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American Voices

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November 22-24, 2013 The Kennedy Center Washington, D.C.
Acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming curates an unprecedented three-day festival exploring the past, present, and future of American singing. In engaging master sessions, illuminating panel discussions, and thrilling performances, American Voices brings together some of the nation's top vocalists and industry professionals in popular, jazz, country, Broadway, gospel, and classical music to celebrate the very best of American vocalism.
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Master Sessions & Symposia

Dr. Linda M Carroll

Vocal Health and Illness: Insights into the Past, Present, and Future

Dr. Linda M Carroll, speech-language pathologist and voice trainer, is an internationally-recognized voice clinician with over 30 years experience as a rehabilitation specialist. Although a specialist for performers, Dr. Carroll also treats patients who have high voice use demands, complicated voice issues, or severe dysphonia.  She has extensive experience in treating patients with a variety of organic and functional voice disorders, including nodules, paralysis/paresis, scar/sulcus, polyps, polypoid corditis, edema, cysts, laryngeal sicca, atrophy, laryngospasm, Parkinson's, GERD/LPR, musculoskeletal tension,  functional dysphonia, and conversion disorder.

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Dr. Thomas Cleveland

Country Master SessionVoice Training Today

Dr. Thomas F. Cleveland is Director of Vocology at the Vanderbilt Voice Center and Professor of Otolaryngology in the School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, where he is involved in team management and care of the singing voice. A former Fulbright Scholar at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, Dr. Cleveland has lectured in Australia, Brazil, England, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States and is the author of more than 80 articles on singing that have been published in various journals.

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Anthony Freud

Classical Panel

Anthony Freud became general director of the Lyric Opera of Chicago in October 2011. In addition to directing the company's artistic and business operations, he led an in-depth strategic planning process with the Board of Directors, conceived of and launched the Lyric Unlimited initiative, and is forging important new relationships with a variety of other cultural organizations. Freud is the fourth general director in Lyric's 58-year history. Carol Fox, the company's founding general director (1954-1980), was succeeded by Ardis Krainik (1981-1997), who in turn was succeeded by William Mason (1997-2011). Mason is Lyric's first general director emeritus.

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Edith Bers

Classical Panel

Edith Bers is professor of voice and chair of the voice department at The Juilliard School, where she has served on the faculty since 1985. She is also a member of the voice faculties at Manhattan School of Music, Curtis Institute of Music (adjunct), Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program, Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artists Development Program. She has taught at numerous summer festivals including Ravinia Festival's Steans Music Institute, Bel Canto Institute (Florence), Aspen Music Festival and School, and Orford Festival (Canada). She has given master classes at Symposium on the Care of the Professional Voice, Aspen Music Festival, Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition, Juilliard-Hong Kong master classes at Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and Korean Broadcasting System, among others. She has served as adjudicator for Concert Artists Guild, Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition (Brussels), and the Montreal International Musical Competition in Voice.

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Matthew Horner

Classical Panel

Matthew Horner is currently Senior Vice President and Director of the vocal division of IMG Artists, New York where he has worked since 2000. His roster includes such international singers as Eric Owens, Susan Graham, Lawrence Brownlee, Catherine Malfitano, Frederica von Stade, David Daniels, Alice Coote, Danielle de Niese, Angela Meade, Susanna Phillips, Albina Shagimuratova, Kyle Ketelsen, Amber Wagner, Brian Mulligan, Brandon Jovanovich, and James Valenti as well as many important emerging young American singers. He has served as a judge for numerous vocal competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council (both District and Regional levels), Palm Beach Opera Competition, the McCammon Competition in Ft. Worth, the Juilliard Honors Recital, the Alice Tully Hall Debut Recital Competition, the Joy in Singing Competition, and the Jenny Lind Competition. He presents regular classes and audition seminars at the Curtis Institute of Music, Yale University, Mannes College of Music, Bard College, the Canadian Opera Company, the Santa Fe Opera, the Sarasota Opera, and others.

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Darrell Brown

Country Panel

Darrell Brown is an American songwriter, arranger, and record producer who has collaborated with recording artists and contributed music to the film and television industries and has been credited with music sales of seventy million units, as both a songwriter and producer.

Brown is the producer, arranger and main co-writer for the 2013 LeAnn Rimes album, Spitfire, (Curb +Records), which the Hollywood Reporter, the New York Times, USA Today, NPR, Rolling Stone, UNCUT, Mix Magazine, CMT, GAC, and many others are calling the best record of her career if not the best country record of the year.

Brown co-wrote and produced songs for the Michael Hoffman-directed film, Gambit, starring Cameron Diaz, Colin Firth, and Alan Rickman, with a script by the Coen Brothers. Brown co-wrote the number 1 crossover hit "You'll Think of Me" by Keith Urban, which won the Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in 2006. Brown also co-wrote Urban's smash hit "Raining on Sunday."

