By Gary Powell
In the fall of 2008 I was holding a workshop; â€œPop Vocal Performance Techniques for the Theatrical Singerâ€ at DeSales University in the beautiful Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. This was my second trip to DeSales invited by theatrical director, educator and longtime friend Dennis Razze who directed me in the role of Jesus in JC Superstar in 1980. We’ve been best buds ever since.
The Broadway show as a genre has adopted many new vocal styles over the decades broadening the palette of sounds demanded of “Broadway” singers. Hence the workshop. My work in the recording studio since 1978 forced me to become fluent in every vocal style from barbershop quartets to hip-hop. These skills are what brought me to DeSales to present this vocal workshop.
Austin Producer Gary Powell has been searching Texas for outstanding performers across many genres of music since 1978 to cast singers in his productions. Meet Leslie Powell – no kinship to Gary and talented without the need of nepotism. Gary produced Leslie Powell on her first iTunes release, “Rain Check” written by both Gary Powell and Helen Darling.
Leslie graduated from Westwood High School in Austin, Texas in 2010 and is studying theatrical arts at the University of Texas. Please support Leslie in hopes that we will hear more music from her in years to come.
by Gary Powell
Jazz pianist and long-time friend Jeff Hellmer came to the studio in 2008 with the purpose of creating a solo piano recording of seldom-heard Christmas songs. Jeff was graciously helping me build a catalog of holiday music for Miramuse, which at the time was a business-to-business solution for helping companies learn how to best utilize music to enhance their brand or deepen their relationships with customers and even employees.
I had researched ancient hymns and carols in the mid-1980’s for Ensemble 109 at the University of Texas and had written several vocal arrangements for several of these beautiful pieces of music; most of them lost to antiquity. Jeff freely improvised from these original hymn arrangements delivering a freshly re-harmonized interpretation of these ancient carols. Jeff also added a classic in “Oh Christmas Tree” and and one of my own tunes which I wrote as he waited, “Enchanted Star.”
The gift Jeff Hellmer brings to us is a relationship to music that belies that relationshipâ€™s underlying complexity while deepening our own. Jeffâ€™s musicianship invites us to engage his music in an atmosphere free of self-agrandizement. Whatâ€™s that sound like? The sound is alive, safe and disarmingly intelligent! – Gary Powell
Now this recording is available for download from iTunes, Amazon and Rhapsody for the rest of the world to hear. Thank you Jeff for making my Yamaha C7 sound better that I could ever do myself. Also, thank you to master piano technician, Brian Henselman, for keeping this piano in top shape.“Jeff Hellmer, Christmas Jazz” – Now Available for Worldwide Download from These Stores:
Miramuse is happy to finally announce the release of the instructional guitar DVD, “Philippe Bertaud: On the Music of Heitor Villa-Lobos.” After shooting this three-camera video production in Gary Powell’s studio, the release had been stalled in the ever-deepening abyss of securing the synchronization rights for the usage of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos’ music. The process of securing the rights took thirty months of research, complete with many dead-ends, confusion, and the kind of bureaucratic communication of which only a snail could be proud.
This is a preview of
“Philippe Bertaud: On the Music of Heitor Villa-Lobos”
. Read the full post (133 words, 1 image, estimated 32 secs reading time)
by Gary Powell
My lifelong friend and movie producer, Cynthia Coury of Poppy Productions, offered me the opportunity to write a song for her movie, “You’re So Cupid!”. She suggested that Malese Jow, who plays the role of Megan, sing the song. Good choice. Malese had early success in her life in front of the camera and is known world-wide for her role as Geena Fabiano in the hit Nickelodeon show “Unfabulous” and more recently as Anna in the popular TV series “The Vampire Diaires” seen on CWTV. I’m happy to welcome Malese to the collection of talented singers who work in my studio.
by Gary Powell
In 1995, I gave an interview on Austin’s NPR radio station, KLRU. During the interview, the moderator, John Rogers, played a recording of a composition I had written for the vocal group I had directed ten years earlier at the University of Texas, Ensemble 109. I recorded “Kryie Eleison, Christe Eleison” in 1986 with five studio singers, two of whom had been former students of mine at UT.