An important and continuing goal of the Tucson Desert Song Festival Board of Directors is to offer Tucsonans of all ages the opportunity to hear professional vocal music, particularly art song. A variety of outreach programs has been created to engage, educate and hopefully inspire the community.

The Fred Fox School of Music of the University of Arizona has been an important partner since the beginning of the festival. Its faculty are active participants, and the school provides a venue for master classes, recitals and lectures during the festival.

The education component of the festival focuses on three areas:

Master classes, recitals and lectures

University vocal students are given the opportunity to perform for world-class guest artists and the public is cordially invited to attend these master classes. Three or more master classes are scheduled during each festival.

For 2016, UA voice professor Dr. Kristin Dauphinais will conduct two lecture recitals. The first, scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 21, is titled Art Song: Demystifying a Genre. She will host a second, New Directions in Art Song, on Wednesday, Jan. 27. University voice students will be the performers. A new event this year will be a concert by voice faculty members Kristin Dauphinais, Andrew Stuckey and Hugo Vera on Jan. 28. Paula Fan will be the accompanist. More information can be found under Events.

K-12 Songwriting Competition

Songwriting 4The Songwriting Competition, for Pima County students K-12, is designed to encourage students to combine skills of the written word with those of music to compose original songs. The compositions submitted will be judged by a panel of experienced educators and finalists will be chosen in grade groups K-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Finalists will be invited to perform their songs (or have other musicians do so) in a special Showcase Recital in Holsclaw Hall on Saturday, Jan. 30. Cash awards and certificates will be given at that time. Apply here for our next competition, and listen to past entries here.

Adult outreach programs

Adult outreach programs take place in and around Tucson. They are a series of preview concerts intended to educate adults in the history and tradition of art song, increase the enjoyment of this unique music form and enhance community awareness and support of the Tucson Desert Song Festival. The venues include adult living communities, country clubs, churches and private homes. The artists for these concerts are talented graduate students from the UA Fred Fox School of Music.

A new educational program is being introduced this year: A series of informative essays coupled with audiovisual examples will be featured periodically on the Tucson Desert Song Festival website.

To volunteer, donate or obtain further information, call 1-866-546-3305.