Recommendation from Donna San Antonio

From: Donna san antonio <>
To:; Olivia Tappan <>
Cc: Annemarie San Antonio <>
Sent: Fri, Oct 14, 2022 8:54 am
Subject: Artistic Director Search

Dear Olivia and Patricia,

I hope this transition season at Mystic Chorale is going well. It was a joy to sing with you a few years ago and I hope to do so again at some point. My sister, Annamaria, keeps me posted and I still receive all the announcements by email.
The Clearlakes Chorale is together again after more than 2 years, and we are having a terrific season.  Andy Campbell is the Artistic director and I have a great deal of appreciation for his amazing artistic talent and for his interpersonal skill.
I thought I would pass on to you his contact information.  He has a great deal of experience as a conductor and composer. He has worked with people across the lifespan and has conducted all sorts of music.  He has a lot of appreciation for Nick and Mystic Chorale.
When I spoke with him recently, he said it would be okay for me to share his contact information so here it is:
Cell phone:  603-630-4330
Of course, please also feel free to give me a call: 603-515-6457. And I completely understand if this is not the right time to follow up on any of this.
All the best,

Email Reply from Andy

Dear Patricia and Olivia,

Thank you so much for all of this. I attended some of Nick’s workshops back in the 90s and was very impressed with his sense of humor and his sense of humanity. It must be a crippling loss to have him leave after all this time. He is Mystic Chorale.
While I have never attended one of your concerts in person, I have seen several videos and feel as if I have a very good idea of what you are about. In fact, it is a dream of mine to work with you. I would love to have a conversation with you about the position. Please just let me know where and when.
Thank you so much.
Enjoy the longest night of the year tonight.

Notes from First Interview – Patricia and Olivia

Andy Campbell


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.


The Mystic Chorale Mission


  1. What comes to mind when you read the Mystic mission statement and how would you see yourself fulfilling that mission?


As a conductor, teacher and community leader


  1. Briefly summarize your experience in choral conducting, focusing on what specifically has qualified you to be a conductor/music director of the Mystic Chorale?

He has been leading Clearwater Chorale in Wolfboro, NH.   Plus singers at retirement homes, a church choir, and at the school where he teaches.  I think he said he is no longer teaching at the school.  He has 2 degrees from the Yale School of music.


  1. How would you describe your best qualities as a conductor? What words would others use to describe you as a leader and a conductor?



  1. Describe your teaching style and experience leading a non-auditioned choir whose members have varied abilities to read music.

He has conducted both auditioned and unauditioned choirs.  He teaches the music in rehearsal, records practice audios, sheet music, octavos.


  1. Are you experienced creating practice materials for singers?

See above


  1. What inspires you and what do you most want to achieve in a leadership role?


  1. What have you done to promote community among singers in the choruses you have led?


  1. Can you describe a difficult experience in a choral setting and talk about how you resolved it?


Selecting Music


  1. How would you go about selecting music for the Mystic Chorale? Where do you get your ideas? He works with the music committee


  1. Do you attend conferences and consortium gatherings and if so, which ones inspire you?


  1. Do you arrange music yourself or request an outside person create arrangements?

Yes, a lot of experience.  Maybe 3 or 4 pieces he has arranged per concert.  He used octavos and public domain music.


Working with Guest Artists and Instrumentalists


  1. Do you have connections with guest artists and instrumentalists in the area?

All classical musicians and singers.  He would need our help to connect with local people.


  1. Would you use contacts already in place through the Mystic Chorale?


  1. 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


  1. What is your experience working with a Board of Directors and a Programming Committee?



  1. Have you worked with a Programming Committee to craft a season?


Diversity and Collaboration

  1. What success have you had building age and cultural diversity in your choirs?


  1. Have you collaborated with other singing groups to build relationships and diversity?


Styles of Music


  1. What different styles of music interest you and what have you conducted?

a lot of classical, but also folk, popular, branching out to world music;  Swahili chants, Tibetan, etc.


Singers and Soloists


  1. Do you favor off-book performances and if so, how do you approach getting off-book?

He loves that we are off-book.  He has tried to get other choirs to go off-book, at least for a few songs without a lot of success.


  1. 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?


  1. How have you navigated the challenge of having soloists who are both experienced and inexperienced?


Concerts and Audience Participation


  1. What is your experience rehearsing and conducting with a band, writing charts and conducting band/chorale rehearsals for a concert?

Very experienced.  He arranges and conducts pieces for full orchestras.


  1. 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?

Yes, has started to include audience sing-alongs with the chorale.


  1. Can you describe your performing style as a conductor?