|Type of post:||News|
|Date Posted:||Mon, 20 Aug 2018|
Eight Australians have just returned from an amazing week at BHS’ Harmony University in Nashville, Tennessee. The eight of us (Lyndal Thorburn, Geordie Cullen, Jennifer and Glenda Lloyd from Canberra; Tim Green and Jono Albertini from Brisbane; Alex Morris from Melbourne (also on the faculty this year); and Lea Baker from Sydney) were amongst almost 800 students and voluntary faculty that delivered classes for a full week at the historic, green and very gracious Belmont University campus in Nashville. This year, participants came from 16 countries.
We started every morning with physical and vocal warmups and then learned a tag and practised one of our songs for the concert on the Saturday night – all this was achieved in 45 minutes in what was a masterpiece of timing and coordination. It was especially impressive watching Kirk Young really focus on the tricky rhythmic bits of “Can’t Stop the Feeling” in a short rehearsal that achieved so much over 2 morning sessions!!
My own program this year was based around arranging and conducting. My Arranging 3 class worked with David Wright to arrange a song and argue over the finer points of moving arrangements from men’s into women’s ranges and vice versa. I learned a whole lot more about ways to achieve a key change! My (absolute) beginner conducting class every morning taught me the basic beat patterns and the afternoon “Outstanding Out Front” class the beginnings of melding (that tricky task of maintaining the beat with one hand and indicating key interpretive changes with the other). In shorter elective classes I learned about listening for overtones, using social media effectively, getting paid for quartet gigs, care of the ageing voice, sight reading using Solvege, judging categories, coaching singers and analysing arrangements for both harmonic content and interpretation.