2015-2016 Projects

St. John's 5

Each year, The Singing Network generates and produces a series of university- and community-based projects, distributed throughout the year to facilitate singing and choral music-making at the community level. All projects demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach to program delivery. Led by different members of the Steering Committee, each proposed project uses a unique approach and context to support singing, choral development, and community music-making.

Practical Pedagogy: The Singer’s Voice and How to Use It

  • Saturday, January 30, 2016, 10:00am – 3:00pm, MUN School of Music (NOTE change in date)
  • Clinicians – Dr. Caroline Schiller, Dr. Jane Leibel, Jennifer Beynon-Martinec
  • Project Leads: Dr. Caroline Schiller, Dr. Jane Leibel
  • Contact: Caroline Schiller: cschille@mun.ca  Jane Leibel: jleibel@mun.ca

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshops includes a dynamic, full-day professional development seminar for choral conductors with a clear focus on the health, physiology, and efficient use of the vocal instrument. Community choral conductors and their choirs will work with professors of voice from the School of Music at MUN, Dr. Jane Leibel and Dr. Caroline Schiller, on the anatomical and physiological basics of singing; resonance balancing; singing and the aging voice; and the physical health of the vocal mechanism. These pedagogical topics will be explored in the context of two performance workshops, one with a focus on children’s voices and one designed for the adult chorister. Also offered will be a special topics session on working specifically with boy’s changing voices, presented by guest clinician and conductor, Jennifer Beynon-Martinec.

Workshop topics will include:

  •     Bodies and breath
  •     The boy’s changing voice
  •     Is it hot in here or is it just me? Changing technique and the “mature” voice

International Symposium on Singing and Song

The International Symposium on Singing and Song will bring together scholars, performers and pedagogues, representing diverse disciplines, to share international perspectives, research, and practices associated with singing and song. The Symposium aims to gather international expertise; provide a forum for interdisciplinary discussion, performance, and the dissemination of research; and generate further knowledge relating to singing in all its manifestations. Presentations will address multi-faceted contexts of singing and song such as artistic, physiological, cultural, sociological, historical, pedagogical, compositional, psychological, medical… and beyond! Symposium programming will include keynote and delegate presentations, performances, social gatherings, and opportunities for stimulating dialogue and networking.

The International Symposium on Singing and Song will include traditional and imaginative presentation formats including research papers, workshops, lecture-recitals/demonstrations, master-classes, roundtable dialogues, panel presentations and poster sessions. Selected papers and presentations will be published in the International Symposium on Singing and Song e-Proceedings.

The Symposium, in collaboration with Memorial University of Newfoundland, offers a Singing Institute for graduate students which will include special sessions, student forums, and options for graduate study.


ChoirFest SING!

ChoirFest SING! will be a full-day (morning and afternoon) workshop for both adult singers and youth singers. Guest clinicians, Dr. Julia Davids, Dr. Patrick Freer, and Dr. Cathy Benedict, will use rehearsals to foster vocal skill development and encourage healthy vocal technique in a group setting. The project will bring together local/provincial singers and choirs to prepare repertoire for a massed choir performance.

During the day, a special seminar will focus on the singing of children and youth. This open-to-the-public presentation will have an emphasis on vocal technique and healthy singing habits.

Drs. Davids, Freer, and Benedict will conduct a massed choral concert to mark the conclusion of the project.

Flier for distribution.

Intergenerational Community Choir (postponed until further notice)

There is increasing research documenting the health benefits of choral singing in terms of mental, physical and social wellbeing. As music-making engages different parts of the brain, it has wide-ranging benefits for individuals with conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke and aphasia (e.g., increased vocal strength, communication, social interaction, confidence, self-esteem and well-being).

As a pilot project, the formation of an intergenerational choir, comprised of individuals with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s as well as family members and friends, caregivers and students, will help create a sense of community and belonging that may have been lost with the onset and progression of their condition. A workshop will be offered on Sunday, October 4, 2015, for anyone interested in learning more about the health benefits of choral singing as well as those interested in joining the Intergenerational Community Choir.

Improvising Spaces with Trevor Wishart

This project involves a series of three voice/choral workshops, a public lecture on writing for extended voice choir, a one day workshop/performance, and a closing performance led by the innovative choral composer and extended vocal researcher Trevor Wishart. Author of On Sonic Art, Dr. Wishart will introduce participants to the extended vocal techniques he has studied and mastered. Through learning and working together, participants will realize a performance event using these techniques. Dr. Wishart’s unique expertise will be available to not only residents of the St. John’s Metro area but also vocalists in a second location within the province.

The free workshops will be open to vocalists of all levels of ability. As a result, the workshop’s focus on extended techniques will be of value both to highly-experienced singers as well as those interested in discovering new ways to use their voices. The workshops will achieve the goal of stimulating community-music making by helping local singers, composers, and conductors gain experience with extended voice techniques in a choral setting. By creating space for anyone to participate, regardless of experience, it also holds the potential to bring a form of singing into the lives of individuals without a regular singing practice.

Saturday, August 15 (1:30-2:45pm) – Open vocal workshop with Dr. Chris Tonelli. MMAP Gallery. Arts & Culture Centre.  Facebook Event Page
Thursday, September 3  (7-10pm)  – Open vocal workshop with Dr. Trevor Wishart. MMAP Gallery, Arts & Culture Centre. Facebook Event Page
Friday, September 4 (8-9:30pm) – Public talk on electro-acoustic music for voice by Dr. Trevor Wishart. MMAP Gallery, Arts & Culture Centre.

Saturday, September 5 (1:30-2:35pm) – Open vocal workshop with Dr. Trevor Wishart. MMAP Gallery, Arts & Culture Centre. Facebook Event Page
Sunday, September 6 (8-10pm) – Concert: St John’s Vocal Exploration Choir with Trevor Wishart, Katie Baggs, and the Case-Oates/Read string duo. Cape St Mary’s Interpretation Centre. Facebook Event Page
Monday, September 7 (7-8pm) – Concert: St John’s Vocal Exploration Choir with Trevor Wishart. Rocket Room. Facebook Event Page
Thursday, September 17 (9:30-11pm) – Concert: St John’s Vocal Exploration Choir with Christine Duncan. Ship Pub. Facebook Event Page

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