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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI invites public to ‘Singing with the Whole Self’ workshop

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KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 15, 2004 -- The University of Rhode Island ‘s
Music and Theatre Departments will host "Singing with the Whole Self,” a workshop that will introduce the Feldenkrais method as it applies to singing on Saturday, Oct. 23 in the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, Kingston Campus.

The workshop will be led by Elizabeth Blades-Zeller and Samuel H. Nelson, co-authors of the book, Singing with Your Whole Self: The Feldenkrais Method and Voice.
The presentation will be divided into two sessions, the first from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the second from 2 to 5 p.m. Both sessions are free and open to the public.

The first session is an interactive general introduction to the Feldenkrais
Method aimed toward all students where vocal freedom and ease are essential. The method’s aim is to develop kinesthetic sensitivity, and in doing so, allow an individual to perform a given task with minimum effort and maximum efficiency. Audience members will be engaged to experience how this method releases interfering tensions and increases freedom of movement.

The second session will focus more specifically on singing issues. Eight pre-selected URI music and theatre majors will receive "hands on" coaching to improve their performance skills and release tensions as they individually sing solos. All participants from the first session are invited to be audience members for the second session.

Blades-Zeller was tapped for inclusion in the 2004 edition of “Who’s Who in America.” She holds a doctorate of musical arts in music education from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N. Y. Currently teaching at Nazareth College in Rochester, she was formerly associate professor of voice and director of opera at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio where she taught applied voice, vocal pedagogy, language diction classes, courses in music education, supervised student teachers and directed musical theatre and opera productions. An active performer in the Rochester area, as well as, in Ohio and throughout the northeastern states, she has appeared with various theater and opera productions. She also maintains a private voice studio in Rochester, with students ranging in age from 8 to 72.

Nelson, Blades-Zeller’s co-presenter, has offered a seminar on the Feldenkrais Method every semester for 14 years at the Eastman School of Music. A graduate of the Toronto Professional Feldenkrais Training Program, he frequently holds workshops in Indiana and Ohio. Workshop participants include physical therapists and equestrians and students at several area high schools. He has also taught in the Dance Department at the University of Rochester.

The workshop is sponsored by URI’s Departments of Music and Theatre, the Honors Program, and the Visiting Scholars Committee.