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Presenters

Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet

After more than 25 years as an international, leading, dramatic soprano, New Orleans-native Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet has re-focused her career to share her operatic knowledge and experience in the voice studio. She is presently an Associate Professor of Voice at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University, maintains private studios in both New York and Europe, is on the faculty of Music Academy International, and is Co-Artistic Director and Master Teacher at the Indemini Festival in Indemini, Switzerland.

Ms. Charbonnet has appeared on the stages of the Opéra National de Paris, Teatro Real (Madrid), Deutsche Oper (Berlin), Teatro La Fenice (Venice), the Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona). Teatro Comunale di Firenze (Florence), San Francisco Opera, Dallas Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Teatro Municipal (Santiago, Chile), to name a few. In her early career, she sang the Italian and Russian spinto roles, and later moved into German and Contemporary repertoire. She has sung all the dramatic Wagner heroines and more than 50 other leading roles.

Ms. Charbonnet’s discography includes a 2012 Elektra (title role) with Maestro Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra, Ariane et Barbe-Bleue (title role) DVD from Barcelona, Erwartung with Maestro Jukka-Pekka Saraste and the WDR (Cologne), Tristan und Isolde (Isolde) DVD with Maestro Armin Jordan and the Grand Théâtre de Génève, Bluebeard’s Castle with Maestro Jukka-Pekka Saraste and the BBC Proms, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (title role) DVD with Maestro James Conlon and the Maggio Musicale di Firenze, and Lear by Aribert Reihman (Goneril) with Maestro Sebastian Weigle and Oper Frankfurt.

Kelley Hijleh

Kelley Hijleh holds a Bachelor of Music degree and a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Voice Performance. Ms. Hijleh has appeared as a soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Ashland Symphony, the MasterWorks Festival, the Janus Orchestra, Baltimore’s Pro Musica Rara, the Baltimore Bach Ensemble, the Peabody Symphony, and in major roles with the Peabody Opera Theater and the Houghton College Lyric Theater.  In 2014, she was the soprano soloist for the premiere of Cantate Dominio by composer David Davies at Carnegie Hall and was also a featured soloist at the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers National Conference at Biola University.She sang with Vox Lumine from 20011-2014. Ms. Hijleh is a member of NATS and has served as an adjudicator at district and regional levels.

A member of the Houghton College faculty from 1993-2015, Ms. Hijleh taught studio voice, lyric diction, pedagogy of the voice, and song literature. She was also the conductor of the Houghton College Women’s Choir for a total of 10 years, and completed two years as the director of Vivace Sings at Vivace String Camp. Always interested in improving her teaching, in 2000 she applied for and was selected to participate in the innovative NATS Intern Program. Ms. Hijleh has been mentored in vocal acoustics by Dr. Donald Miller, one of the creators of the voice analysis software, VoceVista, since 2005.She was a presenter at a VoceVista workshop held at SUNY-Fredonia in 2011. Ms. Hijleh has presented at the Singing Voice Science Workshop held at Montclair State University since its inception in 2015 and regularly consults on vocal acoustics at colleges and universities. She also co-presented on VoceVista and vocal acoustics with Richard Lissemore at the NATS Eastern Regional Conference in 2016. In 2018, Ms. Hijleh was invited to Voice Pedagogy Summit II to discuss the future of voice pedagogy in the face of many technological and social changes with voice pedagogues from across North America.

Ms. Hijleh’s husband, Mark Hijleh is Provost at The King’s College.  In 2015, Ms. Hijleh joined the voice faculty of the Cali School of Music at Montclair State where teaches studio voice and pedagogy of the voice, and she also teaches voice at The King’s College.

Elaine R. Hitchcock

Elaine R. Hitchcock is a certified speech-language pathologist with over 20 years of clinical experience working with multiple clinical populations including individuals with speech sound disorders, motor speech disorders, and voice disorders. She co-founded the Voice Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in 1995 before leaving to pursue her doctoral degree.

