Free Virtual Workshop from Oakland University for Singers

Inspire the Choir Features Eric Whitacre and Stacey Gibbs on February 6. Music Educators and Singers of all Levels invited to Attend

Eric Whitacre (left) and Stacey Gibbs (right)

Oakland University (OU) School of Music, Theatre and Dance will present Inspire the Choir — a free virtual workshop featuring Eric Whitacre and Stacey Gibbs — from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 6, on Zoom.

The event is open to music educators and singers of all levels. While free, advance registration is required. To sign up, visit Inspire the Choir. The event’s educator track also qualifies for State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs).

“The hybrid approach to teaching and learning presents challenges, as well as new opportunities,” said Dr. Alta Marie Boover, an assistant professor of voice at OU. “In our field — fine and performing arts — we have access to artists who are, like us, at home. We started to wonder — who would we bring in to learn from and work with if we could bring in anyone in the world? Eric Whitacre and Stacey Gibbs were at the top of that list.”

Whitacre is a Grammy Award-winning composer and conductor. His works are programmed worldwide, and his groundbreaking Virtual Choirs have united singers from more than 145 countries. In addition to his extensive output for choir, some of the world’s most distinguished orchestras, ensembles, and concert bands have performed Whitacre’s instrumental works.

Gibbs is a highly sought-after composer and arranger. He is best known for arrangements of spirituals, which have been performed by the United States Air Force Sergeants, The St. Olaf Choir, the Stellenbosch Choir of Africa, the University of Southern California Chamber Singers, the Winston-Salem State University Singing Rams, Morehouse & the University of Michigan Glee Clubs, the Wartburg Choir, and many other college, university, high school, and professional ensembles both domestically and internationally.

“We are thrilled for them to talk with our students and the larger music community about their work and their sources of inspiration,” Boover said.

In addition to providing informative and educational sessions for students and educators, the virtual event will also include:

  • “Yoga Singers” with Jaclyn Normandie Johnson
  • Virtual Masterclass: “Working Together While Apart” with Dr. Alta Boover and Professor John-Paul White
  • “Voice Building for Young Men” with Dr. Drake Dantzler
  • “Investigating OU” with OU Faculty

“Inspire the Choir is going to be a great way to keep singers’ passions for music alive while we’re lacking some of the physical community aspects of choir,” said OU student Angela Bonello, who will serve as a student ambassador during the event. “It will be an honor to attend sessions by composers Eric Whitacre and Stacey Gibbs, and I’m really optimistic about the recruiting potential of this event for high school students interested in pursuing music.”

OU student Kevin Cornwell II, who will serve as a co-host of one or more of the seminars, agreed.

“This is a great opportunity to help our School of Music, Theatre and Dance, especially in the vocal department,” he said. “With this event, I think the potential students are getting the full package by meeting some of their favorite composers, vocal masterclass, yoga, and more. I am grateful to have the opportunity to help in any way I can.”

For more information about Inspire the Choir, visit or email

Schedule of Events

  • 9:00-9:55 a.m. – The Importance of the Spiritual Today with Stacey Gibbs
  • 10:00-10:55 a.m. – Yoga for Singers with Jaclyn Normandie Johnson
  • 11:00-11:55 a.m. – Virtual Masterclass: Working Together While Apart with Dr. Alta Boover & Prof. John-Paul White -OR- Voice Building for Young Men with Dr. Drake Dantzler
  • 12:00-1:00 p.m. – Lunch Break: Informal Q&A with OU Students
  • 1:00-2:30 p.m. – Tell Me Something Good: Q&A and Talkback with Eric Whitacre about Virtual Choir and a Lifelong Passions for Music
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. – Investigating OU: Students meet and greet with OU vocal/choral faculty -OR- Investigating OU: Graduate degree Q&A for music educators, with the OU music education faculty
About Rochester Media

Rochester Media publishes The Community Edge digital newsletter of recently posted articles from Rochester Media, a hyper-local news outlet covering all things in and around Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Oakland Township. Send us you press releases and news happenings to

Speak Your Mind