So here I am again, packing my suitcase for the annual Orff Conference, tying up loose ends before leaving and this time, determined not to leave my backpack at home and only realize it when I’m at the airport, not to fail to take into account the time change when changing planes. And petitioning all the flight gods to please be kind as I am scheduled to arrive in North Charleston, South Carolina around 10 pm and then have to teach at 8 am (5 am California time!). Not much wiggle room for delayed or cancelled flights and though those flight gods have been sleeping the last few flights I took (and laughing at the ones that were my fault), I charge had with the required optimism that this time, all will follow the proposed schedule. We shall see.
Always at this time, I impress some poor, unsuspecting captive person with the chronological list of all these conferences I’ve attending year-after- year since 1984 (each one in a different city) and then two bonus ones from 1976 and 1982. The only I’ve missed in the last 36 years was the one everyone missed, the 2020 Covid-Cancelled-Conference. If I'm counting correctly, this will be my 39th.
At their peak (Seattle 1997/ San Jose 2007) these Conferences have attracted 2000 music teachers from around the world. Given the state of the economy and the state of education, numbers have been falling and in the past 5-10 years, averaged a bit over a 1,000. This was is generously predicted to be 500.
But numbers are numbers and for those fortunate enough to make it, I imagine a joyous reunion after the 2-year hiatus. And some pleasure in the more intimate, less spectacle-like event. I know I am eager for my second live teaching this Fall.
Oh, flight Gods, may it be so!