Posting Date: March 27, 2009
Countertenor David Daniels presents master class at KSU
By Jarmea Boone
David Daniels (center) with KSU music students during master class
Photograph by Jarmea Boone
On March 19, countertenor David Daniels presented a master class with students from Kennesaw State University's School of Music in the music building on campus. Five KSU music students performed in front of an audience of students, professors, and fans and then received critique and hands-on instruction by Daniels.
The students found Daniels' instruction inspirational and enlightening. "I performed 'Gretchen Am Spinnrade' by Schubert," said mezzo-soprano Rachael Alexander. "Daniels taught me that, professionally, you can prepare and practice a whole lot, but once you walk on the stage, you walk on into character and you let your preparation and practice shine through because it is really not you singing—it is the character telling his or her story. You owe that to the composer and writer and to the character you perform. The practice room is where you work on all the technical issues or hardships, and the stage is your performance. The distinction between the two became a lot clearer to me."
Daniels was born in Spartanburg, S.C., the son of two voice teachers. He began to sing as a boy soprano, moving to tenor as his voice matured, and earned an undergraduate degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Dissatisfied with his achievements as a tenor, David Daniels made the daring switch to the countertenor range during graduate studies at the University of Michigan with George Shirley. Daniels is an exclusive Virgin Classics recording artist, with several critically acclaimed and best-selling solo albums to his credit.
The American countertenor has appeared with the world’s major opera companies and on its main concert and recital stages. He made history as the first countertenor to give a solo recital in the main auditorium of Carnegie Hall.
The master class was arranged by vocal artist-in-residence Valerie Walters.