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Christopher Arneson, master teacher

Christopher Arneson is a professional voice trainer and vocologist who works with singers and  actors to build powerful, effective voices. In 2003 he joined the voice faculty at Westminster Choir College of Rider University where he teaches Voice, Voice Pedagogy, Literature for Teaching, and Speech for the Actor.  Dr. Arneson is the co-director of the CoOPERAtive Program, a young artist program for singers, held at Westminster Choir College.

Dr. Arneson's students have gone on to further study in the Master of Music, Artist Diploma, and Doctoral programs at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Boston University, Ithaca College, Eastman School of Music, Indiana University and Yale School of Music. They have also appeared in young artist programs at Chautauqua Opera, Central City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Washington National Opera.  His professional-level students have appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago.  

Dr. Arneson has enjoyed success in opera, concert and recital. His operatic repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary, with performances of works by Handel and Lully, John Adams and Phillip Glass. His formative training was with the Tri-cities Opera where he debuted as Silvio in I Pagliacci, at the age of 22.   Many of Dr. Arneson's most significant successes occurred in Mozart operas, with acclaimed performances as Don Giovanni, Figaro, Count Almaviva, and Guglielmo.  He has appeared with the Opera Orchestra of New York in works of Donizetti and Boildieu, and as Figaro in the Metropolitan Opera Guild's production of The Barber of Seville.  He appeared with the New Jersey Symphony singing the Old American Songs of Aaron Copland and in performances of Strauss' Zigeunerbaron with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Kurt Mazur   In Europe, Dr. Arneson appeared at the Netherlands Opera, the Paris Opera, and the The Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.

Dr. Arneson is a frequent guest speaker regarding the training and care of the professional voice. He is a faculty member for the New York Singing Teachers Association's (NYSTA) professional development program, where he teaches classes in vocal repertoire and applied pedagogy. Dr. Arneson is chair of the NATS Pedagogy Curriculum Committee and has recently published articles in the NATS Journal of Singing; "Teaching Teachers and Performance Anxiety: A 21st Century Perspective."

Dr. Arneson was formerly the co-director of the Voice and Speech department in the MFA program at the renowned Actors Studio of the New School University in New York.  In addition, he taught voice and vocal pedagogy at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Dr. Arneson completed vocology internships at the Grabscheid Voice Center at Mt. Sinai Hospital and the Vox Humana Laboratory at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, both in New York, where he continues to collaborate with otolaryngologists and speech-language pathologists in the remediation of voice disorders. Dr. Arneson holds both Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Opera degrees from Binghamton University, completed post-graduate studies at Cornell University where he studied with renowned Verdi scholar Roger Parker, and earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University where he studied Seventeenth Century Venetian Opera with Dr. Irene Alm.   Dr. Arneson is an editor for The Journal of Singing, Unbridled Books, Inside View Press. He will also edit the new revised edition of the Royal Conservatory of Music's Vocal Repertoire Collection, published by Frederick Harris, Ltd. He is a member of the American Academy of Teachers of Singing, and he has recently been designated as Master Teacher for the NATS 2011 Teaching Intern Program.

Claudia Catania, master teacher

Claudia Catania
 teaches voice at the Westminster College for the Arts and at the Mannes College of Music.  She has taught Singing for Actors at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA), and has also been the director of the Studio for Young Singers at the Opera Theater of Lucca, Italy, an annual summer program sponsored by the University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music.  She also teaches in the Wichita State University summer program in Florence, Italy, and at the Chautauqua Summer Institute, where she coaches and prepares Italian diction and opera scenes for the vocal studio program.  In 2007, she will be a master teacher for the NATS Intern Program at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte.   Ms. Catania has private voice studios in Manhattan and New Jersey.  She delivers Master Classes in both Broadway and classical singing, recent ones being for the KTH Voice Research Centre in Stockholm, Sweden, and the National Opera Association 2004 convention in Kansas City.  In February of 2005, she presented master classes in music theater for the National Association of Teachers of Singing at four universities in Kansas: Emporia State, Wichita State, Kansas State and Friends University, and in April 2005 for the MTNA convention in Seattle, Washington.  Her article, "Music Theater as a Technical Tool and Pragmatic Business Choice for the Classical Singer" is featured in the November/December, 2004 NATS Journal of Singing.

1990 marked Ms. Catania's tenth anniversary with the Metropolitan Opera, where she has been heard in roles including Idamante, Hansel, Nicklausse, Maddalena, Suzuki, and Stephano.  In 1982 she was chosen by Music Director James Levine to sing as well as dance the role of The Cook in the Met's new production of Le Rossignol, staged by John Dexter and Choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton.  She has also appeared with the companies of Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Santa Fe, Dayton, Toledo, Lake George, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Miami, and Fort Worth.   Concert credits include performances with the Denver, Baltimore, and Boston Symphonies, the Cleveland Orchestra, and most notably, two series of Bach concerts with the New York Philharmonic: the B Minor Mass with Erich Leinsdorf, and the Magnificat in D with Rafael Kubelik.  Ms. Catania may be heard and seen on videocassette "Live from the Met" as Ascanius in Les Troyens and Adonella in Francesca da Rimini.  She is featured on both the DVD and CD box sets that James Levine just released to celebrate his 40th anniversary at the Met.

