Workshops

Lamento at Chorworks 2015

GOALS

  • To introduce vocal ensembles to music from the Middle Ages.
  • To work on pieces performed by Anonymous A4.
  • To learn about and incorporate Anonymous 4’s rehearsal process.
  • To learn about the history of medieval music; the genres, composers, notation and historical context.
  • To develop ensemble technique skills of listening, awareness, and learning to work as a cohesive unit; this will include vocal warm-ups and ensemble technique work, using both exercises and passages from the pieces being worked on to help develop the skills necessary to bring this music to life.
  • To develop confidence and ability to work both with and without a conductor.

This workshop can be tailored to suit the needs of the ensemble and can be held in an afternoon, all day or over several days culminating in a performance. The music worked on can be a full-length program, e.g. a medieval Ladymass, or a shorter set that can be incorporated into any concert program, e.g. songs by Francesco Landini or chants by Hildegard von Bingen. Below are some “serving suggestions.”

Afternoon workshop:

  • 2-4 hours (including breaks).
  • Short introduction to the history of medieval music and to Anonymous 4’s history and working methods.
  • Vocal warm-up, concentrating on blend and addressing ensemble technique skills.
  • Work on 2-4 pieces, both chant and polyphony, using Anonymous 4’s methods, including leading from inside the ensemble. Work on pronunciation, blend, style and interpretation.
  • End workshop with informal performance.

All-day workshop:

  • 6-8 hours (including breaks and an hour for lunch).
  • Introduction to the history of medieval music, and to Anonymous 4’s history and working methods.
  • Extended vocal warm-up, concentrating on blend and addressing ensemble technique skills.
  • Work on several pieces, both chant and polyphony, using Anonymous 4’s methods, including leading from inside the ensemble. Work on pronunciation, blend, style and interpretation.
  • End workshop with informal performance.

Residency:

  • 2-4 days, or longer, depending on needs and extent of performance.
  • Exploration of the general history of medieval music, including learning about early notation and social background.
  • Vocal warm-ups and ensemble technique work.
  • Extensive rehearsals of selected music with a view to a public performance at the end of the residency, to be arranged by the ensemble. Can be a full-length program of medieval music, or a shorter selection designed to be part of a full-length concert.