August 2015
Bobby McFerrinDavid WormJudi DonaghyRhiannonChristiane KaramJoey Blake

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Circlesongs

August 14, 2015 – August 21, 2015
Location:
Rhinebeck, NY
Course:
SM15-3907-294
Teacher:
Bobby McFerrin, David Worm, Judi Donaghy Vinar, Rhiannon... See More
Tuition:
$1750
SM15-3907-294Bobby McFerrin, David Worm, Judi Donaghy Vinar, Rhiannon, Christiane Karam, Karen Goldfeder, Joey Blake,
Video
Description

“Improvisation involves coming into a situation without rigid expectations or preconceptions. We must keep going forward, fearful or not, and be ready for anything that comes our way. That’s how life is. Remembering that life can be full of surprises is always useful. We’re improvising all the time—it’s good to recognize that.”

—Bobby McFerrin

Join musical adventurer Bobby McFerrin and his team of inspiring teachers for a weeklong workshop in the improvisational singing technique called Circlesongs. Accessible to beginners, yet challenging for even the most advanced, the program invites singers and instrumentalists to embrace the freedom to play, sing, invent, and imagine—in music and in life.

Bobby developed Circlesongs as a solo performer, when he needed other voices to help realize his musical ideas. He gave the audience parts to sing, layering harmonies and rhythms, using call and response, conducting entrances, and spontaneously composing choral pieces. All over the world, he found that Circlesongs created beautiful music and cultivated a deep sense of community and joy. He refined the Circlesongs technique further during years of touring with his group Voicestra. Circlesongs embrace all musical influences: tribal music, Bach, R&B, plainchant, Indian ragas, Balkan folksongs, doo wop, and more. Every song, every voice has a place in the circle.

This experiential workshop cultivates and develops the traditional skills required for ensemble singing—blend, balance, tuning, and sensitivity. Circlesongs also build the fundamentals of musicianship, including harmony, counterpoint, rhythmic precision, and deep listening. Invaluable for all singers and musicians, the practice is especially meaningful for music and voice teachers and group facilitators.

Bobby will be joined by cofaculty David Worm, Judi Donaghy Vinar, Rhiannon, Christiane Karam, Karen Goldfeder, and Joey Blake. Their skills range widely and each brings unique experiences, techniques, exercises, and perspectives. Each module features a combination of large group classes and smaller group seminars with individual faculty. Visit eOmega.org to learn more about each of these gifted teachers.

The program is organized progressively into three modules. Participants are encouraged to come for the full 7-day program. Those who cannot attend the full program may register after February 1 for available spaces in one or more individual modules. Registration is by phone only. Call 877.944.2002.

August 14–21: Friday 7:00 p.m.–Friday 12:15 p.m.
Circlesongs: 7-Day Inclusive
Course 3907-294/Tuition $1,750
This 7-day workshop, open to all levels, from beginners to professionals, includes all three modules. Past participants describe this full week course as a life-changing journey.

August 14–16: Friday 7:00 p.m.–Sunday 12:15 p.m.
Module I: Entering the Circle
Course 3902-295/Tuition $645
Enter the circle for an immersion in sound. This 2-day workshop offers an overview of perspectives on vocal music and improvisation. Module I is open to singers of all levels, from beginners to professionals.

August 16–19: Sunday 7:00 p.m.–Wednesday 12:15 p.m.
Module II: Opening the Circle
Course 4003-296/Tuition $745
Deepen your practice and your skills and explore the myriad ways the Circle can expand. Elective topics include vocal percussion techniques, movement, drawing inspiration from world music, community building, and spiritual practice. Module II is open to all levels with Module I or previous Circlesongs workshop attendance.

August 19–21: Wednesday 7:00 p.m.–Friday 12:15 p.m.
Module III: Holding the Circle
Course 4002-297/Tuition $645
Prepare to bring the workshop back into your everyday life in this 2-day course in leading Circlesongs. Participants practice making music in the moment, developing trust and community, and using the Circlesongs method to teach and develop basic musicianship. This module is ideal for professional singers, conductors, music and voice teachers, students, community organizers, and those building a spiritual practice. Module III is open to all levels with Module I or previous Circlesongs workshop attendance.

