A series of recitals will be open to the public during the week the annual Summer School for the Solo Voice is underway in North Battleford beginning tonight, Tuesday, July 7.
Summer School for the Solo Voice is a week-long intensive study and performance opportunity for singers, accompanists, teachers and choral conductors at beginner, intermediate and senior levels. This is its 18th year, having grown from a local focus to international status in both faculty and participants.
Tuesday’s recital, like the rest, will be held at Third Avenue United Church, featuring the staff of the school, some from North Battleford, including the school founder Lisa Hornung, and one from as far away as South Africa.
The recitals are free to the public, although there is a silver collection at the door.
The schedule of concerts is as:
• Tuesday, July 7, SSSV Staff Recital 7 p.m.;
• Thursday, July 9, SSSV Advanced Student Recital 2:15 p.m.;
• Thursday, July 9, SSSV Advanced Student Recital 3:30 p.m.;
• Friday, July 10, SSSV Advanced Student Recital 2:15 p.m.;
• Friday, July 10, SSSV Musical Theatre Recital 7 p.m.;
• Saturday, July 11, SSSV Advanced Student Recital 11:15 p.m.; and
• Saturday, July 11, SSSV Final Concert, SSSV Choir 1:30 p.m.
Most of last year’s faculty will be returning this year, with the addition of another international faculty member.
Founder Lisa Hornung of North Battleford will head up the staff. Honoured as one of the University of Saskatchewan's Arts and Science Alumni of Influence, Hornung has been acclaimed for performances in repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary composers. In accordance with her belief that every child deserves the opportunity to sing, Hornung runs a non-audition community youth choir and often collaborates with elementary and high school musical endeavours.
Other local faculty members include Gary Gansauge and Roy Challis.
Gansauge is well known in the Battlefords and area as an accompanist, organist and keyboard player. He has spent many years accompanying vocal and band students in local and provincial music festivals as well as community events.
Challis is returning to SSSV after a hiatus of a few years. His work with Theatre Saskatchewan has resulted in several Best Actor awards, several Best Characterization awards, several Best Director Awards and a Janet Laine-Green Lifetime Achievement Award. As well, a play he wrote and directed, In Search of Love, won the Best Overall Production Award. He received an Outstanding Contribution Award for his work with the Saskatchewan Drama Association as a board member, a director and adjudicator.
New to SSSV this year is John Reid Coulter. A composer, performer and builder of musical instruments, he specializes in the field Historical Performance Practice and works to achieve wider reception and acceptance of this undervalued approach to music from the past.
Returning this year is Bonnie Cutsforth-Huber, whose story of overcoming a life-threatening condition to become a professional singer and professor inspired students at last year’s SSSV, even though she was unable to sing due to recent surgery. She is originally from the Maidstone area and now works as an associate professor of music at Penn State Altoona in Pennsylvania.
Also, returning this year is the former director of the Vienna Boys Choir. Laurence Ewashko, currently associate professor of choral studies at the University of Ottawa, Ewashko conducts the University of Ottawa School of Music's two choirs and has held the position of chorus master for Opera Lyra Ottawa since 1988. Ewashko has been invited to lecture at the University of Lviv, Ukraine as a guest professor.
A faculty member from the beginning, Chris Kelly is a sessional lecturer in the University of Saskatchewan's Department of Music, teaching voice and musicianship and serving as an accompanist. He has been on the faculty of the summer school since its inception. Kelly also maintains a private voice and piano studio and performs regularly in recital, opera and oratorio. In addition to teaching and performing, he accompanies, coaches, adjudicates and is a church organist and choir director.
Joy McFarlane-Burton is an active and enthusiastic teacher with more than 30 years of experience working with developing singers, in many genres including musical theatre, choral, as well as the standard vocal repertoire. She has been an instructor at the summer school for more than a decade and was recognized by the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals 2013 National Volunteer of the Year for Saskatchewan..
A member of the Saskatoon Registered Music Teachers' Association, returning faculty member Bernadette Fanner maintains an active teaching studio and accompanying career. She completed associate, licentiate and fellowship diplomas at Trinity College of London and earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance with Great Distinction from the University of Saskatchewan.
Long time faculty member, Dr. Gore-Hickman is a clinical assistant professor of surgery at the University of Saskatchewan. His lectures include an in-depth look at the physiology of the voice, video-laryngoscopies of different techniques in singing and speaking as well as video-laryngoscopies and discussions concerning vocal health and care of the voice.
Another faculty alumnus, Heather Macnab of Maple Creek, is active as a singer, singing teacher, director, accompanist and adjudicator. She holds five ARCT diplomas in singing, piano and speech arts and drama. She was awarded the gold medal by the Royal Conservatory for having the highest mark in Canada on her ARCT Speech Arts exam.
Paul Suchan, who has also been on the summer school faculty several times and is a former North Battleford Comprehensive High School teacher, is an emerging Canadian composer of instrumental and vocal music. He is also in demand as a conductor and clinician. He is a co-founder and current co-artistic director of the Sask. New Music Festival, an annual three-day festival that features prairie composers. He is originally from Saskatoon, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Saskatchewan. He furthered his studies at the Université de Montréal with a Master of Music in Composition. He is currently based in Montreal where he lives with his wife Naomi, who is also returning to the summer school faculty.
Naomi Piggott Suchan graduated with honours from McGill University's Master of Accompanying and is currently working as an accompanist for McGill University's Voice Department where she coaches singers in languages, singing diction, musical style and ensemble. She received a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Saskatchewan, where she graduated at the top of her class with the University Medal in Fine Arts.
Mark Turner, the executive director of the Saskatoon Symphony and founding artistic director of Third Ave Centre, is back for his third year with SSSV. He holds an ARCT in Performance and an Honours Licentiate in Recital Performance from London College and has performed across North America as a collaborative pianist and performance coach.
In addition to the summer school faculty, a host of volunteers, including kitchen staff, help behind the scenes.
The school began July 4 with an extra day for advanced singers, and July 5 for the full student body. It concludes July 11.