Summer School – Jan 2019 – Collegium
The Perth Choral Institute Summer School (Collegium) is an eight-day residential course for singers aged 18 to 26. It provides an intensive but highly enjoyable week of training in singing and choral music. Participants receive individual singing lessons, group workshops, small ensemble rehearsals and multiple performance opportunities.
The objective of this course is to offer developing singers a unique opportunity to perform at the highest level with like-minded musicians, providing a gateway to the rich choral scene of Western Australia. All staff on the course have links to Perth and are either current or past members of such diverse, successful and talented ensembles as WA Opera, St George’s Cathedral Choir & Consort, The Giovanni Consort, The National Youth Choir of Australia, and many more.
The core of the course is the Choir, which is made up of all participants. The Choir rehearsals will dominate the daily timetable of the course, as the ensemble prepares for several performances with the Course Director and guest conductors.
These performances will include services in Cathedrals of various denominations throughout the Perth area, as well as a concert performance in an iconic Perth venue.
Every performance will feature new and often challenging repertoire, and will teach participants the various skills that a professional choral singer should be familiar with.
Another essential part of the experience for participants is the Consort. The Choir will be split into smaller balanced groups of approximately ten members, working on unaccompanied music of varying styles ranging from Madrigals to Gospel.
Established members of various Perth choirs rehearse these groups, and consorts will have the opportunity to perform during the course. More accomplished ensembles will also be invited to perform at one of the prominent performances.
These small group rehearsals are an opportunity to develop friendships with other course members. Self-confidence is also nurtured in these environments, and many singers will be encouraged to sing an entire part on their own.
Although many choirs are made up of large numbers of participants, in the professional choral world singers are often required to sing one per part, sometimes with only three or four other people in the whole ensemble. The Perth Choral Institute consort experience will be an invaluable one for any participant wishing to pursue singing at a higher level.
TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
All participants will receive two thirty minute individual singing lessons from national specialists of the developing voice. The board of the Perth Choral Institute encourages participants to prepare two contrasting works that can be refined in these lessons. A professional accompanist will also be provided at every singing lesson. Vocal students who show promise will be recommended by their teachers to perform at certain performances alongside the selected Consorts.
Visiting specialists will also provide sessions in sight-reading, aural skills and performance standards, alongside the vocal master-classes, consort workshops and optional conducting lessons. All of these specialists are based in Perth, and form the backbone of the thriving Perth choral community. Many teach at Universities, whilst others conduct the prominent choral ensembles of Perth.
All of the above experiences mean that singers who end up as full time members of choirs in Perth will have had valuable grass-roots training in their discipline. Opportunities to become members of choirs such as the St George’s College Chapel Choir, Voyces, the Winthrop Singers, St Mary’s Cathedral, The Men of The West and others will be more attainable for every participant on the course as a result of the knowledge imparted over the eight days.
Organists are welcome on the course as well. They will be provided with workshops from several specialists in Perth, and given opportunities to accompany the main choir in certain parts of the services.
WHO IS THE CHORAL COURSE FOR?
The course is open to all singers (and organists) aged from 18 to 26. They can be from any background and with different experiences of choral music. Participants will be asked to provide a self-reflection form when applying, but this is only as an indicator of where they believe they can improve. All applicants will be accepted into the course.
The concentrated and varied performing experience is of equal benefit to everyone who enjoys singing, no matter what goal is in mind. The repertoire performed will be both sacred and secular, and the performances will be at a mixture of venues, allowing all musical tastes to be catered for.
Professional choral singers are required to perform repertoire as diverse as opera, motets, madrigals, jazz, masses, Gospel, plainsong, Broadway and psalms in order to sustain a career. The Perth Choral Institute Summer School (Collegium) provides a first hand experience of this array of genres.
IS THE COURSE FOR ME?
Whilst many residential courses are satisfying, the Perth Choral Institute Summer School is particularly so because of the shared passion for singing and music making that not only the participants have, but the staff as well.
