Flint Central Is the Bomb!
Flint Central Launches HS A Cappella Mvmt
Music Supervisors National Conf.
The Flint Central High School A Cappella
Choir, under the direction of Jacob A. Evanson,
...
How did Flint Central get this gig?
George Bowen, conference President, began
the choral program at Flint Central in 1918....
Who was Jacob Evanson?
He had a degree in sociology (not music ed.!!)
from the University of North Dakota. He was a
fine f...
The culture at Flint Central
The Flint Community Music Association
produced a musically vibrant city culture.
Because of t...
Elements of Evanson’s Pedagogy
● Vocal Pedagogy: straight tone, imitation of
instruments, free jaw, open throat and
energe...
Competition
● State contests were entered and won often.
● Evanson would only enter the choir in those
contests in which t...
Competition
● State contests were entered and won often.
● Evanson would only enter the choir in those
contests in which t...
The Lasting Impact of Flint Central
on American Music Education
Flint Central received letters of praise from
choral direc...
Characteristics of a typical 1930’s
high school choir
● 50 to 100 singers
● the wearing of vestments
● daily rehearsals
● ...
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Flint central launches the high school a cappella movement

  1. 1. Flint Central Is the Bomb! Flint Central Launches HS A Cappella Mvmt
  2. 2. Music Supervisors National Conf. The Flint Central High School A Cappella Choir, under the direction of Jacob A. Evanson, sang two captivating programs at the Chicago convention in 1928. These 76 singers sang selections ranging from Palestrina to Purcell to Bach to Borodin. Their musicality, purity of tone and sincerity amazed the audience of musicians.
  3. 3. How did Flint Central get this gig? George Bowen, conference President, began the choral program at Flint Central in 1918. His goal was to saturate the program with choral performances and to elevate the status of high school choirs to equal or exceed that of instrumental music. Also, W. W. Norton, President of the central branch of MSNC hired Evanson to direct the choir.
  4. 4. Who was Jacob Evanson? He had a degree in sociology (not music ed.!!) from the University of North Dakota. He was a fine flute player and exhibited musical leadership qualities. Through the influence of colleagues at Flint Central, he taught his choral students to emulate the sound of the St. Olaf College Choir (Northfield, Minnesota).
  5. 5. The culture at Flint Central The Flint Community Music Association produced a musically vibrant city culture. Because of this, the students at Flint Central possessed a strong love for singing. They committed to daily private practice, knowing their individual musical parts, and putting the interests of the group above the individual.
  6. 6. Elements of Evanson’s Pedagogy ● Vocal Pedagogy: straight tone, imitation of instruments, free jaw, open throat and energetic breath support ● Repertoire: Renaissance composers, English madrigals, contemporary composers, all a cappella ● Philosophy: performance is a tool to realize educational goals.
  7. 7. Competition ● State contests were entered and won often. ● Evanson would only enter the choir in those contests in which they did not place first in the previous year. ● Again, only a cappella music was sung, because it was thought to showcase the human voice in the purest form.
  8. 8. Competition ● State contests were entered and won often. ● Evanson would only enter the choir in those contests in which they did not place first in the previous year. ● Again, only a cappella music was sung, because it was thought to showcase the human voice in the purest form.
  9. 9. The Lasting Impact of Flint Central on American Music Education Flint Central received letters of praise from choral directors nationwide. These directors also solicited advice on how they could establish similar programs at their schools. Top music educators also sent letters of praise- -a few examples are Mabelle Glenn, Walter Damrosch, Peter Dykema and Fritz Reiner.
  10. 10. Characteristics of a typical 1930’s high school choir ● 50 to 100 singers ● the wearing of vestments ● daily rehearsals ● full academic credit received for participation These were all copied from Flint Central, and many high school choirs today still exhibit these characteristics.

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