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   Author  Topic: Whitewater EMF schedule  (Read 2897 times)
berto
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Whitewater EMF schedule
« on: Mar 8th, 2003, 10:55am »
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We had a blast last year at the Whitewater Early Music Festival 2002.  One of the special treats was "jamming" late into the night on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
 
For 2003, the Friday "Special Attention Day" has been cancelled.  This shortened the EMF by a day and eliminated one of the jamming nights (on Thursday, for early arrivers).  (I recall that the Saturday "jam" last year was abbreviated, because people wanted to be well rested for Sunday's concert performances.)
 
What are the chances the Festival might be expanded again in the future?  This could either be with the restoration of the Special Attention Day or by simply extending the existing activity schedule (i.e., add more days of classes).
 
What impact would extending the EMF schedule have on attendance?  Are more people attracted by a weekend-only festival?  Or would more people attend if the festival were longer, even as long as a full week (like most of the other early music festivals/workshops around the country)?
 
We so much look forward to attending the festival at Whitewater.  Consider this a plea to lengthen it.  Can you get too much of a good thing?
 
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Re: Whitewater EMF schedule
« Reply #1 on: Mar 27th, 2003, 1:10pm »
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For those who want to know-
 
Special Attention Day (whose acronym really stinks.  This needs a better name!) will probably come back in the future.  But since this is a transition year (with Louise passing the torch even though the rest of the team remains intact), it was decided to keep things to the old schedule and make sure interest was still there for that much.  Like all other big events, this one takes a rather large amount of effort and money.  And since the profit/loss margin for the event is only a few hundred dollars, the board decided not to take a bigger chance than was necessary. Effort we can do- cash we do not have in abundance.  We know all the great teachers will still be there, our nice facilities will still be there, but if some people get skittish about the changing of the guard and decide not to attend...
 
We on the board know that the only difference people will see is the announcer at the meeting and final concert.  Whitewater is wonderful and will continue to be so.  And we hope Special Attention Day will come back soon (but maybe as Special Classes Day?  Bonus Day? (any help here?...)).  All we need is the same enthusiasm from the attendees as we've had in past years, and the Festival can continue growing and improving.
 
Them's the facts, as straightforward as I can give 'em.  Hope it helps.  
« Last Edit: Mar 27th, 2003, 2:10pm by MasquedPhoenix1 » IP Logged

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Re: Whitewater EMF schedule
« Reply #2 on: Mar 28th, 2003, 9:42am »
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[flash=200,200][/flash]
 Tongue IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!
Please take it from one who knows, as I have assumed the position of coordinating the faculty, facilities, schedules and all manner of organizational duties that Louise Austin so ably did for many years.  In the past several years, she requested -- and received -- assistance from Carol Stanger, Nancy Chabala and Pam Wiese, all of the Oak Park Recorder School Board of Directors (who actually sponsor this workshop).  
 
History of the Special Attention Day:
TWO years ago, Louise had a last-minute idea of adding, as an experiment, an extra day which would focus on individual growth (master classes in recorder and harpsichord, group coaching, instruction in computer notation programs, how to lead a group).  A request was made for the following year to add a class where the average player could come and play in a group, so we established a couple of classes with a theme for the general attendance.  With the retirement of Louise from the directorship, the local contact is absent.  It now would require us to operate an additional entirely different workshop connected to the general festival from the remote location of "Chicagoland Area."  Our time is highly concentrated, and we must devote it to the Early Music Festival in its glory to keep it active.  "Burnout" comes to mind, and adding the additional day is just not financially possible - break even or lose money from the general workshop is even a possibility.  
 
The late-night playing session last year on Thursday evening brought out only about 6 people; the prior year there was none organized.  If people want a jamming session, look for trips to Glenn, Michigan to the Sunset Lodge retreat (hopefully returning in 2004), or invite a bunch of people over for a playing session late into the evening on a summer weekend.  
 
In general, the combination did not work as we had thought and NO PLANS are being made to bring it back.  Instead, we will strive to continue to bring exciting options to the Early Music Festival, and welcome suggestions for Saturday evening activities in the future (multi-choir play-along, faculty-led group playing, massive sing-and-play fest in lieu of the dance?, faculty concert).
 
Not trying to be a thorn in one's side, but consideration needs to be given to the work, time, organization and money it takes to bring one extra day together, not to mention the confusion for those dealing with an entirely different registration process and the additional time off required for those who run the show.  
 
