The VASTA Voice

Volume 12, Issue 2
MAY 2017

Table of Contents:

A Message from the President

Betty Moulton

Betty MoultonHello again voice colleagues,

As our world continues into spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and fall in the southern, thoughts turn to changes in the weather, and perhaps invite new explorations in the field of voice… There are so may avenues to explore in this exciting field, and quite a number of organizations dedicated to practice and research, advocacy and promotion. I encourage you all to check out websites beyond VASTA and to share your findings with colleagues. The more VASTA as an international organization can connect with other practitioners with shared interests, the more we all benefit in our understanding and practice.


The upcoming conference in Singapore “The Art of Storytelling”, promises to connect members to new voices and practices this August. Micha Espinosa and Aole (Puti) Miller are still hard at work on our behalf, making connections across Asia to ensure a spectacular program of storytelling techniques. They are posting updates on our website and two Facebook pages; ones you can easily share to keep the word out, and to encourage as many artists as possible to attend with you.


I want to let you know about a few things the board is engaged in:

The money collected from the “Giving Tuesday” initiative is waiting for a thorough definition of the scholarship it will support: the Member-Sponsored Conference Scholarship. The final tally of funds that we secured was just under $700. Again congratulations to Kendra Kingsbury and many thanks for the generous donors.  We will work over the summer to discuss and define the guidelines for application, so that everything will be in place this coming fall, before members put together their proposals for the 2018 conference.


And speaking of the Seattle 2018 conference, VASTA’s planners are Rachel Hirshorn, who has helped with a variety of aspects for the Chicago and the Singapore Conferences, and Kate Clarke. The two of them will work toward making our first joint conference with the Pan American Vocology Association a success! They are joined by conference planner, Marci Rosenberg from PAVA and are already hard at work, dreaming about new and exciting joint offerings.  I know in VASTA, we have been combining the worlds of art and science in our practice and research for a long time, so the board felt it was time to devote a full conference to sharing our methodologies and research in Seattle 2018. Watch for news about this conference over the next year…


The Investment policy is now in place so the funds available from our investment interest will help with the new scholarships I reported on last newsletter.


We are very happy to welcome the new Editor in Chief of the Voice and Speech Review:  Rockford Sansom. He will be transitioning into the role with Jeff Morrison’s help over the spring and summer. He has already brought a wonderful burst of energy to the role and has plans to move forward on Jeff’s idea of getting an international Advisory Board in place. Look for new ideas and ways to get involved in writing for our profession over the coming months. Rocky will be in Singapore and is eager to meet members he hasn’t connected with yet- look for him and have a chat about how you can get published in the VSR. Articles that result from sessions at the annual conference are a natural progression for your work, so connect with him in Singapore!


I’ll conclude with a shout out to the board and all the officers- we had a Zoom meeting in February and another one in mid May. There is so much that goes on in this organization throughout the year, and board and officer members step up with great ideas and initiatives. We don’t have enough hours in our schedules to follow through on all the ideas that come up, but we try to serve as best we can. As ever, if you have any ideas for things VASTA can do to serve your needs better- feel free to pick up the phone or email any one of us. 

Cheers for now,


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Letter from the Editor

Lisa Nathans

Greetings VASTAns,

Happy Spring/Fall! I hope you enjoy this issue of The VASTA Voice.

Please join me in wishing a VERY Happy 91st Birthday to Cicely Berry!

This issue contains more responses to our Ask VASTA MD questions and the Clyde Vinson Memorial Scholarship recipient, in addition to updates about the Singapore Conference and VASTA at ATHE. You will also find an original article in the Freelance Coaching Column about How to Set Your Fees as a Freelance Voice Coach, submitted by VASTA member Meredith Colby.

Lastly, congrats to Rockford Sansom, the incoming Editor-in-Chief for the Voice and Speech Review! Please take some time to read through the Voice and Speech Review section of the newsletter, as Rockford and his team are eager to review your proposals!

Happy voice-ing and speaking!

Warm best,

Lisa Nathans

Editor, The VASTA Voice

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Ask VASTA MD: Continued responses to questions from the VASTA membership

Yolanda D. Heman-Ackah, MD

How often should we get scoped if we aren't feeling ill or like something is wrong?

