Amazing Talented Vocalists Discovered

at the Buffalo Summer Institute

by Gary Powell

Jennifer Waris Photo
A simple report can hardly explain the whole of the workshop at “The Buffalo Summer Institute in Media Writing and Production” in Buffalo, New York this last week. I really like to interpret my experiences beyond just what happened, otherwise we’ll all just be punching time clocks and this was definitely not punching time clocks. Singing in the dark photo

Let me first say that I really miss these singers already. Missing someone implies an emotional attachment which became apparent to me when I saw how hard these singers were willing to not only work, but work outside of their normal comfort zones.
As a vocal clinician, it was my job to identify the vocal talent present, and as diverse as that talent was, find the common thread of what would most benefit the most people. For this group, that turned out to be deepening the relationship of the ear and the voice……and in this, case learning to LEAD WITH THE EAR. It’s a paradigm shift for singers to suddenly switch off what they think has always worked for them. Many singers are flat-out resistent to this kind of vocal “therapy”. Well, not in Buffalo!
These singers have all had successes, been trained, sung in front of large audiences, been on TV, made commercials and had record deals. Maybe it’s the hot buffalo wings up there, but whatever it was, the egos were dropped almost immediately.

Anderson's Beef on Weck PhotoThis was inspiring and encouraged me to come up with more exercises and music that would be right for them. I wrote, with the help of everyone, one little funky tune entitled, “I’m Going to Eat My Way to the Top”, inspired by food made famous in Buffalo.Beef on Weck Photo Each celebrity food got a verse…food like “Buffalo Wings”, “Beef on Weck”, “Might Taco” and “Bison’s Dip”. We performed this live with a piano at the closing banquet for other students, faculty, parents and friends. (Thanks to Patrick James for giving us your lick for the powerful “beef on weck” lyric.)

Another comment about Buffalo families and supporters: I met so many wonderful parents who were very present while keeping a very respectable distance. Not to take this too globally, but that’s not how all parents act in Texas. (See any news story about the latest cheerleading incidents.) Now that I’ve angered my entire state, let me just say how great it was to see and meet so many parents and just make note of so many gracious fathers. There was no doubt about sacrifices made in support of these young adults.

Ted Kryczko, Gary Powell PhotoWhile I took the musical responsibility, Ted Kryczko, Vice President of Product Development for Walt Disney Records, took the lead in counseling individuals around the topic of music business. Ted interviewed each singer, learning about their experiences and aspirations while lending his sage wisdom from having been at the center of Walt Disney Records for over twenty years. Thank you, Ted, for inviting me to your home town of Buffalo. I guess this makes me a Bills fan, not to mention a “Beef on Weck” fan.

My thanks to Jennifer Koch-Gibson, the director of the institute, for her accommodating support of everything Ted and I needed. I’m so glad we had the piano for the banquet! Also, thanks to Mike and Robbie at Audio Magic, the recording studio where we worked all week. Thanks to Debbie Bello for your open mind, the support of your students and my morning coffee!

Most of all I want to give three big “woops” to these singers and to their friends and families for a wonderful and memorable week in Buffalo, New York. I am impressed by your spirit, talent and discipline and am honored that you gave me your trust. Come to Austin and we’ll write a song about enchiladas verde, suizas and mole with a side of guacamole!

Buffalo Singers Group Photo

The Singers of the Buffalo Summer Institute

Jennifer Waris, Patrick James, Jay Dref, Samantha Will, Jillian Ambrose, Barbara Levy Daniels, Danielle Calato
Colton Rudloff, Ashley Kate Alaimo, Kelly Warner, Collin Ranney, Samantha Taglienti, Katie Ralyea, Amanda Nagurney,
Eva Burger, Caitlin Koch, Auria Fuentes, Chelsey Zimmerman, Rita Bella, Toni Silveri, Sarah Russell

by Gary Powell

Jennifer Waris Photo
A simple report can hardly explain the whole of the workshop at “The Buffalo Summer Institute in Media Writing and Production” in Buffalo, New York this last week. I really like to interpret my experiences beyond just what happened, otherwise we’ll all just be punching time clocks and this was definitely not punching time clocks. Singing in the dark photo

