SHARING THE JOY OF SINGING – Apprentices share their experiences…
Alexandra Langdon, a Dox Apprentice during the 2009-2010 concert season, has completed her studies in Music Education at Ithaca College, and is now the Vocal Music Teacher at Laurens Central School. Langdon feels strongly that the apprenticeship program provides a valuable opportunity for high school students to interface with so many people, with different backgrounds and futures, who all love making music together. “Exposure to new conductors, and a variety of professional soloists and choristers can be so inspiring and educational for students who want to take their interest in music to the next level. They have the chance to build relationships in the music field that can provide future assistance and support for those seeking additional musical opportunities.” And the private voice lessons are so important, she feels, especially since many schools are not able to offer individual vocal lessons, and the cost of private lessons can be cost prohibitive for many families.
Sapphira Keorner, Tarrah Smith and Gavin Smith of Oneonta, all of whom have continued to sing with the Choral Society following the completion of their apprenticeships, recently met to reflect on their experiences
Tarrah expressed exuberant enthusiasm for the program: “This was the most amazing experience for me. I learned so much from joining with experienced singers, and gained tremendously from the voice lessons. I got 100 on my NYSSMA solo! That never would have happened without this program.”
Gavin reminds us that choral singing is remarkable as a “living art”, and singing with such a large chorus “really brings this music to life in a beautiful and moving way”. He points out that being challenged by advanced repertoire and singing in so many foreign languages has been very rewarding. All three joined in to triumphantly proclaim that they’ve sung in “German, Spanish, French, Latin, and even Russian!”
Sapphira said that many high school students hesitate to apply for the program, feeling that they just might not be good enough, but all three former apprentices agree that any student who loves to sing and wants to grow as a singer should audition for this program. They remind their fellow students that they are not alone: “The voice teachers are very helpful and you learn so much from the conductor and fellow singers!”
As former apprentice, college student Jolie Gagnon of Cooperstown puts it – “…this program is a wonderful thing and can’t really be found anywhere else!”