12th World Symposium on Choral Music

Jean-Sébastien Vallée


Country: Canada

How can a conductor gesturally provide the necessary information to an ensemble and inspire the adequate rhythmical proportions of the music?

This presentation aims to shed new light on gestural communication by discussing the influence of the conductor’s gesture on the singers’ inner pulse and its effect on vowel/consonance proportions. The session will include a masterclass with practical conducting techniques to foster rhythmic accuracy as well as adequate consonance or vowel proportion in choral singing.

Jean-Sébastien Vallée is Director of Choral Studies and Chair of the Conducting Area at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montréal. Prior to his appointment at McGill University, he served as Director of Choral Studies at California State University in Los Angeles and was on the choral faculty of the University of Redlands.

Ensembles under his direction have sung for the American Choral Directors Association andCalifornia Music Educators Conferences and were awarded first and second places at the San Luis Obispo International Choral Competition in 2011. In 2015, Vallée was the runner-up for the American Prize in Choral Conducting.

In addition to his interest in choral, operatic, and orchestra music, Jean-Sébastien Vallée is anadvocate for contemporary music, making one of his priorities to premiere and commission works by young composers and program rarely performed repertoire. As a scholar, his research interests are varied and focus primarily on Renaissance French music, the oratorical works of Michael Tippett, and conducting pedagogy, more specifically the connection between audiation and gestural communication.

Jean-Sébastien is also director of the renowned choir of the Church of St. Andrew & St. Paul in Montreal, and Music Director of the Ottawa Choral Society. His work has been broadcast by CBC and PBS, and can be heard on several recordings, including his new recordings entitled LUX (ATMA 2017) and REQUIEM (ATMA 2018).

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