Singing in the Gospel Style
Dr. Raymond Wise, Guest Clinician
As gospel music has moved beyond the black church many have raised concerns about how to perform gospel music authentically while maintaining vocal health. This session will present tips on performing gospel music with the appropriate sound, style and spirit while utilizing healthy vocal technique. Participants will learn an actual gospel song and apply the appropriate stylistic and vocal techniques.
POWERUP WORKSHOP MASS CHOIR
In the PowerUp Workshop Mass Choir, all registrants are invited to learn exciting gospel songs in a mass choir setting accompanied by a live rhythm section. NEW THIS YEAR: The PowerUp Workshop Mass Choir will be recorded ‘LIVE” at the Sunday evening finale concert. Participants must register for this year’s recording choir as a workshop offering and attend ALL FOUR rehearsals. These mandatory rehearsals begin on THURSDAY night, February 21 at York University and continue on Friday night, Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon (see workshop schedule). These rehearsals do NOT overlap most course offerings. Bring your family and friends to Bayview Glen Church, 300 Steeles Avenue East in Thornhill (Bayview/Steeles) on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 7 pm to witness this exciting experience!
POWERUP YOUTH CHOIR
If you love singin’ and groovin’ to the latest gospel hits, you will want to be a part of the PowerUp Youth Choir! Designed for young people from ages 12 to 21, this exciting session involves marrying great gospel lyrics to energetic hip choreographed moves done only as young people can do, accompanied by a live rhythm section! If you have ever wanted to be part of a Gospel Youth Choir and want to ‘kick it up a notch’, this session is for you.
Note: Youth Choir participants may attend the PowerUp Mass Choir rehearsals but priority for on-stage performance will be given to those actually registered in the PowerUp Mass Choir.
Are you looking for an opportunity to improve your vocal performance skills within a small group setting? If you answered yes, then the PowerUp Chorale is for you! This ensemble will meet multiple times during the conference. Rehearsals will address topics such as blending, diction, articulation, vocal styling and group interaction while learning repertoire to be performed at the PowerUp Showcase and Finale Concert. It is highly recommended that participants have some previous vocal ensemble experience. A short survey is required with registration for this ensemble.
- How to blend effectively when singing in a group
- How to effectively apply diction and articulation to clearly communicate the lyrics of a song
- Understanding stylistic characteristics to appropriately perform repertoire
- Possible opportunities to perform solos or duets (depending on selected repertoire)
NOTE: Participants must register and attend ALL FOUR rehearsals for the PowerUp Chorale, three of which are scheduled on Friday morning, Friday evening and Saturday afternoon during the workshop weekend.
SPECIAL NOTE: The PowerUp Chorale will be participating in the 15th Anniversary "Live Recording" Finale Concert. In order to adequately prepare for the live recording session, this year's chorale will be having an additional mandatory rehearsal on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 from 7:30 - 9:30 pm at York University, prior to the official start of the workshop weekend.
Register early as this workshop is accepting a limited number of participants.
Registration Deadline for PowerUp Chorale participants is Monday, December 31, 2018.
HIP HOP DANCE: GENERAL
Learn how to dance hip-hop like an artist! Back by popular demand, this 75 min workshop is a beginner hip-hop class for those with little to no experience in dancing hip-hop. It is designed for people of all ages and will have you popping, locking and ‘swaggin’ it out, making you look like a pro in no time.
Afro-Fusion Dance is a synthesis of diverse genres of dance including African, Jazz, and Contemporary. This class will be rooted in traditional West African movement, and will introduce beginner to advanced level students to exercises, and choreography which includes floor work, turns, and jumps.
The History of Ontario's Gospel Music and TMC
Dr. Jesse Feyen
Explore the fascinating story of Black sacred and gospel music in Ontario, from the music of escaped slaves to the present day. Discover how the Toronto Mass Choir fits into the fabric of Ontario's gospel scene.
VOCAL IMPROVISATION, AD LIB AND RUNS
Dr. Raymond Wise, Guest Clinician
This workshop will consider techniques for improvising in the gospel style. Participants will learn how to use improvisational techniques to effectively embellish Gospel song as a choir lead or individual soloist. Students will learn basic scales and melodic patterns that can be applied to vocal improvisation. Students will learn basic gospel melodies then volunteer to apply the various improvisational techniques to the gospel melodies presented in class.
