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Thursday, October 29, 2009

UNT position

My UNT position comes from the modification of a couple positions due to retirements: Henry (Hal) Gibbons retired last year and from him I've inherited the 2nd UNT choir, now called the UNT Chamber Choir, plus teaching choral literature and conducting in alternate years. Lyle Nordstrom, who heads the early music program, retires at the end of this year--he'd founded the Collegium Singers, a chamber choir that sings on their own or with the baroque orchestra (period instruments). Lyle's job has grown greatly, so it was decided to include Collegium Singers in what is now my job.

The Chamber Choir is 32 singers this year and is predominantly undergraduates, with three grad choral conducting students and 2 graduate vocal students. Collegium has a more even mix of undergrads and graduate students. Since it rehearses at a different time than the other choirs, it also includes members of Jerry McCoy's A Cappella Choir and grad students in either Vocal Performance or Early Music.

I certainly enjoy both choirs and also the teaching I'm doing: this fall that's a conducting class for the master's students in conducting (although I have a few DMA students taking it, too), plus graduate students for whom choral conducting is their minor (I have two theorists, a tuba player, and DMA student in Wind Conducting). Next semester I'll teach the second (last) course in the undergraduate conducting sequence.

This plus the usual committee work that makes up an academic's life, is my life here in Denton and I'm glad to be doing it. I also continue to conduct Pro Coro Canada, my professional chamber choir in Edmonton, Alberta.

It's a good life!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Long time, no write!

Too much time has gone by without posting to this (moribund) blog! I'll change that.

It's been a busy, exciting time (not that that's an excuse!), but much has happened:
Kathryn and I made a trip to Denton, TX the first week of July to look for housing there--my new job at the University of North Texas would begin in August. We stayed with Jerry and Julie McCoy and had a great time visiting in the evenings (exploring a bit of Fort Worth and Dallas, too), while driving our rental car into Denton during the day and looking at rental houses and a few apartments. We finally found a place, a comfortable rental with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths in a quiet little group of garden homes, about a 10-12 minute drive from the University and convenient to shopping of all kinds.

Back to Tacoma, for lots of packing and arrangements to move--all the usual dealings with post offices and utility companies, moving companies, etc. Also planning for a new car (since our 1993 Honda Civic with 225,000 miles and no working air conditioning wouldn't really work in Texas). Our actual move was at the end of July, using ABF, who drop off a trailer for you to load, then pick it up a day or so later. We'd hired a local moving company to pack and (naturally!) it was the hottest day of the year, with a high of 106 F. But it got done, and then flew to Dallas August 4, where we were met by another colleague, Alan McClung. We stayed with Alan for several days while our stuff got moved in, we picked up our new car (a Honda Fit), got my office organized at school, sorted out things with utility companies, and began the work of getting administrative things done at UNT (and as you can imagine, there's a lot to do!). In mid-August we had two days of faculty orientation, auditions began the 24th and classes the 27th.

Next time I'll say a bit more about what I'm doing at UNT.