MOLA 2016 Conference report, day 1


It’s been an eventful 24 hours at the 34th annual MOLA (Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association) conference in Helsinki, Finland. Delegates and other attendees were graciously welcomed yesterday by city officials at a reception at City Hall, and today’s events included business meetings, presentations and breakout sessions.

My slice of the conference is centered, not surprisingly, on music notation technology, and today I enjoyed giving two presentations about Sibelius: a basic course and one that addressed specific questions raised by the audience. The score that resulted from my improvised demonstration probably won’t win any composing awards, but you never know:


Of course, when you’re in Finland, a bit of clarity is needed when describing a “Sibelius” session:


I was delighted to visit with so many friendly and talented colleagues, like Daniel Spreadbury and Vili Robert Ollila. Daniel attended my “Sibelius Basics” session, and it was slightly surreal to demonstrate to software novices the hours of harmless (if rather limited) enjoyment one could have moving a clef around the score with Daniel watching!

Where’s that selfie stick when you need one: Daniel Spreadbury and Vili Robert Ollila will attest that my music notation skills outpace my photographic abilities

Rounding out the day were sessions on bowings, professional development, proof reading, music binding, and publishing. Tomorrow will surely be another exciting day; I’ll be giving the first of my two Finale sessions as well as a StaffPad demonstration that has piqued a good deal of interest among the delegates in attendance.

The day begins with Daniel’s 90-minute demonstration of the new Steinberg software to all attendees. Many readers have inquired about a video of the event or other real-time reporting. If time allows I will try to post a brief summary of audience reaction tomorrow as soon as possible. However, at the request of Steinberg, I won’t be sharing details about the program itself until Steinberg officially announces it. The good news is that you won’t have to wait long for that — details about the product, including its name, will be unveiled this coming Tuesday, May 17. At that time we’ll have more coverage.

Good night from Helsinki, where there’s still daylight at 10:15 pm.


  1. Victor Pichardo

    Thanks for the update, Philip. Looking forward to more news about the Steinberg application.

  2. Ralph

    Thanks Philip.

    Perfect time for you also to interview Daniel for an upcoming blog on the name selecting… (reasons why it was chosen among other possibilities), and how the audio interface with the program will function. I myself would like to have it not load at all until requested. Sometimes we all ( I am sure) would rather not used it with some sessions and just use the notation features thus saving system resources.

  3. Peter Roos

    Very cool — thanks for the update. It’ll be exciting to hear what Daniel has in store for us.

  4. Bob Ross

    Hopefully, we will get some official word on the Steinberg program regarding how close we are to release….so we can start saving up for it. Maybe we will get word on the price point and what kind of payment structure they are planning.

  5. Glenn Lestz

    Hi Philip,
    Thanks for continuing to publish the Sibelius Blog. It is fun to read even for Sibelius novices like me.

  6. steve

    Nice report Philip. Thanks. I agree with the previous comment regarding the hope that the new Steinberg program not loading playback until requested. That would be ideal. Sounds like a lot of fun over there!

  7. Gordon Thornett

    Exciting times!

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