Annual Proffessional Music Teachers Conference

By: Matthew Hall

The Professional Music Teachers of New Mexico in company with Music Teachers National Association sponsored the 61ST Annual State Conference at Eastern New Mexico University this past weekend. This conference was a four day event starting on Thursday, Nov. 3. and ended Sunday, Nov. 6
The event was put together by professors of ENMU including Dustin Seifert, Jean Ornellas, John Olsen, Kayla Paulk and Cheryl Pachak-Brooks. The conference consisted of several sub-conferences, competitions and classes.
Friday at 8:00 was when these instructional conferences, competitions and classes started to open for this event’s schedule. Throughout the day there were several classes and other events demonstrating more effective ways of teaching instrumental or vocal techniques to developing, younger artists. Later the evening several piano and vocal competitions took place
To conclude Friday’s evening there was a recital performance by guest artist Dr. Peter Mack on piano. Mack is an Irish pianist, a choral scholar from Trinity College Dublin and also has close ties to the Trinity College London. Mack earned his doctorate in piano performance from the University of Washington. Friday evening he gave not just a great performance, but also a broad performance playing a repertoire of pieces that come from South America to pieces that come from England and France. Each of the fifteen pieces of music had its own purpose and measure. According to Mack, these songs interpret stories of love and beauty mixed with stories of mysticism and optimism.
Mack explained that he used to write his own music, but now “I choose to play other arrangements.” He wants to remind everyone who is in music or who is even remotely interested in music, “To just keep listening and playing because the more you know the more you understand.”
After the concert there were several compliments from the crowd members such as Javier Lopez who said, “I loved it, they were very beautiful pieces and I loved how they were mixed.”
Blain Hunt commented that it was, “Awesome, I appreciated it after the encore, how he played [tribunes] for the military.”
After Friday evening’s great performance other classes and events resumed Saturday at 8:15 a.m. and then at 3:15 p.m. For one of Saturday’s schedule of events Jason Vest conducted a voice master class. “A voice master class is to work with a different teacher and a chance to try new things” says Vest. Vest also tells us that the purpose of this class is to be able to, leave with at least one thing to improve with.
About twenty-five people attended and there were five of those people who sang in order to gain instruction and to improvement. Vest also gave the advice to other vocalists out there to, always remember that vocalism is not just singing, but it is telling a story.

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