SFBACC Workshop #3: Phonemes First

Phonemes First

A vocal workshop with James Toland

August 1, 2021, 6-9 p.m.

As part of SFBACC’s series of workshops, we’re happy to announce that James Toland, renowned vocal coach, is going to lead our next session.

This workshop will focus on many aspects of proper singing and understanding of the singer’s instrument. Some of the topics included will be:

  • Diction
  • Onset and release
  • Quiet, relaxed breathing
  • Warm-up exercises focusing on vowel formation
  • Warm-up exercises focusing on voiced and unvoiced consonants
  • Understanding the relationship between consonants and vowels
  • Proper approach and formation that leads to easier and more beautiful sound and breathing
  • Steps for learning music
  • Practice techniques to better ingrain concepts and ideas

The workshop will be presented as an expanded voice lesson with participation by selected singers and volunteers to help demonstrate the concepts and principals that discussed. A Q&A section will be interwoven throughout the workshop so Jim can address problems and questions from individual singers, both in-person and via Zoom. You can submit questions in advance or ask them through the Zoom chat during the event. (Please send questions in advance to melaniespiller.editor@gmail.com.)

Two exercises from the “Vaccai Practical Method of Italian Singing” will be used for demonstration purposes in the workshop. A link for download and printing will be provided with your registration confirmation. Please print them out in advance of the session.

A list of reference works will also be provided for singers to further research the topics covered in the workshop.

The Details:

Time and date: August 1, 6-9 p.m.
Location: Riggers Loft Wine Company/R&B Cellars, Inc.
1325 Canal Blvd.
Richmond, CA 94804

Zoom link will be sent shortly before the workshop.

Cost: $10 via Zoom, $20 in-person (in-person is limited to the first 20 registrants)

SFBACC members will be given priority for the in-person participation, but the cut-off is July 23rd. After that, it’s first come, first served.

When you register, you will have the option of paying through PayPal, or you can send a check.

Safety considerations:

  • Vaccination proof must be shown for in-person participants before or at the event. Photocopies and phone images are acceptable.
  • Masks will be worn inside the building and during singing. For individual demonstrations, a single singer will remove their mask, standing six feet from the clinician and facing sideways to the rest of the singers.

JTVA Founder and General Director James Toland has been a private voice teacher for the past thirty years. His students have performed in major opera houses and on concert stages throughout the world. He has served in recent years as a master teacher for the prestigious San Francisco Girls Chorus, and has taught for the Piedmont Children’s Chorus and Young Women’s Choral Projects of San Francisco. Mr. Toland was director of the Pacific Masterworks Chorus (now renamed Chorus Eclectic) from 2014-2020. Currently, he is an adjunct professor teaching voice and opera at the Collinsworth School of Music at California Baptist University.

Mr. Toland has been a clinician for multiple choral groups such as the Peninsula Women’s Chorus, Cantare Con Vivo, the Young Women’s Choral Projects of San Francisco, the choirs of Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota as well as the University of Tennessee. He led the chorus of Festival Opera in Walnut Creek, California for seven years. In addition, he has served as the vocal coach for the musical theater productions of the Diablo Theatre Company. He has been a frequent adjudicator for numerous voice competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In the early 2000s, he served on the board of directors of Festival Opera, as well as Livermore Opera. Prior to his work in the Bay Area, he spent more than a decade as the artistic director of the Eugene Opera, where his stage direction was featured in an NPR segment of “All Things Considered.” Prior to that, he was the company manager of Texas Opera Theater, the touring arm of Houston Grand Opera.

We’re really looking forward to seeing you there!

Your SFBACC Workshop Committee, Melanie Spiller, Pat Jennerjohn, and Kevin Brown

[give_form id=”15870″]