Vocal Boot Camp

This afternoon, I gave my first Vocal Boot Camp (online). 9 people attended (I had room for 10), and we spent the first hour and a half going through the elements of vocal technique (BRAAP™), along with some handy dandy slides I made on Canva – here’s one:

We did some vocal exercises during the presentation, as well as observations about how things work. Then we did a sort of interval training, where we alternated about a minute of breath management vocalises between resonance, articulation, and phonation exercises, each set about 1-2 minutes in length (we did alignment early on). That was the first time I had done something like that – and I’m not sure it’s something I want to do all the time, because it really isn’t mindful practicing; but it was an interesting experiment and one that might be valuable, particularly if you’re in a hurry to practice before a gig and want to cover all the bases.

Following that, we took a break, and then we applied the concepts discussed to repertoire. Specifically, we did the Star-Spangled Banner. Why, you ask, did I choose that piece?

  1. It has a range of an octave and a half, so there will be register transitions, and everyone will have a different spot where that’s going to happen.
  2. It has a lot of words and we could explore how best to maintain vowel integrity while also sounding attractive (e.g., “RED GLARE”).
  3. Everyone knows it!
  4. I had accompaniment tracks, both orchestral (Ab and A) and piano (Bb). (I’m rather surprised it’s not on Appcompanist.)
  5. This is a week where I felt like we need to remind ourselves about our country’s ability to stay strong no matter what happens.
  6. It came to me in the shower, where all my ideas are sourced.

I was very pleased with how it went, and it seemed to get an excellent reception from the participants. I’m hoping to do it again, perhaps next year to kick off 2022, or perhaps for another audience in the next few months.

I have a few ideas for other workshops and courses over the next few months, and I’ll be announcing them as soon as I get all the info together!

Stay tuned!

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What do you think of HIIT-type vocalizing? Would you be interested in a type of warm-up regime like that?
If so, please contact me and we can talk about setting up either a boot camp for your group or to set up your own lessons.

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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