Plenary Speakers

Holy Cow. My Students don’t Care any More
Ken Bain
Thursday, October 24
10:30 a.m.
Regency North Ballroom

* Attendees will have an opportunity to meet and converse with Ken Bain virtually during an open forum on Thursday, October 24, from 1:30–2:25 p.m. in Discussion Pod B.

How can we foster deep and self-directed learning among music students? In this highly interactive session, we’ll explore what the research tells us. Spoiler alert: no easy answers but we’ll think together. Bring your insight and experience and I’ll bring some research on human learning and motivation and make music together. I expect to learn a lot!

Ken BainKen Bain is one of the best-known teachers and scholars of teaching and learning in the United States and the western world. A well-accomplished historian, he earned his reputation in teaching and learning with the 2004 publication of What the Best College Teachers Do (Harvard University Press), one of the most widely read and influential scholarly books published in the U.S. in the last half century.

He is currently the president of the Best Teachers Institute, a research and education organization, but he spent much of his academic career at Vanderbilt, Northwestern, and NYU. In addition to his academic appointments he has held a variety of administrative posts, including Vice Provost and Provost. He was the founding director of four major teaching and learning centers: the Center for Teaching Excellence at New York University, the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence at Northwestern University, the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University, and the Research Academy for University Learning at Montclair University.

His historical scholarship centers on the history of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East (principal works include The March to Zion: United States Policy and the Founding of Israel, 1980, 2000). He is currently finishing The Last Journey Home: FDR and Friendship in Troubled Times, scheduled for publication in 2017.

He has long taken an interest in teaching and learning issues and in recent years has contributed to the scholarship in that area. Internationally recognized for his insights into teaching and learning and for a fifteen-year study of what the best educators do, he has been invited in recent years to present workshops or lectures at nearly five-hundred universities and events — in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. His learning research has concentrated on a wide range of issues, including deep and sustained learning and the creation of natural critical learning environments. He has been a frequent consultant to universities, national governments, and the European Union.

The Art of Designing a Live Show
Laura Escudé
Friday, October 25
11:00 a.m.
Regency North Ballroom

* Attendees will have an opportunity to meet and converse with Laura Escudé during an open forum on Friday, October 25, from 1:30–2:25 p.m. in Discussion Pod B.

There is a rare space where music, technology and deeply feminine artistry converge. This space has long been the domain of Laura Escudé. A highly established artist, innovator and educator, this sonic vanguard incorporates cutting-edge tech and raw emotional depth into her recorded music and live performances.

As seen at Ableton Loop 2018 and SXSW 2019, Laura explores her complex live performance setup—utilizing controllers, voice and violin to control and manipulate complex ultra-synchronized real time imagery utilizing the Unreal gaming engine.

laura escudeFrom technology to artistry to production to show design to wellness, there are few people who understand the complete spectrum of the music industry. Laura Escudé is one of these rare individuals.  

Based in Los Angeles, Escudé is an artist, innovator, entrepreneur and live show designer with a deep understanding of complex technology, a profound passion for music and art and a unique talent for fusing the two. Career highlights include designing shows for Kanye West and Jay Z, opening for Miguel on his 2015 Wildheart tour and building a thriving international business populated by top-tier professionals.

But while Escudé’s life and work are dynamic, her ultimate goal is simply to inspire.

As an artist, Escudé executes this mission through music. She’s released myriad albums, singles and EPs under the name Alluxe, synthesizing her skills as a classically trained violinist and her prowess as an avant-garde electronic producer. Now making music under her own name, Escudé recently released the Transmute EP, her most intimate work to date, capturing the sound and feel of a woman who’s examined the darkest parts of herself and come out the other end transformed. Escudé’s live performances are known for their sleek futuristic style and the raw emotion she elicits from her musical machines. She’s done official remixes for artists including M83 and Polica, with her violin playing featured on albums by Big Grams, Kanye West and Jay Z and many more.

Technology is a second language for Escudé, who in 2008 became the world’s first Ableton Certified Trainer. In 2012 she founded Electronic Creatives, using her skills to hire and train programmers and playback engineers for artists including Logic, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Big Sean, Charli XCX and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The company has become a worldwide leader in the field, with Escudé now leading a staff of 15.

