Voice Works Schedule and Class Descriptions


Class Descriptions 2023

Partial list; all but two classes have no size limit. 
Daily schedule will be posted soon.


Morning Warmup – Yoga for Singers – Reeb Willms
Through gentle movement and breath work, practice somatic awareness in the body with attention toward the areas in our bodies that are integral to singing: pelvic floor diaphragm, thoracic diaphragm, heart, head, and throat.

Listening, Learning and Singing – Eli West
Starting with a deep listening session, we will choose a song and listen to every version we can find. We will discuss the context of each recording, what influenced the outcome, and analyze the evolution of the song. We will then arrange and sing in duos and trios, identifying what influences inform our versions. No instruments necessary, but welcome. Sources will be Lomax recordings, Carter Family, etc.

Singing for solo/duo performance – Eli West
Let’s explore how to deliver a song powerfully without a full band. How do we find the right key for our voice? What can we do mentally to deliver the goods? Singing to the person in the back of the room, visualizing tossing a ball, and other soft skills to send it out. Harmonies (2 part) will also be introduced, with analysis on how to be small and mighty. Primary instruments encouraged.

Introduction to Sacred Harp music – Bridge Hill Kennedy
Sacred Harp Level 1. In this interactive class, we will cover the rudiments of Sacred Harp music: Solfege (scales), time signature, keeping time, accent, and leading. All class members will be encouraged to learn the tenor line and then branch out into parts. We will learn class/plain tunes as well as fugues.

Elevating the Voices – Bridge Hill Kennedy
Sacred Harp Level 2: Each day, in this space, we will take time to SAVE (Share, Acknowledge, Validate, and Elevate) the voices of trans singers. This class will cover more advanced rudiments and we will “queer” our voices; allowing room to switch parts and learn how Sacred Harp music is ideal for the voices of the gender expansive.

Classic Honky Tonk Country Songs for the Dance Hall – Caleb Klauder
What makes it honky tonk and not just any old song? Community gathering around dance is an age-old tradition. How to move a dance floor, what makes a good dance song. different rhythm feels create different dynamics. Country shuffle, waltz, fast and slow two beats, blues, etc. We’ll do some listening and a whole lot of singing!

Old Time Ballads – Reeb Willms
Long ballads, holding attention by telling a tale, learning history as we work through traditional material. English and Irish ballads, American ballads, on forward.

Duet Singing – Caleb Klauder and Reeb Willms
Two voices. choosing harmonies, crossing harmonies, unisons, slipping from one part to another. What makes duet singing sound and feel so good? We’ll do some listening, and lots of singing. Building harmonies from the ground up, and discussing duet singing techniques, blending voices, combining voices with different vocal ranges, matching pitch, energy, emotion and volume.

Around the World with Nikki Dee
Learn to sing and understand classic standard tunes in their original languages! We’ll explore the worlds of gypsy swing and Bossa Nova in two non-phonetic languages — French & Brazilian Portuguese — with exercises and warm-ups using sounds that don’t exist in English. We will also touch on techniques to use with phonetic languages like Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, and Hawaiian, working on listening skills and accent precision.

Vocal Technique: The Deeva Method – Nikki Dee
The Deeva Method of vocal technique is rooted in a unique combination of Bel Canto (classical), musical theater & pop technique, and Eastern/Taoist energy work. We will work in four distinct areas: mindset, vocal anatomy, breath & body work, and implementation, with the eventual goal of self-diagnosis and self-correction. Let’s de-mystify the inner workings of your vocal instrument so that you can sing with more confidence and power than you ever thought possible!

Your Own Wild Voice – Moira Smiley
Singing has bubbled up to serve so many moments across human history. We learn some wilder ways of singing from traditional songs and explore our own vocal freedom in the process.

Improvising & Song Making Together – Moira Smiley
Games, Exercises, Group & (a little) Solo improvisation to build ease, joy, and creativity into your singing

Early Vocal Stylings and Inspirations from Blind Willie Johnson to Percy Mayfield – Johnny Nicholas
Traditional blues from Lonnie Johnson to Howlin’ Wolf. Primitive Gospel roots from Blind Willie Johnson to the Soul Stirrers and Swan Silvertones including ensemble singing, harmonies, and call and response. The Memphis Jug Band, Mississippi Sheiks and Jimmie Rodgers, Rhythm and Blues of the 50’s and 60’s including Allen Toussaint, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Percy Mayfield. Have fun singing songs by some of these artists and get everyone in that groove of enjoying the act of singing and interpreting a song their own way. Let go and have fun.
This class will be offered twice a day.

Listen, Chat, Sing – Mara Kaye, with Tim McNalley
Oh, the joys of listening to our favorite singers and figuring out what makes them sound so damn good! We will be listening, dissecting, and learning select tunes of some of the greatest blues and jazz singers of our time. Studying their legendary work paves the way for conversation and allows us a deeper understanding of why telling the story through song is imperative for expression and connection.

A Singer’s Guide to Storytelling – Mara Kaye, with Tim McNalley
Through the brave and transformative act of singing, we will learn how to connect to the stories of the songs we love and free our voices in the process. We will be using the blues as our guide to explore the richness and depth of storytelling through song, phrasing, and lyric coloring. These classes and coaching sessions will help you to dig deep, find your own voice, love your own voice, and sing the stories of your soul. (Participants should come prepared with a memorized song of their choosing that they feel a strong connection with, preferably of the blues/jazz repertoire.)

Notes from a Singers Lips – Grace Love
Exploring stage presence, song choice, and finding your voice.

An alternative Choir experience – Grace Love
This class has a maximum of 30.

Masterclass with Karin Plato
Come to Masterclass and sing your song and discover some additional ideas to shape and shift your performance. We each sing from within a familiar “comfort box” and sometimes that can be improved upon or added to with a mentor/teacher’s observations and guidance. Not “right and wrong” merely different ideas to kick around as we identify all the song’s possibilities. We try to “Serve the Song.” Limited size class.

Vocal Jazz / Jazz Standards / the Jazz Vocalist 101 – Karin Plato
More info coming

Gospel and it’s Children – Khari Wendell McClelland
More info coming

Bluegrass Lead Singing – Yosef Tucker
Phrasing, Vowels, Pitch, Ornaments, Emoting.

Bluegrass Harmony Singing – Yosef Tucker
How to blend with others (tone, vowels, phrasing), and learning the traditional stack, high stack, and low stack of the greats like Flatt & Scruggs, the Stanley Brothers, and the Osborne Brothers.