Posting Date: February 15, 2010

KSU hosts national conference for orchestra directors

Orchestra directors gather for workshops and performances

By Cheryl Anderson Brown

Members of the Missouri State Orchestra.

The student conducting workshop

Photos by Linda Tincher

The Kennesaw State University School of Music hosted the national conference of the College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA), Feb. 4-7. More than 50 orchestra directors from around the country gathered at the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center for workshops, panel discussions and performances.

“Hosting a national conference of this caliber signifies the growing national prestige of the KSU School of Music,” said Joseph Meeks, dean of the KSU College of the Arts. “So many attendees took the time to tell me what treasures we have in the School of Music; it is uplifting for our colleagues across the country to recognize KSU’s world-class performance facilities and the excellence of our faculty and students.”

Locally organized by KSU Associate Professor of Music Michael Alexander, the conference included a keynote address by John Sparrow, vice president and general manager of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Sparrow also participated in a panel discussion about “The Orchestra Program and Budget Crisis” with several music school directors, including Harry Price of Kennesaw State, Dale E. Monson of the University of Georgia and Kory Katseanes of Brigham Young University. The conference also included performances by guest orchestras from the University of Louisville and Missouri State University, as well as a performance by the KSU Orchestra, which is directed by Alexander.

In addition to presenting Brahms’ challenging Violin Concerto with Helen Kim, KSU Assistant Professor of Violin, the KSU Orchestra also premiered “The Ever-Fixed Mark” by Marcus Karl Maroney, winner of CODA’s composition contest. All of the performances were open to the public and were well attended.

Another aspect of the conference focused on select graduate students from around the country—they participated in a two-day conducting workshop with Dan Sommerville of Wheaton College Conservatory in Chicago and Charles Gambetta of Winston-Salem University. Other conference sessions presented research and case studies on topics from Charles Gambetta’s “Embodied Conducting: A New Movement Centered Approach to Conducting Gesture” to “Rehearsing and Producing Opera/Musical Theater in the University Setting,” which was co-presented by Jim Waddelow of Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., and Kimcherie Lloyd and Michael Ramach of the University of Louisville.

Rebecca Burkhardt, president of CODA, sent her thanks to the association’s membership via e-mail. In her message, she expressed, “To our hosts at Kennesaw State, Dean Joseph Meeks and School of Music Director Harry Price, together with all of the students and faculty of KSU, who treated us with true southern hospitality, a most hearty thank you.”


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