Melissa Justice, of our Women's Chorale, gave me some questions in the form of an interview. I thought I'd share my answers with you:
1. How many years have you been teaching Music? At UAB?
I'm completing my fifth year at UAB and have been employed as a music educator for a total of 10 years.
2. Can you tell me a bit about UAB's various choirs?
There are four choirs at UAB: Concert Choir, Women's Chorale, Chamber Singers, Gospel Choir.
3. Does UAB have a nationally recognized choir program?
We've made huge strides in the last several years; our concert this past February at the Regional Convention of the ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) put us on the map. It was the first time any UAB music ensemble has performed on the national stage.
4. UAB will be traveling to New York soon. Do the UAB choirs go on trips often? To competitions?
UAB choirs have traveled to England and performed major works and competed in an international choral competition last summer--the Florilege Vocal de Tours. It was a very exciting event and we were pleased to win the top score in the mixed choirs category and win the Prix du Ministere de la Culture, an award given for best performance of a French composition. As far as our frequency of travel, I'm trying to go on an international trip every two years.
5. How were you selected to conduct in New York?
By word of mouth, really. The UAB Concert Choir sang in Alabama's Collegiate Choral Festival a few years ago and word of our performance reached an Alabama native who worked with a company called MidAmerica Productions. They called last spring and asked if I'd be interested in conducting at Carnegie Hall. Who could turn that down?
6. Did you have any decision on the selection of work to be performed?
I let the New York people pick the work, actually, and I'm glad they did. We decided that we would honor Mozart with the concert since this is the 250th anniversary of his birth.
7. How many UAB students will be attending this trip?
About 40 UAB students are planning on making the trip.
8. If one is interested in joining choir how do you go about becoming involved?
Contact me! (firstname.lastname@example.org) I put the singer through a brief audition. It's easy.
9. Are their scholarships avilable?
Scholarships are available, but not in large supply. That's my number one goal at UAB right now: to find ways to increase the choral scholarships in our department. We are achieving so much--but we could easily be one of the top programs in the nation with scholarship dollars.
10. Is there any other information you'd like to give students about UAB choir, the trip, or anything else?
College choir is a special opportunity; if a person sings, there will never be another chance to sing in a group like choirs at UAB. I hope to take all three groups to Europe next year for an international choral competition. It's a great time to join up!