WVC Choral Boot Camp


The WVC’s Choral Boot Camp is coming back this September!

Join us for a series of workshops on Zoom, covering a variety of topics—from the physical to the technological!—for our friends in the choral community.  Sessions include yoga for singers, vocal health and vowel blending, musicianship/score study, and an overview of sound equipment and recording for virtual choirs.  Each session will be followed by a brief Q&A with the instructor.

♪♬Come sharpen your skills while learning from the pros!♪♬

Saturday, September 12th, 2020
10:00am – 2:30pm (break from 12:00 – 12:30)

On Zoom

Registration Fee: $25 per person

Enroll here
(upon completing payment, you’ll be directed to the Zoom registration link)


Benjamin Rauch leads a multi-faceted career as a countertenor, conductor, composer, and educator. BenjaminBenjamin Rauch Headshot spent a year singing soprano with the GRAMMY® awarding winning ensemble Chanticleer, performing on major concert stages across the United States, Europe, and Japan. Solo engagements include Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Hamor in Handel’s Jephtha, and The Spirit in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Most recently, he played David in Ken Steen’s virtual opera, Apart/Mental which was broadcast by OperaVision. He has performed as a soloist with numerous ensembles including Crescendo, Greater New Haven Community Chorus, New Haven Chorale, CitySingers of Hartford, Chorus Angelicus, Gaudeamus, and Chanticleer.

At The Hartt School, Benjamin currently teaches undergraduate courses in ear training, commercial voice, and directs the Hartt Choir and Chorale. He also maintains an active private voice studio in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Benjamin is the founder and artistic director of VIP (Vocal Intensive Program), a summer festival that incorporates various styles of singing and career preparation. He is also a singer-songwriter and has worked in musical theatre as a music director, pianist, and arranger.

In addition to his eclectic musical career, Benjamin has completed his 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at West Hartford Yoga and focuses on teaching Yoga for Singers.


Krol_Headshot 2019Tim Krol’s repertoire spans from early music to modern classical and more. He is also an avid teacher who specializes in helping avocational singers refine their vocal technique. Throughout the 1990s, Tim performed and toured worldwide with Chanticleer, and can be heard on over a dozen Chanticleer recordings, including the Grammy-winning album, Colors of Love. Tim can also be heard on Clarion Music Society’s Grammy-nominated albums, Passion Week and Memory Eternal, and Clarion’s upcoming 2020 release of Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil. Tim’s latest solo project is an album of 44 songs by the little-known 19th-century German composer Robert Franz, which can be played on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, Amazon and more. Visit https://FranzFound.com for details.


Patrick Gardner‘s performances have been acclaimed by New York audiences, critics, and an international roster of composers whose orchestral and choral works he has conducted. Active in premiering new music, he has won the praise of such notable composers as William Bolcom, John Harbison, Lou Harrison, and Lukas Foss.

Now in his 30th season as director of the Riverside Choral Society (RCS), Mr. Gardner is also director of choral activities at Rutgers University, where he conducts the Rutgers University Kirkpatrick Choir and the Rutgers University Glee Club. In the spring of 2006, RCS and the Rutgers University Kirkpatrick Choir appeared at Lincoln Center with the Kirov Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philharmonic in performances of Shostakovich’s Second and Third Symphonies under the baton of Valery Gergiev. In October 2006, Mr. Gardner prepared the men of his combined choirs for performances at Lincoln Center, with the Kirov, of Shostakovich’s Thirteenth Symphony, Babi Yar. In September 2006, Mr. Gardner and the men’s choirs, accompanied by Mischa and Cipa Dichter, at Safra Hall at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, presented the world premiere of the two piano version of the first movement of Babi Yar. In 2005, he prepared RCS for presentations of Mahler’s Second Symphony with Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and the NJPAC. The New York Times noted RCS’s “sublime reading of the choral finale.” Mr. Gardner’s critically acclaimed preparation of the choral work in Handel’s L’Allegro, performed at Lincoln Center in the summer of 2005, led to his engagement to prepare Virgil Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas as part of the Mark Morris Dance Group’s 25th anniversary season at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Recently Mr. Gardner presented concerts in Taichung, Taiwan, and in 2007 Mr. Gardner presented master-classes for professional conductors in the Netherlands for NOVK, Nederlandse Organisatie Voor Koordirigenten.

