2020 Membership Update
We understand this is an uncertain time for schools, students, and teachers and want to ensure that MSVMA continues to be a valuable resource. Our goal is to be able to keep every member connected to our MSVMA community.
To assist schools that are facing challenges this year, we are offering a 50% membership discount. To apply this discount to your invoice, enter the code MSVMA2020 when you renew or join.
Summer Conference 2020 – The Virtual Edition
Congratulations to the Summer Conference Committee led by Director of Summer Conference Eric Cadena and staffed by coordinators Helen Hansens and Amy Blevins for re-envisioning Summer Conference to provide an outstanding professional development opportunity. Appreciative acknowledgement of IT Manager Hannah Miller for her leadership, expertise and creative challenge resolution skills in our transition to a virtual event.
Thank you to our dynamic presenters for adapting their sessions to our new format and working with us throughout the process to help ensure effective content delivery. We are grateful for everyone who attended and helped make this a meaningful learning and networking opportunity. Attendance for the event increased by 68% and feedback from attendees confirmed the decision to continue our Summer Conference tradition in the best way in these challenging times.
Superb Headliner sessions with Dr. Amanda Quist, Director of Choral Activities, University of Miami and Paul Smith, VOCES8 Foundation CEO/Co-Founder and Barnaby Smith, VOCES8 Artistic Director/Co-Founder/Performer
Exceptionally interesting and diverse breakout sessions
Inspiring and thought-provoking remarks by Kevin Cornwall, our Teacher of the Year
Generous and continuing support from Musical Resources
Great fun at the social activities including the Evening with the Ericks mixer with special thanks to our talented featured performers The Three Divas - Rebecca Selvidge, Katherine Rohwer and Carrie VanDenburgh and The Ericks – Eric Cadena, Eric Floetke and Erik Jacobson
State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH) certified programming
Make plans now to attend Summer Conference 2021 during the last few days of July at the Blue Water Convention Center.
We want to hear from you! Complete the survey below.
Conference Pass $100
1st Year Teacher $65
For more information, visit http://www.msvma.org/summerconference.
1st Year Teacher $65
Happy one year anniversary to Executive Director Erik Jacobson!
Enjoy this brief Q&A to get to know him a bit and check out his bio at http://www.msvma.org/Executive-Director.
Q: What has been you favorite MSVMA moment in the last year?
A: The conferences have definitely been my favorite part of MSVMA. Summer Conference in my first month and MMC last January were amazing experiences to be in the same place with all the wonderful members at one time. Being able to have meaningful and fun conversations about music for days straight and simply hang out to get to know everyone was special.
Q: What has been your least favorite/hardest thing about MSVMA in the last year?
A: COVID. Was that actually a necessary question?
Q: What do you do when you're not working for MSVMA?
A: Well, I have a few other jobs that occupy my free time. I am the General Manager of The VOCES8 Foundation, adjunct Professor of Vocal Jazz at Kalamazoo College, and Artistic Director of the Kalamazoo Male Chorus. Sooo...when I'm not working I'm basically working. Outside of work, I have a wonderful girlfriend, love to play sports (baseball/softball and golf most often), sing and/or play piano or guitar with friends, participate in local theatre, and hang out with my 9-month old Schnoodle pup, Ares.
Michigan has made some important decisions in the last week regarding schools, both for the current year and in planning for the upcoming school year. Decisions in the attached "FY 2020 Budget Agreement" solve some financial issues from the current school year. The state laid out it's reopening plan in the "Return to School Roadmap" that will help inform decisions over the next month by local administrations and state organizations such as MSVMA."
Return to School Roadmap
Legislation and Advocacy Update
This past week brought some great new resources for music educators, as well as some more insight for returning to school in the fall.
ACDA made it’s report available, “COVID-19 Response Committee Report (June 15, 2020). It outlines Instructional Models for choral professionals in secondary, post-secondary, collegiate, community choirs, and music in worship. While it is a comprehensive report that may feel a bit overwhelming at first, it contains excellent information to use when communicating with your district leadership.
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), in association with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), released its “Fall 2020 Guidance for Music Education” document to provide guidance for PreK-12 schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. This document is an excellent complement to the ACDA report and can be a great resource for district leaders planning for the fall.
Michigan legislators unveiled a plan to “Return to Learn”, which proposes securing federal funding to aid schools and teachers. Governor Whitmer also announced next steps for school reopening in the fall. There is a planned announcement for Tuesday, June 30 that details “Michigan’s Return to School Roadmap” to provide details on what will be required and recommended for schools. Governor Whitmer has pledged to continue working closely with the Return to Learn Advisory Council and leaders in health care for ensuring safe practices.
