Vocal/Choral Intensive (VCI)

Boston
Ages 15-18
Boston Conservatory at Berklee Vocal/Choral Intensive is a two-week summer program for high school–aged singers who are focused on musical theater or classical music. Taught by Conservatory faculty who have years of experience training young singing artists, this is a chance for young performers to explore their abilities as solo performers and to begin to discover the many professional and educational options available to them as they move forward in their artistic lives. Vocal/Choral Intensive’s curriculum is focused on strengthening students’ foundational and performance skills, through performance classes, Alexander Technique training, repertoire classes, Breathing Bootcamp, theory and sight-singing classes, and a Shakespeare-centered acting project. Each student will receive coachings and voice lessons and experience master classes with Boston Conservatory faculty. At the conclusion of the program, students can expect to be more complete artists with stronger musicianship skills and more polished performance techniques. They will have a clearer idea of their own artistic and educational goals, and a better sense of the questions to ask. In addition, they will meet talented peers who share their passion for singing and music, and who will help each other become more purposeful and engaging storytellers through song.
Dates
June 26-July 8
Arrival Date / Time
Coming Soon
Move-out
Coming Soon
Tuition
$2,130
Housing
$1,395
Registration fee
$50 (nonrefundable)
 

How to Enroll

  1. Submit your application.* Begin by submitting your application online. You must prepare additional application materials that will be reviewed with your submission.
  2. Make your tuition payment by May 1.* All programs have limited capacity, so be sure to complete your full tuition payment to reserve your space in the program.
  3. Request housing. If you will be age 15 or older by the start of your program and require on-campus accommodations, complete the Residence Hall Contract in the Next Steps tab of your application portal .
Curriculum

Below are classes that have been offered in the past to give you an idea of what to expect:

Sight-Singing and Ear Training

Daily work on scales, intervals, and other musical patterns as well as rhythmic exercises to strengthen the music-reading ability of each student. Individual sight-reading levels will be assessed in advance of arrival to ensure that each student is assigned to an appropriate sight-singing and ear training class level.

Music Theory

Music Theory is offered in streamed classes according to level. It covers an introduction to basic materials of music, including treble and bass clef, key signatures and scales (major and minor), and intervals, as well as using those elements to construct simple melodies as part of first and second species counterpoint exercises. This course paves the way for young singers toward greater artistic independence.

Choral Ensemble

Daily work on a wide variety of choral repertoire will include music of the Baroque, Classic, and Romantic eras, and of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Each rehearsal will begin with both physical and vocal warm-ups, and will emphasize individual musicianship, critical listening skills, vocal technique, and style. The work of the chorus will be showcased in the Grand Finale concert of the program

Vocal Performance Class

All aspects of solo vocal performance are addressed in these classes. The course focuses on vocal technique, dramatic and musical interpretation, and the physicality and characterization of the piece. Both classical and musical theater repertoire will be studied in these classes. Students are expected to bring music that they have already prepared, and everyone will be assigned and will learn new repertoire during the program.

Alexander Technique Seminars

Singers are guided in these classes to a deeper awareness and understanding of how the body functions, what happens when it doesn’t function well, and how to inhibit those habits that lead to tension. Learning how to live and sing in your body is a challenge at all times, but in the virtual world this is even more challenging. All of these topics and more will be addressed in this body/mind exploration.

Diction and IPA

Understanding of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is the basis for pronunciation in singing in all languages, as well as for successful dialect work in the theater. This course will serve as an introduction to the use of the IPA as well as to basic rules of diction.

Breathing Bootcamp

Awareness of the breath and how it functions is essential to the act of singing. Breathing Bootcamp is an intense workout for your breath mechanism. Through exercise and instruction, you will learn the anatomy and physiology of breathing and how to access the muscles responsible for breath—and thus for singing. Students will experience and discuss multiple ways of breathing to benefit the singing voice.

Repertoire Seminar

In this seminar, students will be introduced to repertoire for the young classical or musical theater singer and discover unusual and effective pieces that suit each performer. Singers will gain a better understanding of the technical challenges for pieces in each style, as well as learn more about “what not to sing” and why. Singers will leave this class with a strong sense of what to choose to sing that will both give them an appropriate technical challenge but also show off what is unique and special about them as a singer and performer

Voice Lessons and Vocal Coachings

Each Vocal/Choral Intensive student will be assigned a voice teacher and will receive weekly private voice lessons. Vocal technique, diction, and interpretation, as well as techniques for learning new repertoire, will be addressed in the lessons. In addition, students will be scheduled for four private coachings where musical skills will be reinforced, and use of text and phrasing as well as stylistic issues will be addressed

Stageworks: The Shakespeare Project

The singing actor has many challenges: singing while acting naturally, singing while moving stylistically, singing while performing choreography, moving slowly while the voice is moving quickly, or moving quickly while the voice is moving slowly. The use of exercises, improvisation, and storytelling helps young singers build confidence in their ability to make decisions about character, objective, obstacle, and strategy. Through this work, performers will jointly build a newly created musical/theatrical scene, bringing Shakespeare to life through group and solo work, dancing, and song.

