The Western Wind Workshops in Ensemble Singing

June 24–August 8, 2016
Northampton, MA

Theme for 2016: A Cappella Through the Ages.

  • Session I, three possible workshops: June 24–26 (weekend); June 27–July 2 (5-day), June 24-July 2 (8-day)
  • Session II, three possible workshops: July 29–July 31 (weekend); August 1–6 (5-day), July 29-August 6 (8-day)

Western Wind Workshops are uniquely interactive, intense musical experiences. Each participant is made part of a small ensemble that is guided/facilitated (not conducted) by a member of The Western Wind. In their small ensembles, participants sing an eclectic and intriguing selection of music that might include Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Early American, 19th and 20th-century part-songs, rounds, hymns and folk-songs, jazz, pop, improvisations and more. Through small-group sessions and master-class style seminars, The Western Wind addresses each singer’s individual development, fostering growth in skill and accomplishment. Because the ensembles are formed based on musical skills, the workshop is open to singers at all levels—professionals and amateurs, soloists and ensemble performers, conductors and music teachers.

A Kids Program and a Teen Program for teens 14 and up will take place the first weekend of Session I (June 24–26). The Teen Program may extend over the 5-day period subject to enrollment. These programs run concurrently with the adult program.

Our participants come from a variety of musical backgrounds and have a vast range of experience. The minimum requirements are that you’re able to carry a tune and have a basic familiarity with music notation. If you’re unsure, please give us a call, and we’ll help you out.

Bring Your Group! Pre-existing groups are welcome at Western Wind Workshops. Discounts available on tuition for groups of eight or more.

  • Get a 10% discount if this is your first Western Wind Workshop.
  • A 5% tuition discount is applied for Friends of the Western Wind. Partial scholarships available based on financial need.

The Smith Workshops also offer opportunities to perform in larger ensembles and sing informally in open reading sessions. Our guest faculty members coach and accompany singers in ensemble and solo repertoire from the Renaissance and Early Baroque, as well as in the subtleties of jazz and pop performance.

Optional performance practice classes are available (during 5-day periods only). Past topics have included vocal jazz improvisation and arranging led by Yumiko Matsuoka, and Early Music topics led by Robert Eisenstein.

Contact telephone: