The idea of the Summer Skills/LAB ( an addition to our LAB Choir program) is to expose young singers to the rigors of a good college-level vocal music program (emphasis on choral music), providing introductions to critical topics and resources for further individual study...and to have FUN in the process. I'm happy to say that Skills/LAB, in its first iteration this past week, was a huge success. In a series of self-evaluations, participants rated improvements across all presented topics, were able to name specific tools to help continue their music education, and confirmed that they had fun. Mission accomplished!
About 50 brave singers aged 14-20 joined me for seven 12 hour days of singing, eating, and learning together. Each singer sang in at least three different ensembles (all told, there were 8 different ensembles), had an individual voice lesson with a former Chanticleer member (the current members are in Europe!), and participated in sight-singing, music theory, music history, IPA, dance, drama (led by Michael Morales), conducting (led by Vance George), composition (led by Michael Najar), "use of the speaking voice," general vocal health (led by Chad Runyon), mental focus, and "how to survive auditions" classes. Additionally, 7 singers were chosen to participate in a solo voice master class - to sing and receive feedback from three former Chanticleer members in front of their peers. On day 3, we took a field trip to see countertenor, Dan Cromeenes, in a solo recital. And to wrap up the week, we presented an informal concert for about 150 family and friends to show off our hard work - we sang in 7 languages!