Regardless of whether we are singing Mozart, Whitacre, or even Adele, the formation of our ensemble has both positive and negative effects on an ensemble’s sound, vocal quality, vocal health and much more. In this session, we will explore the positive effects of ensemble formation on a variety of different areas including intonation, diction, balance, blend, authenticity, and vocal health from the point of view of ensemble director and private voice instructor. We will also discuss many different ways formation can be used both in the rehearsal and performance enhancing your ensemble’s overall sound, vocal health, and musical experience!
Formation: Getting the Best Sound and Voice from Your Choir!
Dr. James Reddan is Chair & Associate Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities and Music Education at Western Oregon University. Reddan is an active choral conductor, adjudicator, scholar, and clinician in demand regionally, domestically and internationally. Ensembles under Reddan’s direction have achieved worldwide recognition performing throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. Under Reddan’s direction, ensembles competed in the 8th World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia winning a World Championship. Reddan received the citation for “Excellence in Music Education” from the American Prize in Choral Music. Additionally, Reddan arranges and composes works for Vocal A cappella ensembles. He served as lead editor and research for the upcoming text, Routledge Companion to Jazz and Gender due out in April 2022. Reddan taught at Frostburg State University (Maryland) and served as the Chair and Director of Choral Activities at Linn-Benton Community College (Oregon). He also served as the choral music educator at Arbor View High School and Cannon Junior High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Reddan received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Education from Boston University, the Master of Music Degree in Choral Conducting and Music Education from the University of Oregon in Eugene and the Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. Reddan completed additional studies at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane, Australia, the Oregon Bach Festival, and interned with the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Claire Hudkins, soprano, is an enthusiastic teacher of voice and piano and performs regularly as a soloist in the Pacific Northwest. For the past ten years she has been pursuing her passion for training singers of all ages and abilities in all genres of music. Claire performs regularly in a variety of genres including operatic, musical theater and contemporary idioms. In September of 2018, Claire joined the music department at Western Oregon University as adjunct voice faculty teaching jazz and popular music styles. Claire also teaches voice and piano as a staff instructor at Resound NW in Portland, OR. She serves as the administrative director for the Astoria Vocal Arts program, a summer vocal training program, in Astoria, Oregon. Claire also serves as Secretary for the NATS Cascade Chapter Executive Board. Claire holds her Masters of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts in Voice from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the University of Cincinnati. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Originally from Salem, Oregon, Claire is thrilled to be back teaching and singing in her home state!