Choral Music of the Americas - Bahamas

Fall 2016 course

MUS 2710-C01 Choral music of the Americas – Bahamas (3 credits), Aesthetic Understanding or World Views frames credit approval pending.

Through participation in the America-Cantat 8 Festival students will be immersed in a wealth of Latin American and North American choral music. Each student will participate in a 5-day workshop focusing on the music from one country, three half-day ‘atliers’ focusing on music of the Bahamas, Spirituals, and Latin American Choral/Orchestra music, and attend nightly concerts given by premier choral ensembles from each country. Students will prepare and present a presentation on their experience following the festival.

Graduate Course: MUS 5710: Choral Music of the Americas – Bahamas (3-credits)

This course is offered through the Center for Schools as a 3-credit Graduate Topics course applicable to the Masters in Music Education or for Continuing Education credits. 3 credits through Center for Schools is $375 for the full course, due anytime before September 1, 2016


August 19 – 30, 2016 and three wrap-up classes for presentations in September (TBA)


$2000 – (as course fee – financial aid may be used towards the fee) includes:

  • Registration for the America-Cantat 8 Festival
  • Airfare and taxes
  • Van from Castleton to/from airport
  • 11 nights at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort quad occupancy ($50 more for triple, $1-200 more for double)    
  • Atlantis Resort Website
  • Hotel resort fee
  • Bus to/from hotel from the airport
  • Welcome dinner
  • Festival dinner party on August 25

Excludes other meals, extra optional excursions, passport fees if applicable, travel insurance (optional) and personal purchases.

Optional: Comprehensive Travel Insurance including cancellation for any reason coverage through World Cultural Tours $98  
Optional: Excursions from snorkeling, to seahorse cruise, to Bahamas Cultural Tour – extra costs involved. Ask for details!!

Deposit and Payments

To guarantee your spot and rate $250 non-refundable deposit is due by April 18th, 2016. Community members deposit is $500, with $250 refundable if cancelled by May 15.

Participants may register for the course through May 1, but the airfare and trip cost may go up.

Students: make deposits at Financial & Registration Services to the "Bahamas Trip Account"
Faculty/Staff/Community: ask for the deposit account number

Use cash, credit cards, or checks to Castleton University with “Bahamas Trip” in subject line.

Schedule in the Bahamas

Friday, August 19: 9 am departure from Castleton to Albany, and fly to the Bahamas, 8 pm arrival in Nassau, Bahamas.

Saturday, August 20 & Sunday, August 21: Trip meetings, optional excursions, and lots of free time to enjoy the resort and the Island

Monday, August 22 – Monday, August 29 (except Friday): Festival! Morning warm-ups and choral sing, your workshop, 1-day Atlier workshops, and evening concerts. See attached schedule. Everyone must attend 1 workshop, all three 1-day Atlier’s, and at least 5 evening concerts.

Friday, August 25: FREE DAY! Optional excursions, trip meeting, and Festival Gala beach party in the evening.

Tuesday, August 30: Travel back to Albany, and Castleton. Late night arrival at Castleton. 

*If you MUST be back for the first day of school, there is a possibility of traveling back on Sunday, August 28, though this may affect the cost of the trip*


Spring 2016

  • Apply for Passport if you do not already have one!!
  • April 4: or as soon as possible, application, participant form, and workshop choices due
    • The course will fill on a first-come-first-serve basis, so the sooner you get these documents in, the better.
    • Once you are accepted, you will receive the official registration form and will be able to register for the course.
  • April 6 - 18: Register for MUS 2710-C01. The trip fee of $2000 will be put on your tuition bill. Your $250 deposit will be applied to this fee, lessoning it to $1750.
  • April 4 - 18: $250 non-refundable deposit due, and you must register for the course
  • April 18: Copy of Passport or passport application due
  • April 26: Rooming requests due.
  • May 1: Any additional costs for Excursions, travel insurance, single/double/triple rooming due.
  • May 15: From this point on, the remainder of the Trip fee is no longer refundable. This portion of your tuition must be paid before the trip departs on August 19th or you will not be able to go on the trip (and you will still owe $1750).

Workshops at America Cantat 8 Festival

Everyone will choose one of the following 5-day workshops to participate in. You must indicate 1st, 2nd, 3rd choices.

Cari Classics: Bahamian Classical Music, Cleophas R. E. Adderley (The Bahamas)

Explores the fusion of African, European, and Caribbean musical styles. Gain a deeper understanding of classical music being composed and performed in the Bahamas. Best for intermediate to advanced singers.

Bzzz….Crash! Contemporary Choral Music from Argentina, Juan Stafforini (Argentina)

There’s music in every sound – this workshop shows you how to find it. Explore the use of non-traditional techniques (such as onomatopoeic sounds, body percussion, and timbre innovation) for music-making. For all ages and abilities.

Classically American, Philip Brunelle (USA)

Contemporary classical choral music in the US is an ever-changing and ever-growing art form. In this workshop you’ll sing staples of the American choral repertoire and learn compelling contemporary works. Gain first-hand knowledge of contemporary classical choral music of the US, and why advocating for new compositions is vital to the choral art. Intermediate to advanced singers.

The Sounds of Brazil: From Samba to Maracatu, Elisa Dekaney (Brazil)

Come explore the lush harmonies, danceable rhythms, and diverse genres of Brazilian choral music. Focuon samba, foró, maracatu, and samba-reggae. Learn Brazilian melodies and rhythms (even learn a little Portuguese). All ages and abilities.

Cuban Choral Music, From Sones to Guarachas, Daria Abreu (Cuba)

Mix up a musical mojito with these varied styles of Cuban music! You’ll learn music based on traditional Cuban dance forms, folk songs, and sacred music. Intermediate to advanced singers.