Mr. Gardner has prepared the Riverside Choral Society for the Mostly Mozart Festival in performances of Mozart’s Requiem and C minor Mass, Haydn’s Creation, and numerous other major works. In the past decade, RCS appeared with both the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and London’s Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. In the past several years Mr. Gardner has conducted RCS in its own Lincoln Center performances of the Beethoven Missa Solemnis, the Brahms Requiem, Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, Mozart’s C minor Mass, and Lou Harrison’s La Koro Sutro. In November 2005, Mr. Gardner conducted Haydn’s Creation at Rutgers University, and the previous October he conducted Handel’s Opus 4 Organ Concertos and Coronation Anthem no. 3 with Musica Raritana, a period instrument orchestra of professional instrumentalists and graduate students at Rutgers University. In recent orchestral performances at Rutgers and with the Riverside Choral Society Orchestra Mr. Gardner has conducted the Brahms Second Symphony, the Schubert Fifth Symphony, Haydn’s Symphony no. 88, Shostakovich and Mozart piano concerti, the Ibert Flute Concerto, Arvo Pårt’sCanticum in Memoriam Benjamin Britten and Jennifer Higdon’s Blue Cathedral.

Mr. Gardner prepared the Rutgers University Glee Club for a performance of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder with the Philadelphia Singers and The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. He was the chorusmaster for the internationally acclaimed Robert Altman production of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at the Opéra de Lille in France.

Mr. Gardner has recorded for Naxos, Albany, Ethereal, and Folkways records.


Photo Credit: Jody Somers, J Somers Photography LLC
Photo Credit: Jody Somers, J Somers Photography LLC

Originally from Maine, WVC Artistic Director Colin Britt holds a bachelor’s degree in music composition from the Hartt School, a master’s degree in choral conducting from the Yale School of Music, and a doctorate in choral conducting from Rutgers University.

He has conducted Amuse Singers, the Rutgers University Choir, the Hartford Chorale Chamber Singers, the Hartt Choir and Camerata, North River Sing, and has sung and conducted with C4 (The Choral Composer-Conductor Collective).

Colin’s compositions have been performed by ensembles at Rutgers, Westminster Choir College, Hartt, Yale, and Seraphic Fire, the Yale Schola Cantorum, the Yale Alumni Chorus, C4, VOCE, and the Riverside Choral Society, and by ensembles across the country and on four continents.

In addition to conducting the West Village Chorale, Colin currently serves as Choir Director at Rutgers Preparatory School and as music director for Grace Church Van Vorst in Jersey City. In Fall 2016, he served on the conducting faculty at SUNY New Paltz. He lives in Jersey City with his wife, actress Victoria Britt.


