Stillman Music Majors Make Most of Summer
While many students rest during the summer, others make the most of every minute. Clifton Daniels, a Jacksonville, Fla., native that is majoring in music and approaching his junior year at Stillman, participated in the Druid City Opera Workshop for Young Artists.
The seven-day intensive program consisted of classes in stage combat, dance, breathing and yoga for singers along with daily musical coaching. These classes culminated in a program of opera scenes that was presented on May 21, 2011, at the University of Alabama (UA). The UA Opera Theatre sponsors the program, which is run by Dr. Paul Houghtaling, assistant professor of voice and director of opera theatre at UA.
“My life will never be the same because of the classes, the friendships and the love that was displayed over the course of the week,” Daniels said. “It was nice to be able to show others what I had been learning at Stillman, and to see what they had been learning at their prospective schools. It is reassuring to know that the education you are receiving is appreciated by others and that you are learning just what you need to be learning in order to succeed.”
Daniels sang in both Italian and English. “Italian is part of what I was taught at Stillman, so I sang in Italian, but others sang in many different languages. It was amazing,” he said. “My voice coach and professor, Dr. Luvada Harrison, suggested I participate and I am so glad I did. I would encourage any music major to participate as many times as possible,” said Daniels.
Dr. Harrison, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, holds a Doctor of Music degree in Voice with emphasis on Opera Performance from the College of Music at Florida State University, where she was a University Fellow. Dr. Harrison enjoys an active career as a soloist, voice professor and clinician. The recipient of a number of awards, she has performed with symphony orchestras and regional opera companies throughout the United States and Europe. An active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Dr. Harrison was selected to participate in the NATS Summer Internship Program held at Stetson University, where she taught private voice lessons under the tutelage of master teachers, attended various lectures and seminars on vocal pedagogy, and participated in master classes on vocal literature. Dr. Harrison has been at Stillman for three years. She teaches classes in Diction for Singers, Applied Voice, Music Appreciation and Special Topics.
Another of Harrison’s students, Vincent Hale, served as administrative assistant to Dr. Houghtaling. “It was a great opportunity. I learned so much and met so many interesting people. I would love to attend next year as a participant.” Hale sat in on some of the master classes and said he learned a great deal, especially from “The Business of Singing” class. This class taught singers to put together a resume to showcase talents, among other professional tips to help land a coveted role.
Hale has a recital at Capstone Village on Wednesday, June 29, at 3 p.m. When asked if he was nervous, he grinned and said, “No, I am ready. I already have everything picked out. I am performing musical theatre and I have the songs in an order that I think will flow nicely.”
Hale is going into his senior year. His major at Stillman is music and vocal performance. He has plans on attending graduate school after graduation.
Both Daniels and Hale thank Dr. Harrison for playing such an important role in their growth as performers and for helping them to be a part of this educational experience. The thing that both young men remembered most vividly was the phrase that Dr. Houghtaling repeated to them daily, “This is who we are. This is what we do.”
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