World Voice Day 2016

Posted on 27 April 2016

The Department of Music and Dr Helena Daffern of York Audio Lab last week hosted a unique event for World Voice Day, showcasing ongoing collaborative research between the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. Over 150 people turned out for 'Mastering Ensemble Singing – the Science and the Art' in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall' on 16 April 2016.

Expert vocal coaches Robert Hollingworth (Reader in Music at York and director of the acclaimed vocal ensemble I Fagiolin) and Rob Barber (internationally acclaimed specialist in barbershop performance) coached two quartets of singers: a classical ensemble of York University students and the local Barbershop Quartet, Delekaté.

At the same time, the research team of the White Rose College of Arts and Humanities project 'Expressive Nonverbal Communication in Ensemble Performance' set up a range of audio and motion capture recording methods, measuring changes in the performers' individual and group sounds, their expressive body movements and their perceptions of their ensemble development through the session. The audience also provided valuable data on their own perceptions of the developing performances, using 'clickers'. The aim was to provide the public with insights into how researchers are developing both artistic and scientific understandings of how expert ensemble singing develops.