Choral Workshops

Below you will find the workshop choices for the 2020 BC Sacred Music Symposium. Every class level will receive training from great teachers in vocal technique, singing chant and choral music, and repertoire sources and suggestions. If you have questions or are unsure which class to sign up for don’t worry! Make your best guess and we will allow people to change classes on the first day if the one you selected is not right for you.

Beginner Workshop

Who should attend the beginner workshop?

I have little or no experience singing in a church choir, but I am passionate about Sacred Music and want to learn!

The beginner workshop will focus on the basics of singing, including tone, tuning, pronunciation, and note reading. Repertoire will include unison singing, simple chant, and easy choral pieces.

Intermediate I Workshop

Who should attend the intermediate workshop?

I currently sing or have sung with church choirs and know some of the basics of being in a choir. I can usually hold a melody line; I might not be able to hold an independent harmony line by myself, but I can usually manage alright with the help of my neighbours if they get it right. I’m familiar with both modern music notation and square notation, but I don’t always know what all the signs mean exactly. I’ve tried sight-singing before with mixed results, but I’m eager to learn and develop my skills!

The intermediate workshop will focus on refining the basics of choral singing: improving tone, ensemble, and expression. Repertoire will include simple to intermediate chant and choral works.

Intermediate II Workshop

Who should attend the intermediate II workshop?

I have more experience singing in choirs, and I can get my entries and cut-offs without the director showing me. I can generally hold down an independent line by myself with practice and with the help of my neighbours. I’m comfortable with both modern music notation and square notation. When I sight-sing a piece, I might not always get it right the first couple of times, but I can correct my mistakes and learn quickly!

The intermediate II workshop will focus on advanced choral and chant work: intermediate motets and intermediate to advanced chant, as well as some conducting and leadership training.

Advanced Workshop

Who should attend the advanced workshop?

I’m an experienced choral singer and can be counted on to hold down an independent line by myself with confidence. I can accurately sight-sing both chant notation and modern notation, whether four voice hymnody or polyphony. I have some experience conducting, or at least I know the basics of how to indicate tempo, dynamics, cues and cut-offs. I’m eager to take my musicianship to the next level!

The advanced workshop is for very experienced singers who sight-read new music confidently. Advanced motets and difficult chant will be learned with excellent ensemble and dynamics, with a focus on conducting and group leadership.

Director Workshop

Who should attend the director workshop?

I’m already a singer at about the “Intermediate II” level or higher. I currently lead a church choir, or I want to learn how to do it so I can get a choir started! I want to spend my class time during the Symposium learning to conduct and direct singers, how to find and select repertoire, and how to lead a great parish music program. I want to develop my musical leadership to share it with others and glorify God!

NB. Some choir leaders may find they qualify at “Intermediate I” level or lower. These musicians are often doing a great job already! We recommend advancing your singing and musical abilities up to about the “Intermediate II” level before taking the Directing course. Please contact us with any questions to see if this course is right for you.

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