Editor's note: This week's Page Turner reader interview is with Jonathan Busarow, artistic director of the Fort Wayne Children's Choir, Concert Choir and Youth Chorale.
“I just finished reading 'Good to Great,' by Jim Collins. It is a very good book and required reading here. There are many things we would like to implement here, and there is a lot to be learned in this book. Mr. Collins compares companies, and he writes about innovations but he really stresses the importance of leadership.
“I want us to go from good to great! I've been directing choirs, and now, with the Fort Wayne Children's Choir, I'm in the business portion. There is a companion volume aimed at the nonprofit world.
“The author talks about the conflict of the hedgehog; we will do it well, focusing on musical education through singing. We plan to teach musical literacy and to revamp the curriculum so that everybody is learning what he or she should be learning. This is not a business, but it does have a structure. How do we apply the concepts in this great book to be a better organization? I recommend this book highly.
“In college, I read 'Odd Girl Out,' by Rachel Simmons. She writes about the hidden culture of aggression in females. It is helpful for me to have some insight with young ladies. The section on female bullying made quite an impression. I hadn't realized it was as pervasive as it seems to be, and it is good to be cognizant.
“I come back to 'Leading Lives that Matter: What We Should Do and Who We Should Be.' It's by Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass, both professors at Valparaiso University. It's a collection of vignettes by many writers, including C.S. Lewis, for example, and poses questions to the reader. Is a balanced life possible or desirable?
“It's the kind of book where you read a section here, then there — you don't read it straight through — and it leaves it open to your interpretation. It asks, 'Are some lives more significant than others?' It does not give the answers.
“The next book I'll be reading is 'Sing and Shine On!' It's by Nick Page. The subtitle is 'An Innovative Guide to Leading Multicultural Song.' We have children from various backgrounds, and we believe a diverse group is a goal. I need to educate myself so we can be representative of Fort Wayne.”