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Reports | Fall 2016

How Can We Keep From Singing

The CMN 2016 Annual International Conference

Indulge your senses with the sights and sounds of California redwoods and amazing music as you sing, dance, and frolic in the magical energy of CMN’s annual three-day conference. This year the conference will be held at the Presentation Center of Los Gatos in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Nourish your heart at the banquet of singing, networking, professional development, and informal learning for all ages as we honor the positive power of music in children’s lives. 

This year’s conference lineup features sixteen full-length workshops, presentations, and song swaps. Listen to a panel discussion on crowdfunding and how it can help finance your own dream project. Learn to play the ukulele, or try ventriloquism. Explore Band-in-a-Box software or join the “concert-conversation” about how to embrace and make music with children with special needs. Do you ever wish you could travel the world sharing music? Learn how one member did just that. With so much variety, you are sure to find plenty to fill your dance card. Check out the full conference schedule and workshop descriptions.

Mentoring sessions organized by Bruce O’Brien will provide an opportunity to glean advice, encouragement, and professional development from friendly veterans in the business of music. These peer-to-peer mentoring sessions provide participants with a quick leg-up regarding career questions. Mentors sign on ahead of time; mentees sign up for sessions upon arrival.

Professional daycare services will be available to assist parents who want to attend the conference. Nearby attractions include Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Henry Cowell and Big Basin Redwoods State Parks, Natural Bridges State Beach and Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Big Sur. This makes for a very family-friendly weekend. 

We are pleased to announce that the Magic Penny Award recipient for 2016 is José-Luis Orozco. This lifetime achievement award honors those who have dedicated their lives to empowering children through music, and José-Luis has dedicated his life to bringing Spanish and English children’s songs to children all over the world. In addition to being a performer, José-Luis is also a bilingual educator, songwriter, author, and recording artist who has created music, books, and videos for children in both Spanish and English.

We are also very excited to welcome Melanie DeMore as our Keynote presenter on Saturday morning. Ms. DeMore is a singer/songwriter, composer, conductor, and vocal activist who believes in the power of voices raised together. She has a career spanning thirty years dedicated to teaching, lecturing, mentoring, conducting, directing, and inspiring children and adults about the power of song as social and political change. She is also one of the outstanding vocal artists dedicated to preserving the traditional Gullah art of “stick pounding,” and was featured in Stick and Pound, a documentary showcasing the tradition.

Get ready for the silent auction, and support your fellow musicians at the conference attendees’ sales area. Bring a song to share during the round-robin, a highlight of both Friday and Saturday evenings. Magical and heartwarming memories will be made as we share meals together, and raise our voices in song circles and late night jamming.

Join Us! Information about our upcoming conference can be found on the CMN website. Register today! See you soon.