Current Courses

Spring 2023

  • MUSC 4415-002
    Univ/Comm Ensemble
  • MUSC 4415-003
    Univ/Comm Ensemble
  • MUSC 6180-001
    Adv Lessons Major 1
  • MUSC 6181-003
    Secondary Lessons Maj I
  • MUSC 6190-003
    Adv Lessons Major 3
  • MUSC 6191-003
    Secondary Lesson Maj
  • MUSC 6415-002
    Univ/Comm Ensemble
  • MUSC 6415-003
    Univ/Comm Ensemble
  • MUSC 7190-003
    Doctoral Private Lesson
  • MUSC 7191-003
    Doc Secondary Lessons

Fall 2022

Professional Organizations

  • Utah Cultural Alliance. 01/01/2018 - 12/31/2018. Position : Member.
  • Utah Viola Society. 10/10/2015 - present. Position : Member.
  • College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA). 01/01/2010 - present. Position : Member-Conference Host for 2016 National Conference.
  • Conductors Guild. 01/01/1997 - present. Position : Member.
  • National Association for Music Education. 01/01/1992 - present. Position : Member.
  • American String Teachers Association. 01/01/1990 - present. Position : Member.

Teaching Philosophy

“Time is like a superglue, keeping our story in order as we navigate the world around us”—Maurizio Benazzo

As a conductor and teacher of conducting, my main responsibility is one of discovering, sharing and expressing the information found in a score of music.  It is my goal to do this and point the way for students to find this, not by telling, but by showing ways in which they may find it within themselves to express music, whether in great swaths of sound, or within the intonation of separate intervals.  But the bulk of my work and teaching regards understanding the flow of music through rhythm, tempo, and relationships that at first may seem unconnected.

Certainly, these are things that are very important to my craft as a conductor.  Tempo control, metric organization and rhythmic precision are all something that is a great responsibility for all of us–the conductor, soloist, and orchestra.  But behind all my admonishments to “watch the stick,” “play the subdivision correctly,” and  “don’t rush (or drag),” there is a deeper truth to the importance of flow and rhythm in the music.

Rhythm and tempo are indeed two of the critical elements that hold a composition together.  Unfortunately, we musicians often learn these as dry subjects.  We learn to “play correctly.”  Indeed, we must do this if there is any hope of tight ensemble.  Understanding the correct subdivision and how it fits into the whole is tantamount to understanding a piece of music.  That is only the beginning, though.

Few musicians continue the journey into why the music is written as it is.  Why does a pickup note energize the melody?  Why does a rhythm pervade the piece?  Why does the dotted “8th-16th” rhythm feel differently for one piece over another?  This needs to be asked from the first time a musician approaches a piece.  But also, it should be a question to be asked when the music is not going as smoothly as it should.  Us musicians, we get stuck on “notes.”  (Pitches, tone, melodies and the like).  What we forget is that without the rhythm (which in my opinion includes meter and tempo), the music may bear little resemblance to what the composer intended. And the key to understanding (and fixing) is often found there, in the lifeblood of music—TIME.

So this is why I insist on understanding rhythm and also relaying certain information to the orchestra through gestures and sometimes words.  The way a rhythm is played, the pace at which a tempo flows, and the natural stresses of metric organization all lead towards understanding and transmission of the music within the notes.  In turn, this leads to an informed and effective performance of the music.  If students understand this, they are well on their way to understanding how to present and express great works of art from the stage, no matter the venure.

This edited entry first appeared as an entry in my blog, Before the Downbeat on April 17, 2012.  http://beforethedownbeat.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/the-pit-and-the-pendulum-part-1/

 

 

Courses I Teach

  • MUSC 3385 - Ensemble Conducting
    Ensemble Conducting-Undergraduate
  • MUSC 4440. 6440 - University Campus Symphony
    Campus-wide Orchestra
  • MUSC 4445, 6445, 7445 - Utah Philharmonia
    Orchestra
  • MUSC 6190, 7190 - Private Lessons
    Private Conducting Lessons
  • MUSC 6850, 7850 - Conducting Seminar
    Graduate Conducting Seminar
  • MUSC 6870. 7870 - Seminar in Orchestral Literature and Resources
    Graduate Seminar

Teaching Projects

  • Residency with Kerstin Caldwell. Project Lead: Robert Baldwin. School of Music MORE funds 03/16/2021 - 03/18/2021. Total Budget: $750.00.
  • Residency with Everett McCorvey. Project Lead: Robert Baldwin. Collaborators: Lisa Chaufty, Elizabeth Craft. SoM Equity and Diversity MORE committee 02/23/2021 - 02/24/2021. Total Budget: $500.00.
  • Collaborative Residency with Wuhan University, China (on hold due to pandemic). Project Lead: Robert Baldwin. Collaborators: Bo Wu. School of Musiic, College of Fine Arts 01/01/2020 - present. Total Budget: $0.00.
  • Collaborative Residency with Wuhan University. Project Lead: Robert Baldwin. School of Music, College of Fine Arts 09/12/2019 - 09/19/2019. Total Budget: $23,000.00.
  • Monika Jalili and Ensemble Residency. Project Lead: Robert Baldwin. Collaborators: Nathan Devir, Michael Sammons, Cathryn Clayton. University Teaching Committee 08/09/2018 - 12/06/2018. Total Budget: $13,180.00.

Current Students

  • Jong-hun Bae, Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.), Project Type: Project. Role: Chair.
  • Jong-hun Bae, Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.), Project Type: Project. Role: Chair.