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      New England Music Festival Association, Inc.               June  2017           Volume LXXXI,  No. 3     

Latest News
NEMFA Officers 2017-18
President's Message
Secretary's Report - Executive Board
Secretary's Report - General Meeting
Future Concert Festival Dates
Chorus Manager
2018 Chorus Conductor
Orchestra Manager
2018 Orchestra Conductor
Band Manager
2018 Band Conductor
Lowell Mason House Project
Web Info

Bulletin Signup

Is there anyone that you would like to suggest receive this Bulletin as a way to recruit new members from other schools and states? Please feel free to forward the Bulletin to them or send their e-mail to Editor Tom Reynolds at the following address:




Lewis S. Mills High School
24 Lyon Road
Burlington, CT 06013


Somers, CT (H e-Mail)

Immediate Past-President
Provincetown, MA

Burlington, VT
802.734.2871 (H) (H e-Mail)

Mt. Anthony Union High School
301 Park Street
Bennington, VT 05201
802.447.7511, x262

Executive Secretary-Treasurer
73 Beauchamp Terrace,
Chicopee, MA 01020
413.683.4235 (H Fax)
413.478.7030 (O) (H e-Mail)

Recording Secretary
Kensington, CT (O e-Mail)

Solo & Ensemble Festival Co-Coordinator
White River Junction, VT
603.398.2091(O) (O e-Mail)

Solo & Ensemble Festival Co-Coordinator, Interim Website Manager
Williston, VT
802.343.6282 (O) (S&E e-Mail)

Band Manager
Hartford High School
White River Junction, VT
802.295.8610, x.2536(O) (O e-Mail)

Chorus Manager
Bethel High School
300 Whittlesey Drive,
Bethel, CT 06801
860.985.0643 (Cell) (O e-Mail)

Orchestra Manager
Brien McMahon High School
300 Highland Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06854
203.852.9488 (O) (O e-Mail)

Membership Services Chair
Cheshire Public Schools
525 South Main Street,
Cheshire, CT 06410
203.250.2534 (O)
203.250.2563 (O Fax) (O e-Mail) (H e-Mail))

Interim Dean of Students
Danielson, CT

Social Media Chair
Valley Regional High School
Deep River, CT

Bulletin Editor, Archivist
PO Box 102,
Templeton, MA 01468
617.529-9402 (H) (H e-Mail)

NEMFA Calendar 2017-2018
June 3, 2017 - Executive Board Meeting, 10:00am, Holiday Inn Express, Brattleboro, VT
September 9, 2017 - Executive Board Mtg., 10:00am Lewis S. Mills HS, Burlington CT
December 2, 2017 - Solo & Ensemble Festival North-Hartford HS, White River Jct., VT
December 8, 2017 - Executive Board Meeting-7:30pm, Cheshire, CT
December 9, 2017 - Solo & Ensemble Festival South-Cheshire HS,Cheshire,CT
December 16, 2017 - Solo & Ensemble Festival-Snowdate
March 15-17, 2018 - 91st Concert Festival, Brien McMahon High School, Norwalk, CT
June 2, 2018 - Executive Board Meeting, 10:00am, Holiday Inn Express, Brattleboro, VT 

Interim President's Message -
Sal Cicciarella
Sal Cicciarella

June, 2017

Dear NEMFA Colleagues,
I write to you today expressing my gratitude to our membership and executive board for their continued support and trust within our NEMFA organization.

On June 9, 2017, the NEMFA Executive Board accepted the resignation of Anthony Brackett as President. Mr. Brackett has worked diligently to prepare and present plans for our membership focusing on future growth and innovative strategies benefitting our student musicians and sponsors. We are grateful for his leadership and wish him the best as he continues to be a dedicated parent and public education advocate.

The executive board inquired whether I would willing to step in as Interim-President until our concert festival in March 2018. At that time President-Elect Marjorie Rooen will officially become our next president and the newer voice of our organization.

Please get involved in our NEMFA by volunteering at any level and experience the joy and rewards others before you have experienced for many years. You are the future leadership and voice of NEMFA and we look forward to celebrating our centennial anniversary in 2027 with your support.

Here's hoping your summer days are filled with fun and good health while renewing your music spirit in anticipation of another wonderful academic year.
My best,
Sal Cicciarella  

Interim President, NEMFA
Secretary's Report - NEMFA Executive Board
Gail Reynolds
Gail Reynolds

March 17, 2017
Norwalk, CT.

