Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Conn Selmer Institute

Hello to my new friends at the Conn Selmer Institute!  Welcome to my blog!

This week has been such a wonderful experience and I am so pleased to meet so many new friends. I am honored that you took a minute to check out my blog.  You will find everything from pedagogical thoughts, to repertoire notes, to  family thoughts, and philosophical essays.

For those of you that are not here this week, the Conn Selmer Institute is a magnificent 4 day professional in-service conference held in South Bend, Indiana each year. This year represents the first year that there has been a dedicated string track at the Institute. It has been a true honor to participate in this event and I only anticipate that it will grow each year. Conn Selmer works tirelessly to provide the highest quality professional development experience for educators. As part of CSI, participants have been treated to a full schedule of educational sessions. Those of us in the string track have been particularly fortunate to be led by my dear friend Soo Han, the new Director of Orchestral Activities at Baldwin Wallace University. Soo has a stellar reputation in string education and has been a wonderful leader for those of us involved in the string track this week. We have been treated to several conducting sessions with renowned conductor Larry Livingston from the University of Southern California. Larry has really invested in the string teachers that are in attending and given a us great deal of himself. Larry was also the keynote speaker for the conference yesterday. In addition there have been wonderful sessions on scope and sequence, festival preparation, getting "inside the music," the basics of mariachi education, and others.

Moreover, the community that has developed among the folks involved in the string track has been absolutely wonderful. It has been so great to meet so many new friends, to learn together, and to socialize together after the work of the day is done. As I find so often, the warmth of the string orchestral education community is palpable and we all seem to sense that we are all in this together.
In addition to the educational sessions, we had the pleasure of touring the Conn Selmer manufacturing facility in Elkhart, Indiana. I was moved by the level of expertise of all the workers and the level of commitment by this company to exceptional quality at every step of the process. It really gave me hope for the future of our country.

To my new friends from CSI:
If there are topics you would like me to address here, just let me know. I will be posting more thoughts about CSI in the coming days.

Meanwhile, it has been my true pleasure and honor to hangout with and learn from you all this week.


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