Summer 2012 Conference

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Summer 2012 Conference

Celebrating our new look – AOTOS 2012

This year’s Summer Conference is being held at the University of York. AOTOS conferences are a fantastic way of meeting with other singing teachers from around the country and listening to engaging speakers and masterclasses.


A message from the chairman – Coral Gould

I am looking forward to seeing you at my final conference before I hand over the reigns to our next chairman Janice Thompson. Do come and share in what will be a wonderful time of teaching, learning and friendship not to mention the launch of our new look.
Best wishes, Coral


The schedule


FRIDAY 20 July

10.30 Council arrive for coffee
11.00 – 12.30 Council meeting
12.30-13.30 Council lunch
14.00 Registration
15.00 Tea/coffee
16.00 – 17.00 Elisabeth Howard – The Vocal Power Method
A ‘Hands-on’ Workshop and master-class in technique and performance of all styles
17.00 – 18.30 Ron Morris – speech therapist, audiologist and singer
19.00 Dinner
20.30 – 21.30 Jacqui Edwards – A Bit of a Shambles
A musical miscellany of York and its surroundings



7.45 – 9.00 Breakfast
9.15 – 10.00 Liza Hobbs – The all-important first lesson
Pupils who already have some vocal training behind them need different treatment to beginners. This session focuses on the do’s and don’t’s about how to achieve what is necessary for both teacher and pupil.
10.00 – 11.00 Professor David Howard – representing aspects of the singing voice in real time
Looking at singing voice acoustics and how aspects of voice production can be measured in real-time for use as part of a visual display. The application of such displays will be discussed and put in their proper place in the context of voice training.
11.00 Coffee
11.30 – 13.00 Angela Hickey – Mind the Gap!
From Grade 8 to post grad – a classical repertoire for students. Emphasis will be upon the importance of vocal technique based on Italian vowel sounds, correct breathing, posture and abdominal support, correct pronunciation and use of Italian, German and English text.
13.00 Lunch followed by a Visit to York City – The Minster
The Shambles and Evensong at 17.15
19.00 Dinner
19.45 – 20.30 Paul Deegan – Musicianship For an ANRAC
Working with a non reading adult choir
20.30 Launch of the new AOTOS Website and Rebranding


SUNDAY 22 July

7.45-9.00 Breakfast
9.00-10.00 Geoffrey Forward – American Diction For Singers
10.00 – 11.00 AGM
11.00 – 11.30 Coffee
11.30 – 12.00 Sarah Leonard accompanied by Peter Sproston
Come you not from Newcastle?
No, Bradford and Blackburn!

A recital celebrating the Delius Bi-Centenary & Kathleen Ferrier centenary.
12.00 – 13.15 Elisabeth Howard – working with students
13.15 Lunch
14.30 – 15.30 Louise Gibbs – Jazz Singing
This session presents a practical overview and analysis of the various vocal styles embraced by jazz singing and improvisation, and addresses key issues for singers making a transition from pop or classical singing to jazz (repertoire choice, musicianship, voice management and microphone technique).



Paul Deegan
Paul Deegan trained as an elementary school teacher, and subsequently took a BA in history and archaeology at UCD. He studied singing in Dublin and Salzburg, and built a national reputation on the recital platform, in oratorio and light opera. His twin interests led to an appointment as a vocal supervisor at a state University College in New York, where he took an M.Ed. He returned to Dublin to teach as Headmaster of a school for emotionally disturbed children, and continued to study both performance and teaching of singing. He became head of vocal studies at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He is now retired but continues to remain busy with private teaching, vocal workshops, choral conducting, adjudicating and examining.

Jacqueline Edwards
Only after 6 wonderful years of winning scholarships and awards at RCM and studying Lieder at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, did Jacqueline Edwards learn to sing, courtesy of Josephine Veasey and later Jean Allister. She has sung extensively on the oratorio and concert platform, and with many of the country’s major opera companies and abroad. On marrying, Jacqueline moved to York, where she now enjoys being her own boss! She has a private teaching practice, is a festival adjudicator, a church organist and Director of Music. In 1994 she founded the York Competitive Festival of Singing.

