I'm headed to Savannah this winter!
Hey everyone! Here's a quick review of the past month.
July 10: Recording at Peachfork
Recording has become a very important goal for me this year, so I'm slowly putting together one track at a time as I can afford studio time.
Bernie Nau at Peachfork Studios has been so great to work with. The drive to the studio is through beautiful southeast Ohio, so I get a chance to center and relax before I go in.
Right now, I'm recording tunes that I performed as part of the American Traditions Competition in February. This month, we re-recorded the vocals on the country tune and did most of the mixing, so we have it pretty close to release. We also did a little work on "Two Sleepy People." Needs some more tweaking before we start mixing.
July 17: Jazz and Rib Fest in downtown Columbus
My quartet was invited to play the Jazz Cafe Stage. We had a great crowd who stuck around despite intermittent rain showers and heat waves. The stage was right by the river with the city skyline behind us. Great setting. Hope we'll be there again.
I shared the stage with the wonderful Andy Hall and Ryan Kennedy. Our usual bass player, Steve Heffner, wasn't available that weekend, but that gave us the opportunity to play with Craig Burletic, who graciously stepped in while he was in the midst of moving to Miami. Craig graduated from Marshall last year with a degree in Jazz Studies. He moved to Miami right after the gig, then flew right back with his girlfriend Molly so they could both play on Mountain Stage with Tyler Childers & The Food Stamps. Have a great time in Miami, Craig! Hope to play together again soon!
July 20-24: CCM Institute
July is always one of my favorite months because it's when I attend the Contemporary Commercial Music Voice Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah Conservatory. The CCMI opens me to the expansiveness of human experience, both in myself and in others, and not just in the world of singing.
I first attended in 2009, getting my certification in Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method in Levels I, II, and III. After getting my master's in voice pedagogy, which, in almost every academic institution, is focused on classical singing, I wanted to know the science and methods behind other singing styles. Not only did I find that information, but I found a great community of people.
There were 18 different countries represented at the Institute this year. I hung out with people from Israel, Colombia, Australia, Taiwan, Chile, Brazil, and Canada, just for starters. There is an enormous need and desire for the kind of work that Jeanie is doing, so people travel huge distances to be here.
At CCMI, I've heard Brazilian folk music, Brazilian popular song, Indian classical music, Israeli music, Chilean folk music, Columbian folk music, musical theatre, classical, jazz, pop, rock, R&B, folk, country, and more. I've been in many academic settings where there would have been significant amounts of tension surrounding the fact that people were singing some of these kinds of music. But at the Institute, every genre is given a safe space to exist. Every year, I watch walls crumble. Defenses drop. Prejudices dissolve. Genres (and the people who sing them) coexist not just respectfully, but happily. It may seem strange to most people that this wouldn't be the norm, but this is indeed a very rare and unique environment. It's hard to describe just how amazing the energy is, and it only seems to get better every year.
I want to say a huge thank you to the Institute's faculty for another year of helping people move closer to vocal freedom and authenticity. It is not just your knowledge of this information that helps people, but the way you teach it. When we are given practical tools to better understand our bodies, our minds, and our craft in a shame-free space, we step further in to our true vocal identity. Yet again, I was overwhelmed as I witnessed the recovery of people who were abandoned by other teachers and were losing hope. Jeanie LoVetri is indeed a master teacher. Can't wait for next year!
Check out what's coming up in future months here:
I'm excited to announce that I'm a contestant in the 2015 American Traditions Competition! The competition pays tribute to the diverse music in our American heritage. I haven't participated in a competition since grad school, but the unique nature of the competition made me want to give it a go. I wanted to meet and listen to more people like me who love singing different genres of music.
At the competition, contestants sing in up to three rounds. In each round, we sing a set of three songs. Each of our nine songs must be in a different genre selected from the list of genres provided by the ATC. Our application had to include recordings of the first round set.
The competition will be in beautiful Savannah, Georgia in late February. I've never been to Savannah, so I'm just as excited about experiencing that town as I am about singing my tunes. The competition rounds are open to the public, so if you're in the Savannah area, I'd love to see you there.