Yes, that is a picture of a giant Gummy Bear. Over the weekend, some friends and I went down to Baltimore, MD for the 2014 ACDA Eastern Division Conference! It was a great time as usual, meeting lots of new friends and reconnecting with old ones. We also had the opportunity to hear some incredible speakers, listen to some tantalizingly talented ensembles, and check out a couple of local hotspots. I can't recommend going to these conferences high enough to anyone interested in choral music. Well worth the money and travel.
Before delving into the juicy details of the conference, I just want to get some composerly things out of the way. I've finished the first movement of the Fingertanz for Clarinet and Piano. You can get a taste of that here. The piece is pretty hard (surprise-surprise) for both the pianist and the 'nettist. Currently persuing getting a faculty member to perform it. We'll see how that pans out. The movement is based on the Viennese Trichord (a tritone followed by a perfect fourth or vice-versa). There are also a few fancy color-trills in there. Anyway, the whole piece is called Eternity in Bloom, and more info about it will be posted to the piece's music page as it becomes available.
Okay. Onward to Baltimore!
For anyone who's not totally sure where Baltimore is (or Maryland for that matter, I don't judge), I've stuck a fancy map right here to help you out.
Because of inclement weather—a blizzard that actually caused delays at the school, a rare occurrence in Ithaca—we left not at 10am on Wednesday morning, but at 4am on Thursday morning. Suffice it to say we were extremely tired the first day, and we unfortunately missed the workshop our choral director Dr. Janet Galván was giving. Still, we made it in time for several concerts, including one by the illustrious Seraphic Fire. They sang about two hours-worth of Monteverdi with incredible musicality, vocal endurance, and attention to performance practice. The singers employed tons of vocal embellishments specific to the late Renaissance, many of which I'd never heard before. They also had a small period-ensemble consisting of continuo organs, lutes, and violas da gamba of varying sizes.
Turned out to be great! I met a whole host of new people—students from Syracuse and Westminster—and caught up with some old friends—Kevin Schneider from Central Connecticut State University, and Dr. Amanda Quist from Westminster. There was also an open bar there, so that was nice. Had couple of glasses of some decent Cab (really earthy and woody if I remember correctly), the depressant effects of which combined with the exhaustion of the day eventually led me back to my hotel room bed where I slept like a proverbial infant.