By Jonathan Woon
Believe it or not, Dr. John Weiss, retired professor lives a life that’s almost parallel to Dr. David Gardner’s, associate professor of music. Both worked on their doctorate in music at the University of Arizona and ended up with a spouse by the name of Cheryl. Weiss and Gardner are both gurus when it comes to vocal performance.
Weiss taught high school for 11 years and nine years at the college level. “Most of the time, I work as a professional opera singer,” said Weiss.
Last Saturday, a Saturday Master Class Series was held in Darbeth Rehearsal Hall under the Community Music School. The program started at 9 a.m. with a critique session carried out by Weiss on performances by music majors and community members. Dylan Moore, Ashleigh Sizemore, Gail Ranger and Erin Buster, performed for Weiss.
Then, at 11 p.m., SC A Cappella Choir presented their music to Weiss for fine tuning. Gardner also helped in the coaching process by giving his input toward the chorus.
Weiss stopped the choir when needed to focus on details of the songs. He believes in the fundamentals rather than the big picture. Weiss said, “We basically worked on breath support as it is essential in chorus singing.” Weiss also gave pointers to the choir regarding presentation when performing on stage.
The program fetched positive responses from participants. Carol Gardner, business major with a minor in music, sings in SC A Cappella Choir and has been actively involved in the Master Class Series. “I’ve been participating and volunteering in many other master classes and I think this is the best that we’ve had so far,” she said. “I love working with Dr. Weiss. He’s just so entertaining.”
Carol explained how Weiss’ pointers helped her when it comes to vocal performance. “The pre-warm up was really helpful as it goes through the entire register,” she said.
Isaac Chua, philosophy & religious studies junior, sang in the choir for Weiss. He said, “It was nice to hear from another person how to sing properly.”
This program that was made possible by the Ruth Ann Yeary Special Opportunities Grant from the Winfield Arts and Humanities Council ended at noon with a question and answer session between participants and Weiss.
Jonathan Woon is a freshman majoring in communication. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edited by Alejandra Rojas