Everyone who is a professional voice user should have a baseline stroboscopic evaluation of their vocal folds so that the normal structure of the vocal folds can be documented.  There are many singers and professional voice users who have cysts on their vocal folds, dilated vessels on the vocal folds, and/or a vocal fold weakness that is just part of their vocal anatomy.  As long as these issues are not causing any problems with the voice, they do not need to be addressed.  People can also develop cysts on the vocal folds, vocal fold weakness and/or dilated vessels on the vocal folds from injury or illness and when these are new phenomenon, they cause a sudden change in the voice.  It is easier to diagnose a voice problem when it occurs if one has had a baseline examination to document the individual’s normal vocal fold structure.

Question from a student: Do I need a referral from a primary care doctor to visit an ENT to get a preliminary scoping done in the United States? Or can I just make an appointment?

Whether or not you need a referral from a primary care physician to see an otolaryngologist (ENT) in the United States depends upon your insurance plan.  Typically, if you have an HMO plan and certain POS and EPO plans, you may require a referral from your primary care physician.  If you are unsure, call your insurance company and ask the customer service representative.

VASTA would like to invite members to check out how it works to get a referral in their own country and write in with that information for the benefit of all members in the next newsletter! 

Can you describe the benefits of the video scope as opposed to the rigid scope? And can video scoping be done orally or is it only the flexible scope through the nose? The student in question can't have things going up their nose.

Just to clarify, there are 2 different kinds of telescopes used to visualize the vocal folds.  The flexible scope is the one that goes through the nose.  The rigid scope is the one that goes through the mouth.  The rigid scope is almost exclusively done with stroboscopy (which allows the physician to visualize the vocal folds vibrating).  The flexible scope can be done with or without stroboscopy.  Most laryngologists videotape all examinations, whether they are flexible or rigid and whether they are done with stroboscopy or with continuous light so that the images can be compared with future visits.  For a professional voice user, if one is looking to see how your vocal folds are functioning, he/she should always have a stroboscopy performed.  The advantage of the rigid scope over the flexible scope for stroboscopy is that the rigid scope has higher magnification and can see more detail on the vocal folds that sometimes is missed with the flexible scope alone.


There was an error in the anatomical designation in the article. The “six-pack” muscles that were referenced are the “rectus abdominis” not the “transversus abdominis.” The transversus abdominus muscles, like the internal obliques and the external obliques are part of the deepest core muscles and are greatly relevant in supporting the breath.

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Committee Chair Updates

Awards and Grants Committee

Barry Kur

The VASTA Awards, Grants and Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce that the 2017 recipient of the Clyde Vinson Memorial Scholarship is Mr. Morne Steyn of Pretoria, Republic of South Africa.  Morne is a full time lecturer in theatre training at the University of Pretoria. Professor Deborah Kinghorn of the University of New Hampshire nominated him. His graduate work at University of Pretoria was under the mentorship of Professor Marth Munro, now his teaching colleague. He is a certified  trainer of Lessac Voice and Body Training.

VASTA's Clyde Vinson Memorial Scholarship includes:

  • one year free membership
  • waiver of conference fee
  • up to $500 for travel to the VASTA Conference
  • a $500 award

The Committee wishes to express deep appreciation to all of the candidates and nominators.  These early career professionals’ accomplishments indicate continuing prosperity in the voice fields.

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Diversity Committee

Cynthia DeCure

Hello VASTAns,

Please contact Cynthia DeCure with questions or article ideas for the Diversity Committee column!

Thank you!

The VASTA Voice


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Interdisciplinary Engagement Committee

Joanna Battles & Tamara Meneghini 

VASTA launched a #MyVoiceCan campaign for World Voice Day on April 16th this year in support of the upcoming Singapore Conference! Perhaps you saw the campaign on our social media sites?

Some members posted videos, audio clips, or simply wrote on our social media sharing what their voices can DO, including how their voices make an impact in their personal/professional lives. Check out the Tech Corner column for more information about hash tags and VASTA's Social Media.

