Faculty Bios

FOUNDING DIRECTORS

Joan Melton, PhD, ADVS, is a pioneer in the integration of singing and voice/movement training for the actor. The author of three major textbooks, Dancing with Voice: A Collaborative Journey across Disciplines (Voice Theatre Solutions 2015), One Voice: Integrating Singing and Theatre Voice Techniques, with Kenneth Tom, PhD (2nd Ed Waveland 2012), and Singing in Musical Theatre: The Training of Singers and Actors (Allworth 2007), she has worked as a performer, composer, voice coach and/or music director on productions in virtually all media. Joan has taught at leading centers of drama and music in the US, UK, Ireland, Australia and NZ, and currently heads research projects in the US and Australia. She is an Emeritus Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance, CA State University Fullerton, a Master Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework™, and an Associate Artist with New York Classical Theatre.

 

Jennie Morton BSc (Hons) Osteopathy, began her career as a ballet dancer before moving into musical theatre, film and television. She is now an Osteopath specializing in the treatment of performing artists, and a performance coach for dancers, musicians and professional voice users. She was on the creative team for the MSc Performing Arts Medicine at University College, London where she is an Honorary Lecturer. She provides lectures and workshops internationally for performers, students, teachers and medical professionals on healthy practice for performing artists, and is on the Board of Directors for the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA). Jennie is a frequent presenter at international conferences and has published many articles on performing arts healthcare. She is the author of The Authentic Performer: Wearing A Mask and the Effect On Health (Compton 2015) and founder of www.healthyperformers.com.

 

Guest Artists

Dr. Irene BartlettDr. Irene Bartlett is Coordinator of Contemporary Voice and Vocal Pedagogy, Head of Jazz Vocal Studies at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, where her teaching and research centre on the development of technique, vocal health and performance longevity for singers of CCM vocal styles. Irene is a past Master Teacher for the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing. Her students (past and present) are recipients of prestigious national and international performance, recording industry, and academic awards. In addition to her pedagogical work, Irene has an enduring career as a professional contemporary vocalist. 

 

 

Janet Madelle FeindelJanet Madelle Feindel is a full professor of Voice/Dialects and Alexander Technique at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. Feindel spent 2008-09 as a Visiting Professor/Consultant at UCLA. Her coaching credits include: Merchant of Venice and The Jew of Malta, with Cicely Berry, CBE, for Theatre for a New Audience, NYC, starring F. Murray Abraham. Merchant also played at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works Festival. Other credits include: Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, Canadian Stage Company, Quantum Theatre, Pittsburgh Public and The Rep. Film/TV/radio credits include: The Old Guy; US Queer as Folk; Dream Team; Street Legal; Love and Hate. Publications include The Thought Propels the Sound and a chapter in Performer’s Voice, both Plural; and A Particular Class of Women, in Singular Voices, Playwrights Canada Press. Feindel has presented/led workshops in Canada, the US, UK, Germany, Switzerland, and Hungary. Certifications include Linklater Voice, Fitzmaurice Voicework™, the Alexander Technique (ATI) and Yoga Alliance Teacher.

 

Wendy LeBorgneDr. Wendy LeBorgne, voice pathologist and professional voice specialist, is the director of two private practice voice centers: BBIVAR, Dayton, OH and ProVoice Center, Cincinnati, OH, and holds an adjunct professor position at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as a Voice Consultant. Dr. LeBorgne has a BFA in Musical Theater from Shenandoah Conservatory and masters and doctoral degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Cincinnati. Her original peer-reviewed research has been published in multiple international journals. She is a contributing author on several books, has authored two training DVDs on laryngeal imaging, and most recently co-authored The Vocal Athlete text and workbook (Plural 2014). Her clients currently perform on radio, TV, film, cruise ships, Broadway, national tours, and opera stages around the world.

 

 

William F. LettWilliam F. Lett is a Senior Lecturer in Musical Theatre and Dance at California State University Fullerton and a Master Clinician for Disney Performing Arts. He holds an MFA in Dance from California State University Long Beach, and a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Arizona. He trained at the EPCOT Institute of Entertainment Arts, the Academy of Dance on Film, and the Goodsell Grande Institute for the Arts and Humanities. As a performer, Bill has worked in regional theatre, civic light opera, TV, voiceover, and film, including work for CBS, NBC, Touchstone Pictures, and the Walt Disney Company. Website: www.williamflett.com

 

 

Marya LowryMarya Lowry is an international teaching artist whose primary area of exploration has been the integration of traditional and non-traditional approaches to voice, singing and performance. She pioneered the development of Ecstatic Voice and Lamentation for actor training, which includes ethnic and non-Western singing styles. She has taught across the US and Europe and toured Bulgaria singing traditional Bulgarian folk music with Divi Zheni, under the direction of Tatiana Sarbinska. Marya heads the MFA acting program at Brandeis University, is a founding member and resident actor with Boston's award-winning Actors' Shakespeare Project, she holds a Roy Hart Theatre Teaching Diploma and has been associated with the France-based Roy Hart Voice Centre as a guest teacher and performer since 1992.

