Suggestion for a New Forum: "Director/Composer Dialogues"
Date: June 13, 2012
Am trying to convince the ChoralNet powers-that-be that a New Forum called something like " Director/Composer Dialogues" would be welcome and useful for the entire ACDA/ChoralNet community. Here is a copy of my post of 6/12/12 in reponse to a query by Philip Copeland in the recent "Finding Our Way" blog on the home page:
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Offer (and announce) a new ChoralNet Forum called something like "Director/Composer Conversations" -- where we could ask questions of each other and provide helpful information and opportunities. For example, I would like to be able to access such a Forum where I could ask, for example, if directors (at least in the U.S.) might prefer "plain English" terms in scores rather than Italian/German/other terms, such as "very lively" rather than "vivace," or "sweetly" rather than "dolce." Other composers have asked questions (in various Forums) about the usefulness of YouTube videos of their music when directors are searching for new works, what specific kinds of new music directors are looking for, how to develop a working relationship with a choir in one's own locale, how to best price a piece of music if it is self-published, and so on. An experienced ASCAP composer could explain how ASCAP works, and why it is so important for composers to simply be informed when one of their pieces is performed.
Directors may wish to send out a broad appeal to composers to create music that would better fit their needs, such as more SAB pieces (the need for more SAB literature was mentioned in a forum some time ago). Some directors might like to design a kind of e-composer-in-residence program, where a general call could go out to composers, offering the chance to compose something special for a choir in return not for money, but for a guaranteed recorded performance--with the recording provided to the composer for marketing purposes--if the final product meets the director's standards. Interested composers could respond, and one or more could be chosen to participate--no matter where they live. Why should composers (especially new ones) only be able to try to work closely with local choirs, and why should choirs only be able to try to work closely with local composers? In addition, directors may wish to provide information to composers on issues such as things to avoid or focus on when composing for "changing" voices or "older" voices, what kind of budgets they have for new music, ways in which they prefer self-published composers inform them of new music availability, etc.
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Do you agree that such a new Forum would be helpful and useful? Please add your thoughts. Thanks--and here's to better communications and understanding between choir directors and composers everywhere.
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