 A mezzo-soprano who is equally at home on the on the Broadway stage, Ms. Catania was last seen on Broadway as the villainous sister Marie in the Tony-nominated  revival of The Most Happy Fella, and is featured on that cast recording.  In the national revival of The King and I starring Stacy Keach, critic Alvin Klein praised Ms. Catania's performance in the New York Times, noting that her "sumptuous voice is a standout in the role of Lady Thiang.  Here "'Something Wonderful' really is." Last summer she did the role of Ida Straus in Titanic at the St. Louis MUNY.

 Claudia Catania received a Bachelor of Music degree in voice from Temple University in 1968.  In 1995, she received a Master of Arts degree in psychoanalysis from the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, and holds a Psya D. (ABD) in that school's Institute for the Study of Violence.  She received her Certification in Psychoanalysis from the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies in March of 2000.  Ms. Catania is very proud of the recognition bestowed on her by her native city of Philadelphia. In 1987 she received the city's Medal of Honor, in 1994 was chosen Alumni Fellow of the Year by Temple University, and in 1998 received that University's Certificate of Honor.  In 1997 she was named to the Board of Directors of The Voice Foundation, where she was honored as Master Teacher of the Year in 2000.  She also serves as a member of the American Academy of Teachers of Singing and the National Opera Association.  From 1995 until 2003 she was an Assistant Professor in both the Music and Theater Arts Divisions of the Boston University College of Fine Arts.  She is an Artist-in-Residence at Temple University, and also has served on the faculty of Individual University, an alternative program of study for high school students in Manhattan.  In addition to her work in the artistic world, Claudia Catania is also a communications skills consultant to Fortune 500 companies including Goldman, Sachs, & Co.  In 2008 she was the recipient of the VERA award from the Voice Foundation in Philadelphia.

Scott McCoy, lecturer

Scott McCoy
served as Professor of Voice and Pedagogy, Director of the Presser Music Center Voice Laboratory, and Director of Graduate Studies at Westminster Choir College of Rider University from 1997-2011.  This fall, he assumes a new position at Ohio State University as director of the graduate program in voice pedagogy, director of the Swank Voice Laboratory, and coordinator of OSU's interdisciplinary program in Singing Voice Health. His multimedia voice science and pedagogy textbook, Your Voice: An Inside View, was introduced in mid-2004 and has since been adopted by over one hundred colleges and universities throughout the United States and abroad (visit for additional information about this text). Deeply committed to education, McCoy is a founding faculty member in the New York Singing Teachers Association (NYSTA) professional development program, teaching classes in voice anatomy, physiology, and acoustic analysis.

McCoy maintains an active singing career.  To date, he has performed more than two dozen leading operatic roles and over sixty concert and oratorio solo roles with professional music organizations in the United States and abroad.  In addition, he is a specialist in the song cycles of Schubert and Schumann, frequently concertizing with pianists Claude Cymerman and J.J. Penna.

A long-time member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, McCoy served as association president from 2008-2010, and as immediate past president is the director of the national intern program for young teachers. Additionally, he is the Associate Editor of the Journal of Singing for voice pedagogy, chair of the NATS Voice Science Advisory Committee, and was selected as a Master Teacher for the 2005 NATS Intern Program.  In 2003 he was elected to membership in the distinguished American Academy of Teachers of Singing.  Prior to joining the Westminster faculty in 1997, he was chair of Voice and Opera at the University of Iowa.

Mariettta Simpson, master teacher

Marietta Simpson
, whose deeply expressive, richly beautiful voice has made her one of the most sought-after mezzo-sopranos today, has sung with every major orchestra in the United States , under many of the world's greatest conductors, including the late Robert Shaw in her Carnegie Hall debut in 1988 as soloist in Brahms' Alto Rhapsody with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

As a concert artist, Marietta Simpson made her New York Philharmonic debut under Kurt Masur in Mendelssohn's Elijah, followed by performances of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Symphony No. 9, and Bach's St. John Passion, also under Masur. She sang in Carnegie Hall's commemoration of the 250th anniversary of Messiah, and performed Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, under Zdenek Macal, for the inauguration of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark . Both events were nationally televised. She toured in Poland , Germany and Russia with Helmuth Rilling and the Stuttgart Bachakadamie Orchestra and Chorus, and has sung at the Prague and Brno Festivals, as well as many festivals in the United States , including Grant Park, Ojai, and at the Mann Music Center .

