CUA New Voices

Singing Exercises – the Basics

Singing Exercises – the Basics

There are a number of basic singing exercises available to help you be a better singer, and even a rudimentary understanding of these fundamentals can dramatically improve your voice! In fact, learning a range of singing exercises is essential in becoming a better performer. Always remember that even very talented singers need to practice all the time and ensure they look after their voices. By doing this, they tend to harness the talent they have and use it to its maximum advantage.

Firstly, and prior to actually doing any singing, it is a good idea to stretch and relax your whole body. You can do this by stretching up while breathing in and then letting your body bend forward and dangle your arms while you exhale. Doing this little process a few times can also help to relieve that nervous tension or “stage fright” that can often build up prior to performing.

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Music Scholarships

Several organizations in the United States offer music scholarships in order to encourage students to take of music as a profession and uphold culture. Like most other forms of art, a full-fledged career in music can be deeply rewarding. However, the study period can be tough. While the curriculum is a hard taskmaster, fees and other course expenses tend to be high and make it tougher for students.

Students might have to take large amounts of student loans and struggle with repayment for years after the course. Music scholarships can alleviate the troubles of budding music talent and provide a means for graduated music professionals to start off on the right footing. Now let’s briefly review some important music scholarships that every budding music student should be aware of.

ASCAP Music Scholarship $5,000 and more

ASCAP refers to the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. It offers more than a dozen scholarships for composers from varied genres of music. The society awards several scholarships in order to encourage students. Many of these scholarships are some of the most sought after by aspiring musicians.  One of the grants provided by ASCAP is The Foundation Leiber and Stoller Music Scholarship.

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The Principles of Music Teaching

The pursuit of personal excellence, whether as a five-year-old or as a sixty-five-year-old, is a driving force of life–the cradle of hope and faith. Whether this pursuit is in the planting of a garden, the raising of a child, the painting of a picture, becoming an “A” student or excelling at sports, bodybuilding or music, the basic principles remain the same. Regardless of your path, I believe you will find correlations in the basic principles of my teaching of the piano.

1.      Most people READ THROUGH the music repeatedly until they get most of the notes right, gradually deciding on proper fingering, dynamics, phrasing (legato, detached notes, and timing of breath pauses) and pedaling. This approach is a WASTE OF TIME and produces a dissatisfying result.

2.      Listen to a RECOMMENDED recording three or four times–following the music–to get a general idea of the piece. Then DO NOT listen to the recording again until the piece is learned and polished.

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The Berlin Philharmonic Back in Salzburg

The Berlin Philharmonic made its annual appearance in Salzburg with an exciting program comprising three concerts and one opera. The emphasis this year was on the British composer, Benjamin Britten.

His opera, Peter Grimes, is a gloomy saga about the proud, self-willed fisherman. It is his uncompromising independence and unwillingness to accept any help, that brings Peter Grimes to disaster and suicide. Director Sir Trevor Nunn and designer John Gunter filled the stage of the Grosses Festspielhaus with Brugellian bleak true-to-life sets depicting most realistically the fishing village and its simple yet hostile and aggressive inhabitants.

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The Washington Opera

The Washington Opera

Although in its current season the Washington Opera will be giving 80 performances of eight operas, the beginnings of this impressive company were humble. In fact, the first formal performance of the company in 1957 took place in an auditorium in one of Washington’s universities, and rehearsals had to be held in New York.

 

During the recent season, I attended performances of Don Carlos and The Marriage of Figaro. Don Carlos is one of Verdi’s richest operas, which confronts issues of religious, political and personal conflicts, all played out in the court of Philip II of Spain. The opera premiered in Paris, but Verdi subsequently produced an Italian version in which he omitted the first act. The Washington production opted for the abridged, four-act Italian version with the addition of the Veil Song.

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NEW VOICES @ CUA – The 2014 Festival of New Vocal Music

New Voices @ CUA is a phenomenal festival of new vocal music, music that was just written for the human voice. In January 2014, the fourth edition took place showcasing chamber music, art song, sacred music, and cabaret. The festival was a 2-day event at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, DC.

See also this New Voices @ CUA 2013 video (I Pray for Them):

On January 24 & 25, 2014, UCA’s Benjamin T. Rome School of Music (SCI Chapter) hosted the two-day festival of new vocal music in Washington, D.C. This fourth edition of the New Voices @ CUA Festival featured four concerts that were performed over the two-day period and included compositions by student composers of the school. New Voices @ CUA was proud of the new collaboration with Next Parallel, t eh famed DC Ensemble that served as the festival’s resident ensemble.

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