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      New England Music Festival Association, Inc.            September  2017              Volume LXXXII,  No. 1     

Latest News
NEMFA Officers 2017-18
President's Message
Secretary's Report
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)

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
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, Lewis S. Mills High School, Burlington, CT
June 2, 2018 - Executive Board Meeting, 10:00am, Holiday Inn Express, Brattleboro, VT 
Interim President's Message -
Sal Cicciarella
Sal Cicciarella
September, 2017

Dear NEMFA Colleagues,

Welcome back to another year of educational achievements focusing on music excellence for you and your students.

I write you today with news affecting our membership and students for this academic/festival year needing your attention. Changes include an updated S&E instrumental repertoire list and a pilot program festival showcase, featuring instrumental and vocal solo performances during our festival choral concert.  At our choral forum in March, the executive board, upon the recommendations of members present, will implement a trial choral scoring adjudication procedure. Additional details will be forthcoming in this and all bulletins as it will be an informative resource for the Solo & Ensemble and Festival Concert experience.

Recently our membership enrollment has steadily declined as a result of the educational demands: scheduling, responsibilities and calendar commitments of our teaching assignments. You are the leaders of the organization's future and with you lies the fate for our future growth and prosperity.  Consider stepping forward to offer your talents and time in any capacity. You will not regret the rewards reaped by such a kind and generous act of involvement. If you would like to discuss this further with myself or any board member, just ask....I promise you will wish you had considered this invitation earlier.

Our 2018 NEMFA Concert Festival will be held at Lewis S. Mills High School, Burlington, CT. (N.B. not Burlington, VT!)  March 15-17, 2018, Our host, John Deeb and his entire festival staff is prepared to welcome you to this beautiful part of Connecticut. John has hosted many times with great success and I promise your students' experience will be a musical memory never to be forgotten. The executive board thanks Mr. Deeb for his continued support and dedication to our organization.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Pamela Rodgers as our new Dean of Students. Pam has served as sponsor, site host, and participated with many students during her teaching tenure at Killingly High School, CT. Welcome, Pam!

Please look for our ensemble managers report in this bulletin. We would like to welcome our newest manager, Scott Benson from Norwalk , CT as Orchestra Manager. Returning for their second year is Danielle Conerty, Concert Band Manager, and Damon Coachman, Choral Manager.

Mark you calendar:
Saturday, December 2, 2017-S&E Festival - North, Hartford High School, VT

Friday, December 8, 2017 7:00 PM Executive Board Meeting, Cheshire, CT

Saturday, December 9, 2017 - S&E Festival - South, Cheshire High School, CT

Saturday, December 16, 2017 - S&E SNOW date for both North and South

Thursday - Saturday, March 15-17, 2018 - Concert Festival Lewis S. Mills H. S. , Burlington, CT

March 14-16, 2019 - Concert Festival  Woodstock Academy , Woodstock, CT

We, your executive board , are here to serve and assist you making your NEMFA experience rewarding and nurturing for all. Best wishes for a wonderful school year!

Thank you again for allowing me to serve our great NEMFA!

My best to you,

Sal Cicciarella  

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

June 3, 2017
Brattleboro, VT.

The meeting was called to order by President Brackett at 10:01 A.M.

 In attendance: Tony Brackett, Marj Rooen, Bill Sittard, Gail Reynolds, Scott Benson, Danielle Conerty, Damon Coachman, Tom Reynolds, Rob Gattie, Sal Cicciarella, Frank Whitcomb. Member Apologies: Steffen Parker, John Kuhner.

Guests: None.

Minutes- Gail Reynolds, Recording Secretary.  Ms. Reynolds reported that the minutes for the March 2017 EB Meeting passed as submitted via e vote. President Brackett told the Board that he would like to go green in the future and stated that he welcomed member input at the end of the meeting.

Board Member Reports

Executive Secretary/Treasurer, Bill Sittard reported that we are in the black so far this year.  He submitted the financial report to the EB.  President Brackett added that a host family from Norwalk made a $500 donation to NEMFA after the Concert Festival.   A MOTION by Gail Reynolds to accept the report passed.

Past President Report, Sal Cicciarella reported that at the Past Presidents' Meeting in March, a recommendation was made that the Executive Board continue to be involved in recruiting new members for NEMFA and to encourage the new and existing members to be more active in the Board.

President Elect Report, Marj Rooen. No report given.

