Encouragement From . . . . Faculty Singers?
Vol. 6 - February 4, 2000

Dr. Milburn Price, President of the American Choral Directors Association, wrote in the December 1999 issue of The Choral Journal regarding stewardship:

"In some instances the best assistance [to colleagues] would be a word of encouragement".

My wife directs a fine high school choral program.  She presented her big Holiday Concert a few weeks ago.  I and some good colleagues on her faculty (including a wonderful Principal) have been reminding her of her contributions and value.  Discouragement tends to arise when striving toward deadlines.  Encouragement IS often the best assistance we can give our colleagues!

One marvelous idea my wife began seven years ago when she started her program was to develop a group of Faculty Singers - faculty members from various departments who possess a background of choral singing and who love a singing outlet in their otherwise busy lives.  This year she has 12 members of the high school faculty who rehearse after school once a week.  They perform two selections in each major concert, occasionally combine for a piece or two with the Madrigals (students), and usually sing with all 180 students in massed choral selections at the close of concerts.  The modeling they provide is worth more than gold!  This group also lovingly provide faculty supervision at dress rehearsals and concerts, as well as on concert trips and festivals.

Following the concert the other night, I told my wife that this year's highlight for me was the exceptional growth and quality of musicianship that her Faculty Singers exhibited!  Boy, do they ever contribute a powerful example!  It is a wonderful concept that choral directors around the country might choose to adopt.  After all, many teachers are from the generation that enjoyed a "Golden Age" in choral music - the 1960's and '70's.

~ Brad Nelson       

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