SFYCA Choral Teachers Workshop

  • Nov 22, 2010
Join us in Eugene at the 2012 Oregon Bach Festival Spend four music-filled days in Eugene and come away refreshed, inspired, and ready with new ideas for leading your high school choirs. This new professional development workshop is held in conjunction with the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy, the only program of its kind in the nation. You’ll participate actively in workshops and attend concerts. You’ll also observe rehearsals of the 85 high school singers of the SFYCA — some of the best in the nation — directed by acclaimed conductors Anton Armstrong,  and Helmuth Rilling. [caption id="attachment_3211" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="The inaugural Teacher's Workshop, July 2010."][/caption]

Gain These Benefits

  • Develop more effective rehearsal techniques
  • Study scores and absorb new techniques to get the most out of performances
  • Reinforce workshop topics as you observe rehearsals with Rilling and Armstrong
  • Develop ways you can take workshop ideas home to your own classrooms
  • Learn about the ways the SFYCA can benefit your students
  • Refresh your craft in a collegial environment
  • Further apply what you’ve learned as you attend OBF concerts
Each full day of activities is divided between an in-depth seminar, attendance at rehearsals or classes of the youth choir, and evening concerts. Sessions take place on the UO campus or in Eugene’s Hult Center for the Performing Arts. Room and three meals a day are available at Barnhart Hall, the University of Oregon residence hall that houses the SFYCA and members of the OBF chorus, orchestra, and conducting master class. All venues are within walking distance of the dorm.


Rehearsal Technique This seminar explores “Teaching with the Brain in Mind,” new knowledge about the how the brain works. Participants will discuss ways to incorporate these findings into classrooms and rehearsals. Seminar material is then compared with methods used by Anton Armstrong. Repertoire Study Each participant receives a packet of scores for study, including pieces to be performed by the SFYCA. This session includes methods of evaluating repertoire for programming. Conducting Coaching On a volunteer basis, participants can step up to the podium for coaching of their conducting technique in a non-threatening, supportive environment. Class members serve as the choir. In other sessions, participants:
  • Observe SFYCA rehearsals and classes including Musicianship, Bodysinging, and Vocal Technique.
  • Attend Q & A sessions with Anton Armstrong and the SFYCA staff.
  • Attend rehearsals of Oregon Bach Festival main event concerts.


The Oregon Bach Festival  features a stellar lineup of choral orchestral masterworks, guest artists, and special events.  Dates for the 2012 Festival are June 29 - July 15. 

Workshop Dates and Fees

The 2012 SFYCA Choral Teachers Workshop is scheduled for July 6 - July 9. Those arriving from out of state may need to arrive on July 5 and depart July 10. The registration fee is $250 per person and includes all workshop materials and select concert tickets. Other optional costs:
  • Room and Board. Per night: $74 single, $62 per person double. (Housing and three meals per day in the UO dorm that houses OBF musicians)
  • Parking permit for the UO campus is $10 per day.
  • Tickets to other OBF concerts within the time frame at a discount, as schedules permit.
  • One graduate credit available from the University of Oregon for $90. Please contact Elin England for more information.
(Program information and costs subject to change)

Key Personnel

Sharon J. Paul (workshop leader) is professor of music, chair of vocal and choral studies, and director of choral activities at the University of Oregon. She earned her DMA in choral conducting from Stanford University. Dr. Paul served as artistic director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC) and conductor of Chorissima and Virtuose, the organization’s acclaimed performance ensembles, from 1992 to 2000. Under her leadership, the chorus released four compact discs, premiered major works by American composers, and represented the United States at the World Conference of the International Society for Music Education, the Spoleto Festival in Italy, and the Taipei-San Francisco Sister City Celebration in Taiwan. Dr. Paul has presented interest sessions at regional, state, division, and national music conferences, most recently in Vancouver, BC, Oregon, Washington, California, Iowa, and New York. She appears frequently as adjudicator, clinician, and honor choir director throughout the country, with past engagements in New York, Nevada, California, Oregon, Arizona, Idaho, and Hawaii, and upcoming appearances in Florida, Georgia, and as the ACDA Eastern Division High School Women’s Honor Choir conductor in Philadelphia in 2010. University of Oregon choirs under her direction have performed at MENC state and divisional conferences, and at ACDA Northwestern Division conferences. Anton Armstrong (SFYCA conductor) is director of choirs at St. Olaf College and a revered educator. Therees Hibbard (SFYCA movement training specialist) is a longtime member of the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and is assistant professor of choral music, conducting, and choral literature at the University of Nebraska. Helmuth Rilling (OBF artistic director) is known worldwide for his mastery in choral-orchestral repertoire. Information subject to change.  To find out more, call Elin England, (541) 346-5666 or write eengland@uoregon.edu.

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