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Tuscany Jazz and World Music Summer School
Certaldo, Italy, 17–25 August 2009

Pete Churchill, UK Vocals
Clare Foster, UK Vocals
Alyth McCormack, Scotland Vocals
Nikki Iles, UK Piano
Gilad Atzmon, UK Saxophones and clarinet
Edward Simon, Venezuela/USA Piano, Latin music workshop
Duncan Hopkins, UK/Canada Bass
Aldo Zunino, Italy Bass
Sandro Gibellini, Italy Guitar
Felix Gibbons, UK Percussion, Samba workshop
Stephen Keogh, Ireland Drums, Pulse workshop
Alfred Kramer, Italy Drums

The course provides first-class tuition and many opportunities to listen and perform. And, in keeping with GMF's philosophy, the course takes a broad view of music-making; the instrumental, vocal, rhythmic and physical disciplines together lead the participant towards new levels of understanding, concentration and awareness.

For the vocalists

The course for singers this year at Certaldo will focus on working both as a large group, and with instrumentalists as part of a band. Various aspects of the singer's craft will be covered in classes that range from the study of song-form and lyric writing to issues of time and feel. There will be help with finding repertoire and guidance on working with the text in performance. Over the week the students will also gain skills in chart preparation (including transposition) and how to connect with the rhythm section.

Whilst there will be some opportunity for singers to work on repertoire through the song class and a chance for them to sing individual songs in the evening, a strong component of this course will be the work done as a vocal group and then as part of an ensemble with the instrumentalists. In the course choir students will be working on a wide range of repertoire, including Gospel, South African, Brazilian and Folk music. In addition there will be an opportunity to sing some unique choral arrangements of music by Kenny Wheeler, Ralph Towner and James Taylor.

This course is ideal for those singers who are serious about improving their skills. Sight-reading is certainly not a pre-requisite (much of the choir music will be taught by ear) and likewise, an understanding of music theory, whilst useful, is not a requirement for coming on the course. It is more important to come with an open mind, a love of jazz, Latin and Celtic music, and a desire to improve.

Throughout the week each singer will also have a chance to work on their piano skills with Nikki Iles in a one-to-one session. This is a 'supportive study' for each student to give them an opportunity to review what they have gathered from the course and to devise appropriate ways of practising their skills.

The vocal ensemble session will be dedicated to group singing. Each day we will feature a different genre of choral music - some taught by ear and some from notation and the focus will be on the appropriate learning process for the music in question. For some this session will also serve as a master-class in vocal arranging.Group singing is an important part of the day. Learning to blend as an ensemble raises important issues of time and feel not to mention aspects of intonation and diction. It is hoped that as well as serving to foster a feeling of community amongst the participants each singer can also take what they learn from this session and apply it to their individual song performances.

The skills session will cover different aspects of the singer's craft. There will be a strong focus on the 'song' itself and through analysis we will gain a greater appreciation of the available repertoire. With a greater understanding of the 'song' - especially the text - singers can, if they so wish, progress to writing their own lyrics to existing instrumentals.In this session we will also learn where to look for the best songs and how best to prepare them for the rhythm section. This 'skills' session is all about becoming more self-sufficient.

The small band session where singers work together with the instrumentalists a part of a small band. This can take the form of performing a song with the band or acting as another horn player as part of the group.

The song masterclass offers the chance for all singers to take what they have learned from the Ensemble and Skills classes and to apply this to their individual performance. In a 'Master-class' situation each singer will work with an expert accompanist (Nikki Iles and Pete Churchill on piano) to prepare repertoire for the evening 'jam-session'.

Tuscany Jazz and World Music Summer School

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Tuscany Jazz and World Music Summer School

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Tuscany Jazz and World Music Summer School

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1 Palazzo Pretorio, Certaldo Alto 2 GMF tutors in concert, Certaldo Alto 3 GMF vocal students in concert

Disclaimer: Global Music Foundation exists solely to promote understanding of music and the arts. Any personal views which may be expressed by individual tutors or students at GMF events do not necessarily represent those of the Global Music Foundation or its directors.