Vocal Day concert brings high schoolers to GVSU
Grand Valley State University high school Vocal Day welcomed 80 high school students from 15 high schools in Michigan to the Performing Arts Center Friday, Oct. 21 to participate in a day of vocal music education, hosted by GVSU vocal music faculty and guest teachers.
“There are several things that are happening during the day,” said Dale Schriemer, a professor and co-chair of high school Vocal Day. “We are actually rehearsing with all of those students, our top ensemble and all of the students who (come) are actually singing together in a mass choir at the end of the day so there’s choral music and that top ensemble is also singing some solo things.”
Participants had the chance to witness a vocal performance from GVSU voice students, learn effective vocal warm-ups and rehearse side-by-side with the GVSU Cantate ensemble. There were four total master classes offered, featuring classical rap, musical theater rap and opera. Students in those classes had the opportunity to work with experienced teachers to amp up their skills. A final concert was held at the end of a full day of classes to showcase student's talents.
The students received instruction by GVSU faculty Rachael Gates, Dale Schriemer, Ellen Pool, Kathryn Stieler and guest professor Dale Beaver from Ohio State University, who instructed students on the Alexander technique, a way of learning how to rid the body of harmful tension.
This annual event seeks to recruit high school students to the vocal music programs offered at GVSU.
“We want to be able to give and support high school choral programs and we’re interested in recruiting students,” Schriemer said. “One of the best ways to recruit students is to get them on campus and see how beautiful everything is. It’s just the physical presence of the campus that people are very attracted to and then to have a very positive experience in their field of interest is an important step for them.”
The GVSU music department maintains relationships with many of the people who come to the event each year, including choir directors who had graduated from GVSU and bring their choirs back to visit. The hope is to recruit future music students by exposing the high school choir students that visit for high school Vocal Day to GVSU’s campus and atmosphere.
“I would think and hope that (the students) would see the potential for them (at GVSU) and what’s possible for the trajectory they want to go,” Stieler said.