Clavier Companion - May/June 2017 - 43
directions to the venue, parking at the venue,
meeting place for all evaluators with directions
from car to meeting area.
* Make known which supplies will be furnished
by the sponsoring organization and which
supplies evaluators need to provide.
During the event:
In many cases, the hirer of evaluators is also completely
or partially responsible for "on the day" issues that lead
to a successful event. Here are a few of the essentials
once the day of the event begins.
* Personally meet and greet each evaluator.
Make sure they know who you are and how
you can be reached if necessary, especially if
there are no door monitors.
* It is best to meet all evaluators in a group
setting. To make the event more personable,
consider introducing each evaluator.
* Give the overall plan for the day with general
geographics of the venue, lunch room,
restrooms, break rooms, etc.
* Express very clear and precise guidelines for
* Explain the kind of event-non-competitive
auditions or competitive.
* If competitive, elaborate as much as
necessary on how winners are chosen. Are
the comments or points of each evaluator
accumulative in order to choose winners and,
if so, how?
* Be sure to give all evaluators a sample
critique and ask them to examine it briefly to
see if there are any questions about it.
* Review specific requirements of each
participant. (Is sight-reading, technique, etc.
required?) If materials need to be provided
to the evaluator for any aspects beyond
repertoire, distribute them at this time.
* If there is a time limit for each participant's
performance, kindly encourage evaluators to
do their best to stay on schedule.
After the event:
* Quite often, the hirer of evaluators will also
handle additional duties after the event. Some
events have a culminating session wherein
evaluators might be introduced, "winning"
students might perform in recital format,
awards are presented, etc. If any kind of
awards are given to participating students,
be they certificates, trophies, or cash as well
as rankings, these need to be very completely
organized and in order of presentation so that
the session progresses smoothly and there is
minimal waste of time. Photos of participants
are always such a welcome and lasting
indication of the successes of the event.
* Professional evaluators rarely expect to be
thanked, but find it very gratifying when a
written note of thanks is received! So please
add one more reminder to your already
copious list of duties as a hirer and write
"thank yous" to the evaluators you hired!
While the reader may find all these many intricate
details and instructions regarding the hiring of an
evaluator to be "overkill," I think not! The responsibility
of hiring requires the utmost diligence, attention to
details, keeping notes as the process progresses,
and the will to persevere no matter how many phone
calls and emails are required in order to hire the very
best evaluators. When a hirer has completed all the
procedures and protocols involved in the evaluator
hiring process, a most valuable contribution to the
next hirer and the organization would be to provide
guidelines applicable to the local organization. It would
also be helpful to include brief descriptions of some of
the hirer's most difficult hurdles and the solutions that
were reached to resolve them.
It is this writer's hope that when you are called upon
to hire evaluators it will be a "happy hiring" experience.
You will know you've made a most valuable contribution
to your organization, it was not as difficult as you might
have expected, and you would even volunteer to do it
again. HAPPY HIRING!
Martha Baker-Jordan was a Professor
of Piano Pedagogy at California State
University, Fullerton, for 34 years
where she received numerous awards
for teaching excellence. She authored
Practical Piano Pedagogy, a 476page pedagogy text, and received
the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National
Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in 2011.