Music making should be first and foremost a fun experience that is shared between friends and colleagues. Using the most primitive of instruments, the human voice, to create an emotion for listeners is a unique skill. Lifelong bonds are often formed from such experiences that are hard to replicate in other environments. The development of the self, through discipline, teamwork, selflessness and concentration should also be considered.
If you want to be involved with singing in the high level choral environment that WA provides, then this is an opportunity to learn, develop, meet new people and have fun while doing so.
WHY IS THE SUMMER SCHOOL A RESIDENTIAL COURSE?
There are many opportunities for aspiring musicians to attend workshops, master classes, concerts and lessons in Perth. Where the Perth Choral Institute Summer School (Collegium) differs from these is that it also offers students the chance to live and work alongside people who have the same passion in singing for a whole week.
By rehearsing, eating and socialising as a group, the members of the Choir have the opportunity to make new friendships and strengthen existing ones. The musical community is built on such relationships both in Australia and overseas.
Staying with the Choir for the week will be two members of staff, one male and one female. These staff members will accompany the Choir from the residence to all performance venues, and supervise all residents each night. As professional singers and members of ensembles like WA Opera, St George’s Cathedral and the Giovanni Consort themselves, they are perfectly placed to offer support and advice to all participants of the course.
As all participants are over the age of 18, alcohol will be provided at specific times throughout the course. However, at all other times the Perth Choral Institute operates a zero alcohol policy, and insists that all members of the Choir travel together to all performance venues; this helps to strengthen the social bond between ensemble members, and negates any risks posed to singers.
The total cost for each applicant is $1,000. For this amount, participants will receive;
- Seven nights accommodation
- Three meals a day
- Free WIFI at the accommodation site
- Transportation to all performance venues
- All sheet music required for the duration of the Summer School
- Two individual 30 minute singing lessons with a national specialist in the developing voice
- Seven days of immersive rehearsals and workshops with core members of Perth’s Choral Scene
- Guest masterclasses with several of Perth’s leading choral specialists
- Performances at 4 iconic Perth locations
To apply, please complete this form with details for the applicant themselves. Once you click the Enrol button, please enter details for the name of the cardholder who is paying. Once submitted, you will be charged $100 for a deposit to attend the course. The remainder will be due in full one month before the course begins. Full terms and conditions are available here.
1 Student accommodation is to be offered in two separate formats, the first of which being single whole room accommodation within the same gender. The second is limited shared accommodation with one other PCI Summer School member of the same gender. Applicants who are successfully awarded shared accommodation will be offered a discount on the cost of the course – only paying a total cost of $800. Please note that there are only eight spaces for this shared accommodation, and these will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.
WHAT IS THE VENUE FOR THIS CHORAL COURSE?
Participants will be accommodated in the historically beautiful surroundings of St George’s College UWA. All rehearsals and singing lessons will take place in the College buildings, including the Chapel, Music Rooms and Dining Hall.
St George’s is located directly opposite UWA and between the Swan River and King’s Park. Its original buildings and chapel, in the Victorian Gothic Revival style, represent one of the most attractive and important precincts of historical buildings in Western Australia. The College also features heritage-listed gardens.
The College is an Anglican foundation that was established pursuant to a major bequest by Sir Winthrop Hackett, the first Chancellor of The University of Western Australia, who died in 1916.
All meals for the duration of the Summer School will be provided by the catering staff at St George’s College, and participants will also have access to the College WIFI.
WHERE WILL PARTICIPANTS PERFORM?
An introduction to the role that music plays in the Anglican tradition of Evensong; a service consisting of 30 minutes of choral singing that concludes with a small number of spoken prayers.
The PCI Choir and Consorts will perform a selection of Jazz, Broadway and Contemporary choral works in the stunning surroundings of St George’s College Dining Hall, which will be converted into a cafe style venue. Drinks and nibbles will be available throughout the performance. Tickets can be purchased either at the door or here.
An evening Catholic Mass which will feature Gregorian Chant, A Capella motets and other sacred choral music.
Choral Evensong, Sun Jan 20th, 5:00 pm
Celebratory music of the highest calibre will precede a champagne reception on the parvis outside the cathedral.