Autumn 2020 Conference

Autumn 2020 Conference

Event Details

Sunday 1 November 2020

Freeing the Confident Performer

Whether able to sing live with social distancing or performing online in auditions and events, students may be feeling rusty as performers, or full of new anxieties after a long absence from much face-to-face social contact. In this online one-day conference, we will be looking at aspects of performance anxiety and how to apply techniques to overcome this in our students. Gary Leboff is well known for his work on TV in the world of golf and sport, but has also done much work with opera singers and musicians. Teresa Shaw presents her most recent work in this field – exploring through practical application, how singing teachers may be able to help their students using a coaching model. Leontine Hass (Associated Studios) has written blogs on this topic. Together with Linda Hirst (Trinity Laban) they will be giving presentation masterclasses in Musical Theatre and Classical singing respectively, and all speakers will take part in a live open discussion webinar on this topic.
This conference will contain a mixture of pre-recorded and ‘live’ events on the day (Schedule tbc).  Sessions will be available to view afterwards for a limited period.

Key speakers

Leontine Hass

Musical Theatre Masterclass

Leontine Hass is an internationally renowned Vocal Coach and Principal of the Associated Studios London Performing Arts Academy. Leontine teaches workshops and lectures internationally on singing, voice and performance. She rehabilitates voices after surgery, or as surgery prevention. She has taught at leading Music & Drama Schools including GSA Conservatoire, the Oxford School of Drama, Mountview, LSMT, YMT, The Brit School, La Salle (Singapore), the Queensland Conservatorium, Centre Stage and The VCA (Melbourne). Leontine has acted as vocal consultant to various music management/production companies, including ITV and the BBC. Leontine is vocal coach for ‘The Voice’ for BBC TV. She was featured as a mentor/vocal coach on the Gareth Malone show, ‘The Naked Choir’, for BBC2 and will also be involved with Series 2. She is a regular columnist at and for The Stage newspaper. She is a contributor to ‘The Singer’s Complete Guide to Vocal Health’ (Oxford Uni. Press), and advisor/contributor to ‘The Ultimate Guide to Singing’ published by TC Helicon in 2014. Having originally trained as a classical singer (BA, Melbourne Uni, BMus. Kings College London, Dip. RAM), Leontine has performed as a singer and actress in concert, theatre and TV.

Linda Hirst

Classical Masterclass

Linda Hirst was born and grew up in Huddersfield, and studied flute and singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Her career began during the early music revival of the early seventies, with Roger Norrington, John Eliot Gardiner and David Munrow. From 1974-78 she was a Swingle Singer, she then co-founded Electric Phoenix. With both groups she travelled the world, leading to work with many living composers, and a solo career of international renown, in particular for her performances and recordings of contemporary music.

Her operatic roles have included Handel with Nicholas Kraemer, Berlioz with Roger Norrington, Ligeti for La Monnaie, Osborne and Knussen for Glyndebourne, Schoenberg for the Royal Opera House and La Fenice, and in 2013 an improvised opera with Bruce McLean, and Lucie Treacher’s The Fisherman’s Brides for Tête-à-Tête. She has worked extensively with London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Recherché and Ensemble Intercontemporain, singing Ligeti, Berio, Henze, Knussen, Holt, Weir, Muldowney, Lachenmann among many European and American composers. She has sung at the Edinburgh, Paris, Metz, Holland, Ars Musica festivals and at the BBC Proms and has performed with conductors including Gielen, Nagano, Rattle, Howarth, Masson, Metzmacher and Harding.

Linda’s many recordings include Atom Heart Mother with Pink Floyd, Globokar’s Les Emigrés and Privilege with Ivor Cutler, as well as the solo album Songs Cathy Sang with Diego Masson, early music with Fretwork and Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with Richard Hickox, and a recent release by Non-Classical of a live improv night with the Mercury Quartet.

She was Head of Vocal Studies at Trinity Laban for 20 years, now on the Academic Staff; is President of the Kathleen Ferrier Society, a trustee of the Hinrichsen Foundation, a Fellow of Dartington College of Arts and holds an Honorary Doctorate in Literature from Huddersfield University.

Gary Leboff

‘Tales from the dressing room’

Bringing some of the insights of sports psychology to the musical performer, Gary’s introduction to the world of classical music came about when an opera tutor introduced himself on the golf course. A highly talented golfer, keenly aware of the parallel challenges faced by classical musicians and sports people, Tim Evans Jones asked Gary to give a talk at the Royal College of Music on Performance Anxiety. Following the presentation, a number of musicians began coming to see Gary on a private basis. Gary has now been working with the musicians for a number of years, lectured at Trinity College and developed a portfolio of clients comprising musicians and singers.

Topics covered include:

  • Dealing with stress
  • Confidence
  • Nerves
  • Handling auditions
  • Bridging the gap between practice and performance
  • Managing expectations
  • Performance anxiety as a significant issue in the arena of classical music

As well as a series of anecdotes from the ‘front line’, his talk will include dealing with stress, improving levels of personal performance/resilience and handling setbacks.


Gary Leboff is one of the most inspiring and challenging coaches in the world. A unique figure in the arena of coaching, Gary applies a myriad of tools and techniques across business, music and sport, as well as his work with young people. In the world of sport, Gary delivers results at speed in a complex, highly-pressured environment. Across the spheres of music and business, Gary helps clients understand the key drivers of change, isolating and resolving the underlying issues that prevent individuals realising their true potential.

Gary works with opera singers, pianists, cellists and saxophonists as well as conductors performing on the international stage. He also gives annual presentations at the world-renowned Verbier Music Festival.

At a time when individuals find themselves under increasing pressure to deliver world-class performance, external assistance is often required.

He has extensive media experience. Offering expert comment on BBC One, BBC Two, ITN and Channel 4 News, Gary’s work formed a centrepiece of BBC’s groundbreaking series ‘The Challenge’. Gary’s first book ‘Dare’ was published in 2006.

Teresa Shaw

The Confident Performer

  • What is confidence?
  • Is it performance anxiety or a lack or confidence?
  • The role of the voice teacher or vocal coach
  • Coaching for music performance anxiety using ACC (Acceptance Commitment Coaching) – the six session model used in Shaw’s recent study (click here to view research paper)
  • Exploring strategies for developing a more confident performer


Teresa Shaw is a singing teacher, vocal coach and Music Performance Anxiety Researcher with over 20 years’ experience as both a performer, choir director and musical director. Teresa specialises in all genres of music, including classical, opera music theatre, CCM and jazz, and is an Associate Lecturer at the University of Chichester Conservatoire in the UK. She has prepared singers for exams, diplomas, Oxbridge entry and professional auditions. She has recently completed an important study into Music Performance Anxiety with a focus on a coaching model to alleviate this anxiety. Her research is being published and she will be presenting her findings at the Annual Philadelphia Voice Symposium 2020: ‘Care of the Professional Voice’ in collaboration with Dr David Juncos. Having developed a coaching model for treatment of Music Professional Anxiety she is able to offer short courses of coaching to those who would like to be more confident in their sung, spoken or instrumental performance. Teresa is also an examiner for Trinity College, London and works with singers and musicians on exam technique and preparation.

Click here to book for the Autumn Conference