The meeting was called to order by President Brackett at 10:00 AM

In attendance: Tony Brackett, Sal Cicciarella, Marj Rooen, Bill Sittard, Gail Reynolds, Nola Campbell, Peter Roach, Damon Coachman, Tom Reynolds, Rob Gattie, Steffen Parker, John Kuhner, Frank Whitcomb.

Member Apologies: All Present.

Guests: Hosts Frank Arcari, Scott Benson & Ron Secchi.  Social Media Manager Kevin Lam. Dean of Students Stefanie Weigand,

Recording Secretary Report, Gail Reynolds.  Ms. Reynolds reported that the minutes for the December 9, 2016 meeting were approved by-vote. She also reported that subsequent to the meeting, an electronic MOTION by Tom Reynolds that the New England Music Festival Association, Inc. contribute $1000 towards the sponsorship of a new window in the Lowell Mason House in Medfield, MA prior to February 1, 2017 passed. A MOTION by Steffen Parker to approve the minutes as corrected, passed.                                                                           

Concert Festival Update. Co-host Frank Arcari reported that all is going smoothly to date with no pending issues.  Frank asked the Executive Board to make sure to bring any issues to his attention.

Board Member Reports

Executive Secretary/Treasurer, Bill Sittard's report was approved by A MOTION from Steffen Parker.

Past President Report, Sal Cicciarella. Mr. Cicciarella said that he is very pleased with new President Tony Brackett and is inspired by the direction that NEMFA is taking under his leadership.

President Elect Report, Marj Rooen. No report given.

Dean of Students, Stefanie Weigand reported that everything is going well so far.  She noted that the on-site nurse would not be dispensing OTC (over the counter) medication to students during this Concert Festival.  She recommended that if this happens in the future, the Dean of Students be given a "heads up' prior to the Concert Festival so that the Dean can come prepared with OTC supplies instead of having to get them at the Festival.  President Brackett thanked Stefanie for her service to NEMFA as Dean. He added that Pam Rodgers will serve as Interim Dean next year while the EB searches for a long-term replacement for the position.

Chorus Manager, Damon Coachman. Mr. Coachman reported everything is going well with conductor David Fryling and accompanist Kathleen Bartkowski.  He thanked the hosts for the excellent student helpers that were assigned to assist with the chorus.  Damon added that he, too, is having fun!  

Interim Orchestra Manager, Nola Campbell. Nola reported that she is having a great time and likes the rehearsal venue.  President Brackett thanked Nola for her work as interim Manager while Manager, Scott Benson, was co-hosting the Concert Festival.  Scott Benson presented Miriam Burns as conductor for the 2018 Concert Festival.  A MOTION by Steffen Parker to approve Miriam Burns as the 2018 Orchestra Conductor passed.

Band Manager, Peter Roach. Mr. Roach reported that everything is going well and that the band is adjusting well to the rehearsal area that is a bit small and tight.  He said that the sound is quite loud and is looking forward to getting on stage.  Mr. Roach said that he is looking for a replacement for the 2018 Concert Festival Band Conductor. Peter distributed a list of three conductors to be added to the approved conductor list. A MOTION by Steffen Parker to add Mark Fonder (Ithaca College), Matthew Westgate (UMass) and Richard Saucedo to the approved band conductor list that will extend into the new Band Manager's term passed.  President Brackett thanked Peter for all the work that he has done managing the Band for the past four years.  

Social Media Manager, Kevin Lam, said everything is OK.  He said that Facebook had 1300 views.  Kevin is planning to attend the Northern S&E Festival in December. He will contact the S&E Managers to coordinate the visit.

Bulletin Editor, Tom Reynolds, reported that the next bulletin will be completed June 1.  He said that by May 10, he needs Managers' reports that should include conductor information if available.

Solo & Ensemble Report, Rob Gattie and Steffen Parker. Mr. Parker shared the Concert Festival student participation numbers with the EB.  He said that the student count was 443 at selection, 438 at pre-festival and 421 on site. He reported that the number of parent sponsors is growing.  President Brackett complimented Rob and Steffen on their impressive work on the S&E Festivals. He also recognized and thanked the hosts of the S&E Festivals.

Member Services, John Kuhner. Mr. Kuhner reported that there are 140 host families.  He said that he got testimonials to Tom and Steffen.  He said that the Survey Monkey would be ready by the 2PM membership meeting. Mr. Kuhner suggested an idea for attracting new members and President Brackett asked him to prepare and present a proposal at the June meeting.

Librarian, Frank Whitcomb asked the managers to please get their programs to him in June.  He told the managers that they may return this year's concert music to him unsorted.

