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Published: Friday, 7/2/2004

Series keeps voices in tune over summer

BY STEVEN CORNELIUS
BLADE MUSIC CRITIC

The University of Toledo-sponsored Summer Sings program opens its 10th season on Tuesday evening at the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall when professor Stephen Hodge leads vocalists in a reading of Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria. Additional programs follow on July 13 and 20.

The three-event series, open to anyone who enjoys singing, gives vocalists the opportunity to keep skills sharp over the summer months when community choruses are mostly on break, said Hodge.

"The evenings are designed to be fun, entertaining, and educational," he said.

Each week the conductors choose major works of moderate difficulty, music that can be learned in a single night. The first half of the evening is spent rehearsing difficult passages. After a break, singers return for a mock performance.

"The idea is to give singers a new appreciation of a major work," to provide "opportunities to come in, rehearse, and then do a complete, nonstop reading. We want closure, so we give a quasi performance in just one night," said Hodge.

Always the teacher, Hodge said that the nuts and bolts of vocal technique also receive focus.

"We always work on mental and physical processes that maintain the vocal mechanism," he said.

Professional vocalists sing the solo roles. Texts are sung in their original languages.

Summer Sings continues on July 13 when William Schwepe leads John Rutter's Requiem. On July 20, Donna Tozer-Wipfli conducts Gabriel Faure's Requiem.

Attendance for Summer Sings events averages around 90 people, but Hodge would like that number to grow.

This program fits well into UT's mission of engendering community involvement, he said.

The University of Toledo-sponsored Summer Sings series begins with registration at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at UT's Center for Performing Arts. Stephen Hodge will lead vocalists in a rehearsal and informal reading of Vivaldi's Gloria. Registration is $8. Information: 419-530-4558.

Contact Steven Cornelius at:

scornelius@theblade.com

or 419-724-6152.



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