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Mike Dungan

Country PanelThe Business and Technology of Popular Singing Today

Mike Dungan is Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville, the largest music company in the country music business. A native of Cincinnati, he has worked in the music business since he was 16 years old, getting his start doing odd jobs in a local record store. In 1979, Dungan began his label career as a pop promotion rep for RCA, working in the Cincinnati, Detroit, and then Minneapolis markets. In 1987, he took a sales position with RCA and Arista Records parent company, BMG. Two years later, Arista Records hired him as its Director of Marketing for the Midwest.

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Chris Sampson

Country PanelPop PanelThe Business and Technology of Popular Singing Today

Chris Sampson has enjoyed a diverse and multi-faceted career as an educator, producer, performer, and administrator. Chris currently serves as the Vice Dean for the Division of Contemporary Music at the USC Thornton School of Music. In 2009, Chris founded the Popular Music program at USC Thornton, regarded as the first program of its kind at a major university. In its brief existence, the USC Thornton Popular Music program has made a significant impact, compelling Rolling Stone magazine to describe it as a "cutting-edge department that's become the site of one of Los Angeles's most productive new music scenes." As a professor of songwriting and through the Popular Music program, Chris's students have penned number one hit songs, toured nationally and internationally, secured recording and publishing contracts, placed numerous songs in films and television, are among the most subscribed musicians on YouTube, won national television competitions and international songwriting competitions, and work in multiple areas of the music industry, including A&R, publishing, and administration.

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Rev. Nolan Williams Jr.

Nolan Williams Jr., CEO of NEWorks ('NEW works') Productions, is an American songwriter whose impressive repertoire includes several commissioned choral works by Georgetown University, premiered works with the National Symphony, Charleston Symphony, and Kennedy Center Opera House orchestras, song contributions to Grammy(r)-nominated gospel and R&B recording projects, and music for television and film. He is also a musicologist who has been featured on PBS, BET, and the WORD network, and lectured before the American Academy of Religion, Festival Musicá y Filosofia (Naples, Italy), and at numerous American universities, including Yale, Dartmouth, Oberlin, and Howard; and edited two hymnals including the bestselling African American Heritage Hymnal-over 500,000 copies sold worldwide-and Total Praise Williams is a producer who, through NEWorks Productions, has staged and contributed to numerous inspirational arts productions including: Christmas Gift!, an exciting new holiday musical; A Mighty Stream: A Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. and the American Freedom Movement through Music, Video, and Spoken Word, premiered with the National Symphony Orchestra (2012); Partnering for Life, a benefit concert tour produced in partnership with the American Cancer Society (2011-12); and Joyful Sounds: Gospel Across America, a nine-day festival presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts celebrating gospel and other sacred music traditions (2010).

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Dr. Cedric Dent

Gospel Panel

Cedric Carl Dent, a native of Detroit, Michigan, began private piano lessons at age 6, and the study of music theory at age 14. Dr. Dent is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy (1980) and holds degrees from the University of Michigan (B.M., Vocal Music Education, 1985), the University of Alabama (M.M., Music Theory/Arranging, 1987) and the University of Maryland (Ph.D., Music Theory, 1997).

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Dr. Deborah Smith Pollard

Gospel Panel

Dr. Deborah Smith Pollard is Professor of English Literature and Humanities at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She earned her doctorate from Michigan State University where her focus was American Studies. Besides her courses in English literature and African American culture, she teaches a popular class, Introduction to Gospel Music, every fall at UM-Dearborn where she has held several administrative positions and won two of the highest awards the campus bestows: the Distinguished Service Award and the Susan B. Anthony Award.

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Larry Rosen

Jazz Panel

Larry Rosen: musician, producer, executive producer, and music industry entrepreneur. Mr. Rosen is the Chairman of Larry Rosen Productions, Inc., creator and producer of JAZZ ROOTS - A Larry Rosen Jazz Series, co-founder of GRP Records, and co-founder and past Chairman of N2K, Inc. (NASDAQ).

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Darryl Pitt

Jazz Panel

Darryl Pitt is the principal of Depth of Field Management in New York City. Prior to commencing a career in artist management, Pitt was on the staff of Rolling Stone and the official photographer of the Montreux Jazz Festival. Depth of Field represents Kurt Elling, Dianne Reeves, The Bad Plus, Regina Carter, James Genus and Cyrille Aimée.

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Don Was

Jazz PanelThe Business and Technology of Popular Singing TodayPop Panel

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Don Was grew up listening to Detroit blues, jazz music, and the Rolling Stones. He went on to form the group Was (Not Was) with school friend David Weiss (David Was), noted for their success in the 1980s.

Now widely recognized as a record producer, Don Was has worked with artists including Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, Iggy Pop, Ziggy Marley, the B-52s, Elton John, Garth Brooks, Lucinda Williams, Old Crow Medicine Show, John Mayer, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, Brian Wilson, Kris Kristofferson, and Aaron Neville. He has earned multiple Grammy Awards including Producer of the Year in 1995.

Don Was has served as musical director or consultant on several motion pictures including Thelma and Louise, The Rainmaker, Hope Floats, Phenomenon, Tin Cup, Honeymoon in Vegas, 8 Seconds, Switch, The Freshman, Days of Thunder, Boys on the Side, and Toy Story.

