By David Steinberg
More than 100 young singers – from middle school through college – from around New Mexico will take part in the Vocal Artistry Art Song Festival Friday, May 2 through Sunday, May 4.
“This is our fifth year and this project has bloomed with the constant encouragement from the community and the young singers,” festival founder Jacqueline Zander-Wall wrote in an email.
“I think it is wonderful news that 58 junior high and high school singers want to learn about art song.”
Each of the 111 young singers will have the opportunity to sing for an open audience.
Zander-Wall said the challenges of art song include singing in many languages and in different forms of poetry, learning vocal techniques and handling “… the demands it puts on the imagination of the singer, creating an entirely new world with each short song.”
This year’s festival focuses on German lieder or song.
Some singers will be selected for scholarship awards and some will be chosen for master classes, she said.
Mezzo-soprano Deborah Domanski said in an email that she will be leading a master class for a few of the chosen singers from the high school division, with an open audience.
“For this masterclass, I intend to share with the students secrets of success for young singers, including tips on technique and best ways to practice, interpretation, longevity and stamina, and we’ll talk about the specifics that each singer presents as I work with the students who are singing,” Domanski said. “I will also be looking forward to questions from the audience, and leading some audience participation exercises.”
The festival’s student competition and three masterclasses will be held in the Music Building of the Albuquerque Academy, 6400 Wyoming NE.
More than $7,000 in scholarships will be awarded in ceremonies at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 3 in the Academy’s Simms Auditorium. At the same event, the young vocalists receiving scholarships will sing one song each in what is called the Final Awards Concert. And the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Chorus will perform during the concert.
(The Bella Voce Choir will sing at noon Saturday during a “Sandwiches and Song” presentation.)
The festival’s student competition and masterclasses will be held in the Music Building of the Albuquerque Academy, 6400 Wyoming NE.
Two other concerts bookend the festival.
At 7 p.m. Friday, May 2 mezzo-soprano Zander-Wall, baritone Michael Hix, pianist Martha Dalager will perform Gustav Mahler’s “Des Knaben Wunderhorn.” Oliver Prezant will provide notes and commentary. The concert will be in Simms Auditorium.
And at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 4 at First United Methodist Church, downtown Albuquerque, four festival faculty members will perform German lieder – songs by Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms – in the Auf Wiedersehen Concert. The four are Domanski, a Santa Fe resident, baritone David Kravitz of Boston, pianist Herta Werner of Hamburg, Germany and Albuquerque pianist Daniel Cummings.
Werner will also give a lecture on “Das Romantische Deutsche Lied” at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 3 at a Kaffee Klatch in the Academy’s Music Building.
Student-pianists performing as duos will be working with Dennis Alexander at 2 p.m. Sunday at the church.
The festival is a presentation of the Albuquerque Music Teacher’s Association with support from the Meredith Foundation and the University of New Mexico.
All festival events are free and open to the public. A reception follows each concert.
For more information visit http://www.vocalartistryartsong.com
“Art song is such a beautiful and rewarding art form,” Zander-Wall said. “It is exciting that New Mexico has embraced this program and that it has proven to be a positive artistic endeavor that educates and enriches our local culture.”