'Nuff said.  I stand on my resolve.
     --Carol Stanger, WWEMF  
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berto
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Re: Whitewater EMF schedule
« Reply #3 on: Mar 28th, 2003, 11:03am »
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Okay, so SAD (Special Attention Day) is not an option.
 
What about extending the current schedule? By a day?  Two days? A full week?
 
No special arrangements, or separate registration, etc. Just add more days to the core festival.
 
Again, would that harm attendance? Help attendance? Is a weekend-only festival better for attendance than a four-day or week-long festival?
 
Not criticizing--we appreciate all your hard work, also the difficulty you face taking over from Louise, thanks for all you do!!--just asking, and speculating...
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Re: Whitewater EMF schedule
« Reply #4 on: Mar 28th, 2003, 3:26pm »
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My own two cents on that-  I love Whitewater and wish it could be a longer festival.  But that would mean I couldn't go.  Even as in instructor, I can't afford to take a whole week off of work.  And when I was an attendee, yeah- I looked longingly at all those wonderful, long festivals.  And I knew that I could never raise the money to attend-even scholarships only cover so much.  There are many longer festivals around for those with the inclination and funds.  But shorter ones also have their place.  Look at the prices of all those other festivals.  I doubt you could find a week-long that came in under 7 or 8 hundred dollars.  Most cost closer to $1,000 even without transportation costs.  There are longer festivals in the area- check out the ARS listings.  But my guess is Whitewater will stay where it's at.
« Last Edit: Mar 28th, 2003, 3:28pm by MasquedPhoenix1 » IP Logged

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Re: Whitewater EMF schedule
« Reply #5 on: Mar 30th, 2003, 11:40pm »
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> I love Whitewater and wish it could be a longer festival.  But that would mean I couldn't go...
 
Even if a longer festival drew a bigger crowd, it might be a different sort of crowd--i.e., richer, maybe with more time on their hands (e.g., retirees), maybe more laid-back.
 
But it might be unfair to persons with less free time or more limited means.
 
After all, there are plenty of week-long (and expen$ive) festivals/workshops around.  Indeed, the nearby Madison Early Music Festival follows Whitewater in July.
 
At the Madison EMF last year, one attendee told me that there was no late-night "jamming". I suppose it's hard to keep up one's enthusiasm round-the-clock day after day, night after night, for a full week.
 
So, all in all. I suppose there is a good case for keeping Whitewater the intense two-and-a-half-day affair that it is now, especially given that there are alternatives for persons desiring something longer.
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Re: Whitewater EMF schedule
« Reply #6 on: Mar 31st, 2003, 5:40pm »
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I really like having a weekend to meet other early musicians and take classes on whatever topics I want.  
 
If the festival were longer but at the same time of year, that would mean I couldn't go and probably a bunch of other people too, because I'm still in school.  We're usually still in session during the weeks around Whitewater.  This year I'm going to have to study for finals over the weekend.  I may have to leave early on Sunday to play in the band for Seniors' Commencement.  
 
I like having the dance on Saturday night.  It's often exhausting to do the galliards but very fun.  That's not something I get to do anywhere else.  I hope this stays in the schedule.
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Re: Whitewater EMF schedule
« Reply #7 on: Apr 1st, 2003, 7:09am »
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Yeah, I know what you mean.  This year I'll probably have to leave school a day early in order to attend Whitewater.  
 
...But in my opinion, it's worth it... Wink
 
Something to think about: Yes, as we all know the Whitewater EMF is one of the shortest Early Music festivals in the country.  Still, I have a feeling that we may be the only one that consistently has group playing late at night.  That's the benefit of a shorter festival.  If Whitewater were more like the week long Madison Early Music festival the attendees probably wouldn't have the strength to 'jam' into the wee hours of the morn.
 
Yeah...just a point I wanted to make..
 
Hautbois and anyone else, what classes are you thinking of taking?  I haven't decided yet, but Lisette Kielson's diminutions class looks rather intriguing.
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Re: Whitewater EMF schedule
« Reply #8 on: Apr 1st, 2003, 7:08pm »
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I just looked at the classes schedule for the first time today.  I wish I could take several classes at the same time.  It's so hard to choose!  I'm sure that's the worst thing about the whole weekend.  Undecided
 
« Last Edit: Apr 1st, 2003, 7:11pm by Hautbois » IP Logged

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Re: Whitewater EMF schedule
« Reply #9 on: Apr 2nd, 2003, 5:51am »
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...But of course, you're welcome to jump around. You don't have to stick with just one or two classes...
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Re: Whitewater EMF schedule
« Reply #10 on: Apr 2nd, 2003, 7:19am »
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> I wish I could take several classes at the same time.  It's so hard to choose!
 
