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The VASTA Voice

Volume 11, Issue 5
November 2016

 

Table of Contents:

A Message from the President
Letter from the Editor
Committee Chair Updates
    
Teaching and Learning Committee
Early Career Leadership Initiative 
     Kendra Kingsbury
     Kristi Dana
VASTA Interdisciplinary Grant Report: National Association of Teachers of Singing Conference
Lingua-VASTA: VASTA Speaks In Many Tongues
Member News


A Message from the President

Betty Moulton

Betty Moulton

Hello all VASTA members

Fresh from the weekend Board meeting we had in Chicago, I am energized and enthused about where the organization is going. The board is comprised of passionate individuals full of great ideas for new initiatives to serve members, and we voted to add a number of them to VASTA’s offerings this year.

Micha Espinosa gave the Board a terrific presentation on the plans for our first conference in Asia: Singapore 2017 “The Art of Storytelling”. The presenters she and Aole Miller have invited, primarily from the region, are a diverse group and promise to give attendees practical experience in a variety of storytelling techniques- focused on artistic and personal performance. The package she has put together that shows the attractions of Singapore, the food, transportation, cultural events and lots of other detail is truly impressive and will ensure our stay is wonderfully enriching. The Conference announcement and member proposal form are both now on the VASTA website, so take a look and decide how you could be involved next August.

We discovered that Kendra Kingsbury, one of the Early Career Leadership Initiative recipients was keen to work her magic on finding avenues for members to book cheaper flights to Singapore. Stay tuned for more news on this via our Facebook page Vasta’s Voices and our list serve, Vastavox. She has a short note in this newsletter about her experience at the board meeting and her extensive ‘flight knowledge’. Kristi Dana, the second Early Career recipient brought her insights from her service as VASTA’s rep to ATHE and includes her responses to this weekend’s meeting. They were an important addition to the board and bring a fresh perspective on the field.

More details about each new initiative will be forthcoming through the year, but briefly:

Two new awards for graduate students have been added- one to Diversity and one to International. This doubles the number of awards in each category and hopefully will make it easier for graduate students to join us at our annual conference, attracting new members every year.

We also looked at the donations that were received for this past year’s new initiative- The VASTA Member-Sponsored Conference Scholarship. It’s a fund that relies on donations and provides conference fees for members in need of support. While there is not much in the fund yet, we have come up with some ideas on how to fundraise for this, and have committed to supplying at least one scholarship for a member for the Singapore conference. We are tying one fundraising effort to World Voice Day, April 16th 2017. The theme for the day is “Share your voice”, so watch for news about how you can get involved in the drive, and how to donate to this important fund. Details on how to apply for the scholarship will be published well in advance of the conference.

We witnessed the dedication from one member who got married the day before, yet flew in for the board meeting the next day! Congratulations and thanks Adi Cabral, VASTA’s Director of Technology/Web services.

Our website will be updated shortly to include the new awards and application information. Also, the newly named Business and Corporate Consulting Committee will have its information on the site soon.

As ever, any time you feel the desire to email or pick up the phone to ask a question of the board or any committee member or Chair, please feel free. We are an organization dedicated to clear and responsive communication, so among members we take it very seriously. In the coming months, board members will be calling a few members each, to check in how members are doing in their endeavors, and to solicit ideas to better our efforts to connect. If you would like a call, let me know and I will make sure you are on this first list.

Have a wonderful holiday season with friends and family, and keep in touch with voice colleagues throughout the year.

 

Cheers,

Betty

 

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Letter from the Editor

Josh Moser

Josh Felicano Sánchez MoserGreetings VASTAns,

I hope Autumn has been treating you well.

This is my last newsletter as editor! It has been a great experience serving the VASTA community in this way.

