SongRoots Summer Camp

SongRoots – Summer Singing Intensive 2017songroots low res

When: July 10th-July 14th 2017

Where:Fircom on Gambier Island

Who: Brian Tate, Frank Watkins, Heidi McCurdy, Jennifer Scott, Jenny Lester,  Karla Mundy,  Michael Creber, Mollie Stone, Samantha Taylor and Steve Charles!

How much: $655 + GST  – Cost includes all classes, food, accommodations, water taxi from Horseshoe Bay, everything!

Registration will begin Sat. Jan 7th at 10:00 am! Click here to register!

Below is the daily schedule and class choices (Class One, Two and Ensemble Hour)

Mornin’ Movin’ w/ Samantha Taylor – All Singers (9:15-9:30)

Prepare your instrument for a day of fully embodied singing! Join in this series of breath work and physical exercises that will help us open, awaken and engage the body and breath.

Wake Up and Sing! w/Jennifer Scott – All Singers (9:30-10:00)

Every morning we will spend 30 minutes doing some vocal calisthenics getting ready for a day of singing. Breath work, flexibility, tone production and ease of singing through the ‘seams’ in the voice will be explored and troubleshot. Comprehensive MP3 warmups will be made available to SongRoots participants

Mass Choir – All Singers (10:00-10:30)

Following our physical and vocal warm-ups, we will sing all together for a glorious 30 minutes – creating a beautiful SongRoots Choir! A perfect way to start the day! Four days of singing together with the energized and joyful leadership of Brian Tate, Mollie Stone and Frank Watkins!!

Class One (11:00-12:30)

You choose ONE of the following…

Your Voice, Your Song – A Singer’s Masterclass with Brian Tate (max 8 singers) **Michael Creber as accompanist!

Discover your authentic voice through working with a song of your choice in a playful and safe environment. Expand your confidence, connect with your audience, and experience the many ways of expressing yourself through song. You’ll receive one-on-one coaching as well as the invaluable experience of learning from each other. Each session brings new and exciting ways of exploring your voice and your song. Singers of all levels and songs of all styles are welcome! You must bring a song that you are ready to perform (memorized words and music); also, bring the piano music (sheet music or lead sheet)

Qui Gong of the Voice w/ Jennifer Scott (no limit)

Qui Gong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention. The word Qigong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe. Now we can integrate this into vocal health and expression. Singing while practicing these amazing postures, we will focus on how it can make us better singers, more connected to our bodies and, using songs and drones, create some incredible vocal arrangements.

Spontaneous Composition with Samantha Taylor (max 18 people)

Choir directors and singers alike are always looking for songs. Spontaneous Composition is a fun and practical approach to creating new ensemble pieces. Using vocal improvisation, games, and writing exercises as compositional tools, all participants will work collaboratively to create 3-4 new pieces. Previous songwriting experience is not necessary,  just be ready to play, try new things and have a great time in the process!

Bluegrass Singing w/ Jenny Lester and Karla Mundy (no limit)

One of the beauties of bluegrass harmony is that there is a solid approach and structure to rely upon that crosses genres and cultures. Together we will learn a repertoire of songs, by identify the melody and the chord progression, then learn how to create 2, 3 & 4 note chord structures by using feeling and theory.  We will repeat the process until it becomes something you trust for it’s consistency, while also addressing vocal techniques, tone, phrasing and blend.  Through large groups you will have the opportunity to learn different harmony parts then try them out in a trio or quartet.  Be prepared to laugh as we bump around the process and shiver when it all comes together in harmonic beauty.

Songwriting Inspiration Circle w/ Heidi McCurdy
Jumpstart your creativity and awaken your inner songwriter! Get your creative juices flowing with “embodied inspiration” warm-ups, creative writing games and lyric prompts. Experiment with playful song forms and rhyme schemes to help shape your ideas. Each session will include time for working on songs and sharing with the group.

Classical Music for All – From the Mortified to the Maestro           w/ Mollie Stone and Frank Watkins

We will learn classical choral songs from a number of time periods and in a variety of languages, with instruction on singing style, sight-reading, basic music theory, and information about the composer’s setting of the text in each piece. This class will respond to the proficiency level of all participants, with opportunities for more experienced singers to perform sections one-on-a-part, and for those with less experience to learn in a comfortable, supportive atmosphere where we all sing together. We look forward to challenging you in new ways as we explore the beauty of classical music together in a supportive environment!