Geoffrey Forward
Geoffrey Forward is an actor, director, teacher and author. He founded the Los Angeles Shakespeare Company and as an instructor in voice and speech at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles, he has conducted performance workshops for singers. He has directed numerous plays and has performed the roles of Iago, Petruchio, Macduff and Lysander. He has appeared in motion pictures and contemporary musicals. He is the husband of Elisabeth Howard.

Louise Gibbs
Louise Gibbs was, until her very recent return to freelance life, Associate Professor and Course Leader for the Post Graduate Programme and then the Jazz Programme at Leeds College of Music. She is a jazz singer with four critically acclaimed albums to her name and continues to perform and record with top UK and US artists. Educated at Colombia University, New York (MA Music 1983;Med Music Education 1984) Louise held an academic post at Goldsmith’s University of London (1988- 2003), has taught at every major conservatoire in the UK and is currently External Examiner for the LRSM professional qualification at the RAM.

Angela Hickey
Angela Hickey studied violin and singing at GSMD and joined Glyndebourne Festival Opera on graduation. She has appeared as a principal soloist with all of the major opera companies in this country and others elsewhere. Angela has sung regularly on the concert platform at home and abroad and made numerous recordings and TV appearances. Angela has been teaching for many years and passing on knowledge gained from teachers, conductors, directors and composers with whom she has worked. She is regularly involved in auditioning, adjudicating and giving masterclasses.

Liza Hobbs
Liza Hobbs teaches at the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music, at Millenium Performing Arts College, at Battle Abbey School and privately. She was Chairman of AOTOS from 2008 to 2010.She has a particular interest in the clear enunciation of English by singers and has taken classes and workshops at Morley College, the Actors Centre and Eastbourne Singing weekends.

David Howard
David Howard is Head of the Department of Electronics at the University of York where he also leads research in the Audio Laboratory. His teaching is mainly to music technology students and his main research areas are the analysis and synthesis of singing, speech and music. Key research topics of interest at the moment are intonation in unaccompanied singing, computers and iPads in voice training and natural voice synthesis. David has spent time as an EPSRC Senior Media Fellow committed to popularising science and he presented for the BBC4-TV programs Castrato and Voice. He will appear on The Hidden Talent Show on Channel 4 in Spring 2012 using science in the context of singing. David conducts the Vale of York Voices who sing evensong in York Minster once a month.

Elisabeth Howard
Elisabeth Howard is the past President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and has conducted workshops and masterclasses for national voice teachers conferences including ICVT in Helsinki. Her students, including STING, have appeared on Broadway, in National Tours, TV and film. She is a graduate of the Juillard School and mastered in Voice. She has performed in 25 musical theatre and opera roles and for the Telemann Society at Carnegie Hall in New York. She is the author of ‘Sing’ and ABC’s of Vocal Harmony and co author of ‘Born to Sing’.

Sarah Leonard
Sarah Leonard is one of Britain’s most versatile sopranos. After studying at GSM, she joined the BBC Singers and then developed an international solo career specialising in contemporary opera, song recitals and chamber works. She has worked with Birtwistle, Boulez, Dusapin, Ligeti, John Harte and Michael Nyman. Recently she sang at the Aldeburgh Festival, with the Northern Sinfonia, at St. David’s Hall, Cardiff and at the Leeds Contemporary Music Festival. Alongside her vocal career she teaches singing at Hull University, Central School of Speech and Drama and is a visiting lecturer at TCM, City Lit and Little Benslow Hills.

Ron Morris
Ron Morris, speech therapist, audiologist and counter tenor, initially graduated from the University of Queensland in 1985 with an honours degree in speech therapy and audiology. It was during that time that he commenced singing studies and singing with St. Stephen’s Cathedral Choir. He completed a Master of Music Studies (vocal performance) in 2001 at Griffith University’s Conservatorium of Music, and enrolled in a PhD programme focussing on breathing in singing. He also sings at St. John’s Cathedral, performs regularly both as a soloist and as a member of Opera Queensland’s Chorus and continues to work as a speech therapist and audiologist with an interest in voice disorders and working with the deaf.