This is a quick post just to let you know that I'm exploding with stuff I want to talk about in the coming weeks after experiencing many wonderful new ideas and concepts at the Westminster Choral Festival at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ.
I attended this continuing education festival and took it for credit. As part of that I had to journal about my experience there, so I will be taking from my journal and picking out stuff I think other avocational singers out there might be interested to read about.
I was exposed to some new concepts, such as "count singing," and a few other ideas about choral voicing and sound, but I would like to have time to do a little google research so I can better talk about these things with you.
All in all, I came off this choral festival week more excited about choral singing than I ever have been before. I think one of the main reasons is because of the exciting, vibrant, creative choral director, Dr. Joe Miler.
What I loved the most about working with Dr. Miller was how free and healthy he wanted the voices to be, and how, even though he was directing a group, he somehow imparted great care and respect for the individual voice and was able to somehow guide the individual so aptly while leading a giant group. There was space for everyone in his choir -- "big" voices, "little voices," "pingy" voices, "breathy" voices, etc... He knew what to do with all those sounds and colors and make them work together.
It was possible for me, as a "big-voiced" singer to feel great freedom while singing in a choir, something that I usually don't experience. I often feel like I am sitting in a little confined box, holding myself back in order to blend. There are definitely many things I've learned with this "holding back" kind of singing. It has been a challenge over the years to find ways to master my voice so that I could sing in that little box in a healthy way, and it has not been without value to try to do so.
However, the experience of being able to feel less confined while singing with a group, and the feeling of my own free resonances melding with the other resonances in the room was really wonderful and left me renewed and invigorated about choral singing.
In the next few posts I'm probably going to be recapping some ways I've grown after this choral festival. I hope you will join me in the days to come as I share some of my experience with you.