I suppose that unless you are a band director, you have no idea what an 'NEBDI" conference is. It stands for "New England Band Director's Institute," and if you are a band director, its sort of like going to Disney world. Well... maybe Canobe lake park, but its pretty awesome. Its 3 days of workshops, lectures and reading sessions all geared toward Band directors. I took a clarinet workshop where I learned about a better embouchure (the way you hold your mouth) and some exercises for playing harmonics, previously known as squeaks. I took an expressive conducting workshop with the extremely talented and inspiring Emily Threinen. Honestly, I was very uncomfortable with some of the exercises she had us do, but I vow to practice in the privacy of my own home. Composer and "Band Doctor" Quincy Hilliard spoke about the importance of tone, and how to teach it. I am determined to be much more of a stickler on proper posture because it really is connected to good tone. I now have a bunch of drills I'm going to try out on by band in the fall, and have already been using some of the techniques with my summer students who are sounding AWESOME as a result! My favorite part of the conference was the reading sessions and Band lab I attended. We sat on the stage of the Hanaway Theater, and on our music stand was a thick stack (1 1/2 inches) of sheet music. The conductor came on and we just read through them! We had a list of the music and I was able to make notes of what music would be worth looking into for my own band. Quincy Hilliard conducted a pile of his own music and told us some cool stories about some of them. He told us that he wrote his dissertation on Aaron Copland and got to interview him in person. He was told that "Fanfare for the Common Man" was originally called "Fanfare for Freedom." Later, Hilliard composed a piece using Copland's discarded title and we got to play while he conducted. Hilliard also said that he does a lot of commissions by schools. I'm thinking that this is something I'd like to look into in the future for our school.