We all love to sing. It brings us joy and communicates with others. We hear that singing helps people who can't otherwise speak, who are depressed or suffering from dementia. And singing together is one of the best things one can do for mind, body and spirit.
Sometimes people say "Oh, I can't sing!" and then they tell a story of some fearful teacher who threw them out of the choir, rather than educating them how to find their voice.
Even those of us who sing regularly can do with a little bit of vocal polishing, so to speak, from time to time. Many people who sing in choirs have never had any vocal training.
For many years now, Cantilena has attempted to address this by holding occasional vocal and choral training days. These are not the same as "come and sing" days where people gather to sing specified works under a well-known conductor, though these are lovely, of course.
We ask someone who has expertise in vocal training and choral conducting to lead the day. We learn how to breathe, pitch our voices, listen to others, extend our vocal range. We do exercises to stretch the body and fill the lungs. We practise enunciation and often do a little bit of sight reading. People are often surprised to find that their range can go further that they are used to, suddenly finding that top G or bottom A. We discover how the way in which we pronounce a vowel sound or bring a word to a close can affect its pitch and tone, making notes dark or light. We experiment with dynamics.
In 2019 we will be holding one of these events. These are the details:
Saturday February 16 2019
10.00 am - 14.00
St Mary's Church Hall, Magdalene Street, Glastonbury
Our leader will be Ben Sawyer. Ben is a counter tenor, conductor of several choirs and styles himself as a vocal educator. Here is a link to his website:
Put this date in your diary; we will be providing more information soon.
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