I find it easier to choose by eliminating the familiar and trying something different.
 
Last year, I attended the bass recorder class. I had acquired a bass recorder a few months before but was not playing it. The Whitewater bass recorder class was the perfect introduction to that instrument.
 
This year I plan to take Karen Snowberg's "Wind Band for Renaissance Brass" class. Last year, I was exposed to something new and different--the sackbut--not by attending a class but by sitting in on the early brass players' late-night jamming sessions. I followed through on my resolve to acquire and learn the "sackbut", so this year I am prepared for that class.
 
I can see where a serious recorderist (as I am) would jump at the chance to attend classes with professional-level recorder players/teachers. But I get plenty of opportunity to play recorder throughout the rest of the year.
 
So, for my second Whitewater class, I am thinking of another thing non-recorder--one of the choral classes.
 
For me, the chance to branch out and try new things--that's part of Whitewater's appeal.
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Re: Whitewater EMF schedule
« Reply #11 on: Apr 3rd, 2003, 8:49am »
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> ...But of course, you're welcome to jump around. You don't have to stick with just one or two classes...
 
I've tried this but don't like doing it for two reasons:
 
a. I prefer to stay with one group so I can work on something and get it to sound good, hopefully as usable material for the concert, and
 
b. I find it hard when I'm in a group and someone new comes in.  Then we have to explain what we've been doing, redivide the parts, etc.  
 
>I find it easier to choose by eliminating the familiar and trying something different...I get plenty of opportunity to play recorder throughout the rest of the year.  
 
That was good advice, thanks.  I'm sure it will help me.
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Re: Whitewater EMF schedule
« Reply #12 on: Apr 4th, 2003, 10:11am »
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A little food for thought...and that's all it's meant to be- nobody jump down my throat for the suggestion 'cause it's just an idea at the moment!
 
...Ahem...
 
Since Lousie is no longer the anchor and the Whitewater festival has always been controlled by the Oak Park Recorder School, what is the opinion of looking into moving it to a location closer to Chicago?  I like the Whitewater facilities, but mightn't there be equally nice facilities closer to where all the current organizers are?  As someone mentioned above, Milwaukee has a nice long festival already.  What do we have in Illinois?  I know this would make it easier for some to attend and more difficult for others and I'm not thinking of uprooting for next year or anything, but is this worth looking into?
 
Boston and SanFran and lots of other big cities have great Festivals.  Even if we keep ours shorter, what does everyone think of bringing it closer to the Big Windy?  What would that mean for the attendees and/or the teachers?  Could we draw more on the resources we have in the area and maybe finally give Chicago something worth putting on the map, festival-wise-speaking?  It'd take a lot of research, but would it be worth it?
 
Let the discussion begin...
« Last Edit: Apr 4th, 2003, 12:20pm by MasquedPhoenix1 » IP Logged

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Re: Whitewater EMF schedule
« Reply #13 on: Apr 4th, 2003, 1:50pm »
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At the outset of this discussion, perhaps we should delineate and clarify some things.
 
By "festival" do we mean
 
--A workshop/seminar focused on classes and amateur play?
 
--A concert series, focused on professional performance?
 
--A combination of the above?
 
There are "festivals" elsewhere of each type.
 
Would the Whitewater Early Music Festival (or, more properly speaking, the "Early Music Festival at Whitewater")
 
--Move to the Chicago area and take on a new name?
 
--Be supplemented by an entirely new "festival" in the Chicago area?
 
By the "Milwaukee festival" I assume you mean the Madison Early Music Festival, held at UW Madison in July, right? Although it's not a "festival" per se (and is spread out over many months), Early Music Now is Milwaukee's independent, non-university-based early music concert series. Anyway, Chicago has nothing comparable to the Madison EMF, the Whitewater EMF, or Early Music Now.
 
It's a good question:
 
Is the time drawing near when Chicago should have a festival (however defined) of its very own?
 
My answer: Yes!!
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Re: Chicago EMF
« Reply #14 on: Apr 5th, 2003, 11:56am »
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We need a Chicago Early Music Festival, not to mention an expanded definition of the word "early" for us that sing monophonic music before 1300.  At some of these early music festivals "early" is Bach!  Bach's late, people!
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