“Jamie has enabled us to increase our technical ability and broaden our choral palette. I think that having a professional singer with wide choral experience as our conductor is a huge advantage because Jamie can not only understand and anticipate the support we need, he can also demonstrate exactly what he wants and tell us how to achieve it.”
Kath Tilling. Chairman, Romsey Choral Society
Jamie brings his experience as professional singer, his advanced knowledge of vocal technique and his passion for great choral music well sung to aspiring choirs who want to take their music-making to the next level.
Through one-off workshops, guest conducting appearances, chorus mastering, conductor mentoring and individual vocal consultations, Jamie helps choral musicians to broaden their repertories, improve their singing and ensemble techniques, access hidden vocal colours and explore new performance ideas.
Jamie says: “There’s far more to great choral singing than simply getting the notes right; starting and stopping together; singing in tune… It’s about finding the shapes in the lines, it’s about finding the colours in the text, about expressing meaning in the techniques we choose to use and allowing meaning to colour our singing. It’s about producing vibrant, healthy tone with the fullest possible dynamic range; about shades of light and dark and about connecting with the audience. This is my starting point and it all comes down to simple techniques which any choir -any individual- can develop.”
“By the end of the session, the choir were singing much better than when they started and they felt that they understood the work in greater depth. Even though they did not know the music very well at the start of the session, Jamie was able to make the learning process stimulating in order that they felt that they were doing far more than simply learning the notes.”
Peter Asprey. Director, Berkshire Youth Choir.
Jamie’s workshops focus on the following key areas:
The voice and vocal health
- Explaining the mechanics of the voice simply and advice on looking after it.
Good solid technique
- Promoting healthy phonation, bladed tone, breath control and support through warm-ups and exercises and through guided rehearsal.
- Vowel colours, voiced and unvoiced consonants, diphthongs, articulation, text in time and techniques to convey emotion.
- Thinking of dynamics as colours and indicators of energy requirement and not a level of volume. Exploring techniques such as sotto voce and cupo.
- Breathing together, singing together and listening to each other
To get the most from your workshop it is usually best to work on repertoire that you already know reasonably well. That way you are able to concentrate more fully on developing new techniques and trying out new ideas. Jamie will prepare a workshop around your chosen material which would normally take place during your usual rehearsal slot.
Alternatively you can opt for a guided-tour workshop which will explore a new work in detail or a Come & Sing workshop which is a slightly more relaxed exploration of a more familiar piece usually leading to a performance. Both these options are suitable for day-long workshops.
Jamie’s aim is to inspire choirs to think more deeply about technique and about interpretation and of course to enhance their experience and enjoyment of singing together.
Through observation, discussion, guided rehearsal and workshops, Jamie is able to help choir leaders improve their skills, develop their own knowledge of technique and get the most from their choirs.
Jamie works with individual singers of all levels who wish to improve their technique and performance skills. Through exercises and working on repertoire in great detail, he is able to bring out the best in a voice and leaves students inspired to take their singing to the next level.