Our second day of the Skype series with professional music artists speaking of their diverse career paths was with Cameron Beauchamp (GRAMMY award-winning member of 'Roomful of Teeth' and jazz trombonist) and Alice Teyssier (part of the International Contemporary Ensemble and just as active in voice as she is on flute. Technological problems during the workshop aside, it was absolutely fantastic to hear these two very different professionals talk about their experiences!
Cameron Beauchamp (pictured above) is a bass in several professional vocal groups, such as Roomful of Teeth and Conspirare. He spoke about his experiences in performing all different styles of music, especially in Roomful of Teeth. He showed us various techniques in throat singing, which was incredible to hear -- he was able to produce very clear overtones. Professor Mello showed us a few recordings, one of them being "The Orchard" (listen for the lowest voice!). When he was asked the infamous question of, "With all the knowledge you have now, what would you tell your undergraduate self if you could?" Cameron answered, "Wake up. Go to class." We all laughed, but he was serious -- remember the reason why you're studying music, why you're in college pursuing what you are, and make a serious commitment and effort to do everything you can. He also advised to "say yes to everything." Don't miss out on the opportunities you have in your time in college, because it could very well be the next step in your professional career.
Next, we had the pleasure of Skyping with Alice Teyssier, a soprano and flutist. She was incredibly well-spoken and she had so much to share. Her mission is to "share lesser-known masterpieces and develop a rich and vibrant repertoire that reflects our era." She spoke of her work in studying and exploring music of the 17th and 18th centuries, but also her work in very new and very contemporary music. Professor Mello played a video of her performing Rolf Riehm's "Pasolini in Ostia". She spoke of how very old music and very new music is actually not so different - because in very old music, you still need to make interpretations as a performer just as much as you would in contemporary music (and perhaps more so because there is less written in the scores). Something that she said that really spoke to me personally was when she gave the advice to "say yes to opportunities you don't think you're good enough for." She encouraged that we challenge ourselves past our perceived skill level because it will make you a better musician and you will rise to the occasion. It will push you past your comfort zone and it will push you to work hard. I believe this is the epitome of how someone can become great and what they do.
These workshops were very well-attended and well-received, and we thank our professor Scott Mello deeply for putting these together! I know I gained a great deal of insight to how diverse the music field can really be.
-Sunhwa Reiner, '16
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