A lab for vocalists that will focus on the basic functions of the rhythm section and how to communicate with a rhythm section in a variety of musical styles. Instruments discussed will include electric and acoustic bass, drums, keyboard, and guitar as well as musical elements of various time-feels and grooves. Class members will have the opportunity to work with a rhythm section.
Introductory jazz/blues performance ensemble for voice principals designed to prepare students for solo performance in ensembles and other performing venues within a specific song style. Focus on building jazz repertoire and getting familiar with jazz masters, as well as musicianship, harmony, and sight-reading. Additional focus will be on beginning improvisation skills in the jazz and blues idioms, including melodic and rhythmic phrasing, embellishments, tone color, and hearing basic blues patterns, as well as historical perspective.
Introductory R&B performance ensemble for voice principals designed to prepare students for solo performance in ensembles and other performing venues within a specific song style. Vocalists will learn how to count off tempos of songs, microphone technique, song style and groove, communication with the accompanist, and lead sheet preparation. Additional focus will be on beginning improvisation skills in the R&B idiom, including melodic and rhythmic phrasing, embellishments, tone color, and hearing basic blues patterns.
Introductory pop/rock/country performance ensemble for voice principals designed to prepare students for solo performance in ensembles and other performing venues within a specific song style. Vocalists will learn how to count off tempos of songs, microphone technique, song style, and groove communication with the accompanist and lead sheet preparation.
The voice can be used as a paint brush to create visual textures that elicit a visual and emotional experience for the listener. This performance and recording ensemble is designed to help each participant explore the art of composed and improvised vocal expression, including instrumental singing and vocal improvisation. Students will learn how to use their entire body as a performance instrument; explore the art of vocal and body percussion; and discover a renewed sense of freedom to discover his or her own style of vocal expression and improvisation.
An ensemble for vocalists focusing on basic skills in improvisation in a variety of styles. Melodic and rhythmic phrasing embellishments using tone colors and hearing basic blues patterns in vocal styles including pop, rock, R&B, and jazz.
This course is a concert performance exploration of the history of musical theater and the performance of classic musicals during the golden era of Broadway. The Musical Theatre Concert Ensemble performs a review of one full concert version of a classic Broadway show featuring: 13+ singers, two conductors, orchestral arrangers, 15 to 25-piece orchestra, stage manager, orchestra manager/librarian, and a recording engineer working in collaboration. This course focuses on understanding and performing a review of classic Broadway musical theater works in the professional setting. During the semester, students who have auditioned and been cast in the course learn how to create and develop a character in the context of a concert revue performance. Students are required to learn and memorize the songs and scenes from the piece, analyze the score, and perform in front of a live audience. Students are evaluated through weekly song performances and quartet quizzes (on harmonies), a graded mid-term on the score including singing test, scene acting, and a final performance in concert style (i.e. without props, costumes, etc.). There is a focus on the analysis of music and lyrics of the songs in these classic musical theater pieces. The focus begins with basic stage terminology and works toward creating a more detailed connection between analysis and performance. Students gain a better understanding of how classic theater songs create and bring dramatic elements to life.
This course will focus on the learning and performing of SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass) traditional American Negro spirituals in the style of such groups as the Fisk Jubilee Singers. The emphasis will be on theatrically performing the stories of American Negro spirituals evolving from the African American experience. Song arrangements and compositions will include John W. Work, Moses Hogan, H.T. Burleigh, and other African American composers.
Performance ensemble comprised of piano, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, horns and vocalists. The focus of this class will emphasize the relationship between vocals and band members as well as the supportive and collaborative role of band members. Class meeting times, including rehearsals, may vary according to scheduled final performance. Singers Night concert will occur in the Berklee Performance Center each fall and spring semester.
Members of this ensemble study and perform Hindustani and Carnatic classical, semi-classical, folk, Sufi and contemporary Indian music. Students participate in supervised rehearsals for a minimum from four to six hours weekly, and gain experience performing and improvising within the Indian music idiom. Emphasis is given to stylistic integrity and accuracy of Indian melodies and rhythms, often set within a Western harmonic context. While indigenous Indian instruments like tabla, mridangam, bhapang, khartal, sarod, sitar, sarangi, and bansuri are often used in the class, traditional instruments from other cultures like qanun, laouto, hulusi, dizi, suona, duduk, and didgeridoo are not only included, but welcomed. Functioning as a professional band rather than simply an academic class, the ensemble tours internationally, and also releases music videos every semester, with a special emphasis on original student compositions.
This performance-oriented course offers vocalists a unique opportunity to learn and authentically sing the traditional ballads, chanteys, and story-songs of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The class focuses on a cappella solo and choral singing, as well as solo/group vocals accompanied by a four-piece band. Styles covered range from the traditional sounds of the Copper Family and the Watersons to the rock-informed approaches of Pentangle, Steeleye Span, and the Pogues. The course culminates in an intimate-venue concert performance. A sense of humor and a willingness to perform a bit of light acting are required.
Vocal ensemble that concentrates on small group singing without instrumental accompaniment. Students write, arrange, and perform songs from various genres including, but not limited to pop/rock, r&b, gospel, and jazz. Students perform at the end of the semester.