President's Update

* Vocal Ensemble Adjudication Forum Report.  President Brackett shared major findings and three recommendations from the previous day's Vocal Ensemble Adjudication Forum.  Steffen Parker suggested a fourth option.  After discussion, the Board decided to present four recommendations to the membership at the Membership Meeting for discussion and a vote. The recommendations will also be sent to all members electronically so that they can give their feedback and vote. The EB will review member feedback and votes at the June meeting and then decide how to proceed for a one-year trial.   
* Virtuoso Report.  President Brackett reported that bonus points awarded to string players by judges at the S&E Festivals were inconsistent.  After discussion, Steffen Parker made a MOTION  to award a flat five points to each student who performs a piece from the Virtuoso list for a trial year. The motion passed.  It was noted that virtuoso pieces will not be identified as such on the judges score sheets.
* The following agenda items were postponed until the June meeting: Concert Festival Showcase of Solo Performances, English Horn Added to S&E Festival, Appointment of Non-Titled Executive Board Members.
* 2018 Concert Festival Host. A MOTION by Frank Whitcomb to approve L.S. Mills H.S in CT. as the 2018 Concert Festival Host passed.
* 2019 Concert Festival Host. A MOTION by Tom Reynolds to approve Woodstock Academy, CT. as the 2019 Concert Festival Host passed.

Unfinished Business

* Constitution/Bylaws first read- Whitcomb/Gattie/G. Reynolds.  President Brackett asked that the EB read the Constitution draft that was distributed at the meeting and to come to the June meeting prepared with comments and suggestions.  He asked that they compare it to the existing Constitution.

* Testimonials from Survey Added to Website. (See "Member Services" under Board Member  Reports, above).

* Woodwind Repertoire Revision Update-Tony Brackett & Brass Repertoire Revision Update - Tom Reynolds. Tony explained the process he used to create his revision lists and asked for a vote to accept both the woodwind (+piano & harp) lists and the brass lists. Steffen Parker made A MOTION to approve the revised brass and woodwind lists. After discussion, the motion was withdrawn.  A MOTION by Tony Bracket to accept the woodwind, harp and piano lists passed. A MOTION made by Nola Campbell to accept the brass solo repertoire list presented and also allowing any additions that may result after consultation with Steffen Parker gleaning the most popular and prudent pieces played over the last ten years passed.

* Items postponed until the June meeting: Instrumental Ensembles at S&E (Steffen Parker), Treble Chorus Proposal (Sal Cicciarello), Jazz Band Proposal (Damon Coachman), Business Cards (Gail Reynolds), Mission Statement, Marketing.

New Business

* Slate of Officers - Sal Cicciarella.  Mr. Cicciarella presented the slate of officers to be voted on at the General Membership Meeting.  The vacant office is that of Band Manager. The candidates are Danielle Conerty from Hartford HS, VT. and Lyvie Byrent from Gilford HS, NH.  Steffen Parker made a MOTION to accept the slate.  Following discussion, the motion passed.
* Fundraising- Tony Brackett. Postponed until the June Meeting.

Future Dates

* Saturday June 3, 2017, 10AM.  Executive Board meeting, Brattleboro, VT.
* Saturday, September 9, 2017, 10AM.  Executive Board meeting, L.S. Mills HS, Burlington, CT.

The meeting adjourned at 12:47 PM.

Minutes prepared by Gail Reynolds, Recording Secretary

                                                                     Respectfully submitted,
                                                                           Gail Reynolds

                                                                        Recording Secretary

Secretary's Report - NEMFA General Meeting
Gail Reynolds
Gail Reynolds
PLEASE NOTE: The following set of minutes presented is the "FINAL DRAFT for APPROVAL" . It is NOT official until the General Membership votes to Approve or Not Approve at the next General Membership NEMFA Meeting, which will take place on March 16, 2018 in Burlington, CT.


March 17, 2017
Norwalk, CT.

The meeting was called to order by President Brackett at 2:06 PM

In attendance were Board Members Tony Brackett, Sal Cicciarella, Marj Rooen, Bill Sittard, Gail Reynolds, Nola Campbell, Peter Roach, Damon Coachman, Tom Reynolds, Rob Gattie, Steffen Parker, John Kuhner, Frank Whitcomb, Stefanie Weigand, Kevin Lam and about fifty additional members of the Association.

Recording Secretary Report, Gail Reynolds.  Ms. Reynolds read the minutes from the previous Annual General Membership Meeting.   A MOTION by Steffen Parker to approve the minutes passed.                                                                           

Concert Festival Update. Co-host Frank Arcari reported that all is going well so far.  He asked for volunteers from the membership to help move equipment after rehearsals end.  He told the membership that he built in time for the groups to hear each other during dress rehearsals. Mr. Arcari said that he has enjoyed hosting and working with the Executive Board.

