Omega Institute
Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

The Bully Pulpit

Everyone,
 
Might you be interested in speaking from the bully pulpit of choral music?
 
Wikipedia gives this description of a bully pulpit:  
position of authority of sufficiently high rank that provides the holder with an opportunity to speak out and be listened to on any matter. The bully pulpit can bring issues to the forefront that were not initially in debate, due to the office's stature and publicity.
I think the ChoralBlog here certainly fits that description; it certainly provides a space to speak to the choral musicians of the nation (and world).
 
It has been an honor to help bring different issues into sharper focus here on the ChoralNet blog and I've enjoyed my association with the site for many years.  Many of us have worked hard to keep this blog site fresh every day - there was a span of time that we didn't miss a day of blogging for several years.  However, I'm getting a little tired of bearing the burden and I want to share the opportunity with others.  My personal blogging here has fallen off in recent weeks and months.  Rather than leaving the post, I'm looking for some help.
 
Is anyone that reads this blog interested in helping me keep it fresh for the thousands of ChoralNet visitors each day?  
 
If you are interested, let me know.  
on September 24, 2012 7:33am
Although I cannot volunteer to directly assist, may I make a few suggestions that might help provide a possible workable framework for a transition?  Depending on how much of the burden you wish to offload, here is one strategy to perhaps consider:
  1. Recruit not just one or two, but several "ChoralBlog Editors" who would represent their Community and/or Professional Role once per week on a set day.  These editors would either write a weekly Blog themselves, or could post a Blog entry written by one of their Community members by regularly inviting them to share and participate.  Although I'm not familiar with all ChoralNet Communities, perhaps some (or all, depending on how much help you desire) of these major categories could be represented:  Choir Directors of (1) K-12, (2) College/University, (3) Community (incl. Professional), (4) Church/Synagogue/Other, and (5) "Foreign" (outside the U.S.) Choirs; (6) Composers.  I know that Jack Senzig is already providing a weekly review of new choral music (at least through June), so that makes a possible 7 new Blog Editors, one for each day of the week.  
  2. I find Blogs that teach me something or help me solve a problem or encourage me to think about alternatives much more interesting than those which only provide the writer's opinion about some broad issue or describe personal events or circumstances that are, frankly, only of interest to the writer.  So, if this strategy is appealing, perhaps the Bloggers could be encouraged (but not required) to write about a problem they solved, a new strategy they found useful, a challenge they creatively overcame, etc.  The ever-present issues involving fund raising, discipline, marketing, concert attendance, copyright law, new technologies, dealing with administrators, community outreach, nonprofit management, job keeping/seeking, and so many more could be covered.  
I believe that the world of choral music is so challenging right now that a ChoralBlog which routinely and dependably addresses real challenges and offers real insights and potential solutions might be more appealing to most readers than Blogs that focus on emotionally-charged issues that simply invite "debate" but don't offer much beyond a momentary distraction from the day-to-day challenges that face us.  Others may disagree...
Applauded by an audience of 1
on September 24, 2012 11:05am
Julia,
 
Those are good thoughts.
 
However, we've dedicated the ChoralBlog to be more about opinion and current issues - it is something we've thought about and not just something that happens.  This is the front page of ChoralNet - and it is a very public space.  
 
The categories that you have set up is close to the R&S structure of ACDA.  My view is that we don't need things like that here - they have columns in the Choral Journal that are dedicated to that specific task.
 
Let's see what happens and who volunteers.
 
 
on September 24, 2012 12:52pm
I respect the former decision to have the ChoralBlog be about "opinion and current issues," and perhaps that is still exactly what most ChoralNet readers and "the public" wish to see here.  But when you say "...we've dedicated..." and "...it is something we've thought about..." it does leave me wondering exactly whom the word "we" refers to.  And I recall a few ChoralBlogs in the recent past, for example, that specifically asked for input about how the ACDA and ChoralNet could better serve their members/users.
 
So, I would like to suggest that you or someone simply ask ChoralNet users if the current focus of the ChoralBlog is in fact meeting their needs and desires, or if they would prefer a different focus.
 
I suppose the real underlying questions are "What purpose(s) does the ChoralBlog serve?" and "What purpose(s) SHOULD the ChoralBlog serve?"  
 
on September 24, 2012 3:00pm
Julia,
 
There has been a governing force behind ChoralNet for many years.  Recently, the leadership of ChoralNet moved to become a sub-committee of the ACDA Technology committee and that group is led by Jeff Tillinghast.
 
Over time, we've debated the purpose of each element of ChoralNet, including the nature and purpose of the ChoralBlog.  Recently, we decided that ChoralBlog would remain the place for opinion and commentary.
 
This is what one of our leaders wrote (not me):
Blog should be opinion and commentary - think of the late Andy Rooney on Sixty Minutes . . .  Blog posts should be near the edge of controversial and perhaps bring up issues that some might object to.  The idea is to draw people's attention without being offensive or scandalous by questioning the status quo.
So, anyway . .  that is why we do what we do.
 
I appreciate that you have strong opinions on the matter.  Watch out, we may ask you to serve in a leadership position.
 
The main focus of this blog post is to seek out more bloggers.  Would you like to contribute a guest blog?
 
 
 
 
on September 24, 2012 4:14pm
Thank you for the explanation, Philip.  It appears I have unwittingly met one of the purposes by "questioning the status quo."  Or perhaps I am misreading that final sentence?  Difficult to know, as there are no commas setting off "without being offensive or scandalous. "
 
Thank you also for the opportunity to guest blog, but I must lash myself even tighter to the mast and avoid the siren song of writing prose so that I can focus my limited energies on trying to become a better composer.  I've got a long, long, long way to go and so much to learn and improve upon and only the tail end of a lifetime to do it in.
 
Best wishes, though, in finding more regular contributors so that the load will be taken off your shoulders a bit or a lot.  I, too, have greatly appreciated all your hard work since I've been aware of ChoralNet.
on September 24, 2012 1:16pm
Hi Philip,
 
I really appreciate your ChoralBlog entries and can imagine how difficult it is to bring something new and fresh to it on a regular basis. I blog on two ChoralNet Communities and my chamber choir's website---and I've been a bad, bad girl  about it lately.  (Truth be told, I always read the ChoralBlog before I log on--even the days I'm suppose to be a Moderator! I do wait to look at ChoralBuzz until I see what's what in the morning but both are a "must" before I leave the site)
 
I can offer to help--maybe by bringing things to your attention.  There are things, interesting things, happening in the choral world and related areas to keep us in subject for years.  For instance, did you know the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra are on strike as of Saturday? There's gotta be a choral story in there!
 
As well, in my own little ChoralNet corner, there is another Joyful Noise clone choir who began rehearsals last week--how wonderful that a special interest session at the National ACDA conference could have moved people enough to do something so wonderful!?!? (there are now three choirs--two in Illinois and one in New Mexico--that we know about--because of that session. And another in Iowa is being started up again.) These choirs for disabled folks change their lives for the better....and their communities......and ACDA helped make that happen!
 
Perhaps an "after the conference" piece---was someone moved by a session? Or how did they put the information in practice? 
 
 I love the silly stuff too--you make me laugh.  I love the serious things and the contemplative things.  You made me cry yesterday!
 
I'll help you if you would like......
 
Marie
 
 
on September 25, 2012 6:13am
Marie and Nick,
 
Would love to have you both.  Why don't you forward some things my way?  Either look over what we've done in the past or take a moment and look at Julia's suggestions.
 
plc