June 27 – July 2, 2017
We’re currently assembling the 2017 gathering. Here’s what we presented in 2016.
You’ll learn new songs, about your range, and how to find your key.
Join us for Centrum’s latest gathering of singers! Voice Works is held at Fort Worden State Park, a venue unparalleled in beauty and facility. Expect four days and five nights of intense fun, singing instruction, repertoire building, and merry music making with some top drawer vocalists.
Singing is compelling, a natural human effort to communicate. Singing maintains culture, and it makes you feel good. The combination of world-class artists and passionate singers at Voice Works creates a rare community, safe for participants of all levels to participate.
In 2016 we’ll continue to explore Blood Harmony – how people who were raised with the same accent, the same phrasing and intonation, the same genes, are capable of blending two and three voices into one. Multiple parent/children teams will be teaching this year.
Day and night you’ll soak up styles, songs and stories in a wide range of vocal traditions. Through close observation and personal experimentation you’ll learn about breathing, phrasing, dynamics, how to make your voice blend, and what makes your voice unique.
Before I came to Voice Works, I loved singing, but I never felt comfortable with what it sounded like, or my ability to blend with other people. But that class with Pharis – the warm-ups, the breathing – and then you’re in to your day, you’re warmed up, you’re opened up in a way that makes it possible for your voice to come out, it’s like you’re prepared for anything ….
Specifically, you’ll learn to sing harmony, vintage country duets, classic jazz, swing, how to find a third part, traditional Mexican music, Appalachian ballads, Irish folk songs, mountain gospel, honky-tonk songs, bluegrass, and much more. You should expect intensive study, community building, singing, public performances, dances, house parties, song swaps, and a participant showcase every day.
When you go round in a circle, and your instructor says “Try this, try that,” it somehow becomes so unthreatening, and it’s really fun. Everyone has such a unique and different voice, you learn SO much from other participants, and you start to understand your sound is okay, it’s all right. It’s your voice.
Besides absorbing a variety of cultural and stylistic music, daily technical sessions will be on the schedule. A vocal warm-up class starts off each morning, and a class teaching you a set of vocal exercises to build your voice to its full potential will be offered twice each day.
The workshop is open to everyone. Differing levels of ability are expected, and the faculty will respond to participant need accordingly. If you’re on the beginning end of the spectrum, you’ll find an ample slate of classes to address your needs; likewise, advanced singers will find plenty to challenge them. If you can’t help singing, or if you’ve always wanted to sing with people but for whatever reason you don’t, you should plan to be at this workshop.
It is truly wonderful to sing with others and what a supportive environment for singers of all levels of experience. Time and time again we were reminded of what a beautiful gift we give by singing.