Board Member Reports

Band Manager, Peter Roach. Mr. Roach reported that the conductor is happy and that the group is working hard. He said that the rehearsal area is small and tight but is working out.  He said he is looking forward to getting on stage.  Mr. Roach invited the membership to drop by and listen to the rehearsal.  President Brackett thanked Peter for all the work that he has done managing the Band for the past four years.  

Interim Orchestra Manager, Nola Campbell. Nola reported that the students came prepared and that conductor John Eells is fantastic.  She shared the results of the string seating auditions with the membership.  President Brackett thanked Nola for her work as interim Manager while Manager, Scott Benson, was co-hosting the Concert Festival

Chorus Manager, Damon Coachman. Mr. Coachman reported that everything is going well with conductor David Fryling and accompanist Kathleen Bartkowski.  He reported that not all of the chorus students came prepared for the festival. He thanked those who assisted with the choral hearings.

Past President Report & Presentation of Slate of Officers, Sal Cicciarella. Mr. Cicciarella complimented the Executive Board, hosts and membership for their contributions to NEMFA.  He presented the slate for the Band Manager vacancy. On the slate were Lyvie Byrent and Danielle Conerty. After a written ballet was tallied, Danielle Conerty from Hartford HS, VT. was named manager.

Dean of Students, Stefanie Weigand was thanked for her service to NEMFA by President Brackett. He told the EB that Pam Rodgers will serve as Dean for next year while a replacement for Stefanie is underway.

Social Media Manager, Kevin Lam said that Instagram is showing more activity and that there have been over thirteen hundred views on Facebook.  He said that he will be attending the Northern Solo & Ensemble Festival in December for a photo shoot.

Bulletin Editor, Tom Reynolds, reported that the next bulletin will be completed June 1.

Solo & Ensemble Report, Rob Gattie and Steffen Parker.  Mr. Gattie reported that mostly the same adjudicators were employed for the Northern and Southern sites.  He thanked everyone who attended Thursday's Vocal Ensemble Adjudication Forum.  Mr. Parker asked the membership to do a better job at reviewing students' forms, especially the medical and housing forms.

Member Services, John Kuhner. Mr. Kuhner reported that this year's survey is now available online. He said that this year's background checks went well with help from Norwalk Housing Chair, Jean Starkman.  there are 140 host families.  

President's Update

* Vocal Ensemble Adjudication Forum Report.  President Brackett shared some of the major findings from the previous day's Vocal Ensemble Adjudication Forum and subsequent Executive Board meeting. Rob Gattie elaborated about the forum.  Mr. Parker talked about scoring options for judges. President Brackett then reported that the Board has settled on four recommendations to present to the Membership. After sharing the recommendations with the Membership, President Brackett asked for questions from the floor. Following discussion, it was decided that the Board will post the four recommendations online and via email to the membership.  The membership will be asked to vote on them and add comments and suggestions. The EB will review the votes and feedback at the June meeting and then decide how to proceed for a one-year trial. 
* Virtuoso Report.  President Brackett told the membership that the Board changed the procedure for scoring virtuoso-list string performances because of inequities in scoring using the present system. He reported that for a one year trial period, virtuoso students will receive a flat five points that will be added to the final tally. The virtuoso pieces will not be labeled as such on the adjudication forms.  It will be on a one year trial basis. Tony asked for sponsors not to encourage students to try a virtuoso piece just for the five extra points.

* Repertoire Lists Update.  President Brackett reported that the brass repertoire revised lists were approved. The lists include virtuoso pieces and will eventually include standards that may have been left out.  He reminded the Membership that the old lists will be grandfathered for one year. He said that the woodwind, piano and harp revised lists were finished and adopted for the next S&E Festival.  Again, the old lists can be used for one more year. The percussion lists are not finished.
* Electronic Distribution of Orchestra Music.  Steffen Parker will make sure that choral students who perform at the S&E Festival for comments-only will not be mailed Concert Festival music.  Mr. Parker was asked by a member why ensemble music is not mailed earlier.  He explained that it is very difficult to exchange instrumentalists' music and that the practice of waiting until all the students are committed has proven to be the best solution to date. Steffen added that we are trying to go digital with ensemble music distribution. President Brackett said that going digital will take time.

