The Voice Department offers motivated students the opportunity to study privately with professional singers and to participate in our cabaret-style, informal soirees and end-of-semester recitals. Whether you are a beginning singer, a student hoping to go on to conservatory, or an accomplished performer, our faculty helps students feel empowered to achieve their goals and enjoy their music in a supportive, non-competitive community atmosphere. We offer training in a wide variety of singing styles, including Classical, Opera, Musical Theater, Pop, Rock, and Jazz.
Our Youth Choruses program provides age appropriate musical training for ages 5 - 13. In addition, our summer programs feature many specialized opportunities for voice students of all ages to improve their skills and have fun making music together!
B.A., Vocal Performance, California State University. Additional studies at University of Southern California. Post-graduate training in the Estill Voice Training Method (Levels I and II) with Charlotte Russell and Mary McDonald Klimek; Contemporary Commercial Music pedagogy with Jeannie Lovetri; and Certified level II Somatic VoiceworkTM instructor. Principal teachers: Nina Hinson, Dorothy Renzi, Harriett Gill, Dean Rhodus, Dewey Camp, Byron McGilvary, Leslie Holmes, Charlotte Russell, and Mary McDonald Klimek. Coaching and masterclasses with Marci Stapp, Eileen Shelle, Håkan Hagegård, Elly Ameling, and Marlena Malas
Susan Bonito is an active teacher, performer, and director/producer. Her professional credits include multiple solo appearances with the San Francisco Symphony, the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Music from Bear Valley, Assabet Valley Mastersingers, Claflin Hill Symphony, and The Orchestra of Indian Hill, to name a few. Sue has been honored to share the stage as a soloist with world-class conductors and musicians such as Robert Shaw, Edo de Waart, Herbert Blomstedt, Neeme Järvi, Michael Tilson Thomas, Dave Brubeck, and Steve Reich. Her recordings include two Grammy-winning CDs with the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, and the film soundtrack for Godfather, Part III, with Carmine Copola conducting. Sue’s professional affiliations include the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA), and the Somatic VoiceworkTM Teacher’s Association. At Indian Hill, she was the founding director and producer of the Children’s Musical Theatre program for 10 years, former co-director of the Indian Hill Threshold Singers, and founding director of the Intergenerational Choir. Sue has taught the vocal curriculum for the SummerDayMusic program for several years and created the popular Show Choir elective for that program. She is also on the voice faculty at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, and is the Music Director for the United Parish of Upton.
Sue enjoys teaching classical and contemporary music styles with an emphasis on healthy technique, interpretation/dramatic sincerity, and musicality. She is adept at identifying and solving vocal issues, and helping students achieve their musical goals. Her teaching style empowers students by helping them understand how their instrument works, through multiple learning modalities, such as cognitive, visual, aural, emotional and kinesthetic awareness. She employs strategies from well-researched vocal pedagogies and from her own teaching experience of over 30 years. Her voice studio is inclusive of children through senior citizens, and beginners through professionals. Many of her middle school and high school students have been accepted into District, All-State and All-Eastern Honor Choirs, and a number of her students have been accepted into Conservatories and University music and theatre programs such as Boston Conservatory, Ithaca College, Oberlin Conservatory, New York University, the UMASS system, Montclair State University, and the Hartt School of Music.
B.A., Bennington College; M.A., Lesley College (Voice Performance and Pedagogy); New England Conservatory (vocal training), Boston University (opera), Longy School of Music (opera, Alexander Technique); Tanglewood Seminar for Singers. Principal teachers: Phyllis Curtin (Tanglewood Seminar for Singers) Joan Heller, and Craig Wich
Mary Crowe has been a soloist with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, John Oliver Chorale, Newton Choral Society, Concord Chorus and many others. She has sung opera roles with the Opera Lab, Longy Summer Opera, and Newton Opera, and has been featured in numerous musical theater productions throughout the Boston area. Mary is a founding member of the WordsMove Theater Company and is a recipient of numerous Mass Cultural Council grants for concerts and education programs in Boston area schools. She also directed the Indian Hill Opera Workshop from 2002-2008. After a 15 year career in classical music, musical theater and opera, she branched out into jazz and cabaret and has since released three CDs. Mary currently performs with the Lincoln Hill Trio in venues throughout New England, including Ryles Jazz Club, Encore Lounge, Sherborn Inn, Parish Center for the Arts, Amazing Things Arts Center, Boston Cabaret Festival, Ichabod's Café, Nourish Restaurant, and the Java Room.
Mary believes in empowering students to find their voices through a healthy technique combined with performance skills that encourage individual expression and a greater enjoyment of singing.