 

 

Michael LugeringMichael Lugering is Professor of Theatre at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Over the past 20 years, his research has focused on the physical and aesthetic aspects of human expression in relation to actor training. In 2013, the second edition of his book, THE EXPRESSIVE ACTOR: Integrated Voice, Movement & Actor Training, was published by Routledge and he received a Faculty Opportunity Award for a media project documenting principles and practices outlined in the book. He has taught master classes in acting, voice, movement and classical text at international conferences and professional acting training programs throughout the US, Korea, Japan, Australia and the UK. Michael is a passionate stage director noted for his innovative approach to the classics. He has been a voice coach for the Utah Shakespeare Festival and is a resident director at the Nevada Conservatory Theatre (NCT). Website: www.expressiveactor.org

 

 

Patricia PruntyPatricia Prunty, soprano, is Professor of Music/Vocal Studies, in the School of Music, California State University Fullerton. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1999, her Weill Recital Hall debut the following February, and has performed at the 92nd Street Y on the popular "Lyrics and Lyricists" series. She was affiliated with LA Opera from 1990 – 2002, sang Adina in L'Eliser D'Amore with Opera Roanoke, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with Santa Barbara Grand Opera. As an "Ambassador of Opera," she concertized in Africa and the Middle East, and performed as a featured soloist with the San Diego Symphony, the William Hall Master Chorale, and the Carmel Bach Festival. Most notable works include Mozart's Grande Mass in C Minor, Bach's Saint Matthew Passion, and Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass. TV credits include a highly acclaimed Nissan commercial and "Murder She Wrote." Patricia is a founding member of the Trillium Ensemble, is on their CD, "Just Another Hour," and on a solo recording, "A Child of Air," devoted to American composers.

 

 

Mary Saunders BartonMary Saunders-Barton is head of voice for Penn State's BFA in musical theater. An active performer with Broadway, off-Broadway, film and television credits, she has recently concentrated on the creation and performance of one-woman cabaret shows, the first of which, Stop, Time, played to sold-out houses in New York. She maintains a studio in Manhattan for professional singers. In 2007, she published a video, Bel Canto/Can Belto: Teaching Women to Sing Musical Theater; in 2011, she launched a new MFA in the pedagogy of musical theater singing, the first ever of its kind; and in 2014 she released a new DVD, What About the Boys? Mary is a frequent presenter at international conferences and a member of the American Academy of Teachers of Singing. Website: www.belcantocanbelto.com

 

 

Neil Semer teaches voice and gives workshops internationally on the subject of vocal technique and performance practice. His main studio is in New York, and he teaches regularly in Toronto, London, Paris, Copenhagen, and throughout Germany. In July – August 2016, he leads the 20th Annual Neil Semer Summer Vocal Institutes in Coesfeld and Aub, Germany. His students play leading and featured roles in Broadway productions and sing at major opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera, Covent Garden, English National Opera, Bayreuth, San Francisco Opera, Chicago Lyric, and the Bavarian, Dresden and Berlin State Operas. His teaching combines the old Italian School of Bel Canto as expounded by Giovanni Battista Lamperti, with scientific understanding of vocal function. The focus is musical coordination of the heart, mind and body. He welcomes correspondence at neilsemer@aol.com. Website: www.neilsemer.com

 

 

Kenneth TomKenneth Tom, PhD, is Associate Professor of Communicative Disorders in the Department of Human Communications Studies, California State University Fullerton. He trained in vocal performance at the New England Conservatory, Boston, and received his doctorate in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Iowa. His current teaching and research focus on performance voice, voice acoustics, and physiology. He is a yoga practitioner certified by the American Viniyoga Institute, and has taught workshops on the use of adapted yoga techniques in voice therapy and singing. Kenneth is co-author, with Joan Melton, of One Voice: Integrating Singing and Theatre Voice Techniques (2nd ed. Waveland 2012).

 

 

Pat WilsonPat Wilson is a singer, pianist, actress, vocal coach and teacher, author, composer/lyricist, and music director in theatre. She holds a Master of Applied Science from the University of Sydney, has international research publications in both monographs and professional journals, and was part of the development team for the unique singers’ software, Sing&See. She lectures internationally, teaches at drama schools and conservatoria in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, and is a vocal coach for the acclaimed children’s television show Hi-5. Pat is the author of The Singing Voice: An Owner’s Manual (2nd Ed, Lazy O’Rhinus Press 2013) and co-author with Dr. Jean Callaghan of How to Sing and See: Singing Pedagogy in the Digital Era (Cantare Systems). Website: patwilson.com.au