* Future Concert Festival Updates.  Mr. Brackett announced that the Board has accepted invitations for hosting both the 2018 and 2019 Concert Festivals.  The 2018 Concert Festival site will be Lewis S. Mills H.S in Burlington, CT. and the 2019 Concert Festival site will be Woodstock Academy, Woodstock, CT.

* Guest Speaker.  President Brackett asked past president, Don Hermance, to speak to the membership.  Mr. Hermance made an impassioned plea to the membership for new and increased volunteerism. He also shared some of his special memories of the organization.  Past President Cicciarella was particularly touched by his presentation.
Future Dates

* Saturday June 3, 2017, 10AM.  Executive Board meeting, Brattleboro, VT.

* Saturday, September 9, 2017, 10AM.  Executive Board meeting, L.S. Mills HS, Burlington, CT.

The meeting adjourned at 3:55 PM.

Minutes prepared by Gail Reynolds

                                                                     Respectfully submitted,
                                                                           Gail Reynolds

                                                                        Recording Secretary

Future NEMFA Concert Festival Dates
     March 15-17, 2018-Lewis S. Mills HS, Burlington,CT
     March 21-23, 2019 - Woodstock Academy,   
                                      Woodstock, CT


Be sure to mark these dates into your calendars. We are always in need of host schools for our concert festivals. If you have never hosted a NEMFA Concert Festival at your school, please consider doing so. It is a very rewarding experience for any school to be a host, and most every NEMFA Concert Festival has had a positive effect on the host school's music program for a long time after the festival is over. It is also a great way to raise funds for your local school program. Please contact President Sal Cicciarella if you have any further questions about hosting a NEMFA Concert Festival.   


  2018 NEMFA Chorus Manager
Damon Coachman
NEMFA Chorus Report
June 2017 Bulletin
Damon Coachman 
Greetings colleagues,
Thank you to everyone who assisted me during this year's 2017 NEMFA Concert Festival.  I did not believe that the onsite choral hearings was going to happen this year but in the last hour, many people stepped up to volunteer. Thank you so much.  If you did not order a CD, I highly recommend that you do. Each ensemble was ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!  During the concert festival, many of you came up to me and said you wanted to join the choral committee. Great! Please send me an email at no later than Friday June 16th so we can start planning for next year.  Like I mentioned at the general meeting, Dr. Janet Galvan is on board to be the conductor for the 2018 NEMFA Honor Choir.

It is my dream that one day the onsite choral hearings will be not necessary because every choral musician will come to the festival prepared. Please help me to fulfill that dream. Have a wonderful end of the year and please enjoy your summer.
Damon Coachman 

Damon E. Coachman is the Director of Bands at Bethel High School in Bethel, CT. Even though he teaches band, he has vast amounts of vocal and choral experience.  He has been a vocal adjudicator for The New England Music Festival Association for the past 15 years. He has been a vocal adjudicator at the region and allstate levels for The Connecticut Music Educators Association for the past 25 years. He teaches a gospel choir at Laurel Music Camp on an annual basis. Also, he has presented sessions on gospel choir techniques for Connecticut Music Educators In-service Conference and the Eastern Division Music Educators Conference. He has participated in the Concora Summer Festival Chorus for the past 15 years. Currently, he is the Assistant Director of Music at The New Covenant Baptist Church in Bloomfield, CT. He has studied choral conducting with Dr. Andre Thomas and Dr. Janet Galvan.

  2018 NEMFA Chorus Conductor
Dr. Janet Galván

Dr. Janet Galván, Director of Choral Activities at Ithaca College, conducts the Ithaca College Choir and Women's Chorale, and is Artistic Director for the Ithaca Children's Choir. In 2010, she founded the chorus UNYC that has performed with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra (Lanfranco Marcelleti, conductor). Her New York colleagues recognized Dr. Galván's contribution to choral music in 1995 when she received the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) New York Outstanding Choral Director Award.
In demand as a guest conductor, Galván has conducted national, regional, and all-state choruses throughout the United States in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Washington's Constitution Hall, Minneapolis' Symphony Hall, Pittsburgh's Heinz Hall, and Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center. She has conducted her own choral ensembles in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, and Avery Fisher Hall as well as in Ireland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Austria, Canada, and Spain. Her ensembles have also appeared at national, regional, and state music conferences.  She has conducted the chamber orchestra Virtuosi Pragneses, the State Philharmonic of Bialystok, Poland, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the Madrid Chamber Orchestra, and the New England Symphonic Ensemble in choral/orchestral performances. Galván was the sixth national honor choir conductor for ACDA, and was the conductor of the North American Children's Choir which performed annually in Carnegie Hall from 1995-2007. She was also a guest conductor for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in 2002.