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Joan Lader

Musical Theater PanelVoice Training Today

Joan Lader has worked as a voice therapist and teacher in private practice in New York City for more than 30 years. Her extensive practice, which includes leading singers and actors from Broadway, film, opera, R&B, rap, and rock, provides training and development of professional singers, and vocal therapy for injured voices. In addition, she is a frequent guest lecturer at Columbia University, Pace University, The Voice Foundation in Philadelphia, The Pacific Voice Foundation in San Francisco, NYSTA, and Berklee College of Music. She also regularly gives master classes and workshops at Yale (Calhoun College), BTP (Broadway Theater Project), "The Lost Colony" in North Carolina, Western Carolina University, the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley, and The Musical Theater Lab-Vineyard Arts. She is currently a consultant and Master Teacher at the New Studio at NYU.

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David Caddick

Musical Theater Panel

David Caddick studied piano, organ, and conducting at the London College of Music and the Royal College of Music. He was Music Director for Evita, Cats, Song & Dance, Starlight Express, The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Sunset Boulevard, and Mary Poppins. He was the Executive Producer for the Broadway productions of Oklahoma! and Putting it Together, Music Director for the world premiere of Stephen Sondheim's Bounce, and Music Director for the film of Evita starring Madonna. He's won two Grammy Awards for producing the cast album recordings of Les Misérables (Complete Symphonic recording) and West Side Story. He produced the cast albums of Oliver, Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, A Chorus Line (Grammy nomination), South Pacific (Grammy nomination), Promises, Promises (Grammy nomination), and Cinderella.

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Tara Rubin

Musical Theater Panel

Tara Rubin is a Casting Director who casts for Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Regional Theaters.

She was the Casting Director for the Kennedy Center's Sondheim Celebration and Tennessee Williams Explored in addition to Carnival, Mame, and Mr. Roberts. Broadway credits include Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia!, The Producers, Billy Elliot, and Mary Poppins, as well as revivals of Oklahoma!, Flower Drum Song, A Little Night Music, Promises, Promises, and How to Succeed. Regional theater credits include Yale Rep, Arena Stage, Dallas Theater Center, The Old Globe, and La Jolla Playhouse.

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David Lai

Musical Theater Panel

David Lai is currently Senior Vice President, IMG Artists, and is an original founder of Park Avenue Artists. David currently manages Joshua Bell, Itzhak Perlman, Time for Three, The Five Browns, Ashley Brown, Ryan Silverman, and Kate Davis. He originally began working in artist management when the legendary Jerry Kravat recruited him to work at Park Avenue Talent where David worked with artists including Barbara Cook, Kelli O'Hara, Paulo Szot, Eldar Djangirov, and Sutton Foster. A Grammy Award(r)-winning producer, David's recording credits include recordings ranging from jazz to classical to pop to Broadway. His Broadway cast albums produced include West Side Story (Grammy Award(r)), Evita starring Ricky Martin, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes starring Megan Hilty, South Pacific (Grammy(r) nomination), Promises, Promises starring Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth, (Grammy(r) nomination), Bonnie and Clyde, Elf, Wonderland, Grease, The Wedding Singer, an all-star cast album of Allegro, and Spanish cast albums of The Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar.

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Dr. Steven Zeitels

Vocal Health and Illness: Insights into the Past, Present, and FuturePop Panel

Steven Marc Zeitels, M.D. is the Eugene B. Casey Professor of Laryngeal Surgery at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation (AKA: MGH Voice Center), which is the most comprehensive facility of its kind in the world. He is an internationally recognized surgeon specializing in throat, voice, and larynx problems

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William Riley

Pop PanelVoice Training Today

William Riley is a world-renowned voice trainer, an award-winning classical singer, a stage director, a minister of music and has been a consultant or served on faculties of the Voice Foundation Symposia, The American Academy of Otolaryngology (23Years), The Actors Studio, The New School University, Westminster Choir College; He has been consultant in Voice to Grabscheid Voice Center (Mt. Sinai Hospital New York), Lenox Hill Hospital, The Royal Medical Hospital in Amman Jordan, The White House, and The Metropolitan Opera.

Teaching at the University level for over twenty-five years, he has been invited to teach on the subjects of voice, vocal health and opera at over a dozen institutions in the U.S. and abroad, including Yale University, and the Universities of Iowa, New Hampshire, Maine, Groningen, Holland, Turku, Finland and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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Kristen Foster

The Business and Technology of Popular Singing TodayPop Panel

Kristen Foster is Executive Vice President and head of the Music Department at PMK*BNC, the world's largest entertainment PR firm. She has spent two decades in myriad dynamic public relations leadership positions within the music and film businesses.

Foster manages the image and press campaigns for the top names in music and oversees the company's music roster which includes Eric Clapton, Lionel Richie, R. Kelly, Harry Connick Jr., Peter Gabriel, Seal, Joan Jett, George Michael, Jennifer Nettles, the late Whitney Houston, and many more.

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Peter Mensch

The Business and Technology of Popular Singing TodayPop Panel

Q Prime Inc. is a music management company owned and operated by Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch.

