Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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James Stegall: Distinguished Faculty Lecture March 26 in Macomb, WIU-QC April 3
March 20, 2013
MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University music professor James Stegall will present, "From Page to Performance: A Lecture-Recital on Artistic Choral Singing," at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 26 in the College of Fine Arts and Communication Recital Hall on the WIU-Macomb campus. Stegall's lecture at the WIU-Quad Cities 60th Street Campus will be at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 3 in room 102.
As Western's 2013 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, Stegall will address the steps a choral conductor and choir must take to render a printed musical score into a meaningful and communicative artistic performance. The Western Illinois University Singers, an award-winning choir of 40 students, will assist Stegall by performing music examples that demonstrate the main points of his lecture.
According to Stegall, five questions will be posed and answered during the lecture, including:
- How does a conductor and ensemble prepare a musical score for performance? This answer will include a discussion and demonstration of the ways a composer's original intent is understood through significant observation of the four contributing elements of choral music (melody, harmony, rhythm and text).
- What is the importance of musical style and interpretation in approaching a performance? This will address the performance of stylistic awareness and performance practice of various musical periods as an essential tool in responding artistically to the musical implications of the score.
- What is the role of the vocal technique in expressive singing? Expressive singing requires vocal agility and skill. The choir will demonstrate methods to refine skills in vocal production, diction, rhythm and pitch accuracy.
- How does a choir develop facial expression to enhance performance? The visual presentation is as important to effective communication as the music itself. Solutions will be offered to help singers match their facial expressions to the musical expression.
- How does a conductor motivate an ensemble in rehearsal? Stegall will discuss how positive communication and feedback from a conductor can raise the inherent abilities of a choir to its optimum level.
Stegall is currently in his 24th year as director of choral activities at Western. He conducts the Western Illinois University Singers and the Madrigal Singers, and he teaches graduate and undergraduate choral conducting and literature.
Through juried application, Stegall's University Singers have achieved significant recognition through state, regional and national convention performances, including via the Illinois Music Educators Association, the National Association for Music Education and the American Choral Directors Association. The ensemble has performed at such professional venues as the Dallas Brass, Kansas City Symphony, Peoria Symphony and Phoenix Symphony.
Stegall's contributions in teaching have been recognized by the Illinois Music Educators Association with the Mary Hoffman Award of Excellence. At Western, he received the Outstanding Teacher Award in the College of Fine Arts and Communication; three Outstanding Student Organization Advisor Awards; two Faculty Excellence Awards; and four Professional Achievement Awards. He was also honored as an Outstanding Music Alumnus from his alma mater, Stephen F. Austin State University.
Stegall makes frequent appearances throughout the country as a guest conductor, all-state clinician and lecturer on vocal production and choral conducting. He is a member of the College Music Society, American Choral Directors Association, National Collegiate Choral Organization, National Association for Music Education and the Illinois Music Educators Association. He is also a founding member of the Southwest Liederkranz, a scholarly gathering of conductors from around the U.S.
Stegall received his doctor of musical arts degree in conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Conservatory of Music. He received his master's and bachelor's degrees in voice from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Stegall resides in Macomb, with his wife Erin, a junior high choral director, and his son, Evan, who is a USA nationally ranked swimmer with the McDonough County YMCA Dolphins.