Requirement and format
To qualify for festival participation, a school must attend each festival’s preceding fall workshop and pay the annual festival membership fee ($40). Directors are encouraged to bring an SSAATTBB octet of their very best students (maximum of eight) to the workshop. Directors and their students will sit together in assigned seats. No one can leave the session except at the scheduled break; no one can leave early or that school will be disqualified. The workshop schedule is:
9:30 to 11 a.m.—First session
11 to 11:30 a.m.—Break with snacks
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.—Second session
All directors and their student octets will form a workshop chorus. The guest conductor will be asked to lead this chorus through each music selection giving rehearsal and performance suggestions during the reading. Details of breathing, pronunciation, tempi, dynamics, phrasing, accents, etc., will be given in order to unify the ultimate preparation of each piece in the participating schools. Pronunciation of non-English texts will be given special attention. Directors should mark their scores according to the guest conductor’s instruction.
Four music packets will be available for each school to purchase at the workshop. Conductors without music should plan to use one of these packets in order to record and retain all the information presented during the workshop. Depending on attendance, a fifth packet may be available, which will be known by the 11 a.m. break.
Workshop activities are intended to foster thorough preparation of all festival music and all festival participants. This is necessary in order to sustain the festival’s excellent reputation. Thorough preparation becomes the responsibility of each director and a reflection on his/her work as a professional.