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International Committee


Hello VASTAns,

The International Committee is currently looking for a new Committee Chair. Interested? Please send your suggestions or self nominations to Betty Moulton at

Thank you!

The VASTA Voice

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Freelance Coaching Column

Committee Chairs: Marina Tyndall and Lucinda Worlock

Article submitted by Meredith Colby

You’re Worth It: How to Set Your Fees as a Freelance Voice Teacher

by Meredith Colby

Voice teachers are singers, and it’s the rare singer who is business-minded by nature. We’re artists who have eschewed the straight and narrow to dance with our muse. Professionally, most of us started teaching voice because we knew how to sing, and teaching seemed like a better idea than waiting tables or temping. And then we discovered that we actually like a lot about teaching. We like the relationships, and helping others, and sharing in the process of growth and learning. All the other stuff, though? Not so much.

Being a freelance voice teacher means you have your own studio. You have to market yourself, manage your schedule, keep track of each student’s progress and payments, and set up recitals. You also have to set your price and policies; two elements of teaching that can be hard to decide and even harder to enforce.

If you teach through an institution the price for your lessons is set by someone else. You may get a little less than you’d like on a per-student basis, but you never have to be the bad guy. Someone else sets and enforces the policies, collects the tuition fees, and pays you in a timely manner. If you’re teaching on your own, you have to do all that, whether you want to or not.

So how do you set your price? First, consider the variables. 

Your Clients

As a general statement, you can charge more for adults than for teens or tweens, more for professionals than amateurs. With more sophisticated clients comes higher expectations, and with school-aged clients comes more cancellations. There are always pros and cons. You should identify the type of student you enjoy, and feel most confident teaching. Do you love teenagers? Or are you targeting adult students? I promise you’ll get inquiries from people other than your “target student,” but setting your price with your preferred client in mind will make you more self-assured in setting your price.

Your City

Des Moines isn’t New York, and Nashville isn’t Portland. The first step in setting your price is identifying the least, and most, expensive voice lessons in your area. Look to store-front music schools and park districts for the least expensive private lessons, and freelancers who operate under their own name for the most expensive. (Do not include celebrity skype lessons; stick to actual people in your city.) That’s the range you’ll be working with.

Your Experience

A bio that’s populated with singing credits will be attractive to a certain kind of client, but in the end, it’s your experience as a teacher that’s going to deliver the goods your students are looking for. I remember my vocal pedagogy teacher telling our class that we should pay our students the first three years we taught voice, since we’d be learning much more from them than they from us. We all chuckled smugly, and then went on to discover he was absolutely right. You can’t fake experience, and once you have it, you can charge for it. If you don’t have much experience, charge a rate that will attract students and allow you to garner the experience you need.

Your Expertise

Can you promote yourself as having amassed a great deal of knowledge – either through teaching or performing – of a certain genre? Claiming that you teach all styles of music with equivalent expertise will allow you to cast your net wider, but could cost you in terms of setting your rates. Saying that you enjoy working with beginning and intermediate students of all styles, and are an expert in contemporary music-theater technique (for instance) lends some cachet to your profile that can translate to a higher rate.

Your Bragging Rights

Even though they might not feel fancy to you, citing the things you’ve done professionally can add status and weight to your bio. Also, when you see it written down, it can help you see yourself the way your potential client might see you. Things to cite are:

  • Your alma mater, and any honors that came with your degree
  • Any post-graduate degrees or programs
  • Any certification in teaching, or in teaching a particular vocal method
  • Any singing you’ve done or are currently doing (only the impressive stuff, not every little thing)
  • Any school or group you have taught, or are teaching, for
  • Any impressive clients
  • Affiliations of any sort; you never know what matters to someone else
  • Publications, books, blogging site, any published writing you’ve done


Now you’ve determined both the lowest and highest price points for voice lessons in your area, and written down the things about you that will add value for your students. Time to set your price. But before you do, I’d like you to remember a few things.


Students will come and go, you have to live with you. 

You may love your students, have a lot of empathy for their financial plights, and want to be with them on their artistic journey, but in the end, it’s you who has to pay the rent. Put your own needs ahead of your students when setting your fees.

