“A chorus is not a lump of human talent and energy chipped, sliced, rolled, molded, and stamped into a maneuverable manikin of the lowest common artistic denominator, but a group of unique and varied human beings, voluntarily congregated, who accept personal responsibility, and bring to a performance of the whole each his utmost endowment, preparedness, and sensitivity.” -Robert Shaw

 

What a busy and awesome year! At the University of Alabama, I went for being the interim choir director to the full-fledged, tenure-track Assistant Professor and Director of Choral Activities. The University of Alabama is a special place, and I am thrilled to work with such fantastic students and colleagues. Since arriving on campus in 2016, I have added a Women’s Chorus, a Men’s Chorus, and seen the number of students singing in a choir increase by 96%! In addition to our standard semester concerts, we packed the Moody Concert Hall for a special Veteran’s Day Choral Celebration Concert, participated in an interdisciplinary event commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, performed the Star Spangled Banner at UA baseball and basketball games, and hosted over 250 middle and high school singers for our annual UA Honor Choir Festival. The UA Crimson White newspaper wrote a nice piece about our choirs this fall. Our UA Choral Studies Department welcomed two new graduate conducting students this year, and continues to grow artistically, as a community, and as an organization. The future is bright for choral music at the University of Alabama— Roll Tide!

2018 Preview

Dr. Minear’s Upcoming Conducting Engagements:

  • University of Alabama University Singers to perform for the Alabama Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference
  • Mozart Requiem with the UA University Singers, University Chorus, and Huxford Symphony
  • Mississippi All-State SSAA Honor Choir
  • Georgia 11th/12th Grade Mixed All-State Chorus
  • High School SATB Choir, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp
  • Lake Junaluska Music and Worship Arts Week Youth Choir
  • Faure Requiem Over the Mountain Festival Choir with members of Alabama Symphony Orchestra
  • Middle Tennessee Vocal Association Elementary Honors Choir
  • Madison County Honor Choir
  • Mobile County Honor Choir

I am also enjoying my work on a book chapter about ACDA conference repertoire and starting some exciting choir tour planning. Watch for news about the Keep Singing Project 2.0 and an awesome new resource related to my DMA research on graduate choral literature curricula and pedagogy.

2017 Year in Review

Dr. Minear’s 2017 Conducting Engagements:

  • Alabama All-State High School SSA Choir
  • Kentucky All-State Children’s Choir
  • VMEA District XII Middle School Treble Honor Choir
  • Huntsville All-City Honor Choir (MS and HS)
  • Tuscaloosa All-County Choral Arts Festival High School Honor Choir
  • Florida Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts summer workshop
  • Tuscaloosa Youth Orchestra
  • Over the Mountain Festivals (Birmingham, AL)
  • Prentice Concert Chorale in preparation for a performance with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra. The Tuscaloosa News article quotes me about the concert: http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/news/20171216/plenty-of-preparation-goes-into-tsos-christmas-celebration
  • Orange County Public Schools All-County High School Chorus in my home town, Orlando. This is the school district where I grew up (1st through 12th grade), and where I taught for twelve years; I was thrilled they invited back to serve as the all-county clinician in a school district full of such wonderful students and music educators. What an amazing choral community! So proud of my roots!!

I also enjoyed visits to the following schools as a guest clinician:

  • Mississippi University for Women, Columbus, MS
  • Hillcrest High School, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Hoover High School, Hoover, AL
  • Lafayette High School, Lafayette, LA
  • Olympia High School, Orlando, FL
  • Bak Middle School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, FL. I got to spend two days with the amazing singers at Bak and their amazing conductor, Connie Drosakis, as they prepared their program for performance at the National ACDA Conference in Minneapolis, MN. Those students inspired me and moved me to tears, and their transcendent singing was one of the highlights of my year.

Presentations:

  • Chorus America Conference, Los Angeles, California
  • National Collegiate Choral Organization 7th National Conference, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Louisiana ACDA, New Orleans, LA
  • Florida Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts: Adult Church Music Workshop, Fruitland Park, Florida

Choral Adjudication:

  • State Choral Music Performance Assessment, Florida Vocal Association; Lakeland, FL
  • State Choral Performance Assessment (IV); Gadsden, AL
  • State Choral Performance Assessment (I); Decatur and Florence, AL
  • Alabama ACDA Contempo Festival; Vestavia Hills, AL
  • Choir Selection Committee for another state ACDA Conference

Alabama ACDA:

It has been such a pleasure to get to know the wonderful choral community in Alabama through my involvement with Alabama ACDA. In the last year, we held a successful summer conference on campus at UA, and we heard many excellent choirs from around the state at the ALACDA Collegiate Choral Festival in November, where choirs received feedback from three outstanding clinicians.

Becoming Dr. Minear!

The last couple of years have been eventful, to say the least. In addition to moving with my family to a new state (we love our new hometown, Tuscaloosa!) and starting a new job at the University of Alabama, I also started the year by defending my D.M.A. document, the final step for completing my doctorate degree in choral conducting from Michigan State University. I am so grateful for my time at MSU, especially for my brilliant professors (Drs. Rayl, Reed, Snow, Taggart, et al.) and wonderful colleagues. You can read the Dedication and Acknowledgements (and the full document if you would like to read it) here: Graduate Choral Literature Curricula and Pedagogy.