VIDLA couldn’t operate without a core team of dedicated, hard working and very professional folks, all fulfilling separate, but vital roles. Every team member is a vital cog in the machine.
The grass-roots people are the office and admin staff who keep VIDLA running on a day-to-day basis, and our Personal Tutors, who work as advisors, guides and mentors to our students, each student being paired up with a specific tutor who stays with them for the duration of each course. All of our PTs are highly qualified and have extensive industry experience.
But the people who lead and develop the VIDLA curriculum and services are the Executive Team (who also work as Personal Tutors so that they are in touch with students at ‘grass roots level’).
It starts with VIDLA Principal Ria Keen (PhD, MFA, B.Phil Hons, Cert.Ed, F.WGMSC), who has been teaching contemporary vocals for 25 years, and who has worked as a professional singer and arranger for even longer than that, performing as she says, ‘everywhere from the local pub to Blenheim Palace and The London Palladium’. Ria is absolutely passionate about the teaching of good technique, and believes in heralding the work of a wide range of vocal teachers and pedagogies.
The VIDLA ethos is to respect the work of fine vocal pedagogues and researchers worldwide, and to expose our students to as much great research as possible. As Principal, Ria drives and oversees the educational content of VIDLA, and writes a great many academic papers which accompany the learning Units, in support of the ‘set books’ which our students study.
Ria’s first book (one of a series of three) is due out next March. In addition to her work as VIDLA Principal, she also maintains a private teaching practise in Worcester, UK, and lectures on a freelance basis at drama and music schools. She has written many articles, which have been published in newpapers, magazines and of course online.
Working closely alongside Ria are three Vice Principals, each of whom is an experienced and exemplary professional in their own right, and each of whom heads up a different department of the Academy.
Cordelia Lewis (BA, Prof.Dip, Cert.TeachingVIDLA) is a rock vocals specialist with extensive industry experience in recording and touring. She also runs her own private teaching studio in Worcester, specialising in rock and alternative vocals.
Alex Weatherhill is a West End veteran and reknowned Musical Director who has appeared in Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof, The Pirates of Penzance and a host of others shows, as well as composing original music for fringe theatre productions and working extensively as a Musical Director for several highly-acclaimed productions in 2009. He is much sought-after as a private voice coach and workshop presenter, and has specialist knowledge of Musical Theatre, Opera and the Counter-Tenor voice.
Cordelia and Alex are heading up and developing the VIDLA Workshops programme for 2010, and have a great many very exciting plans up their sleeves!
Anne Bradshaw (B.Sc Hons, Dip.Ed, DipVIDLA), is a healthcare, vocal healing and education expert who also holds a Diploma in Contemporary Vocals. Anne is heading up one of VIDLA’s biggest projects, which is set to be launched in September 2010. We can’t yet tell you what that’s going to be, but it’s a genuinely exciting prospect!
So there you have it – The VIDLA Team, and every single person, from the ‘backroom boys’ to the Principal, is dedicated to the VIDLA Mission:
“To enable, empower and educate a new breed of vocal coaches, and to bring new quality standards to contemporary vocal training’.