Body Alignment, Part 1: Standing

To produce your best tone, correct alignment is essential. If there is tightening or pressure in any area of the body, the breath cannot enter the body efficiently. This causes a “short circuit” in our internal information system, resulting in a constricted vocal sound. To make things more challenging, our muscles tend to “memorize” our […]

Choral Studies: High School, Part 3

Part III of the high school series will focus on the undergraduate audition. I’ve invited three of my esteemed UMass voice colleagues to offer a few pointers: William Hite (tenor and coordinator of voice), Marjorie Melnick (mezzo), and Jamie-Rose Guarrine (soprano). The four of us offer a Voice Area Open House each October at UMass […]

Choral Studies: High School, Part 2

Selecting your undergraduate institution is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. There are no perfect programs, so you must research schools online to find the best fit for you. Speak with your high school music teacher as soon as possible; he/she will assist you in identifying excellent collegiate programs around the country.  Before […]

Choral Studies: High School, Part 1

Thank goodness for my high school choral teacher and private voice teacher. Without their advice and support, I would have ended up as a train conductor rather than a choral conductor. I wish I would have spoken with them much sooner than senior year. The more prepared you are, the better chance you’ll have of […]

A Recipe for Beautiful Singing

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been doing a lot of cooking during the pandemic. Some of my family and friends are exceptional cooks who never follow a recipe. I only cook during apocalyptic events to stay alive, so following a recipe is a necessity for me. I can manage eggs though.   For singing, […]

A Passion for the Planet

I am grateful that Illuminati Vocal Arts Ensemble performed the world premiere of A Passion for the Planet in June 2019. Composed by my friend and colleague, Geoffrey Hudson, this hour-long oratorio focuses on climate change. Performing it was a deeply moving experience for all involved. An amazing chamber orchestra, members of the Hampshire Young […]

Why We Conduct

When I was a kid, the Coca-Cola Company introduced a catchy jingle that caught my attention. This is amazing because I apparently had the attention span of a gnat. It became my favorite song to sing. The lyrics, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony,” thrilled me. I loved seeing the […]

Why We Sing

Whether you believe the universe was created by a big bang or a mighty voice that proclaimed, “Let there be light,” everything was brought into existence through sound. The human voice is the original instrument. There is not a culture on the planet that does not have singers. While I love solo singing, there is […]