The current Q Prime management roster consists of the following acts: Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Josh Groban, Snow Patrol, Muse (for North America), Three Days Grace, Foals, Baroness, Dawes, Cage The Elephant, Gillian Welch, Silversun Pickups, and a new act named Animal Kingdom.

We have four offices around the world, including our headquarters in New York, which houses 13 additional staffers. Our other three offices consist of a four-person promotion office in Los Angeles; a three-person office in London; and a partnership in Nashville where John Peets co-manages Nickel Creek (who, for the time being, have morphed into 3 very promising solo projects), The Black Keys, and Eric Church.

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Dr. Rachelle Fleming

Dr. Rachelle Fleming is nationally recognized in the training and vocal health of the contemporary vocal artist. Faculty positions held include the Actors Studio MFA Program and Catholic University of America. Additional teaching includes the national tour of Billy Elliot, the University of Miami, Eastman School of Music's Community Division, and privately in New York City and Washington, DC. Dr.

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Steve Schnur

Steve Schnur is the Creator and Executive Producer of the E! Global network show Opening Act. Along with Executive Producer partners Nigel Lythgoe and Simon Lythgoe, Opening Act is a first of its kind in that, unlike any other music show, the drama does not revolve around a competition. Opening Act finds undiscovered talent online and surprises them with the opportunity to open for a global superstar within a few days' time. It now appears in more than 90 countries around the world.

Steve has always been in the business of music.

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Richard Smallwood

World-class composer, pianist and arranger, Richard Smallwood has clearly and solidly changed the face of gospel music. He can impeccably blend classical movements with traditional gospel, and arrive at a mix that is invariably Smallwood's alone. A diverse and innovative artist, Richard Smallwood has achieved many honors; Dove Awards and a Grammy also attest to his talents.

Richard graduated cum laude from renowned Howard University with degrees in both vocal performance and piano. His gifts were stirred up early in life.

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Image from <i>American Voices</i>: Classical Master Session with Eric Owens

Classical Master Session with Eric Owens

Bass-baritone Eric Owens coaches pre-selected young artists in the classical genre. The session concludes with a panel discussion moderated by Renée Fleming that includes Edith Bers, Anthony Freud, Matthew Horner, and Eric Owens.

  • Fri., Nov. 22, 2013, 2:00 PM
  • Terrace Theater
  • $38.00
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Image from <i>American Voices</i>: Jazz Master Session with Dianne Reeves

Jazz Master Session with Dianne Reeves

Observe jazz sensation Dianne Reeves as she coaches pre-selected young artists. The session concludes with a panel discussion moderated by Renée Fleming that includes Kurt Elling, Darryl Pitt, Dianne Reeves, Larry Rosen, and Don Was.

  • Fri., Nov. 22, 2013, 8:00 PM
  • Terrace Theater
  • $38.00
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Image from <i>American Voices</i>: Country Master Session with Alison Krauss and Dr. Thomas Cleveland

Country Master Session with Alison Krauss and Dr. Thomas Cleveland

Observe country/bluegrass star Alison Krauss and Dr. Thomas F. Cleveland coaching pre-selected young artists. The session concludes with a panel discussion moderated by Renée Fleming that includes Darrell Brown, Mike Dungan, and Chris Sampson.

  • Sat., Nov. 23, 2013, 10:00 AM
  • Terrace Theater
  • $38.00
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Image from <i>American Voices</i>: Pop/Rock Master Session with Ben Folds and Sara Bareilles

Pop/Rock Master Session with Ben Folds and Sara Bareilles

Ben Folds and Sara Bareilles coach pre-selected young artists. The session concludes with a discussion moderated by Renée Fleming that includes Kristen Foster, Peter Mensch, William Riley, Chris Sampson, Don Was, and Dr. Steven Zeitels.

  • Sat., Nov. 23, 2013, 3:30 PM
  • Terrace Theater
  • $38.00
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Image from <i>American Voices</i>: Musical Theater Master Session with Sutton Foster

Musical Theater Master Session with Sutton Foster

Observe Tony winner Sutton Foster as she coaches pre-selected young artists. The session concludes with a panel discussion moderated by Renée Fleming that includes David Caddick, Sutton Foster; Joan Lader, David Lai, and Tara Rubin.

  • Sun., Nov. 24, 2013, 11:00 AM
  • Terrace Theater
  • $38.00
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Image from <i>American Voices</i>: Gospel Master Session with Kim Burrell

Gospel Master Session with Kim Burrell

Observe gospel star Kim Burrell as she coaches pre-selected young artists. The session concludes with a discussion moderated by Renée Fleming with Kim Burrell, Cedric Dent, Richard Smallwood, Deborah Smith Pollard, and Nolan Williams Jr.

  • Sun., Nov. 24, 2013, 3:00 PM
  • Terrace Theater
  • $38.00
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Image from <i>American Voices</i> Symposium: Vocal Health and Illness: Insights into the Past, Present, and Future

Symposium: Vocal Health and Illness: Insights into the Past, Present, and Future

As part of American Voices, otolaryngologist and laryngeal surgeon Dr. Steven Zeitels and speech-language pathologist and rehabilitation specialist Dr. Linda Carroll speak in a symposium on vocal health.

