Festival 500 Sharing the Voices Introduction


Lesley University, United States



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Lesley University, United States

David, a 4th grade classroom teacher loves to sing. He performs regularly in community music and light opera productions but never sings with his students. When I asked why this was the case, his response was clear. Singing, for David, is closely linked to vocal style, particular repertoire, and performance. He couldn't imagine engaging his students in that kind of singing.

The meaning of singing as it is currently valued among music educators and most classroom teachers, is framed in a long-held aesthetic that values performance, stresses skill building and promotes excellence in vocal technique. Although these components are essential in teaching children to sing, approaching singing only from this aesthetic can, ironically, create a school where many people don't sing.

David, however, spent a week in a music course learning an approach to singing which emphasized process rather than product, participation rather than performance, recreation and fun rather than the attainment of skills. He was eager to return to his classroom and begin singing, relieved that he need not worry about training voices or work only towards the goal of performance.

Viewing singing through the wider lens of these two aesthetics allows for a shift in the paradigm and provides the possibility of moving from a "non-singing" school community to one where everyone sings, everyone values singing, and every singer is valued.


Vocal music in eighteenth-century Bath from the pens of Thomas Linley Senior and Junior

Paul F. Rice

Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
Of the several musical dynasties which helped to shape the musical life of eighteenth-century Britain, none was more remarkable than that founded by Thomas Linley (1733-95) and his wife, Mary Johnson. Linley studied with Thomas Chilcott (organist of the Bath Abbey) after his father moved the family to Bath in the late 1740's. Although further study took place in London with William Boyce, Linley returned to Bath in the Mid 1750's, where he led the varied career of composer, harpsichordist, concert director and singing teacher until his departure for London in 1776. The concert series which he led in the spa town of Bath was highly successful, and it often featured the many talents of his twelve children. In particular, the daughters Elizabeth Ann and Mary achieved success as soprano soloist both in Bath and in London, performing in oratorio and in staged performances as the Theatre Royal, Convent Garden. A son, Thomas Junior, was born in 1756, and his precocious talent soon manifested itself. Early violin studies led him to Italy to study with Nardini in Florence (where he met Mozart in 1770). Upon his return to England in 1771, he became a regular performer in the Bath concerts, as well as composing a large number of works, both vocal and instrumental. His death in 1778, at the age of twenty-two years, was a great loss to English music.

Both father and son composed a large quantity of vocal music for the concerts at Bath. This music is often strikingly different in style from that which was heard as the concerts of the pleasure gardens of London (such as those as Vauxhall and Ranelagh). The present paper will attempt to assess this repertoire of vocal music by the two Linleys, and to demonstrate why their music for Bath is stylistically different from much of the vocal music composed for the London Pleasure Gardens. Particular attention will be paid to the Six Elegies (1770) and the cantata, Awake, my lyre, by the elder Linley, and the large-scale cantatas with orchestral accompaniment by his son, In Yonder Grove, Ye Nymphs of Albion’s Beauty-Blooming Isle, and Darthula.




Song, inquiry and aesthetic education: The Lincoln Center Institute (LCI)

Florence Samson


The City University of New York, Queens College, United States



From the earliest times art has been integral to human culture. (Berleant, 1991)
In this paper presentation, I propose to share my experience of the Lincoln Center Institute (LCI) approach to aesthetic education based on Shadow’s Child, a collaboration between the New York City based Urban Bush Women and the National Song and Dance Company of Mozambique. Professor Maxine Greene (2001), LCI Philosopher-in–Residence, defines aesthetic education as “an intentional undertaking designed to nurture appreciative, reflective, cultural, participatory engagements with the arts by enabling learners to notice what there is to be noticed, and to lend to works of art their lives in such a way that they can achieve them as variously meaningful.”

This active approach (Dewey, 1938) considers the experience of the work of art and the perceiver to be at the core. Teaching artists and faculty create a curriculum for the studying of the arts and, in the process, come to “view the art and the world in a new way” (Reflections, 2001) and change the way that art is presented in schools and the relationship of students with works of art.

As students and I encounter the arts, through inquiry-based experiences, we find that art may indeed “make the petrified world speak, sing, perhaps dance” (Greene, 2001). In vignettes of our experience, I will focus on song as a component of this African American Collaborative.

Redefining the ‘traditional recital program’: Recital repertoire for soprano voice by Canadian women composers

Caroline Schiller


Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

For centuries, women have participated in the development and stimulation of musical culture in Canada. While there is substantive, ongoing research concerning the role of women in Canada's musical history, few sources mention, much less explore in detail the compositions of these women. As a result, this body of music continues to represent a largely unknown and seldom performed section of the concert repertoire.

