Sunday February 25th 2007 – On Sunday afternoon, Meribeth Dayme, the author and authority on vocal anatomy, singing and presentation skills, conducted a workshop on presence in performance with eleven students of AESS members. The workshop was held in London at the home of the AESS Secretary and participants came from as far a field as Leicester and Derbyshire. With one exception all had entered the Junior Vocal competition in the autumn of 2006 and attendees included both the first and second prize winners. In the course of the afternoon, Meribeth was able to address many different issues including dealing with the self-critic, being present in the moment, the importance of what is visible and the importance of knowing and understanding the text even before addressing the music. Meribeth also had some interesting .strategies for energising performances depending on the singers: some were encouraged to practice incorporating grand gestures to bring the music to life, while others were directed to keep their hands flat on the piano lid to reduce a hyperactive body which was preventing them from singing freely. A recurrent theme throughout the afternoon was the significance of ensuring that the singer’s instrument is properly aligned. Time and again the audience of parents and teachers were witness to the transformations in sound achieved by making alterations to an habitual posture which, while apparently comfortable for the singer, was actually inhibiting their sound production. The session was videoed and each participant will be receiving a DVD of the afternoon’s proceedings, enabling them to see and hear the results for themselves of this informative and enjoyable afternoon’s work.