I also gain some knowledge of different choral repertoire in these rehearsals.
     At Districts, the music teacher position is easy- once you've gotten them there. Again, ideally buses. Second best- parent drivers. Honestly, for the past few years I have driven at least 1 way each rehearsal. In some cases, my students would not be able to go because their parents can't get out of work or can't drive. This is not ideal and if you are a new teacher I would never recommend driving. Since this has been the assumption in my job since I started, I've gotten used to it and it has been fine with administration and parents. If I can avoid driving I do.
     At Districts, as a music teacher, I like to go and learn from other conductors. I enjoy seeing my students soak up knowledge from new people and hearing the beautiful music they're making. I like to assess things I'm doing well in my job and things I feel that I could use improvement on.
     What I like most about involving my students with Districts is collaborating with other music teachers, watching my students grow musically and seeing them push themselves to achieve more than they knew they could. Some teachers have told me they won't involve their kids because it is a hassle for them and involves a lot of their own time. I find that the time I put into preparing my kids seems to be repaid when the kids come back stronger and as better leaders.
   
   

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Districts Festival from the perspective of the festival coordinator

    If you bring your child to a music festival, it should look like things are working seamlessly. There are many individuals doing set tasks and all are coordinated by the festival coordinator. The festival coordinator answers to the executive board of the District. The following people (and everyone under them) answer to the festival coordinator:
-Asst festival coordinator
-Manager and assistant manager of each performing group (10 people in our case) and conductors by proxy
-Staff at the host site for auditions, rehearsals and concert (usually includes security, janitorial, technology and the nurse)

Here are most of the behind the scenes things that have to happen for a music festival to be run successfully:
Preparation for auditions-
-Months of attending e-board meetings
-Communicating with each manager about choosing audition pieces, conductors, accompanists (if needed) and repertoire. Then, each of those decisions needs to be checked by the e-board.
-Reserving a host site
-Reserving a police detail for auditions
-Communicating with the host site about the logistics of the day. (Usually we are working with a school who has hosted for years, The staff has this working like a well oiled machine. By the time you are festival coordinator you have worked at the festival for at least 4 years so you have some experience and lots of people who are willing to help if you have questions, provided you're not a jerk.)
-Plan for snow day here in the northeast- just in case
-Schedule 3 minute auditions for about 1200 children based on instrumentation and grouping all students from 1 school together
-Find staff to work the audition day at check-in
- Communicate with collegiate ambassadors who will be helping bring students around
- Answer all questions about auditions from the teachers of the entire district.  Some days I received over 100 e-mails a day from the when the audition date was posted until the actual festival (Sept- March) You have to actually answer the e-mails too.

Audition Day:
-Prepare and bring all materials
- Work the audition day (Saturday, usually about 7 am- 7 pm actively)
- Make sure everything is running smoothly. If you have done a good job in preparation, audition day should go smoothly and you usually feel a bit of pride at your hard work.
-You are the "final call" on all questions? What if a teacher registered their student incorrectly? Can they switch the voice part they are auditioning for? What if I forgot a payment? Wrong audition piece? Missed audition time? What are the cutoff scores for each ensemble? Etc.
-Troubleshoot- One year I was coordinator, a pipe froze and burst and steaming hot water was shooting out all over the cafeteria. Luckily it didn't affect any children but it was very close to the instruments and ruined some music. We had to keep the auditions going, clean/fix the cafeteria and move all incoming band kids planning to audition to an area we had not prepared to use. Luckily for me, the custodial staff was fantastic and the site coordinator stepped up to help so I just had to get the rest of the stuff done.
-Collect all materials from all managers

Preparation for rehearsals/concert:
-Months of attending e-board meetings
-Communicating with each manager about  logistics of the rehearsals, needs of their ensemble/ conductor, program information, group rosters, needs at rehearsals
-Reserving a police detail for auditions
-Communicating with the host site about the logistics of the day.
-Plan for snow day here in the northeast- just in case. Our rehearsals/concert schedule lasts 3 days so we need to consider what happens in case of a really bad storm. Usually we plan for 1 day and then just pray really hard. Ha ha. Seriously though, I lost so much sleep the week of the festival because I worried about this a lot.
- Answer all questions about auditions from the teachers of the entire district.
- Hire a printer for the program and the tickets
- Choose a caterer for staff meals and for the hospitality room. Choose the food.
- Keep track of all receipts and paperwork for everyone
- Collect contracts from everybody working at the festival
-Define expectations of how you'd like everything to go
- Prepare schedule that includes rehearsal locations within the host site, schedule for rehearsals and meals, dress rehearsal on the stage and logistics of concert day
- Hire recording company to record concert and make CD/DVD

Rehearsal days-
-Work at check in to collect all paperwork from individual schools, etc.
- Communicate with all festival staff about locations of rehearsals, schedule, etc.
-Clearly define what you need help doing. Delegate much of this work to the collegiates, who are all future music educators. If you have decency and professionalism, you should also be grateful for this help and show this in your actions and attitude.
-Attend 1 e-board meeting
-Run a general membership meeting
- Make sure nothing is wrong. If something is wrong, fix it- or find someone who can help you fix it.
- Again, you are the "go to" person to answer any questions, address any problems. Sometimes you have to make a hard call (Ex.  if a  kid missed rehearsal and you have to tell them that they aren't eligible to participate anymore. Most time the student knows the rules but the family does not understand why we have the rules.)
-Keep a running list of things that are going well or need to be fixed
- If you can, check out the ensembles in rehearsals

Concert day-
- Make sure everything is prepared and ready to go. Again, if your preparations along the way were well thought out, this should be a day where you can be happy about your hard work
- Give a speech at each concert
- Be the "go to" person.
- Make sure all salaried staff people get paid
- Attend both concerts

     Once this is over, we usually go out to dinner and then start preparing for next year's concert.  Although it was A LOT of work and effort, I really enjoyed this position. I was told that I did this position well and I really didn't have many complaints, which I was grateful for. This was difficult to manage my tasks a few times since my boys were pretty young at the time, but I think I would consider doing the position again if the timing was right. I am still seeing high school musicians from other towns who know me (3 years later) because I held this position. They still express how thankful they are for the opportunities that were provided to them.
     Next post: Districts Festival from the perspective of a school music teacher.