Oratorio Chorale

Summer Workshops 2017

Workshops for Singers
June 13–August 9, 2017

Each summer, the Oratorio Chorale hosts a series of workshops designed to improve and enrich singers’ choral experience. These workshops are open to all interested members of our community. Workshops are offered in three categories: sight-singing, vocal technique, and music history. Instructors include Oratorio Chorale Artistic Director Emily Isaacson, Artist in Residence Mary Sullivan, Chorale Accompanist Scott Wheatley, and visiting scholar Aaron Peisner.

Workshops take place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brunswick and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Falmouth. See course descriptions below for specific times and locations.

$25 for one course
$65 for three or more courses
$65 for Sight-Singing Bootcamp, any level

All courses are open to all singers. Course descriptions include suggestions about levels of experience.

For more information and to place your name on the contact list, please e-mail Julie Marsh, Chorale administrative assistant, at:  members@oratoriochorale.org

To register for workshops, use this Summer Workshops Sign-Up Form.

Summer Workshop Courses

Emily Isaacson, Oratorio Chorale Artistic Director
Wednesdays: July 12, 19, 26, August 2 and 9 (5 45-minute sessions for each workshop)
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brunswick  

Beginner Level 4:00–4:45
For musicians with little to no experience: learn to read a score including key and time signatures, pitch names, and note values. In this class no question is too silly.

Intermediate Level

For singers with basic music reading skills, this course will review rhythm in basic and compound meter, major and minor scales, arpeggios, the most commonly used intervals, and basic harmonic analysis. For musicians returning to singing, this class can also be taken as a continuation of the beginners class.

Advanced Level 6:00–6:45
For experienced singers who want to improve their sight-reading skills. This
course will review rhythm in compound and mixed-meter, all intervals, modes (scales other than major and minor), common chord progressions, and strategies for performing leap-driven melodic lines.

Mary Sullivan, Oratorio Chorale Artist in Residence
All sessions at St Paul’s Episcopal Church, Brunswick

Anatomy of the Voice  June 27 OR July 7,  10:00–11:00 a.m.
Discover the bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments that allow you to sing. Once you understand the various components of the anatomy of the voice, you will be better able to manipulate them for proper breath control, diction and sound placement.

Basic Vocal Technique   June 29 OR July 6,  10:00–12:00 noon
Limited to 12 singers per session

For singers who do not take voice lessons, learn how to improve your singing technique and what to practice at home. We will review anatomy of the voice, breath control techniques, and common vocal issues and how to solve them.

Lyric Diction and Advanced Vocal Technique  July 25 OR August 1, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 noon
For singers who study voice privately. How do we make beautiful sound throughout the vocal range in English and in the other languages that commonly occur in choral music and art song? We will compare lyric diction with spoken diction and address key points of lyric diction in Latin, German, and French. We will also work on run techniques to make your moving passages more enjoyable.

How to Sing as Your Voice Ages  July 28, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon; OR August 4, 3:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Like all parts of the body, the voice changes as you age. Strategies that worked in your forties likely do not work in your seventies. Learn practical tricks of the trade that will allow you to utilize your individual strengths and minimize your body’s weaknesses so you can continue singing into your third century.

Scott Wheatley, Oratorio Chorale Accompanist
Each workshop held once in Brunswick and once in Falmouth

Season Sneak-Peek: Handel’s Messiah  July 13, 2:00–3:30 p.m., St. Mary’s Church, Falmouth OR August 3, 2:00–3:30 p.m., St. Paul’s Church, Brunswick
Learn the history and social traditions behind one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music. An interactive lecture, participants will learn by singing sections of the work.

Season Sneak-Peek: Fauré’s Requiem  July 20, 2:00–3;30 p.m., St. Paul’s Church, Brunswick OR July 27, 2:00–3:30 p.m., St. Mary’s Church, Falmouth
Learn the story behind Fauré’s Requiem, loved by singers around the world, by singing sections of this incredible work.

Aaron Peisner, guest lecturer
June 13 and 15, 6:00–7:30 p.m., St. Mary’s Church, Falmouth

Performance Saturday, June 17, 7:15 p.m. Portland Bach Festival “Bachtails” at Bayside Bowl
In honor of Claudio Monteverdi’s 450th birthday, guest lecturer Aaron Peisner will explore selections from the composer’s Fourth Book of Madrigals. This seminal work chronicles Monteverdi’s shift from writing in the prima pratica of Renaissance polyphony to the seconda pratica, in which the music serves primarily to highlight and enhance the meaning of the text. Through careful analysis of the poetry and the composer’s settings of it, the aim of this workshop series is to prepare singers to perform a dramatic and honest interpretation of two of Monteverdi’s revolutionary madrigals.