The VASTA Voice

Volume 12, Issue 3
JULY 2017

Table of Contents:

A Message from the President

Betty Moulton

Betty MoultonOur annual conference is almost here! We are so excited to be moving into Asia this year, and have wonderful facilities at LASALLE University in Singapore for our sessions. The program our conference planners have put together shows a terrific variety of artists and presenters over the 4 days. Conference planners Micha Espinosa and Budi Miller, and Treasurer Artemis Preeshl have been hard at work to ensure the presenters are contracted and all arrangements are ready for a wonderful member experience. Many other volunteers have been helping as well, notably Rachel Hirshorn, organizing member presentations.

Our organization is continuing to evolve and the board is looking at how each committee and initiative, each officer job and volunteer’s time can best be supported by the organization. We want to ensure each volunteer can feel their service to VASTA is a rewarding experience.

Daron Oram from the UK volunteered to Chair the International Committee- look for news from him as to how you can get involved. VASTA is truly an International organization, still with strong roots in North America, and is always looking for opportunities to hear from and support members worldwide.

For those of you unable to attend the Singapore conference, I hope you can get your “annual inspiration” from colleagues in the profession at the ATHE conference in Las Vegas, or at other gatherings this summer. Our website tries to keep up with notices about offerings of conferences, intensives, and meetings for members’ benefit. If you know of an event happening, go to the VASTA home page, click on ‘Workshops’ and submit a notice through the online form. It will then be posted for all members to see.

Let’s keep members as informed as possible so we can continue to learn and grow.

Have a wonderful summer!


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Letter from the Editor

Lisa Nathans

Greetings VASTAns,

We hope you enjoy this version of the VASTA Voice! For those travelling to Singapore have a wonderful trip!

Warm best,

Lisa Nathans

Editor, The VASTA Voice

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Yolanda D. Heman-Ackah, MD

Have questions or article ideas for our VASTA MD column? Please send your questions/ideas to for consideration in future newsletters.
Thank you, 
The VASTA Voice 



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Committee Chair Updates

Awards and Grants Committee

Barry Kur

The Awards and Grants Committee has no update this newsletter. 

Thank you!

The VASTA Voice




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Diversity Committee

Cynthia DeCure

I am happy to share that our board generously added two new scholarships this year, specifically to encourage more graduate students to attend our annual conference.

Thank you to our committee volunteers who had the task of reading and evaluating all of the applications.

Please join me in congratulating this year’s recipients of 2017 VASTA Conference Diversity Scholarship:


Kerry Candelorio (early career)

Nicole Cowans (graduate student)


Elena de la Fuente (early career)

Daniel Gott (graduate student)

Thank you to all of this year’s applicants. We look forward to seeing them in Singapore!

Plan ahead for our Diversity Committee meeting during the conference, which will be held on the first day, Friday, August 4th at 1:30pm. Location TBD. 

Do you have a story to tell? A song, poem, a piece of text to share? Our 4th Annual Identity Cabaret will held on Saturday, August 5th from 8-10pm, and will be emceed by Amy Mihyang Ginther. If you are interested in performing, please email me at Performance slots are limited; the time allotted for each performance is 3-5 minutes.

Abrazos y adelante!

Cynthia DeCure

Diversity Committee Chair

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Teaching and Learning Committee

Committee Chair: Diane Robinson 

Article submitted by: Jeremy SortoreJeremy headshot

I have a confession to make: Sometimes I need help knowing what the heck I'm doing as a voice and speech trainer.

Don't get me own training was great. I know a lot about voice. I know a lot about speech. I have a great set of tools for helping people make the most of their oral communication. There's no devil for me in the details.

But often I feel lost in the process of teaching and learning. Sometimes my students and clients can't quite connect the dots, and I don't yet know why. And, perhaps even more frustrating, sometimes things go so, so right...a class or session will feel, for the moment, brilliant or  inspired...and still I don't quite know how it happened.

There's so much out there to know, and it can be very tempting to ignore process and focus on content in our teaching, especially if that's the way we were taught. We may think first of the "V" and the "S" in our VASTA identities...but how often do we shine a spotlight on the "T"? What is it to be a trainer, and how do we think or talk specifically about that part of our work? Do we sometimes prioritize our knowledge over our pedagogy?

