New Strad Article, Performance and Speaking Dates, and Website update

The Strad, August 2012, with two articles on Sistema in South America

First Performing and Speaking Dates for Fall and Winter 2012-2013 Announced
New Strad Article published
Website update

First Performing and Speaking Dates for Fall and Winter 2012-2013 Announced

Whatcom Symphony Season Announcement

I’m delighted to say that I’ve been announced as one of four finalists for the position of Music Director of the Whatcom Symphony in beautiful Bellingham, Washington. This is an ensemble of tremendous vision and sense of purpose, committed to bringing world-class guest artists to the community every year. No, I’m not referring to myself, but stars like Sarah Chang and Sharon Isbin, both of whom will grace the orchestra’s stage during the orchestra’s 2012-2013 season. Given the orchestra’s history I consider the invitation to perform with them a tremendous honour. Check out their website for more details and a personal video introduction I shot on the rooftop of my building in Boston (at about the 4:30 mark).

I’m also very proud to say I will be returning to my home province of Alberta in early November to present the keynote at the Alberta Music Education Foundation annual provincial conference in the city of Red Deer. I’ve been to this conference in this city before, as a 17 year old horn player in an Honours wind ensemble, so the fact that I’m returning to deliver the keynote is somewhat mindboggling to me personally, and probably to everyone else who remembers me from that extremely undistinguished, awkward and dare I say ugly (uglier, more accurately) time of my life. For full details see the AMEF homepage here.

New Strad Article Published

In early May of this year I had the immense pleasure of spending a week in Colombia as the guest of the Fundación Batuta, and since my return I’ve been burning with impatience to share my experiences there. I can now do so to an international readership in the tens of thousands, as my article on the extremely impressive work there has just been published in the August print issue of The Strad. The horrid compromise between web publishing and print is always length, and much of the richness and detail of my time in Colombia didn’t make the final cut, but I will be sharing much more than the article encompasses in this venue, with images and video, in the coming weeks. Another reason to pick up a copy: my colleague Marshall Marcus, mover and shaker in European Sistema circles, contributed a piece on the period performance ensemble in Caracas he is developing on behalf of the Fundabol.

As a reminder, the previous two articles I wrote for The Strad, the first introducing el Sistema and the second evaluating the use of Paper Violins, are available here in full text.

Website update

Over the nearly three years of its existence this site has seen significant increases in unique visits and a substantial growth in international readership. I’ve stopped announcing visit thresholds simply because it would grow old very quickly, but in response to the growth I’ve made some considerable changes to the site, even if cosmetically it still looks roughly the same. Both the United Kingdom and Canada now have separate pages under the new El Sistema menu, and the pages will be maintained and updated as new information arises. There’s an el Sistema FAQ section under the same menu, and the Logic Model and related articles or entries now have a permanent home there as well. Menus have been simplified and consolidated, and the blog directory has also been updated. The latter isn’t a perfect solution for content management, but it’s the best that I can do through WordPress at this moment. I never anticipated this site would exist this long or have received the attention it has; thank you for visiting – please keep sharing this site and offering your feedback.

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