 

Dr. Hitchcock received her Ph.D. in speech-language pathology from New York University in 2005, with a specialization in phonology and acoustics. In addition to holding a position as an associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Montclair State University, Dr. Hitchcock is also the founder and director of the Montclair State University-Clinical Biofeedback Laboratory, where visual biofeedback services for various speech disorders are provided through research or fee-for-service offerings.  Dr. Hitchcock’s research agenda focuses on developmental aspects of phonology as well as visual biofeedback techniques for diagnosis and treatment of voice, motor speech and speech sound disorders.

 

Dr. Hitchcock’s research has been published in in top-tier journals including the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, and The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. She has presented her work internationally and nationally to many audiences. She is serving as an invited Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research for 2018. Her professional affiliations include the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the Acoustical Society of America, and the New Jersey Speech-Language and Hearing Association.

Richard Lissemore

Richard Lissemore is an internationally acclaimed singing teacher, voice researcher, and performance coach who is equally adept at techniques for classical as well as popular vocal styles such as musical theater, rock, pop, R & B, and jazz. He has taught hundreds of students who perform on Broadway, at Carnegie Hall, at New York ‘s Radio City Music Hall, in both American and International touring productions and in theaters throughout the world. He is especially well known for his innovative and entertaining master classes in vocal technique and performance, which have been presented regularly in New York, Canada, Korea, Mexico, and Germany.  As a guest speaker and clinician, he has taught workshops and masterclasses in voice pedagogy and performance for The Voice Foundation, the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), The British Voice Association (BVA) at London’s Royal Academy Of Music, The New York Singing Teachers Association (NYSTA), Columbia University, the University Of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory Of Music, to name a few.  

 

Educated at The Juilliard School (Oren Brown), Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (Andrew White), and Rutgers University (Valorie Goodall), Mr. Lissemore enjoyed a varied performance career that encompassed opera, music theater, orchestra concert, oratorio, and voiceover for radio and television. His professional affiliations include Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), the National Association Of Teachers Of Singing (NATS), and The Voice Foundation.

 

He is presently pursuing a Ph.D. in Speech, Language, Hearing Science at The City University of New York, where he is a Graduate Teaching Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Douglas Whalen. His research interests are centered around articulatory effects on vocal tract transfer functions in professional singers. Experimental protocols include electroglottography (EGG), acoustic analysis, ultrasound of the tongue, Optotrak infrared tracking of mouth and head positions, and VoceVista. Please visit www.RichardLissemore.com for more information.

Bodo Maass

Bodo Maass is the founder and main software developer of Sygyt Software. He first began programming at the age of 11. After studying Cognitive Science (Psychology and Philosophy) at the University of Oxford, he worked on voice based human-machine interfaces for a company called MicroStrategy in Washington D.C. He subsequently returned to Oxford to become the first employee of the newly founded company NaturalMotion, where he was the lead developer for NaturalMotion’s award winning 3D animation software “endorphin”, a commercial product to synthesize human movement based on artificial intelligence research. He discovered Overtone Singing in 1994 and immediately wanted to learn this seemingly impossible art of singing two melodies at the same time. He and his teacher in this method, Wolfgang Saus, talked about the lack of good software to assist teaching overtone singers, and thus “Overtone Analyzer” was born.
This work was later expanded to create the next generation of the software “VoceVista” together with the voice scientist Don Miller.

Donald Gray Miller

Donald Miller, who designed and developed the software program VoceVista (Visual Feedback for Instruction in Singing), began his career as an opera singer and voice teacher. Having completed his formal studies at the Yale University School of Music in his native USA, he continued with singing lessons in Milan and Berlin, making stage appearances in both cities. After a further year's engagement with the Wiener Kammeroper, he joined the faculty of the Syracuse University School of Music, where he taught for over two decades, rising to the rank of professor. During this time he was very active as a bass-baritone, singing over 25 leading roles from the standard repertory, along with many roles in contemporary works.