I know I'm not alone, and I know this isn't just a voice and speech trainer problem. Across fields, there can be a disconnect between expertise and delivery. University offices of teaching and learning are proliferating and there is an increased interest in engaged pedagogy across the curriculum. We continue to ask ourselves how we can do better as teachers and trainers-- and that's a good thing.

If we want to encourage a love of process and a commitment to lifelong learning in our students, we must remember to do them same for ourselves. Several years ago, a mentor offered me Ken Bain's book What the Best College Teachers Do. It had nothing to do with voice and speech, but it was one of most helpful books I had read up to that point in my journey toward being a voice and speech trainer. It threw me back into the uncomfortable role of novice and pointed to the gaps in my teaching practice. I realized, for example, that good teachers are not born, but made-- they continually find ways to assess and improve their teaching practice. Recently, my professional reading list has included Why Students Resist Learning, edited by Anton Tolman et al. and Teach Students to Learn by Saundra Yancy McGuire. These books have turned me on to the idea of metacognition and the possibility of increasing my students' self-awareness and self-efficacy.

I imagine many of us have favorite non-voice/speech titles that opened our eyes to the teaching and learning process. For that reason, as a member of the VASTA Teaching & Learning Committee, I propose that we share the wealth by crowd-sourcing a VASTA Teaching & Learning Bibliography. This bibliography may eventually become a section of the main VASTA bibliography (still under construction on the website-- our VASTA bibliographer, Brad Gibson, is searching for a tech solution to revive the old collection.) In the meantime, the T&L Committee can make a link available to an online document full of teaching and learning resources.

Of course, we need your help! If you have a favorite title or three, I invite you to submit them, along with a brief description, via this form:

Titles that receive multiple recommendations will have top priority for inclusion in the bibliography. Keep in mind, some of our favorite voice and speech books may be valuable resources for our teaching practice, but the aim of this bibliography is to widen our perspective by focusing on resources that deal specifically with the "how" of teaching, rather than the "what."

Thank you for opening your library to your fellow VASTA members. We continue to find so many ways to inspire each other to become better teachers and trainers, and I sincerely hope our VASTA Teaching & Learning Bibliography becomes a valuable resource for all of us.

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International Committee

Daron OramDaron headshot

We’re thrilled to announce Daron Oram as the new chair of the International Committee. 

Daron holds the position of Senior Lecturer on the BA Acting CDT and the MA/MFA Voice Studies courses at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. 

Daron has also worked intensively with multiple theaters around the UK, including the Royal Shakespeare Company. Feel free to send article ideas or questions about the International Committee to him at

Welcome, Daron! 

The VASTA Voice 

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Freelance Coaching Column

Committee Chairs: Marina Tyndall and Lucinda Worlock

Article submitted by Meredith Colby

Getting Paid:

It’s Every Freelancer’s Bane…What to Do?

When I first jumped the day job ship to be a full-time musician, teaching during the week and gigging on the weekends, I was living hand-to-mouth. Sometimes I had a good weekend of two or three gigs, but other weekends I was sitting home watching movies. I had a few students, but I wasn’t charging much and they didn’t always come. I remember banking on my teaching income for this week so I could pay my rent on Friday.  Invariably, I’d have cancellations galore that desperate week. Financially, it was a stressful time. Luckily, it only lasted about six years.

I don’t want your first years as a voice teacher to be as financially stressful as mine were. Back then, we didn’t have the internet and its global community of helpful people. There was no publication for freelance music teachers, and there was no book about how to set up your freelance music studio. Anyone who decided to take the plunge into those waters was on their own. Sink or swim. Learn-as-you-go.

It was awful.

Being any sort of a freelance service provider has its pros and cons. One pro is that you can set your professional rate. One con (or pro, I guess) is you have to learn to deal with money in a professional way.

Each relationship with every student is extremely valuable. It represents time, energy, choices, and money. As a teacher, you want to preserve all the good in that relationship so that your student feels safe to take the risks necessary for learning. As a freelancer, you need to be mindful of anything that might get in the way of that relationship and, perhaps, cost you a client.

In my experience, the number one reason for bad feelings between Voice Student and Freelance Teacher is money. Getting paid, from your perspective. And the reasons for those bad feelings are predictably easy to categorize.


Always give your student the benefit of the doubt. Stuff happens. You may have asked them to email you cancellations, and they forgot and left it on your voicemail, which you never check.

If you do find yourself feeling annoyed, do not – I repeat, do not – communicate in any way with the student until you get it together. Most times you’ll find that the student was not being intentionally lame or disrespectful, and the damage done if your student senses that you’re angry or disappointed may never be undone.