Bahama Broadway! Songs of the Bahamian Stage, Nathan Lightbourne (The Bahamas)

This workshop is perfect for any opera or musical theater enthusiast. Focus on opera and musical theater choruses. Learn about music theater styles and traditions of the Bahamas. All ages and abilities.

All the World’s a (Music) Stage, Maria van Nieukerken (Europa Cantat, The Netherlands)

Have a flare for drama? Come learn how to make your next choir concert visually (and musically) stunning with some simple but effective staging techniques incorporated into standard choral repertoire. Intermediate to advanced singers; conductors.

Swing ‘n’ Scat, Vijay Singh (USA)

Of course, this workshop “don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing!” Come learn how to give a little extra swing to these fun and exciting vocal jazz songs. You’ll learn a unique vocal style that blends traditional and non-traditional vocal techniques with jazz rhythms and complex harmonies. For singers with vocal jazz experience OR singers with strong sight reading ability.

Viceregal Songs of Mexico and Cuba, Gisela Crespo (Mexico)

Perfect for any lover of early music, this workshop explores Baroque-era songs written during Mexico and Cuba’s colonial periods. Learn music of Esteban Salas, plus other carols, cantantas, and folk music from colonial Mexico and Cuba. All ages and abilities; anyone interested in the early music of the Americas.

Hallelujah! Experiencing Gospel Music   Rosephanye Powell (USA)

Gospel is known for its ecstatic performances and emotional music, making this workshop a truly exciting one for all participants. Gain a deeper knowledge of music that rose out of the African American church. All ages and abilities.

Coro de Caracas: Venezuelan Music for Young Singers, Libia Gómez (Venezuela)

Classical music isn’t just for grown-ups! This workshop explores classical repertoire made accessible for younger and developing voices. The clinician’s approach to this workshop is based on the El Sistema program in Venezuela. All ages and abilities; specifically younger voices, but conductors and educators will also benefit from the rehearsal techniques and repertoire in this workshop.

Conducting Master Class, Alberto Grau (Venezuela)

Calling all conductors! Learn from one of the greats and find new ideas for getting an even better sound out of your singers. This is a hands-on conducting experience for the active participants. Passive participants (those who don’t wish to conduct, but would like to sing in the choir) will learn by observation and giving feedback to the conductors. Learn new rehearsal skills, conducting gestures, and approaches to interpretation.

Join the Junkanoo! Sonovia Pierre (The Bahamas)

This workshop explores contemporary music of The Bahamas, including pop and sacred works, and everything in between. Led by one of The Bahamas’ biggest recording artists, it’s sure to have the festival feeling of a traditional Junkanoo! All ages and abilities.

Islands of Song: Folk Music of the Bahamas, Audrey Dean-Wright (The Bahamas)

The Bahamas has a rich history; learn more about it through the folk and sacred music of the islands, including works from slavery up through present day. Learn stories from Bahamian folk traditions, Caribbean sacred songs. For all ages and abilities.

Voices of Youth – Joy of Singing! Zimfira Poloz (Canada)

Perfect for the younger America Cantat participants, this workshop is non-stop fun just for kids! This workshop is devoted to fun choral singing for children and younger voices. You’ll learn new vocal techniques and expressive singing through movement and choral music. Who will enjoy it most: Children, younger voices.

100% Colombian Blend, Jorge Alejandro Salazar (Colombia)

Colombia is known as the “Land of the Flowers” and the “Land of 1,000 Rhythms.” This diverse workshop with a wide array of styles will show you why. A broad overview of all the various styles of choral music in Colombia. For all ages and abilities.

Feel the Spirit(ual), Anton Armstrong (USA)

As the song goes, “Ev’ry time I feel the Spirit moving in my heart, I will pray!” You’re sure to move and be moved in this workshop focusing on music from the African American tradition. Tight harmonies, big choral sound, and historical and contemporary arrangements of Southern American music. Intermediate to advanced singers.

One-Day Ateliers

When not singing in your selected five-day-long workshop, you’ll participate in a one day atelier; these sessions bring participants from several workshops together to learn about and sing different types of music. At America Cantat 8, there are 3 one day ateliers offered, and all participants have the chance to take part in each.

Spirituals: Connecting the Bahamas to the United States, Anton Armstrong (USA)

Although many of the well-known spirituals performed today rose out of the American slave songs of 19th century, the tradition of singing spirituals extends beyond the borders of the United States. Dr. Anton Armstrong, a noted choral conductor and editor for the multicultural choral series for earthsongs publishing company, explores the evolution of the African American spiritual and how this music connects various cultures throughout North America.

Latin American Choral-Orchestral Masterworks, Cristian Grases (Venezuela)

Since the colonial period in the 16th century, numerous wonderful choral-orchestral masterworks have been produced in the area of Latin America and the Caribbean. This long tradition, nourished initially from the European Baroque and Classical periods, eventually evolved in the 20th and 21st century into a marvelous display of nationalism.

Traditional Music of The Bahamas, Nicolette Bethel (The Bahamas)

From traditional calypso rhythms to lush folk music to contemporary and popular songs, the musical heritage of the islands of the Bahamas is rich and varied. Dr. Nicolette Bethel, a famed anthropologist and a leading expert on the junkanoo festival, leads this one day atelier that delves into the many beautiful and exciting facets of Bahamian music.

If you are interested in participating, or for have any questions, please contact:

Dr. Sherrill Blodget, (802) 468-1322

NOTE: All travel arrangements including excursions are being made through World Cultural Tours