Day 1

I took some photos with the thought that I was going to come back to the hotel and upload, write a post, etc. Ha. Didn't happen. We had a trek to find dinner in San Antonio on Valentine's Day and by the time I got home I went straight to sleep.

Yesterday was pretty good. I saw two wonderful sessions by one of my very favorite conductors, Henry Leck. The man is a flat out genius. I also heard one of my favorite motivational speakers, Tim Lautzenheiser. One thing to think about as you go about your day. Positives come and go, Negatives accumulate. I think that is an important thing to think about as you relate with children. I know its true for me. I forget the nice things people say way faster than I forget the bad (I never forget the bad!)

It seems like the theme of this convention for me is going to be expression while performing. It isn't a theme that the convention has, but it is a thread that I am picking up while watching concerts and listening to lectures. It is something that I need to work on and it will be difficult because I'm not sure exactly how to approach it. I've got some ideas, but it will take experimentation.

I am excited about the videos being made of the concerts this year. The numerous concerts here are recorded and videotaped for sale and have been for years. Usually it was one, maybe two cameras operated by people sitting on platforms about halfway back. One of the videos I have irks me every time I see it because the cameras are pulled way in focusing on the students so you miss the overall view of the choreography. On another song in that particular concert the camera focuses on the main soloist, but the camera man never caught on that there was another soloist on the other side. If it irks me, imagine how the people in that choir, parents, the director, etc. feel after buying the video.

Things changed radically this year. First there were two huge screens on either side of the performance stage showing the concert. That is a great addition especially in these very large rooms. Second, and most important, they now have multiple remote controlled cameras and as you are watching the screens they fade in and out between them. One minute a close up, next minute a wide angle with audience, next a close up of the director, a side angle of the instrumentalists, a close up of the soloists. The video coming off the screens looks absolutely wonderful. It will be a joy for any performer to have. And of course being a geek I know that they have all that video saved so they can go back and fix any camera angles they need to before doing the final edit. It's really cool and I've enjoyed watching the screens and camera angles go by while the choir is singing. Technology is a wonderful thing.

On to day two. More sessions especially by Leck, more concerts, a keynote speech by James Galway and my mother arrives tonight. Time to get moving.

MP7: Tuba Reflections

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