Let me first say that I really miss these singers already. Missing someone implies an emotional attachment which became apparent to me when I saw how hard these singers were willing to not only work, but work outside of their normal comfort zones.
As a vocal clinician, it was my job to identify the vocal talent present, and as diverse as that talent was, find the common thread of what would most benefit the most people. For this group, that turned out to be deepening the relationship of the ear and the voice……and in this, case learning to LEAD WITH THE EAR. It’s a paradigm shift for singers to suddenly switch off what they think has always worked for them. Many singers are flat-out resistent to this kind of vocal “therapy”. Well, not in Buffalo!
These singers have all had successes, been trained, sung in front of large audiences, been on TV, made commercials and had record deals. Maybe it’s the hot buffalo wings up there, but whatever it was, the egos were dropped almost immediately.

Anderson's Beef on Weck PhotoThis was inspiring and encouraged me to come up with more exercises and music that would be right for them. I wrote, with the help of everyone, one little funky tune entitled, “I’m Going to Eat My Way to the Top”, inspired by food made famous in Buffalo.Beef on Weck Photo Each celebrity food got a verse…food like “Buffalo Wings”, “Beef on Weck”, “Might Taco” and “Bison’s Dip”. We performed this live with a piano at the closing banquet for other students, faculty, parents and friends. (Thanks to Patrick James for giving us your lick for the powerful “beef on weck” lyric.)

Another comment about Buffalo families and supporters: I met so many wonderful parents who were very present while keeping a very respectable distance. Not to take this too globally, but that’s not how all parents act in Texas. (See any news story about the latest cheerleading incidents.) Now that I’ve angered my entire state, let me just say how great it was to see and meet so many parents and just make note of so many gracious fathers. There was no doubt about sacrifices made in support of these young adults.

Ted Kryczko, Gary Powell PhotoWhile I took the musical responsibility, Ted Kryczko, Vice President of Product Development for Walt Disney Records, took the lead in counseling individuals around the topic of music business. Ted interviewed each singer, learning about their experiences and aspirations while lending his sage wisdom from having been at the center of Walt Disney Records for over twenty years. Thank you, Ted, for inviting me to your home town of Buffalo. I guess this makes me a Bills fan, not to mention a “Beef on Weck” fan.

My thanks to Jennifer Koch-Gibson, the director of the institute, for her accommodating support of everything Ted and I needed. I’m so glad we had the piano for the banquet! Also, thanks to Mike and Robbie at Audio Magic, the recording studio where we worked all week. Thanks to Debbie Bello for your open mind, the support of your students and my morning coffee!

Most of all I want to give three big “woops” to these singers and to their friends and families for a wonderful and memorable week in Buffalo, New York. I am impressed by your spirit, talent and discipline and am honored that you gave me your trust. Come to Austin and we’ll write a song about enchiladas verde, suizas and mole with a side of guacamole!

Buffalo Singers Group Photo

The Singers of the Buffalo Summer Institute

Jennifer Waris, Patrick James, Jay Dref, Samantha Will, Jillian Ambrose, Barbara Levy Daniels, Danielle Calato
Colton Rudloff, Ashley Kate Alaimo, Kelly Warner, Collin Ranney, Samantha Taglienti, Katie Ralyea, Amanda Nagurney,
Eva Burger, Caitlin Koch, Auria Fuentes, Chelsey Zimmerman, Rita Bella, Toni Silveri, Sarah Russell

10 thoughts on “Amazing Talented Vocalists Discovered

at the Buffalo Summer Institute

  1. Reading this article and looking @ these pictures have really givin this experience an official “Stamp of Approval” ! How amazing has this experience been ? Words can’t describe. I will NEVER forget our awesome week and I already miss it as well. Someday when I have a gold album of my own *lol* I will look back on this and give it MUCH credit to my success :) *Cheers to all of us making our dreams come true*

