After a 3 year hiatus, the producer of the most popular summer program for vocalists in Hollywood, Dave Stroud Vocal Studio (DS Vocology), has created the 2012 VocalizeU Artist Intensive. Intending that every artist gets the same attention, education and access as top celebrities, they have succeeded in providing just that.
I joined as nearly 140 artists from Mexico, Australia, Malta, London, and other locations around the world connected to VU’s Hollywood-based, industry powerhouse creating an artist intensive program like no other in the world. Prominent singers, performance experts, talent scouts, music industry executives, recognized VIP voice training experts, and other leading professionals convened in this week-long camp at St. Mary’s College nestled high in the hills above Santa Monica, CA.
Enhancing artists’ knowledge through life changing experiences, anyone who loves to sing and wants to heighten their craft as a vocal artist benefited from the curriculum. Singers could fully customize their experience to get whatever they needed out of this program which ranged from foundational classes for beginners to advanced classes for seasoned performers.
After singers checked-in and were oriented to camp rules, leadership, and schedules participants and guests were welcomed through an intimate concert featuring American Idol‘s Jordin Sparks and The Sing Off‘s Pentatonix. Joining forces in an awesomely sweet twist of fate the Idol alum stormed the stage, and with Pentatonix providing an a capella back-up full of their unique and cool vocal flourishes, she jammed out to her hit song “Battlefield.”
Here’s some video I shot of that stellar moment:
In a once-in-a-lifetime moment, VU Artist Intensive participant Noelle got a chance to wail out a tune with her vocal hero Jordin.
What an amazing and unique start to pursuing one’s singing dreams in a concentrated week!
Jordin Sparks, Pentatonix, Natasha Bedingfield, Ben Folds, and other international vocal stars who rank among Dave Stroud’s personal clients (Dave is humble not to name drop—so I will). These supporters of his highly successful VocalizeU app attended, performed, taught, or connected with campers in Q&A sessions. His attention to young, aspiring singer’s hopes and dreams gets the same energy and nurturing as his big name artists.
Everywhere I turned I witnessed singers who have dreamed of a team dedicated to nurturing their unique talents and goals were having life changing experiences while attending the VocalizeU Artist Intensive. Everyone was welcome, from all artistic platforms, styles, ability, and training background, as young as 12, to well seasoned artists over 60.
Each participant received private vocal training, a one-on-one mentorship, performance coaching, and was provided with a variety of vocal skills classes, daily performance opportunities, networking situations, vital industry connections, and the chance to create lifelong friendships. Each evening culminating in a showcase presented by Guitar Center where singers could perform for each other and guests.
Suzie Drahos who founded and leads the charitable music organization Acts of Love in Arizona traveled to meet her son Brandon Drahos to assist Dave Stroud and participate in the program and keep things running smoothly. I had much more interaction with Brandon (which makes me skeptical that he was able to make it to many classes). I saw him busily attending to every production member and still available to field my questions at any given moment of the day. However, I did get to enjoy him perform an acoustic version of his very famous doppelganger Adam Lambert’s “Whaddya Want From Me” which you can watch here.
Brandon sums up his experience at VocalizeU Artist Intensive saying,
“It makes me feel blessed that I had that amazing experience and opportunity to be surrounded by that much talent, and it made me want to collaborate with all different kinds of artists, just so that my growth as an artist and as a person would be more well-rounded. Success comes from experience and the will to throw yourself into it heart and soul! And I’m ready to go there!”
Not a bad takeaway. No doubt next year’s VU Artist Intensive will be another unparalleled and highly anticipated experience. I’m looking forward to the success of the participants in this superior program who will undoubtedly become a new alumnus galaxy of stars among those born from American Idol, The Mickey Mouse Club, and Star Search.
Did you attend? Are you planning to next year? Leave a comment!