Big Stone Gap — Mountain Empire Community College will offer new vocal classes and workshops during the week of Mountain Music School, July 24-28.
Instructor Trish Ferrell Wileman will lead “S.O.A.R. to New Singing Heights,” which introduces basic vocal tools to maximize breath control and usage, improve vocal range, breath for relaxation, and more. Instruments are welcome but not required. A towel or yoga mat is needed. All skill levels are welcome in the class. The fee for the vocal class, “S.O.A.R. to New Singing Heights” is $150.00 for the week. The fee covers instruction in the class, lunch, master musician concerts, workshops, and a Mountain Music School t-shirt.
During the same week, Wileman will also lead a workshop, “Out Loud, Sing Out Strong” for students of all skill levels who want to step out in a class format to receive individual instruction along with the support of other classmates. Topics covered in this fun workshop include vocal technique, finding your best key, best performance practices, and best practice techniques. The workshop is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Thursday, July 24-27, in the Goodloe Center, Phillips-Taylor Hall.
Wileman has enjoyed a colorful palate of experience in the arts world. Acting and singing from the age of six, she has played leading roles in theater, opera, oratorio, and musical theater performances from St. Petersburg, Florida to Washington, DC. Wileman teaches both voice and acting privately, and is a frequent judge for the NAACP vocal competition as well as other vocal contests. She has a Masters in Choral Conducting from the University of TN at Chattanooga.
MMS Instructor Rhodyjane Meadows will lead a second vocal workshop, “Shape Note Singing for Harmony Singing.” Participants will learn the basics of shape note singing, a technique used since the early 1800s to teach church congregations and community choirs to read hymnals and sing in four-part harmony. The workshop is scheduled for 2 to 3 p.m., Monday to Thursday, July 24-27 in Phillips-Taylor Hall.
Singer, songwriter, storyteller and musician Rhodyjane Meadows is a native of Big Stone Gap, VA and currently resides in Roan Mountain, TN. Meadows, a former public school teacher, holds a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina and a M.A. in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University. She currently serves as an instructor of arts at Lees McRae College and heritage music at Mountain Music School with Mountain Empire Community College. Meadows performs with several bands playing old time and Celtalachian music.
To register for vocal classes or workshops, please contact the MECC Wampler Library at 276.523.7468 or register online at www.mountainmusicschool.org.