As I write this message to you all it is approaching 10 below zero on a very cold late January night! Here in Vermont we are definitely used to cold temperatures and lots of snow, but in the back of my mind I was hoping for moderating temperatures as we approach March, if not for the promise of warmer weather than for the hope that we might be able to offer you all an early spring when you travel north for this years Concert Festival. Regardless of what we have for weather, we are anxious to share our beautiful state with you and to have you experience our school and city. Burlington is an exciting and vibrant place to be any time of the year, and I am often heard saying that we are one of the best kept secrets in the nation. We are unique and proud of our spot and anxious to share it with you!
I am pleased to write to you not only as the President of this Association of music educators, but also as the host of this years festival and a representative of the school district that has participated in this festival every year since its’ inception. AND proud to say that one of our past music educators in the Burlington school system, Adrian Holmes, was a founding member of the New England Music Festival Association! From a logistical point of view I think you will find your accommodations at the Burlington Hilton to be top drawer in every respect. It is also a plus that the school and hotel are less than 2 miles from each other; most certainly a short distance which will surely increase your ability to attend and observe rehearsals. Our facility is an old one for sure, built back in the early 1970’s but well equip to handle the demands of this undertaking. It is also a plus that all rehearsals and performances will be held under one roof. Our 835 seat Auditorium has just been renovated and, although only the first of a possible three stage project is now comfortable, spacious, air conditioned and ready for an undertaking such as this!
Frank Whitcomb, NEMFA President
We have had a successful Solo & Ensemble Festival this year, and now that our Concert Festival Ensembles are formed and ready to go we can once again look forward to another wonderful performance on March 19, 2011. Our managers have done exceptional work in preparation for March, and so we all owe a great debt of thanks to Laura Hilton, Chorus Manager, Erica Howard, Band Manager and Gail Reynolds, Orchestra Manager. Steffen Parker and Rob Gattie have once again performed small miracles in making the Solo & Ensemble Festival run smoothly, Tom Reynolds has done a great job of making sure that the web site is up to date and that the bulletins have been informative and regular, and everyone else has done their part to ensure success at all levels.
Our conductors this year are top notch, and the programs are of a very high level. We always hope that our student musicians come well prepared for the commencement of rehearsals, because it is only through solid preparation that the rehearsals can be successful and rewarding. I know that students and their teachers will do everything possible to make sure that this happens.
Please note that in addition to the regular schedule of rehearsals we also have our usual annual meeting; I mention this because it is imperative that as a member you attend so that we can effectively take care of our business. This year we will be presenting a slate of officers that will lead this Association for the next four years, and your vote is needed. There is also our Hospitality Room furnished for you, the membership, at the hotel every evening after rehearsals end and students have gone home with their hosts. The annual Director’s Reception on Friday is offered to you as well, and we hope that you all plan on attending, as well as the Director’s Forum on Friday at 4:00PM. We offer this for you to come and express your positive thoughts on what is right with our organization and what needs improvement. We are there to listen and initiate any changes that have the possibility of moving our Association forward.
The city of Burlington is located on beautiful Lake Champlain with a stunning view of the Adirondack Mountains of New York as a backdrop. The Hilton, located essentially at the bottom of the hill where the city is located and close to the lake, is within a short walking distance is the heart of the city, with shops, restaurants, malls and a multitude of businesses that will charm you and entertain you. I hope that you will be able to take advantage of everything that we have to offer you.
Once again I must say that it is a pleasure for me to represent this Association; we are a strong family of music educators, dedicated to our profession and all united under a common umbrella of commitment and dedication to our art. I am proud of my association with each of you and look forward to serving you in the years to come.
NEMFA President and Librarian