Schedule

Below is a sample schedule.

Monday

Activities

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Breakfast

9:00 a.m.–11:45 a.m.

Check-in

12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m.

Lunch

1:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Performance Class

3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Breathing boot camp

4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Orientation

5:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.

Dinner

6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

Choir

Tuesday

Activities

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Breakfast

9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.

Stageworks

11:00 a.m.–11:45 a.m.

Theory

12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m.

Lunch

1:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Performance Class

3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Breathing boot camp

4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

History of Great Singers

5:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.

Dinner

6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

Choir

Wednesday

Activities

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Breakfast

9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.

Stageworks

11:00 a.m.–11:45 a.m.

Theory

12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m.

Lunch

1:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Performance class

3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Breathing boot camp

4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Learning music boot camp

5:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.

Dinner

6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

Choir

Thursday

Activities

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Breakfast

9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.

Stageworks

11:00 a.m.–11:45 a.m.

Theory

12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m.

Lunch

1:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Performance class

3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Breathing boot camp

4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Staff recital

5:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.

Dinner

6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

Choir

Friday

Activities

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Breakfast

9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.

Stageworks

11:00 a.m.–11:45 a.m.

Theory

12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m.

Lunch

1:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Studio Meetings

8:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.

Dinner

8:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.

Choir

Saturday

Activities

11:00 a.m.–11:45 a.m.

Performance class

1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.

Boston Conservatory audition

6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

Harbor boat cruise

Schedule subject to change.

Requirements

This program is for high school students ages 15–18 who are serious about musical theater or classical singing.

Program-Specific Details

Application Details

This program is application-based and requires the preparation and submission of additional application materials along with your registration form. Once your materials are reviewed, you will be notified of your decision via email. Due to limited availability, you must accept your offer and pay tuition in full in order to reserve your spot in the program.

Students interested in applying to this program should prepare the following materials:

  • Two video recordings of contrasting classical or musical theater songs with live piano accompaniment. If musical theater pieces are presented, one of them must be a legit piece that shows line and lyricism.
  • Please do not submit recordings of live musical theater shows.
  • A repertoire list of musical pieces you have worked on in the last two years.
  • Video Recording Submission Guidelines
  • Sound quality is important and the singer must be clearly audible and visible.
  • Videos can be made at home or studio recordings. Smart phone quality is sufficient.
  • Recordings of the performances should be recent (within the last year).
  • Please ensure that your video submissions are easily accessible and not set to private.
  • Instructions on how to submit your materials are available in the online application portal. Create your account to begin your application.
  • Apply by May 1. Once received, your application materials will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Course Placement

After checking-in on Monday morning, you will sign up for a placement audition. Please plan to sing one memorized selection of your choosing, either classical or musical theater, that you feel represents you well. The music you provide the pianist should be in a binder, pages back-to-back, in the correct key, and should not be a lead sheet. You will also be asked to sight-read a short excerpt so we can assess your music reading level. When the audition is finished, you’ll take a short theory test that will help us place you in an appropriate theory class—just to be sure you’ll be taught your current skill level.

Once You've Enrolled

Once you're accepted and enrolled, visit our Next Steps for Enrolled Students to make sure you have everything you need for your program.

Check your email for important information

  • You should continue to check the email that you used to enroll in the program for important information.
  • You will receive a detailed check-in email with information regarding your assigned arrival location, housing assignment, and a link to view your program schedule one to two weeks prior to the start date of your program.
  • When you arrive on campus, you will receive additional program information to guide you through your program.

What to pack 

  • Two clean copies of solo music you are prepared to perform and work on with coaches and teachers (separate from your piece for your placement audition)
  • An up-to-date hard copy of your complete repertoire list
  • A device to listen to an MP3 of accompaniment (possibly your phone)
  • A device to record your lessons and coachings (possibly your phone)
  • Clothing that is comfortable and modest. You’ll likely be lying on the floor, upside down, and moving around for the movement part of the day.
  • Two nice outfits to perform in for the solo recitals, as well as a combination of black and white; black or white; solids, or prints for the final concert.
  • Performance appropriate and comfortable shoes
  • A yoga mat or large towel
  • Water bottle
  • If you are staying on campus, you can reference this packing list with any additional items you’ll need while attending your program.