  • Fri., Nov. 22, 2013, 4:30 PM
  • Terrace Gallery
  • $15.00
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Image from <i>American Voices</i> Symposium: The Business and Technology of Popular Singing Today

Symposium: The Business and Technology of Popular Singing Today

Universal Nashville CEO Mike Dungan, Exec. VP at PMK*BNC Kristen Foster, Q Prime founder Peter Mensch, Vice Dean USC Contemporary Music Div. Chris Sampson, EA Music President Steve Schnur, Blue Note President Don Was, discuss business trends.

  • Sat., Nov. 23, 2013, 1:30 PM
  • Terrace Gallery
  • $15.00
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Image from <i>American Voices</i> Symposium: Voice Training Today

Symposium: Voice Training Today

How has voice training evolved with advances in voice research? Leading American voice teachers Dr. Thomas Cleveland, Dr. Rachelle Fleming, Joan Lader, and William Riley speak on training singers across multiple genres.

  • Sun., Nov. 24, 2013, 1:30 PM
  • Terrace Gallery
  • $15.00
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The Concert

Renée Fleming

One of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, soprano Renée Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. At a White House ceremony this July, the President awarded Ms. Fleming the National Medal of Arts, America's highest honor for an individual artist. Winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo, she performs on the world's greatest opera stages and concert halls, while adventurously embracing other musical forms and media.

Renée Fleming has sung at momentous, distinguished occasions--from the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, to a historic first in 2012, when she sang on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II.

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Kurt Elling

Grammy winner Kurt Elling is among the world's foremost jazz vocalists. He has won every DownBeat Critics Poll for the last 14 years and has been named Male Singer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association eight times. Every one of his nine albums has been nominated for at least one Grammy. Mr. Elling has been presented several international awards, including Germany's ECHO Award, The Edison Prize from the Netherlands, and the Scottish Jazz Award.

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Dianne Reeves

Dianne Reeves is the pre-eminent female jazz vocalist in the world today. As a result of her virtuosity, improvisational prowess, and unique jazz and R&B stylings, Reeves received the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for three consecutive recordings-a Grammy first in any vocal category. Reeves appeared in George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck, the Academy Award-nominated film that chronicles Edward R. Murrow's confrontation with Senator Joseph McCarthy. The soundtrack recording of Good Night, and Good Luck provided Reeves her fourth Best Jazz Vocal Grammy in 2006.

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Norm Lewis

Norm Lewis was last seen as "Senator Edison Davis" on the hit ABC drama, Scandal. He recently received Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for his performance as "Porgy" in the Broadway production of The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess. Broadway: Sondheim on Sondheim, The Little Mermaid, Les Misérables, Chicago, Amour, The Wild Party, Side Show, Miss Saigon, Tommy. West End/London: Les Misérables, Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Concert (London's O2 Arena, PBS). Off-Broadway: Dessa Rose (Drama Desk nomination, AUDELCO Award), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Drama League nomination), Captains Courageous, A New Brain.

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Eric Owens

Acclaimed for his commanding stage presence and inventive artistry, American bass-baritone Eric Owens has carved a unique place in the contemporary opera world as both an esteemed interpreter of classic works and a champion of new music. Equally at home in concert, recital, and opera performances, Owens continues to bring his powerful poise, expansive voice, and instinctive acting faculties to stages around the world.

During the 2012-2013 season, Owens appears in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi at the San Francisco Opera alongside Joyce DiDonato and Nicole Cabell, and in Puccini's Madama Butterfly at the Los Angeles Opera. After a performance of Elijah by Mendelssohn with Pacific Chorale, Owens is a soloist in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Seattle Symphony.

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Steven Reineke

Steven Reineke's boundless enthusiasm and exceptional artistry have made him one of the nation's most sought-after pops conductors, composers and arrangers. Now in his third season as Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the NSO recently announced the extension of his contract through the 2017-2018 season.  He has been Music Director of the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall since 2009, and he is also Principal Pops Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Reineke is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has been on the podium with the Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia.

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Sutton Foster

Sutton Foster is an award-winning actor, singer and dancer who has performed in 10 Broadway shows and originated roles in the Broadway productions of The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Women, Young Frankenstein, Shrek the Musical, and her Tony Award–winning performances in Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Currently, she is starring in ABC Family's new series Bunheads, created by Amy Sherman Palladino.

She was first seen on television on Star Search at age 15, and has more recently appeared in Johnny and the Sprites, Flight of the Conchords, Sesame Street, Law and Order SVU and Royal Pains.

As a solo artist, Sutton has performed all over the country as well as internationally with her musical director Michael Rafter… featuring songs from her debut solo CD Wish as well as her follow up CD, An Evening with Sutton Foster: Live at the Cafe Carlyle. She has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Feinstein's, Lincoln Center's American Songbook series, Joe's Pub and many others.

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Josh Groban

With his sixth album, All That Echoes, Josh Groban has at once built on the touchstone artistry that has made him a global pop star for more than a decade and expanded his ambitious reach into richly rewarding new territory.