I want to point members to Kendra Kingsbury's Singapore flight research in her Early Career Leadership Initiative update.  Since we are starting to wind down 2016, it would be smart to begin planning for the 2017 conference. English is widely spoken in Singapore, so members should find it easy to get around the city. To submit your proposals for workshops, papers, or panels, please visit vasta.org. Look for more information from the conference directors in the next issue of the newsletter in January 2017. 

Lisa will be stepping into the Editor role in the next few weeks, and you will be able to reach her at voice.editor@vasta.org by the end of December.

Keep doing your work colleagues. Breath and communication are more important than ever.

All the best and Happy Holidays,

Josh

Editor, The VASTA Voice

 

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Committee Chair Updates

Teaching and Learning Committee

Diane Robinson

Diane Robinson

The Teaching & Learning Committee is looking for new members to jumpstart its service to the VASTA membership. If you’d like to join us, please contact new chair, Diane Robinson, at jiggleitalittle@gmail.com. At the VASTA conference in August, Diane and board liaison, Erika Bailey, along with long-time committee member Julia Guichard, brainstormed some new ways the committee can be responsive to the membership’s needs. We came up with some great ideas, but we need a bigger team to help contribute more ideas, solicit input from the membership, and research and develop resources. Come join the Teaching & Learning Committee! No prior background in the scholarship of teaching and learning is required, just curiosity and an interest in helping VASTA members feel ahead of the curve on whatever is happening for the arts in academia. Next year’s conference is entitled The Art of Storytelling, and the Teaching & Learning Committee wants to help our members get their stories of teaching and learning heard by each other and by the world of artists and scholars hungry for our expertise. We hope you'll join us!

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Early Career Leadership Initiative

 

Kendra Kingsbury


After being a fly on the wall during my first VASTA board meeting, what struck me most was the sense of inclusion and community. This board cares so much about its members and was very thoughtful in taking all matters up for discussion into careful consideration. During the weekend, I witnessed everything from deliberating conference themes, approving the budget, actively discussing member engagement and inclusion ideas, to creating and approving three new scholarships to give out. The eagerness to address committees' or individuals' concerns and reports was refreshing, encouraging and bold, and it was done with kindness. The power of community this organization has, truly echoes through the board it has elected. It was an excellent weekend. 

Kendra's pointers for booking flights to Singapore:
Here's some research I did about flights from different cities to Singapore, as well as some booking tips.

Booking flights are usually cheapest on Tuesday mornings. If you have been searching for flights for a few days or weeks, when you decide it is time to book, open an “incognito window” through your browser. This will keep the website from remembering you were there, and will keep prices down (prices will go up as you continue to search, partly because they think since you keep searching, you must really be in need of a flight and not “just looking”). To open a “new incognito window” on a Mac, go File, open incognito new window.

Check with your credit cards to see if you have points you’re able to use, OR if you’re able to earn points by booking with that credit card. Some credit cards have travel insurance or other perks built in, so it’s always good to double check what your perks are.

A few websites I usually book through and have had good luck with flights are onetravel.com and flightdepot.com. You can also use fly.com to search multiple websites to compare the best deals and then book from there (there are also many other great travel websites that will help you compare prices).

Also, I'm not sure if this would be helpful so people can start to think about planning, but here are the flights from different cities. Traveling 8/2-8/10/2017 round-trip prices from these cities start at:

NORTH AMERICA SOUTH AMERICA AFRICA ASIA EUROPE AUSTRALIA

$970
Boston

$714 Chicago

$1559 Bogota 

$424
Cairo

$265 Bangalore

$643 Amsterdam

$412 Adelaide

$785 Dallas/Fort Worth $1464 Buenos Aires $703
Cape Town

$87 Bangkok

$804 Athens $412 Brisbane
$1000 Denver $1584 Caracas $639 Johannesburg

$367 Beijing

$740 Barcelona $609 Cairns
$1102 Detroit $672 Krakow  

$277 Chennai

$572
Berlin
$341 Melbourne
$970 Edmonton $2127 Lima  

$289 Colombo

$802 Dublin $227
Perth

$768 Houston

$1753 Quito  

$350
Delhi

$874 Edinburgh $381 Sydney

$807
Los Angeles

$1139
Rio
 

$194 Denpasar

$739 Frankfurt  
$1169 Mexico City $1345 Santiago  

$213 Guangzhou

$703 Istanbul  
$869 Montreal

$1161
San Jose

  $204
Hong Kong
$670 London  
$995
New Orleans
$1049
Sao Paulo
  $84
Jakarta
$791
Lyon
 
