Mark Maronde, always looking out for SmartMusic users. (Or is that “out looking?”)
Mark Maronde is the SmartMusic project coordinator. This week we hope to discover what that means, and get to meet one of the behind-the-scenes people.
James Lund: What is your musical background?
MM: I received a bachelor’s degree in music theory and composition from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. I also did graduate work in choral conducting at Yale and in music theory at the University of Minnesota.
JL: You continue to compose, right?
MM: Yes. I’ve written a lot of stuff for choir and organ, including an anthem that was published by Augsburg, and I recently got my first concert band piece published.
JL: And are you a long-time Finale user?
MM: Since 1997!
JL: Can you tell me what the SmartMusic project coordinator does?
MM: I like to think of myself as the SmartMusic “utility infielder.” As I’m a generalist, I like to do a lot of different things, and this role is perfect for me as it entails many diverse responsibilities. I write the SmartMusic online help, I write and produce the SmartMusic QuickStart Videos, and I manage the SmartMusic Beta program. I also oversee the creation of SmartMusic installers, proofread marketing materials, provide support for the SmartMusic trainers, help with software testing, test the repertoire releases, and do special projects as assigned.
JL: From improving the software in the Beta program, to your work on the on-line help and videos, much of what you do directly helps SmartMusic users.
MM: I’m always looking out for our customers.
JL: Hence the photo.
JL: What are you most excited about in the upcoming version of SmartMusic?
MM: I’m certainly excited about the new sight-singing and sight-reading features, and our new support for vocal assessment. But overall, I’m most excited by the fact that SmartMusic has now come together with all of its new components and its new user interface. Everything is working together – the software, the web pages, and the repertoire – and it’s all working great! We completely rewrote SmartMusic over the past two years, and it’s very gratifying to see all of our work come to fruition.
Teachers and students can now reap the rewards of all our hard work.
I’d like to thank Mark for sharing his time with us and for all his great work in SmartMusic.
Have a question or observation for Mark or me? Please share it by clicking on “Comments” below.