Advanced Diploma in Musical Theatre Performance (St. Clair College)
Aurora McClennan (She/Her) likes to wear many hats: actress, singer, writer, producer, teacher, tea connoisseur, etc. She’s pure dynamite in a small body. Aurora is a 2020 St. Clair College Music Theatre Performance graduate and a 2017 Cawthra Park Regional Arts Program – Vocal graduate. She holds grade 11 voice and Intermediate Harmony certificates from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has trained with opera singers, classic voice and jazz artists, as well as some of Broadways best, like Joanna Gleason!
As an actor, Aurora has been seen as Dr. McClane in the premiere production of The Good Guys, Lily in Kathleen Mills’ The Storyteller, Donner in A St. Clair Christmas 2019 and Viola in Twelfth Night, directed by Olivier winner Heather Davies, with original music by Michael Karloff. She will be reprising her role in The Storyteller this summer in Hamilton as part of Hamilton Fringe, directed by Olivia Daniels.
Aurora is the Artistic Director and Production Manager of The Flare Productions, where she gets to put her passions into practice, creating a space and open space community for all artists to share their voices and tell their stories. Since opening in September 2020, Aurora has produced multiple virtual cabarets, a full length virtual production of Ordinary Days, a virtual interactive comedy special; and a 12 part YouTube series about collaborating and the importance of telling stories with her in-development series, The Love You Make. This project was a quarantine highlight, as she got to work with artists from Canada, the United States and The UK!
As a writer, she is hard at work on multiple musicals, including The Good Guys with music by Fynn Cuthbert, and The Baroness, which received its first reading last spring with Missus Productions’ Re:Vision.
Aurora is very excited to continue to teach voice and music theory. With over 15 years of music training and experience, she is very happy to share her knowledge and help spread the love of music. She is a three time Gold RCM Festival winner, Gold Hamilton Music Festival and Gold and Silver Peel Music Festival winner, as well as the recipient of the Heidi Cyfko award for musical theatre performance and multiple other performance awards. Aurora specializes in classical voice, musical theatre, pop, jazz and folk. And, of course, music theory – her guilty pleasure.
Get to know Aurora…Beyond the Bio!
Hobbies: Reading, painting and writing
Musical influences: Stephen Sondheim and Shania Taub for writing; Louise Pitre, Liza Minnelli and Elton John for performance.
Favourite food: French Fries! Always and forever.
Least favourite food: Soup
Favourite music: Classic rock and folk, musical theatre, jazz, funk and Motown
Favourite song: Right now it’d have to be either Shambala by Three Dog Night or Jackie Onassis by Sammie Rae & The Friends
Favourite movie: That Thing You Do!!
Favouirite movie music: The Lord of the Rings series, of course
Favourite musical theatre/opera: Anything Sondheim, but especially Merrily We Roll Along. Diana: The Musical is the next best, though.
Best quote from your teacher: “Be Fearless and Never Apologize”
Favourite quote: “And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make” :)
Favourite book: It changes constantly, but most consistently probably Any Man by Amber Tamblyn or either of Stephen Sondheim’s books.
Latest Homework from Aurora
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Aurora’s Homework – June 1st 2023
Happy summer everyone!
Recommended minutes to practice: Ideally we want to practice at least 10 minutes each day. More is always better, but 10 minutes is ideal.
What to practice: Italian pronunciation and melody for “Caro mio ben”. I sent a pronunciation video and some tracks with your homework last week. Please refer back to them. Also, have a couple listens to “I Feel Pretty” so we can dive in soon.
How to practice it most effectively: Italian is practiced best by writing the words out phonetically again, and reciting them aloud a few times, then singing along with the recordings I’ve sent previously.
How parents can support practice: Keep encouraging her to practice between lessons. Singing once through isn’t enough, so helping to set a consistent practice schedule would be very helpful.
Recommended minutes to practice: At least ten minutes a day, but more is always better!
What to practice: Practice “The Best”. Give it a few listens then try singing it by yourself. There’s lots of words, so it might be helpful to read the words a couple times too, to become familiar with all of it! I’m sending you this link so, if we decide the song is too high, I can transpose it later for you!
How parents can support practice: Just keep encouraging her to have fun, dance around, enjoy herself. Singing is all about having fun, so the more fun we can have when doing it, the better.
Recommended minutes to practice: At least 15 – 20 minutes a day would be best. Make sure you’re warming up before you sing, too.
What to practice: “Seasons of Love” in C Major and exploring how our traditional technique works within the more pop style song.
How to practice most effectively: Sing it through as if it were a classical song, or a hymn first. Then you can slowly peel back. When we see each other next, we’ll really dig into peeling back. But explore that classical sound and those open vowels we’ve developed.
Preferred Books for Aurora’s Students
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Anatomy of the Voice
This book is the first to explain, in clear and concise language, the anatomy and mechanics of the mysterious and complex bodily system we call the voice. Beautifully illustrated with more than 100 detailed images, Anatomy of the Voice guides voice teachers and students, vocal coaches, professional singers and actors, and anyone interested in the voice through the complex landscape of breathing, larynx, throat, face, and jaw. Theodore Dimon, an internationally recognized authority on the subject, as well as an expert in the Alexander Technique, makes unfamiliar terrain accessible and digestible by describing each vocal system in short, manageable sections and explaining complex terminology.
A delightful collection of musical theatre songs that kids love to perform, from a variety of shows. Using original scores, the songs have been selected and adapted with the ranges and skills of young singers in mind. Included in this collection are short summaries for each of the musicals, a dramatic and character set-up for each song, audition tips, 16-bar cut suggestions, and audio tracks of piano accompaniments.