Perhaps some of you would like to know what happens when you post a query or a classified or an announcement or how a decision to approve or discard by the Moderators is made here at ChoralNet. I have been a ChoralNet Moderator for exactly one year but have been a ChoralNet user since 1995. I always wondered what it was like to Moderate – and I love it!
- You learn something new every time you Moderate. Something you can use in your own work or a “fun fact”.
- It is time consuming. We read through everything and consult our fellow Moderators if we need help making a decision. We try to encourage folks to be nice and not to go too far off topic.
- All of us are volunteers and are assigned different days of the week.
Here is a glimpse into one of my Moderating days—with my own “life stuff” included. Other Moderators have their own “life stuff” and we all work around our own jobs and lives to moderate. I have changed the details of my day—names and composers and slightly changed situations but you will still get the idea of what really happens. This is my running commentary as I go along the day. I tend to be a smart aleck so keep that in mind. Enjoy!
7:45 am: Get up, shower, dress. Won’t have time to check the website this early —running late for my appointment to see a concert venue for my chamber choir.
8:15 am: Breakfast for Russell and my hubby will make sure he eats it. Greg has stopped over before work to stay with Russ until I get back.
8:30 am: Cece is late. Ggrrrr! I rushed to be on time—I could have checked ChoralNet but was worried I would be late myself. And this church won’t do—carpets AND pew cushions. Back to the drawing board.
9:30 am: Home. Greg has left for work and Russ has his academics to work on while I do my first moderating batch of the day. Yikes! 15 postings in the Forums. Mostly, easy but what the…….? No, no. no—something you wrote is NOT Gregorian chant. DISCARD! And a Music Ed class representative wants to know the dates for Aaron Copland—Google it, kids, we’re not going to do your work for you. DISCARD! A snotty reply to a thread about working with a difficult pastor and choir–can’t you be nice? She can’t help it if she has the church-job-from-hell….edit, edit, edit…APPROVE! The Announcements are easy—Concert: approve. Festival: approve. Workshop:…….wait a minute, didn’t they just post the same thing last week? DISCARD! Classifieds—what the….? Is this the same job in Choral Related and Conductors and Accompanist? It’s one category and one category only per job, Bucko—I’m choosing Conductor—APPROVE! But the other two—DISCARD! Someone with a moving testimonial about a new design for choral risers and a link—link doesn’t work. Will try to find the company and paste a new link—wait a minute—this guy WORKS for the company who sells the risers? :DISCARD!
10:45 am: Phone call from a student. Wants her lesson this afternoon, instead of Monday. Okay. Checked my choir email inbox—another student wants me to fill in for her church job on Sunday. Rehearsal tonight—ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Okay, sigh. That’s what I get for free-lancing.
11:30 am: Made a fresh pot of coffee and wrote a little bit. Wonder what’s happening on ChoralNet—you are joking –23 Forum postings? AGGGGHHHH! The first one is a verbose reply from one of our “frequent flyers”—will read this one in depth when I finish the easy ones. You must be joking……..the first five are long, long, long replies from our Frequent Flyer…my Lord….when did he have time to write those…I’ve only been gone for 45 minutes. Someone wants the name of a good concert wear suppler—APPROVE! A composer suggests one of his works for a concert theme of “Fire and Ice”–APPROVE.The next one is from the same composer slamming ChoralNet Moderators for not approving his previous posting immediately—I’ve been off line for 45 minutes—how quick does he want his postings approved? GGGGGRRRRR! DISCARD! I should contact him to tell him I was “only” gone for 45 minutes but am afraid I’ll be too snotty. Most of the others are just a matter of approving. One is a follow up from a year old posting—will have to contact the rest of the Moderators for advice about that one. Reading the verbose verbosities—sigh, might as well just approve, they’re on topic, mostly. Double sigh. When did this thread veer so far off topic? I know the men of ChoralNet cringe when they see queries about female conductors garb—probably should just ask we stay on topic—shades of black can be crazy! Will post myself and ask the Ladies to keep on the topic.
12:45 pm: Lunch. Russell and I will take a walk after. It’s a nice day and I need a break. We take advantage of good days here in the Midwest. His client left work for him yesterday and he will work the rest of the day while I teach, write and moderate.
1:30 pm: Back at it. Will check ChoralNet and then get back to writing. There are 10 Announcements—all about tours from the same Music Tour company—different places, different times: approve, approve, approve—ditto, ditto. A single posting in the Forums—from the Music Ed kids wondering what happened to their posting about Aaron Copland—I didn’t contact them to tell them why I didn’t approve their query—okie-dokie kids, in the time it took to post and then COMPLAIN, you could have Googled and had your answer: CONTACT with Copland’s dates—1900—1990—YOU’RE WELCOME and DISCARD! Someone wants others opinions on how to seat the double choir on stage for “Israel in Egypt” and I think they mean Handel’s, but they have Haydn’s instead. Should I just leave it? Think I will—maybe they really do mean Haydn : APPROVE! Two replies suggesting their own compositions for an Advent concert, with links to their websites: APPROVE! and APPROVE!
2:30 pm: Voice lesson with Libby. Why the girl wants to sing this shlock I’ll never know. But hey, she pays me on time. Call from Judy—it’s next week she needs me—THANK GOD, no rehearsal tonight. She’ll bring the music I’m supposed to sing on Monday. Rehearsal email to my choir— Janet will be gone for that one—so no sectionals. Phone call from my husband—wants to know what I’m making for dinner. RESERVATIONS! Seriously, he can pick up a pizza on the way home. Cece left a voice mail about the concert venue—she can get a real good deal on the church from this morning if I’m still interested. Guess I wasn’t clear enough about the venue. Sigh.
