And she'll do it; just watch. This girl holds freakishly high standards for herself and toward her profession, but most importantly, she feels the call to be an educator; to establish a bond with her students and uphold the glory of choral literature. Choral literature that, in my mind, should still be written. While it's her job to ensure that the classic repertoire is performed for a new generation, it's mine to ensure that there's new work that can stand alongside such works as Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, Beethoven's 9th, and more recently, the works of Tavener, Ticheli, Whitacre, Lauridsen, Part, and Rutter.
The prevailing opinion falls into two subsections of thought: Either NO new good music is being written, or the music written today is GOOD, but too conservative and derivative of past styles to be considered NEW.
This is unbelievable bull.
Let me expand on that: This is unbelievable bull, but way too many of us in our sophisticated musical mindset believe it, especially those of us in the orchestral and choral areas. This threatens our current and potential creators from expanding on tradition or finding their own individual voice. It doesn't help matters when certain published composers settle on writing lesser material and expect to be held in the same respect as the six gentlemen I mentioned above. Granted, some "individual voices" are more appreciated than others, sometimes justifiably so (I personally consider Webern impractical, tearing down the work Berg was doing to make serialism palatable, and burning the path for serialists in his wake, including late-period Stravinsky and George Perle, but I digress...phew! This is a blog, not a thesis...).
The composer's duty is to write: Write what they know, write what they feel, and write in the way they see fit. It could be unique, it could be trendsetting, it could even be trend-FOLLOWING, but it has to be their best; true to themselves and to the spirit of melody, harmony, rhythm, knowledge, and community that is our musical world.
If not, then my girl won't conduct it. ;)