$1258 Panama City     $271 Kolkata $803 Madrid  
$771
NYC
    $50
Kuala Lumpur
$677
Milan
 
$1175 Orlando     $145 Manila $677 Munich  
$991
Salt Lake City
    $503 Moscow $760
Paris
 
$801
San Francisco
    $295 Mumbai $532
Rome
 
$974
San Jose
    $308 Nagoya $610 Stockholm  
$1377
San Juan, PR
    $69 Penang $657 Zurich  
$837
Seattle
    $363 Shanghai    

$1194 Tampa

$868 Toronto

   

$421
Seoul

$370 Tokyo

   


 

Kristi Dana
 

When VASTA announced the Early Career Leadership Initiative, I was excited by the position and immediately interested in applying. As stated in the announcement from VASTA President Betty Moulton, “This initiative is designed to benefit newer members, early in their career, by having them attend a year of board meetings, to learn the inner workings of the organization. While this will be a non-voting position, it will afford an opportunity to have the views of early career members heard in order to help craft policy and procedures from a fresh perspective.” 

As I read the description of the position, I began to reflect on my experience thus far as a VASTA member and recognized just how important membership has become to me in the five years since I joined. I felt that my experience as an officer (ATHE Conference Planner, 2016 & 2017), past associate conference director (Cirque des Voix/Circus of Voices, 2015), and past conference member panel/workshop presenter (2013, 2015, 2016) put me in a unique position to take on this Early Career position. I knew that my thoughts on policy and procedures would be informed by having served in these roles and would allow me to offer a variety of perspectives on important member matters. Additionally, I was interested to attend the board meetings in order to get a sense of how the board of an association such as VASTA runs its meetings, makes decisions and serves its community. 

When I learned in October that I was one of two awarded the position, I was ecstatic. I arrived in Chicago on November 11th for the weekend board meeting excited and curious. At our dinner that night, President Betty Moulton graciously greeted us and asked members of the board to share what is inspiring them now. Coming off an emotionally charged election week, I found my inspiration from the people in the room (as I always seem to do at VASTA gatherings) and was struck by their authenticity, intelligence and humanity.

The remainder of the weekend’s agenda was jam-packed. From an in-depth and exciting presentation by Conference Planner Micha Espinosa on the 2017 VASTA Singapore Conference, “The Art of Storytelling,” to the review of committee reports, officer reports, future conferences and new initiatives, the days were filled with meaningful conversation and collaboration. I was floored by the attention to detail that the board went into and how thoughtfully they attended to hearing the voices and needs of the VASTA members. I was also incredibly impressed by the sensitivity in the room, the careful consideration of member, committee and officer requests and the care that went into each and every decision. VASTA is an incredibly special and unique organization and the board recognizes the incredible value of its membership. 

In addition to witnessing some great work getting done, I had the opportunity to develop friendships with the board members and shared a fantastic sushi dinner with Betty Moulton, Julia Guichard and my fellow Early Career Leadership Initiative awardee, Kendra Kingsbury—what a treat! 

I look forward to attending the remainder of the board meetings, to listening to others’ ideas and sharing my own visions, dreams and goals for VASTA’s future. Most of all, I am so happy to continue to serve an organization that makes such a huge impact on my career and life. Many thanks to President Betty Moulton and the VASTA Board of Directors for creating the Early Career Leadership Initiative and for welcoming me into the fold.

