Vocal program draws talented singers

The University of Lethbridge Recital Hall is bursting with song this week as 43 talented young singers from across Western Canada take part in the 4th annual Southern Alberta Vocal Experience (SAVE), Aug. 12-18.

The SAVE vocal program offers talented young singers, aged 13 to 20, the opportunity to study and perform in close collaboration with established artists, teachers and vocal coaches. In addition to preparing musical excerpts, students participate in a daily regimen that includes choir, creative movement, private lessons and master classes, allowing them to develop vocal skills in a comprehensive program of studies.

Directed by Joanne Collier, the teaching staff includes U of L Faculty members Dr. Blaine Hendsbee, Dr. Sandra Stringer, Dr. Deanna Oye and Carolyn Herrington; U of L alumni McKade Hogg, Nicole Higginson-Swen, Acacia Doktorchik and Audrina Steciw; and guest artists David Shefsiek (managing director of Alberta Theatre Projects), Suzy Smith (Toronto-based vocal coach) and Winston Noren of Calgary's Mount Royal University. They are joined by accompanists Gregory Knight, Elinor Lawson, Joel Goodfellow and Jesse Plessis and undergraduate student assistant Jana Holesworth.

The week of activity culminates in a pair of public performances, beginning with a Friday, Aug. 17 concert (7:30 p.m., University Recital Hall) where SAVE singers will be presenting solos from the art song and concert repertoire, accompanied by piano. The program will open and close with a choral selection learned during the week. Admission for this performance is by donation at the door.

The final gala concert, One Enchanted Evening, will be held on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m., also in the University Recital Hall. Audience members will be treated to songs and tales from the lands of fairies and all things enchanting, including theatre classics from shows such as Brigadoon, Camelot and Cinderella, along with more recent selections from Into the Woods, The Secret Garden and Spamalot.

"All of the music has been chosen for its beautiful melodies, musical merit and ability to showcase each singer to the best of their ability," says artistic director Joanne Collier. "At the same time audiences will be treated to an array of musical maids and men, heroes, fools and villains."

Tickets are $10 each and available at the door.

Those interested in the SAVE program can contact the U of L Music Conservatory for more information: 403-329-2304.