Colors of the Voice: Honoring Vocal Traditions & Creating Anew w/ Moira Smiley and VOCO

Wednesday, October 13, 5:30-7:00 pm
Register online

Moira Smiley and VOCO perform a range of vocal styles, including a cappella, accompanied, and improvised. In this multi-faceted workshop, open to all levels of singer, they cover these elements:

  • Vocal and physical warming up exercises
  • Developing a broader sense of vocal timbre with "call-response" exercises
  • Learning songs: arrangements and/or the pure form of traditional folk songs from Eastern Europe and North America, as well as original and modern material; notes, inflections, vocal style, and ensemble practice are included
  • Learning percussive movement
  • Three improvisation exercises to build ideas for group and individual comfort with improvising
  • Step-by-step vocal arrangement of a known or simple song
  • Coaching in vocal ensemble techniques, exercises to attain better blend, tuning, breath, diction, and style

Moira Smiley & VOCO are a group of extraordinary musicians who perform sweet, hard-driving Americana mixed with crooked eastern European dance and dissonance, rounded out with body-stompin' percussive movement. Moira, a singer-composer, creates music for dance, theatre and film. Her voice, improvisations and compositions can be heard on feature films, documentaries, BBC, PBS, and on over 40 recordings. She has sung with leading ensembles and artists around the world including Paul Hillier's Theater of Voices, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, KITKA Vocal Ensemble, New World Symphony, Shakespeare Santa Cruz.

"For the past three year's, Moira has been the "glue" at our large, and very successful Rocky Mountain Song School, leading both the opening and closing sessions, weaving connections and creating community through voice and rhythm. Moira brings a multi-cultural approach to teaching vocals and movement at the Song School. Over the past three years she has consistently inspired participants with her traditional and freeform exercises that expand vocal and performance possibilities in a fun and supportive environment. Students love it!"
- Steve Szymanski, Co-Founder/CEO Planet Bluegrass (Home of Festivals: Telluride, RockyGrass, FolksFest, Rocky Mountain Song School, RockyGrass Academy)

"Moira Smiley & VOCO - not only consummate performers with a great warmth of personality behind the rich blend of voices but I soon learned, equally fine teachers. Moira led a workshop which would beguile the beginner and practiced singer and creates an atmosphere where all felt empowered and able to join in. The deep knowledge she has of the music which inspires her, combined with an infectious sense of humour made the workshop time fly by and left us wanting more. She teaches with intelligence and warmth and builds up the the layers of what she imparts so clearly that people can surpass what they feel is their limit."
- Su Hart (co-founder Baka Beyond, UK Educator) Bath, England


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