High school students visit for Vocal Day

Courtesy Photo / Robert McIver
Robert McIver

Courtesy photo

Courtesy Photo / Robert McIver Robert McIver

Matt Oberski

High school students from all over Michigan are coming to Grand Valley State University Oct. 19 to see if they have what it takes to be part of the vocal music department.

High School Vocal Day gives prospective students a chance to check out GVSU’s Allendale Campus, meet music department faculty members, and attend a master class hosted by guest artist Robert McIver, professor at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

McIver, who has been working with college vocal programs for more than 40 years, said he has always been fascinated with teaching.

His father was a college professor and choral conductor, and his mother was an elementary music teacher. With all this influence at home and school, teaching music came naturally.

“I just decided that’s what I wanted to do with my life,” McIver said.

He said the master class for High School Vocal Day is an interaction between high school students and himself. Students will perform for him, so he can give feedback and constructive criticism about what they can work on while in high school and possibly as GVSU students.

The two-day event begins Friday with two master classes by McIver for high school students, with private sessions with GVSU students afterward, and continues Saturday.

“We’ll be dealing with vocal technique, how they produce sound, and how that production can be improved,” McIver said.

The master classes will also provide insight into how students can effectively interpret the repertoire they perform.

“I try to teach all students of the responsibility they have to their gift,” McIver said. “If you want to do it seriously, you have to devote yourself to it every day.”

Dale Schriemer, GVSU associate professor of music, said High School Vocal Day shows students around campus and the benefits of GVSU’s music department.

“We want students to feel like an individual on campus, and not just one of the masses,” Schriemer said.

The event is to show students the opportunities GVSU offers. “You can’t do that in a brochure,” Schriemer said. “You have to experience what that is.”

Schriemer said the music department sent out emails to high school directors to try and get the most interested students possible attending High School Vocal Day.

“It’s a very high level opportunity to study and learn,” Schriemer said. “We’re trying to attract the highest possible talent.”
The master classes are free and open to the public, held in the Performing Arts Center on GVSU’s Allendale Campus.

For more information about High School Vocal Day, or the music department, contact Schrimer at [email protected]
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