School of Music News
FEATURED STORY: Following Your Bliss as a Researcher
Harry E. Price is the recipient of the 2018 NAfME Senior Researcher award.
FOR HARRY E. PRICE, the idea of pursuing a career in music wasn’t exactly in his family’s plans. “My family has always been in business,” says Price, who began playing trombone in seventh grade, and decided around 10th grade that his path lay in music. “I sat my parents down and said, ‘I know it’s not for you, but I’m interested in music and teaching.’ And my father said, ‘You choose what you love, because money isn’t the answer. You’ve got to pick something you care about.’”
The shift from perform-ing to music education happened thanks to a job Price took while putting himself through school. “I got a job assisting Michael Wagner, who was in charge of technology at the time. I also helped a couple of doctoral students who were doing dissertations, one of whom was Cornelia Yarbrough. Interestingly. I ended up studying with her in Syracuse.” Price, who is the former Academic Editor of NAfME’s Journal of Research in Music Education (JRME), and current professor of music and music education at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in music education, both from Florida State University in Tallahassee, and a doctorate in teacher preparation from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.
Price has been doing research for more than 35 years. He describes his passion this way: “It’s just stuff I’m interested in, stuff I wonder about. I go, ‘I wonder if...’ It’s just curiosity.” He has been working with colleague Steve Morrison on the effect of conducting regarding the perception of sound. “We did a study where we had different conductors conducting music, but we had the same performance. And we found that the effect of the conductor on people’s perception of the music was quite high. They rate the experience of the music on how expressive the conductor is.” Price also says that if people see a fancy conductor as opposed to a more placid one, the viewer’s perception is affected. “Plenty of conductors will say it doesn’t matter. I tend to believe research, and if I find research that is different from what I think, I change my thought because I believe in data.”
Price remarks that, “Joseph Campbell used to say, ‘Follow your bliss.’ And that’s what people should do. Find something you are excited about. Your dissertation is who you are going to be for at least five years, so people need to find something that excites them.”
As a tip for researchers, Price recom-mends, “Don’t start with the answer, like, ‘I’m going to do research and prove that I’m right. You’ve got to be open to any possibility. There is a difference between a belief and a fact. Be open to all ideas and all information, not just the information that supports what you think the answer should be, because that’s death in research.”
By Lisa Ferber
Men’s Ensemble Performs at American Choral Directors Association Southern Division Conference
Kennesaw, GA (March 30, 2016)–– In a highly competitive process, the KSU School of Music’s Men’s Ensemble was recently chosen to perform at the American Choral Directors Association Southern Division Conference (ACDA) from March 9-11, in Chattanooga, Tenn. This invitation marks the fourth conference performance for the KSU Men’s Ensemble at National, Divisional, and State ACDA since 2013, including performances in Texas, Georgia, and Florida.
Leslie J. Blackwell, Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music and Music Education at the School of Music, conducts the Men’s Ensemble. Recognized for her work with men’s voices, Dr. Blackwell served six seasons as the Artistic Director of the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus, established the annual KSU Male Chorus Day at Kennesaw State University, and is a sought-after conductor for All-State Men’s Chorus throughout the Southeast.
Stephen Plate, Director of the School of Music, recognized the profound opportunity for the Men’s Ensemble to participate in the ACDA conference. “That the Men’s Ensemble has been selected to perform has created a stir and a sense of accomplishment for all involved. Under the astute leadership of Dr. Blackwell… our choral program continues to grow and expand as we continue to train musical leaders of tomorrow,” he said.
At the conference in Tennessee, the KSU Men’s Ensemble performed music by Estonian nationalistic composer Veljo Tormis, including Kaksikpuhendus (Diptychon) from Diptych (Double Dedication), Ühte laulu tahaks laulda (I’d Like To Sing A Song), and Meestelaulud (Men’s Songs) including Meeste laul (Men’s Song), Teomehe-laul (Serf’s Song), and Tantsulaul (Dancing Song). “These songs represent a proud musical expression of the Estonian people based on runosongs, an age-old traditional song repertoire, dating back thousands of years,” said Blackwell. Other works performed were Dirait-on by Morten Lauridsen. Newly published contemporary works by Paul John Rudoi, Cantus, Yonder Come Day and Brian Schmidt’s Kyrie and Gloria from Mass of a Troubled Time concluded the program.
The 42-member KSU Men’s Ensemble regularly performs an intense concert schedule focusing on a cappella works in a jazz vocal style as well as standard classical literature for men’s voices. A non-auditioned choir, the Men’s Ensemble is open to all men at KSU.