Bulletin Editor, Tom Reynolds, reported that he would like to get the bulletin out around June 10th.  Gail Reynolds said that the minutes from the June 3 EB meeting would not be ready by that time. President Brackett reminded the Ensemble Managers to get their reports to Tom by June 6, especially the Conductors' biographies.

Solo & Ensemble Report, Rob Gattie and Steffen Parker.  Mr. Gattie read Steffen Parker's report.  In the report, Mr. Parker stated that both S&E Festivals ran smoothly.  He reported that the online system continues to work well and noted that sponsors could do more to assure that the online forms are correct before submitting them. Further, the report stated that the online distribution of orchestra music went well and that the hope was to also send out the band music electronically for the 2018 Concert Festival. His report covered the March forum that focused on the Vocal Ensemble scoring process.  The report is available upon request by contacting Recording Secretary, Gail Reynolds.  Mr. Gattie said that the S&E Managers are considering asking the adjudicators to watch a short video about judging as part of the adjudicators' meeting prior to each S&E Festival. He added that there was some discussion with Steffen about possibly moving adjudicators between rooms.

Member Services, John Kuhner. No report was given.

Librarian, Frank Whitcomb reported that, pending program approval, he will have the CF music and folders ready by the September meeting.  This will not include any rental music.  He reported that a good amount Festival music had not yet been returned. He noted that most of it was choral music.  Following discussion, it was decided that Mr. Whitcomb would send the list of missing music to Executive-Treasurer, Bill Sittard, who will then send a bill to those students and schools.

Chorus Manager, Damon Coachman. Mr. Coachman reported that the conductor for the March Festival, David Fryling, was very impressed with the Chorus and expressed interest in being invited back.  Mr. Coachman also said that accompanist, Kathleen Bartkowski, is available. Mr. Coachman said that following the choral hearings, 33 students were identified as "remedial".  He added that another 30 had not been heard due to arriving late to the Festival.  He said that he is considering automatically placing late-arriving vocalists into the remedial session. President Brackett asked that there be a review at the September EB meeting of the scoring process for choral hearings.  Mr. Coachman asked if there is a list of approved conductors. Following discussion, Tony asked that current Ensemble Managers get a list of approved conductors (provided that one exists) from the former managers and bring the lists to the September meeting so that the EB can have a rudimentary approved list in place.

           Mr. Coachman presented choral programs for approval. Following discussion, it was decided that Mr. Coachman share the Boards' concerns and questions with the conductor and send the reply to President Brackett who will in turn present it electronically to the EB for discussion.

Orchestra Manager, Scott Benson.  President Brackett read the interim Orchestra Manager, Nola Campbell's report.  The report stated the orchestra students were well prepared and that they liked the rehearsal area.  She asked that the NEMFA EB review the evening sign out procedure for students who are not staying with host families.

            Manager, Scott Benson, presented the program proposals submitted by 2018 Conductor, Mirium Burns.  Following discussion, a MOTION by Gail Reynolds to approve Proposal #1 passed. Two conductors were submitted for approval.  Following discussion, the submission was withdrawn.

Band Manager, Danielle Conerty. Danielle presented the program proposal for conductor, Mark Fonder.  Following discussion, a MOTION by Tom Reynolds to accept program #3 was approved.  Ms. Conerty added that the band music will be distributed electronically. Danielle submitted a list of six band conductors for approval. A MOTION by Tom Reynolds to approve adding the six conductors to the approved list, passed.

Post-Concert Festival Manager Report, Steffen Parker. President Brackett read the report in the absence of Mr. Parker.  The report recommended that a Managers' Handbook be made. Toward that goal, Danielle Conerty volunteered to keep a log of her duties and tasks during her first year (this year) as Band Manager.  A copy of the report is on file with the Recording Secretary.  Another suggestion from the report was to hand out luggage tags to students at the Concert Festival.

The Post-Concert Festival Host Report was submitted by Frank Arcari and read by co-host, Scott Benson. Mr. Arcari's report stated that there was an $8,000-$10,000 profit, mostly from ads and donations.  He added that City Hall loved the Festival being there and would be eager to do it again.  He said that revenue from concert attendance was low and that 50-80 patrons entered the concert hall without having paid for tickets. It was reported that both CD and Tee shirt sales were very low. He added that housing was a challenge and that some sponsors might consider looking into the option of housing their students at hotels. 