Cheah_Headshot_JHailed by The New York Times for the “warm tone and carefully calibrated blend” elicited from his ensembles, Phillip Cheah is the Music Director of Central City Chorus, New York City’s “valuable choir” (The New York Times), the Music Director of Amuse, an elite women’s ensemble, and a founding member of the New York-based new music chorus, C4: The Choral Composer-Conductor Collective. He has conducted REBEL Baroque Orchestra, the Adelphi Orchestra, New Music New York, and Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble, and he is a regularly featured guest conductor at various New York Summer Sings hosted by the New York Choral Consortium, the West Village Chorale, New York Choral Society, and the St. George’s Choral Society. He was the assistant conductor and répétiteur at the Amato Opera for three seasons and he has served as the music director for musical theatre productions at The Brearley School, Acting Manitou, Dwight-Englewood School, Bloomington Music Works, and the 13th Street Repertory Company.
An accomplished vocalist, Cheah has been praised for his “particularly potent contribution” (The New York Times) and a “warm tone and stately presence” (parterre box). Utilizing his unique three-and-a-half octave vocal range which “defies the laws of nature” (Time Out New York) to create Quire of Cheahs, a versatile multitrack choral ensemble, he has set new standards for virtual recordings with several composer commissions including Harvey Burgett, Alice Deardon, Colin Eatock, Matt Van Brink, and Philip Wharton. He is a member of the professional choir at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields and sang for many seasons with the renowned Bach Vespers Choir at Holy Trinity Church. He has performed at major venues like Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Madison Square Garden, Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, Trinity Church Wall Street, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, Saint Bartholomew’s Church, and Temple Emanu-El with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Paul McCartney, Olympia Dukakis, Ramin Djawadi, YEBBA, and Madonna. He can be heard on the Pro Organo, Tzadik, MSR Classics, and Centaur recording labels. Together with pianist Trudy Chan, he is the Co-Artistic Director of the Cheah Chan Duo whose concerts feature uniquely curated programs of art songs and piano works on themes of cultural and social issues. Time Out New York has lauded the Duo’s “restlessly inquisitive” performances at The National Opera Center, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Tenri Cultural Institute, Cornelia Street Café, Spectrum NYC, the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, St. Bartholomew’s Church, Symphony Space’s Leonard Nimoy Thalia, the National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia), and Victoria Theatre (Singapore).
Cheah has taught at The Putney School, Cathedral High School, Barnard College, and Manhattan School of Music, and served as the staff accompanist at The Brearley School. He has been the personal assistant to Peter Schickele and worked at Oxford University Press as Manager for Concert and Choral Promotion. He holds both B.S. and M.M. degrees from Indiana University where he studied piano, conducting, and opera coaching. He was also a recipient of the 2002 National Endowment for Humanities Grant to study the German operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Vienna, Austria.
BeranekAnaVoice-over artist, singer and actor Ana Beranek was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and immigrated to the United States as a wee babe. Portuguese was her first language, though thanks to her Czech father, her ear was tuned to a variety of European languages as well. Ana actually grew up on a farm in central Florida in a Czechoslovakian community, and did not speak English until she went to first grade. Perhaps due to the trauma of being a stranger in a strange land, she speaks with no discernible accent, not even a southern accent—for which she is grateful! Ana escaped from the farm and enrolled at the University of South Florida (USF) as a Psychology major and within her first year, she realized that the Theatre and Music departments had much more to offer her. Already a trained singer, she flourished as a director and acting coach, as well as an actress. After receiving her BA in Theatre, she proceeded to drive hundreds of miles a week for a few years teaching and performing at various schools in Florida.

Finally, there was a chance to move to New York City, and Ana took it. No matter that two weeks before she was due to move to NYC, the job she was hired for got caught in a city hiring freeze! Ana came to NYC anyway, found a different job in the medical field, and didn’t look back. Ana has worked for hospitals and physicians for over 30 years. Another huge learning opportunity for another “language”—medicine. In addition to learning about surgical oncology and orthopedics, her positions as a practice manager and surgical coordinator often called on her training in psychology and theatre to help patients find their way past their fears.

Since 1992, Ana has also been singing with The West Village Chorale (WVC), both as a choir member and occasional soloist. Her first rehearsal resulted in a paying solo church gig in New Jersey that lasted for four years. Singing with WVC has been a tremendous opportunity to explore not only the traditional western canon, but a lot of new music, and the occasional Broadway tune—not to mention Coldplay, Freddie Mercury, and Sky Pony.

Since 2015, Ana has come back to following her heart, starting to work again as an actress and getting into the world of voice over. Having found wonderful mentors and coaches at Edge Studio in NYC, she has developed new skills and ways of acting through her voice. Carol Monda and Johnny Heller have been wonderful coaches and role models and have helped her produce a commercial demo and narration demos.

We hope you will be able to join us!

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