The students at Ithaca College had the absolute pleasure of learning from Dr. Ryan Beeken, the director of choral studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania! A colleague and friend of our professor Dr. Derrick Fox, Dr. Beeken came here for a whole two days to share his knowledge and expertise. He had previously come to IC back in the beginning of February to conduct the Area All-State HS Women's Choir and I had observed a rehearsal--his dynamic character and genuine enthusiasm was the very first thing I noticed, and he was exactly that when he came to work with us over the past two days! I was personally very inspired by his clear passion for choral music, his constant stream of energy, and the wealth of knowledge he has.
Dr. Beeken (of the many things he did in the past two days) presented an ICACDA workshop called "Pitch is a Specific Address, Not a Zip Code." His focus was how to address pitch issues in developing choirs and how to use effective but engaging techniques to build the sound you want. The workshop was very entertaining, informative, and not surprisingly participatory -- not to mention we had over 25 people attend the workshop! Dr. Beeken talked about various topics including:
I can't possibly do proper justice in explaining the valuable information he gave to us in this workshop (and I'm definitely not half as hilarious!), so I'll give you the next best thing: a video and his PowerPoint! You'll be able to listen and watch the different exercises he had us do, see us run in place with "fire feet," hear us sing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" in 4 different keys at the same time, and even see Dr. Beeken almost throw his shoe at Dr. Fox (!).
The screen is a bit washed out on the recording, so be sure to download the file that is provided underneath the video and follow along. I highly encourage you to watch it and gain something out of it!
-Sunhwa Reiner, ICADCA President-Elect
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