For the eighth consecutive year, members of Farnham Youth Choir were privileged to participate in a workshop run by Mike Brewer, director of the National Youth Choir. As ever it was an electric occasion.
His emphasis on the physical aspects of singing presume understanding of the notes, capacity to produce them and an ability to communicate with an audience. He takes participants to another level by helping them think about just how singers might approach each note and each vowel. He offers a whole variety of ways to relate to particular sounds, suggesting movements that help to promote the resonance in the singer’s individual sound.
In the workshop, which was held at the end of September in St Joan’s Church Hall, he worked particularly on the new additions to the repertoire from Australia, Alleluia and Rain Dream. 'I love the way the choir responds, and the concentration they maintain for such a long time', Mike Brewer commented.
Anna Leon, one of this year’s Senior Leaders was asked to characterise Mike and his workshops. "Energetic, enthusiastic, occasionally very silly; merciless about shortages of breath, consonants or vowels, a remarkable teacher, a man with acute directional hearing and a vast repertoire of international accents".
The result says Anna is an experience which is "fun, hard work, stretching, educational and inspiring. A day with Mike Brewer raises expectation and achievement; knowledge and skill; musicianship and merriment