It feels good to be doing Vocal Invention again. For those not familiar with these mini-festivals (it wouldn’t be that surprising if you aren’t as we haven’t done a Vocal Invention weekend for 5 years), it’s a celebration of the voice and many of the wonderful things you can do with it: over a weekend of performances, talks and workshops at Norwich Arts Centre on the 20th-22nd May (tickets available through Norwich Arts Centre). We had loads of fun the previous three times we’ve done this (2009-2011).
The workshop element has always been an integral part of Vocal Invention and I thought it might be a good idea to provide a bit more information about some of the amazing people we’ve got lined up to be part of this year’s event.
On Saturday 21st May at 3pm Katherine Zeserson and Bex Mather will be presenting a workshop called ‘Making It New – Singing the Mouthful Way’ which will involve learning about the brilliant way the four-piece ensemble Mouthful (Katherine, Bex, Sharon Durant and Dave Camlin) create their sound together.
I first met Katherine and Bex when we put the fledgeling Human Music together in 2006. It was Katherine’s idea to make a piece called ’Singing the Building’ for one of a series of inaugural concerts at the Sage Gateshead. Singing the Building was a show with eight-piece Human Music acting as bogus singing tour guides for the new Norman Foster building – in the lifts, backstage, on the balconies and corridors.
Katherine was a founding director of Sage Gateshead from 2002 until 2015 responsible for the strategic design, direction and implementation of its ambitious, internationally acclaimed “Learning and Participation” programme. She has a national reputation as a trainer, music animator and educator, having led programs in a notably wide range of community, educational and social contexts: from pre-school settings to post-graduate and professional development training programs. She has taught vocal skills, music theatre, improvisation, elements of world music, community arts theory and practice. She has designed and run animator and teacher development programs for many local authorities; and has designed and lead staff and leadership development programs for the cultural sector, third sector and businesses. She has held several arts-in- education residencies, working with both primary and secondary age children.
Katherine performs regularly with the cappella vocal ensemble Mouthful and Human Music.
I found this TEDx talk from 2014 a good reflection of Katherine’s practice.