Dr. Wilkinson holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice and the Certificate in Singing Health from The Ohio State University, a collaboration between the departments of music, speech and hearing science, and otolaryngology. At once a singing teacher, voice and speech coach, and voice scientist, he is one of Canada’s leading voice pedagogues with a singular ability to habilitate and rehabilitate both professional and aspiring professional voice users. In addition to his rare background in clinical voice therapy and laryngology, he is known as an expert in educational psychology, curriculum design, and the neuroscience of learning. He enjoys paying what he’s learned forward to individuals and groups from all walks of life, no matter the reason and no matter their level of experience.
“Everybody should have access to understanding how the voice works, what it is, and how to take care of it.” – Dr. Mark Wilkinson
On March 5, the 2022 NYCC singers met virtually with Dr. Wilkinson. The premise of his workshop was to debunk the most common myths about the voice and the breath, all while giving the choristers the opportunity to learn the basics of how the voice truly works. We were delighted to share in this experience, and to learn from such a humble and inspiring teacher. We look forward to seeing Dr. Wilkinson again (in person) in Ottawa in May!
Next up for our choristers:
March 26, 2022
The Creative Entrepreneur with Laura Adlers
May 13, 2022
Breathing and Balancing: Mental Wellness Tools for Musicians with Sara Brooks
Learn more about the 2022 National Youth Choir of Canada, and stay tuned for more exciting content via email, and on Facebook and Instagram.
They always came back to NS with so much new music, friends, and experiences that sounded like the provincial program but even larger and longer. Choir for me was my safe space, and when I could spend a whole weekend touring Nova Scotia with friends singing, what better time could be had. So, 2 weeks sounded like one of the best experiences I could possibly imagine. When I finally turned of age, I jumped at the opportunity. I still remember auditioning for Heather Fraser and Christina Murray at St Georges in Halifax. To this day it is an experience I will always remember.
What were you doing at that point in life?
When I was in National Youth Choir I had just moved home to Halifax, started working as a Music Director at a church in downtown. I had started singing with Halifax Camerata Singers and working part time at the Gap. I was just kind of getting my bearings and living at home, had just done a tour with the Canadian Chamber Choir (CCC) and was starting off my life in Halifax.
What are you doing now?
Currently I am a Store Manager Trainer with Starbucks in St. John’s Newfoundland. I manage a busy drive thru location and train new managers when they start with the company here in Newfoundland.
How is choir still a part of your life?
I still sing as much as I can. I play piano for a good friend’s women’s choir in Conception Bay South, I sing Tenor with Projekt Chamber Voices and when COVID isn’t rearing their horns, I sing Tenor with the CCC and tour with them. COVID seems to prevent some of these activities some of the time, but when possible, you will find me out there singing.
What is your favourite memory of NYCC?
My favourite memory is hard to pinpoint. There were so many highlights from singing at Podium in Saskatoon, rehearsing with Dr Meredith at the University of Saskatchewan, and working with her which is still a highlight of my life until this day. Her technique of changing seating order based on blend was mind blowing, and her trust in the choir to fix mistakes. But I have to say the memory that I still picture was singing Danny Boy of all things in Marysburg, Saskatchewan. I can remember Dr Meredith explaining the reason behind the song, it was not because it was challenging, or the next new choral hit, instead it was so that when we toured rural areas of the province, they would be left with a song they knew, and we were going to knock their socks off with how well we would sing it. And Marysburg is this town that comes out of nowhere like Brigadoon, (I have since been back touring with the Canadian Chamber Choir and it’s as if nothing had changed) and this town has this beautiful cathedral in the middle, with gorgeous acoustics, and the friendliest people you will ever meet. I can remember how Danny Boy sounded in there and it was simply divine. She started off the piece with 45 singers from across the country singing as softly as we could and bloomed into the beauty of the space and music. When we arrived at our billets house, we would inevitibely talk about the concert, provincial politics, music, you name it. Well, our billets could not say enough about Danny Boy, and that’s when I realized exactly the impact a piece like that can have. Did they enjoy the Childs, Whitacre, and Rossini? Of course, but what really impacted them was that one song. I don’t know why that still sticks with me until this day, but it reminds me of impact to audiences and knowing who you’re singing for.
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