MSVMA’s Community Well committee regularly collects up to date resourcespertinent to vocal music education. You are invited to visit MSVMA’s “A Community Well” page, as well as advocacy resources page for use in communicating with your district leaders.
Please direct any questions or concerns about MSVMA’s Community Well to Adam Wurst: WurstAda@APSFalcons.net.
Kelvin Moon Loh currently stars on Broadway in Beetlejuice the musical as Otho. Also on Broadway, he’s been in SpongeBob Squarepants, The King and I, and the revival of Side Show. Off Broadway he’s been in Pacific Overtures (Classic Stage Co.) and Here Lies Love (The Public). He was in the first national tour of Green Day’s American Idiot. Kelvin grew up on Long Island, NY and studied vocal performance at New York University.
Interviewer: Ryan Dawley
MSVMA’s Community Well committee regularly collects up to date resources pertinent to vocal music education. You are invited to visit MSVMA’s “A Community Well” page, as well as advocacy resources page for use in communicating with your district leaders.
Please direct any questions or concerns about MSVMA’s Community Well to Adam Wurst: WurstAda@APSFalcons.net.
Choral Student Leadership Online Opportunity July 29-30, 2020
As we are aware, the MSVMA Choral Student Leadership Conference was unfortunately canceled for the summer of 2020. We are planning to have an exciting conference in the summer of 2021 led by Dr. Matthew Arau, who was to be our headliner for 2020.
If you are looking for an opportunity to inspire your student leaders for this upcoming 20-21 school year, Dr. Arau is providing an online Upbeat! Virtual Leadership Academy (July 29-30, 2020) to reach students during this uncertain time. More details are available at Dr. Arau’s website: www.upbeatglobal.com
Dates for the 2021 MSVMA Student Leadership Conference are: July 27 - 28 in Port Huron.
Supervisor for State Choral Festivals
Host and Host schools for April 23-24 South State S&E
Host and Host schools for April 28, 29, 30 South State Choral Festival
Hosts and Host schools for May 10, 11 Central State Choral Festival
Ben Henri Wins Jeopardy Teachers Tournament
Ben Henri earned the title of Champion of the Jeopardy Teachers Tournament competing against two music teachers and taking home a check for $100,000. After taping the finale in February, he had to keep the outcome a secret--no easy feat with his inquisitive choir students. His middle school singers kept trying to trip him up with questions like “Did they give you a room to change your clothes in between games?” but Ben held his ground. It made it easier when the stay-at-home order was issued. And the Jeopardy staff provided him suggested responses to those trying to find out the results of the game. Read more...
Congratulations, Ben! You made us all proud! We will look forward to watching you in the Tournament of Champions!
Submitted by Member Emeritus Wendy Treacher
MSVMA Member Participates in Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament
Ben Henri, choir director at Grosse Pointe North High School, faces two contestants on June 4 and 5, for the Teachers Tournament Finals. The total dollar winnings are added together for each contestant from the two days and then the winner is named. Ben will compete with another music teacher (band and choir) and a drama teacher.
Wendy Treacher conducted an interview with Ben about his Jeopardy game experience. Read more...
Lisa Helmi Johanson grew up in the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C. studying musical instruments. Community theater and one year of choir in high school led her to pursuing a double major in college, a BM in Vocal Performance and a BA in Musical Theater at Christopher Newport University, VA. She immediately moved to NYC and made her Off-Broadway debut one month later as an actor/musician in a classical play called Women Beware Women with Red Bull Theater. It led to her next Off-Broadway show with the Classical Theater of Harlem's production of Three Sisters, also as an actor/musician. These opportunities allowed for her to watch the rehearsal technique of seasoned Broadway actors, some of which have gone on to win Tony awards. She then booked the non-union National Tour of Avenue Q as Christmas Eve which she toured with for almost two years. Upon returning to NYC, she auditioned to be a vacation swing for the then Off-Broadway company of Avenue Q which got her into the Actor's Equity Association. She then went on to do The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as Marcy Park at Merry-Go-Round Playhouse and her first play, 4,000 Miles at St. Louis Repertory in the role of Amanda. While there, Lisa was offered the full-time position of Female Ensemble and understudy for Christmas Eve, Kate Monster/Lucy, and Mrs. T/Girl Bear in Avenue Q Off-Broadway and gratefully had that job for two years. During her time there her violin skills came back to use in a John Doyle workshop of a new musical, August Rush and her newly developed puppetry led to multiple productions of another puppet-led musical, Rescue Rue. Lisa left Avenue Q to do a gender-swapped actor-musician version of Taming of the Shrew at Virginia Stage Company and the co-production of a new Maltby and Shire musical, Waterfall, out at Pasadena Playhouse and 5th Avenue Theater, her first fully original production. Another co-production followed