Festival Workshops

NOTE:  Festival Workshops are normally reserved for persons who have officially registered for the Festival. It may, however, be possible for members of the public to apply for a specific workship if space allows after Festival Registrants have been accommodated. Contact the Registrar for details.

Please note that most time slots involve a choice between two workshops.


Monday, July 11, 10:30 a.m.

Accessible Organ Music - with Peter Nikiforuk St. George’s Cathedral
Join Dr. Peter Nikiforuk as he explores music suitable for Sunday morning and recital use which won’t take a lifetime to learn. The focus will be on new music and also some less well-known music also worth adding to your repertoire. There will be a mix of both hymn-based and free works.
Functional Vocal Training: vocal registers and healthy, reflexive warm-ups for choirs - with Holly Gwynne-Timothy St. George’s Cathedral, Upstairs Hall
Holly Gwynne-Timothy (singer, voice teacher and Director of Melos Choir and Period Instruments) will give an introduction to functional vocal training: the reflexes that govern the vocal registers and how to use this understanding to generate warm-ups for choirs or individuals that release vocal constriction and extend range.

Tuesday, July 12, 10:30 a.m.

Articulation — The Great Paradox in Music - with Felix Hell St. George’s Cathedral
Articulation is part of our daily music making. In fact, it is relevant every single time we attack or release a note. On the organ, I argue, articulation is especially important, because the instrument does not allow us to dynamically alter the sound of each note through a stronger or lighter attack of the key. Too often, articulation is defined by merely differentiating staccato and legato. Articulation is a so much more integral and exciting part of music. This workshop is designed for beginner, intermediate and advanced musicians and aims to help participants independently develop a palette of articulations that help achieve an impeccably transparent tonal fabric while drawing the listener’s attention to the content of the music, rather than articulation itself.

Wednesday, July 13, 3:30 p.m.

Anthem Reading - with Darrell Bryan St. George’s Cathedral, Upstairs Hall
Come and join Darrell Bryan as he presents a workshop on the much loved Choral Anthem. Exploring anthems old and new, this workshop will focus on the rehearsal technique and stylistic interpretation of anthems, as well as the challenges in presenting anthems with community ensembles. Featuring music from simple 2-part arrangements to more complex SATB scoring, this workshop will provide something for every level of church choir in the hopes that you will hear and learn something new about anthem singing.
Preparing for RCCO Written Exams and Keyboard Tests - with David Cameron St. George’s Cathedral
The Chair of the national Examination Committee shares his experience with problems which lose marks for exam candidates. He outlines a number of strategies for effective, confident writing, and for the preparation of keyboard tests. Questions are invited, either on the spot or preferably submitted in advance to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you doubt that the skills required to earn a certificate or diploma would really benefit your career, come and join the discussion!

Thursday, July 14, 9:00 a.m.

Practising Efficiently — or how to spend as little time as possible in the practice room! - with Isabelle DemersSt. George’s Cathedral
Between administrative duties and rehearsals, church musicians typically have little time to practice. This workshop will first discuss healthy habits at the console, including proper posture and good technique. The second part will be devoted to practice strategies, designed to maximize one’s time in the practice room.

Thursday, July 14, 10:30 a.m.

NOTE:  The Thursday morning Music Visualization workshop has been cancelled and two more workshops added. If you have already registered your workshop choice and want to reconsider, please revise your online registration (go to the Registration page and click on the “View or Change Your Existing Registration” link); or contact the Registrar.
Awareness through Movement - with Susan YeeHotel, 2nd floor Ballroom A
The rates of playing-related injuries in musicians vary from 26 to 93 percent. Learning how to prevent and reduce injuries will improve the health of musicians and their ability to play their instrument. Therefore, musicians should be aware of their playing position and how to improve their posture. I verbally guide the participants through a sequence of gentle movements that help reduce pain and stress and improve posture. The lesson will take place in a chair or standing. Many experience deep relaxation and lightness.
Music and Architecture - with Peter Coffman Hotel, 2nd floor Gibraltar Room
Architecture has often been described as “frozen music”, and the relationship between the two art forms is compelling. Both deal with rhythm, both are experienced through time, and most music lovers have experienced the magical harmony between great sounds and great spaces. In this talk, architectural historian and photographer Peter Coffman will peel back the historical layers of this relationship, exploring how music and architecture interweave during the medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods. Musical illustration will be supplied by members of Kingston’s Melos Choir.
The Influence of Clothing and Dance on Baroque Music - with Edgar Tumak Hotel, 2nd floor Ballroom B
The presentation will show the correlation between the aesthetic of noble clothing and dance, and the music of Western Europe in the Baroque era. Snippets of dance sequences, individual dance steps, and period ideas of appropriate movement will be coordinated to the music of Clerambeau, Couperin, Lebegue and others. The influence of noble attire on both these art forms will overlay this analysis both in formal dress and undress (with period understanding of the latter). When one acknowledges that patrons of music were mostly the wealthy (even most clerics) and they were well-informed about dance, the correlations are apparent. Edgar Tumak will provide the dance and costume analysis, with live musical support. There will time for participants to try out various dance pieces on the harpsichord for a critique of style and suitability for dance.

S5 Box