Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Here We Go: The 2014 ACDA Central Conference in Cincinnati

I am in Cincinnati (well actually I'm staying in my fave spot in Newport, KY across the river- the Newport Landing area full of restaurants, book stores and such) for the Central Divison ACDA conference. It is danged cold out- but what else is new this year in the middle of our country?

Tonight (Wednesday) there is going to be a ton of sacred music sung at one of the churches here. Looks like a gonzo event, especially for sacred musicians. I'm not up on who is doing the concert but I am pretty sure Howard Helvey and Tom Merrill are involved.

Tomorrow (Thursday) the whirlwind starts off bright and early. I'll be attending as much as I can as well as meeting old and new folks. It looks like a great conference. FYI, my new book of carols for women's voices will be on sale at the Musical Resources booth. Dennis Blubaugh will be running a $2 discount on the book. I hope those of you with women's choirs (appropriate for HS and up, as well as advanced children's choirs) will take a look at it at the booth or over the internet. Those choirs who used it this past December really felt that they enriched their programs with the carols they choose from the book.

Thursday AM Pearl Shangkuan has included Summer Bounty ( the uptempo first movment of my three movement piece "Play with your Food"- one of my bestsellers) in the Intercollegiate Reading Session. This is a great event  (two different sessions)- a large, very talented pool of central division university singers performing music that Pearl has chosen to be featured.

Pearl Shangkuan
 The singers get their packet about an hour before the session- so for them they are on the spot! Summer's Bounty will challenge their skills since there is a whole lot of mixed meter going on. They'll also have to not get distracted by how crazy-witty the words are! Here's the text:

Summer’s Bounty by May Swenson 
berries of Straw apples of Crab beans of Lima
berries of Goose apples of May beans of Jelly
berries of Huckle apples of Pine beans of Green
berries of Dew apples of Love beans of Soy
berries of Boisen nuts of Pea melons of Water
berries of Black nuts of Wal melons of Musk
berries of Rasp nuts of Hazel cherries of Pie
berries of Blue nuts of Chest cherries of Choke
berries of Mul nuts of Brazil glories of Morning
berries of Cran nuts of Monkey rooms of Mush
berries of Elder nuts of Pecan days of Dog
berries of Haw nuts of Grape puppies of Hush 
You can learn more about the piece and hear Steve Zielke's excellent choir sing it here: 
Many of you may know "Play with your Food"- it is published by Walton and contains the middle movement "Mashed Potato Love Poem" (hey, would you choose to be with your lover or a third helping of mashed potaties?) and "Vending Machine", about a boy and his Dad buying some peanut butter crackers at a vending machine. All the texts are witty- not just generically humorous. I balk when people sometimes call these "novelty" pieces- they are more than that thanks to the quality of the texts. Btw, there is also now an SSA/piano version of Mashed Potato Love Poem (it is also selling very well).
I'll update as the conference goes- time allowing. I am on a whirlwind tour of conferences, residencies,and concerts featuring my music. Over 5-6 weeks I will be in Cincy, Madison WI, Richmond VA, Jacksonville FL, Little Rock AK, and New Orleans. I am totally looking forward to visiting those warm weather cities! 

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