Today we have a conversation with choral conductor Michael Kemp, who has written several books including The Choral Challenge, Innovative Warm-ups for the Volunteer Choir, Rejuvenating Senior Voices (this book helps choir directors help our singers to deal with the vocal issues that begin to affect them as they age,) and his most recent book, Igniting Choral Rehearsals with Efficiency, Artistry, and Motivation. I had the privilege of helping to edit this last book, and it’s a really excellent and practical handbook for choral conductors looking for ways to approach your choir rehearsals that will not only be more efficient and accomplish more, but also be more fun and stimulating for everyone involved. The book suggests specific areas of focus that we can be looking at simultaneously, in layers, as we work on a piece, rather than saying, “Okay, let’s learn the notes, and then we can work on musicality, or dynamics, or vowel formation, or whatever other elements of the piece need work. And after laying out what some of those layers are, he offers 17 octavos, analyzed and score-marked the way he would to go into a rehearsal, taking the concept out of the theoretical and into something concrete and incredibly practical.
I recorded this interview with Michael over a year ago at the last NPM convention he spoke at (pardon the street noises and sirens!), and I’m delighted to finally be able to get this one out into the world.
Music Heard in Today’s Podcast:
O Lord, Increase My Faith, G-2900 (Orlando Gibbons)
Were you There, G-8911 (arr. Marques L. A. Garrett)
Panis Angelicus, G-8655 (Zack Stachowski)
Sing Amen! the Podcast, with Jennifer Kerr Budziak
Sound by Jim Bogdanich
Sing Amen! opening music: Promenade, by Bob Moore (from Let Every Instrument Be Tuned for Praise, CD-491, from Liturgical Suite #4, G-4789 ©GIA Publications, Inc).
Sing Amen! closing music: Amen, (from More Sublime Chant, CD-459, The Cathedral Singers, Richard Proulx, conductor. ©GIA Publications, Inc.)