2011 MTNA Conference – The Exhibit Hall

I’ve been stopping in at the Exhibit Hall for a little while each day when there are breaks in the schedule. As you can see, though, it’s a trip that is not easily completed in a few minutes.

After perusing the offerings from the various vendors and redeeming my collection of coupons for free materials and supplies, it was time today to make my final rounds. There are so many great products, and so many dedicated vendors that it can be challenging to know what to get and what to pass up. I always try to have a list made up ahead of time of items that I specifically want to look at and purchase. Additionally, I usually make print music purchases at my local music store, so unless I’m getting a book or piece autographed by the composer, I just keep a list of pieces to order once I get home. It is great, though, to check out other materials and new products that aren’t necessarily available elsewhere. I think that the Exhibit Hall is every bit as inspiring as attending some of the sessions!

One of the cool things about meandering through the exhibit hall is getting to meet the composers and publishers behind the pieces and books that we and our students play. I was perusing some music by Carolyn Miller that I think will be fabulous for rote teaching and had her play several of her compositions for me. In the process, I found out that one of her more famous pieces, Fireflies, was performed on the Regis Filbin Show. He was learning to play the piano and actually had Carolyn appear as a satellite guest to critique his performance of her composition. Pretty cool, huh? So, of course I had to buy a copy of the piece and get it autographed. Now to decide which special student will be the recipient of this fun piece… 🙂

A favorite stop in the Exhibit Hall is the Frederick Harris booth, where Forrest Kinney was available to share information about his Pattern Play series. I attended the workshop that he and his wife, Akiko, gave last year and my students and I love these books! In this clip my friend, Lisa, joins Forrest for a duet improvisation on Medieval Story (from book 2 of the series). Keep in mind that they have never played together before and this is Lisa’s first time to try this particular improvisation pattern. Isn’t it amazing? That’s why my students and I love this series so much!

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