Your policies should figure into your pricing.

For example, if your policy is that you charge for lessons a month at a time and don’t have a cancellation policy, you’ll have to charge less. If you charge by the lesson and have a 24-hour cancellation policy, you can charge more. In other words, the more your policies favor your client, the more you can charge.

You can charge more than you think.

  • Figure out what you’re comfortable charging, and charge more than that. Why?
  • You are notorious for undervaluing your work. All y’all.
  • Regular people get raises every year; you’ll give yourself a raise once every five years. Maybe.
  • You can always offer a sliding scale to a certain percentage of your students who both need and deserve it.
  • You don’t want bargain-hunters for students.  
  • You’ll be a little uncomfortable with your price at first, but as you see that other people don’t freak out about it, you’ll get used to it.

Setting a price for your work can be really uncomfortable. But as you do so, please remember how important your voice teachers have been to you. You deserve to charge what you’re worth.

Meredith Colby has been a freelance voice teacher for 28 years. She’s the author of Money Notes: How to Sing High, Loud, Healthy, and Forever, and the creator of Neuro-Vocal Method, the CCM method based on brain science. Meredith teaches in the Chicago area with her husband, daughter, dog and cat, and would love to hear from her readers at or at

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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












Article submitted by Aole (Budi) Miller

I am happy to report that this year’s voice conference in Singapore will have representation from more regions of the world than ever before. The goal of the conference was to extend collaborative friendship to regions of Asia and Oceania. We have been met with great enthusiasm from places like Mongolia, Indonesia, China, Australia, South Africa, Europe, and America.


We are especially excited about our Keynote Speaker Wesely Enoch the Director of the Sydney Festival. Supporting our theme of storytelling, Mr. Enoch is known as one of Australia’s most renowned Aboriginal storytellers. He was the first director to bring Aboriginal stories into the commercial theatre with great success. His seminal play Stolen followed the lives of five Aboriginal children taken from their homes and put into Australian orphanage institutions.

Along with Wesley Enoch, we will have master teacher and eminent Indonesian scholar I Wayan Dibia. He is an expert on Indonesian performing arts and is a master teacher of many classical Indonesian dance and music forms. Indonesian performing arts use the voice in many traditions from the virtuosic vocal expressions of its shadow puppetry, the boisterous full body mask character performance, the ethereal high pitch Balinese operatic singing of Arja, to the acapella village chanting of Kecak. Mr. Dibia will share his knowledge and teach us Kecak!


Leith McPherson will also be joining us as a featured presenter. She is one of Hollywood’s most coveted voice coaches. She was the voice coach for all of the Hobbit films and had the pleasure of teaching Cate Blanchet Elvish. She will share with us her experience of working with fictional languages, phonetically coaching actors, and antidotes around her experience of working in the film industry.

We have over 60 approved proposals for workshops and papers from around the globe, which adds to the exciting events planned. Singapore has proven to be an ideal location for us to reach out to the voice communities in Asia and Oceania because of its central and convenient location. Being a first world country also allows for all the modern conveniences that will make our stay comfortable. The multicultural harmony of Singapore is best experienced in its vast dining options.

We hope to see you all there!

Best wishes,

Aole (Budi) Miller  

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Voice and Speech Review

Rockford Sansom

Hello VASTA Community,  

I am Rockford Sansom, and I’m honored to serve as your incoming Editor-in-Chief of the Voice and Speech Review. I’d first like to thank our current Editor-in-Chief, Jeff Morrison, for his leadership and counsel. Jeff has served as the Editor-in-Chief for five years and worked as an Associate Editor for four. During this time, Jeff helmed our relationship with Routledge Press and the addition of the digital version of the journal, making the journal an active presence in libraries and databases worldwide. I aim to continue the journal’s prestigious legacy, putting forth new research, ideas, and debates within our voice discipline and developing interdisciplinary partnerships from allied fields. 

I look forward to a wonderful journey with you. Please feel free to reach out to me and the other Associate Editors. We want to read your article submissions and help you develop your ideas for new research.


