Development Opportunities for Arrangers

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Celebrating the back-to-school season with two opportunities for barbershop arrangers:

Mutual Mentoring Scheme, 2nd annual cycle

The first opportunity is open to arrangers anywhere in the world! This is the mutual mentoring scheme that we started up last year. For its inaugural cycle we had 24 arrangers paired up to give each other feedback on work in progress, and from what they’ve been telling me the participants have found it useful not just for the mutual support but also for the way it makes them get on and get stuff done when there are so many other urgent demands on their time.

For the full details of how the scheme works, please see my posting about it from last year, and for an explanation of why it works like that, see the follow-up blog post. The only difference this year are the dates for participation, which are:

Deadline to let me know you’d like to participate: 30 September 2010
Partnerships will be set up by: 16 October 2010

This has slipped a little bit since last year, and I’ve given you less notice about it too. My apologies for this – I had intended to get going before now, but my plans for the back end of August got rather into disarray one way and another. Fortunately electronic communication is nice and quick so we can catch up without too much trouble.

Arrangers’ Workshop: Improvers and Up

The second is also, in theory, open to arrangers anywhere in the world, but in practice is most likely to appeal to arrangers within easy traveling distance of the UK. This is an Arrangers’ Workshop to be held on 14 November 2010 in Birmingham Conservatoire, and will cost £12 per person.

Two particular features of the day need attention in advance, and both were proposed by participants at the day we held in April 2009.

  1. On registration, all participants will be sent a ‘set piece’ to work on before the day so that we have a common experience to draw on. This will let us engage in far more in-depth conversations about the nitty-gritty of our craft than if we are wrapping our brains round each other’s work from scratch. The song is Joe Liles's tune 'I Love Only You' from the BHS Woodshedding Folio, and Joe has kindly given us permission to use the tune for this project.
  2. We will have 2008 LABBS champions Noteorious on hand to workshop samples of participants’ arranging. This will let us get a clearer impression of the strengths and weaknesses of our work than sight-reading it in-house.

We’ll be asking for samples of work by 1 November so that the quartet has a chance to look through the music a bit in advance. They’re all good sight-readers, but you’ll get a better impression of the music from a ‘quick-study’ performance rather than raw sight-reading. Priority will be given to work on the set piece, as this will be of greatest benefit to the group, though if there’s time we may also be able to include some of your other work. If we have more samples sent in than there’s time for, we’ll pick names out of a hat! Sections of songs are acceptable as well as finished arrangements; indeed you’ll probably learn more from having a polished section workshopped than an unpolished arrangement of the whole song.

Do please let me know if there are particular issues you’d like covered. As well as the workshopping sessions, there are slots in the programme with content pencilled in, but which I will be more than happy to change or adapt in the light of requests.

I’ve attached the booking form at the end of this post. And this makes a good moment therefore to extend my heartfelt thanks to Viv Garner for agreeing to handle the logistics of the day. Those of you who know Viv through her work with Barbershop in Harmony and the Convention Teams of both BABS and LABBS will know we are in the best possible hands.

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ArrangersWorkshop - Registration Form.doc36.5 KB

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