The inspiring first single, "Brave," shows off his accomplished, personal songwriting as one of seven songs on the album he co-wrote. And inspired choices of other's songs, from the Academy Award-winning "Falling Slowly" from the movie and Tony Award-honored spin-off Broadway musical Once to Stevie Wonder's "I Believe" through his continued explorations of the poetry of Spanish ("Un Alma Mas," featuring Cuban-born trumpet great Arturo Sandoval) and Italian ("E Ti Prometterò," a duet with Italian star Laura Pausini), spotlight his singular talents as a masterful interpreter.

Working for the first time with producer Rob Cavallo (the Warner Bros. Records chairman whose production credits cover Green Day's many groundbreaking albums, Goo Goo Dolls, Fleetwood Mac, and many others), Groban pushed himself to fully capture the spirit of his acclaimed concerts, fueled by his vibrant bond with legions of his fans, the famed Grobanites.

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Kim Burrell

The dynamic, distinctive and captivating voice of Kim Burrell carries power to soothe and encourages the heart of people everywhere. The Houston native is revered by her peers in the music industry from both the spiritual and secular world. This humble Grammy Award nominee and Stellar Award winner has a true and undying passion for ministry and music. This singing sensation was encompassed by music being the daughter of a pastor/musician father and an evangelist/singer mother.

Kim Burrell started her musical career with the Greater Emmanuel C.O.G.I.C. Choir of Houston, Texas. Early in her career, she was featured on recordings with the Gospel Music Workshop of America Youth Choir; Trinity Temple Full Gospel Mass Choir of Dallas, Texas along with Kirk Franklin, and The Inspirational Sounds Mass Choir of Houston, TX.

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Alison Krauss

Alison Krauss's most recent triumph, the certified-platinum Raising Sand, her 2007 collaboration with Robert Plant and producer T Bone Burnett, notched up a total of six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year, bringing her unsurpassed total to 26. That mesmerizing modern-day masterpiece sets the stage for another stunner: Paper Airplane, the artist's first album of all-new recordings in partnership with her remarkably skillful and renowned band Union Station since 2004's Lonely Runs Both Ways.

Throughout her remarkable career, which spans a quarter century, though she's only 39, Krauss has remained grounded and real. Deeply introspective as an artist, she's commensurately outgoing and spontaneous in conversation-both sides of her character evidencing a life-embracing humanity. In her work, Krauss has managed to consistently locate the fertile common ground between traditional modes and topical themes.

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Ben Folds

Ben Folds first found mainstream success as the leader of the critically acclaimed, platinum-selling Ben Folds Five. He has gone on to have a very successful solo career, recording multiple studio albums, a pair of records documenting his renowned live performances, a remix record, music for film and TV, as well as numerous collaborations with artists from Sara Bareilles to William Shatner.

In 2012, Folds reunited with the Ben Folds Five and released a new album The Sound of the Life of the Mind. The band continues to tour the world in 2013, and just released their first LIVE album Ben Folds Five LIVE this summer.

Folds has also achieved critical acclaim for his insight as a judge on NBC's a cappella competition The Sing-Off.

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Sara Bareilles

Sara Bareilles first achieved mainstream critical praise in 2007 with her widely successful hit, "Love Song" which reached #1 in 22 countries around the world from her debut album Little Voice. Since then, the Eureka, CA native has gone on to sell more than 1 million copies of her debut album, earn 3 Grammy nominations including Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Love Song." Bareilles's critically acclaimed sophomore release Kaleidoscope Heart was released in September of 2010, debuted at #1 on the Billboard top 200 chart and has gained critical praise everywhere including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, People, and Los Angeles Times. The album yielded the hit single "King of Anything," which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and was certified platinum by the RIAA. In 2011, Bareilles joined the judge's panel on the hit NBC show The Sing-Off.

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Walt Whitman

Born on May 31, 1819, Walt Whitman was the second son of Walter Whitman, a housebuilder, and Louisa Van Velsor. The family, which consisted of nine children, lived in Brooklyn and Long Island in the 1820s and 1830s.

At the age of twelve, Whitman began to learn the printer's trade, and fell in love with the written word. Largely self-taught, he read voraciously, becoming acquainted with the works of Homer, Dante, Shakespear, and the Bible.

Whitman worked as a printer in New York City until a devastating fire in the printing district demolished the industry.

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Image from <i>American Voices</i> Concert with the National Symphony Orchestra: Steven Reineke, conductor / Renée Fleming, host

American Voices Concert with the National Symphony Orchestra: Steven Reineke, conductor / Renée Fleming, host

Renée Fleming culminates her three-day Kennedy Center festival with this all-star concert featuring Sara Bareilles, Kim Burrell, Kurt Elling, Ben Folds, Sutton Foster, Josh Groban, Alison Krauss, Norm Lewis, Eric Owens, Dianne Reeves, and others.

  • Sat., Nov. 23, 2013, 8:00 PM
  • Concert Hall
  • $29.00 - $225.00
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Millennium Stage

Image for WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program / Afro Blue

WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program / Afro Blue

As part of the Kennedy Center festival American Voices, hosted by Renée Fleming, the Millennium Stage offers a classical music performance featuring members of the WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and a jazz performance by Howard University’s premier jazz vocal group Afro Blue, under the direction of Connaitre Miller.

