September 6, 2006
06-113

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations, Kseniya Bor, Continuing Education Suzanne Ewing - 229-249-2640

VSU Continuing Education announces Singers Anonymous, a greatopportunity to learn singing!

Do you like to sing? Is your answer - Oh, yes. I do! - Or - No, I can't sing? No matter what the answer is, we all do like to sing. Openly, on stage or in front of the crowd. Or maybe secretly, as we say for our own pleasure, let's say in the shower where the water splashes absorb the sound of our voices and don't �embarrass' too much. However, we would probably all agree that music brings joy into our hearts. It brightens our days and reflects our mood perfectly. We want to let people know about our mood today, and that is why we sing.

But what about those who believe they do not have talent? According to studies, nearly anyone is able to sing because nearly anyone can speak, and, thus, "singing is merely sustained speech".

For those who have enough courage to try to develop their singing, VSU Continuing Education is offering a unique class that is created for individuals ages 16 and up who have always wanted to sing, but have never had the opportunity.

Six Mondays, September 18 � October 23, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM, Singers Anonymous will be offered in a non-threatening atmosphere in which every student will learn the basics of healthy vocal techniques: breathing, the mechanics of vocal production, and resonance. Specific vocal exercises will be provided in a systematic manner so that the students gain a complete understanding of each concept.

Singing literature will be available to the students on either an individual or a group basis. However it is not necessary to purchase a textbook or music for this course.

Singers Anonymous will be taught by Valdosta State University's new vocal pedagogue Aija Shrader. Dr. Shrader earned a bachelor's degree in Vocal Performing and a master's degree in Opera Theatre from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio and a doctorate from Oklahoma State University in Higher Education Administration. According to Dr Shrader, she has always loved to sing. When Shrader was in the 5th grade, she walked home from school singing the songs from The Sound of Music. This is when the construction workers stopped working and listened, in silence, to her singing. She was embarrassed but this occasion turned her career in the right direction. Shrader attended Yale University for her freshman year. However, due to the absence of a degree for Music Performance, she transferred to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio for her further studies.

Shrader says that the singing voice is the same instrument as it was centuries ago, and that is why she believes in and loves healthy and natural singing. She also believes that a voice can become beautiful through knowledgeable exercises and a belief that you are doing it for yourself, not comparing yourself to others.

In 1981 she was the understudy in Naughty Marietta when the leading performer became ill and she had to substitute. Afterwards a magazine review named her "a Cleveland Treasure". Since then, she continues singing professionally. Other performances include the role of the Mother in Tulsa Opera's Hansel and Gretel, concert solo at the International Latvian Songfest, 1998 and 2001 performances in the Artist Series at the Regional Texoma NATS Conferences, and the 2001 role of Marcellina in Tulsa Opera's production of Mozart's Le Nozze de Figaro. Shrader has served on the voice faculties of Texas Christian University, Texas Tech University, and Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

Shrader is married to Dr. James Shrader, Head of the Music Department at Valdosta State University, and has two children. She has worked with Richard Miller, who is an internationally recognized pedagogue. Shrader's role models are Renee Fleming and Luciano Pavarotti.

The Continuing Education course is being offered at a fee of $90. Other Personal Enrichment classes offered by VSU Continuing Education include Basic and Intermediate Ballroom Dancing, Introduction to Video Editing, Image Improvement and Modifications, Essential Italian, Conversational Spanish, Beginning and Natural Horsemanship, Stained Glass, Make Your Own Natural Cosmetics, Healthy Cooking the Indian Way, Sewing for Beginners, and Group Piano.

For more information on Continuing Education courses, deadlines, registration, and fees, please contact Suzanne Ewing at (229) 245-6484 or visit the web site at www.valdosta.edu/conted .