These creative applications of technology have made Escudé one of the world’s most in-demand live show designers. She’s brought massive productions to life for artists including Kanye West, Jay Z, Bon Iver, Missy Elliot, Herbie Hancock and television megabrand American Idol. Escudé toured extensively with these shows, collaborating with artists to create fresh, thrilling experiences for audiences worldwide.

Interdisciplinary Modes of Presentation as Vehicles for Diversity and Inclusion in Contemporary Classical Music
Carmen-Helena Téllez
Saturday, October 26
11:00 a.m.
Regency North Ballroom

* Attendees will have an opportunity to meet and interact with Carmen-Helena Téllez during a facilitated forum on Saturday, October 26, from 1:30–2:25 p.m. in Discussion Pod A.

The objectives of diversity and inclusion occupy a prominent aspirational space in the planning of current professional and collegiate concert programs. This lecture discusses how new modes of concert presentation offer rich opportunities for the examination of diverse cultural and social ways of being, through the employment of principles of interdisciplinarity with other arts and the humanities, the artistic use of technology, and opportunities for co-creativity or interactivity between performers and the audience. New modes of presentation help us achieve goals of diversity and inclusion, while opening classical contemporary music to 21st century expressivity and signification. Conventional concert programming and presentation rituals are inherited from 19th century Western European culture. Although Classical music slowly opens up to new repertoire, and it extolls the highest values known to man, each of the components in the traditional concert format speaks about old hierarchical relationships between social groups, and the assumed dominance of one cultural perspective over all others. This lecture will not aim to reject Classical music as we know it, but it will examine how we can source alternative artistic techniques, meanings and experiences from the social, ritual and artistic of the world cultures, and from realigning our own perceptions vis a vis our own classical music culture. In so doing, we may open spaces for the participation of artists, students and audiences from all walks of life in our collegiate and professional music events.

carmen helena tellez Venezuelan-American conductor, scholar and interdisciplinary artist Carmen-Helena Téllez has been called “a quiet force behind contemporary music in the United States today” by the New York-based journal Sequenza21. A multifaceted artist, she takes a co-creative approach to new music performance, devoting special attention to vocal-instrumental and staged genres, involving interdisciplinary media and musical scholarship. She advocates for the co-creative role of performers and spectators in the emergence of the art work; and for an expanded understanding of the concept of art music including underrepresented composers and genres. She has lectured on her views for universities in the US, Europe and Latin America, and in a TEDxTalk in 2014.

In her practice, Carmen-Helena Téllez has balanced activities as a creative artist, conductor, scholar, producer and administrator. She carries her research projects in new modes of presentation through the collective Kosmologia Music and Intermedia, working in collaboration with Aquava New Music Studio, a production group with which she records and tours internationally.

In the Fall of 2012, she joined the University of Notre Dame as Professor of Conducting, where she is the Senior Professor of the Graduate Conducting Studio in the Sacred Music Program, and Artistic Director for their research vocal ensemble Notre Dame Vocale. With a grant from the Mellon Foundation, she was the Artistic Director of the Interdisciplinary Sacred Music Drama Project between 2012 and 2016. She came to Notre Dame after 20 years as Professor of Choral Conducting and Director of the Latin American Music Center at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University, where she also directed their Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. She has been Resident Conductor of the Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players (Contempo), Music Director of the National Chorus of Spain, and Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College.

As Director of the Latin American Music Center at Indiana University, Carmen-Helena Téllez supervised the largest collection of Latin American art music outside of the Library of Congress and a constellation of research and promotion activities. For the LAMC she has commissioned, premiered and recorded several works, organized three Inter-American Music Symposia and many special events, created a performance competition, produced a series of recordings, and implemented a Latin American ensemble and several courses. As Director of Graduate Choral Studies also at Indiana University she taught the doctoral seminars in the role of mentor once undertaken by Julius Herford, George Buelow, Thomas Dunn and Jan Harrington, and led dozens of doctoral final projects.