Whenever my own groups have opportunity to work with another conductor, singer, coach, etc., I always find that we all come away with fresh perspective—somehow enhanced both in our skills and in the inspiration which, after all, is the reason we all spend so many hours in rehearsal, getting it ‘just right.’ As conductors, we’ve all witnessed someone else say the same thing we’ve been saying seemingly forever . . . and the ‘someone else’ gets the result!
I must confess that I really do enjoy being that ‘someone else’ every now and then. What a privilege it is to work with singers and conductor colleagues, even in a brief workshop experience, seeking perhaps just a different perspective on what is already going quite well!
Who seeks out such experiences?
- Groups on tour to or through the Manhattan area, looking for an educational component to their journey;
- High school conductors, seeking an ‘extra’ experience for their students—and, perhaps, for themselves, as well;
- Church musicians, always under time pressure to prepare credible service support with their groups on a weekly basis, with seemingly never enough time to adequately address certain crucial building blocks of the art of choral singing.
- Beginning groups and beginning programs
- Advanced groups that are part of well-developed programs
What does such an experience look like?
- Timeframe can vary as widely as the needs and interests, and can even be structured so as to include a follow-up session to check in on the development of some possibly new skills introduced in the first session.
Subject content can also vary, and most frequently emerges naturally out of what is heard in the time we share:
- Basic elements of vocal technique/use of vocal instrument
- Basic elements of choral/ensemble discipline (aka: The ‘machine’ has to work before we can approach ‘art.’)
- Expressive singing, with specific focus on vocal presentation of the text
How much does it cost? That depends on what is asked, of course, in addition to how everything comes together. Here are some ‘norms,’ to get the thinking started:
- Customary basic minimum: $400 for up to hour and a half session.
- Each additional hour beyond the basic two adds $125.
- Some communication with the person arranging the session is assumed, so the preparation will target any specific areas of interest.
- Anything else?
Some events are almost hybrids of workshops and festivals, in that repertoire unique to them are selected. The extent of such needs can be a factor in appropriate price structuring.
Sometimes assistance locating an appropriate venue is requested.
The bottom line is that I am interested in being of service, and only ask that my time be covered. I’ve never yet had a workshop not happen because of money!
Downloadable biographical material and photos are available in Press Room.