What Bobby McFerrin does is not an act; it’s spontaneous invention, celebration, and prayer. The New York Times credits him with sparking the current revival of a cappella music. The beatboxing community claims him as an inspiration, the jazz community claims him as a legend, and the classical world celebrates his innovative spirit. His legendary solo performances and his collaborations with great artists, including Herbie Hancock, Yo-Yo Ma, Chick Corea, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and the Vienna Philharmonic, have toured the world. His latest adventure, spirityouall, is a reimagination of the American folk spiritual tradition. Through it all, his mission is simply this: to invite us all to experience the joy and freedom he feels when he sings. He welcomes the opportunity to encourage individuality, free-thinking, and exploration through his teaching at Omega.

For more information on Bobby McFerrin, visit bobbymcferrin.com or The Official Bobby McFerrin Page on Facebook.

 

“Music for me is like a spiritual journey down into the depths of my soul. I like to think we’re all on a journey into our souls. What’s down there? That’s why I do what I do.”

—Bobby McFerrin


Schedule

August 14–21: Friday 7:00 p.m.–Friday 12:15 p.m.
Circlesongs: 7-Day Inclusive
Course 3907-294/Tuition $1,750

August 14–16: Friday 7:00 p.m.–Sunday 12:15 p.m.
Module I: Entering the Circle
Course 3902-295/Tuition $645

August 16–19: Sunday 7:00 p.m.–Wednesday 12:15 p.m.
Module II: Holding the Circle
Course 4003-296/Tuition $745

August 19–21: Wednesday 7:00 p.m.–Friday 12:15 p.m.
Module III: Squaring the Circle
Course 4002-297/Tuition $645

Teachers
Bobby McFerrin

Bobby McFerrin will always be the guy who sang “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” but he's also the 10-time Grammy Award winner who changed everyone's idea of what voices can do. The New York Times credits him with sparking the current revival of a cappella music. The beatboxing community claims him as an inspiration, the jazz community claims him as a legend, and the classical world celebrates his innovative spirit. Bobby McFerrin's latest album, spirityouall, is a re-imagination of the American folk spiritual tradition and an outpouring of heartfelt joy.

David Worm

David Worm, a founding member of Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra, has remained a regular performer with McFerrin, featured on recordings and touring internationally. A founding member of the a cappella group SoVoSo, the improvisational trio WeBe3, David Worm has more than 50 recording credits as a session singer, vocal percussionist, and songwriter. glasshousemusic.org

Judi Donaghy

Judi Donaghy Vinar has thrived for more than 30 years as a singer, songwriter, director, arranger, and teacher of Jazz, R&B, folk, musical theater, gospel, and Classical music. She has released two cds, Sink or Swing and Ballads and Bossas. judivinar.com

Rhiannon

Rhiannon is a singer, performance artist, composer, and teacher with a vision of music as a vehicle for innovation, healing, transformation, and social change. She has been bringing her blend of jazz, world music, improvisation, and storytelling to audiences for four decades, as a part of Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra and many other performances and collaborations. rhiannonmusic.com

Christiane Karam

Lebanon native Christiane Karam's eclectic vocal style stems from her love for different musical traditions. In addition to peforming, she is an award-winning songwriter and is currently on the faculty of Berklee College of Music where she continues her work of bringing awareness and positive social change through music and the arts. christianekaram.com

Karen Goldfeder has sung repertoire from Gershwin to Penderecki to Machaud to Joni Mitchell with ensembles ranging from Musica Sacra to The Screaming Headless Torsos to her own band Magpie. Jazz, folk, oratorio, new music, free improvisation, early music, South Indian music, opera, musical theatre, and R&B have all shaped her musical perspective. She works with Bobby and his management team to bring Bobby's approach to ensemble singing all over the world, and serves as the program and curriculum coordinator for the Circlesongs workshop.

Joey Blake

Joey Blake, a founding and current member of Bobby McFerrin's a cappella ensemble Voicestra, was also a founding member of the a cappella group, SoVoSo, WeBe3, and the Singing Tribe, which models what is possible in the world by functioning as an international community working together for global unity. joeyblake.com