First Interview Notes – Patricia and Olivia


Megan Henderson


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?

A thrill to think about the sound such a large group can make.


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?

30 years’ experience conducting choruses.   Currently Village Harmony (teenagers) and church choir (12 years), Revels (4 years= adults and children).


  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?

Joy, engaging everybody, nurturing, light-hearted, nourishing


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

Programming for the skills you have in the group. Creating a good product.  Revels was unauditioned.  Likes to seat non-readers next to readers


  1. Are you experienced creating practice materials for singers?

Yes, creates practice audios.


  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?

Has much music collected over the years.  Loves the research part.  Finds music everywhere.  Researches on the web.


  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, mostly does all her own arrangements.  Produces a better concert result.


Working with Guest Artists and Instrumentalists


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

Yes, many, many local guest artists and musicians.


  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?

Not as such.  Did collaborate with other leaders. But not board or 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?

World music, south African, Macedonian, scandanavian, Ysaye Barnwell.  Classically trained pianist so she can do classical if we desire.  Loves American music, wants to do South American.

Singers and Soloists


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

Love, love, loves that we are off-book.  Revels was off-book.  She created a memorization schedule.

  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?

Has rehearsed bands a lot.  Has not created charts.


  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?

Revels was all about engaging the audience and getting them singing-along.


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


Singer Survey from Megan’s Visit in Oct 2022