Kristi Dana

Interim Head, MFA Acting (2016 – 2017) 

Lecturer, Voice & Speech

Brooklyn College, CUNY

 

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VASTA Interdisciplinary Grant Report: National Association of Teachers of Singing Conference

Anna Hersey
 

L. Songer, A. Hersey, and I. Howell






Loralee Songer, Anna Hersey, and Ian Howell at the NATS Conference.






Thanks to VASTA’s generous Interdisciplinary Grant, I had the opportunity to attend the National Association of Teachers of Singing conference in Chicago in July. While I was able to attend many fascinating and informative sessions, one presentation in particular helped me expand my knowledge in the area of vocal acoustics, an ongoing research area of mine, and to dialogue with other researchers on the topic.

Current research in voice acoustics has exciting implications for voice pedagogues. This research has led to a better understanding of acoustic events relating to the interactions of the harmonics of the sung pitch with the formants, or areas of enhanced acoustic energy in the human vocal tract.  The “lining up” of harmonics with formants produces an optimal vocal resonance (the “ring” that characterizes a trained operatic voice).  While this “lining up” can be discovered in the vocal studio by trial and error, it can more efficiently be accomplished by accurately predicting where and how it will occur, based on the parameters of sung pitch and vocal tract size.  

Most research thus far (by Herbst, Bozeman, Sundberg, and others) has focused on the acoustic events of the male voice. Ian Howell, Vocal Pedagogy Director at the New England Conservatory of Music and a recognized authority on voice science and acoustics, presented the seminar “Do We Hallucinate Vowels? Rethinking How We Teach Formants, with Practical Implications for the Female Secondo Passaggio” at the NATS conference. This was an opportunity for me to learn more about the subject and to speak with others who are actively researching the topic.

Dr. Howell began his presentation by discussing the visual models used to analyze and discuss vowels and formants. The models currently used originally came from research focused on speech, rather than singing. Dr. Howell presented different visual models of vowels (such as spectrograms, power spectra, spectral envelopes, spectral peak frequency graphs, and plot graphs), and described how these models are not particularly useful in describing the important elements of vowels in singing, such as color and timbre. In short, “none of these images... actually looks like vowels sound.” Rather, these visual models display and represent the physical reality of sound waves.

The missing element from these visual models is perception, which shapes the physical reality of sound waves (compressions and rarefactions through a medium). Because perception is malleable, two listeners may have a different reaction to or hear different elements of the same sound waves. The study of our perception of sound is called psychoacoustics, which until now has not been significantly incorporated into research on the singing voice and its function. 

Some psychoacoustic properties that are currently explored in pedagogy discussions include the equal loudness curve, auditory masking, and the critical band of hearing. The equal loudness curve is the phenomenon of some frequencies being perceived as louder, when they are objectively the same amplitude. Auditory masking explains how a singer is able to cut over an orchestra by maximizing the singer’s formant. The critical band of hearing explains the “buzz” heard in lower voices, and its absence in higher voice. An understanding of these elements can, according to Howell, “invite us to hack the system.”

Howell emphasizes that a deeper understanding of psychoacoustics can help us as voice teachers and singers heighten our listening skills to identify, analyze, and shape the sounds that we make. Because our models come from speech science, a discussion of the timbre of sung vowels, and singing voice registration has not been explored extensively in singing pedagogy research. Speech takes place in a relatively limited frequency range compared to that of classical singing, and therefore active or passive vowel modification is not necessary. 

In speech, intelligibility is mostly maintained even when isolating just small portions of the frequency spectrum. Phonemes are fluid, and modified via coarticulation (as vocalic harmonization, for example). In singing, especially in the high female voice, this principle of intelligibility does not hold true. Because the fundamental frequency is so high, the context provided by spectral detail is diminished.