Galván has been a guest conductor and clinician in the United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece, and Brazil, as well as for national and regional choral and music education conferences, and at the World Symposium on Choral Music.  She was on the conducting faculty for the Carnegie Hall Choral Institute, the Transient Glory Symposium in February of 2012 and the Oberlin Conducting Institute in 2014.

Galván has two choral music series with the Roger Dean Publishing Company and is the author of chapters in two books, Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, Volume 2 and The School Choral Program: Philosophy, Planning, Organizing and Teaching. She is also the series advisor to Latin Accents, a series with Boosey & Hawkes. Her article on the changing voice was published in the International Federation of Choral Music Journal in August of 2007 and was reprinted in La Circulare del Secretariat de Corals Infantils de Catalunga.

Galván has been recognized as one of the country's leading conducting teachers, and her students have received first place awards and have been finalists in both the graduate and undergraduate divisions of the American Choral Directors biennial National Choral Conducting Competition. In addition, she has been an artist in residence at many universities, leading masterclasses, working with the university choirs, and presenting sessions.

Dr. Galván was a member of the Grammy Award-winning Robert Shaw Festival Singers (Telarc Recordings).

Galván is the founder and faculty advisor of the Ithaca College ACDA Student Chapter.  This chapter has won Outstanding Student Chapter at the last five national conventions of ACDA.  She is past president of NYACDA.

  2018 NEMFA Orchestra Manager -
Scott Benson
Dear Colleagues,

The 2017 NEMFA Orchestra performed a stunning concert in March at the 90th Concert Festival in Norwalk, CT. Under the direction of maestro John Eells, they presented an energetic program featuring bravura playing across all sections. The amount of growth shown by the students in the short time from the first rehearsal to the final concert is always amazing, and this year was no exception.

The upcoming 2018 festival will be under the baton of Miriam Burns, whose biography is below. Active around the world and fluent in genres from chamber music to opera to pops, highlights include guest conducting the NAfME All-National Orchestra and eight years as an Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, having been appointed by none other than Kurt Masur. She is truly one of the finest conductors to grace the NEMFA stage, and I eagerly anticipate the work she does with our students.

It is never too early to start thinking ahead for a performance, and to this end, I am pleased to announce the program for next year's festival. The concert opens with Aaron Copland's "Outdoor Overture," composed in 1938 as "American Music for American Youth," and commissioned by the High School of Music and Art in New York. Copland's music is, as always, fresh-sounding and joyful; though originally written for "youth" musicians, it is frequently performed by professional orchestras. Following this is "Summer Evening," from Three Short Tone Poems by Frederick Delius. Born in England, Delius worked at his father's wool business before moving to Florida to live and work on an orange plantation. He finally traveled to Leipzig, met Edvard Grieg, and lived as a composer in Paris. Delius infuses his music with flavors of all his travels, resulting in an impressionist style that is uniquely his own. Rounding out the program is the finale to the Symphony No. 5 of Dmitri Shostakovich. Written under the watchful eyes of a Stalin regime that had questioned his previous works, there are conflicting ideas regarding this final movement. Its conclusion is bombastic under any conductor, but is the triumph that Shostakovich implies sincere or sarcastic?

What a program! Featured moments abound for every instrument in the orchestra, and the selection as a whole promises to be a tour de force. I hope you will share this repertoire with your students, and get them excited about taking part. Summer is a great time to dig in on music for the Solo and Ensemble Festival...though we have all certainly earned at least a LITTLE break from the frenetic pace of the rest of the year! Best wishes to all, and if you have any comments, questions, complaints, or suggestions regarding the NEMFA orchestra, please do not hesitate to be in touch.


Scott Benson

NEMFA Orchestra Manager
Director of Orchestras, Brien McMahon High School
Norwalk, CT

  2018 NEMFA Orchestra Conductor -
Miriam Burns
MIRIAM BURNS was on staff with the New York Philharmonic as one of their Cover Conductors from 1999-2007, having been appointed by Kurt Masur as a result of a competitive audition by-invitation-only. In this capacity, she accompanied the orchestra on tour to the Far East as the tour Assistant Conductor to then new Music Director, Lorin Maazel, and for eight years was entrusted as an assistant conductor on call for countless specific, fully prepared programs under many guest conductors of international repute.