Failure to set clear policies

In order to keep you free from resenting your students, and your students free from feeling guilty about cancelling, you need to have studio policies. If your policies are few and concise, they are more likely to be remembered. Really. The fewer the better.

Your first policy must be about how and when you expect to be paid. What forms of payment do you accept, and when do you expect to be paid (by the month? by the lesson? when they get a bill from you?).

Your second policy should be about how you deal with cancellations. Here’s mine as an example:

I have a 24-hour cancellation policy. If you cancel more than 24 hours ahead, you don’t owe me any explanation. We can try to reschedule your lesson, or you can simply cancel. If you cancel less than 24 hours ahead, and are not in the emergency room, you must pay for your lesson. There’s no need to tell me why you’re cancelling short notice or blowing me off, because I don’t want to be in the position of deciding what’s a good excuse and what isn’t. You will owe me for the lesson.

You need to go through your policies verbally the very first time you meet a potential student. Your policies may only be about payment, or you may have another item or two that is important to you. If you have your policies in writing (on your wall or on a physical piece of paper that you hand to them) it’s easier for the new student to see that your policies are about you, not about them.

Failure to enforce policies

This is a slippery slope that will, inevitably, lead down to the quicksand of resentment.

In letting a student slide on one of your policies, you think you’re doing them a kindness that they will appreciate, respect, and not take advantage of. (You know… because of how nice you are.) They, however, now believe that they are special in your eyes and heart (because of how nice you are) and that none of your policies apply to them anymore. Ever.


Fear of rejection

This is HUGE.

Voice teachers are nice people. We develop intimate relationships with our students. We genuinely care about our students. Voice teachers are also singers; performing artists who are sensitive to rejection. For all these reasons, we’re often afraid to risk asserting ourselves, set boundaries, or enforce our policies; we’re afraid of our students. We’re afraid we’ll “make them mad”, or “make them quit”. We put (what we imagine is) the student’s agenda before our own.

I urge you to confront this in yourself and get over it as soon as you can. You are a professional. You need to keep your professional boundaries. You can neither predict nor control your student’s emotional reaction to you defending your professionalism. The reality is that your students expect you to be professional. You’re the only one who expects that you’ll put nice-ness ahead of professionalism.

I think it’s fair to say that, overall, freelance voice teachers don’t have a hard time getting paid. 99% of the time, their students don’t stiff them. It’s probably also fair to say, though, that getting paid and finding students are the primary sources of anxiety for most freelance voice teachers.

Remember that your students, even the most devoted, will come and go. You are the constant in your voice studio, so make it work for you.


Meredith Colby is a voice teacher and coach, and the author of Money Notes: How to Sing High, Loud, Healthy, and Forever. Meredith is the creator of Neuro-Vocal Method, the healthy and dependable CCM method based on brain science. Meredith's blog, VoCalling, is for people who are called to sing and singers who are called to teach. Money Notes will be used in 2017-18 as a text by the University of Illinois, Champaign. Meredith is available for teaching, training, and consulting, and can be reached through her website,

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Tech Corner

Hello VASTAns, 

We are still searching for members interested in writing articles for the Tech Corner Column. Please email me at with your ideas!

Also, don't forget to check out and tag our different social media platforms with your VASTA related news! 

Twitter: @V_A_S_T_A

Instagram: @VoiceSpeechTrainers

Facebook: VASTA’s Voices

Warm best,

The VASTA Voice

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Conference and Membership Updates

VASTA Conference- Singapore: The Art of Storytelling  









Committee Chair:Micha Espinosa















Singapore is right around the corner!    

We are excited to share with you one of our main presenters, Petrina Kow and two of our special perfomers -Davaa Batchulaan and Zagd-Ochir  Sumiyabazar.

Petrine headshot

Petrina Kow is a voice and presentation coach based in Singapore who works with a wide diversity of clients. She is also a much sought after voice actor for commercials, audio guides, online learning websites and animation. She has been a radio deejay and talk show host on various top radio stations in Singapore and one of Singapore’s most popular emcees. A singer and an actor, she was most recently seen in Kuo Pao Kun’s Lao Jiu: The Musical.  With all of Petrina’s experience in Singaporean popular culture she is the perfect person to contextualize, frame and situate the voice of Singapore for us. Her workshop titled “The Authentic Singapore Accent: Got Such Thing Meh?” will explore the Singapore’s cultural identity. Petrina will share with us her critical examination of the voices of contemporary popular culture and mass media.  She will illuminate for us what it means to have an authentic Singapore Accent. What does it sound like and why despite "Speak Good English” national campaigns, Singlish just won’t go away.

