Vermont Music Teachers’ Association Hosts
2023 Quad State Conference in Brattleboro
The Vermont Music Teachers’ Association will host the 2023 Quad State Conference at the Brattleboro Music Center, 72 Blanche Moyse Way, Brattleboro, on Saturday, October 21, 2023, with the participation of the Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts Music Teachers’ Associations. The four states share annual conference events every other year, rotating location and hosting among the states.
The Vermont Music Teachers’ Association, like its sister organizations in neighboring states, offers opportunities for professional growth to its member teachers, and, to students of all ages, a wide variety of programs celebrating achievement and furthering learning, while elevating, for the public, the value of music in our culture. The state organizations are part of the Music Teachers’ National Association, founded in 1876, whose mission is to advance the value of music study and music making to society and to support the professionalism of music teachers.
The 2023 Quad State Conference will feature inspiring speakers and performers who are leading the way toward expanding and enriching the traditional teaching and performing repertoire to include and celebrate music of underrepresented composers.
Nationally acclaimed pianist, speaker and arts advocate Dr. Artina McCain will open the conference with a 9 AM presentation entitled “Who’s That? Creating a New Standard Repertoire.” In this session she will discuss pathways toward broadening repertoire for recitals, auditions, and competitions to include works of previously underrepresented composers alongside those of the traditional repertoire, through the paired lenses of performance and teaching. Following this session, conference attendees will enjoy the experience of Dr. McCain as a performing artist in a solo piano recital, entitled “Intersections,” further demonstrating this inclusive direction in programming.
A Yamaha Artist, Dr. McCain’s performances and recordings have been acclaimed across the US and around the world. She has made numerous high-profile appearances as a performer, educator, and speaker, and has been featured on PBS as well as other national and international broadcasts. Her musical credentials include a doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and she serves on the faculty of the University of Memphis. In addition to her advocacy for a new view of repertoire, Dr. McCain is also a champion for musician health and wellness.
During the afternoon, the Quad State Conference continues the theme of a re-imagined teaching and performing repertoire with a presentation by Vermont pianist Claire Black, who has recently toured with recitals focusing on the music of Clara Schumann; Black was a prizewinner in the 2022 Clara Schumann Competition. Holding degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Black is active as a teacher, solo performer, and collaborative pianist, with numerous accolades for her outstanding work in Vermont and nationally. Her afternoon presentation at the Quad State Conference will draw from intensive study of Clara Schumann’s works, as another example of music once neglected which is now finding its way to a prominent place in standard performance and teaching repertoire.
The Quad State Conference will also feature, in another afternoon event, new works by distinguished composers from the participating states; these outstanding composers’ works are then entered into a national competition sponsored by the Music Teachers’ National Association. Vermont will be represented in this concert by composer Evan Premo, well known throughout Vermont for Scrag Mountain Music, which he co-founded and directs with his wife, soprano Mary Bonhag. His works have been commissioned, performed, and acclaimed widely, winning national recognition and performances by leading ensembles and in prominent venues.
The Quad State event will conclude with a concert featuring member performers from the participating states and continuing the theme of expanding concert and teaching repertoire.
Participation in the event is welcomed and encouraged from non-members and visitors from other states, as well as participation from the four states’ member Associations. For additional information and to register for the event, visit the Vermont Music Teachers’ Association website; the event is featured on the website calendar at https://www.vermontmta.net/calendar.