2016 - 2017 TCDA Board of Directors

September 2016                                    Choral Notes

Volume 23
Fall 2016

In This Issue...                

  1. It's Just Who I Am, Leigh Ann McClure, Secretary/Treasurer
  2. Repair the World, Dr. Jerry McCoy

 leigh annIt's Just Who I Am, by Leigh Ann McClure, Secretary/Treasurer

Reflecting on my career as a choral director, I am happy to convey the news that there are still many things in the course of a day that get me excited and renew my commitment to this profession.  Let me share some of them with you; 

-When I suggest a slightly different approach to a student teacher and see that my idea causes something to click for both the intern and their choir;

-When my seniors relate to a text about having found their "voice" through singing, and then relay to me how this discovery will impact the life choices they are about to make;

-When a colleague thinks I'm the hardest working person on the planet...because all of you work just as hard and as long as I do, and also love every minute of it;

-When a chord literally stands on its end and my choir members' faces light up like Christmas trees;

-When I continue to discover, every day, that my idols in this profession are some of the kindest, most humble, and sensitive people on the planet.  It is my colleagues who challenge me again and again to be a better person, not just a better choral director;

-When I encounter first-year teachers in the registration line at our TCDA convention.  Maybe I'm a little jealous because they encapsulate unbridled enthusiasm, bravery, and fearless optimism, yet they have no knowledge of who will walk into their classroom that first day of school;

-When I talk to my students about how much I love my work and then relate that once a month they actually pay me to do this! 

My wish is that each of you knows what excites you about this amazing profession and that you never lose sight of these things!

 mccoyRepair the World, by Dr. Jerry McCoy

Graduation Address for the University of North Texas
May 15, 2015

Good Afternoon! What an afternoon it is! What a moment this is for you and your families, your friends, your colleagues, and your teachers. What a thrill of accomplishment: the payoff of all those long hours of practice and study, the expectation of going out into the world to make your mark. Wow, what a feeling! No more cramming sessions for that next exam. No more overnight writing when you're too tired to think.  No more moments of panic like the one during your recital when you forgot the words to the aria and made up an Italian sounding phrase only to learn later from your teacher that you sang about making love to a chair!!  (You are not alone. All of your teachers remember their own moments like these.)

For the time being there are no tests, no papers, no juries. Savor the moment! Okay, so now that you've savored that moment, what's next? What will your mark be on the world? How will you use what you learned to change the lives of those around you?  Perhaps one of the first elements of changing lives is to find your own contentment. This question of how to achieve contentment has been at the core of human life for centuries.

The 13th century Sufi poet Jalal-ud-din Muhammed Rumi wrote:

            Today, like every day, we wake up empty and frightened.

            Don't open the door to the study and start reading.  Take

            down a musical instrument. Let the beauty we love be what    

            we do...

Rumi's final line lies at the heart of a musician's, of an artist's hope for success.  "Let the beauty we love be what we do..."

Craig Hella Johnson, the GRAMMY award winning conductor of Conspirare, a professional chamber choir based in Austin, served one summer as guest lecturer for our graduate choral techniques class here at UNT. In one of his sessions he shared his keys to success and personal contentment in life. Craig taught the class these four principles:

1)   show up (on time),

2)   be prepared,

3)   do your very best, and

4)   don't be tied to the outcome.

If you follow these principles, you can find contentment and inner peace, and you can then share that contentment with a world that sorely needs it. You will pass on to others 'the love of what you do.'  Love of life; love of people; love of your art form; love of beauty, peace, and community are indeed contagious.

CLICK HERE to continue reading Dr. McCoy's full article...

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TCDA Board of Directors 2016 - 2017
President - Kari Gilbertson, Richardson ISD
Past President - Billy Talley, Amarillo ISD
President-Elect - Pam Elrod Huffman, Southern Methodist University

Vice President, HS - Thomas Rinn, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
Vice President, MS/JH - Connie Horton, The Woodlands ISD
Vice President, Elem - Debra Johnson, Belton ISD
Vice President, College/Community - Carolyn Cruse, Texas Tech University
Vice President, Church - Dan Baker, First Baptist Church Amarillo
Secretary/Treasurer - Leigh Ann McClure, Keller ISD

Executive Director - Sharon Lutz
Member Services Coordinator - Hallie Boone

Texas Choral Directors Association
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Austin, TX  78754