  • Fri., Nov. 22, 2013, 6:00 PM
  • Free Millennium Stage Performance
Image for Vanessa Williams / Mama Tried featuring Dede Wyland

Vanessa Williams / Mama Tried featuring Dede Wyland

As part of the Kennedy Center festival American Voices, hosted by Renée Fleming, the Millennium Stage offers an inspiring performance by D.C. gospel singer Vanessa Williams and a country music set by the band Mama Tried featuring Dede Wyland, which offers a blend of country, rock, blues, and soul music.

  • Sat., Nov. 23, 2013, 6:00 PM
  • Free Millennium Stage Performance
Image for Erin Driscoll / Jon Carroll

Erin Driscoll / Jon Carroll

As part of the Kennedy Center festival American Voices, hosted by Renée Fleming, the Millennium Stage presents an offering of musical theater numbers performed by D.C. actress and singer Erin Driscoll and a performance by singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Jon Carroll, whose accolades include a Grammy for his arrangement of the 1976 hit “Afternoon Delight.”

  • Sun., Nov. 24, 2013, 6:00 PM
  • Free Millennium Stage Performance

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History

Each genre of American vocal music has evolved from a rich and distinctive background. A growing body of well-researched literature is available for those seeking to discover the many influences on and circumstances surrounding the development of America's music and artists, some of which are highlighted below.

Broadway Musicals, Revised and Updated:
The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time

Broadway Musicals (Ken Bloom & Frank Vlastnik) is a richly illustrated and information-packed celebration of the most popular and enduring Broadway shows of all time. Each show is featured in a detailed, photo-filled chapter that includes expert commentary, special features on the creators and performers, plot synopses, cast and song lists, production details, and backstage anecdotes. Also included are sidebars on Broadway flops, advertising posters, the greatest scores, and more. This edition includes several shows not in the original hardcover edition such as Avenue Q, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Wicked. An expanded off-Broadway section showcases beloved shows such as I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change and Little Mary Sunshine.

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Close Harmony:
A History of Southern Gospel

Comprehensive and richly illustrated, James R. Goff Jr.’s Close Harmony traces the development of the music known as southern gospel from its antebellum origins to its twentieth-century emergence as a vibrant musical industry driven by the world of radio, television, recordings, and concert promotions. Marked by smooth, tight harmonies and a lyrical focus on the message of Christian salvation, southern gospel--particularly the white gospel quartet tradition--had its roots in nineteenth-century shape-note singing. The spread of white gospel music is intricately connected to the people who based their livelihoods on it, and Close Harmony is filled with the stories of artists and groups such as Frank Stamps, the Chuck Wagon Gang, the Blackwood Brothers, the Rangers, the Swanee River Boys, the Statesmen, and the Oak Ridge Boys. The book also explores changing relations between black and white artists and shows how, following the civil rights movement, white gospel was influenced by black gospel, bluegrass, rock, metal, and, later, rap. With Christian music sales topping the $600 million mark at the close of the twentieth century, Close Harmony explores the history of an important and influential segment of the thriving gospel industry.

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Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World Volume 8

The six Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World Genre volumes contain entries on the genres of music that have been or currently are popular in countries and communities all over the world. Included are discussions on cultural, historical and geographic origins; technical musical characteristics; instrumentation and use of voice; lyrics and language; typical features of performance and presentation; historical development and paths and modes of dissemination; influence of technology, the music industry and political and economic circumstances; changing stylistic features; notable and influential performers; and relationships to other genres and sub-genres.

This volume, on the music of North America, features over 100 in-depth essays on genres ranging from Adult Contemporary to Alternative Rock, from Barbershop to Bebop, and from Disco to Emo. All entries conclude with a bibliography, discographical references and discography, with additional information on sheet music listings and visual recordings. Written and edited by a team of distinguished popular music scholars and professionals, this is an exceptional resource for anybody studying or researching the history and development of popular music.

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Great Singers on Great Singing:
A Famous Opera Star Interviews 40 Famous Opera Singers on the Technique of Singing

Jerome Hines has interviewed 40 singers, a speech therapist, and a throat specialist to provide this invaluable collection of advice for all singers. This collection includes the commentary of Licia Albanese, Franco Corelli, Placido Domingo, Nicolai Gedda, Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes, Birgit Nilsson, Luciano Pavarotti, Rose Ponselle, Beverly Sills, Joan Sutherland and many others.

