Category Archives: Director’s DIARY

One More Time . . . Revisited

On April 23 I wrote that I had been asked to postpone my retirement and stay on one more year as Director of the School of Music.  I was OK with that. Now we are deep into necessary budget cuts, and the University is encouraging longtime faculty to retire so their position can be de-funded and not refilled. So now I have agreed, for the good of the cause, to go ahead after all and retire August 31.

This is not a case of the captain going down with the ship, but instead calculated sacrifices to keep as many crew still on board as possible. It looks as though three full-time music faculty will be joining me in a graceful exit. Gratitude to them and many thanks for everyone’s patience and dedication.

Wait — not refill the director position?! Dr. Joey Martin has agreed to serve two years as Interim Director of the School of Music. I will do whatever I can to help him and the School of Music continue to thrive as best they can in the face of the challenges still ahead.                      TC

            Music is Essential.

More Clark’s Rules

The original Clark’s Rules for Musician Success are seven basic principles to live by. They have worn well, largely drawn from my observation of the common traits of great musicians I’ve had the good fortune to meet or work with.

As I head toward the end of my administrative career, I reflect now on the many wonderful leadership mentors I’ve had the honor to work with. My reflections incorporate a few of the first 7 rules.                        TC

Clark’s Rules for Good Leadership

RULE 6:    BECOME A LEADER            It’s a lifelong process of self-development, not a hat you can simply put on.

RULE 5:    PLAN AHEAD            Fundamentally, that’s the main thing a leader does.

RULE 7:    ENCOURAGE OTHERS            Enable their good ideas. Trust their skill and commitment. Seek the best in others.

RULE 8:    IDENTIFY GOALS            Embrace a true mission. Let the practical goals flow from the mission.

RULE 9:    TAKE RISKS            Calculated, reasonable risks worth the payoff. Don’t be afraid of failure. Redefine it as simply not succeeding on the first try.

RULE 3:    DO THE WORK            Not everything can or should be delegated. Be well informed. Know how the systems and teams you lead operate.

RULE 10:  SOLVE PROBLEMS            Not necessarily quickly. Sometimes with time they solve themselves. Wait while seeking all the information, possibilities you need to consider. For the toughest, brainstorm, think the unthinkable. Engage others in the solution.

RULE 11:  ACT ETHICALLY            Be considerate but honest. Avoid being unnecessarily judgmental. Transcend stereotypes. Don’t assume you know what’s best for others. Choose the greatest benefit for the greatest number of stakeholders, while being fair to all.

RULE 12:  SHARE CREDIT            Or just simply give it away. It will come back to you if it’s deserved. Everyone knows anyway, the best accomplishments are team collaborations.

One More Time

The end of my 12th year as Director of the School of Music was to be my last before retirement, after 49 years of college teaching and administration. It’s not at all the kind of celebratory last year of my career that I was expecting!

And as it turns out, also not my last year. Under these extraordinarily challenging circumstances and with a TXST hiring freeze in place, I have been asked to serve one more year as Director, through May 31, 2021. Why not make it 50, having embraced this amazing School of Music through the best of times and worst of times? I will serve joyously through 13 more months of pride in all the wonderful things our students, faculty, alumni, and staff will accomplish.            TC

Keep singing

National Museum of Art, Prague 2019

As we each realize how important our health, family, and community are to us, we realize things about ourselves as musicians and members of our Somos Músicos School of Music community . . .

We miss being together and making music together so much that even the remote togetherness of a group Zoom session is joyful.

We realize the value of time alone, to practice and to prioritize our work, refreshing our minds.

We will not / cannot stop singing, playing, making and listening to music, uplifting and maintaining our spirits.

TC           

Music is Essential

TC writes:

Plans are now in place for the students and faculty of the School of Music to safely continue their studies by remote communication for the remainder of the semester. The isolation is difficult, with music-making being such a team sport, but the music faculty are rising creatively to the challenge. I trust the students will too!

The hardest part is losing even temporarily the opportunity for public performance of our shared art. But this is a moment in which we all must reaffirm together that music and the other Arts are essential not only to us as practitioners but to our communities and to society. We pledge to do our part to keep the flame bright and ready to rekindle the human spirit!

 

Youth Mariachi featured

Director’s Diary — TC writes:

Sunday, September 29, the San Marcos Daily Record ran a wonderful front-page story about our community outreach program, headlined “Mariachi Infantil trains youth in music, shares culture.”

We are understandably proud of the work of TXST Professor John Lopez and his TXST students and colleagues training children and youths to love and skillfully perform this exciting traditional music.

Experimental music composer Larry Austin (1930 – 2018)

TC writes:

Larry Austin (1930-2018) was a man of contradictions, embodying and embracing many strong profiles, some directly opposite. Listening to his music, some sounds gritty and assaulting; some is exquisitely beautiful. He reveled in human improvisation, yet became a leading expert engaging mathematics and computers in his music. He was a radical experimentalist, even revolutionary about his music; yet also a professor who respected and advanced the great body of Western art music and inspired his many talented students to do likewise.

He was passionately driven to advance his music and career; yet he was even more devoted to his large, beautiful family. In both, he built a legacy that is wonderful and perpetual, a body of fascinating compositions that exist for all time, and a family that through already several generations continues his legacy of love.

Tom&Larry

Another awesome SoM weekend

TC writes:

“I can claim that the weekend here at the School of Music was just another typical weekend, and it was — typically full and awesome, but extraordinarily so.

Friday night: Hill Country Youth Chorus sang at Sights and Sounds; Graduate Composition Recital; Wind Symphony concert.

Saturday: Audition Day for prospective music majors; children from the community playing what they’ve learned in the TXST String Project; University Singers, featuring American choral music; Brahms German Requiem for huge chorus and chamber orchestra, conducted by our Grammy-winner artist-in-residence.

Sunday: Men’s and Women’s Choir joint concert. Major opportunities for our master’s students to conduct these splendid, all-campus groups.

The beauty of the music and the training and passion of the student performers were nothing short of AWESOME!”

blockbuster weekend @ School of Music

TC writes:

“I am tempted to claim that this weekend was a routine success for the School of Music, but it was truly extraordinary. Three spectacular blockbuster performances:

  • Saturday night, Bobcat Marching Band‘s dazzling half-time show under the direction of Kyle Glaser for a Homecoming crowd of 15,000 at Jim Wacker Field.
  • Sunday afternoon, Texas State Symphony Orchestra under the direction of new maestro Jacob Harrison in Evans Auditorium performed brilliantly the entire 7 movements of The Planets Op. 32 by Holst, a massive, iconic masterpiece of the orchestral repertoire.
  • Sunday evening in the Performing Arts Center Recital Hall, professors Ron Ulen, baritone, and Joey Martin, piano, gave a stunningly beautiful duo recital in which Schumann’s beloved 16-song cycle Dichterliebe Op.48 was staged imaginatively as a one-character opera scene.

“Students rose to the height of their growing abilities, led and inspired by our awesome faculty. Wow!”

Texas State Choirs Today podcast

The Texas State Choirs have launched a new podcast, “Texas State Choirs Today.” Hosted by Associate Director of Choral Activities Jonathan Babcock, the podcast features interviews with guest artists and faculty. This season will include interviews with composers Gwyneth Walker and Jocelyn Hagen; Ralph Allwood, O.B.E. former Precentor and Director of Music at Eton College, UK; as well as faculty artists Marc Reynolds, Craig Hella Johnson and Lynn Brinckmeyer. Episodes are released the first and fifteenth of every month. You can find Texas State Choirs Today on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe today!