This past spring, Civic Music Association unveiled the most recent addition to our scholarship program, the Excellence in Teaching Award. Thanks to the Marian W. Sharp Revocable Trust, CMA presented the inaugural winner, Brandon Waring, a $2,500 prize to aid his professional development as a choir director.
With his winnings, Waring attended the renowned CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah University in July. During the nine-day program, he attended various workshops and classes designed to refine his skills as both a vocalist and teacher.
One of the most notable experiences Waring shared was learning how to both perform and coach others in diverse contemporary styles.
“I learned some of the characteristic sounds and techniques of each genre and how to lead the students to discover them,” he said. “Unlike the classical realm, today’s music has an emphasis on the artist having a unique message that they are able to deliver with a unique sound and voice.”
In addition, he gained insight into some of the anatomy behind singing. This included a visit to a cadaver lab where institute participants could see and feel body parts relevant to the vocal process. Waring also received a personal laryngoscopy, which evaluates the state of one’s vocal folds and surrounding tissue.
With the school year quickly approaching, Waring expressed gratitude and excitement to apply what he has learned when working with his students.
“I would love to thank the Civic Music Association for allowing me to have this AMAZING opportunity,” he said. “I can’t wait to help my students discover their own natural sound and empower them to use it to convey their message!”
Want to apply or have a worthy music educator in mind? Applications for next year’s Excellence in Teaching Award will open in January 2024. Learn more here.