 

His interest in the application of voice science to the singing voice grew in the late 70's, and in 1984 he spent a semester in Groningen, the Netherlands, on a project with Harm K.Schutte and the late Prof. Janwillem van den Berg. In 1987 he moved permanently to Groningen to devote himself to research on the acoustics and physiology of the singing voice as an associate of the Groningen Voice Research Lab. This has resulted in a number of scientific publications together with Prof. Schutte, as well as a doctoral monograph, Registers in Singing, published in 2000.

 

An important result of his work in Groningen has been the program VoceVista , feedback for instruction in singing. VoceVista was introduced in 1996, when personal computers became powerful enough to perform real-time spectrum analysis. Since then it has been further perfected and is now in use in voice labs and facilities for training singers, particularly in the U.S., Germany, and the Netherlands.

Nicholas Perna

Tenor Nicholas Perna returned to the Mississippi Opera stage in 2018 as Pong in Puccini’s Turandot, after previous success as Nanki Poo in The Mikado.  As the Prince in Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges Charles Ward of the Houston Chronicle said, “an impressive sound, (he) made the show work vocally.” Operatic credits include Rodolfo in La Bohème, The Duke in Rigoletto, Nemorino in L’Elisir d’amore, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, and Tamino in The Magic Flute. Concert appearances include Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Rossini's Petite Messe Solenelle, Handel’s Messiah, and Orff's Carmina Burana. He can be heard on the Albany label as Paolo in Mancinelli’s Paolo e Francesca. A frequent recitalist, Perna regularly performs the songs of Benjamin Britten.  In collaboration with soprano, Dr. Mandy Spivak, they created The Comprehensive Britten Song Database, an open source reference for voice professionals worldwide: brittensongdatabase.com

Nicholas' teachers have included David Alt, Jerold Siena, and Joseph Evans, and he twice apprenticed with the Santa Fe Opera.  

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As Associate Professor of Voice and Voice Pedagogy at Mississippi College, Dr. Perna teaches studio voice and varying courses related to voice pedagogy. He holds degrees from the University of Miami and the University of Houston. An active researcher, Dr. Perna is a Presser Music Foundation awardee and is a research associate at the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Voice Research Laboratory.  His varied areas of research have been presented throughout the United States and internationally.  Published in Journal of Singing, Journal of Voice, and VOICEPrints, he is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, presently serving as Vice-President of the Mississippi chapter. In the past, he has also served as Governor of the West Virginia District and Vice-President of the Tri-State chapter.  Previous faculty appointments include West Virginia University and New World School of the Arts.

Kathy Kessler Price

Kathy Kessler Price, Associate Professor of Voice at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, teaches voice pedagogy courses and applied voice and also directs both the Presser Voice Laboratory and the summer Voice Pedagogy Institute. In 2018 she was awarded the Distinguished Teacher of the Year. A native of Richmond, Virginia, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree at The University of Richmond in voice performance and music education, her Masters of Voice Performance from The University of Maryland (College Park), and her Ph.D. in Voice Pedagogy from The University of Kansas. She previously served as Voice Area Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Music at Mississippi State University, coordinated the School of Music Vocology Laboratory at The University of Kansas, and worked as an intern in Clinical Voice Assessment at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Additionally, Dr. Price has taught voice and diction at William Jewell College in Missouri and at Northern Virginia Community College (Alexandria Campus) where she was also the choral director. She is a founding member of the Washington Vocal Consortium, and conducts the acclaimed D.C. women’s ensemble Philomela, whose newest CD (2018) celebrates music for children.

Dr. Price has performed as soloist at The Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, The National Museum for Women in the Arts, in a solo concert tour of the Czech Republic, and she has sung and conducted at The White House. Most recently, Dr. Price has enjoyed being a guest artist and clinician at The Academy of the Arts in Osejik and Zagreb, Croatia. She has twice judged the Lav Mirski International Voice Competitionand hosted faculty from Osejik at Westminster as well as coordinating WCC students singing in Croatia. She served as soloist and clinician at the Festival Internacional de Música de Campina Grandein Brazil, and at numerous colleges and universities throughout the U.S. A frequent performer at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C., Dr. Price most recently sang the title role in a concert version of Dvořak's Rusalka.

