116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Chicago-based opera singer Dorian McCall is returning to Washington High School this month to provide free vocal lessons to students.
McCall, a baritone singer, is providing two weeks of one-on-one instruction beginning Nov. 28 — free of charge — to 18 students at Washington High. The artist in residence program called Lift Every Voice is sponsored by the Cedar Rapids Opera in partnership with the Cedar Rapids Community School District.
McCall first visited Washington High in April, teaching students about how their individual voice is an instrument and “its own language,” he said. Lift Every Voice is designed to support and enrich vocal instruction in high school choir programs by providing private lessons to students.
The mission of Lift Every Voice is to bridge the access gap that precludes students from studying voice privately because they experience barriers to participation, according to a news release from the Cedar Rapids Opera.
In lessons, McCall asks students: “What was your body telling you about your pitch?”
McCall incorporates abdominal exercises in to his practice, which helps students better control their voices by improving their posture and strengthening their muscles. His goal is to raise students’ “body awareness” and use of muscles and breath to fuel the voice, he said.
“We are so happy Dorian McCall will return to Washington High again this year,” Washington High choir director Peter Westphalen said in a news release. “Dorian brings excitement and energy to his music teaching. He has the ability to get students out of their box and try new things. He is well versed in many styles of music, and his passion and love for the art is contagious.”
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