3:45 pm: Am writing program notes for Elgar’s, “The Dream of Gerontius,”– it’s not going well today. And they’re due next week–so back to ChoralNet. Have been away from the computer for an hour and fifteen minutes and apparently, all hell has broken loose. Someone wants people to participate in a K-8 general music survey—not Choral-related: DISCARD! Someone else wants advice about soprano solo repertoire—not Choral-related: DISCARD! And someone is replying to a thread about a Shostakovitch cantata, “The Sun Shines O’er Our Country, Op. 90”—it’s been interesting to follow–and this guy is ranting no one should program anything by Shostakovitch because he was a Commie—well, duh, he was a Commie—he lived under the rule of Uncle Joe Stalin, he had to be to survive. Will contact the other Moderators to ask what I should do. On the one hand, if I allow through, there is sure to be trouble stirred up. And on the other, the guy is entitled to his opinion. I just wish he could be nicer about it. Five replies correcting our Handel/Haydn guy—I’ll approve these but not anymore that follow—WE GET IT!—no one answered his stage question, either. More from our Frequent Flyer—approve, approve, approve. Wait a minute—I can’t let this one through as is—will edit for PC language. Edit: APPROVE! An equipment question that seems to be very convoluted—what the heck does he want to know about digital recorders? Will contact Tom and see if he knows what he’s talking about, ‘cause I sure don’t. Two other Moderators have gotten back to me about the Shostakovitch issue—they think I should edit out the nasty bits and then approve. Okay—edit, edit: APPROVE! And the older thread? They think I should approve it and close the thread. APPROVE and DONE! The Gregorian Chant composer guy wants to know why his suggestion wasn’t approved but geez, if someone is asking about Chant, they don’t want 21st century faux chant! Contact! Where’s the chocolate in this house? And speaking of yummy, in the vocal ped forum, someone wants to know about Neti Pots-: APPROVE! Someone wants suggestions for a program for Mothers Day: APPROVE! Is that it for a while? Gotta take a break.
5:00 pm: Took a fifteen minute break—my-son-the-pianist dropped by unexpectedly for dinner and to practice on my Steinway. The jokes on him—take out pizza for dinner and the piano tuner is coming tomorrow morning—deal with it, kid. Back on ChoralNet, Allen tells me the Shostakovitch guy is complaining to him about my editing out his nasty bits and the Gregorian Chant guy is livid with me too. Tom tells me he doesn’t know what the equipment/recorder guy means either but maybe I should just approve and let ChoralNet Users have at him. APPROVE! It looks like there are 10 forum postings—wait a minute, all from the same User in India? And all about making money in your spare time? SPAM! I’ve flagged the User and Allen and Martin will deal with it–thanks guys. Sigh. I feel beat up. Another from our Frequent Flyer and in addition to his pithy observations to whichever thread he is replying to, he complains about the ChoralNet Nannies (today, that’s me) being too PC. Am inclined to edit that part out and—in for a penny, in for a pound—edit : APPROVE! Oh my gosh, I must have approved one of the India/make money/spams by mistake—ALLEN, HELP!
6:45 pm: Pizza has been duly consumed and dishes have been put in the dishwasher by hubby and the boys. They’re being very nice to me today—wonder what they’re up to? Back to ChoralNet. Someone is complaining about Moderators letting that poster’s mistake about Haydn/Handel slip through—sigh, sigh, sigh—mea culpa. Sorry, my fault. Where’s the Naughty Chair? Would he be mollified with if I were publicly flogged? Or burned at the stake? Isn’t there a cantata by someone about Joan of Arc? Ben is playing a Chopin Etude– not sure which one—but it’s calming me down, tuned piano or not. I never listen to music while moderating but maybe I should—ah, this is nice! Someone TiVo “The Office” for me, please.
8:00 pm: Hubby has made me some tea and offers to rub my shoulders—heck yes!—and am chatting with him about his day and mine. Will get back to ChoralNet in a bit—my shoulders are so tense! He mentions my high speaking voice is about an octave higher than usual in mid-rub and wonders if anything is wrong. So that’s why he and boys are being nice!
8:20 pm: I shouldn’t have let that Handel/Haydn thing through—there are three more corrections but one does talks about the stage set up—edit and approve that one and DISCARD the rest. Shostakovitch guy is ranting about censorship—my sweet Lord—ironic, don’t you think? If I let this flaming rant through, it wouldn’t serve any purpose other than to get his rocks off, and it’s not helping anyone. And that’s what ChoralNet is about—helping the global choral community. So, DISCARD and duck!
8:45 pm: Choral Ed student wants to know what’s the best form to use for a choral resume or should it be a CV? APPROVE! Someone wants a list of good choral programs in the Northwest: APPROVE! Roommate wanted for Southwestern ADCA conference, female: APPROVE! And a very nice “thank you” to all from the gal with the church-job-from-hell. Remember? I edited that ‘snotty’ post to ‘sweet’ this morning and she especially thanks that writer. My good deed for the day: APPROVE! Where are my fuzzy slippers? Ahhhhhhh!
10:30 pm: I think I am about done here—I must have seen or dealt with close to 100 posts today. There are just one or two more things to take care of—a post about music inclusion and the choral classroom: APPROVE! Men’s repertoire for Hanukkah: APPROVE! The queues are cleared and it’s been quiet for 30 minutes. Calgon, take me away! Thanks to Dean and Brigid and Tom and Frank and Allen and Martin and Jim, too, for helping when I needed advice—love you guys! –and for letting me be part of this wonderful thing, ChoralNet. It’s been quite a day. And, good luck, Frank, you’re on tomorrow!