Recommendation from Lynn Rosenbaum

from: Lynn Rosenbaum <>
Date: Thu, Jan 5, 2023 at 3:29 PM
Subject: Re: Your recommendation for Mystic Chorale Director
To: Maggie Leary <>

HI Maggie,   I recommended Rebecca based on singing with her (among many other directors) in one season of Millenium gospel before the pandemic. I think it would be great to learn more about her – but I don’t have much to offer other than I liked her positive and kind energy, she’s got a beautiful voice, I think she has sung and conducted many styles of music, Here’s what I found from Google:



Notes from First Interview by Maggie and Gale

Questions for Candidates – taken from conversation about the Mystic questionnaire Questions in green are for a first interview to see if there is a good match between candidate’s skills, experience, and interests and Mystic’s needs.
Rebecca Keneally 1st interview with Gale and Maggie 2/7/23
The Mystic Chorale Mission
1. WhatcomestomindwhenyoureadtheMysticmissionstatementandhow would you see yourself fulfilling that mission?
As a conductor, teacher and community leader
2. Brieflysummarizeyourexperienceinchoralconducting,focusingonwhat specifically has qualified you to be a conductor/music director of the Mystic Chorale? (Please see CV)” As I prepared for this interview I was recalling my experience in graduate school when I was at NEC. I had gone there because of a particular professor a well know classical choir conductor and he left half way through my graduate program to take a position somewhere else. The man who replaced him was much more like Nick Page a real community builder who believed in empowering people to sing. At first I objected to the change in circumstance but I really came to appreciate the spirit the new professor brought to the musical experience… both the new and the former professor said I had a gift and special talent for bringing music to people who didn’t have experience and at first I was kind of insulted because I had envisioned conducting fancy choirs in classical repertoire…but I came to see that they were right and that’s the work I have been doing and its is really what brings me the most joy. When I started here at Endicott there was only a music club that did concerts more like sing-alongs…and we built the performing arts department from scratch.” “So I think sometimes life shows you where you are meant to be and since you have reached out to me and the more I learn about you and the Mystic Chorale the more I feel that the mission of Mystic Chorale is something that I could really support.”
3. Howwouldyoudescribeyourbestqualitiesasaconductor?“Iampatient persistent and enthusiastic and very encouraging.” What words would others use to describe you as a leader and a conductor? “I am energetic and very organized. I like to have the materials organized well ahead of time… I run a very efficient rehearsal laying out what we need to accomplish and staying focused. I love a well run rehearsal where we all come away feeling like we learned something and we got better at making music together.”
4. Describeyourteachingstyleandexperienceleadinganon-auditionedchoir whose members have varied abilities to read music. “As I said I make materials for people to practice and learn the music in different ways— they don’t have to read music. I don’t expect things to be perfect but I am encouraging and working together we can improve and rise to the best we can do together”.

5. Areyouexperiencedcreatingpracticematerialsforsingers?“YesImakepractice tracks recording all the parts, also a YouTube play list if there are recordings of the songs, and of course sheet music and lyric sheets.”
6. Whatinspiresyouandwhatdoyoumostwanttoachieveinaleadershiprole? 7. Whathaveyoudonetopromotecommunityamongsingersinthechorusesyou
have led?
8. Canyoudescribeadifficultexperienceinachoralsettingandtalkabouthowyou resolved it?
Selecting Music
9. How would you go about selecting music for the Mystic Chorale? Where do you get your ideas?
“I work with themes different seasons… It would be nice to explore the musical
heritage of the choir members and see the musical roots that would create a repertoire and connect with people. I like a range of music from folk and jazz…I used to sing a lot of jazz myself…to classical.”
10.Do you attend conferences and consortium gatherings and if so, which ones inspire you?
11. Do you arrange music yourself or request an outside person create arrangements? “I arrange maybe1-2Xs pieces per year, almost always 1 for the Millennial Gospel choir which I enjoy but arranging and composing is a slow process for me so I prefer to collaborate with someone else to do it — not necessarily at any cost. It could be a graduate student or a colleague. But I have also hired people to arrange or commissioned new pieces for Endicott.”
Working with Guest Artists and Instrumentalists
12.Do you have connections with guest artists and instrumentalists in the area?
Yes, has collaborated with many musicians— for example she knows Donell and Jonathan who she has worked with also Chris Eastburn…accompanists… bands for the musicals here at Endicott…collegues from NEC… “I am not a pianist I can play parts simultaneously and play chords for rehearsals but I would not call myself a pianist by any means.”
13.Would you use contacts already in place through the Mystic Chorale?
14.In your opinion, what is the balance between music quality and community and contracting outside soloists and guest artists within a season?
Working with leadership

15.What is your experience working with a Board of Directors and a Programming Committee? “Yes here at Endicott we have a board and I have worked with other organizations like churches that have music committees I have incorporated requests or suggestions but I have not really ever had anyone else tell me what to do… I have always had artistic leadership and discretion.”
16.Have you worked with a Programming Committee to craft a season? Diversity and Collaboration
17.What success have you had building age and cultural diversity in your choirs?
18.Have you collaborated with other singing groups to build relationships and diversity?
Styles of Music
19.What different styles of music interest you and what have you conducted?
“I am someone who is committed to being aware of cultural appropriation and when I have led Gospel music I always include working with musician who are connected with that heritage to bring authenticity to the project.”
Singers and Soloists
20.Do you favor off-book performances and if so, how do you approach getting off- book? “ I have done both. I am comfortable with both and of course it depends on the pieces like a long classical piece…and how well the choir can master them but working toward being off book is always good.””
21.What creative ways have you provided opportunities for and encouraged singers in the groups you have conducted? For example, have you provided opportunities for small group singing?
22.How have you navigated the challenge of having soloists who are both experienced and inexperienced?
Concerts and Audience Participation
23.What is your experience rehearsing and conducting with a band, writing charts and conducting band/chorale rehearsals for a concert? “I can make chord charts for musicians but arranging is not my strength. If something needs arranging I usually work with someone like the bandleader on that”.
24.What experience can you share about engaging the audience to participate in singing during a concert? Have you taught parts to an audience so that they can

sing with the choir? Becca described an amazing collaborative experience with a commissioned piece sponsored by a local church community for people at a local homeless shelter and the Endicott choir. I went to the shelter and taught the part to those participants and during the concert they joined the choir and I taught the song to the audience during the concert and it was a wonderful for the community coming together. Her telling of this project was very moving and seemed very inline with Mystic’s values.
25.Can you describe your performing style as a conductor?

Links in action