Current models do not adequately represent our perception of vowels sung at high pitches in the treble voice. Howell proposes a model in which vowels are modular, made up of discrete spectral peaks (composed of clusters of harmonics, or at times even individual harmonics) that maintain their timbre/color regardless of what vowels they are a part of. When combined, these vowel-like sounds form what we perceive as vowels. 

A new idea Howells presents is that of absolute spectral tone color. To demonstrate this, he plays simple sounds over the range of several octaves and assigns perceived “vowel-like colors” to them (see Figure 1). This is an intriguing concept, although I had difficulty distinguishing all the assigned colors. 
 

Absolute Spectral Tone Color Chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1 (Howell, Ian. “Parsing The Spectral Envelope: Toward a General Theory of Vocal Tone Color.” Doctoral thesis, New England Conservatory of Music, 2016, 73)

 

A second new idea, from which Howell gets the title of his presentation, is the “hallucination of vowels.” If the fundamental pitch of a sound is deleted, the fundamental is still perceived – essentially, our minds fill in the missing information. However, the pitch will take on the tone color of the remaining harmonics. He describes the sound as a “layering” of elements of timbre over the fundamental. We hear an “average” of the harmonics composing each spectral peak, which will be the perceived timbral/vowel color. 

What are the potential practical applications of these ideas in the female voice? As the voice ascends into its upper ranges, the tone color of the first harmonic changes automatically to its assigned absolute spectral tone color, regardless of conscious adjustment of the vocal tract. This has been long observed as a “narrowing” of the sound through the female second passaggio, and an “opening” of the sound as the voice ascends out of the second passaggio. We now perceive the pitch from the first harmonic itself, rather than “hallucinating” it from the higher frequency formant clusters above the fundamental. 

Howell proposes tweaking current models to represent this phenomenon. Taking the traditional plot graph, which shows the vowels formed by ranges of first and second formant intersections, he adds absolute spectral tone color to the x- and y-axes. He also suggests a model in which a collection of harmonics can be broken down into parts of tone color, which are “glued” together into a perceived vowel color (see Figure 2). He demonstrated a three-dimensional model that isolated portions of the spectral envelope, allowing the audience to hear a sung pitch’s component parts both separately and together as a whole (see Figure 3). Future development of this model would include a computer program that could extract this information from a recording and display its component parts (for his demonstration, Howell had constructed the model manually for the excerpt used).

Unified Vowel Chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2 (Howell, 72)

  
Harmonic Complexity Graph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 3 (Howell, 84)

 

Howell presented a compelling case for revisiting our current vocal models, particularly as they pertain to the female voice. The most important concepts I took away from the presentation were:

In the higher ranges of the female voice, active vowel modification cannot overcome the absolute spectral tone color of a given first harmonic\. A perceived vowel color is made up of component parts that combine to create a cohesive sound. In the higher pitches of the female voice, this sound is dominated by the first harmonic.

In addition to Howell’s presentation, I had the opportunity to attend numerous sessions at the NATS conference. I observed master teachers and heard new research presented on a variety of topics, including pedagogy, voice science, and repertoire. I also presented my own research on Norwegian composer Agathe Backer-Grøndahl as a poster.

I am so grateful to VASTA for this opportunity for enrichment and growth, particularly to widen my knowledge of voice science and acoustics as they apply to the female voice.

 

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Lingua-VASTA: VASTA Speaks in Many Tongues

Dolly May

Dolly May

I first encountered VASTA face-face as an event in 2014, when it visited London UK for the first time. It took place at one of the Mother Ships of training for our profession; The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. A place many of us, across both sides of the water have studied at, going back generations. Its halls have trained our own thought leaders, such as Kristin Linklater, Barbara Houseman and Catherine Fitzmaurice.

From a UK viewpoint VASTA looked like an America-centric voice trainers organisation heavily focused on coaching for theatre. Graduating in 2010 I was really enjoying the VSR Journals, but I could not see the value of paying to join an organisation that did not appear to represent me. I am a UK based voice coach working entirely in the business and corporate world. 