Chili crabPetrina was also instrumental in helping us find the perfect place to  “makan” (eat in Singlish/ Malay) for our celebration dinner. We will be attending the Red House on the evening of Sunday, August 5th.  The Red House is known for their amazing chili crabs. Singapore cuisine is exemplified by this dish and chili crab was listed at number 35 on the World’s 50 most delicious foods (CNN Go in 2011). Basically, chili crab is a seafood dish in which stir-fried crab is coated with sweet, savory and spicy tomato based or pepper sauce and accompanied by steam or deep fried buns (also known as mantous). This is deceiving because from what I hear, it is not very spicy and is a must try to complete the culinary exploring of travelers in Singapore. Don't worry vegetarians and meat eaters there are amazing menus planned for you too.


Are you interested in discovering the world of the Mongolian stories? Do you want to learn the voice and Davaa shotGAL headshotsound techniques inspired by nomadic life, culture and mindset of Mongolian nomads? Two of our feature performers Davaa Batchuluun (Dean of the Stage Speech Department at the Mongolian State University of Arts and Culture and critically acclaimed actor in film, television, and theatre in Mongolia) and her colleague Zagd-Ochir, Sumiyabazar (award winning throat singer and long standing veteran of the prestigious Railway Song and Dance ensemble) will share with us their art and craft. In her proposal Davaa stated “Voice art-culture of Mongolian nomads leaves one with the feeling of being an integral part of the nature.  Mongolian Voice culture opens up ones inner world, its un-drainable resources, and ones ability to cope with any life environment.”  Her colleague, Zagd-Ochir, began practicing the Khuumii (the ancient and wonderful art of Mongolian Overtone Throat Singing and Harmonic Chant) at the age of 9.  His stated dream is, “to find ways to put human voice capabilities on a new level. Khuumii is possible to fit with all musical genres and possible to perform Khuumii in melody of all musical instruments.” Davaa and Zagd-Ochir will be presenting along with other members on Monday August 7. She will also be offering a lunch-time performance prior to her workshops. This is just one of many fantastic member presentations. Stay tuned on Facebook page VASTA'sVoices, as Beth Guderath one of our dedicated workshop coordinators will be highlighting other members.


Feel free to reach out to us with any questions,

Micha Espinosa    

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Voice and Speech Review

Rockford Sansom

Hello VASTA Community, 

The final issue of our current VSR volume is almost complete, and we look forward to having a printed copy mailed to all current VASTA members soon. In order to receive your copy of the printed VSR, please check that your mailing address is up-to-date in your account on the VASTA website. Our publisher, Routledge, cannot guarantee a printed copy if your address is incomplete or inaccurate.

In the meantime, you can access all current and past articles in the VSR through the VASTA website. I’ve highlighted the most recent articles and the digital access instructions below.

With this volume complete, let me offer another congratulation and thank you to our Editor, Jeff Morrison for nearly ten years of service to the journal—five as Editor-in-Chief. We are glad that you will continue on as an adviser and Associated Editor for the following volume. Thank you, sir!

As always, the VSR is hungry for submissions, so please reach out to me and to our Associate Editors. We would love to workshop ideas, edit drafts, and help you move forward toward publication.

I will be present at the conference in Singapore. If you are attending and would like to discuss ideas for articles there, then please find me. I’ll be wearing the “Ask Me About The Voice And Speech Review” button. (That’s not a joke.)  I’ll also hold a presentation about the VSR where I’ll share tips for publication and answer any questions.

With a new 2017 volume in the works, we have exciting VSR news and updates on the horizon that I look forward to sharing in the next VASTA Voice. Stay tuned. In the meantime, please enjoy our current volume, double check that your mailing address is correct in your VASTA account, and please submit your articles to the VSR.

Most sincerely,

Rockford Sansom, Incoming VSR Editor

Inside the current issue of the VSR

You can access the current issue of the VSR right now before print publication!