Ms. Burns begins her fifth season as Music Director and Conductor of The McLean Orchestra (VA), continuing as the Music Director of The Orchestra of the Redeemer in New York City since 1995. Recent prior Music Directorships include the Tallahassee Symphony, where she was designated a Paul Harris Fellow for six years of outstanding contribution to the cultural life of Tallahassee, the Kenosha Symphony and the Lawton Philharmonic. Additionally, she has been appointed to the role of Principal Conductor and Music Advisor for the popular multimedia orchestral show RePLAY: Symphony of Heroes, based on the symphonic music of video games. As such, she recently conducted the world premiere with the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, followed by performances with the Houston Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, members of the Toronto Symphony at the Sony Centre, and will conduct ensuing performances with other major orchestras as the show is booked.

Last season, Ms. Burns debuted as guest conductor in two performances with the Magdeburg Philharmonic in Germany and with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra (NY). Prior international engagements have included conducting the Bournemouth Symphony (ENG); in Germany at the Stadthalle in Wuppertal: the First Ladies Symphony Orchestra of Poland, and the YinQi Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan. Highlights of prior guest conducting within the US include appearances with orchestras such as the Memphis Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, Mansfield Symphony, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, MasterWorks Festival, Sewanee Music Festival, C.W. Post Music Festival and the Skaneateles Festival.

Versatile in all genres, she is active on operatic stages as well, having conducted opera at the MasterWorks Festival and having been Associate Music Director of the Bronx Opera Company - conducting opening nights - for nine years. Ms. Burns has performed with two-time Grammy winner Sylvia McNair, and is on the conducting roster of Broadway Pops International, Inc. through which she guest conducted two performances of an Elvis Tribute with the Memphis Symphony. Equally fluent in choral/orchestral repertoire, Ms. Burns has conducted major oratorio with prominent Metropolitan Opera soloists such as Ben Heppner, Heidi Grant Murphy, Angela Brown, Mark Delavan, Mark Oswald and others. Committed to the furthering of musical education of all generations, she recently guest conducted the NAfME All-National Youth Orchestra, is sought-after as an All-State conductor, has guest conducted at CelloSpeak and has twice served as a private coach / specialist on the faculty of Chorus America's Choral/Orchestral Masterclasses for the orchestral conducting training of choral conductors.

Ms. Burns has received conducting awards from the Aspen Music Festival, studying with Paul Vermel, and the Conductors Guild, where she was unanimously presented with their prestigious biennial prize, the Thelma Robinson Scholarship, while still a student at Mannes College of Music (NY). Ms. Burns also received an Artist Diploma in Yale University's eminent Conductor Apprentice Program on full scholarship and upon special invitation of Yale faculty. In this capacity, she regularly worked with noted mentor conductors such as Gunther Herbig, Lawrence Leighton Smith and Eleazar de Carvallho. She also participated in master classes under the tutelage of prominent guests such as Kurt Masur, Leopold Hager and Zdenek Macal. Ms. Burns completed her Masters degree and Professional Studies in Orchestral Conducting on full scholarship at the Mannes College, where she studied with Yakov Kreizberg and Michael Charry. Previously active as a violinist, she holds both Bachelors and Masters degrees in violin performance from Mannes, during which time she began preliminary conducting studies with Semyon Bychkov. Ms. Burns is an alumna of both the New York String Orchestra Seminar under Alexander Schneider, and The Quartet Program. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Burns was an original member of what is now the Chester String Quartet.

  2018 NEMFA Band Manager
Danielle Conerty
 The 2017 NEMFA Band was a great success! The students performed a very polished and musical program under the leadership of conductor/composer Mark Camphouse and band manager Peter Roach. Thank you to everyone who helped make the 2017 festival wonderful experience for all.

The upcoming 2018 NEMFA Band will be conducted by Dr. Mark Fonder and managed by Danielle Conerty. The selected program has a lot of opportunities for percussionists, so we encourage any percussionists in New England to perform in the Solo and Ensemble Festival in order to be considered for the 2018 NEMFA Band. We look forward to the Concert Festival where we will bring some amazing concert band music to life!


Danielle Conerty 
NEMFA Band Manager

NEMFA Band Manager
Band Director, Hartford High School  
White River Jct., Vermont.   
  2018 NEMFA Band Conductor
Dr. Mark Fonder
Dr. Mark Fonder, professor of music, is the conductor of the Ithaca College Concert Band and has been teaching conducting and instrumental music education courses at Ithaca College since 1989.  From 1994 to 2003, he was the Chairman of the Music Education Department.  He is active as a guest conductor, adjudicator, school music consultant, and clinician and has served in these capacities throughout the United States.  Internationally, he has guest conducted, given research presentations or adjudicated bands in Australia, Austria, Germany, Japan, Canada, China, Italy, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. 

