Presenters: Charlene Pauls, Sarah Morrison
Location: Cohiba 6-7
All young people should have the right for musical expression, yet young people with special needs are often neglected with respect to vocal music education opportunities. Community and school-based singing ensembles have traditionally focused on performance excellence as a primary goal, which does not always create space for the inclusion of all who wish to sing. This conversation will outline several inclusive vocal music education models as developed by Appleby College and The Oakville Children’s Choir in Ontario, Canada. These programs began with the goal of providing accessible and inclusive vocal music education for all; and they have evolved into positive mentorship models involving music students, children of all abilities, singing teachers, music therapists, and partnering community organizations. Attendees will engage in dialogue about how our work as singers and teachers of singing can transform lives and build community and self-esteem for young people of all ages and abilities.
Charlene Pauls has appeared as a Soprano soloist on concert stages across Canada and internationally, under the baton of such conductors as Robert Shaw, Bramwell Tovey, and Helmuth Rilling. She builds on her background as a professional singer to inform her work as a choral director. Pauls has been affiliated with the Oakville Children’s Choir since 2005, acting as vocal coach, Chamber Choir conductor, and most recently Associate Music Director. Highlights from recent years include winning a gold medal standing at the International Choir Games in Riga, Latvia. She directed and produced the 2016 OCC recording, Shine On. Also in 2016, she became Artistic Director of London’s Pro Musica Choir, a longstanding community chorus of fifty voices. Pauls directs music at the Anglican Church of the Incarnation in Oakville, Ontario, is active as an adjudicator, and frequently presents academic work at conferences across North America.
Sarah Morrison, PhD is celebrating her tenth season as the Artistic Director of the Oakville Children’s Choir and her fifteenth year at Appleby College where she is the chair of the Performing Arts Department and director of Vocal and Choral Music. Morrison is also an adjunct assistant professor at Queen’s University teaching courses on creativity and collaborative learning. Her choirs have been recorded by CBC radio and have won awards at the international level including a Gold Medal at the 8th World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia. She is the 2010 winner of the Leslie Bell Award for Choral Conducting awarded by the Ontario Arts Council. Morrison writes the Youth Choir column for Choral Canada’s Anacrusis and served the board of Choirs Ontario as the Vice-President. She is a frequent conference presenter, guest conductor, and adjudicator in North America.