Current articles and essays are:

-- Diaphragmatic entrapments: what they are and how they affect breath and voice by Elizabeth H. Terrel

-- Autoethnography and voicework by Shannon Holmes

-- The “vowels in hand” system: a time-out with five quite contrary letters by C. Leonard Raybon

-- The unspoken voice and speech debate [or] the sacred cow in the conservatory by Rockford Sansom

-- The performance of fluency by Deric McNish

-- Breath, Tremoring, and Performance Anxiety: How can Fitzmaurice Voicework's Destructuring address performance anxiety in undergraduate acting training? By Melissa Kollwitz

The journal also has a host of new reviews.

How to access the online VSR for free with your VASTA membership

1) Go to and click on “Member Login”

2) Log into the website

3) On the navigation bar, move the cursor over “Publications” and then “Voice & Speech Review.” Click on “Access Electronic VSR”

4) Click on “Click to read the VSR”

From there you can read every volume from the beginning of the VSR. The current volume is Volume 10 2016. Don’t forget to click on “Latest Articles” for the most recent publications mentioned above.

Call for submissions

We are currently accepting submissions for the 2017 volume. Please see the link on the VASTA website for submission information:

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Kristi Dana

We look forward to seeing some of you at the ATHE conference in Las Vegas, 

August 3-6!

Questions? Contact VASTA at ATHE:

Kristi Dana—Conference Planner:

Megan Chang—Associate Conference Planner:

Rene Pulliam—Focus Group Representative:

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Member News

Lauren Murphy Yeoman

Lauren Murphy Yeoman headshot 2017What's cookin', VASTA?

Below please find Member News for members with last names beginning K-O. Future Member News Submissions will be published:                            

  • September- Members with Last Names from P-T                        
  • November- Members with Last Names from U-Z

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions, at

Many thanks,                                                                                         

Lauren Murphy Yeoman                                                                                      

Associate Editor, The VASTA Voice

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Deb Kinghorn headshot

DEBORAH KINGHORN (Durham, NH) played Charmian in Antony and Cleopatra and Casca in Julius Caesar for Seven Stages Shakespeare Company;  Barbara in Jeffrey Kinghorn’s play The Caldwell Sisters; and published an article with co-author Erica Tobolski entitled “Finding Common Ground: Lessac Training Across Cultures”, to be published by The University of Alabama Press as a chapter in Theatre Symposium, Volume 25, due out in July.



NANCY KREBS (Severn, Maryland) was on the faculty and Co-Facilitator for the 2017 South African LessacKrebs headshot Kinesensics Intensive, held in Pretoria, co-sponsored by the Lessac Training & Research Institute and the Department of Drama, University of Pretoria. This three week intensive was an international event, with 28 participants and 6 teacher trainees from all parts of South Africa, as well as Brazil, Australia, Great Britain, and the United States, and a faculty from Croatia, SA and the U.S. She is currently the Resident Vocal/Dialect coach for the Annapolis Shakespeare Company, where earlier this year she coached Our Town, Richard III; and is currently coaching a new adaptation of Alice and the Book of Wonderland and The Tempest. During the summer in July, she will lead the 2017 Lessac Kinesensic Summer Intensive, being held at Depauw University in Greencastle, IN. Her article: ‘Confessions of a Dialect Coach: Teaching through the Sensory-Based Principles of Kinesensics–without using Lessac-Specific Language’ will be included in an upcoming scholarly book: Playing with Purpose: Lessac Kinesensics in Action.


Kur headshot

BARRY KUR, Penn State University, Professor Emeritus, Lessac Institute, Master Teacher (State College, PA) : Coordinated the Lessac Institute  Annual Conference at Penn State , January, 2017.  Leader of the Lessac Institute 2017 Teacher Training Workshop, DePauw University, July 2017.    



NANCY LIPSCHULTZ, MFA ( Bloomington, IN ) just finished her twenty fifth year of teaching and is now participating in her first year of Patsy Rodenburg's Master Teacher Certification Program at Michael Howard Studios in New York. Nancy coaches regularly for Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis. This past year she coached The Cay and Dial M for Murder. This fall she will coach The Serious Incident of The Dog in The Nighttime again at IRT.  In August she will be on the Diversity Panel at The Great Lakes Gender Parity Theatre Conference at Oakland University.


