Entries by Ellen Allen

Why Rising Stars?

If you’re the parent of a theater-loving kid or teen, you probably already know there’s a TON of summer theater out there to choose from.  There are companies that produce full shows; others where teens can intern behind-the-scenes; still others where you can learn the ins and outs of the tech world.  Whatever it is […]

Back to Basics, Part 2: Vocal Warm-ups

We’ve all done them, or at the very least, heard them before: the endless patterns, scales, and weird noises that singers use as vocal warm-ups. While, to the untrained ear, we may sound like dying cats or like we’re screaming bloody murder, any experienced singer will tell you that warm ups are absolutely essential to […]

Sight Reading 101

In our last post, we discussed the ins and outs of choral auditions – what to expect, how to prepare, and what directors are looking for.  We discovered that one common aspect of choral auditions is that experience that virtually all singers dread: sight-reading. What is sight-reading?   Sight-reading is when you are handed a […]

In Singing, There Are No Shortcuts

Have you ever seen those sketchy-looking Internet ads that pop up on those less-than-reputable websites?  The ones that entice you with titles like, “Get rid of belly fat with this one weird trick!” or “The secret about preventing [health problem x] that doctors don’t want you to know!” It’s obvious to anyone with even a […]

The Mixology of a Good Performance

Have you ever sat there in the audience, listening to a singer who maybe *sounds* good enough, but whose stage presence is just… awkward?  I’m talking hapless, seemingly random gestures, a deer-in-headlights look, a wild lack of visual focus, and/or an obviously huge emotional disconnect from what they are singing about.  Yes?

The Ten Commandments of Rising Stars Week!

Summer is our favorite season here at Rising Stars – it means our camps and theater intensives are just around the corner! This year, we’re very excited to run TWO musical theater programs – the first, our new Musical Theater Intensive for Homeschoolers, runs next week (June 5-9); the second, our traditional Rising Stars Camp, runs July […]

Why the Arts Matter

It’s no secret that it’s hard being an artist.  What we do requires study, practice, discipline, self-sacrifice, emotional engagement – all things which are often absent from our instant-gratification-loving, technology-driven, modern, American culture.  In a time when our society seems to consume ever-increasing amounts of cheap, thoughtless entertainment, the fine arts and the artists who […]