2023 Conference Program

Workshops, master classes, round tables in 8 sessions
Come back mid-March to sign up for specific sessions

2023 Conference instructors and lead performers include (top left to bottom right):
Paulus (Paul L Martin of London), Tássia Minuzzo (Brazil), Claudia Hommel, Jeanne Franks, Mylène Launay, Barbara Smith, Anne Fromm (Lyons), Jeff Harnar (New York), Lynne Jordan, Jeanie Carroll (Sedona), Ava Logan, Isabelle Georges, Howie Pfeifer, Michèle Barbier, Anne & Mark Burnell, Maryline Rollet, Jean-Claude Orfali, Elizabeth Doyle:


  • The influence of African-American singers in Paris, Q&A led by Lynne Jordan, Michèle Barbier, Jeanne Franks, and others
  • The Business and Promotion of Cabaret: a round table discussion led by Anne Burnell and a France-based presenter
  • Be Yourself. Everyone else is taken, Isabelle Georges
  • Working the Stage: sitting in, microphone and vocal technique, Jeanie Carroll
  • Vocal Power, master class with Elisabeth Howard
  • Stage movement essentials, Elisabeth Howard
  • Making the song your own, Jeff Harnar and Jon Weber
  • Patter Matters: communicating with your audience, Paul L Martin
  • Talking with your pianist, musicality and communication, Jean-Claude Orfali, Mark Burnell, Jon Weber
  • Using Improvisation to improve our performances, Anne Fromm
  • Choosing and developing themes for your show, Elizabeth Doyle
  • English and French diction for singers “comme il faut”, Elizabeth Doyle and a native-French speaker
  • How to Express a Song: dynamic flourishes that set you apart, Anne & Mark Burnell

Sessions will be held each morning and afternoon, Monday to Thursday, August 28-31. Morning sessions begin at 10 AM. Doors open on Monday at 9:30 AM to complete registration and payments. Most afternoon sessions begin at 2:30 PM, with a few exceptions to be announced in the printed schedule.

Session Descriptions

Anne Fromm — Better performance through improvisation
We will play with different group exercises of ‘letting go’ and improvisation. These exercises will allow us to feel freer and enter more easily into different emotional states. We will include vocal and body expression, space management and text interpretation on your songs to better convey emotions and reach your audience.

Elisabeth Howard — Vocal Technique Essential for Cabaret Singing (10-12 singers). Whether you sing opera, jazz, Broadway or pop, Elisabeth will address vocal techniques to make the healthy and most resonant choices for each. Elisabeth will lay her hands on your voice to find new expression. We will cover breathing and support, vocal colors and resonances, head and chest registers, the mix and eliminating the “break,” expanding the range, vibrato types and personal expression. We will address pronunciation and phrasing.

Elisabeth Howard —Stage Movement Essential for Cabaret Performance. We will cover working with microphone, entering and exiting the stage, what to do with my hands, when and how to stand, walk, sit, turn. We can address working with the pianist, connecting with the audience, telling your story, patter between songs. 

Jeanie Carroll —Vocal technique. And preparing to “sit in” at open mics and jam sessions.

Isabelle Georges—“Be Yourself. Everyone else is taken” The quote is from Oscar Wilde and serves as Isabelle’s motto for her master classes. There is joy to be shared, and healing that comes from the sharing of song. Paul L Martin— Patter Matters: communicating with your audience.
While other workshops will explore text and subtext of our lyrics, let’s take a look at what happens in between the songs. What setup or context connects the song to your audience? Whether the song serves as soundtrack to the world we live in or is a time-travel vehicle to another time, its “patter” helps point the way.

Anne & Mark Burnell: How to Express a Song: dynamic flourishes that set you apart 
How to change the repetition of chorus or phrase to your advantage. Find your unique version of the song and make your song a showstopper.

Elizabeth Doyle: Choosing and Developing a Theme For Your Cabaret Show
Various ways to choose a theme for a cabaret show (homage to a lyricist, composer or performer), emotional topics explored in songs such as falling in love, breaking up, or finding the courage to be different; tribute to a city or country; songs from a particular decade; biographical show (of one’s life or the one hour snapshot of a performer’s favorite songs), group shows versus solo shows with guest stars.
Looking at show structure (the opening, the second song, the eleven o’clock number, the closer, the encore); variety of song functions (upbeat, ballads, comedy, charm numbers and audience participation), variety in styles (swing, latin, waltz, ballad, pop rock, rap, blues, country, etc.); variety of keys and tempos. Participants could bring set lists for an imaginary or possible show.

Elizabeth Doyle and a native French speaker: French and English Diction for Singing
There is nothing like a native ear to tell you when your diction is not quite “comme il faut.” Singers are invited to perform a song in their non-native language, Americans singers to be aided by the French and vice versa. The two presenters will give general principles for each language. We will look at the difference between vintage French singing and today’s diction. In English, we will talk about Broadway and classical diction versus the more conversational singing required for jazz and pop microphone singing. Come away with a musical diction pen pals who can meet on Zoom, Facetime or Google Chat in the future.

Jean-Claude Orfali, Mark Burnell, Jon Weber: Talking with your pianist.
Speaking the Language of your Accompanist. Whether meeting for the first time at an open mic or working for years with a pianist partner, there’s an essential vocabulary to share. Tempo, Key, and Song Form.
The relationship between pianist and singer soloist is technical, psychological and spiritual. Let’s explore what each brings to the partnership. Bringing a clean score, specifying the key tonality and other details. What you “hear” and what you want the pianist to hear. The song is an instantaneous creation you make together. Elements to keep in mind include phrasing, the beat, the rhythm, tempo, the pickup and longer anacrusis, slowing down and accelerating, guiding, breathing, Vibrato and vibration, , vibrating, climax and coda. This workshop is for singers and accompanists.