VOCAL MASTER CLASS
Dr. Raymond Wise, Guest Clinician
This course will focus on applying the basic principles of singing with special emphasis on Breathing (support, control), Tone Placement (open or free tones, elimination of vocal tension), and Tone Quality (timbre, pure vowels). Students will volunteer to perform individual selections and be evaluated by instructor who will identify vocal challenges and recommend the appropriate vocal techniques required to successfully perform the various musical selections. Students will immediately work to correct and improve their vocal technique.
VOCAL CARE: TARGETING VOCAL ISSUES AND WORKING TO RESOLVE THEM
Dr. Melissa Davis
Have you ever felt frustrated with your singing? This workshop is for you! Through demonstrations, exercises and songs, this workshop will target and tackle common vocal issues and will provide workshop attendees with practical solutions to set you on the path to vocal confidence!
THE ART OF VOCAL STYLE
A singer has countless ways in which they can “colour” a song with nuance and stylistic interpretation. This session breaks down some of the mysteries of the current Vocal Styles and provides practical tools that will allow you to express your songs with relevance and authenticity.
Presented in a master class setting and using familiar songs, this workshop will greatly benefit anyone who wants to expand and improve the ways to deliver a song effectively.
CHOIR 101: ‘FROM SINGING WANNABE TO CHOIR GEEK’
This workshop will be an informative, fun, and interactive session for non-choir singers, those who desire to sing in a choir, or who are currently a choir member. We will be exploring what it means to be a choir/ensemble member (including responsibilities and tips to help you win a “Best Choir Member award”) and become more familiar with the musical lingo! You’ve never sung in a choir before? No problem! We will be learning to sing as “one”, learn a song from scratch, and build it into an expressive and dynamic song. If you love to sing, possess a desire to sing expressively in a group, and love to have fun, this session is for you!
HARMONIZATION: PART 1
There are 3 very easy steps to harmonizing: Hearing it, understanding it, and singing it. This workshop will help you to understand what you are hearing when you’re listening to vocals and what to focus on when you do. We will also break down 2 and 3 part harmonies to help you to more clearly understand the standard fundamentals of harmony.
HARMONIZATION: PART 2
Building on the concepts learned in Part 1, we will take harmonizing to another level! Learn how to understand more complex harmonies and to utilize them while singing in groups. Together, we will dig a little deeper and also perform for each other song arrangements assigned in class. Singing harmony together is the best way to improve!
PIANO TECHNIQUE: BEGINNERS ONLY
Dr. Karen Cyrus
This is a workshop for persons who do not play the piano/keyboard. Participants will explore basic functional piano skills related to playing hymns and simple gospel songs. Basic skills that will be covered in this 90-minute workshop include interpreting chord symbols on song sheets, playing chords, basic improvisation, hand position and memorization. Participants will be able to use these skills to perform simple accompaniments. Please bring along a set of headphones!
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: SENIOR KEYS
This workshop is for pianists/keyboardists who play well but want to take it to the next level. Fun techniques for hand strengthening, coordination and feeling comfortable with your instrument will be emphasized. Participants will be able to demonstrate more complex chord progressions including chord substitutions, tritones and secondary dominants. At the end of the session, you should be able to take a simple song and enhance the harmonic structure. You will need a pencil and eraser. Manuscript paper will be provided. If there is a song you'd like to work on for the practical exercise, please bring it along with you. Make sure it's a chord chart or a piano/vocal chart with chords. See you there!
PLAYING KEYS BY EAR – INTERMEDIATE (PARTS 1 & 2)
Have you ever wanted to learn to ‘play by ear’? Join this exciting session — split into 2 parts — and have the ‘mystery’ taken away from this helpful skill. In part 1 you will learn how to blend fundamental ear training techniques with theory, while in part 2 you will apply your new techniques using the electronic keyboards provided. You will learn how to manipulate chords on scale degrees, create simple chord progressions, be able to follow and flow in easy contemporary worship sets and gospel tunes. The process of theory (pt.1) and application (pt.2) creates the perfect workshop experience! Participants with some basic keyboard knowledge will get the most out of this session. Please bring along a set of headphones!
GOSPEL KEYS – ADVANCED (PART 1)
Learn, from one of the best, the harmonizations and techniques that make a gospel song sound, well…gospel! In this module, participants will learn how ALL secondary and complex chords i.e. minor 7th’s, 9th’s, 13th#11th’s, flat 9, diminished chords etc, are derived from the basic primary chords: I, IV and V. You’ll enjoy exploring and understanding chord structures and secondary dominants, as used in gospel music.
