Moogular In typical Szymko style, we are treated to a dramatic exploration of the theme, a harmonization of the original melody, and finally a strong statement to end the piece. Hold Fast to Dreams [level: Longest Shadow of the Oof [level: The piano part supports with style, and could be labeled Schubert-inspired. Sing on, Sing on! An elegant, beautiful piece, the text suggests that the water from this Wayside Spring can restore the soul. Also available for SSAA.

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You need to care for them as a person first. David Dickau throughout his long and successful career as a composer and conductor. His list of accomplishments includes 26 years of teaching at MNSU, Mankato, 13 years as music director of Magnum Chorum, president and chair of ACDA, numerous appearances at festivals, countless compositions and awards, and much more.

The following is an excerpt from a conversation I had with Dr. Dickau reflecting on his career. David Dickau Beulke: How did you get in to choral music? Dickau: My first encounter with choral music was in my sophomore year of high school in Bakersfield, California. At the time, I was planning on going into computer programming, was an athlete, and played piano. My future choir director found out that I played and hunted me down. Before I knew it, I was playing for one ensemble and singing for another!

I watched this director through that time and he became a model for me because he was a source of healing for students and used music as a vehicle for connecting with people. We started dating and years later, she and I got married, making my director, Robert Petker, my father-in-law. He had such a profound impact on my life. Beulke: What happened next? Dickau: I went to a community college for two years as a music major and eventually went to USC to finish up my undergraduate.

When I first went to USC, I went as a composition major, and I quickly discovered, within weeks, that sitting there with a piece of manuscript paper, pencil, and four walls, was not for me. I realized I needed that daily interaction of making music with people. I had the opportunity to study under Charles Hirt, choral director at USC, in his last choral musicianship class; what an honor that was. Love the people first. Rod really changed my life. Many people around the country talk about what Rod did for them…With him, gesture is more important than anything else.

He believed deeply that gestures are universal and you can use them to communicate so much without saying a word. I graduated with my doctorate in , and then went to a Presbyterian church in Berkeley California, right on the USC campus.

Beulke: What drew you to teaching? Dickau: I realized I loved the daily connection of making music and connecting with students. I loved the collegiate environment and age group, the type of people that were intellectually curious and hungry for learning.

They were looking for meaning and something new in their lives. To catch someone at that time in their lives was exciting and very fun for me. I realized that I had as deep of a passion for that as anything else.

Beulke: How did you get into composing? Dickau: So I never considered myself a serious composer in the early days. I would write here and there, and little by little my pieces started being sung. Dickau: For one, our society is getting harsher and more inward. It gives us a chance to all focus on things that are uplifting, healthy, and good for our society.

Just the experience of singing is important, I think, because that instrument is within ourselves and we have to give of ourselves when we perform. Dickau: Absolutely. I think the most satisfying aspect of my career is getting to share that experience for all these years with all of my students.

So I think choral singing gives our society so much of what it needs desperately right now. Again, the text is so important. As a composer, my goal is to serve the text by bringing music to it. I think choral music can do that in a powerful way because of the text. Beulke: How do directors help bring community to our groups and emotion to our performances?

Dickau: To start, we as teachers need to be willing to be transparent. A lot of it comes from a director that is not afraid to be vulnerable. Beulke: What is in the future of choral music? Dickau: I think social justice is becoming an important issue in choral music. For instance, taking traditional barriers and working to break them down. Beulke: Who do you look up to? If those two things are present, then you have my deepest respect.

Beulke: Who inspires you? Beulke: Looking back on your career, what thoughts do you have? Dickau: Gratitude for one. Music has been a vehicle for that connection to happen.


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