Her recent performances include a performance of Mahler's Rückert Liederwith the Memphis Symphony Orchestra; Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra; Verdi's Requiem with the Louisville Orchestra; Messiah with the symphony orchestras of Cincinnati and Detroit; Mendelssohn's "Die Erste Walpurgisnacht" and Bach's St. Matthew Passion, both with Alabama Symphony; and an appearance in a solo recital at the Kennedy Center. In summer of 2010 she sings as soloist in Verdi's Requiem with the Oregon Bach Festival with Helmut Rilling and in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood conducted by Kurt Masur and in "Summertime Songs with the Philadelphia Orchestra" at Mann Center for the Performing Arts. In 2008-09 Ms. Simpson sang Maria in Porgy and Bess in a return to Lyric Opera of Chicago; performed Hindemith's When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed with Cathedral Choral Society of Washington DC; Verdi's Requiem with Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia; Bach's Cantata No. 78 and Christmas Oratorio, both with Baldwin-Wallace Bach Festival; and as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in an evening of opera arias and spirituals.

Other performances include singing as soloist in Verdi's Requiem in a return to Nashville Symphony; a recital with Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia; an evening of spirituals and gospel songs, and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, both with Singing City in Philadelphia; Verdi's Requiem and Donald McCollough's Let My People Go, both with the Master Chorale of Washington;Maria in Porgy and Bess for Washington National Opera, Opera Birmingham, Los Angeles Opera and Opera Pacific; the role of Dominga de Adviento in the world premiere of Peter Eotvos's opera, Love and Other Demons, with Glyndebourne Festival Opera; and Messiahwith both the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

She has also performed on operatic stages both nationally and internationally including La Fenice, Royal Opera House Covent Garden , New York City Opera,  Washington Opera, Los Angeles Opera,  Minnesota Opera and  Houston Grand Opera.

Ms. Simpson can be seen on Video Artists International's complete version of Handel's Messiah with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, shown seasonally on PBS television. She has recorded Vivaldi's Gloria, Bach's Magnificat, Schubert Masses No. 2 and No. 6, Beethoven's Mass in C, Bach's B Minor Mass, Janacek's Glagolitic Mass, Mahler's Symphony No. 8, and both Dvorák's and Szymanowski's Stabat Mater on the Telarc label, also with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. She can be heard on the EMI recording of Porgy and Bess, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle; and on the Grammy Award-winning recording of William Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and Experience, with Leonard Slatkin conducting, on the Naxos label.

A native of Philadelphia , Ms. Simpson graduated from Temple University  with a Bachelor's degree in instrumental music education and received her Master's Degree in Music from the State University of New York at Binghamton . Among her many awards is the Temple University Certificate of Honor for Distinguished Alumna and the Leontyne Price Award.  In August 2005 she joined the faculty of the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where she serves as Professor of Voice.

David Small, master teacher

Baritone David Small enjoys an established and continuing career on the operatic and concert stage. Equally comfortable with comedy or drama, his repertoire is richly varied, including performances of well over fifty different operatic roles. In 1991, he debuted his Figaro in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City with great success and subsequently has enjoyed over one hundred performances of the role. He made his Austin Lyric debut in this signature role in 1998 and repeated it for ALO in the 2007 season. His Figaro has charmed audiences for the opera companies of Des Moines Metro Opera, Fresno, Nevada, Dayton, Toledo, Lyric Opera Cleveland and touring France and Spain with IL Teatro Lyrico d'Europa. Mr. Small's repertoire also includes Escamillo (Carmen), Dr. Malatesta (Don Pasquale), Belcore (L'Elisir d'Amore), The Pirate King (Pirates of Penzance), Girard (Andrea Chenier), Valentin (Faust), Danilo (Merry Widow), Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni), Il Conte d'Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Guglielmo (Cosi fan Tutte), Papageno (The Magic Flute), The Four Villains (Les Contes d'Hoffman), Marcello (La Boheme), Scarpia (Tosca), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), High Priest (Samson & Delilah), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Faninal (Der Rosenkavalier), Germont (La Traviata) and many others. Mr. Small sang and recorded the role of Tony in Menotti's HELP, HELP THE GLOBOLINKS! for Madison Opera and is heard on Newport Classics with John DeMain conducting. He is featured on the recording of Jerre Tanner's THE KONA COFFEE CANTATA with the Prague Chamber Orchestra, as well as THE SONGS OF JOSEPH MARX and CLASSICAL CAROLS, produced by Hal Leonard Publications. In addition to numerous recitals, he has appeared as soloist with St. Louis Symphony, Cincinnati May Festival, Austin Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, Canton Symphony, Missouri Symphony, and Bravo! Colorado Music Festival. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in the LORD NELSON MASS and SCHUBERT MASS IN G with John Rutter conducting.

