In this section you can find out about our latest workshops for singers.
'Vocal Pedagogy and the Free Voice' - A Very Different Come and Sing Day
More than 60 keen singers came together for a fascinating and informative ‘Come and Sing Day’ in Lancaster on 18th March 2017. The event was promoted by Lancaster Singers and facilitated by our very own local professional tenor soloist, voice coach and teacher, Chris Steele.
This was a vocal workshop with a very definite pedagogical twist. Chris explained in expert detail the workings of the larynx and vocal chords and muscles in the production of sound and singing. The descriptions were illustrated by PowerPoint and also using a wonderful home-made larynx which we were able to handle and manipulate. Singers found their voices freeing up during the process and there were a few surprises in how range could be increased – without strain or undue effort but merely by correct breathing technique and vocalisation.
The technical approach was brought to life by working on Mozart’s Ave Verum, a Bach Chorale and a snippet from a Verdi opera. What made these well-known pieces different was the substitution, in the score, of the expected libretto with Chris’ own phoneticised vocalisation. This made for very strange reading but produced the most wonderful, warm, round, vibrant vowel and consonant sounds. It had to be heard to be believed!
Transferring our learning back into our own choirs is our challenge now. Clearly we can’t ‘vocalise’ the librettos of all the work we sing. However, once the principles have been addressed we will be able to introduce them - with potential improvements all round.
Thanks to Ian Tate, LS Resident Accompanist, who kept us in tune in his usual indomitable style; the Pastor and staff of the Baptist Church in Lancaster who allowed us to use their wonderful building, and to members of Lancaster Singers who made sure the day went well.
And finally, a huge thank you to Chris Steele who educated, enlightened and entertained us in what was a very different Come and Sing Day. Watch this space for details of the next one in 2018!
Chris Haughton Chairman, Lancaster Singers
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 March 2017 22:41
Review 18th Feb 2012
Marco Fanti Lancaster Singers Musical Director flew in from Italy to lead an absorbing and exciting Come and Sing Day at Lancaster University Chaplaincy on Saturday 18 February. Promoted in conjunction with the Association of British Choral Conductors, members of Lancaster Singers were joined by some 60 members of other choirs including visitors from Manchester and Nottingham. The works studied were Mozart's Requiem and Michael Haydn's Requiem both of which were scheduled for performance by Lancaster Singers with the Lancashire Sinfonietta at St. Peter's Cathedral Lancaster on Saturday 17 March. Marco’s mastery of the pieces and abundant enthusiasm were warmly received by everyone present. The work we put in that day was handsomely rewarded by our performance on the day.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 13:48
Come and Sing Day October 2011 Review
Marco Fanti, Lancaster Singers Choral Director, ran a very successful “Come and Sing Day” last Saturday to introduce to a wider audience his very interesting and unusual programme for the next concert (Intimations of Immortality) to be held at Ripley St Thomas School, Lancaster, on Saturday 12th November at 19:30.
The programme traced the sources and influences on Mozart when writing his famous Requiem, which the Singers will perform in St Peter’s Cathedral on March 17th 2012.
Handel was the most important composer of the period and the November concert will open with his Funeral Anthem for Queen Caroline HWV 264.
The second half of the November concert included what is believed to be the first modern performance in the UK of the Magnificat by Padre Martini. He was Mozart’s eminent teacher who reviewed his scores and had a great influence on Mozart throughout his life. The programme also included Mozart’s Misericordias Domini as well as a short unfinished Requiem by Gassmann, a Chapel Master at the Viennese Court and teacher and protector of Mozart’s contemporary, Salieri.
There was also an invited orchestra led by Wendy Cann and Ian Pattinson provided the Organ Continuo.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 March 2012 11:54