  2. I’m the first! I’m the first! Yaaaaaa hoo!!! Pbthhhh!

    Gary, I must say that I do miss last week a lot. I have been to many master classes, clinics, auditions and events of this nature, but never have I been to one that effected…affected…well, however you spell it, *impacted* me as great as ours did. I want to thank you so much for not only allowing me to put this wonderful experience on my resumee, but for giving us each the opportunity to learn something new and exciting about the voice. Incorporating aspects of solo singing, theory, technique, choral blending and proper warm-ups is something that will stay with the group for a very long time. Not to mention we will probably all speak with your accent til about this coming Wednesday.
    Your encouragement and equal distribution of opportunity to each participant is another thing that made this workshop an enjoyable experience. I could see the students from the beginning who were a bit nervous, how they completely opened up by the end. It was amazing. All of these things listed above are the reason why I hope to be a teacher someday after my vocal career. Seeing the impact on a students life, or being that student yourself, is just the most wonderful feeling! I can’t thank you enough for all that you and Ted have done.
    Personally, your lessons have not only re-iterated all of what I was taught in my vocal studies at the University at Buffalo, but it taught me new techniques, quirky facts and most of all, memories that I will carry with me for as long as I am a singer…

    And since I plan on being one for…oh, hrmm ::counts on fingers:: about the rest of time…well, you see how much it meant to me!

    Have a blessed day!
    Ash

    ::pitch pitch pitch is the single most important thing…pitch pitch pitch::

  3. One more thing to add…the song that you arranged and had us sing was most appropriate to the experiences that we had all felt, or any singer will feel, when they truly find their “knack” and open up to their outter *and* inner voice!

    “Ashley, shut up.” K, I’m done! Buh bye!

  4. Heeeeyyy Gary! Caitlin here. Just wanted to say that I had an awesome time with you and Ted last week, it was a total blast! I absolutely loved singing as a group and getting to hear the different styles the other vocalists had to offer. Hope everythings going well in LA, have a good one :)

  5. Hi Gary,
    I just want to say what an honor it was working with you. I know all of my students were just amazed at the amount of material you and Ted were able to cover in just one short week. I am also thankful that I was able to learn from you too. As you know, we all constantly need to learn and use experiences that we encounter to only better ourselves and our performances. You hit the nail on the head with the “pitch” issue. I am a pitch maniac and some of the techniques you used were extremely helpful. I plan on using them in my studio. We look forward to next year. I know you will see a lot of the same faces back again. We really want you both to come back and do it all over again.
    Although, everytime I leave my car these days, I always make sure I have my keys with me!!! (and I think of you and Ted as I attach them to my purse!!!) haha
    If you go to my website: http://www.bellovoicestudio.com you will find that you are also linked to Bello Voice Studio!!! Thank YOU for linking me to yours.
    What an experience, what a wonderful person you are. I look forward to speaking with you very soon. Enjoy the rest of your summer.
    Sincerely, Debbie Bello

  6. Hi gary! Working with you and Ted has been so much fun and I will never forgot this great experience! I loved singing “Eat my way to the top” and “It’s in every one of us.” I have learned so much from this class and I will continue to use what I have learned in my music. Thanks for taking the time to come to Buffalo to work with us. I love my picture on your webpage and thank you for making me a “Part of Your World”!

    Love,
    Jenny

  7. HI Gary its Colton, you do not need to post this I just did not know any other way to contact you because i can not find your email contact…anyways i was just wanting to tell you that I have made it to see the Judges for American Idol! I am 1 of about 50 people who get to see the Judges out of the thousands auditioning in Boston. The news station did two reports on my making it.
    Theres also an article on the Channel 2 Website. http://www.wgrz.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=31285
    If you see my picture there will be a link you can click on above the picture to see the video report…I’m not only emailing you to just let you know this, i was wondering for some sort of advice for auditioning and song
    selection…any sort of input would be awsome…thanks so much
    Your Friend,
    COLTON RUDLOFF

  8. hello Gary its chelsey! oh my goodness the experience this summer was one i will never ever forget! i hope that yourself and Ted will be coming back to visit with the studio (bello i mean). Well good luck with everything…

    Chelsey

  9. Wow!! You were right!! I definitely got a chuckle when I did THIS search!!! YOU & BEEF ON WECK!!
    Thank you again for everything!! Looking forward to talking again!!
    Sincerely, Debbie Bello

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