CLASS TWO (2:30-4:00)

You choose ONE of the following

Art of the Ballad w/ Jennifer Scott (max 10 people) ** Steve Charles as accompanist!

In this class we will explore the intimate performance of the ballad tempo song. Using a few different genres of ballads (Jazz, Country, Pop, and more) the first day, we’ll work as a group on the nuances and stylistics that make it “work”. The remainder of the classes will be spent with the individual singer, focusing on expression, interpretation and techniques, performing a slower tempo song to the best of your ability!

Black South African Choral Music w/ Mollie Stone (no limit)

Through learning a range of traditional folk, religious, and political songs from the black South African choral tradition, singers will not only have the chance to learn about South African languages, dance movements, and singing styles, but also about the historical and social context in which these powerful songs are sung. We will also talk about what it means to sing music from other cultures, and how we can express solidarity with another culture’s struggles through performing their music with integrity and attention to detail.

Contemporary Gospel Ensemble w/ Frank Watkins (no limit) **Michael Creber as pianist

This ensemble will focus primarily on Gospel music composed during the past 5-10 years. Participants will learn the performance style, technique, and trends found in today’s worship music. Those interested in contemporary worship should definitely take this course!

 More Sweet Soul Singing w/ Brian Tate- (max 18 singers)

This year’s ensemble class features a brand-new goody-bag of soulful songs, world music, spirituals, work songs, and more. We’ll learn the songs together and then form mini-ensembles to practice singing one on a part. Lots of soulful solos to go around as well. Always a funky good time for all!

Voices Wild: Vocal Improvisational Class w/ Heidi McCurdy (max 16 people)

Awaken your authentic voice & let your creativity soar! Experience the joyous alignment of body, breath, heart, soul and sound through improvisational singing. In this class, we will co-create spontaneous soundscapes, harmonies and grooves in the moment. Various sources of inspiration will be explored, while strengthening harmony, rhythm and soloing skills. We will use sound and movement to embody our voices, with exercises inspired by Rhiannon’s “Vocal River,” Bobby McFerrin’s tribal Circle-singing, and Expressive Arts practice. As you stretch your comfort zone and give yourself permission to experiment, you expand your connection to your inner wisdom and soul’s song.

Songwriting w/ Jenny Lester (max 10 people) 

A creative circle in an inspiring setting.  Focus on songwriting concepts, structure, intent and feedback together along with spending individual time in the creative zone.

ENSEMBLE HOUR (4:30-5:30)

In the hour before dinner, we will all split into ensembles…we will perform for each other and see what everyone has been up to at the end of camp!

You choose ONE of the following

Georgian Polyphony w/ Mollie Stone (no limit)

Come explore a variety of songs from the beautiful, powerful singing tradition of the Republic of Georgia! From horseback-riding songs to lullabies, we will delve into the otherworldly harmonies and delicious linguistic challenges of the different Georgian languages, which are like none other!

Roots Jam w/ Jenny Lester (no limit)

Jenny will bring about 30 popular songs from cross genres, you bring instruments, voices and perhaps a song you would like to lead.  We will learn/discover/apply jam dialogue and etiquette to learn the songs and teach them to each other.

Vocal Play w/ Samantha Taylor (no limit)

Taking a play – based approach to vocal improvisation, participants will be asked to explore what their voices are capable of. Using improv games as a foundation, new music will be created in the moment. We’ll be taking risks and working through the self- criticism that can often stifle the creative process. Come and play!

Music for the Soul w/ Frank Watkins (no limit)

This year’s class features a mixed bag of African-American folk music including gospel quartets, spirituals, and works songs. Participants will learn together and then have the opportunity to sing in smaller ensembles.

The Art of Collaboration w/ Brian Tate and Michael Creber (max 10 people)

Singers are often looking to team up with fellow musicians such as pianists, guitar players, string players, and other singers. Discover how to create a creative, respectful, and sustainable collaboration with other musicians, so that the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Learn the basic lingo of musicians, even if you don’t read music. Come prepared with a song or two of your choice that you already know well, and if you play an instrument, bring it along as well!

Duets w/ Karla Mundy and Steve Charles (max 16 singers)

A wonderful chance to work on harmony singing one on a part, communicating with each other non-verbally and learning how to balance with another singer.  This is a fun challenge for singers used to singing alone or with large groups. We will learn a few duets in different styles and break off into pairs for practice. We will work on what makes great duet singing!


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