The cornerstone of our vocal program, Pro Voice, is a commitment to nurturing three pillars of success: confidence, technique and musicality. Voice students develop healthy technique, gain critical knowledge to strengthen musicality, and build stylistic skills within a varied repertoire of vocal genres. The program fosters a lifelong love of using one's voice and builds the professional singers, choirs and audiences of tomorrow. Students of all ages and levels can benefit from our Pro Voice program, whether for serious study or for recreational enjoyment.
The FSPA Music Department offers private lessons in voice. A student may begin private lessons at any time during the year, given teacher availability. Music Department Student Recitals are scheduled throughout the year. Make-up policies can be found in the FSPA Class Schedule. Private lessons are scheduled in order of date of registration.
Voice classes are designed for young singers (ages 6-18) looking to gain experience and basic technique. Classes focus on the fundamentals of breathing, vowel placement, sight-reading and ear training. A wide-ranging repertoire is studied including classical, musical theater, pop, rock and jazz genres. Solo and choral repertoire is studied at every level. Age, vocal maturity and experience determine level placement. Students wishing to enroll in Levels II, III or IV must be evaluated by the Vocal Director.
- Voice I (ages 6-7)
- Voice II (ages 7-9)
- Voice III (ages 8-10)
- Voice IV (ages 9-11)
- Voice V (ages 10-12)
- Voice VI (ages 11-13)
- Boys' Voice A (ages 8-9)
- Boys' Voice B (ages 10-11)
- Boys' Voice C (ages 11+)
- Teen Voice (ages 12-18)
Young Singers’ Private Voice
These fifteen-minute lessons are designed to introduce young singers to individual study and to enhance the skills they are attaining in voice classes. These lessons also serve to address individual challenges and assist more advanced voices in developing a healthy technique. Students must be concurrently enrolled in Voice I-IV or Boys’ Voice.
Teen Voice Class is designed for the beginning to intermediate singer. Emphasis is placed on building confidence along with a healthy vocal technique. Repertoire includes musical theater and popular contemporary genres.
Vocal coaching is offered to intermediate to advanced singers to enhance their regularly scheduled lessons. Proper vocal approach is stressed but with less emphasis on technique and more effort placed on interpreting a song. Coachings may also be scheduled to prepare for auditions.
FSPA Glee Club
Glee Club is a performance-based class that focuses on tight harmonies, rhythmic nuance and emoting a song as a soloist and as an ensemble. Glee Club also provides the perfect setting to continue work on ear training and sight-reading skills, increasing the level of musicianship from its members. Glee Club performs as FSPA events throughout the year. Students must be concurrently enrolled in private voice lessons and have the recommendation of their teacher.
Performing Opportunities for Singers
For voice students eager to bring their skills to the stage, FSPA's calendar of performances is chock full of wide-ranging opportunities - from studio voice recitals and opera scenes to acoustic coffee houses and musical theater showcases. FSPA's affiliation with the Franklin Performing Arts Company provides opportunities to perform in FPAC's main stage musicals with a professional orchestra.
FSPA Vocal Director, FSPA Academy Director, Glee Club, Instructor of Voice
Hallie Wetzell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Occidental College and Master of Music degrees in Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy from New England Conservatory of Music. As FSPA Vocal Director, Hallie oversees the FSPA Voice program and serves as music director for all ensembles, as well as productions of the Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) and Electric Youth. Hallie was the Vocal Director for the FSPA Children’s Choirs for the professional touring companies of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
in 2000 and 2005 and Evita
in 2004. She has been on FSPA’s Faculty since 1998 and became Vocal Director for FPAC in 1999.
Instructor of Voice and Songwriting
Timothy Ayres-Kerr holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music degree in Vocal Pedagogy both from New England Conservatory. Tim has performed as a soloist in Opera, Oratorio, and Operetta
, often portraying lead tenor roles in the works of Gilbert & Sullivan. Tim founded The Parlour Opera Players to present short operas in non-traditional venues throughout Boston. Tim is also a composer and his second completed work for the stage, A Game of Werewolf,
earned him a place in One Ounce Opera’s Fresh Squeezed Ounce of Opera showcase
. Tim was also awarded the grand prize in the Lester Levy “Save Our Songs,” competition. Tim joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 2019.
Instructor of Piano, Voice, and Repertoire Consultation
Ali Funkhouser has a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theatre from Oklahoma City University. Before attending OCU, Ali was a lifelong FSPA student. Her performing credits include the national tours of Joseph...Dreamcoat
and Evita, Legally Blonde
(The LEX), Puccini's Suor Angelica
(Chelsea Opera NYC), Young Frankenstein, Hairspray, Company, How to Succeed...,
and more. She has performed her solo cabaret show "I Only Wanna Laugh" at NYC's Don't Tell Mama. Ali studied improv comedy at Upright Citizens Brigade. In addition to her musical theatre and vocal training at OCU, Ali continued her piano studies in the studio of Professor Claudia Carroll-Phelps. Her performing credits with the Franklin Performing Arts Company include The Drowsy Chaperone, Legally Blonde, Newsies, Joseph…Dreamcoat, Little Shop of Horrors,
and many many more. Learn more at www.alifunkhouser.com. Ali joined the FSPA Music, Drama, and Voice faculty in 2020.
Instructor of Voice
Heidi Iuliano holds a Bachelor's degree in Music and Communications from Assumption College and a Master's degree in Music Education and Voice from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee. She has sung with choirs from all over New England including St. Paul's Cathedral Choir under the Direction of Ian Watson, Salisbury Singers and Salisbury Lyric Opera of Worcester, MA and RPM Gospel Choir of Providence. Heidi has also been the Alto Section Leader for the Central Congregational Choir since 2003 where she has been the featured soloist in such works as Mozart's Requiem, Missa Solemnes, Haydn's Mass in the Time of War, and Sermon on the Mount, a choral tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Alice Parker. She has been an elementary general music teacher with the Norwood Public Schools for the past 20 years, but most recently made the change to join the FSPA Academy Learning Coach team. Heidi has also been teaching voice for over 25 years throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island and joined the Voice Faculty here at FSPA in 2017.
Instructor of Voice
A native of Tokyo, Mariko Matsumura, Soprano, holds Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the Longy School of Music and BM in Vocal performance from the University of Montana. Her solo performance credits include works with the Missoula Symphony, Masterworks Chorale, Opera unMET, New England Light Opera, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, JYUGOYA Ensemble, and Lorelei Ensemble. Operatic performances include Aida, Hansel and Gretel, Der Rosenkavalier, and The Magic Flute. She has also premiered numerous compositions throughout New England and Japan. An advocate for Japanese cultural outreach programs, Ms. Matsumura has served as artistic director/conductor for Japanese Chorus Ensemble, Chorus Boston. Under her direction, the chorus was invited to present traditional music throughout New England from 2012-2019. Ms. Matsumura studied voice with Robert Honeysucker, D'Anna Fortunato, Elizabeth Vrenios, and Yasuko Ohara, and conducting with Gary Funk. She is on voice faculty at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts. She also serves as Director of Music Ministry at First Congregational Church in Melrose. Mariko joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 2002.