Singing Together and Living Together: All Shujitsu International Music Festival With NYU Singers

Singing Together and Living Together: All Shujitsu International Music Festival With NYU Singers

Nancy Shankman (New York University, USA), Ira Shankman (New York University, USA), Laurence Dante (Shujitsu University, Japan), Tohru Nakanishi (Shujitsu University, Japan) and Shinsaku Sugiyama (Shujitsu University, Japan)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8042-3.ch009

Abstract

When students of different cultures come together to learn and make music, a special bond is created, and a sense of community is established. Music is a universal language that unites people of all cultures. From March 9-17, 2018, two choirs from New York University, the Modern Madrigals and the Jazz Choir, joined students from Shujitsu University in Okayama, Japan to exchange ideas and make connections through music. The chapter illustrates how the students of NYU and Shujitsu University achieved kyosei goal by sharing the experience of singing.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

When students from different cultures come together to learn and make music, a special bond is created, and a sense of community is established. From March 9 to 17, 2018, two choirs from New York University, the Modern Madrigals and the Jazz Choir, visited Japan and joined Shujitsu University students and exchanged ideas and made connections through music. In this chapter, followed by an introduction of two different New York University choirs, the authors illustrate how the NYU and Shujitsu University students achieved kyosei goals through sharing the experience of singing. The study, explained in more detail in the following sections, illustrates the fact that music is a universal language that unites people of all cultures. Peer learning and communication occurs beyond words and in and through music.

The NYU Modern Madrigal Singers, directed by Nancy Shankman, the author of this segment, is a small, coed ensemble of 16 singers dedicated to the joy of a capella singing. Their challenging repertoire includes a wide variety of music from Renaissance Madrigals to Contemporary Theater, King Singers originals and all things in between. The group is trained to perform without a conductor. Singers are selected through university wide auditions. They work to develop excellent sight reading skills, and sing in quartets rather than sections; soprano, alto, tenor, bass, in order to learn how to blend their voices to sound like one. Vocalizations to increase range, advanced breathing techniques and develop listening skills are practiced at every rehearsal. Students often warm up in a circle, in the dark, with particular attention to improving pitch.

The Modern Madrigals are unique in many ways, including its number of singers, style of repertoire, execution of production and members’ expertise as musicians. The Modern Madrigals is a choral ensemble of 16-20 vocalists, dedicated to the joy of a capella singing. Their challenging repertoire includes everything from Renaissance to Rock, and the singers are trained to perform a capella, without a conductor, from memory. Every piece of music performed is staged or choreographed. Students are accepted by audition only, and must demonstrate good vocal technique and quality, as well as proficiency in sight reading.

The NYU Jazz Choir, based in New York City, is a unique ensemble dedicated to exploring the colorings of vocal jazz. The choir draws its repertoire from the traditional standards of jazz greats and contemporary arrangements from popular jazz groups including the Real Group, New York Voices, Manhattan Transfer, and the King Singers. Singers’ voices unite in exquisite harmonies and rhythms distinct to jazz to help promote the art form in new ways while respecting its cultural roots, performing either acapella or with a jazz trio. With an emphasis on swing and bebop styles, the choir utilizes many strong vocal soloists who present their own voices through improvising and scatting around a melody. The singers are selected by audition from all departments in the university.

In addition to participating in the fall and spring concerts at NYU, the ensemble pursues its mission to bring music to the local community by performing at public and private schools, such as the George Jackson Academy, and hospitals and senior centers including the Hallmark Senior Residence in Battery Park City. The Modern Madrigal Singers also take their program to organizations such as the Salmagundi Arts Club and others dedicated to supporting the arts. They perform for special events at holiday times, such as at Saks Fifth Avenue Department Store, the “Good Morning America” television program, and at various private corporations. With the contributions collected from these appearances, they accumulate funds which help defray the cost of concert tours around the world. They traveled to Beijing in 2010 to perform at ISME, the United Arab Emirates in 2012 to perform at El Al University, The American University and NYU at Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, Japan in 2014 where they performed at a special concert for the victims of the Tsunami, Prague in 2016 and Okayama, Japan in 2018.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset