FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 15, 2014 CONTACT: Diana Landau, firstname.lastname@example.org
CHATHAM CHORALE CONNECTS WITH CAPE YOUTH
Vocal Master Class Is Latest Outreach Effort
Chatham, MA / October 15, 2014 – The Chatham Chorale, led by music director Joseph Marchio, is sponsoring a master class in vocal music, open to high school students from around Cape Cod. The first of its kind, the class will take place on Saturday, November 1, 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Knight Lecture Hall at Barnstable High School. It will be taught by noted vocal pedagogue Patty Thom, who has chaired the Department of Voice and Opera at Boston Conservatory since 2003. Between five and ten students are being selected from a pool of applicants from high schools across the Cape to share the stage with this master clinician. Thanks to a generous grant from the Cape Cod Five Cent Savings Bank Charitable Foundation Trust, the event will be presented free of charge and is open to the public.
Master classes are a time-honored way for promising music students to receive one-on-one coaching from a master of their art, while performing for an audience. The audience typically includes other vocal students, singers of all ages and experience, and music lovers in general—creating a collaborative and inspiring learning experience for all present. Audience members as well as the chosen singers benefit—by listening to the coaching and taking part in a question-and-answer period. The Chorale has long been committed to making music an important part of the lives of our young people,”
says music director Joe Marchio. “Holding a master class with a distinguished teacher like Patty Thom is a way of recognizing and encouraging the fine vocal talent coming out of our schools.” The Chorale is especially grateful for the foundation’s grant, he says, “because the cost of taking a master class is often more than high school students and their parents can afford.”
A well-traveled recitalist as well as a teacher, master class leader Patty Thom is former musical staff at Boston University and at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute’s Young Artists Vocal Program. She is also the former music director at the Walnut Hill School and has served as artistic ambassador for the United States Information Agency.
“Young people today face many challenges, from bullying to drugs to financial pressures,” notes Chorale president Mairead Doherty. For many students the act of singing and sharing that gift is an endeavor that is presented with pride to their school community (teachers, friends, family) and the greater Cape Cod community. “Ultimately the whole community shares in the positive psychological and health benefits of fostering singing in young people through events like this,” Doherty says.
The master class is just the latest milestone in the Chorale’s outreach to Cape youth. For nearly 30 years, the group has awarded a $2,000 scholarship each year to a student anticipating a career in music. And in cooperation with local music teachers, the group awards a copy of the Harvard Dictionary of Music to the top music student in every public high school on Cape Cod.
The Chorale also actively recruits young singers for its ranks, giving them the invaluable experience of performing at a high level with other singers of all ages. “I find interested students through my teaching work at Cape Cod Community College,” says Marchio, “and sometimes in my church choir at Chatham Congregational.” The current Chorale roster includes six student voices: sopranos Laura Barabe (Nauset Regional High School), Zhen Klinck (Sandwich High School), and Juliette Locke (Cape Cod Community College); and in the bass section, Austin Sirois (Pope John Paul II High School), Jeffrey Kelly, and Austin O’Donoghue (both from Cape Cod Community College).
A growing body of research supports how music nurtures children’s success at school and in life. According to a 2011 article in Psychology Today, “Engaging students in music is a key to their positive development and provides intellectual and emotional benefits that last a lifetime. … Music keeps the mind sharp, serving as a challenging cognitive exercise. It also feeds the soul, develops character, and boosts creativity. Music doesn’t discriminate between race, income, or social status. It benefits children equally.” The article notes that while recent research is fueled by neuroscience, “there is also solid evidence that music programs help develop internal strengths in children, like initiative, creativity, resiliency, and a belief in self.”
The Chorale looks forward to making the master class an annual event. Those interested in joining the audience for the master class should plan to arrive at the hall by 8:50 a.m.; latecomers may enter with care Chatham Chorale is one of Cape Cod’s longest-established choral ensembles, for 44 years presenting an annual concert series with programs ranging from choral masterworks to Broadway, pops stylings, and premieres of new works by regional composers. The Chorale also regularly collaborates with the Cape Cod Symphony—for example, in its upcoming program “Opera’s Greatest Moments”—and sings in service to the community. For information about the Chorale’s current season, visit www.chathamchorale.org