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Tower Seminar- Singing Stories: Training, Text and Context

March 21, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Presenters: Shirley Keane, Jean McGlynn and Gemma Sugrue

Chair: Hannah Fahey

Voices are innate, individual products of their socio-cultural surroundings. From birth, the embodied sounds that our voices make are conditioned by many factors that lie beyond our consciousness – from our individual physiological make up, to the languages that we speak, the sounds and music in our environments, and the various learned behaviors around sound-making that are enforced by culture, performance, gender and a host of other influences. Twenty-first century vocal pedagogy has expanded to include pedagogy for the many different styles of singing that are now commonplace in voice studios, singing examinations and educational institutions. Three significant umbrella categories within current pedagogical discourse include Western Classical, Music Theatre and Contemporary Commercial Music. This seminar invites a speaker from each ‘umbrella’ to share their singing stories, performance projects and pedagogical perspectives.

Shirley Keane trained in both theatre and opera at Rose Bruford College, Guildhall School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. Shirley is a performer whose experience ranges from traditional and contemporary opera roles to mainstream theatre. A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, she has taught and directed with a range of companies including Glyndebourne Opera, Live Music Now, Accademia Solti Te Kanawa, Birkbeck University, Half Moon Young People’s Theatre Co. and is a member of the vocal faculty staff at The Guildhall School of Music. Shirley is the founder and Artistic Director of Limerick based Opera Workshop.

Jean McGlynn trained at Mountview Academy and began her career in London’s West End in productions such as ‘The Beautiful Game’, ‘Witches of Eastwick’ and ‘Les Misérables’. As well as being an accomplished performer, Jean is also a well-known teacher of the arts. She co-directed Bare Space Theatre Co. and now makes performance work as a producer
and director. This includes her one-woman show ‘Lily’, ‘Cabaret des Frîtes’ in The Spiegeltent and her most recent show ‘Songs in Suits’ which sold out Dolan’s Warehouse. Jean continues to develop her musical theatre work and has a number of exciting projects in the pipeline for 2018.

Gemma Sugrue trained at Cork School of Music and is a vocalist and vocal coach based in Dublin. She is the director of vocal tuition centre Voiceworks Studio, which she founded in 2011, and now has 2 branches in Cork and 1 in Kerry. Voiceworks is run by a team of 14 diverse and inspiring vocal coaches training singers of all ages, levels and styles. She completed her contemporary teaching diploma last year and is a board member of Vocology in Practice. Gemma recently featured as the soloist with Jenny Greene and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, recreating 90s dance classics at Electric Picnic and sold out shows at the 3 Arena Dublin, The Marquee Cork and Galway Arts Festival.


March 21, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Theatre 2, Irish World Academy
Ireland + Google Map