My viewpoint dramatically changed when I volunteered for the International Centre for Voice (ICV) in 2014 to help host the VASTA conference in London. Even this slightly distanced experience was so much richer than I had ever anticipated! 

VASTA in all its Glory exploded upon the quaint Central London campus in Swiss Cottage, with a program of vibrant and captivating sessions. There were voice coaches everywhere!! The sessions ranged from fun experiential workshops, allowing us, the teachers, to become students once again, to the profoundly informative seminars covering topics from anatomy and neuroscience to gaining contracts in the Corporate world.

VASTA Group PictureIt sounds almost crude to say it, but at that first conference I was listening to, and talking with some of my heroes. In particular Christina Shewell's work on 'Body & Brain' as I go ever deeper into using neuroscience research to inform my practice. David Crystal's articles and books on the English language have long since been a favourite, and his workshop on Original Pronunciation of Shakespeare was no less exciting. Their books line my shelves and their blogs fill my screens. I am not one to idolise, but voice coaching can be an isolated world of students and clients, with little truly relevant or exciting professional input. This is especially true if self employed, sole trader, or private practice.  

So now I was hooked! 

An unexpected highlight that year was Rocco Dal Vera's eye opening workshop wittily titled 'ROI... huh?' meaning 'Return On Investment, what's that?'. He demonstrated how to bridge the wide gap between pitching our services in the arts to pitching them to the Corporate market. I was only just starting to enter this world fully and his workshop has proved instrumental in that change.  It also helped that he was an American VASTAn who made the organisation and its content feel truly relevant to me in a way it had not before. 

Dolly At VASTA 2016

The enthusiastic interest I saw in the membership for exploring the work was encouraging. This was the evidence I really needed to see that VASTA could also represent me.  

In 2015 I attended my first fully-fledged conference in Montreal.  To say it was worth it is an understatement. It left me zinging!!  It left my brain fizzing with inspiration: a web of interconnected ideas reaching for use. 

That year also saw me present to the Board for the ICV, in order to discuss how we can build stronger ties between the two organizations. The Board warmly received me and some lovely ideas came about as a result of that conversation which continue to develop. 

What struck me at that meeting was the welcoming spirit of the Board, which permeates so fully throughout VASTA itself. This was an organsation run by committed volunteers, who lovingly give their time for the betterment of our profession and interconnectedness with other professions. 

We are a sector, even though we are small. And if we strive for better interdisciplinary engagement then we must work as a whole, rather than a disparate scatter of voice trainers around the globe.  Our power lies firmly in our ability to gather the body of our ideas  and present them to the world for integration. VASTA provides the vehicle for such a gathering of minds, a broadcasting of ideas, and a way of speaking with other sectors at a professional level.  

VASTA is not just a conference, but also a vibrant supportive network of voice and speech trainers spanning the globe. This is very apparent as familiar and unfamiliar faces greet me equally with the enthusiastic warmth of a good friend. 

New friendships emerge as our interests bring us together. Whether it be what we teach, how we teach or why we teach. At Chicago in 2016 I enjoyed discovering and strengthening  connections with other coaches who coach in the business and corporate world.

Dolly and Hilary

Conversations started in 2015 led to me putting forward an application to present twice at VASTA in 2016, something I would not have had the confidence to do previously. I co-presented with Hilary Blair and Cheryl Moor Brinkley on how coaching in the corporate world differs from coaching in the arts, and both talks were well attended! 

We are a supportive and generative community, a collection of voices calling to each other across the globe. 

VASTA inspires, speaks and connects. It is 'Breath in Action' and research in practice.

These developing relationships have since led to the formation of a new VASTA committee, VASTA 'Business and Corporate Consulting Committee', and the creation of an associated FB group. To my combined delight and surprise I have been elected Chair of this newly formed committee, which is a new professional role for me, and one I look forward to fulfilling greatly. This is particularly exciting because through this committee I can now actively support and represent the section of the membership I felt was previously underrepresented. This has gone way beyond my expectations of what VASTA had to offer me, especially as I am based outside the USA. The moral of the story is that if you want it discussed then it can be. A rare quality amongst many professional organisations. 

