Friday, February 8, 2013

SMWC Choir Retreat Brings Guest Conductor

Saturday, January 26, 2013: The SMWC Chorale and Madrigals and Director Michael Boswell welcomed Dr. Michael Murphy to campus for a choir retreat. Michael Murphy is the Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Conducting at the University of Idaho’s School of Music, where he conducts the Vandaleer Concert Choir, University Chorus and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in conducting and choral methods. He also serves as the Artistic and Music Director for the Palouse Choral Society and Palouse Festival Orchestra. To learn more about Murphy's work as a conductor, click here.

SMWC Madrigals with Director Michael Boswell and
Guest Conductor, Michael Murphy
The retreat started with a morning yoga session led by SMWC faculty member Dr. Anneliese Payne. Students were seen leaving the session with yoga mats, relaxed bodies and peaceful expressions. Dr. Murphy then worked with the SMWC Chorale for the rest of the morning, providing new perspectives on their music and sound. After lunch, Dr. Murphy worked with the SMWC Madrigals in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, affectionately referred to on campus as "the Big Church". He tried different formations and encouraged the students to think differently about the music they were singing. In addition to having them move in a circle to free up their sound, he also shared a positive philosophical perspective, asking them questions such as, "What are your dreams? What do you want out of life?" He went on to say, "Don't forget to dream and then realize those dreams!".
Dr. Murphy works with SMWC Madrigals

The choir interacted with one another in different exercises and then Dr. Murphy worked with them on various songs which will be featured on their Spring concert. Michael Boswell, SMWC Chorale and Madrigals Director, connected what Dr. Murphy was sharing with his own perspective, creating a wonderful environment of sharing and learning for the students.

Dr. Murphy spent time throughout the day sharing his philosophy of music and choral singing. He ended their time together by saying, "Live in the aware of the tremendous opportunities you have here. I am an outsider and here are the things I have noticed...You have wonderful faculty here and they are here to serve you...and you have this amazing space! Take advantage of this time."

The SMWC Chorale and Madrigals Spring Concert will take place in the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Sunday, April 28, 2013. Contact Director Michael Boswell at 812-535-5017 or for more information.