Details on our 2014 workshop are under development. Stay tuned for more information. Below is information from our 2013 gathering.
2013 SCHEDULE AND CLASSES
THE FIRST DAY – MONDAY, JUNE 24
Check in begins at 3:30 at the Centrum office. Dinner at 6:00pm.
An extensive welcome and orientation session begins at 8:00pm in the Wheeler Theater. We will introduce each of the musicians who are on staff, and ask them to sing a little. We’ll also talk about the workshop schedule, bring any fresh information, and try to get all of your questions answered.
MEAL TIMES – breakfast: 8:15am, lunch: 12:30pm, dinner: 6:00pm.
(exception to this – the last meal, Sunday breakfast, is at 8:00am).
TUESDAY – FRIDAY
9:00 – 10:15: Choice of classes
10:45 -12:00: Choice of classes
2:00 – 3:15: Choice of classes
3:45 – 5:00: Lined-out Hymnody, instrumental sessions, wildcard slot.
Most of the faculty will be teaching twice a day, at varying times. All classes are open to all comers.
Evenings in 204 – faculty led jams, song swaps, dancing, etc.
SATURDAY – slightly altered schedule – we’ll have the Participant’s Concert in addition to classes.
8:00am – breakfast
9:00am – shuttle leaves for airport from Centrum office.
EVENTS OPEN TO THE TICKET-BUYING PUBLIC
Voice Works participants receive prime seating.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Women’s Singer Songwriter Showcase
7:30 pm; Joseph F. Wheeler Theater
featuring Pharis Romero, Yvette Landry, Kristin Andreasson, Suzy Thompson, Nancy Thowardson
Friday, June 28, 2013
Honky Tonk Dance and Polka Dot Contest
7:30 pm; USO Building
General Admission $10; 18 & under free
(Please note: tickets only available at the door)
Voice Works Faculty All-Star Band
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Roots and Branches of American Singing, from the Secular to the Sacred
7:30 pm; McCurdy Pavilion
Reserved Seating $20; 18 & under free
Caleb Klauder and Reeb Willms, Laurel Bliss, Yvette Landry, Riley Baugus, Jason and Pharis Romero,
The Birmingham Sunlights
CLASS SESSION OVERVIEW - Most folks are teaching two classes a day. Generally, the faculty have a structure in mind for these sessions, but will demonstrate astonishing flexiblity dependent upon participant interest.
- The Birmingham Sunlights - Four-part a capella singing with James Taylor, Barry Taylor, Steve Taylor, Brandon Taylor, and Willie Graves.
- Meredith Axelrod - coming soon
- Pharis Romero - For the Love of Building Vocal Skills, Early Women Duets
- Linda and David Lay - Trio Singing (with Randy Cook)
- Suzy Thompson - Finding Your Blues Voice (once a day)
- Riley Baugus - Lined Out Hymnody, Mountain Story Songs
- Yvette Landry - Finding your own Voice in Country Music
- Caleb Klauder - Male/Female Duets, Old Time and Country Singing
- Laurel Bliss - Carter Family Songs, Harmony, Early Women Duets
- Reeb Willms - Male/Female Duets, Harmony
- John Lilly - Song Writing, Music of Hank Williams
- Nancy Thorwardson - Song Writing (once a day)
- Kristin Andreassen - Guided Thievery in Songwriting, Communicating Songs, John Hartford’s music
We’ll also have a handful of folks on hand to lead song swaps and jam sessions in the afternoons and evenings. Besides the outstanding singers on staff, we’re especially excited about the musicians who will be here to form our “house band” – Randy Cook on pedal steel, Linda Lay on string bass, Suzy Thompson on fiddle, Caleb Klauder on mandolin and guitar…. you get the idea. There will be plenty of music makers ready to back up all of the singers.
Here’s a few class descriptions:
In this class, learn to identify small stylistic habits in your singing that make a big difference in your sound. We’ll discuss basic anatomy of the throat, identify your soft palate so you can eventually learn to control it, affecting vocal tone (nasality) and volume. Bring a mirror and a flashlight so you can see into your throat. Learn exercises to refine your pitch accuracy, which is what turns speech into music. We’ll listen to singers from the 1900s through the 1920s and discuss what we hear in their vocal styles, and we’ll listen to ourselves sing, and sing for the class.
Old Time and Country Singing - Caleb Klauder
Want to stop holding back? Come peek into Caleb’s treasure chest and discover his singing secrets. In this class you will gain some tools to create your own secrets and to make you a stronger singer.