President's Report

a.     Concert Festival Showcase of soloists from S&E Festivals.  President Brackett suggested that we try this on a trial basis at the 2018 Concert Festival.  He shared his plan on how judges would score it and how it would work within the Concert Festival.  Following discussion, Mr. Brackett said that he would come up with a proposal to present to the Board in September.

b.     English Horn.  Tom Reynolds made a MOTION that English Horn solos be added to the S&E list.  The motion passed.

c.     Access to the NEMFA Database.  Mr. Brackett said that he does not yet have access to the database.  Bill Sittard said that he did not have access, either.  Frank Whitcomb said that he does have access.  Mr. Brackett said that he would look into it.

d.     Appointment of non-titled Board Members.  President Brackett explained why he would like to see this happen and would revisit the idea in September.

e.     Hiring a Nurse.  After discussion, the Board decided to make no changes in the current practice regarding on-site Concert Festival nurses.

f.      Centennial Celebration.  President Brackett said that it's not too early to think about the upcoming NEMFA Centennial Year.  He reported that he has been searching online for former NEMFA participants who are now professional musicians.  He said that he had located more than 30 and will keep looking.  He suggested that a subcommittee be formed to come up with suggestions on how the alumni could be used in our 100th Festival in 2028.  Tom Reynolds volunteered and Tony asked that anyone else who is interested to email Tom.

Unfinished Business

a.     Constitution/Bylaws Project- Whitcomb/Gattie/G. Reynolds.  The draft of the revised Constitution was reviewed excluding the Mission Statement. After discussion, Tom Reynolds made a MOTION to approve the Constitution draft with the condition that the Committee will amend Article VI quorum percentage at the Annual General Membership Meetings. The motion passed.

b.     Mission Statement for Constitution-President Brackett asked the Board to review the distributed list of suggested Mission Statements for the September meeting.

c.     NEMFA Business Cards- Gail Reynolds.  A copy of several business card drafts was distributed to the Board.  After review and discussion, Tom Reynolds made a MOTION to approve sample C with any tweaks to be submitted to Ms. Reynolds via email by June 30.

d.     Percussion Repertoire Lists- Tom Reynolds and Marj Rooen agreed to work together toward completion of this list.

e.     Treble Choir - Sal Cicciarella. Postponed until December EB meeting.

f.      Jazz Band - Damon Coachman, Steffen Parker.  Postponed until September.

g.     Instrumental Ensembles at the S&E Festivals- Steffen Parker.  Postponed until September.

New Business

a.     Results from on line vote regarding vocal adjudication.  A report on the results of the survey were submitted by Steffen Parker and read by Rob Gattie.  Following discussion, the Board decided to incorporate suggestions #2 and #4 for a trial for next year.

b.     Secondary Signatory - Bill Sittard.  The need for a secondary signatory was discussed.  A MOTION by Frank Whitcomb to appoint President Tony Brackett as secondary signatory to the NEMFA account passed.

c.     2018 Concert Festival- Lewis Mills HS.  It was reported that Host John Deeb is already at work and that everything is going well.

d.     Membership - John Kuhner, Gail Reynolds.  Postponed until September.

e.     Dean of Students & OTC Medications- This was addressed earlier in the President's Report (section e.).

f.      Web Directory- Marj Rooen.  President-Elect Rooen suggested a membership web directory.  After discussion, it was decided that this topic will be revisited in September.

Future Dates

·       Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 10:00 AM-  EB Meeting at Lewis S. Mills HS, Burlington, CT.

·       Saturday, December 2, 2017- S&E Festival - NORTH

·       Friday, December 8, 2017- 7:00PM Executive Board Meeting

·       Saturday, December 9, 2017- S&E Festival - SOUTH

·       Saturday, December 16, 2017- S&E SNOW date for both North and South

·       Thursday- Saturday, March 15-17, 2018- Concert Festival, Lewis S. Mills H.S., Burlington, CT.

Any other business that could not be brought to the President before the setting of this agenda.  Tom Reynolds reported that he is getting information on "Auditions Made Easy" site.  President Brackett asked Tom for an update in September.

The meeting adjourned at 12:39 P.M.


An Executive Session for the purpose of discussing alleged behavior of a NEMFA Board member convened following the completion of the Board Meeting. The session commenced at 1:01 PM and concluded at 1:37 PM.

ADDENDUM TO THE JUNE 3, 2017 MINUTES.  Two motions were presented electronically for an e vote following the conclusion of the June 3, 2017 Executive Board meeting-

·       Gail Reynolds made a MOTION to accept President Tony Brackett's resignation.  The motion passed.

·       Gail Reynolds made a MOTION for the EB to appoint past president, Sal Cicciarella, as Interim President effective upon approval and to terminate at the conclusion of the 2018 Concert Festival.  The motion passed.