GOSPEL KEYS – ADVANCED (PART 2)
In Part 2, we’ll put into practice what was learned in Part I, by applying the harmonizations and techniques that facilitate the “gospel sound” and explore this using the common progression I, VI, II, V, III, VI, II, V. We’ll also apply these concepts in a traditional African American gospel song, To God Be the Glory and a Christian Contemporary gospel song, Good Good Father.
STEELPAN: THE FUN-DAMENTALS
Josette Leader and Troy Fraser
This workshop serves as an experiential introduction to the world of steelpan and geared more for youth. Have you ever seen someone performing on the steelpan and thought, “That looks like a lot of fun”? Well, you’re right! Not only do steelpans sound captivating, but they are also a blast to play. Participants will learn the history of these beautiful instruments, the types and roles of each, as well as its relevance in modern day context. Participants will also be taught proper playing techniques and will be given the chance to test out their skills by coming together as a steelband and playing a tune. Whether you’re a steelpan novice or a steelpan enthusiast, this workshop has something for you. There is no equipment needed, just come ready to have a pantastic time!
DRUM MASTER CLASS
This years sessions are designed to equip registrants to be able to play in a gospel choir or in a worship band at a church. There will be a variety of musical styles covered, and demonstration on what it takes to play each groove authentically. We will also cover some drum fills ranging in levels of complexity to suit these grooves. There will be some technical exercises to increase dexterity and proficiency on the drumset. Most importantly, we will discuss the powerful role of a drummer, and how to create the most exciting and effective experience for any band we play in. Questions are more than welcome.
BASS GUITAR: BEGINNER
Bass is the foundation of the gospel sound. What happens on bass guitar not only helps to drive the harmonic progressions, but also locks in with the drums to confirm and support the rhythm. If you are a beginning bass player eager to grab hold of the gospel music style, sign up for this very unique workshop session. There is limited space, so register early. Bring your own bass guitar…bass amps are available!
Note: This workshop is NOT a prerequisite for the Advanced Level workshop, however, Advanced Level bass players are welcome to participate.
BASS GUITAR: ADVANCED
If you already have some skill on bass guitar, but would like to expand your abilities of expression and implement some new skills, this course is for you. We will be threshing through techniques such as slapping, muting, and 4 fingered plucking, and examining where they can be useful in a gospel/worship setting. Come with your own bass and an open mind!
Note: This workshop is NOT for beginners. Registrants must have at least 2 years of performance experience on the bass guitar.
MUSIC LEADERSHIP TRACK
[For Music Educators, Choral Conductors and Church Music Directors]
FOR THE CHOIR CONDUCTOR
Based on over 35 years of conducting choirs, Karen Burke wants you to meet you, encourage you and answer the burning questions that you have about creating a successful choral experience in your school, church and community. You may have questions like, “To audition or not to audition?” or “How to introduce Gospel music into your traditional choir’s repertoire?” or “ How to run an effective rehearsal?” Let’s talk! Come and bring your questions!
TRAINING THE YOUNG VOICE
Dr. Raymond Wise, Guest Clinician
Many singers began their gospel singing careers as children. However, many children never receive formal training. The lack of formal training or an awareness of the child’s changing voice by their instructors often leads to poor vocal production techniques and vocal problems during their adolescent and adult years. This session will help those who work with children understand the child’s vocal mechanism and learn appropriate methods required to guide young voices to vocal success as they perform gospel music and other musical genres.
A DYNAMIC WORSHIP EXPERIENCE: FROM A-Z
As a worship leader or worship team member, we have the high calling to lead people into a worship connection with God. We will discuss what it takes to create a strong worship flow for any worship service. From creating a worship set, team preparation, and tools for execution will be discussed. Part of our responsibility is eliminating any distractions within the worship service. Tips on choosing appropriate keys, what to do with your song transitions, and how to effectively lead from your instrument will be explored.
DISCOVERING GREAT GOSPEL MUSIC REPERTOIRE
With countless songs available for streaming and more and more released each day, it can feel overwhelming to find new and exciting repertoire for our groups to sing. The purpose of this workshop is to navigate through the rich musical terrain of Spirituals and Gospel music by celebrating and singing some of the great songs (and hidden gems) out there. Topics will include: definitions of genres; knowing your audience or congregation; cultural considerations; online resources; sheet music; range and proper keys; musical styles; working with instrumentalists; and CCLI licencing.
Professor Brad Klump will draw upon his twenty-plus years of experience leading worship teams and choirs, as well as by his exposure to amazing songs through his travels to gospel music conferences, concerts and church services in North America and West Africa.