Rockford Sansom  


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:

-- The whole of humanity: voice and intracultural theatre practice by Melissa Agnew & Kristine Landon-Smith

-- Mothers empowering their voices for activism by Beth Osnes

-- Evaluating stress reduction techniques and Fitzmaurice Voicework® as a template for addressing performance anxiety and enhancing focus in student actors by Daydrie Hague

-- Efficacy in phonetics training for the actor by Eric Armstrong

-- Finding a pitch that resonates: an examination of gender and vocal authority in podcasting by Christine Mottram

-- Actor-centered rehearsals: giving freedom and voice to actors in the rehearsal room by Danielle Wilson

The journal also has a host of new reviews!


How to access the online VSR 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.


Call for Submissions

The VSR is published tri-annually. We publish research-based articles, essays based on practical, real-world experience (known as "forum" pieces) and reviews. While the VSR has a primary interest in voice and speech for performing artists, voice and speech training overlaps many other disciplines and practices, and we welcome and encourage submissions from outside the VASTA community.  

We are currently accepting submissions for the 2017 volume. The VSR prides itself on encouraging and supporting veteran and new scholars alike. Whether you have a completed draft or the germ of an idea, please contact one of our Associate Editors below. They would love to help you work through your draft or even brainstorm your ideas.

Editorial Departments


Ethics, Standards and Practices

For articles that deal with issues of diversity, social justice, best practices and related topics in voice and speech training, vocal use, and speech and dialects.
Associate Editor: Amy Mihyang Ginther -

Heightened Text, Verse and Scansion

For articles that address teaching, coaching and theoretical issues with classical texts (often but not limited to Shakespeare), poetry and technical issues of speaking verse.
Associate Editor: Erika Bailey  -

Pedagogy and Coaching

For articles that address how voice and speech trainers transmit knowledge to students, professional actors, and private clients, and why those teaching methods are used. Topics may be theoretical or practical; many of the best articles in this category combine both.
Associate Editors: Tanera Marshall - and Jennifer Burke -

Private Studio Practice

For articles that focus on issues specific to the non-academic world of private coaching and teaching.
Associate Editor: Heather Lyle -


For articles that investigate acoustic, articulatory, linguistic and practical phonetics, speech perception, dialect, accent or variation, and language and speech training for performing artists.
Associate Editor: Andrea Caban -

Reviews and Sources

For reviews of books, media (film, video, audio), and performances that pertain to training, history, theory, and practice for actors and voice and speech practitioners. Reviews are typically shorter than full-length articles at 1000-1500 words.
Associate Editor: Kate Joos Glasheen -


For articles about technical, pedagogical, aesthetic/genre and historical issues as they pertain to the practice of singing.
Associate Editor: Rockford Sansom -

Voice and Speech Science, Vocal Health

For articles about scientific aspects of the voice, vocal production, breath, acoustics, and speech language pathology and audiology.
Associate Editor: Aaron Ziegler -

Vocal Production, Voice-Related Movement Studies

For articles that explore use of movement disciplines or as applied to voice and speech training.  Articles may focus on theory, practical use, historical training methods, etc.
Associate Editor: Elizabeth Daily -

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Kristi Dana

The 2017 ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education) Conference will be held August 3-6, 2017, at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. We are very excited about the number and variety of VASTA sponsored panels and workshops that have been accepted for this year’s ATHE Conference!

“Anxiety and the Performer” will discuss the history of performance anxiety, relevant research studies, and practical solutions for refocusing this heightened energy in performance, while “Communicate for Clarity” will look at how spectacle as a concept can assist us in widening our speaking capabilities to assist us with speech clarity. The Alba Method of Emotions will be applied to voice work in “The Emotional Voice.” If you are interested in an embodied exploration of Shakespeare’s language through elements, Phonetic Pillows, and Gestures to discover a richer connection to text, you will want to attend “Embodied Explorations of Shakespeare’s Language.”

