EDUCATION PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT: ONE SONG GLORY
On this week’s blog, The Musical Stage Company’s Deputy Artistic Director, Ray Hogg provides an update on the expansion of our flagship free youth arts training and education program, One Song Glory, and shares what participants can expect from this year’s exciting and innovative programming!
Why is One Song Glory an important program for young artists?
I think that One Song Glory is an important program for young artists because it gives them the opportunity to connect with like-minded young people AND industry professionals. I think that most of the exposure that young people have to arts training comes from private studios and school programs – both critical arenas to building foundational technical knowledge. One Song Glory offers an essential bridge to the professional world for young people by putting them in a workshop and rehearsal setting with industry leaders. We meet the participants where they are and treat them as valued artistic collaborators. For many of the young people involved this may be the first time they are treated as valuable artists, and held to rigorous artistic standards.
How have you taken One Song Glory digital this year?
We’ve taken One Song Glory digital in two significant ways this year:
1) the selection process
2) the intensive itself.
We posted a national call for submissions online asking for both young performing and non-performing artists to create and send us a creative video that showcased their art (whether that be visual art, composition, performance art, or something else). We then held 2 two-hour video creation workshops on zoom. The workshop featured a lecture/demonstration from me on the topics of “What makes a great creative video” and “Feedback & the Creative Process”. Following the lecture/demo, we broke out into smaller groups for more intimate Masterclasses with our directors, music directors, and theatre designers. Each participant’s video was reviewed in the small group setting and given rich and immediate feedback from our professional artists. As in a typical masterclass, the learning for the participants is cumulative – they are able to apply the feedback their colleagues receive to their own work and as a result their learning is exponentially greater…
The Intensive itself will be delivered via zoom in twelve small groups (“pods”) of 8-10 students with a team of four professional artists: a director, a designer, a music director, and a composer. Each pod will write and compose an original music theatre song in response to where the participants are at in the ‘here and now’. The song will be rehearsed, staged digitally, and recorded as a music video. We are partnering with Stream Stage Productions which has emerged as the leading experts on converting theatrical experiences for the digital sphere. It is the brainchild of two music theatre artists (composer DANIEL ABRAHAMSON and performer/creator KAYLA JAMES), so they really understand “liveness” and the pace of musical theatre – I can’t wait to see the final showing!
What have been some of your favourite discoveries or opportunities through this digital offering?
THE most exciting thing about our shift to digital has been the expansion of the program to include participants and professional artists from across the country and beyond! One of our directors, CAMERON CARVER, is a Canadian artist who recently relocated to England – so his pod will be international! None of this would have been possible if we were running the program in-person in Toronto. I’m also really excited to see how the participants interact with their peers from different regions – what discoveries will they make about what it means to be Canadian? What it means to be Albertan? Nova Scotian? How similar/different are we?
What can we expect from One Song Glory’s final digital showcase on December 20th?
We can expect to be surprised and delighted by the inventiveness of young creators. If there’s one thing I’ve stopped trying to do, it has been guessing what form self-expression will take in young artists. We are focussing this iteration of One Song Glory so heavily on the creative process that I have no doubt the process-driven approach will bear exciting artistic fruit! Aside from content, we can expect 12 professionally edited videos, streamed live by our partners at Stream Stage Productions (experts in the field of live theatrical streaming) with some surprise guest appearance interwoven throughout the evening! Keep your eyes peeled!