As Sheet Music Plus stands in solidarity with those around the world advocating for change, we’d like to ask you to join us today in listening to Black voices. Here we recognize organizations that support and promote Black musicians and music education:
National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM): www.nanm.org
National Association for the Study and Performance of African American Music (NASPAAM): www.naspaam.org
We also share, in addition to the legacies left by brilliant but underappreciated Black classical composers like Scott Joplin, William Grant Still, Florence Price, William Dawson, and Nathaniel Dett, a directory of living Black composers maintained by Music by Black Composers (MBC):
Guest post by Dan Leeman, a music educator and software consultant from Fargo, North Dakota. He taught middle school band and went on to found the Davies High School band program in 2011. Dan’s new site, notestem.com, combines his love of music, education, and technology. While the site is in its infancy, it will be home to music tools and resources that will be released in the coming months.
The impacts of Coronavirus and social distancing are being felt all around the world. Music teachers and students alike are wrestling with the effects on the music-making process, both logistically and emotionally.
Guest post by composer Pepper Choplinintroducing his new cantata, Once upon a Morning: From Resurrection to Pentecost. Choplin is known as one of the most creative writers in church music today. With a diverse musical background, Choplin incorporates varied styles such as folk, Gospel, classical, and jazz. His published works include over 300 anthems for church and school choir with 20 church cantatas and two books of piano arrangements, and over 120 groups have commissioned him to write original works for them. Since 1991, his choral music has sold several million copies. Choplin has conducted eight New York concerts of his music at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center with 250 voices and full orchestra. In his hometown of Raleigh, he has conducted eight mass performances of his cantatas at Meymandi Auditorium (home to the NC Symphony) with over two hundred voices and orchestra. In 2019, he conducted Handel’s Messiah (Christmas portion) with the 150-voice Cary Community Choir with orchestra. He also visits many schools, churches and conferences to conduct and to entertain.
I always wanted to write this cantata. Then a church in Pennsylvania commissioned me to write a spring cantata outside of the typical Easter work. For a year, I surveyed directors and singers about different potential subjects. This idea got them most excited.
I loved writing this cantata. These wonderful stories don’t receive much attention in church music. Yet, they contain so much drama and passion.
Over the summer we found some time to connect over Skype with composer, oboist, installation artist and professor Sky Macklay, who was in the middle of what sounded like a truly magnificent residency at Civitella Ranieri in Umbertide, Italy. Macklay’s work, especially her chamber music and intermedia pieces, has been receiving more and more attention recently, especially in light of her 2017 Grammy nomination for “Many Many Cadences,” a chamber piece written for Spektral Quartet and appearing on their 2016 album, Serious Business.
The measured but sincerely eager thoughtfulness that Macklay employs in conversation about her art is also a key component of her work, which simultaneously revels in playfulness and freedom. The themes and concepts covered by her oeuvre, whether sociopolitical or linguistic or purely sonic, are almost as expansive as the tools she employs to explore them and convey her perspective on them. Her curiosity seems to be matched only by her omnivorous gravitational pull on the world around her: everything is on the table to explore via every means she can get her hands on. And the results are surprising, head-turning, eye-opening — and continuously exciting.
Have you had many new piano lesson enquiries recently? Do you ever find yourself caught ‘off-guard’ by phone calls? I know I certainly do! When this happens I can end up babbling on and feeling that I am not representing my work and worth to the best of my ability.
Lloyd Larson has become one of today’s most published and performed church music writers. A frequently called-upon clinic and conference resource, Larson has been a singer, keyboard player, and arranger.
Having earned his B.A. from Anderson University, Anderson, IN, Lloyd next completed his M.C.M. at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), Louisville, KY, and undertook additional graduate work at SBTS and Ohio State University.
Larson’s extensive background in arranging and composing includes arranging music for an internationally broadcast radio program. Also, in 1989, he completed an editorial assignment for a new hymnal, Worship the Lord, for the Church of God, and co-edited the accompanying Hymnal Companion. In addition, Larson contributed to the Complete Library of Christian Worship, edited by Dr. Robert Webber. He has served as a church music director for decades (a role he continues to this day), which has inevitably informed his artful and well-crafted yet practical original compositions and arrangements.
Recently, Larson sat down with Mark Cabaniss, President and CEO of Jubilate Music Group, to discuss his work and to help us all get to know him a bit better. more “A Chat with Lloyd Larson”…
Teaching Music through Performance is a best-selling series of books and CDs that are theoretical, practical, and analytical. Written, researched, and compiled by scholars with a wealth of teaching and conducting experience, this series enables conductors, educators, and students to move beyond the printed page toward full musical awareness. Sheet Music Plus had the opportunity to learn from the publisher what inspired the creation of the series.
The first edition of Volume 1 was for band and was released at the Midwest Clinic in 1997. This year, 2017 is the 20th anniversary of the series. The Teaching Music through Performance series now includes 26 volumes, 16 for band, three for jazz, three for orchestra, and four for choir. In addition, each volume has accompanying CDs.
As a musician, you know how important technique and theory are to musical mastery. But in between all of the practicing, auditioning, and gigging, it’s also important to pay attention to your overall health!
Think about it: as a vocalist, can you remember the last time you ran of out breath while singing a long phrase? Pianists, woodwind, and brass players, have you ever felt sore after a long practice session? Here’s where staying fit and healthy comes into play. more “Fitness for Musicians”…
Clara Wieck was a child prodigy virtuoso pianist and composer in Leipzig in the early 1800s.
Clara Wieck and Robert Schumann met at a concert Clara was playing a concert for a mental institute more specifically Colditz Castle. She was just 9 years old at the time and a decade later, they married.
At the age of 13, she was one of the first to perform from memory, which is now standard practice for all pianists.
In one of the greatest pairings of the greatest virtuosos, Niccolo Paganini agreed to play a concert with Clara while both were on tour in Paris. It was also the greatest pairing of virtuosos that no one heard, as thousands fled Paris because of a cholera outbreak. more “10 Facts about Clara Schumann”…
Life as a music teacher can be an exceptionally fun and rewarding experience. The ability to share the knowledge of music with clarity and a twist of fun is a great gift. Unfortunately, music teachers seldom receive credit for helping students build upon and utilize their interpersonal, time-management and teamwork skills through the act of music making. Students learn these lessons and many more that can be transferred to all aspects of life by being involved in music.