The King's Singers Summer School, UK
Posted: August 10, 2017
Members of the Vocal Manoeuvres Academy recently had a fabulous week at the King's Singers UK Summer School joining nearly 140 singers, from Australia, the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and across Europe.
It was an incredible week of learning, the culmination of which was working with the renowned English conductor Christopher Robinson to prepare and perform Evensong at the stunning St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, including Stanford’s Double Choir Magnificat and Parry’s wonderful Blest Pair of Sirens.
We asked King's Singer, Timothy Wayne-Wright for his final thoughts on the week:
1. What were the highlights of this years Summer School? Once again, we welcomed singers from around the globe to Royal Holloway, University of London. I'm always thrilled to see everyone arriving on the first day - all so eager to learn and hone their skills. At the end of the week we have a gala concert, in which all the participants have a chance to show a live audience what they've been working on. Me and the rest of The KS simply sit there, brimming with pride as we hear how much they've all improved!
2. We know that our singers from the Vocal Manoeuvres Academy have a reputation for living life to the fullest, did the singers meet your expectations in this regard again in 2017? We expected lively VMA singers and that's certainly what we got! All the singers have a passion to learn and to improve, and these are the main ingredients that anyone needs if they wish to succeed during a week like this.
3. What was the strongest aspect of the singers from the Vocal Manoeuvres Academy presentation this year? What do you feel is a real point of difference in their work? I was even more impressed with the VMA this year, than usual! They seemed to be even more keen and even more hungry to learn about our tricks of the trade that we shared throughout the week. The real difference with this ensemble is their concentration and attention to detail. We teach so many ensembles around the world each year, and this combination of vocal talent and ambition is very rare.
4. The feedback from the singers is that they learnt a tremendous amount with regard to conscious choices involving listening and communicating in both the rehearsal and performance of their art. Do you have some final thoughts for the singers to remember and/or implement when working back here in Australia? The overriding point of singing in an ensemble is listening. Always remember that you are all just one instrument - whether you are a low or high voice, you are all working together to blend as one.
5. The Vocal Manoeuvres Academy is hosting The King's Singers in Australia next March. What developments are you hoping to see in the singers approach and execution of their art? I would concentrate on two things. My first area to develop would be their listening - to really unlock the undestanding of vowel matching and the unifying of accompanying sounds. Secondly, I would love to hear them expand their range of vocal colour. They can really make their changes of timbre starkly different - in order to highlight the differing emotions inside each piece of music they sing. They have huge potential to unlock both of these key aspects of ensemble singing and I can't wait to teach them again in March 2018!
Below image: The King's Singers treating us to an impromptu performance!