McGill University Masterclass (1)

Fri May 24, 2024
5:00 pm EDT
New Hampshire Room
High School

General Information

The Whole Singer

Work with McGill University Professors Tracy Smith Bessette and Stephen Hargreaves.


Tracy Smith Bessette and Stephen Hargreaves

Tracy Smith Bessett
Ms. Smith Bessette’s expertise spans the gamut of musical eras and styles. Her rich and varied repertoire includesart song, oratorio, chamber music and opera with an added specialization in Early Music, particularly of the late Baroque. She holds a Doctorate of Music from McGill University where she studied with the renowned Sanford Sylvan. Her doctoral research covered the fields of “Handel Ornamentation,” “Breath Management,” and “Bel Canto Performance Practice” culminating in a final thesis entitled “Making sense of the “vibrato wars”: Exploration and application of varying vibrato in Handel’s opera seria arias.” A devoted educator, she holds a deep passion for teaching in which she incorporates a holistic and co-created approach for each student.

Stephen Hargreaves
It is unusually fortunate when one figures out what they want to do with their life, but when that person is a 9 year old child who accidentally inherits a converted player piano from his new neighbors (because the instrument wouldn’t fit through their front door), it is magic. From the auspicious moment that Stephen Hargreaves sat down before that humble instrument, his love for music began. With no musical background of his own and none in his family, Stephen’s parents recognized his passion and engaged a local teacher to introduce him to the technical aspects of learning music. Stephen quickly dove into exploring music of all genres. He spent hours captivated by diverse composers spanning centuries, rapidly absorbing their languages. He sight-read and mastered piece after piece and it soon became clear that, in order to continue to progress, Stephen needed to find a conservatory based high-school. Having added horn a few years after the piano, his parents lovingly packed him (and his smaller instrument) and moved him to the Walnut Hill School for Performing Arts just outside of Boston.