Episode 146: The Vibrato Question with Dr. Jennaya Robison

In today’s episode, we have a special guest, Jennaya Robison, who is an accomplished conductor, vocalist, and music educator.

In this episode, we delve into the topic of vibrato in choral singing. Dr. Robison would like to advocate for a world where female voices in particular are freer to vibrate in choral singing. Jennaya recently presented with a panel at National ACDA on a session called “Let Vibrate!” in which she and her colleagues urged us to rethink our aesthetic preferences related to vibrato. I asked Jennaya to join me because, as always, I only MOSTLY agreed. 🙂

Throughout the discussion, we explore the technical aspects of choral singing and the role of vibrato in creating a particular sound. We also discuss the importance of individual voice training, the concept of blend and a clash between philosophies that either honor the aesthetics of the past, or discard them due to the injustices of the era.

This episode was recorded in person in our home studio, providing a more intimate and personal conversation about the nuances of choral music. Don’t miss Jennaya Robison on the Choralosophy podcast!

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Dr. Robison is one of the leading choral directors in North America, and is consistently in demand as a clinician both nationally and internationally. She has presented at ACDA and NATS conferences and is a national leader of choral artistry, pedagogy, and innovation. She has held previous positions at Luther College, the University of Arizona, and the University of New Mexico, and has an active performance career as a soprano soloist and chorister.

Dr. Robison is in demand as a conductor, clinician, and soprano throughout the United States. She has conducted orchestras at the University of Arizona, Luther College, and as well as community orchestras in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. As a public-school educator, she has taught in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

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As a soprano, she has sung as a soloist with the Grammy award-winning True Concord, Tucson Symphony, Arizona Opera, Scottsdale Arts Orchestra, Scottsdale Symphony, St. Andrews Bach Society, Phoenix Youth Symphony, Tucson Masterworks Chorale, Rochester Choral Arts, and Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque.

Her primary area of research is in the field of vocal health within the choral ensemble. She has been an invited conductor and clinician at numerous festivals including All State Choirs in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, Wisconsin Middle Level Honors Choirs, Texas Collegiate Women’s Honor Choir, Montreat Music Conference Festival Choir and various regional and state honor choirs in Texas, Nevada, Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona, Master of Music in conducting and voice from the University of New Mexico, and Bachelor of Arts in music from Luther College. She is the coordinator of Collegiate Repertoire and Standards and director of Student Activities for the North Central chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. Her choral series is published with Pavane Music.

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