The Art of Composing and Arranging for Choirs

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Presenter: Ellen Voth

How can today's composers best write music that is both innovative and accessible? This session will explore strategies for effective choral composing and arranging that can be applied to choirs of all ages - based on music recently written by emerging composers from within Connecticut. Discussion will include creative decision-making about treatment of text, range/tessitura, texture, rhythmic motives, melodic shape and harmonic language. The goal of this masterclass session is to help all of us think creatively and strategically about new music we choose to program, and fuel inspiration for composing and arranging for our own ensembles.

Ellen Gilson Voth is Artistic Director of Novi Cantori (based in Springfield, MA), Artistic Director of the Farmington Valley Chorale (based in Simsbury, CT), and serves on the music faculty of Westfield State University. In past years she has taught at Western New England University, Gordon College and Ithaca College; she has also served as Director of the Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus, Director of the Gordon College Symphonic Chorale, and Assistant Conductor of the New Haven Chorale. A frequently commissioned composer, her works are published by Oxford University Press, E.C.S. Publishing, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and Colla Voce, and have been featured at regional and national conventions of ACDA. Voth received her D.M.A. from The Hartt School, University of Hartford.

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