WORKSHOPS for Janaury 30
@ 9:30 AM Lighten up: The Alexander Technique for Musicians
Alexandra Kassouf, certified Alexander Technique teacher (AmSAT)
@ 11:00 AM Vocal Tune Up: Self-care for Singers
Tanya Kruse, Associate Professor, Voice and Opera Theatre, UWM
@12:30 PM Mindful Performances: Where Preparation and Confidence Intersect
Mark Davis, Jazz Pianist; Artistic Director, Milwaukee Jazz Institute
@ 2:00 PM Repair and Maintenance for Your Stringed Instrument
Korinthia Klein, Luthier; Owner, Korinthia Violins
Lighten up: The Alexander Technique for Musicians
with Alexandra Kassouf
Alexandra Kassouf, soprano, has been praised as “truly a one-of-a-kind artist, possessing exceptional gifts in singing, dancing, movement, and stage presence.” She recently returned to Queen City Opera, where she “oozed personality and sang brightly” through the role of Ännchenin Der Freischütz.
Combining movement with classical singing, Alexandra has written several performance pieces, which she has presented as part of the Performance and Time Arts series at Contemporary Dance Theater (Cincinnati). Her first piece, Boundaries, has been called “one of the top five” pieces presented at the long-standing performance art series. Other PTA performances include dancing with Bloom Dance Project and a premiere of songs from a cycle by Sarah Hutchings.
Here is what Alexandra says about the Alexander Technique; “It is a way of learning to find more ease by undoing your habitual tensions. It isn’t a discipline or a set of exercises. It also isn’t something you have done to you. By participating in a lesson, you are learning to think in activity and can begin to change your habits. The Alexander Technique can help you to improve your level of comfort and efficiency in whatever activities you are already doing. I initially became interested in the technique as a way to help me become a better singer. It didn’t take me long to realize that lessons were providing me a foundation of ease and freedom from which to move. That quality of being has allowed me to improve my experience of many of the activities of everyday life, not to mention activities that require training and skill”.
Alexandra earned a Master of Music degree from College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she also studied dance. Alexandra is a certified Alexander Technique teacher (AmSAT).
@ 11:00 AM
Vocal Tune Up: Self-care for Singers
with Tanya Kruse
Tanya Kruse holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music (Cum Laude) from Luther College, a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and a Doctor of Vocal Performance with a cognate in Opera Stage Directing from the same institution. She completed all three levels of Somatic Voicework™: The LoVetri Method, at The Contemporary Commercial Music (musical theatre, jazz, pop, blues, soul, country, folk, and rock styles) Vocal Pedagogy Institute in July 2015. She was an invited masterclass clinician at the Chautauqua Institution Voice Program in the summer 2017. Kruse will be an Artist Teacher at La Musica Lirica, an International Opera Festival in Novafeltria, Italy, in the summer of 2018.
Kruse, Associate Professor of Voice and Opera and Voice Area Head, has been on the voice faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since 2003 and previously taught at Luther College. In 2013/14, she received a UWM “Student Success Award” and “First Year Student Success Award,” recognizing her excellence in teaching. At UWM, she teaches undergraduate and graduate students including voice lessons for classical singers as well as those training in musical theatre and other contemporary styles, Voice Pedagogy, Italian Diction for Singers, Song Literature, and Opera Workshop/Productions. Her students are currently singing in professional musical theatre and opera productions and have won top prizes in competitions such as the Lotte Lenya Competition, Czech and Slovak International Voice Competition, Hal Leonard Vocal Competition, and the NATS National Student Auditions. Recently, her student won first prize in the upper college women division of the National Student Auditions in Boston, was a first-place winner in the Wisconsin District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and was a Finalist (one of 10 in the country) in the National MONC Auditions, singing with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in the spring of 2015.
A frequent undergraduate research fellow mentor at UWM, favorite topics include voice pedagogy and teaching contemporary singing styles. She is a past president of the Wisconsin Chapter of NATS and is also a graduate of the NATS Intern program where she studied with Dr. Scott McCoy. She is a past winner of the Wisconsin District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and formerly served as a co-director for the MONC Auditions in Wisconsin. Kruse has appeared as soloist in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solonnelle, Barber’s Prayers of Kierkegaard, Verdi’s Requiem, Strauss’s Vier letzte Lieder, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Solemn Vespers, Vaughan-Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5, and more. In the 2014/15 season, Kruse was a soloist with the Wisconsin Philharmonic, the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Milwaukee Opera Theatre. In 2014, Kruse and Elena Abend released a CD on Albany Records titled, “Over the Fence: Songs of Elsa Respighi, Lori Laitman, and Modesta Bor,” which contains two world premiere recordings.
Mindful Performances: Where Preparation and Confidence Intersect
with Mark Davis
Mark Davis is an accomplished pianist and an influential educator who has performed with jazz luminaries Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, Benny Golson, Slide Hampton, Tom Harrell, Jimmy Heath, Brian Lynch, Charles McPherson, Frank Morgan, and Phil Woods, among others. He is the founder and artistic director of the Milwaukee Jazz Institute. He also teaches privately and is on the music faculty of Alverno College. Mark is the author of two top-selling books, the Hal Leonard Jazz Piano Method and the Hal Leonard Jazz Piano Method Book 2. He is a founding member of the group We Six, which just released a new album entitled Vivid Dreams. www.markdavismusic.com.
The Milwaukee Jazz Institute was created by dedicated jazz musicians and supporters who have a passion for preserving this music and passing it on for future generations to develop. Milwaukee has had a long and vibrant jazz history, and we look to continue the legacy of Tony King, Manty Ellis, Berkeley Fudge, Buddy Montgomery, David Hazeltine, and others who led the way. We collaborate with other organizations that share our vision of how this music can become an even more significant factor in shaping, revitalizing, and improving our city. We hope that MJI will be instrumental in furthering jazz in Milwaukee for many generations to come. www.milwaukeejazzinstitute.org
@ 2:00 PM
Repair and Maintenance for Your Stringed Instrument
with Korinthia Klein, Luthier; Owner, Korinthia Violins
Korinthia Klein is a violin maker, writer, musician, and mother of three living in the Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee. Originally from Michigan, she has a BA degree in music from The Ohio State University with distinction in Music Cognition. She has performed with the York Symphony Orchestra in York, PA and the West Shore Symphony Orchestra in Harrisburg, PA. Currently she plays viola with Milwaukee's Festival City Symphony and mandola with the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra. She was on the faculty of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music for about 20 years. Korinthia completed a four year apprenticeship at the New World School of Violin Making in 2000, and worked for several years doing repairs and rehairs at Classical Strings before opening her own shop in 2008. You can follow her adventures in parenting and violin making on her blog.
Korinthia is the author of My Violin Needs Help! A Repair Diagnostics Guide for Players and Teachers. She is the co-owner and operator of Korinthian Violins. She builds violins and violas, does instrument repairs and bow rehairs, and can solve your Rubik's cube if you haven't rearranged the stickers. www.korinthianviolins.com