Meeting the VSR Journal Editor Jeff Morrison properly this year has led to me now writing an article for the VSR on how coaching in the business and corporate world differs from coaching performers in the arts. Business and Corporate coaching now has several seminars, a newly formed committee, the creation of a dedicated FB group and soon an article in the VSR.  If that isn't the inclusion of a topic then I don't know what is! 

The last two years have seen us grapple with some of the toughest topics. The idea of identity through the lenses of language and race. Both discussions and workshops alike have courageously delved into the challenging conversations that surround these topics, sometimes unearthing the rawness of people's different experiences. 

What I admire about VASTA, and keeps me coming back across the Atlantic, and indeed to other parts of the world in the future, is the presence and sensitivity with which we rise to the challenge of exploring why and how we need to teach differently for different groups of people. Whether it be about gender across the spectrum, cultural variety in the classroom or racism in the syllabus. These often candid conversation have deeply informed the way I think, design training and indeed behave with my clients. 

The 2015 Vocal Circus was kickstarted with our first speaker, François Grisé, who is living proof of the 'many voice' idea at the heart of that years conference, and indeed the organisation itself. He is living and teaching in his two tongues, French and English, committed both emotionally and critically to the duality of that. François was by no means rare amongst the VASTA community and touched us deeply with his observations of the struggle to acknowledge both voices authentically and fully. 

This years conference was no less pertinent; the strongest element being Race and Diversity 

Our clients or students, and even ourselves, all come to us with history and even (dare I say) 'baggage'. Our vocal story is our life story. Who really is monolingual? We each weave a vocal tapestry of life's experiences along the way, encountering and even embodying many cultures, languages and accents as we make friends, fall in love, travel and call new places 'Home'.   

Professionally we endeavour to train the tongue. Not just physiologically but also psychologically. 

To liberate the tongue of any binds is to free the spirit and therefore the true expression of that person or character. And this is our unified work, both personally and professionally. 

One evening each year we set our own voices free as the high caliber Identity Cabaret unravels on the stage to tumultuous applause and a fanfare of liberated laughter. Conference attendees bravely reveal their own narratives using their voices as their instrument. 

We are more than just teachers.

We live and breathe our trade, taking to the stage, masters at this game, to connect and entertain. 

A deep gratitude to all those who were present, presented and performed. I take my hat off to you all! 

In summary, VASTA has given me direct professional support, personal growth, professional development, new colleagues, new friends, new exercises, encouragement when struggling, empathy when tackling challenge, solutions to problems, increased my professional confidence, transformed my ideas and coaching more than once, is now teaching me about positive leadership in hierarchical volunteer-led structures, showing me a way of bringing like-minded community together across the globe, provided an outlet for professional thought, and given me with a thoroughly inspiring holiday! Those are just some of the main benefits. Not bad for an organization I thought did not represent me!  

In short, sign up, turn up and the rest is history. 

 

Much love

Dolly May

 

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Member News

Lisa Nathans


Lisa Nathans

 

Happy Holidays VASTA Members!

 

I hope you enjoy this issue's Member News section.

Huge congrats to Josh Moser on his last issue as The Voice Editor. What a joy it has been working with you Josh! 

 

Warm best,
Lisa

Associate Editor, The VASTA Voice



 

 

Jeremy Sortore



JEREMY SORTORE (Orem, UT) is finishing his first semester as Assistant Professor of Voice & Movement at Utah Valley University. In addition to teaching courses in voice, speech, and accents this fall, he coached departmental productions of The Children's Hour and Trojan Women. Jeremy completed teacher certification in Knight-Thompson Speechwork in July, taught in the Fitzmaurice Voicework 5-day workshop in NYC in June, and was a guest artist with the Mannes School of Music at The New School in May, performing the principal role in a workshop of Robert Ashley's experimental opera Dust.