In the panel presentation, “Using Vocal Arts to Hear, Hold, and Help,” the presenters will be sharing experiences in applying voice and speech training in therapy. The workshop, “Vocal Power and Performance to Enhance Spectacle,” will present methods to enhance breathing coordination and performance skills. “Expressive Actor: Integrated Voice, Movement & Acting Training” will investigate integrative exercises linking a weight-shift, breath-shift, sound-shift and speech-shift in the service of the expression of thought and feeling. And this year VASTA will be represented in one of the Warm-up sessions with “Unlocking the Power Within.”  These are just a sample of what you can expect from VASTA at ATHE in 2017.  Please visit the ATHE website for more information.



The VASTA Debut Panel is excited to introduce VASTA members to the ATHE conference. Included in this year’s Debut Panel will be Colton Weiss, who is investigating the similarities and differences between Patsy Rodenburg’s incorporation of singing in her literature and exercises and musical vocal pedagogy (Bel Canto).

Finally, we had a blast last year connecting with VASTA members at our happy hour! Join us Friday, August 4th at 7:30pm for drinks, snacks and good times. The event will be held conveniently at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Come find us!

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 2017Happy Spring, VASTA! 

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

  • July- Members with Last Names from K-O                                
  • 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

Thank you very much!                                                                                          

Lauren Murphy Yeoman                                                                                      

Associate Editor, The VASTA Voice

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Michele Fleiger photo 2017MICHELE FLEIGER (Edmonton, Alberta) has been teaching and coaching in the Drama Dept. at the University of Alberta since 2000. Since 2009 she has facilitated a workshop now entitled Communicating Care which is one of the elective offerings for students in the Art and Humanities in Health and Medicine Program. She was principal author of the article Performative Reflection A Theater Elective Directed to Promoting Relational-Responsiveness Awareness among Medical Students detailing the evolution of this workshop that was designed to foster an awareness of the value and practice of empathic communication. The article was  recently included in the compendium Keeping Reflection Fresh: A Practical Guide for Clinical Educators (Kent State University Press 2016)


Rebecca Gausnell headshot

REBECCA GAUSNELL, MFA (London, UK) has begun dialogue coaching on Season 2 of Berlin Station, temporarily relocating her to Berlin. Recent London theatre projects include dialect work on: Rose Theatre Kingston’s Hong Kong tour of All My Sons directed by Michael Rudman, Fiddler on the Roof at Liverpool Everyman directed by Gemma Bodinetz, and Fool for Love at Found 111 directed by Simon Evans. When in London, she teaches dialects to BA Acting students at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, MA Acting at Arts Ed, and at the Arcola Theatre. Rebecca recently completed her first year of Alexander Technique teacher training at the Alexander Technique School Queen’s Park.


JAN GIST (SAN DIEGO, CA) continues as Professor of Voice, Speech, Dialects at The Old Globe/University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program. While on sabbatical last Spring, she further developed her workbook Speaking On Purpose, a compilation of skills for vocal variety and expressiveness, and ways to apply them to Shakespeare’s structures of language, including many pieces of text for specific practice.  She led workshops on this material at Elon University, American Players Theatre, and numerous regional groups. This summer she will coach Midsummer and teach apprentice actors at American Players theatre, and then strive to finish the workbook, to put forward to publish.


Sammi Grant headshotSAMMI GRANT (Chicago, IL) is continuing to grow her career as a dialect coach in the Chicagoland area. She is currently coaching Chicago at Drury Lane Theatre and The Night Season at Strawdog Theatre. She is also signed on to coach all three shows in Eclipse Theatre’s 2017main season featuring the plays of Kia Corthron, the first of which is Force Continuum. Last year, she coached select actors on a handful of episodes for the new Amazon Prime series Patriot, which has just recently become available for streaming. Sammi is taking her first steps to become a Linklater Designated Teacher and is doing her one on one teacher training with fellow Vastan Christine Adaire. Sammi recently made a short video with Buzzfeed giving quick tips on 9 different accents. The video should be live in the next month or so.


Andrea Haring photo 2017ANDREA HARING (New York City) currently serves as the Executive Director at The Linklater Center for Voice and is looking forward to teaching with her colleagues in the upcoming Voice, Body, Shakespeare Intensive Workshop in June.  This past year, she coached Sarah Jones in Sell, Buy, Date at Manhattan Theater Club, and Lucas Hedges in Yen at MCC Theater, and is about to begin work as vocal coach with Bob Glaudini on his new play.  She continues to work with the World Economic Forum Global Fellows and other corporate public speaking workshops.  Although continuing on faculty at Fordham University Theater Department, Andrea is content to voluntarily retire from the Columbia MFA Theater Program after 14 years there.  Andrea is a coordinator for the USA Linklater Teacher Training.