Dr. Fonder, a graduate of and twice a fellowship recipient at the University of Illinois, was director of bands at Park Falls (Wisconsin) High School and was on the faculties of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and University of Texas-San Antonio prior to coming to New York.  He has also served on the faculties of The University of Washington, VanderCook College and the Eastman School of Music.  Dr. Fonder authored a book, Patrick Conway and his Famous Band (Meredith Publications, 2012) and his research (over 30 articles) has been published in various journals including the Music Educators Journal, Band Directors Guide, Instrumentalist, Journal of Band Research, Council for Research in Music Education and the Journal of Research in Music Education.  He was chair of the Music Educators Journal Editorial Committee from 1998-2002 and for the past 10 years has edited the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education. 

Dr. Fonder has played principal trombone with the Green Bay (Wisconsin) Symphony, the Green Bay Packer Band, and the San Antonio Brass, and for such entertainers as Robert Goulet, Rich Little, and Rita Moreno.  In 1987, Dr. Fonder was awarded the National Band Association-Wisconsin Chapter Citation of Excellence, in 1998, the Ithaca College President's Recognition Award and has been the recipient of a University of Wisconsin teaching fellowship.  He has been elected to Phi Delta Kappa, an honorary education fraternity, Phi Kappa Phi, an honorary scholars fraternity, Pi Kappa Lambda, an honorary music fraternity and the prestigious American Bandmasters Association.
Lowell Mason House Project
Lowell Mason Poster
by Thomas E. Reynolds
June, 2017

The Lowell Mason House has raised over $330,000.00 now towards the necessary $500,000.00 to complete the restoration of the house, to turn it into a museum and a meeting place. We are grateful to the 15 music educators associations around the United States that have made contributions towards its restoration, including the New England Music Festival Association. The NEMFA Executive Board recently voted to sponsor a window installation at the house, and this donation helped the Lowell Mason House meet a $25,000.00 Challenge Match that a local anonymous resident made, essentially doubling the amount of money that we raised in the last two months.

Construction work continues to progress. The first phase of construction that has been completed included the installation of new steel girder support beams, a new basement floor and windows in it, and a new roof. We are now bringing some utilities into the house including electricity, water, and gas. We hope to have this Phase I construction project completed shortly.  In the next phase of the program, we are replacing the old, worn-out windows and doors with historically accurate  updates, and tearing the old, non-original exterior shingles and replacing them with new cedar clapboards. The exterior of the house will now be much more weather-tight than it is presently when this phase is complete. The building will look considerably nicer from the outside after the new windows, doors, and siding are installed, and it is anticipated that this work will be completed by August 30, 2017.

It became my honor to assume being the President of the Lowell Mason House Executive Board in September, 2016 for the next two years. 
We have also recently entered into a new partnership with the Mason & Hamlin Piano Company. Mason & Hamlin pianos are being built by hand at its factory in Haverhill, Massachusetts. After taking a tour of the factory last week, it is obvious that these pianos are still being built to the highest standards of quality. The Mason & Hamlin pianos that you remember in your early days of teaching are still around and better than ever. For more information about Mason & Hamlin, founded by Lowell Mason's son Henry and Emmons Hamlin, with financial support from Lowell Mason, please contact me directly. For that matter, if you are in need of a new piano, please contact me directly as well and I can get you linked up with Mason & Hamlin. 
The mission of the Lowell Mason House is to preserve, restore, and promote Lowell Mason's birthplace as a significant historical and educational resource.
  • Partnering with local arts organizations by providing office and meeting space to support the arts and the importance of arts education in our schools
  • Building an up-to-date rehearsal and performance space which will include music technology and recording facilities
  • Restoring and preserving the house to include a Lowell Mason museum
All cultivated within the home of the Father of Music Education, and fueled by a living endowment, fulfilling Lowell Mason's dream that "Children must be taught music as they are taught to read."
Thank you so much for your interest and support in this project. As you can see, we are making great progress towards the full restoration of the house. Donations are always welcomed and we can now see the house moving closer to completion. Thank you for considering making a tax-deductible donation today. Please make checks payable to: The Lowell Mason House, P. O. Box 913 Medfield, MA 02052. Your contribution is tax-deductible as a charitable contribution to the extent provided by U.S. tax law. ·
- Thomas E. Reynolds
Please feel free to drop me a line at for any suggestions to improve the Bulletin. Find it also on

Hope that you have a great summer!


Thomas Reynolds

New England Music Festival Association, Inc.