Our enterprising Education Director Ben Johns has added a new activity to the Louis A. Botto ( LAB) Choir program. 51 young singers ( it's open to ages 14-20) signed up to spend a week working on their musical and vocal skills and having fun singing together. Other goals set by Ben are to put everybody on a path towards an ever-wider knowledge of repertoire, and to sharpen skills to a first year of college level. About 30 of the singers were in LAB Choir sessions last year - a few of them in ALL of them. The rest, we hope, will join one of this year's LAB's. Skills/LAB lasts from August 6-13, 12 hours a day, and everybody seems up for it in a big way!
The first day included rehearsal, voice lessons ( everybody gets a voice lesson with one of these former Chanticleer members: Chad Runyon, Justin Montigne, John Bischoff, Dan Cromeenes. It's really great to have our alums ( of whom Ben is one) participate in this program. IPA, sessions on posture and the voice, including the speaking voice, theory/history, then more rehearsal.
Chad Runyon, Chanticleer ensemble member from l988-l997, will be giving voice lessons to Skills/LAB participants. Vance George, LAB Choir Advisor ( and Music Director Emeritus of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus) will be giving everybody a conducting lesson later in the session.
All of this happens at our headquarters in San Francisco. As is so far usual for LAB Choir, many of the participants come from the Sacramento/Davis and Santa Rosa areas, with others from the East and South Bays and a few from the city.
We're sure it will be lots of fun, and we'll look forward to reports reaching us in Europe.