Walter Bitner

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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Nashville Symphony Seeks Accelerando Manager

AccelerandoPhoto1The Nashville Symphony seeks a full-time Manager for our ground-breaking Accelerando program, to begin employment in January 2017.

Accelerando is an intensive education program designed to prepare gifted young students from under represented ethnic communities for pursuing music at the collegiate level and beyond. Accelerando seeks to create professional opportunities for these students by providing them with instruction, mentorship, performance experience, and assistance with applying for music schools.


Introducing the Nashville Choral Consortium





NashChor: Music City’s New Choral Music Resource

“I wished there was one place where I could go to see all the choral events happening in Nashville and Middle Tennessee – church, university, show, evensongs, youth choirs, everything.” says Tucker Biddlecombe.

If you don’t know Tucker you’re probably not a choral singer in Nashville, Tennessee: he is the Director of Choral Activities at Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt, and this fall begins his tenure as Interim Director of the Nashville Symphony Chorus.

“I’ve observed that many times our organizations schedule events on top of one another, significantly reducing our audiences and creating various conflicts for singers.” he says. “I have some web savvy, so I built a new website:, the Nashville Choral Consortium.


The Rhinoceros

Why you shouldn’t always tell your students the truth

For more than half of my teaching career, I taught music & performing arts at elementary or K-8 schools – six of these schools in all, with a wide range of approaches to education between them. One common aspect among all my experiences at these schools, however, is that I spent the majority of my time at each school – thousands upon thousands of hours of my life – as the only adult in the room, in front of a group of children. We spent most of our time together singing or playing music, dancing, rehearsing plays, or working on developing our skills to do these things, but over the years we had a lot of interesting and sometimes amazing conversations – both on and off topic.

Early in my career I began to practice intentionally not answering all of their questions, hoping to spur their imaginations and spirit of inquiry, and that they would develop the habit of trying to find things out for themselves. My experience was that often students would come up with very interesting and insightful ideas about the world if I could refrain from shutting down the possibilities that opened with a question by slapping a pat answer on it.

Sometimes, especially with younger elementary school children (K – 3 or so), I took this practice a step further, and intentionally told them things that weren’t true. The story of “The Rhinoceros” that I told to first grade students at Carrollwood Day School when I taught there from 1999 – 2003 is the tallest example of these tales that I told over the years, and became something of a tradition and a legend there among the students, some of whom would even corroborate my story and help maintain the myth among the younger students once they discovered I had been leading them on.


SOUNDCHECK: $10 Tickets for All Students



Registration opens today for the Nashville Symphony’s SOUNDCHECK student access ticket program for the 2016-17 season, beginning with our performances of Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony, September 22 – 24. SOUNDCHECK provides $10 tickets to all Aegis Sciences Classical Series performances for ALL students, K – 12 through university and graduate school.

$10 student tickets are limited to one per student and are available for purchase beginning two weeks prior to each applicable concert up until show time.


Free Day of Music 2016


Here is your interactive, one-stop rundown of the Nashville Symphony’s 11th Annual Free Day of Music. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, October 22, as always at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

Performances showcasing more than 20 different musical acts will be held from 11 am to 9 pm on four stages located both inside and outside Schermerhorn.  A diverse array of performers from throughout the community will present a wide range of musical styles including classical, country, rock, jazz, soul, world music and more.  Follow the links to learn more about each performer or ensemble.



Masterclass with Simone Porter, October 27

Simone Porter

Simone Porter

The celebrated young violinist Simone Porter will be joining the Nashville Symphony this fall for two performances of Samuel Barber’s spectacular Violin Concerto under the direction of music director Giancarlo Guerrero on October 28 & 29.

We’re thrilled to announce that in addition to performing with the symphony, Simone Porter will hold a masterclass for pre-college violin on Thursday, October 27 from 7 – 8:30 pm on the stage of Laura Turner Hall at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Students, parents, and teachers are invited to make reservations and plan to attend this very special event – and violin students who have not yet graduated from high school are encouraged to submit an application to perform in the masterclass.