Monday, March 4, 2013

Michael McGlynn and the Anúna International Choral Summer School

 For those of you who are big Michael McGlynn/Anúna fans, especially you here in the US (yes, I also have readers all over the globe- the biggest base is in Russia, a bit surprising to me), I'd like to let you know that Michael will be at Dallas ACDA promoting his Anúna International Choral Summer School. The folks I have met who attended the first offering of this school  are all abuzz with excitement about the experience and this coming summer he has a great cast of guest teachers, including Grammy award-winning American conductor Charle Bruffy. I first met Michael when he came to Chicago for the last national conference in my hometown of Chicago when the final day happened to fall on St. Paddy's Day and the ACDA main conference hotel was also the base hotel for the gigantic Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade. Here is what Michael had to say about that day in his blog:

My experiences to date in the USA have been pretty limited or unrealistic. They usually involve moving daily from place to place on tour with my choir Anúna, or attending business meetings that don’t allow you to get a sense of a city or town except in the most superficial way.  This was one of the reasons why I was very happy to stay in Chicago for a week, although it hadn’t struck me that it was also St. Patrick’s week, and that the city has a huge Irish-American community, ably represented by my friend and local guide Eamonn Cummins.
 My non-choral moments included an architectural boat trip in sub-zero temperatures that was pretty thrilling, a sublime and unexpectedly joyful visit to Old St Patrick’s Church and a silent rugby match being beamed into a bar full of people dressed in green that were oblivious to the unfolding tragic Irish drama on the screen. There was a green river, plastic shamrocks, and hopeful tee-shirts with various slogans on them indicating that the wearer needed some form of close physical congress with you because they were pretending to be Irish for one day only. Maybe they weren’t pretending… having left a country soaking in a mire of negativity, these good-humoured and well-behaved revellers have redefined what it means to be Irish. Ireland isn’t just a place anymore. It’s a state of mind.

Michael and I have stayed in touch over the last two years and we have had some nice conversations about changes in the choral publishing world and other things. I also let him know that my nine year old boy hums Anúna songs around the house- and not my music! Oh well-haha. Recently Michael let me know he would be in Dallas and I offered to get the word out, so here is an intro from him and more info about the summer school:

Michael McGlynn

In 2012 Anúna celebrated its 25th Anniversary. Rather than have a standard "celebration" of what has to be the oddest career C.V. in choral music, I decided to define what it was that makes Anúna so unusual and unique. So, from mid 2012 to early this year we created a choral vocabulary which, surprise surprise, we call "The Anúna Technique". 

While the ideas that define it are simple, they turn many accepted concepts about choral technique on their head. The beauty of this Technique is that it is as simple or as complex as you need it to be, appealing to children and choral professionals equally.

The uniquely isolated nature of Anúna's development has resulted in the announcement of a second Anúna International Choral Summer School which will focus on the practical application of these techniques and its associated ideas.
The Anúna International Choral SummerSchool

In the past quarter century Anúna, Ireland's National Choir,
has gained international recognition as one of the world's 
most original choral ensembles. It is renowned for its 
mesmerising sound and atmospheric stage performances.
Under the guidance of composer/director Michael McGlynn,
Anúna has created specific and effective techniques for both solo 
and choral singers. These techniques are, in many ways, 
revolutionary and yet simple in concept.

This year's Summer School will take place in the beautiful 
setting of Dublin's Merrion Square. The School is suitable
for solo vocalists, choral singers, choral composers, music
students and choral conductors. Michael McGlynn and 
Education co-ordinator/choral clinician Lucy Champion 
will be joined by a panel of international vocal experts. 

Topics will include :
~ Singing workshops focussing on the physicality of singing
~ Individual and group singing lessons
~ Advanced vocal & choral techniques applied practically
~ Lectures, seminars and participatory discussions
~ Social events
~ Participation in a performance with Anúna
~ Analysis and performance of McGlynn's choral music.

Michael McGlynn is rapidly becoming one of the 
best-known writers of choral music today. 
His musical language combines elements of medieval
 and traditional music (modality, complex rhythmic structures,
 ornamentation and drones) with jazz-tinged chordal clusters 
and a distinctive melodic sensibility. 

In 1987 he founded the choral group ANÚNA 

whose repertoire features his compositions 
almost exclusively. His choral music has been
 recorded and performed by Chanticleer, Rajaton,
 the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, the Dale Warland Singers, 
Conspirare, the BBC Singers, Kansas City Chorale, 
Phoenix Chorale and Cantus.

He has led choral workshops in the Netherlands,
 Japan, Sweden, the USA, the UK, Poland and 
most recently at the Shanghai Conservatory in China.

Email for further details and
 registration requirements /

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