Review: Vocal Masterclass

Vocal Masterclass with Michael Harper
Sunday 18th January, Goodison Hall

Eleven pupils drawn from the Hundred, Lower and Upper Sixth participated in an inspirational Vocal Masterclass this afternoon with international singer, teacher and workshop facilitator – Michael Harper.  

He coaxed, cajoled, entertained, informed and challenged every participant (on repertoire ranging from Baroque arias and Schubert lieder to sultry Jazz) in such a way as to enable every one of them to improve in at least one aspect of their performance – be it technical, dramatic, linguistic or interpretative.  The supportive audience of parents and singers was treated to a range of innovative and targeted workshop methods – including sumo wrestling, impromptu dance routines from unsuspecting and admirably cooperative fathers and some imaginative exercises with chairs! –  all aimed to stimulate discussion and drive forward the creative process.   All the singers should be congratulated for making the most of this opportunity by responding so maturely and positively to wise, encouraging, incisive, constructive and kindly advice.

At the end of four hours of compelling music-making Michael Harper reminded us that to sing and to strive to develop mastery of one’s own voice and body is to participate in a uniquely challenging and rewarding process of physical and intellectual problem-solving. “If everyone sang” he said, “the world would be a better place”.  Nourishing food for thought on a cold January afternoon.

David Mattinson
Head of Vocal Studies

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