Letter from the Editor
This issue of PIO! is filled with spring energy—hopeful and regenerating. Possibilities are palpable and positive, as evidenced in the inaugural message from our new Co-Presidents, Katherine Dines and David Heitler-Klevans. Their vision for the coming year is outlined, but what resonates most profoundly is their assertion that “We have become increasingly aware of the fact that YOU are CMN’s most valuable resource, and that CMNers are wonderfully willing to share their skills and knowledge with others. This is often what draws new members into CMN, and what makes them want to stay engaged.”
PIO! is written by and intended for members. In addition to the columnists and veteran writers that so graciously contribute to our journal, I’m happy to welcome Lily Epstein, Steve Eulberg, Irene Light, Betsy Rose, Laurie Vela, and Andy Zamenes to our digital pages. New voices add multiple perspectives, reflecting the richness of our community. Many of these new voices can be found in the Reports section, which includes conference reflections and accounts of the Magic Penny Award ceremony celebrating the life and music of José-Luis Orozco. You’ll also find here an interview with the phenomenal singer, composer, performer, choral instructor, and “vocal activist” (and newly joined member!) Melanie DeMore, who gave the inspiring Conference keynote speech. We mined the PIO! archives and struck gold, thanks to Phil Hoose’s gentle interview with Fred Rogers, originally published in Issue #19/20, Summer 1995.
Two themes intertwine through this issue. The first is “The Road Less Traveled,” the springboard for the remarkable account of Betsy Rose’s multifaceted musical pilgrimage to parts of Asia and Africa. Dave Kinnoin and Irene Light also write about two organizations that provide tangible heart and soul support for children in need—Songs of Love and TAFFY Presents.
The second theme is “Resources for Renewal.” In the search for resources that energize and sustain us, we might do well to look to Lisa Atkinson’s “You Can Dance,” one of this issue’s designated CMN Anthems and one of many blooms in a bountiful bouquet of songs. For more ideas, please see the “Resources for Renewal” article that will hopefully become a recurring feature. I queried members about what resources inspired and continue to inspire their work. The replies are illuminating—and prompted me to purchase a number of the books recommended! The first contributors are, with one exception, those authors who wrote feature articles in the last three issues of PIO!. Board members and PIO! columnists will be represented in the next issue—stay tuned!
And speaking of columnists: Peter Alsop, long-time contributor of the always thoughtful “Thoughts To Chew,” will debut a new Question and Answer column in the Fall issue that considers the “bigger questions”—and adds Stuart Stotts as co-contributor. The full announcement is at the end of the column, but the most important thing to know is that this new format will only work with your help—and questions!
It takes a village to make a journal, and a village to appreciate it. Please read, discuss, and share what you find. Share it freely. Feedback is welcome—as are suggestions for what articles, issues, or themes you want included or addressed. I look forward to hearing from you!