The workshop’s purpose is to address the particular challenges of singing in small, largely unconducted ensembles. This year’s Brattleboro workshop is set for February 15 to 18.
At some point before 8 pm on arrival Friday, the six professional singers who comprise The Western Wind gather briefly to warm up their voices and rehearse a few bits of their evening concert program, performed for workshop participants, bed-and-breakfast hosts from among church membership, and the general public. A tour-de-force, mostly a cappella performance is followed by a reception featuring gourmet treats prepared by the weekend’s chef-in-residence.
Participants return after breakfast on Saturday and are divided into working groups based on their level of sight-reading skills and singing experience, from novice to professional. Intensive preparation of a piece or two of music from the available collections then begins under the coaching guidance of a Western Wind member. Medieval and Renaissance, early American, romantic, folk, jazz, and contemporary songs are all available.
Everyone receives individual attention and personal instruction. Occasionally, an existing singing group enrolls to work on their own with a Western Wind coach for the weekend. At the end of each day, the entire workshop gathers for a performance session, where valuable feedback is offered from the entire coaching team.
Basic tuition for the three-day weekend is $350 and includes a ticket to the opening concert. A $25 early registration discount is available through February 1. Newcomers are offered a generous 25% discount; groups of eight or more who plan to work together for the weekend are offered a discount as well. Some partial scholarships are available based on financial need. The meal package, at $83, includes a post-concert reception, lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday, and lunch on Monday.
For further information call Tom Baehr at (802) 387-2796. To register online,visit www.westernwind.org.