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McNally Smith Faculty to Present at 74th Annual Iowa Music Educators Association Conference

McNally Smith College of Music is proud to be sending four members of its fine faculty south of the (Minnesota) border to participate in the 74th annual Iowa Music Educators Association Conference (IMEA), taking place November 15–17 at the Scherman Center at Iowa State University in Ames. Judi Donaghy VinarRandy SabienJennifer Scovell Parker and Pete Whitman will all be on hand to lend their expertise to this fine event. Feel like making a road trip? Read on to find out more about schedules, presentations and faculty bios. (IMEA is the Iowa affiliate of NAfME, the National Association for Music Education.)

Vocal Styles: Beyond the limits of labels
Judi Donaghy Vinar Saturday, Nov 17, 8:30-9:30am (room 299)
What “type” of singer are you? Go beyond the limits of old labels and sing with a complete vocal palette. Versatile vocalist & member of Bobby McFerrin’s “Voicestra,” Judi Donaghy Vinar demonstrates the elements of singing in any style. By understanding the core elements of style (groove, mode, form/structure, articulation and working with a rhythm section), singers can broaden their repertoire, and teachers can teach techniques with a better understanding/approach to virtually any style. Judi dispels myths about “over-singing,” “belting,” and helps the singer to understand the complete vocal instrument.

About Vinar: Judi has taught voice at McNally Smith since 1994, and has served as the Vocal Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs. She received a M.Ed., University of Minnesota, and a B.M., University of Nebraska. Judi has worked in opera, musical theater, jazz, folk, country, gospel, pop, and R&B. She currently works with (among others) “Voicestra” (Bobby McFerrin), “Urbanstride”,  “JazzMN Big Band”, and directs the Unity Christ Church Choir. She has worked with Yo Yo Ma, Carole King, Janis Siegel, Rhiannon, Garrison Keillor, Marilyn McCoo, the Plymouth Ensemble, Metro Jam, Northrop Opera, Mixed Blood Theater, Cricket Theater, and Moore by Four. Other credits include award-winning singer/songwriter (JAZZIZ Magazine), on-air talent, jingle singer/writer/producer, and vocal jazz clinician. Judi has sung on more than 30 CDs to date.

Making Jazz Easy for your String Orchestra
Randy Sabien, Saturday, Nov 17, 9:45-10:45am (room 299)
Based on his learnings from having led workshops for string students and teachers nationwide, Randy Sabien will show you step-by-step how to introduce Jazz styles to string students. Bring your instruments!

About Sabien: Randy Sabien has founded and led string departments at both McNally Smith (2009) and Berklee (1978) Colleges of Music. His formal education is from UW-Eau Claire, University of Illinois and Berklee. Randy is the Chairman of the Alternative Styles Committee of the American String Teachers Association. He has released 9 recordings of his own group, and appeared on Austin City Limits and Prairie Home Companion. His method book for alternative strings “Jazz Philharmonic” (Alfred Music) has become a staple in string programs and he publishes new charts annually for Alfred’s “String Alternatives” series. His musical partnerships include Corky Siegel, Brian Torff, Clyde Stubblefield, and Prudence Johnson. His most recent album “Rhythm and Bows” has spawned an 8 piece band featuring 3 violins described as” Bob Wills meets Art Blakey meets the Allman Brothers.”

Improvisation: A Holistic Approach for the Classroom
Pete Whitman, Saturday, Nov 17, 11:00-11:50am (room 204-208)
Engage your entire class by breaking down melody, harmony and groove elements into patterns and riffs that are easy to learn. By singing and playing the basic elements of a given song, students develop a vocabulary for improvisation. Accompaniment patterns can be paraphrased and developed into “licks.” This approach keeps students actively focused on individual roles while learning theory and fundamentals of improvisation. Methods/resources for developing alternate grooves and accompaniment will be covered as well.

Presentation Handout (.pdf)

About Whitman: At McNally Smith since 1998, Pete heads the Brass and Woodwinds Department and directs jazz ensembles. He holds both a M.M. and B.M. (major jazz studies, minor flute performance) from North Texas State University. Pete has toured internationally with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, Jack McDuff, Randy Brecker, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the JazzMN Big Band and is the leader of the award-winning jazz sextet Departure Point. Pete is currently a featured recording artist on the Artegra label. He has over 20 years of teaching and playing experience as a saxophonist, flutist and clarinetist.

Vocal Jazz Rehearsal Techniques – Creating a Bridge between Concert Choir and Vocal JazzJen Parker
Jennifer Scovell Parker, Friday, Nov 16, 1:00-2:00pm (room 250-252)
Limited time and challenging music leave many choral directors feeling that their only choice is to focus entirely on repertoire in the vocal jazz rehearsal. We rely heavily on the choral rehearsal for skill building and hope to create advanced students capable of surviving the challenges of jazz music. Through 15 years of Choral/Jazz experience, Parker has developed a means to bridge both rehearsals through similar sets of skill building. Teachers will participate, learning exercises and rehearsal suggestions!

About Parker: Jennifer has taught at McNally Smith since 2005, in the vocal and ensembles departments. Degrees include: M.M. Vocal Performance, Western Michigan University, B.A., University of Wisconsin–Green Bay. She is an active performer, educator, arranger, clinician and adjudicator. She studied with Dr. Steve Zegree, Linda Parins, Christine Salerno and Sunny Wilkinson. She leads the Jennifer Parker Quartet, which allows her the opportunity to write and arrange.  She has enjoyed making music with numerous musical groups and special artists over the years including, Jazz Northwest, Mark Levine, The Scovell-Sponcia Project, The Times, Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, Idaho-Washington Chorale, Frank Sinatra Tribute Band, Ziji Brazilian Jazz, Bay City Swing and Double Take. With her heart in education, Jennifer spends a great deal of time as a guest artist, clinician and director at music festivals, camps and in classroom outreach. Her vocal arrangements are often performed by college and high school vocal jazz ensembles. She has made demonstration recordings for Hal Leonard Music Publishing and The Complete Guide to Teaching Vocal Jazz, written by Dr. Stephen Zegree. Jennifer is a member of A.C.D.A and J.E.N.