Lowry headshotMARYA LOWRY (Boston. Brandeis U., Actors’ Shakespeare Project (ASP). Nominated: Independent Reviewers of New England: Best Supporting Actress, Lettice and Lovage. Played Prospero in ASP’s production of The Tempest, winter 2017. Will play Brutus in all-female production of Julius Caesar in Fall-Winter 2017 for ASP.  Actor and Vocal Designer for I AM LEAR (2016–June '17), a devised theatre piece centered around the topic of women and aging, set against the backdrop of the story of King Lear.  Marya continues to teach voice and acting Shakespeare at Brandeis U. Taught “Rock Thy Brain~Shakespeare: Flesh, Blood and Bones” for Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Boston, March ’17. Organized Roy Hart Voice Teacher Pedagogic Workshop, May ’17 for U.S. RH teachers. For National Public Radio (NPR) - DC, May ’17: taught “Elevating Artistry” Workshops for NPR on-air journalists. Still Open as of time of this printing, August 19-20 workshop: The Unboundaried Voice~from Laughter to Lamentation, Boston (contact Marya @ Also, August Workshop: “Sounding from your Soul: Roy Hart Voice Workshop” (filled).  Marya continues her research into the art of vocal lamentation and the Michael Chekhov technique applied to voice training.


CELIA MADEOY, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR – (Syracuse University – Drama/Syracuse, NY) teaches on PerformanceCelia headshot Faculty with the BFA Acting/Musical Theatre programs at Syracuse University Department of Drama and Syracuse Stage.  This past year, Celia performed as Guido’s Mother in Nine, Miss Andrew in Mary Poppins, and Mrs. Dubose in To Kill A Mockingbird at Syracuse Stage.  She also was dialect coach for Syracuse Stage’s season productions of Deathtrap, Mary Poppins, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, To Kill A Mockingbird, Peter Pan, The Underpants, as well as the 2017 Summer Season production Parade at Finger Lakes Musical Theatre in Auburn, NY.  Celia enjoyed performing at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the world premiere of Who Killed Pablo Neruda?  And she is thrilled to be directing Caridad Svich’s play The House of the Spirits at Syracuse University Drama in the fall of 2017:


BETH MCGUIRE was promoted to Professor in the Practice of Acting at Yale School of Drama on July 1, 2017,Beth headshot where she is also Director of Speech and Dialects. She spent this past winter and spring working on set as the dialect coach and language consultant for the Marvel/Disney film: Black Panther (release date February 2018). This summer she conducted a Nigerian Igbo accent workshop to members of the National Congress for The National Association of Acting Teachers at The New School. Her book African Accents: A Workbook for Actors, which was published in 2016, is available on Amazon. In June she taught the third workshop in a series of four workshops: A Window into Speech with colleague Jane Guyer Fujita. A Window 3 explored a variety of pedagogical approaches for teaching accents in both educational and professional contexts. Beth has also begun work on her second book: Latinx Accents of English: A Workbook for Actors.


Mcnish headshotDERIC MCNISH (EAST LANSING, MI) begins his fourth year as Assistant Professor of Acting, Voice, and Speech at Michigan State University. Look for his article, “The Performance of Fluency,” about using voice/speech/acting techniques with English Language Learners,  which was recently published in the Voice and Speech Review, as well as an upcoming chapter on training actors with disabilities in a book titled New Directions in Teaching Theatre Arts. He’s been actively publishing samples to the International Dialects of English Archive. He recently directed Peter/Wendy and will direct The Great Gatsby in the fall. He’ll be presenting at ATHE in August, and unfortunately he’ll miss you all in Singapore. 


JULIA MOODY (Perth, Western Australia) is having a sabbatical from her position as Senior Lecturer in Voice for the Acting and Music Theatre departments at the Western Australian Academy of the Performing Arts (WAAPA) at Edith Cowan University in Perth. This year WAAPA launched a collection of Australian English based accents and dialects collected by Julia and her students since 1996. This invaluable resource is freely available to all. In August she is presenting a workshop : "The Tale of the Tongue" with WAAPA colleague  Luzita Fereday at the VASTA conference in Singapore. The RADA have invited Julia to be teach the Voice component of the Autumn term of the MA Lab in London this year. 


Christine headshot

CHRISTINE MOTTRAM, MFA (London, UK) is wrapping up her first year as a full-time Voice, Speech & Text Tutor for the BA Acting and BA Musical Theatre programs at Arts Educational Schools London. Her article, “Finding a pitch that resonates: an examination of gender and vocal authority in podcasting” was published by the Voice & Speech Review in February. She continues to develop her voice coaching blog,, with her co-creator, Lindsay Walker. She is looking forward to teaching on the 15th Fitzmaurice Voicework (R) teacher certification program in Barcelona this summer. 


