Walter Bitner

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SphinxConnect 2018

 

Last month I traveled to Detroit, Michigan for the 6th annual Sphinx conference – SphinxConnect – and 21st annual Sphinx Competition. SphinxConnect was held this year at the downtown Detroit Marriot at the Renaissance Center. This was the third year in a row I have attended the conference and competition, and my second as a speaker.

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Nashville Symphony EDCE at SphinxConnect 2017

Nashville Symphony Education & Community Engagement staff with Aaron Dworkin, founder of Sphinx and Dean of University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, & Dance, SphinxConnect, Detroit, February 10, 2017. (l to r) WB, Kelley Bell, Aaron Dworkin, Kimberly McLemore, Kristen Freeman.

Nashville Symphony EDCE staff with Aaron Dworkin, founder of Sphinx and Dean of University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, & Dance, SphinxConnect, Detroit, February 10, 2017. (l to r) WB, Kelley Bell, Aaron Dworkin, Kimberly McLemore, Kristen Freeman.

Earlier this month – February 9-12, 2017 – our entire Nashville Symphony Education & Community Engagement Department attended the Sphinx Organization‘s 20th annual Competition and 5th annual conference in Detroit, retitled SphinxConnect this year.

We spent an eventful four days attending concerts, interviews, panel discussions, and presentations, several networking (and celebratory) receptions, and other meetings. Some 500 people were there from all over the country (and some from other countries as well), many of whom only see each other a few times per year. The entire conference was imbued with a heady excitement.

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2016 SphinxCon: Ignite to Action

SphincCon logoEarlier this month I traveled to Detroit to attend SphinxCon – the 4th annual conference on diversity in the arts presented by The Sphinx Organization. This was my first experience attending this conference, and it was a good experience, and particularly relevant to the work my department has been intensely engaged in: we are now in the midst of launching the Nashville Symphony’s new diversity program Accelerando. Our very first auditions for Accelerando will be held on March 12.

I returned to Nashville a week ago for a schedule turned upside down due to snowstorms, but many of my impressions from the weekend in Detroit have stayed with me, and I’ve tried to write down some of them here before the march of time goes on much longer and they recede into the background.

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