B.M., Berklee College of Music. Principal teachers: Helen Hobbs Jordan, Nan Guptill, Joan Bujacich, John Porzycki
Paul Pampinella is a veteran vocalist, arranger/composer, and clinician with two pioneering Boston-based a cappella ensembles: Vox One (vocal jazz) and Five O'Clock Shadow (pop/rock). He has written, arranged, and produced songs on eight acclaimed and award-winning albums between the two groups. An active performer, Paul began singing professionally at age 9, as a New York City jingle singer, and has since appeared on hundreds of stages around the world, sharing the stage with Ray Charles, James Brown, Aaron Neville, Patti LaBelle, and The Boston Pops, and appearing on America’s Got Talent and VH1. An Assistant Professor of Voice at Berklee College of Music, Paul was recently an adjudicator for the International Collegiate A Cappella Competition at Symphony Hall and the Berklee High School Jazz Festival.
Paul focuses on vocal technique, performance skills, and arranging. He says that voice students need to realize that their body is their instrument: "In order to develop as a singer, your body and voice need regular exercise and practice. So in addition to voice training, I also teach body awareness and good practice habits."
B.M., Boston Conservatory of Music
Dale Pfeiffer has performed and recorded in pop, folk, rock, blues, and classical music styles in clubs, concerts, radio, and recitals. A former teacher at the Salle Pleyel in Paris, she is an Assistant Professor of Voice at Berklee College of Music.
"My students range from people who have never sung before, (except in the shower), to people who have taken voice lessons and have done some performing … I think it was Sonny Rollins who said, 'The better your technique, the more you can express,' so I start there. Singers need to have the freedom to be able to really express what's inside them, and technique is an important part of that. … You need to nail your technique, but also understand how to immerse yourself in a song and let it work its way through you and out to the audience.”
Cornell University; Westminster Choir College; Master Teacher Certification in Estill Voice Training. Principal teachers: Donna Hewitt-Didham and Jo Estill
Charlotte Russell is an active soloist and recitalist throughout New England and abroad. She has appeared with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and The Orchestra of Indian Hill as well as in recitals in Jerusalem and the Swiss Alps (“…where my concert was interrupted by a helicopter rescue.”) Charlotte has premiered and recorded works by Harold Shapero, Francis Judd Cooke, David Bennett Thomas, and others. She also has many years of experience in choral and liturgical music as a conductor and clinician. She is also music director at the Union Church of Stow, a faculty member at St. Mark's School in Southborough, and she directs the Indian Hill Threshold Singers.
"I’m comfortable teaching students of any genre, from country and heavy metal to opera and ethnic music, but my favorite repertoire continues to be obscure art songs. I believe a well-trained voice is one that can sing expressively and healthily in a variety of styles. My primary mentor and teacher was Jo Estill, a woman whose passion for singing and knowledge changed the field of voice research, and brought a wealth of practical skills to singers worldwide."
B.M. in Voice Performance, Oberlin Conservatory; M.M. in Voice Performance, University of Michigan. Additional studies at the Longy School of Music; apprenticeship at Sarasota Opera; member of Pi Kappa Lambda. Principle teachers: Joanna Levy, Sharon Daniels, Doris Yarick-Cross and Beverley Rinaldi. Masterclasses with Lore Fischer, Eleanor Steber, John Wustman, and Judith Blegen
Martha Warren has sung numerous principle roles with Boston Lyric Opera/Opera New England, Granite State Opera, Longwood Opera, Lowell House Opera, and Raylynmor Opera. She has been soloist with Symphony Pro Musica, Salem Philharmonic, Concord Orchestra, Paul Madore Chorale, and Masterworks Chorale under the batons of Richard Pittmann, Mark Churchill, Allen Lannom, Alan Hawryluk, and Paul Madore. Martha appears in local music theater productions and has worked as music or stage director for various productions at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, R.J. Grey Junior High, and Blanchard Elementary School.
B.M. in Voice Performance, Drake University; M.M. in Voice Performance, Boston University. Principal teachers: James Demler (Boston University), Lawrence Weller (University of Minnesota and Minnesota Opera), James Taylor (Drake University)
Rob Woodin has performed with Odyssey Opera, Opera Providence, Opera Boston, MetroWest Opera, and with Boston Opera Collaborative in many fully staged operas, concerts, recitals, and education outreach. He serves as cantor at Sacred Heart Church in Waltham, and is the bass choral fellow at Old South Church in Boston. Rob is also an Associate Professor of Voice at Boston College, and teaches at Buckingham Browne and Nichols High School in Cambridge.
Rob believes in teaching students how to teach themselves. His coaching focuses on an efficient approach to practice, using natural and healthy techniques, and well-rounded repertoire balanced in a multitude of styles in classical, musical theater, jazz, pop, and contemporary music.
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