Her current research interests include lifespan female singing voices focusing on menopausal vocal transitions, the aging voice, voice assessment procedures for colleges and universities, primary voice transitions in male and female voices singing in both Classical and Musical Theater styles, historical vocal pedagogy with particular emphasis on female pedagogues, and the role of voice teachers in interdisciplinary voice habilitation and rehabilitation. She has presented numerous times at the Voice Foundation Symposiums, National Association of Teachers of Singing Conventions, International Physiology and Acoustics of Singing Conference, the Phenomenon of Singing International Conferences, the Music Educators Association National Conferences, and various regional and state chapters of the American Choral Directors Association. Her writings have been published in the Journal of Research in Music Education and the NATS Journal of Singing. She co-authored the book The Anatomy of Tone and contributed a “recipe” to The Voice Teacher’s Cookbook. Dr. Price was awarded a research fellowship at The University of Kansas and was one of two national recipients in 2010 of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Vocal Pedagogy Award. She is a member of such academic and professional organizations as Phi Beta Kappa, Mortar Board, Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Kappa Phi, AGMA, Sigma Alpha Iota,  and NATS. 

She counts among her greatest joys the opportunity to teach and mentor her wonderful students at Westminster Choir College. Her students perform opera/art song/musical theater and present voice research in national and international venues, and they teach new generations of singers to carry forward the legacy of beautiful music-making through song.

Kevin Roon

Kevin Roon received his Ph.D. in linguistics from New York University in 2013, with a specialization in phonetics and phonology. Since 2013, he has been a post-doctoral associate with a joint appointment at the CUNY Graduate Center (New York City) and Haskins Laboratories (New Haven, CT). His research interests include speech production, how the speech production system interacts with speech perception, computational modeling of phonological planning, and using ultrasound feedback to improve the pronunciation of non-native sounds by foreign language learners. Recent publications have appeared in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition; the Journal of Memory and Language; Psychonomic Bulletin & Review; and Laboratory Phonology. Since 2011, he has conducted workshops at the Oxenfoord International Summer School (Edinburgh, Scotland; Malcolm Martineau, Artistic Director) using ultrasound imaging of the vocal tract to aid singers and singing teachers in visualizing tongue placement during singing, as well as to aid with the correct pronunciation of foreign-language sounds.

Ereni Sevasti

Ereni Sevasti is a singer, actor, musician, and singing teacher whose performance highlights include The Visitor with Mandy Patinkin (Public Theater); The Bacchae (Shakespeare in the Park); and Lili in Carnival! (Kennedy Center).  Ereni holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.  She has studied with Judith Nicosia, Adrienne Angel, and extensively with Richard Lissemore. Additionally, Ereni has regularly provided singing demonstrations for Richard Lissemore’s pedagogical presentations for NATS, the Voice Foundation, and the Singing Voice Science Workshop.  In 2017, Ereni joined the music theater voice faculty at Montclair State University, where she is currently pursuing her Master of Music in Voice Performance.  She presently studies vocal technique and science-informed pedagogy with Kelley Hijleh.

Jared M. Wasserman

Jared M. Wasserman, M.D., F.A.C.S. is an Associate Director of the Voice and Swallowing Center™, a division of ENT and Allergy Associates, LLP (ENTA). He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brandeis University where he majored in biological sciences. After receiving his medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, he completed an internship in General Surgery and a residency in Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Dr. Wasserman then obtained advanced specialized training as a fellow in Laryngology, Phonosurgery and Voice Disorders at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary of Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Wasserman has received numerous awards and honors, including being elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He is principal author of numerous research projects which have been published in peer reviewed journals and textbooks. He has and continues to present his research at local, regional, and national professional conferences and meetings.

In addition to treating general problems of the ear, nose, and throat, Dr. Wasserman specializes in disorders of the head and neck, care of the professional & performing voice, voice restoration surgery, and complex laryngeal and swallowing disorders. He also has advanced training in and performs in-office airway surgery and transnasal esophagoscopy (TNE).

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