Betty headshot

BETTY MOULTON (University of Alberta, Canada) spent 5 weeks in Kisumu, Kenya as voice, speech and acting coach on KweKalyet: Lwanda Magere Revisited. It is a communal project, sponsored by Ignite Afrika, involving 3 other theatre groups and two dance companies in the region. Over 30 artists collaborated on this wonderful project, performing in Kisumu July 8th and 9th. It is dedicated to promoting intertribal understanding, respect for both genders and peace in Kenya at this important pre-election time. Betty then heads to the Singapore conference via Bali. This fall she will teach a final term at the U of A before full retirement.


LISA NATHANS, Assistant Professor of Voice, Speech, and Acting, (University of Maryland, College Park) just finished dialect coaching in Los Angeles for a new TV pilot, set to air next year. This summer she was also the recipient of a Creative and Performing Arts Award from the Graduate School at the University of Maryland. This award helped her create The Hecuba Project: This project grew from a performance laboratory geared towards exploring the full range, resonance, power, and potential of our own female voices as both performers and educators.  Her research, investigating a Modern Greek Chorus, will be used as a means of aiding other female professionals in finding their own vocal power and presence beyond their habitual, societal, speaking norms. She is excited to bring her work back to University of Maryland when she directs Antigone this fall. 


Luke headshotLUKE NICHOLSON (London, UK) is celebrating his fifth year working as an Accent Coach for his company Improve Your Accent and has now taught students from 70 countries around the world. Last month he won UK Freelancer of the Year Award with £5000 prize money to invest into his business. He plans to further develop his online pronunciation course for non-native English speakers and develop more free online resources for his website. As well as regularly posting about accents and phonetics on his blog, his article on the vowel quadrilateral and creating vowel sounds will soon be published in the Voice and Speech Review. 


Oba portrait

HIROKO OBA, MA Voice Studies at Royal Central School Speech & Drama in UK, voice & speech teacher, She is working at some of Universities in Japan as a guest teacher, as well as teaching voice work to actors. Recently she started to study speech therapy which will complete in 2019.  Gaining medical knowledge, her speech technique will become profoundly deep and rich as a voice teacher and licensed speech therapist.


Ocampo headshotANTONIO OCAMPO-GUZMAN (Boston, MA) Last winter, Antonio directed Ingmar Bergman’s Nora at Northeastern University, where he is an Associate Professor of Theatre. This summer, Antonio is directing Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore for Boston Midsummer Opera. Later this year, he will direct his first musical ever, Man of La Mancha, for New Repertory Theatre. His international corporate consulting work keeps expanding, and Max is about to start kindergarten this fall.

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VASTA Board of Directors & Officers

Board of Directors

Betty Moulton
2016 - 2018

Lynn Watson
Past President
2016 - 2018

Michael Barnes
President Elect
2016 - 2018





Michelle Lopez-Rios

Ursula Meyer

John Graham

Erika Bailey

Julia Guichard

Pamela Prather

Kim Bey

D'Arcy Smith





Natasha Staley  

Artemis Preeshl

Rockford Sansom
Editor, The Voice & Speech Review

Associate Editor, The Voice & Speech Review

Lisa Nathans
Editor, The VASTA Voice

Lauren Murphy Yeoman
Associate Editor, The VASTA Voice

Thrasso Petras
Director of Membership

Micha Espinosa & Aole Miller
Director of Annual Conferences

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

Cynthia Bassham
Human Resources Director

Michael J. Barnes
Senior Technical Director

Adriano Cabral
Director of Technology/Internet Service 

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

Yolanda Heman-Ackah

 Associate Officers

Amy Stoller
Editor, VASTA Links Page

Flloyd Kennedy
Editor, Workshop & Events Page

Janet B. Rodgers
VASTA Archive Catalogist 

Brad Gibson

Judd Johnson
Social Media Manager

Josh Moser
Social Media Content Manager







Committee Chairs

Barry Kur
Chair, Awards and Grants Committee

Cynthia DeCure
Chair, Diversity Committee

Colton Weiss
Chair, Interdisciplinary Engagement Committee

Diane Robinson
Chair, Teaching and Learning Committee

Daron Oram
Chair, International Committee




Contact Information Available at VASTA.ORG


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©2010, Voice and Speech Trainers Association