2017 is of to a Fast Start.
Having just returned from the Society Mid-Winter convention in San Antonio, here are some of the highlights from a fantastic convention/contest/festival.
This was one of the largest Mid-Winter conventions that the Society has had. Im not sure of the final count but last number I was aware of was around 2100 registrations. The Thursday and Saturday night shows were first rate with a wide variety entertainment that had something for everyone. The Saturday night show may have run a little long, but I stayed to the end and enjoyed every minute. The enthusiasm of the youth participants for all the performers was over the top. If only there was a way bottle and sell that energy we all could be rich. The city was fun and the event was well run and the venue was first rate. It was the best of the best — my advise is to buy your ticket now for next year, you won’t be disappointed.
Congratulations are in order for our RMD representatives for a job well done. Just A Ticket did a wonderful job in the Senior Quartet contest that was one the best Senior contests that I have attended. 52eighty represented RMD in the youth festival and received an Outstanding rating.
Click HERE to download the Senior Contest scoresheet.
This years youth (and now Seniors) festival proceeded under a little different format than in prior years. There were 20 youth groups invited to preform – 10 male, 5 female, and 5 Mixed ensembles. Interspersed during the day performances were 5 Seniors Choruses representing 5 districts in the Society – Carolinas,Ontario,Evergreen,Johnny Appleseed, and Southwest. All of the groups received a rating of either Good, Excellent, Outstanding, or Superior.
Click HERE to download the Youth Festival scoresheet.
This years youth festival set a record in the number of participants with right at 600 youth preforming. Judging by the amount of enthusiasm that filled the theater it was a raging success. I did talk with many of them and they all were excited about the art form and could not get enough of it.
This change in the addition of female and mixed groups was primarily initiated by the comments from the Society’s conversations with national education organizations like ACDA and NAfME, who said that they loved the opportunity of involving boys in our art form but, they also had to make sure that the same opportunities were available to girls. The Society’s view is that if we want to continue to build the bridges between all of our organizations, we will need to offer this opportunity in the future. The big challenge is offering enough opportunities as they already have 30 applications for 2018 from groups that would like to attend.
The other big change this year was the inclusion of Senior Choruses (55 and older) in the festival. This was an initiative that came from the DP Council from a couple of districts that wanted to provide a opportunity for some older guys who had never had a chance to sing at a national level to preform. This was the first year for this, and early indications are that it was a success and will be something that will continue. These choruses were made up of district wide membership and open to anyone that wanted to participate. It is primarily a grass roots program that starts with someone willing to organize it. If a group comes together a district gives them a chance to be evaluated and scored and those results are then sent to the Society who will then issue an invitation to a group to attend the Mid-Winter Convention and preform. This year they decided to invite 5 choruses to attend. That is also the number of choruses that applied to participate. In the future if more that 5 choruses apply, than they will likely use the evaluation score to decide who to invite. At this point I do not see this as a RMD sponsored program, but if a group comes together and wants to try and do this, we should be supportive and provide an opportunity the them the be evaluated.
Some other notable recognition about RMD members :
Woody Woods has been named Category Specialist for the Contest Administrators and has taken over those duties as of Jan. 1st 2017. Woody was serving on the judging panel in San Antonio and as one would expect things ran like a well timed clock. Congratulations Woody
Mike Deputy has been named Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Harmony Foundation. This is a well deserved appointment and I am sure that Mike will help guide the Foundation in the right direction in the future. Thanks for all you do Mike and know that RMD supports your efforts.
RMD District President