Explore The Sound
The “quintessential choral event” of the season, the annual Explore the Sound features the Concert Choir, North Central Chorale, Chamber Singers and guest instrumentalists in a theatrically-lit and staged, seamless event. Explore the Sound takes place each November and can be viewed on NCTV17.
North Central College Choirs
The North Central College Choral program includes multiple choirs open by placement to students of all majors and grade levels. For more information, click here.
Homecoming Concert, Friday, October 6 at 8:00 PM, Wentz Concert Hall. Featuring North Central Chorale, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Concert Winds, and Big Band.
Explore the Sound XV, Friday, November 17 at 7:00 PM, Wentz Concert Hall. Featuring North Central Chorale, Concert Choir, and Chamber Singers with guest instrumentalists in a theatrically-lit and staged performance from multiple locations in the hall.
I continue to work at the intersection of “Yoga and . . .,” developing courses, pedagogy, and workshops that I hope help us to live, lead, and make music better. Recent workshops include “Yoga and Lifestyle in a Modern World,” for the MSPAS (Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies) program at North Central College and presentations for Illinois ACDA and the University of Illinois ACDA student chapter.
My students and I practice Yoga every day in rehearsal, no exceptions (and no mats needed)! The breathing, alignment, freedom of movement, and mindfulness benefits are consistently reported by singers on end-of-semester reflections, so I will continue to explore and develop what seems to work best for us . . . as artists and humans.
If you have an interest in hosting a workshop, contact me and we will share ideas.
Yoga College Honors Seminar
In the winter of 2022 I taught an Honors Seminar, “Yoga On and Off the Mat: Practice, Principles, and Leadership” for honors students at North Central College. Each class was a combination of a mat practice and discussion/lecture on yoga history and fundamental principles based on the Eight Limbs of Yoga with the goal of applying the learning to the overall wellness and career interests of the students. Final papers and projects ranged from Yoga and Wellness for College Students, Yoga and the Vagus Nerve, Yoga for Recovery and Physical Therapy, Yoga and the Ethics of Leadership, Yoga and SEL for Elementary School Students, Yoga and Neuroplasticity, Yoga and Singing, Yoga’s Yamas and Niyamas and Pain Management, and more. In our final week, we held class at a local yoga studio to encourage practicing after the course was finished. This was a powerful experience, strengthening students’ understanding of Yoga as a holistic science for living one best life.
I regularly blog for ChoralNet, the online resource of the American Choral Directors Association, under “The Conductor as Yogi” (a quick Google search will lead you to dozens of topic based, posts that may meet you right where you are at this time). Last year, I was honored to be asked to submit an article for the mental health focus issue of The Choral Journal in October of 2021. Read more about “Breath, Body, and Being: A Yoga-Inspired Choral ‘Practice’” here.
I have been working on a book as a follow-up to The Conductor as Leader but have another project that seems to be calling to me more at this moment in time—I hope to have some clarity on these larger projects soon but in the meantime, I encourage you to check out my book and see where it may lead you.
I recently received the North Central College 2023 Distinguished Scholarship/Creative Work Award for Senior Faculty for my innovative research and design of the Explore the Sound concert events in the past two years, reflecting the challenges of the pandemic through the melding of art and wellness in our approach to theming, diverse programming, pedagogy, and presentation. But we never do our work alone—these wonderful singers share this award with me for their dedication and musical excellence!
The Brain Longevity® program
In July 2022, I completed my certification as a Certified Brain Longevity® Specialist through the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation. The Brain Longevity® program is a research-based certification program on Yoga and Integrative Medicine for brain health and healthy aging, focusing on diet/nutrition, stress management, exercise (physical and mental), and spiritual fitness, including having a sense of purpose. My final certification practicum was on developing brain-healthy lifestyle habits in college-aged students (which means, it’s never too early to start!) Check out my ChoralNet blog posts from the fall series on brain health: