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Interest Session 2

Friday, August 4, 1:45-2:45 pm
An Analogical Approach to Vocal Technique – Hank Alviani
I have spent the majority of my life juggling my interests and activities as an athlete (I played some college basketball and volleyball), a shade-tree mechanic (I still change my own oil and headlights, do many minor repairs, and am restoring a 1966 Datsun Roadster), and singer/musician.  In my experience I have found that the three have more similarities than differences.  Many of these similarities have worked their way into my teaching style over the past twenty-five-plus years.  In my effort to help students understand the mechanics and technique of vocal development, I frequently employ analogies that are designed to relate to other interests in their lives, such as sports and cars.  This session is designed to share some of those analogies in the hope that it will help choral directors in their efforts to teach to their students a better understanding of the vocal mechanism, as well as provide present and future choral music directors a valuable resource for teaching their students about vocal technique in terms to which they can easily relate. My experience has revealed to me that there are numerous textbooks on vocal technique designed for professionals in the field and for college students who are preparing themselves for a career in choral music.  There are also a number of smaller manuals on sight-reading and musicianship for junior and senior high school choral students.  However, I have found nothing available that attempts to teach vocal technique in terms and language that can be readily understood by the typical “garden variety” school choral singer, the kind who loves being in the group and wants to improve as a singer, but has no intention of making music a career.  This session is designed to help choral directors find ways to help their students develop themselves as singers and thereby enjoy their choral experience even more.  It is also a useful resource for university instructors to share with their students in vocal/choral methods classes so that they may have this approach available to them in their own teaching.
Dr. Hank Alviani has been Director of Choral Studies at Kutztown University since 2014 following 11 years at Clarion University. He holds a B.A. in Music Education where he studied conducting with Paul Salamunovich, the M.M. in Choral Conducting from California State University Fullerton where he studied with Howard Swan and John Cooksey, and the D.M.A. in Choral Music where he studied with Douglas McEwen. His vocal technique manual VoiceWorks was published in 2007 by Alfred and his choral compositions and arrangements are published by Alliance Publications Inc. He has served as president and vice president of Pennsylvania Collegiate Choral Association, has guest conducted county, district, and region honor choruses, and has performed with the Pittsburgh Opera as a member of the chorus. He is a brother of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
ChoralWorks: Part-learning on Your Smartphone – Rob Natter
ChoralWorks is an app to help singers learn choral music on their phones or computers. Do you make part-learning recordings for your choir members? What if there was a free tool to help make these recordings available on smartphones in an easy to use app? ChoralWorks uses standard midi files to play parts alone or in any combination, letting your singers learn their notes outside of rehearsal. Midi files are easy to make with free resources, and thousands of them are available on the internet. Come see how easy it can be to set up ChoralWorks for your singers.
Middle School Repertoire – Jayne Borras
We will explore a range of SATB, SAB, and SA/2-part repertoire ideal for middle school choruses. In this session, we will sing through a variety of repertoire. I will discuss why the piece has been successful with my students. I will also share the ways that the pieces fulfilled curricular goals in addition to exploring pedagogical aspects of the pieces. These will include of not be limited to: text exploration, Solfege applications, vocal ranges, the changing male voice, solo opportunities, and collaboration with jazz combo, jazz band, and orchestra.
Jayne (Swank) Borras teaches Middle and Upper School choral music at Abington Friends School in Jenkintown, PA. She holds a BA in Music from Duke University and Masters of Sacred Music in Choral Conducting from Boston University. She is a member of the Brandywine Singers and resides in Media, PA with her husband, Mario, and daughter, Sybil.
Teaching Beginning Sight Singing Skills to Children’s Choirs – Ann Gaudino
This session presents the method used at the Music Conservatory in Florence, Italy for teaching sight reading and sight singing to children’s’ choirs age 5-9 years.  Children have a natural affinity for coloring, drawing and creativity.  Attendees will experience how this method guides students to draw, color and compose music that provide a colorful visual to learn pitch direction and interval relationships.  All drawings are ‘singable’; when a child finishes she or he is encouraged to sing it.  There is a freedom to both directors and singers to interpret the designs from their point of view or cultural background. The method can be used in the rehearsal room or at home by singers to practice skills.  Directors can have singers perform their compositions in small concerts. This method has been used with great success in Italy for over 30 years to teach sight reading and sight singing to children's choirs.
            A native of Pittsburgh, Dr. Ann Gaudino holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Organ Performance, Church Music, and Music Education from The University of Michigan where she studied organ with Marilyn Mason.  She received additional graduate training at The Eastman School of Music where she studied organ with David Craighead and choral methods and conducting with Donald Neuen.  Dr. Gaudino taught in the South Redford, Michigan, Public Schools where her high school choirs consistently attained national ranking and performed under her direction at The Kennedy Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral (NYC), The United Nations, and The Detroit Symphony. She served as district manager and an adjudicator for the Michigan School Vocal Music Association and has written book, music, and CD reviews and presented sessions at regional conventions for The American Choral Directors’ Association. In 2000, Dr. Gaudino was the first school music teacher from the U.S.A. to teach at the Music Conservatory in Florence, Italy and she returns frequently to serve as a consultant and guest instructor.  Dr. Gaudino received her doctorate in Education Administration from The University of Pittsburgh, has served as a school district administrator, and currently serves as an Associate Professor in Educational Leadership at Millersville University.