March 7-10, 2013 will most certainly go down as a transformative and transitional year for the Vann Vocal Institute in Montgomery, Alabama. As many now know, my connection to the Capital City goes back some 20 years. Established in 2007 via gift/bequest from the late Roy D. Vann, the Vann Vocal Institute was created to assist aspiring young vocalists who wish to investigate further, and indeed pursue, the practice of the classical vocal arts. Each year I bring an impressive faculty with me to help accomplish this task.
Montgomery will welcome its largest and most impressive group of musical professionals to date; 8 in all. A weekend packed with lectures, coachings, masterclasses, social gatherings, and an Emerging Artists Recital that provides over $1,800 in prize money to four adjudicated participants, will be one of the local arts community’s most highlighted events of the year. As the Program Director, a post which was offered to me as we established this forum, I take the development of our directive, our faculty, and our participants very seriously.
Originally designed to be an ‘Alabama only’ endeavor, we have now found ourselves experiencing what is known as “The Knock-On” effect. That is to say, college/university and political officials from neighboring states have ‘knocked on our door’ so many times asking us to provide them with an opportunity to participate, that we simply can no longer refuse them. As a result of this, we will also be welcoming our largest ‘participating class’ ever…over 80 strong. Additionally, we will again welcome Beethoven & Co. to the campus of Hungtingdon College. This is perhaps the South’s leading retailer of music and music books, with a panoply of wares available for purchase to enhance the development of our singers.
It is therefore with the utmost respect that I thank President Cameron West of Huntingdon College for providing his entire campus, music building, and its full performance and meeting facilities yet again. President West does this as a public service to the community. I must also thank the complete staff at the Montgomery Symphony who help me administrate this entire affair. An impressive list of private donors and Foundations that provide funding, accommodations, hospitality, a private jet(!), plus an inexhaustible supply of volunteers, will make this entire event the most successful we have yet experienced. Special thanks to Mayor Todd Strange, whose support (both politically and personally) has truly given us legs.
Never one to spoil a surprise, a major announcement regarding the future of the Vann Vocal Institute will be made on the evening of March 7, 2013 at our kickoff party/dinner at the home of one of our most ardent supporters.
Faculty for the 2013 Vann Vocal Institute:
Alan Held, Bass/Baritone
Kathleen Kim, Coloratura Soprano
Kimberly Jones, Lyric Soprano
Beth Clayton, Mezzo-Soprano
Susan Hult, Vocal Coach
Steven Crawford, Head Vocal Coach
Dale Williams, Masterclass Accompanist
David Cangelosi, Masterclass Instructor, Program Director