Professor Small's UT students have performed roles with the Austin Lyric Opera, Opera Carolina, Opera Delaware, Houston's Opera in the Heights, among others and apprenticeships with Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera and others. Recent student achievements include baritone Yoon-Sang Lee, who was selected as one of 12 finalists in the 2007 International Verdi Baritone competition, as well as being a finalist in the Artist Division of the National Opera Association 2008 Vocal Competition. Former studio member Dr. Arikka Gregory, mezzo-soprano, served as a 2007 NATS 'Young Leader,' one of five to be chosen nationally.

He earned an Artist's Diploma in Opera and a Master of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of the late Metropolitan Opera basso Italo Tajo. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the DePauw University School of Music, where he studied with Thomas Fitzpatrick (student of Mack Harrell) and received a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance with a Performer's Certificate. Professor Small was invited to give a presentation entitled, "From Studio to Stage to Studio; The Life and Times of an Artist Teacher" at the 2008 NATS National Convention and has been chosen as a Master Teacher for the 2011 NATS intern program. He is a contributing writer for Classical Singer Magazine beginning with his article "Why I Teach," for their July 2009 edition.

Leon Thurman, lecturer

Leon Thurman
, M.S., Ed.D., is Specialist Voice Educator at The Leon Thurman Voice Center, his private voice education practice in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

From 1995 through 2007, Dr. Thurman was Specialist Voice Educator for Fairview Voice Center, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, in Minneapolis. His long-time speech pathologist colleague—Carol Klitzke, M.S., CCC/SLP—still practices at the Fairview Voice Center. Dr. Thurman and Ms. Klitzke continue to form cooperative voice treatment teams and exchange referrals with several ear-nose-throat physicians in the upper Midwestern United States.

Dr. Thurman provides voice skill sessions for singers and speakers, and he presents clinics, workshops, seminars, and study courses on speaking and singing abilities, voice health, and voice protection. He also teaches verbal and non-verbal communication skills, and human compatible learning and teaching for many client groups including school teachers, actors, choirs, clergy, radio-TV personalities, businesses, and businesspersons.

"Classical," folk/ethnic, jazz, blues, R & B, gospel, rock, musical theatre, and top 40 singers also study with him. He has developed methods for helping popular and ethnic music singers "belt out" songs with physical and acoustic efficiency while maintaining vocal health.

In 1982, Dr. Thurman founded The VoiceCare Network, an educational, non-profit organization VoiceCare has presented international summer courses at twelve universities in the United States, titled LIFESPAN VOICE EDUCATION IN THE REAL WORLD, for music educators, choral conductors, singing teachers, singers, theatre directors, speech teachers, speech pathologists, and ear-nose-throat physicians. He is principal author and co-editor, with Dr. Graham Welch*, of Bodymind and Voice: Foundations of Voice Education, a three-volume ‘encyclopedia’ of evidence-based voice knowledge and practice, published by The VoiceCare Network, National Center for Voice and Speech, and Fairview Voice Center. For information and ordering, go to

The reviewer for Canadian Music Educator wrote that the book was “…the most important new publication in voice teaching in the last twenty years.” In the U.S., the reviewer for the Choral Journal wrote, “…the definitive resource for voice…connects science to how we develop vocal expression in ourselves and others.” The reviewer for The Journal of Singing wrote, “…comprehensive volume on voice studies…quite unlike any other…highly recommended.” The Editor of Australian Voice commented that the book was “…most ‘user friendly’ text of its kind I have encountered….”

Cynthia Vaughn, lecturer

Cynthia Vaughn
is a Colorado native who has lived and performed across the United States. She is nationally and internationally respected as a performer, teacher, and author. She has performed more than 30 leading roles in opera, operetta, and musical theater in Colorado, Cincinnati, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York state. Vaughn continues to perform as a soloist with choruses and orchestras in oratorio and concert works. Her 40+ performances include Mozart's Requiem and Coronation Mass, Haydn's The Creation, and Handel's Messiah. She is also a frequent collaborator with song composers and has performed regional and world premieres.  Cynthia Vaughn and Meribeth (Bunch) Dayme co-authored THE SINGING BOOK, a leading text/song anthology/ CD for class voice and beginning-intermediate voice study, 2nd ed. 2008 W.W. Norton & Co., NY/London. Cynthia has also written and edited more than 40 articles for Classical Singer Magazine. She wrote the Currents column for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) newsletter and is the Vocal Literature Coordinator and Publisher's Liaison for the prestigious NATS Summer Intern Program. Vaughn presents masterclasses, concerts and presentations, and is a frequent adjudicator for vocal competitions. Cynthia has 25 years experience as a voice teacher, including a decade of full and part-time university teaching. She is currently Guest Associate Faculty at Colorado State University and is the Founder/Director of Magnolia Music Studio in Old Town, Fort Collins, est. 2008.