of Priscilla Queen of the Desert with Gateway Playhouse and Ogunquit Playhouse where she was dual-cast as a Diva and the role of Cynthia. Lisa then went back out on tour with Fiasco Theater Company's adaptation of Into the Woods as Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel for which she learned trumpet during callbacks. She then did a production of Rent with the National Theater of Aruba as Alexi Darling and booked her first episode of TV on Law and Order: SVU. Things shifted a bit for her into a more dramatic theater direction as she went on to book her first lead role in a play called Vietgone at the Denver Center in the role of Tong, followed by Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes at Arena Stage in Washington D.C., and straight to Milwaukee Repertory theater to tackle a two-person play and another lead role in The Chinese Lady for which she won a local award for best actor in a lead role. Violin came back into the game for a production of Once as the role of Reza at the Cape Playhouse followed by finally working back in NYC again in the Off-Broadway premiere of the new musical Einstein's Dreams based on the best-selling book. Leading up to the present, she did a production of the play The Drowning Girls in the role of Alice with The Drama League this January and went straight up to Syracuse Stage in the role of Constanze in Amadeus. She is now grateful to reminisce her career thus far while hunkered down in NYC and self/co-producing digital projects for online consumption. Diverse representation in casting and telling American stories as an American is a huge soapbox for Lisa as is incorporating grace into all interactions, beginning with herself.
Interviewer: Nancy Lewis
Congratulations to 2020 Leep Scholars James Pecar and Jamie Steinman!
The 2020 Carolyn F. Leep Scholarship has been awarded each of whom will receive $1,000.00 to support their pursuit of advanced degrees.
“On behalf of the MSVMA Board, I'd like to offer congratulations to our recipients of the Carolyn Leep Scholarship, James Pecar and Jamie Steinman! I hope this award helps fuel the fire of your passion for choral music education!” Mark Krempski, Past President and Leep Scholarship Committee Chair.
Chippewa Valley High School and Macomb Community College Children’s Chorus
James is the director of choirs and vocal/music director of his school’s musicals. He also directs two choirs in the Macomb Community College Macomb Children’s Chorus program. In his 7th year at CVHS, James collaborates with professional groups, directors and musicians to provide his students with unique learning opportunities that inspire them. A graduate of Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, he has completed one summer of the Michigan State University Summer Masters in Choral Conduction program and is completing online classes through Stephen F. Austin State University. James will use his Leep Scholarship for tuition as he pursues master’s degrees in choral conducting and music education.
“My philosophy in education is to inspire young people to be whole people; this involves building cultural sensitivity and awareness of others, exploring the skills to think critically, modeling and expecting professionalism, developing an effective work ethic, getting involved in our community, and practicing simply being kind. We use music to do this.” James Pecar
Holland Public Schools
Jamie began her teaching career at Holland Public schools four years ago. She has been the middle school choir director for the past two years. For the first time, the Holland Middle School 8th Grade Choir participated in District and State Choral Festivals where they received the highest ratings. This successful middle school experience is resulting in an increase in singer retention rates and more students continuing their study of vocal music in her school’s high school program. Jamie graduated from Hope College and will use her Leep Scholarship as she attends Liberty University in pursuit of a Master of Music Education degree.
“I already have seen how my increased knowledge from my first classes has improved, impacted and enhanced my teaching. My instruction of music theory concepts, as well as my approach to preparation for teaching repertoire, has become more efficient and predictable for my learners.” Jamie Steinman
Telly Leung is New York City native. His Broadway & national touring credits include Aladdin in Disney's Aladdin, In Transit, Allegiance (with George Takei & Lea Salonga), Godspell, Rent (final Broadway company), Wicked (Boq, original Chicago company), Pacific Overtures, Flower Drum Song. In 2010, he starred as Angel in RENT at the Hollywood Bowl opposite Wayne Brady, directed by Neil Patrick Harris. Television audiences will remember him as Wes the Warbler on “Glee", as well as his guest star appearances on "Instinct", “Odd Mom Out,” “Deadbeat” and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent.” Tellyis featured on many original Broadway cast recordings and he has released two solo albums - I’ll Cover You (2012) and Songs for You (2016) on The Yellow Sound Label. BFA Carnegie Mellon University. Website: www.tellyleung.com. Twitter / Instagram: @tellyleung
Interviewer: Kathy Cunningham
Michigan School Vocal Music Association
P.O. Box 1131
Big Rapids, MI 49307-1131
(231) 592 - 9344
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