Women’s Vocal Arts Day, or WoVAD, is an annual choral symposium featuring The University of Michigan’s Women’s Glee Club (WGC) and various high school choruses from the surrounding areas. The day is filled with fun vocal warm-ups, choral workshops, and social activities. Up to 500 high students from around Michigan are invited to this event.
This year, WoVAD took place on Saturday, January 11th. While inclement weather threatened attendance, the day was enjoyable and educational for all that took part. High school soprano and alto voices were assembled into groups led by one or two WGC members of the same part. Throughout breaks, each group played ice breakers before returning their attention to the director, Dr. Julie Skadsem, and their repertoire. The students, both in high school and WGC, learned new songs such as Weep No More by David N. Childs and Water Fountain by Tune-Yards.
While the day was fun and relatively relaxed, preparing for the event required a great deal of communication, commitment, and organization. The WoVAD Coordinator for this year, Fiona Lynch, started planning months in advance. Lynch, a sophomore in the college of LSA, applied for the position last year at the end of her second semester in WGC. To her, the concept of sharing a day in song with students from all around Michigan–including those who could possibly be future Glee members–was very cool. She wanted to be a part of making it happen, which is exactly what she did:
“Getting to make music with so many awesome people in high school and college was really cool. The hardest part of the event was the storm warnings the day before and the day of, which required reorganizing a lot of things. Luckily, all of the WGC members worked together so well in spite of the weather to make the event a success!”
– Fiona Lynch, 2019-2020 WoVAD Coordinator
The WoVAD vocalists finished the day by presenting a joint concert with the Men’s Glee Club, who sponsored the Male Vocal Arts Day, or MVAD. Just like WoVAD, MVAD invited high school choruses to learn vocal technique and perform with the collegiate singers. The concert, which took place in the historic Hill Auditorium, featured songs learned throughout the day as well selections from past U of M Glee Club concerts. Midnight Blue and The Friars, a cappella subsets of WGC and MGC, also performed.
Without my choral experiences throughout middle and high school, I never would have auditioned for Women’s Glee Club. The choral arts were a huge part of my life throughout grade school, which is why I get excited about events such WoVAD. Overall, the day presented an opportunity for young adults of different ages and hometowns to share in musicality and the arts. I truly enjoyed spending the day sharing music with all the talented vocalists involved, and I look forward to next year!
To learn more about The University of Michigan Women’s Glee Club or inquire about WoVAD registration, visit this website.