Location: Florida, USA
I am a frequent user of Choralnet and enjoy every minute of it. Having conducted for many years, both orchestral and choral groups, I may have some interesting, if not helpful ideas and experiences to share with readers.
In the same concert season, I heard for the first time both of America's premiere choruses - the Robert Shaw and the Roger Wagner Chorales. I was so smitten that I would literally dream of being in such wonderful ensembles. Five years later I was touring with the "professional" Robert Shaw Chorale and 18 years later with Roger Wagner. Having sung under a number of college and community chorus directors, I heard in Shaw, particularly, a vocal freedom; that is people singing legitimately and unstifled. I was in a real dream!
Now, at age 82, having had a very irregular musical journey, I hope to share some of the practical aspects of this trip. In 2007, while working on a doctoral dissertation, I referred to notes from a 1964 period of study in New York City with an early teacher of Giorgio Tozzi, the fabulous bass-baritone. It was a ten weekky series of master classes with John Daggett Howell, who at the time was coaching an up-coming revival of Vanessa, the Samuel Barber opera. His teaching of the language as a basis for vocal technique was somethinj so practical that it defies written description. I could name some well-known talents who attended those classes. Sufice me to say that having rediscovered those notes and now understanding them, my technique is the best ever and I am preparing some videos for YouTube.
There is a period when I organized a symphonette and chorus featuring international soloists; but telling of that will have to wait a while.