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People Get Ready!:
A New History of Gospel Music

People Get Ready!: A New History of Gospel Music (Robert Darden) is a passionate, celebratory, and carefully researched chronology of one of America's greatest treasures. From Africa through the spirituals, from minstrel music through jubilee, and from traditional to contemporary gospel, People Get Ready! shows the links between styles, social patterns, and artists. The emphasis is on the stories behind the songs and musicians. From the nameless slaves of Colonial America to Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, and Kirk Franklin, People Get Ready! provides, for the first time, an accessible overview of this musical genre. In addition to the more familiar stories of Thomas A. Dorsey and Mahalia Jackson, the book offers intriguing new insights into the often forgotten era between the Civil War and the rise of jubilee—that most intriguing blend of minstrel music, barbershop harmonies, and the spiritual. Also chronicled are the connections between some of gospel's precursors (Blind Willie Johnson, Arizona Dranes, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe) and modern gospel stars, including Andrae Crouch and Clara Ward. People Get Ready! knits together a number of narratives, and combines history, musicology and spirituality into a coherent whole, stitched together by the stories of dozens of famous and forgotten musical geniuses.

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Singing Cowboys and Musical Mountaineers:
Southern Culture and the Roots of Country Music

In this slim, lively book our foremost historian of country music recalls the lost worlds of pioneering fiddlers and pickers, balladeers and yodelers. As he looks at "hillbilly" music's pre-commercial era and its early popular growth through radio and recordings, Bill C. Malone shows us that it was a product not only of the British Isles but of diverse African, German, Spanish, French, and Mexican influences.

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Singing in Musical Theatre:
The Training of Singers and Actors

What does it take to be a musical theatre performer? What kind of training is required to do eight shows a week--acting, dancing, and singing in a wide variety of vocal styles? This insider's look into the unique demands of musical theatre performance establishes connecting links between voice training for the singer and drama school training for the actor. By reading these revealing interviews, performers in every area of theatre can: discover what it takes to go from a first lesson to a solid professional technique; consider the requirements for singers in musical theatre today, how they have changed, and where they are going; see how different teachers approach six aspects of voice training: alignment, breathing, range, resonance, articulation, and connection; and understand the interconnectedness of musical theatre and theatre voice. A foreword by leading Australian actor Angela Punch McGregor personalizes the connective links among trainings as she describes her preparation for Sunset Boulevard. A must-read for anyone who is serious about voice and the theatre.

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The American Opera Singer:
The Lives and Adventures of America's Great Singers in Opera and in Concert from 1825 to the Present

In America today, opera has never been more popular, and one reason for this is, no doubt, that American opera singers are fixtures on every leading opera stage throughout the world.  In this lively and engrossing account, Peter G. Davis, music critic for New York magazine and a leading opera authority, tells the story of how these plucky, resilient and supremely talented American singers have transformed this venerable European-born art form and made it their own. Starting with opera's arrival in America in the early nineteenth century, Davis shows how American singers grew in sophistication and stature along with the country.  From the nineteenth-century pioneers who crashed the gates of Europe's elite opera circles, to the glamorous singers of the early twentieth century who were also Hollywood stars and publicity magnets, to the highly professional singers since World War II who not only have gained European acceptance but now dominate the industry, this lively and highly readable account chronicles the extraordinary lives and adventures of these larger-than-life personalities.  Included are Maria Callas, Beverly Sills, Richard Tucker, Leontyne Price, Marilyn Horne, Lawrence Tibbett, and a galaxy of others whose stories are as dramatic and compelling as the roles they sang on stage. Full of prima-donna antics, hilarious backstage anecdotes, and performance lore, The American Opera Singer will delight anyone who has felt the magic of opera, and will provide a new canon of American singing sure to provoke spirited debate among aficionados. Trained as a musician and composer, Peter G. Davis has been writing about music for over thirty years in such publications as the New York Times, The Times of London, High Fidelity, and Opera News.  He is currently music critic for New York magazine and lives in New York City.

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Which Side Are You On?
An Inside History of the Folk Music Revival in America

In 1932 Florence Reece wrote one of the classic topical songs preserved in the folk musical revival. The song, "Which Side Are You On?," contrasts the lot of the working class and the bosses, and asks the listener to choose. This politically charged song was performed again during the Civil Rights Movement, with its lyrics appropriate to the 1960s. Indeed, the story of this song might serve as a microcosm of the entire history of the folk music revival. Dick Weissman, former member of the Journeymen and a musician still releasing CDs of his original compositions, brings his personal and professional involvement to this definitive history. Which Side Are You On? includes chapters and sections on the Lomaxes, Harry Smith, the little known Lawrence Gellert, Woody Guthrie, Josh White, Leadbelly, Pete Seeger, groups such as the Weavers and the Kingston Trio, Dave Van Ronk, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Natalie Merchant, Ani Difranco, Bela Fleck, Nickel Creek, the Indigo Girls, and many others. Which Side Are You On? also explores the folk music business in depth: how it all works, where the power really lies, how the artists have been manipulated and often exploited, the dynamic between artist and audience. Though he writes as a historian, Weissman also has seen it all from the inside, and includes anecdotes that are both funny and poignant.

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Technique

No musical instrument is as infinitely varied and as the human voice. Training techniques must accommodate each artist's unique instrument, as well as the performance demands of their genre. The last 25 years have brought a wealth of research on the voice to support the training and treatment of the professional singer.


The Kennedy Center is excited to share 44 hand-selected, peer-reviewed articles highlighting a variety of current pedagogical and voice science perspectives come from the Journal of Singing, courtesy of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Inc. (NATS), the world's largest professional association of singing teachers.

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