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Neumann & Sennheiser Establish Scholarship For BGSU New York Voices Vocal Jazz Camp

The Vocal Jazz Camp enables students to learn from multi-Grammy Winning vocal group New York Voices, while experiencing Sennheiser and Neumann microphones.

Ranked among U.S. News ‘Best Colleges,’ Ohio’s Bowling Green State University (BGSU) also boasts one of the country’s most highly regarded resident vocal jazz ensembles: New York Voices (NYV).

In 2009, students and faculty of BGSU’s vocal jazz program—including members of The New York Voices—established the BGSU New York Voices Vocal Jazz Camp.

The Vocal Camp, which is open to high school students, professional musicians, choral directors, and anyone else interested in improving and developing their knowledge of the vocal jazz genre, offers an opportunity for singers to participate in 1:1 training and master classes with internationally touring and multi-Grammy Award winners New York Voices.

This year, Neumann and Sennheiser again supported the Vocal Jazz Camp by establishing a scholarship to help financially disadvantaged students improve their skills and further their passion in this unique musical genre, which continues to gain in popularity both here and abroad.

The New York Voices—which consist of four members, who also serve as the camp’s lead educators and directors of the four camp vocal ensembles—have been recording and touring for 22 years.

Kim Nazarian, the soprano voice and a founding member of New York Voices, has been an artist in residence at BGSU for three years and played an integral role in founding the Camp along with faculty members Chris Buzzelli and Morgen Stiegler and BGSU graduate student Theodor Stiegler, who serves as lead sound engineer and manager of the BGSU NYV Vocal Jazz Camp.

“Ensemble vocals don’t work unless you have great mics and amplification,” Stiegler said. “When we contacted Neumann and Sennheiser, they not only expressed an extraordinary interest in helping take our sonic quality to the next level, but offered us a scholarship program as well. Their level of engagement on our project was nothing short of wonderful.”

After consulting with Sennheiser and Neumann product specialist Christopher Currier, who also happens to be a vocal jazz enthusiast, BGSU opted for a collection of 16 wired Sennheiser e935 stage microphones, four wireless e935s along with 6 Neumann TLM 102 condenser microphones.

So far, the response has been positive: “The Sennheiser mics outperform our other mics both in durability and sound. And as far as transparency, few mics can hold a candle to the Neumann TLM 102,” Stiegler said.

He also says that he sees a considerable difference in individual vocal performances: “When a musician steps up to a Sennheiser or Neumann microphone, there is certain a confidence they get, just by singing into this fantastic and historic brand name. Other mics just don’t have that same effect on people.”

Sherrine Mostin, winner of the Sennheiser / Neumann scholarship, said, “I am so grateful and thankful to have that experience because it was life changing.”

“When I found out New York Voices was putting this camp on, I did everything in my power to be able to go and I am so glad it worked out—there is no way I could have attended without this scholarship.”

“This camp was one of the most uplifting, encouraging and inspiring music camps I have ever been to,” Mostin continued. “There is no sense of competition among singers, only a focus on improving and learning. It is amazing how much growth you see in all these stu-dents after even one week of experiencing one on one training with these professionals.”

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Sherrine Mostin, winner of the Sennheiser / Neumann BGSU vocal jazz scholarship, commented: “I am so grateful and thankful to have that experience because it was life changing. When I found out New York Voices was putting this camp on, I did everything in my power to be able to go and I am so glad it worked out—there is no way I could have attended without this scholarship.”

“This camp was one of the most uplifting, encouraging and inspiring music camps I have ever been to,” Mostin continued. “There is no sense of competition among singers, only a focus on improving and learning. It is amazing how much growth you see in all these students after even one week of experiencing one on one training with professionals.”

As for the future plans of the BGSU New York Voices Vocal Jazz Camp, Stiegler is optimistic: “We are hoping to continue what we are doing.”

“We’ve developed a successful format combining opportunities for both learning and performance experience for a very wide range of students: some as young as 14, others in their early 60s. The students each have a different background, and this results in a very positive cross-pollination of knowledge and experience for us all.” 

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