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
September 2017 Bulletin
Damon Coachman 
Greetings colleagues,
Hope that you all had a great summer vacation and have returned ready for another successful year! 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 ASAP so we can plan for this year.  Like I mentioned at the general meeting last March, Dr. Janet Galván is on board to be the conductor for the 2018 NEMFA Honor Choir.

The program for the 2018 NEMFA Chorus is as follows:
Handel, George Frideric - Sing Unto God (from Judas Maccabaeus) 
Elder, Daniel - Lullaby 
Quartel, Sarah - Snow Angel, Movements 3 and 4 
Rardin, Paul - Sound Off 
Mulholland, James - A Red, Red Rose from "Four Robert Burns Ballads" 
Smallwood, Richard/arr. Doreen Rao - Total Praise  
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,

Ah, September - the last few weeks of summer warmth, the first overnight hints of the crisp air to come, and in rehearsal rooms all over: the promise of a new year full of possibilities. The choir directors are reminding their singers how to use solfege, the band directors are reminding their players how to play a Bb scale (in orchestra, it's D), and the theory teachers are opening up their students' eyes to the wonderful world of the grand staff. We all know how basic the beginning of the year can feel - just as we know how quickly the grind of competitions, concerts, and auditions will set in. Add to the list a seemingly-endless calendar of faculty meetings, maybe a NEASC visitation, and who knows what new life-changing, student-saving initiative decreed from on high, and it won't be long before we're once again counting how many days until graduation!

As music educators, we each face challenges unique to our situation, on top of the struggles common to all contemporary educators. An NPR report states that 8% of teachers leave the profession every year, and only a third of those are retiring. As a Psychology Today article said, "Teaching is harder than it looks, the schedule is more demanding than it sounds, the number of demands that must be met simultaneously is crushing, and the stakes of having a major impact on so many young lives are sky high." On the list of contenders for "Understatement of the Year," this ranks right up there with "trombones, you're too loud!" Knowing this, how do we recharge ourselves to provide the best possible experience for our students?

Maybe I'm a little bit biased, but...can I suggest participation in NEMFA? There are any number of festival experiences offered to you and your students, but NEMFA is truly one of the finest. The musical experience is equal to just about any other festival your students might attend, and the feeling of community is unmatched. What a joy it is to work in concert with so many other directors who know a festival can be high-level, demanding, even a little competitive, but also friendly and welcoming! If you're reading this, I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, but consider whether you can bring a new school or two into the fold. I know that many NEMFA directors were once participants themselves, but for those like me who never got the chance - remember, somebody once reached out to you and invited you to come along. Why not do the same for the colleagues you know who would benefit from being a part of this organization?

Now, climbing down from my soapbox, I'll remind you that the upcoming 2018 Concert Festival Orchestra 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. The program is exciting and challenging for every section: Aaron Copland's "Outdoor Overture," Frederick Delius' "Summer Evening," and the finale of Dmitri Shostakovich's "Symphony No. 5." I hope you will share this repertoire with your students, and get them excited about taking part. It won't be long before the temperatures drop, the leaves fall, and we all pull in to the S&E Festival. Until then - best wishes to all for your school year, 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
 Dear Colleagues,

I hope that you have all found time to relax and enjoy the summer, and that you are having a wonderful start to your school year. The 2018 NEMFA Band preparations are well underway and it is looking to be a great experience for your students.

The conductor this year is Dr. Mark Fonder. Please see below for his full biography. Dr. Fonder brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his conducting, and he has selected an ambitious and diverse musical program with features for every instrument family. The program selections are: "Vanity Fair" by Percy Fletcher/Karrick, "Fantasies on a Theme by Haydn" by Norman Dello Joio, "Nil Sounkoro" by Thierry Muller, and "By the Light of the Polar Star" by John Philip Sousa. Take a listen to these great selections, and please share them with your students as well.

This program has plenty of  percussion opportunities, so please do encourage your percussionists to perform in the Solo and Ensemble Festival along with your wind players! If you have an interest in serving on the NEMFA Band Committee during the festival, please contact me to get involved. I look forward to working with all of you and the band students at the upcoming festivals. Here's to a great year!


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
September, 2017

At this time of publication, the Lowell Mason House is receiving a makeover in its next construction phase, with new siding, windows and doors. We hope to have this part of the project complete before December! 
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.

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

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Hope that you have a great school year!


Thomas Reynolds

New England Music Festival Association, Inc.