This paper draws from my doctoral research: an annotated bibliography of vocal works for soprano voice by Canadian women composers. In addition to providing an introduction to the vocal compositions of Canadian women by highlighting specific songs from the repertoire, this paper will offer suggestions for the integration of these pieces into the more traditional recitals through their use in thematic concert programming.

In selecting works for inclusion in this presentation, particular focus has been given to the songs of Canadian composers who are Associates of the Canadian Music Centre. Programming options in the form of thematic recitals will be provided to offer a practical application for the performance of these songs. Supporting materials will include audio recordings, score excerpts, and repertoire listings from the Canadian Music Centre.

While this paper will offer programming suggestions that include standard works from the Canadian vocal repertoire, particular emphasis will be given to songs that may be less familiar to the performer. The presentation will include Three Songs with Poems by Emily Dickinson by Dace Aperans; Melissa Hui's Three Songs on Poems by Longfellow; Doctor Faustus by Larysa Kuzmenko; and Cinq chansons by Ramona Luengen, in addition to works by Elizabeth Raum, Violet Archer, Leila Sarah Lustig, and Diana McIntosh. A brief discussion of composer's musical and compositional style and the vocal demands of selected works will be included.

It is the hope that by providing the opportunity to examine this repertoire, this paper presentation may help to heighten awareness of the vocal music of Canadian women composers, and in doing so, facilitate the performance of their works.




Vocal pedagogy for the choral conductor and amateur singer

Kevin Skelton

New College, The University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Though professional singers work their entire careers to perfect their vocal techniques, the fundamentals of efficient and healthy vocalism are the same as they are for the amateur singer participating in a community, church, youth or children’s choir. In a concise and interactive presentation I should divide the basics of vocal production into four interdependent categories: posture, breathing, vowel formation, and resonance.

Through a succession of exercises with commentary relating to each category, I hope to dispel several myths regarding voice mechanics and to dissuade conductors and teachers from using image-based vocal pedagogy in the choir rehearsal or vocal class. The various exercises will help to simplify the singer’s, teacher’s and conductor’s understanding of the vocal-pedagogical process as one that is most effective and efficient when rooted in concrete principles that can be felt physically by the singer.

A bibliography listing the most important books to vocal pedagogy would be supplied for participants with explanations of their strengths and weaknesses, in addition to offering recommendations on the suitability of each for a certain level of singer and/or pedagogue. In addition to questions related to the 20 minute presentation, participants will be encouraged to ask questions in the discussion related to their personal experiences as teachers/singers. Also the discussion will serve as a platform for some initial thoughts on the inclusion of vocal-pedagogical approaches while teaching and learning choral repertoire.

Singing lessons: A performance about the teaching and learning of singing

Katharine Smithrim

Queen’s University, Canada


This chronicle in word and song traces the contributions of seven remarkable teachers to one singer's quest for voice and offers a behind the scenes glimpse into the essence of singing.

Through this demonstration recital I trace my development as a singer with reference and tribute to each of my former singing teachers. I demonstrate the things I learned about singing and life from each of these remarkable teachers, through stories, recollections and anecdotes and also through singing repertoire I studied with each teacher. Issues include the technical, musical, physical, intellectual and emotional processes involved in singing, studying singing and performing. This production is a scripted performance in story and song with technical support in terms of photographs, video and audio tapes, and other archival materials. It is intended to be a glimpse into the phenomenon of singing for musicians and lay-people alike.


Myth-conceptions about human voices? Sorting pre-scientific vocal pedagogy from science-based voice education

Leon Thurman

Fairview Voice Center, United States


The voice teaching professions are in the midst of a multiple decades long evolution from pre scientific vocal pedagogy to science based voice education. Voice skill teaching methods are based on concepts (often implicit) about the human anatomy that is physiologically coordinated to produce the acoustic phenomena that we refer to as voice. The earliest known surviving writings about voice date from the 13th century (Jerome of Moravia, c. 1250, and John of Garland, c. 1193 c. 1270). The voice concepts that Jerome and John wrote about, along with concepts and teaching methods that evolved in the 16th through 18th centuries, still form the cornerstones of vocal pedagogy in the early 21st century. Science based anatomic, physiologic, and acoustic findings began to be applied to the teaching of voice skills in the 19th century, with Manuel Garcia (1805 1906) as a prominent proponent. Just after the mid 20th century, the voice and voice medicine sciences evolved into worldwide significance. The neuropsychobiological sciences also have illuminated details about how human beings perceive through their senses, generate feelings emotions preferences biases, form and retrieve memories, learn, behave, and develop disease and maintain health. Many of the concepts and teaching methods of pre scientific vocal pedagogy have been called into question by findings in the above sciences. This paper will identify some of the explicit and implicit concepts and related teaching practices of pre scientific vocal pedagogy (e.g., posture, registers, voice placement, Western opera bias, competition is human nature, permanent damage from voice use) and present alternative concepts/practices as part of a science based voice education.

