Thursday, June 30, 2011

Back in town!

Happy Conference!  Note the lovely pink badge.
Hi, all! Katie Skovholt, Seattle Pro Musica's  General Manager here.

A couple of weeks ago, we had the opportunity to attend the 34th Annual Chorus America Conference in San Francisco.  It was my first national conference as non-student, non-performing attendee.  It was great!  I wandered around with a pink 'first time attendee' ribbon on my name card, which was a ticket to friendly interactions with all sorts of people -- though choral folk are a pretty pleasant group, so I'm sure all the pink did was give a starting point for a conversation. But it was an effective little flash of color, that's for certain!

Karen P. Thomas, the Artistic Director and Conductor of Seattle Pro Musica, presented on two sessions - a panel on 'Killer Programming' which recognized her mighty mighty skills as as an innovative concert-creator, and another called 'Hidden Gems' where she shared a beautiful piece by composer John Muehleisen - Da Pacem for women's choir and soprano solo. (Seattle Pro Musica commissioned and premiered the piece in March 2008, and included it on our American Masterpieces CD - which you can order via our website, or you can download just that song via iTunes, if you're so inclined!)

The opening reception - quite a nice affair.
The San Francisco Girls' Chorus - one of the co-hosts of the event - presented a truly amazing concert the first night. I spent about five years singing with the Tahoma Girls Choir before graduating out of the program and serving on the board for a while, and I haven't seen a really solid, extraordinary girls' group in quite a while; it was a treat! 

In fact, almost everything about the conference was a treat.  The Chorus America folks know how to throw a party, and they know how to craft a professional conference that provides valuable resources to attendees.  It was a great first conference, and I'm looking forward to seeing the colleagues I met in San Francisco again next year in Minneapolis.  And now I'll hand the blogging reins off to the Maestra and go back to the rest of my to-do list -- have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Karen P. Thomas, my boss and Chorus America conference guide.
KPT says: 
The Chorus America Conference was fabulous, as usual. The staff do such a tremendous job of organizing and running a smooth conference - finding compelling speakers, and selecting the finest area choirs to perform. Concert highlights for me were the San Francisco Girl's Chorus (one of the best children's chorus programs in the country) and Chanticleer - interesting programs and absolutely stellar performances by both those groups!  Ragnar Bohlin (Director of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus) gave a fascinating presentation on contemporary choral music from Scandinavia and the Baltics - some wonderful repertoire ideas there!

As always, the Chorus America Conference is a great time for connecting with new colleagues and catching up with old friends. I was very happy to see Barlow Bradford and the Utah Chamber Artists receive the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award to commission a new piece by Tarik O’Regan - this wonderful group deserves the recognition!

All in all, a great conference, and I return to Seattle with plenty of new and exciting ideas!

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