Quincy News

Voces8 thrills choral students during special workshop Saturday

Members of the singing group Voces8 perform during a workshop for singers Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at the Connie Niemann Center for Music. Members of the choral group gave vocal instruction, and talked about working and traveling internationally as part of a touring musical group. | H-W Photo/Phil Carlson
Phil Carlson 1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Feb. 17, 2018 9:35 pm

Racin Coelho, a member of Quincy University's men's ensemble choir, said he was excited beyond words Saturday to get a chance to sing with members of the British a capella group Voces8.

"I was just flabbergasted," the senior student said.

Voces8 was in Quincy to perform a Quincy Civic Music Association concert Saturday night at Salem Evangelical United Church of Christ. While in town, the eight-member international touring group agreed to provide an hour-long "singers' workshop" Saturday afternoon at the Connie Niemann Center for Music on QU's North Campus.

The free workshop attracted about 50 people.

At the outset of the session, the men's ensemble sang a rendition of "Stars," a song that Voces8 has performed on numerous occasions.

Barney Smith, the founder and artistic director of Voces8, then offered some tips to the ensemble and asked members of the London-based group to sing portions of the song separately and in concert with the ensemble to demonstrate singing and breathing techniques.

Smith told The Herald-Whig that the group has similar interactions with about 25,000 students annually while traveling the world making 120 performances a year.

"We're very passionate about our education and outreach work," he said.

During the workshop, members of Voces8 performed several other songs, answered questions and even got the audience involved in a sing-along.

Amy Stollberg, QU's director of choirs, said she was excited for the chance to have her choral students interact with an internationally known singing troupe.

"That's what's so fantastic about the Quincy Civic Music Association," she said. "They bring in professionals from all over the world, and it's exciting for us in Quincy. To have world class-performers like this come to Quincy is such a treat."

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