Joe Heatedly headshot

JOE HETTERLY, BFA (New York, NY) recently wrapped up accent coaching a production of Sweet Bird of Youth in New York City. Currently, he is finishing up his two-year, resident internship with Knight-Thompson Speechwork and he plans on attending the teacher certification course this summer. This spring Joe was accepted into the MFA in Acting program at FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, that he has accepted, and will attend this fall (class of 2020).


Allison Heizel headshotALLISON HETZEL, University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL) During this past year Allison enjoyed see other members at the 2016 VASTA Conference in Chicago, and she will miss you in Singapore this summer. Allison had the exciting opportunity to play the role of Toni in Appropriate this past fall. She kept busy this spring coordinating and coaching the freshman and senior New York Showcase for her Department. She continues to develop her new theatre project Step Mama Drama as well as work with the students at Arts N Autism.


Matthew Hoch headshotMATTHEW HOCH (Auburn, AL) During the 2016-2017 academic year, Matthew Hoch performed recitals and offered master classes at the University of Florida, Baylor University, Georgia College, University of Richmond, and Virginia State University. He also presented research at the annual symposia of the Pan-American Vocology Association (PAVA) and Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), and presented lecture-recitals at the Music by Women Festival at Mississippi University for Women and the annual meeting of the Society for American Music (SAM) in Montréal. He is also editor of and contributor to the recently published So You Want to Sing Sacred Music (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017). Dr. Hoch continues to serve as Associate Professor of Voice and Coordinator of Voice Studies at Auburn University.


Melissa Hurt headshotMELISSA HURT, Freelance (Springfield, VA) Melissa is thrilled to announce Routledge is preparing her book Arthur Lessac's Embodied Actor Training for a paperback release Summer 2017.  Please look for it and consider adopting for your courses on actor training, voice pedagogy, and/or acting theory.  


KATE  INGRAM (Orlando, FL) continues as Associate Professor/MFA Acting Coordinator at the University of Central Florida.  She has just completed directing a very successful run of Hedda Gabler, and is preparing to perform a “dream role”: Eleanor in A Lion in Winter. She is proud to have been accepted to be a presenter @ VASTA in Singapore “The Art of Storytelling” later this summer.  She has her work cut out for her this fall as voice/dialect coach for two productions @ UCF: Pentecost and The Octoroon.  Still happy to occasionally coach for the Harry Potter Diagon Alley shows at Universal here in Orlando.


Christine Isherwood photo 2017CHRISTINE ISHERWOOD, VMT -R (Registered Voice Movement Therapist), Oak Bluffs, MA, will co-direct, with Anne Brownell, The Norma G. Canner Foundation’s training in Voice Movement Therapy, Singing The Psyche: The Voice Unchained, which will commence January 2018 on Martha’s Vineyard. She is currently in the process of completing an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Goddard College in Vermont, and also writing and recording an album of death songs based on recent personal bereavements, utilizing the VMT ethos of creating from one’s own personal story and giving expression in sound and song to that which has been experienced.


Jim Johnson headshotJIM JOHNSON (Houston, TX)  finished his term as Director of the School of Theatre & Dance at the University of Houston, and has taken on the role of Director of Undergraduate Studies at the School. In the summer of 2016, Jim taught Original Pronunciation at the Prague Shakespeare Festival and attended the VASTA conference, along with the Roy Hart intensive that followed. In 2016, he also released new materials on for learning Caribbean, African, Arabic, and Scandinavian accents, along with updated editions for a number of the 45 accents now available on the site. This year will bring new releases of Israeli, South African, and Indian & South Asian materials, and a return trip to teach at the Prague Shakespeare Festival.


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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

Jeff Morrison
Editor, The Voice & Speech Review

Tara McAllister Viel
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
Megan 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

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