(Clearwisdom.net) Gage Averill is a renowned ethnomusicologist, music professor and scholar, who was the former Chair of the Department of Music at New York University, and is the current Dean of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. After learning that New Tang Dynasty TV would host the first International Chinese Vocal Music Competition from October 15 to 17, 2007, Mr. Averill said that he was excited to encourage his Chinese and non-Chinese students in the Department of Music at the University of Toronto to participate in the NTDTV Chinese Vocal Music Competition.

Gage Averill, Dean of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto

Mr. Averill believes that competitions are a great way of focusing people's musical energies. In referring to NTDTV's Chinese Vocal Music Competition, he said: "This is a great opportunity to encourage interest in Chinese music among North Americans and also to get maximum exposure for a Chinese artist."

As the Dean of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, Mr. Averill encouraged his students to join the competition not just to see them excel, but also since the competition is a very good opportunity for the students to try out different styles of singing. He felt it would be very helpful to their development. In learning that non-Chinese contestants are required to sing a Chinese song in order to join in the competition, Mr. Averill said: "These are great challenges. I like the fact that it is open to people all over the world."

Mr. Averill believes that if you are a practicing musician and choose music as your career, you might be asked to do something outside of your narrow cultural musical heritage. First of all, a good vocalist must have a good vocal quality, a wide range of tones, and a good quality throughout that range. The vocalist must have control over those tones, and an ability to change the tempo. They should be trained to hit the notes properly. They should be able to act and sing at the same time with emotion that is meaningful for the audience. "They need to be able to look at the audience, to connect with them, and let them know that they understand what they are singing, and there is something important in their songs."

Mr. Averill agrees with the idea of purity of expression- that the purity of soul will bring something to the voice: "I think it is a fascinating way to think about the way in which we express our moral and ethical religious personal self."

Mr. Averill congratulated NTDTV on its first international Chinese vocal competition: "I would indeed welcome the audience to join in what is really a global celebration of the voice, the voice in Western culture, and the voice in Chinese culture. I love the concept that so many people are coming together around the competition to watch, enjoy and participate. Congratulations."