Learn how to let go, and get it out. Sing with expression, tone and strength. This class is about becoming one with the song, it’s all about “yes you can” and “yes you do”. Sing it loud, and sing it proud. We will exercise your diaphragm to build its strength, find out what and where it is, and we will talk about its importance. We will also discuss finding the key that is great for singing your particular song.
Caleb will hand-pick a few of his favorite standards from the Old- Time, Country and Bluegrass repertoire and use them to demonstrate what this all means. Over the week we will sing in groups, and sing solo, to help us focus on the nuances of phrasing and tone.
Bring a recording device, a pencil and some paper.
For The Love of Building Up Your Vocal Skills – Pharis Romero
Morning classes will focus on breathing, resonance and range, and deepening awareness of our singing voices (and our everyday voices). We’ll be extending our vocal practice with tools to take home, and songs to work with your new skills.
Guided Thievery in Songwriting – Kristin Andreassen
A hands-on experience. We’ll steal lyrics, chords and grooves from so many places that when we pile the loot together we’ve got a brand new, totally unique and potentially uncategorizable piece of music.
Songs of John Hartford – Kristin Andreassen
The river of whimsy flows down to the profound.
Duet Singing for Women and Men – Reeb Willms & Caleb Klauder
Dear singers, the only thing better than singing is doing it with someone else. Have you ever wanted to be like Dolly & Porter? Scotty & Patsy? How about George & Tammy? We’ll handpick a few gems to add to your repertoire, using them to focus on two-part singing with specific regard to men and women singing together. We will be spending some time with the concept of listening, as this is an essential element to create a good blend. We will work on finding the harmony above and below the melody, with emphasis on strong lead singing. We’ll delve into the nuances of phrasing and tone, blending two voices together until they’re as smooth as hand-churned butter! Bring your songbook and a pencil. Extra credit for pie!
Songwriting Sessions – Nancy Thorwardson will lead four classes during the week, exploring the elements of songwriting from four different frameworks: writing in a specific genre, writing from the heart, songwriting as a job, and collaboration/co-writing.
Communicating Songs – Kristin Andreassen
Bring a song you know well and be open to the possibility of finding deeper clarity and authenticity in your delivery.
New Songs with an Old Soul – Songwriting with John Lilly
We’ll talk about and demonstrate classic country and old-time songs, seeing them from a songwriter’s perspective – how they are put together, what makes them tick, what makes them great. Then look at some new songs in that same style of music and see how – or if – they carry on some of the same traditions or maybe break a few “rules.”
The Music of Hank Williams – John Lilly
Jam on the classics, go deep into his repertoire, and even try to work up some of the quartet things he did on his cool radio shows.
Yodeling – a one-off with John Lilly
Lined Out Hymnody – Riley Baugus
We’ll be taking a look at an old Southern Appalachian singing tradition done mostly in the mountain churches. It is a method of singing songs in a group setting without having to know the words or even the melody. We’ll learn a few songs, some melodies. Many of these melodies or variations of them move from song to song. Come to the class and sing. It feels good.
Mountain Story Songs – Riley Baugus
This class delves into the stories behind the songs, what the story really is what is meant by lyrics. We’ll go over songs like Poor Ellen Smith, Little Maggie, Pretty Polly, Oh Death and others. These are songs and ballads sung throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Virginia and all other the southern Appalachian region.
Finding Your Own Voice in Country Music - Yvette Landry
Finding your own voice can be difficult and even scary. Often times, we try to mimic the vocal style of others. However, finding your own voice can be a very powerful tool. We will listen to different country artists, identify what draws you to their singing style, then, learn how to use those stylistic nuances and make them your own.
Blues Singing – Suzy Thompson
The early blues singers used whatever they had to put a song over — some, like Bessie Smith, were blessed with big, rich voices, but there were other great singers like Victoria Spivey, who had a voice that was not particularly big or rich, but boy, could she put a song across! Using jug band, country and classic blues songs, you’ll learn to work with phrasing, breathing, rhythm, ornaments and humor to find your own unique blues voice.
Carter Family Songs – Laurel Bliss
Let’s immerse ourrselves in the wonderful songs of the Carter Family. We’ll learn melodies, harmonies and accompaniments on songs both familiar and obscure.
Early Women Duets – Laurel Bliss and Pharis Romero
Cherry picked gems from the early women in Country music.
(2x during the week)
Introduction to Harmony – Laurel Bliss and Reeb Willms
Learn a melody and then find the harmony. It’s that easy and we’ll have fun showing you how to figure it out.
(3x during the week)
Four-part a capella Singing – The Birmingham Sunlights