Robert H. McCrary Vocal Arts and Science Symposium
In keeping with its mission to provide cultural enrichment, development of musicians, teachers, and creative and research professionals in the arts and arts/music education, the School of Music and Voice Faculty will host a bi-annual Vocal Arts and Science Symposium with invited voice professionals in the medical, pedagogical, theatrical, and Speech and Hearing fields. Since our first Vocal Arts Symposium commenced in January 2011, we’ve enjoyed the presence of such amazing and renown guests as Dr. Thomas Cleveland, Dr. Karen Peeler, Dr. Matthew Edwards, Dr. Scott McKoy, and renowned tenor, Dr. George Shirley. Our next Symposium will take place on February 3 – 4, 2023.
Joining us will be two very special guest clinicians: Dr. Stephen F. Austin, Professor of Voice and Coordinator of the Texas Center for Performing Arts Health at the University of North Texas, Denton; Dr. Raymond Wise, serves on Indiana University’s faculty in Bloomington, Indiana, as a Professor of Practice in the African American African Diaspora Studies department. Additionally, he serves as the Associate Director of the African American Arts Institute, an IU division devoted to African American music and dance performance, and he conducts the African American Choral Ensemble, recently featured in the Emmy Award Winning PBS documentary “Amen: Music of the Black Church.” Other guest presenters include Dr. Phyllis Lewis-Hale, soprano, currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Voice and the Director of the Opera Workshop at Jackson State University. Soprano Lewis-Hale has performed/presented in Italy, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Austria, Bermuda and throughout the United States. She has performed with such opera companies as Indianapolis Opera, Opera Memphis, Mississippi Opera, Opera Ebony, Houston Ebony Opera, OPERA/SOUTH Company.
In keeping with our objective to make this an interdepartmental community-involved event with our local medical professionals, we will be joined by local Hearing Specialist with Beltone Hearing Center, Mr. Ron Hancock, and actor and professor of voice, Robin Aronson, professor in Southern Miss’ Department of Theatre and Dance. You will experience two power-packed days of pedagogical material and topics including but not limited to vocal and respiratory anatomy and function, voice production, tension in the singing voice, medicine and handling pathologies (allergies, respiratory illnesses, etc.), treating and working with the voice after injury or surgery, to name a few. Panel discussions and fun-filled master classes for speakers and singers (avocational and professional) are also included to give practical methods and techniques on vocal improvement in both singing and speech. In addition to the legit style of teaching, this year’s emphasis will be on the singing and teaching techniques of gospel style of music, which is inclusive of commercial singing, pop, jazz, and R&B. Master classes with individual soloists and ensembles are featured.
The symposium is open to members of the National Associations of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), private studio teachers and professional singers (not affiliated with NATS or MTNA), professional speakers, speech and hearing specialist, voice specialist and otolaryngologists, K-12 teachers, actors/orators, ministers, choral directors, church music directors, forensics teams, avocational singers (with all styles of music), church choir members, students and all who have an interest in professional or avocational voice usage.
The primary objectives and outcomes are as follows: • To give the community of both professional and avocational voice users and opportunity to hear from voice experts and physicians the importance of proper voice usage; • To give the clinicians a relaxed setting in which to share medical information regarding drug interactions, surgeries, and information regarding various pathologies that may derive from allergies or various forms of abuse (known or unknown); • To give the community and opportunity to ask questions of, receive information from, and socialize with voice professionals in a setting that would not normally be afforded them in a regular office visit; • To build an awareness of (the importance of) proper voice habits in those who are orators, ministers, choir directors, teachers, and the avocational singers and voice users.