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Tips and tricks from the masters

Conductors and singers benefit from many years of experience of Fred Sjöberg and Henry Leck

On the occasion of the "Walking into the world of choral music" tour in late November, a pedagogical program for choirs and conductors in China, two internationally renowned choral directors – Henry Leck (USA) and Fred Sjöberg (Sweden) – invited to workshops and lectures. The pedagogical program was organized by INTERKULTUR China and the Center for Culture and Arts Shunde and took place in cities like Zhenzhou, Shenzhen and Shunde.

In Shunde the participating choirs including the Shunde Experimental Primary School Choir and the Shunde choir "Athem" benefited from the workshop leaders’ many years of expertise. In particular, the conductors gave valuable advice and tips on how to improve the work with their choir.

Fred Sjöberg recommended them sharing the pleasure of making music, being patient and open-minded, and to preserve the own uniqueness. "In my heart there are no borders between countries. I see and hear all over the world, which gives me new ideas and experiences that I can share with you," said Sjöberg.

Henry Leck focused on the voice’s individuality and technique. He emphasized that a choir had to find its own choral sound. Leck – who created many pedagogical concepts for children's choirs and about the child's voice – worked a lot with images, as a conductor and as a vocal teacher. Many children would have better access to music by understanding the messages through visualizations and own interpretations.

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At the Closing Concert on November 19 in the Performing Arts Center Shunde all participants presented a varied program, which they had been rehearsing over the past few days. The final concert was directed by Sjöberg and Leck.

With the pedagogical workshops a long-cherished dream came true to many participants: once a time performing together with internationally renowned choral experts and thus preparing intensively for the next participation in an international choral competition. Many of them were already interested in joining the 10th World Choir Games 2018 in South Africa.

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