Today was my last day as Manager of ChoralNet. After a dozen years, I’m passing on the baton. The ACDA has some exciting changes to ChoralNet ahead, so as they used to say on the radio, “don’t touch that dial!”
It’s been a wild but good ride. Back when I started in 2003 as a recently minted university Computing Science graduate, after some long phone chats with Jim Feiszli, Michael Shasberger, Allen Simon, David Topping, and others; with a rough job description for a position with a tiny nonprofit that really amounted to “figure out, and do, all the bits required to keep the site going, and find good ways to evolve the site,” ChoralNet–and the entire internet–was a very different place. The website was still largely an archive for the venerable CHORALIST-L, CHORALTALK-L, and CHORALACADEME-L listservs, and we had consistent challenges in keeping all that straight across at least three servers in various institutions across the US…while working around the strange bugs in the then-new “4.0 browsers”. And you could throw a backup of the whole thing on an Iomega Zip disk (remember those?) with a bit of room to spare, rather than the several gigs it takes now. How things change.
Through a decade plus of writing (and sometimes ripping out and writing again) thousands of lines of back-end source and database code, performing regular e-mail technical support, doing technology upgrades, leading an often-changing mix of paid and volunteer personnel, and becoming part of the ACDA, one thing has been very consistent: the quality of the people in the global choral community that come onto ChoralNet to post, moderate, run communities, do behind-the-scenes work, and bring to all that a fine attitude that maintains a level of civility and professionalism on the site that’s becoming increasingly rare on today’s social media outlets. You are ChoralNet, and you’re all the ones who make this a wonderful community to be a part of. While I certainly won’t miss having to poke at a sometimes cranky server and fix bugs in the wee hours of the night (on this site, at least!), I will most certainly miss working with and for all of you who make this place one that helps so many people, myself included, make beautiful music together.
Signing out and singing on,