The political songs of Thomas Moore (1779-1853)

Johanne Devlin Trew

Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
The popularization of Irish symbols world wide and most especially in America in the many editions of Moore's Irish Melodies was an essential element in creating and maintaining awareness and sympathy for the Irish cause throughout the 19th century. This in turn was crucially important in raising international support for Irish independence.
Journey with my voice: From a Tapiola chorister to a vocal pedagogue

Sanna Valvanne

Conductor, Finland
This paper will examine the process of finding your real voice and the natural, free and healthy way of expressing yourself with it. The presentation will document my personal story with my voice from the time as a child when I had an angel like clear voice to the difficulties that came after the voice changed, through fears, concepts and pressures from the Tapiola choir, the Western classical voice ideals, losing the voice completely, and how gradually I've been able to find my real voice again and love it truly. I will share what it was to be a singer in a world famous choir and work with both Erkki Pohjola and Kari Ala Pöllänen. I will discuss how Tapiola Choir has affected my life, my thinking, my relationship with music, my own work as a choir conductor, singer and musician and basically everything I do. This all I would connect with how I use and teach vocal production now in my work with choirs and my ideas of healthy singing in choirs.
The poetry of African American Pinkie Gordon Lane as set in Listenings and Silences

J. Michelle Vought

Illinois State University, United States
This lecture-recital will focus on the three movement solo vocal pieces, Listening and Silences, written by Dinos Constantinides which employs the poetry of African American Pinkie Gordon Lane. For the past thirty years. Lane has represented one of the quieter strains of Black poetry. Described as “a poet of lyric space”, Lane was the first Black poet laureate of Louisiana and has been inducted into the Black History Hall of Fame. She has found a wide audience for volumes of her poems. I will discuss the composer’s setting of Lane’s poetry and then perform the three short songs ranging from thirty seconds to three minutes. The music of Dinos Constantinides has been performed throughout the world. He is the recipient of many grants, commissions and awards, including first prize in the 1981 Brooklyn College International Chamber Opera Competition and the 1985 First Midwest Chamber Opera Conference, in addition to Meet the Composer grants and numerous ASCAP Standard Awards.

Competitive versus non-competitive goal structures: Analysis of perceptions relating to self-esteem development and musical achievement among vocal students

Angela warren

Lakecrest Independent School, Canada
Competition has existed since the beginning of time. Competition, in various forms, has seeped into our schools, classrooms, peer groups, and homes. It continues to have diverse effects on child development and the nature of pedagogy. It is within this context that the effects including a competitive goal structure as part of ongoing voice instruction in a private voice studio was examined.

The purpose of this research was to study the nature of competitive and non-competitive goal structures as related to perceptions of self-esteem, musical achievement, and performance attributes in young singers. The results of this study showed that for the students who participated in this experience, perception of self-esteem is linked to student perceptions of musical achievement, and performance attributes (effort, ability, luck, task difficulty). Students’ preferences for future competitive or non-competitive goal structures were not significantly related to the type of goal structure they experienced in this study.

From this research it was concluded that: (1) Competitive goal structures affect student perceptions of musical achievement; (2) students’ perceptions of self-esteem are related to their perceptions of musical achievement and (3) competition does not necessarily produce increased perceptions of self-esteem or superior levels of musical achievement in voice students.
The use of ancient music, techniques, approaches, and aesthetics in the modern choral music context: Performance and compositional approaches to the use of unusual instrumental and vocal techniques in the modern concert setting

Gerard J. Yun


Southern Utah University, United States

This lecture-demonstration will focus on vocal (primarily choral) literature that integrates techniques, aesthetics, approaches, and instruments associated with ancient music form and genres. Strategies for performers and composers to effectively and responsibly deal with these materials will be discussed. Materials presented include the use of Australian didgeridoo, Asian harmonic/overtone singing, Native American flute and Japanese shakuhachi.

An increasing number of performers and composers are working with aesthetics and approaches outside of the standard Western canon. One branch of this exploration includes ancient music. Therefore, performers interested in integrating such music into the Western choral repertoire need information and guidance in working with these music forms in a culturally responsible manner.

This presentation seeks to draw attention to an exciting and growing aspect of the concert music landscape while offering strategies aimed at making unfamiliar techniques, aesthetics and approaches to ancient music accessible to professional musicians music educators and student performers. Questions include, how to safely approach/teach techniques such as Tebetan and Tuvan harmonic singing. How ancient vocal technique and instrument from inside and outside of European musical tradition might affect performance practice and how modern instruments such as the piano, flute, clarinet, cello and others might be adapted in their use to approximate ancient music sounds through the use of extended techniques


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Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Canada


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