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A history of the first fifty years of the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix

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ABSTRACT The Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix occupies and maintains an historical place in the musical and civic history of the City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona. Organized in November, 1929, the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix (OMC)

ABSTRACT The Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix occupies and maintains an historical place in the musical and civic history of the City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona. Organized in November, 1929, the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix (OMC) is the only performing arts organization in Phoenix that can claim eighty-one years of continuous performance. The chorus gained popularity locally, nationally, and internationally in its first five decades. The breadth of the chorus's recognition began to decline in the latter part of the 20th century, but the chorus still retains a loyal following of audience members. This study focuses on the first fifty years of the OMC, especially the period from 1946 to 1979, the years the chorus was under the direction of Ralph Hess. Through his leadership the group's popularity and recognition reached a peak, thanks largely to his emphasis on civic responsibility, ties to service organizations, and musical ability and showmanship. No scholarly publications exist regarding this organization. Several boxes of memorabilia housed in the Arizona Historical Society Museum in Tempe, Arizona, serve as the primary source of material for this study. Concert programs supply information about concert repertoire, advertising, and chorus history. Newspaper articles from local and international press offer reviews, announcements, and media perceptions of the chorus. Information illustrating the abundant civic engagement of the OMC appears in proclamations and awards from local, state, national, and international personalities. This objective information helps propel the story forward, as do the personal letters and stories contained within the collection. Because many documents from the latter part of the 1970s are missing, the primary source information becomes more anecdotal and subjective. This study illustrates some of the ways in which the OMC went beyond mere survival to occupy a significant place in the musical life of Phoenix. Engagement in civic and social functions and support for non-profit organizations established the chorus as more than just a musical ensemble. Their pursuit under Hess of "Cultural Citizenship" earned them international recognition as civic leaders and ambassadors of goodwill.

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2010

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Pregnancy and postpartum: a guide for singers

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The trained singer utilizes an awareness of her body as an instrument. When she becomes pregnant, her body changes in numerous ways to support the pregnancy. Many of these changes have great impact on her ability to sing during the

The trained singer utilizes an awareness of her body as an instrument. When she becomes pregnant, her body changes in numerous ways to support the pregnancy. Many of these changes have great impact on her ability to sing during the pregnancy and postpartum periods. The voice may be altered positively or negatively by the release of hormones. The body undergoes many changes that affect the posture and breathing required for singing. Most notably, the abdominal muscles are greatly impacted by the pregnancy. They are stretched by the growing uterus, and this affects their function. In addition, the linea alba (the connective tissue between the halves of the rectus abdominis) is softened by hormonal increases and subject to stretching as the uterus grows, predisposing it to weakness. Since the other abdominal muscles attach to the linea alba via connective tissue, maintaining the integrity of the linea alba during pregnancy and postpartum is vital to the operational function of the abdominal muscles. Protecting the vulnerable linea alba must be deliberately undertaken in two parts. First, conscious exercise is needed to preserve the linea alba during pregnancy and to rehabilitate it after pregnancy. Targeted exercises strengthen the transverse abdominis and shorten and approximate the two halves of the rectus abdominis. Second, modifications in daily movement are necessary to protect the linea alba while performing routine activities. Cesarean sections present additional surgical concerns for singers, including abdominal incisions, use of medication, and the rare need for general anesthesia via intubation. Recovery from a cesarean can be difficult due to abdominal pain, yet steps may be taken to speed healing at the hospital and at home. This paper provides an overview of how pregnancy affects the singer, discusses the effects of pregnancy and cesarean section, and provides a plan to protect the abdominal muscles during pregnancy and rehabilitate them in the postpartum period. It combines information from the fields of physical therapy, medicine, and surgery into a guide for the singer and voice teacher.

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Date Created
2013

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Vocal pedagogy at the end of the twentieth century: revealing the hidden instrument

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The teaching of singing remained remarkably stable until, at the end of the twentieth century, advances in the understanding of voice science stimulated dramatic changes in approach to vocal pedagogy. Previously, the technology needed to accurately measure physiologic change within

The teaching of singing remained remarkably stable until, at the end of the twentieth century, advances in the understanding of voice science stimulated dramatic changes in approach to vocal pedagogy. Previously, the technology needed to accurately measure physiologic change within the larynx and breath-support musculature during the process of singing simply did not exist. Any prior application of scientific study to the voice was based primarily upon auditory evaluation, rather than objective data accumulation and assessment. After a centuries-long history, within a span of twenty years, vocal pedagogy evolved from an approach solely derived from subjective, auditory evidence to an application grounded in scientific data. By means of analysis of significant publications by Richard Miller, Robert Sataloff, and Ingo Titze, as well as articles from The Journal of Singing and The Journal of Voice, I establish a baseline of scientific knowledge and pedagogic practice ca. 1980. Analysis and comparison of a timeline of advancement in scientific insight and the discussion of science in pedagogical texts, 1980-2000, reveal the extent to which voice teachers have dramatically changed their method of instruction. I posit that voice pedagogy has undergone a fundamental change, from telling the student only what to do, via auditory demonstration and visual imagery, to validating with scientific data how and why students should change their vocal approach. The consequence of this dramatic pedagogic evolution has produced singers who comprehend more fully the science of their art.

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2013

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Singers and sound: an introduction to Tomatis-based listening training for singers

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ABSTRACT This document introduces singers and voice teachers to Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis's listening training method with a particular emphasis on its relevance to singers. After presenting an overview of Tomatis's work in the field of audio-psycho-phonology (circa 1947 through

ABSTRACT This document introduces singers and voice teachers to Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis's listening training method with a particular emphasis on its relevance to singers. After presenting an overview of Tomatis's work in the field of audio-psycho-phonology (circa 1947 through the 1990s) and specific ways that aspects of his theory are relevant to singers' performance skills, this project investigates the impact of listening training on singers by examining published research. The studies described in this document have investigated the impact of listening training on elements of the singer's skill set, including but not limited to measures of vocal quality such as intonation, vocal control, intensity, and sonority, as well as language pronunciation and general musicianship. Anecdotal evidence, presented by performers and their observers, is also considered. The evidence generated by research studies and anecdotal reports strongly favors Tomatis-based listening training as a valid way to improve singers' performance abilities.

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Date Created
2012

Benefits of yoga pranayama, asana, and meditation techniques for classically trained singers and voice educators

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The purpose of this study is to examine and explore Hatha Yoga and how it relates to a practice consisting of singer-friendly yoga postures, how these postures may benefit the singer's mental and physical health, and how these techniques relate

The purpose of this study is to examine and explore Hatha Yoga and how it relates to a practice consisting of singer-friendly yoga postures, how these postures may benefit the singer's mental and physical health, and how these techniques relate to designated research. The study also investigates yogic breathing techniques and how these exercises relate to selected research. Lastly, the paper examines how the voice student and professional singer may alleviate anxiety by introducing a practice of daily yogic mediation of mudra and mantra techniques, and how voice teachers may better understand and assist their students with stage performance anxiety.

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2014