 

 

Diane Robinson

DIANE ROBINSON (Chicago, Illinois) is working with transgender clients at The Voice Lab, Inc., ResonaTe transchoir and developing transgender voice programs at Howard Brown Health Center. Diane also hosts an ongoing drop-in voice class for actors on Friday nights at The Edge Theater. Recent work with her studio, the Chicago Voice Center, includes an Introduction to Fitzmaurice Voicework workshop, a breath and empathy workshop with Rush Medical Center students, a voice/movement/breath/presence workshop with the Chicago Sinfonietta conducting fellows, accent and IPA training at Second City, and coaching Hello and GoodbyeThree Hotels and The Beauty Queen of Leenane for Bluebird Arts and Something Shaw for Roosevelt University. Diane will be directing The Night Alive by Conor McPherson at Steel Beam Theater in 2017. She was happy to be able to contribute to the SLP CLE process for last summer's VASTA conference, and is the new chair of the VASTA Teaching and Learning Committee. 


KATE DEVORE (Chicago, IL) worked with the Goodman Theatre, The School at Steppenwolf, and Second City this year. She taught the Acting Voice segment at the National Center for Voice and Speech's Summer Vocology Institute, presented at the Audiobook Publisher's Association annual conference, and presented at the Fall Voice/PAVA Conference (Pan-American Vocology Association, of which she is a founding member). 

 
 

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VASTA Board of Directors & Officers

Board of Directors

Betty Moulton
President 
2016 - 2018

Lynn Watson
Past President
2016 - 2018

Michael Barnes
President Elect
2016 - 2018

 

 

 

Directors

Michelle Lopez-Rios
2015-2018

Ursula Meyer
2015-2018

John Graham
2015-2018

Erika Bailey
2015-2018

Julia Guichard
2016-2019

Pamela Prather
2016-2019

Kim Bey
2014-2017

D'Arcy Smith
2014-2017

 


 








 

Officers

Natasha Staley  
Secretary
2015-2017

Artemis Preeshl
Treasurer
2015-

Jeff Morrison
Editor, The Voice & Speech Review
2011-2017

Tara McAllister Viel
Associate Editor, The Voice & Speech Review
2011-2017

Josh Moser
Editor, The VASTA Voice
2015-2016

Lisa Nathans
Associate Editor, The VASTA Voice
2015-2016

Thrasso Petras
Director of Membership
2013-

Micha Espinosa & Aole Miller
Director of Annual Conferences
2016-2017

Kristi Dana
ATHE Conference Planner
Megan Chang
Associate ATHE Conference Planner
Rene Pulliam
ATHE Focus Group Representative

Cynthia Bassham
Human Resources Director
2014-2017

Michael J. Barnes
Senior Technical Director
2014-

Adriano Cabral
Director of Technology/Internet Service 
2012-

James Macon Grant
Associate Director of Technololgy/Internet Service
2015 -

Yolanda Heman-Ackah
VASTA MD

 Associate Officers

Amy Stoller
Editor, VASTA Links Page

Flloyd Kennedy
Editor, Workshop & Events Page
2015-2017

Janet B. Rodgers
VASTA Archive Catalogist 

Brad Gibson
Bibliographer

Judd Johnson
Social Media Manager

Keely Wolter
Social Media Content Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

Committee Chairs

Barry Kur
Chair, Awards and Grants Committee

Cynthia DeCure
Chair, Diversity Committee

Joanna Battles & Tamara Meneghini
Chair, Interdisciplinary Engagement Committee

Diane Robinson
Chair, Teaching and Learning Committee

Flloyd Kennedy
Chair, International Committee

 

 

 

Contact Information Available at VASTA.ORG



 

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©2010, Voice and Speech Trainers Association