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 Voice II or above 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, 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
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 Voice and Piano
Austin Davy has a Bachelor of Music degree from the Hartt School of Music where he studied Musical Theatre Music Direction. As a keyboard player, Austin has subbed on the national tours of Wicked
, An American in Paris
, The Color Purple
, Jersey Boys
, Hello Dolly
, Miss Saigon
, and Cabaret
. He recently assisted the Music Director on Roman Holiday at the Golden Gate Theatre. In the greater Boston area, Austin was Music Supervisor for Boston Children's Theatre, has Assistant Music Directed or played keyboards for six productions at North Shore Music Theatre, and was Music Director for the MA High School Music Theatre Awards. His teachers include Paul Rutman, Anchie Donn and David Westfall for classical piano, Eric Stern, Edward Bolkovac and Edward Cumming for conducting, and Daniel Blake and Marishka Weirzbicki for voice. Austin joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 2020.
Instructor of Acting, Musical Theater, Piano, Voice & Repertoire Consultation
Ali Funkhouser has a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theatre from Oklahoma City University. Her performing credits include the national tours of Joseph...Dreamcoat and Evita, Legally Blonde (The LEX), Puccini's Suor Angelica (Chelsea Opera NYC), 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. Learn more at www.alifunkhouser.com Ali joined the FSPA Music, Drama, and Voice faculty in 2020.
Instructor of Voice
April Hall graduated from Berklee College of Music, where she received the prestigious Louis Armstrong Performance Award. She has done projects for Atlantic Records, under the direction of Arif Mardin, for the likes of Chaka Khan, Melissa Manchester and Bette Midler and has performed with artists such as Rosemary Clooney, Al Jarreau, Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius and Dinah Shore. She regularly performs and records with New England’s finest musicians, including Gray Sargent, Tim Ray, Marshall Wood, Kenny Hadley, Les Harris Jr., Tom Hall, Joe “Sonny” Barbato, Jerry Bergonzi, John Lockwood, Marty Ballou, Mark Poniatowski and New Orleans' Amadee Castenell. April is currently Executive Producer for ImprovLive 365, a daily web series dedicated to exploring spontaneous creativity and improvisation. She is also an award-winning songwriter. Her music has been featured on Boston's "Women in Music" series, on "The Coffeehouse,” WGBH’s “Eric in the Evening” and the nationally syndicated "Jazz After Hours" with PRI's Jim Wilke. In addition to her ongoing performances, April also continues to work with students across the country, holding master classes in modern vocal techniques and on the subject of "Songwriting in a Free Society." April has served as an FSPA Vocal Coach since 2012.
Instructor of Voice
Heidi Iuliano holds a Master’s Degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Communications from Assumption College and is certified in Orff-Schulwerk Level I. She has extensive teaching experience throughout New England in both the private and public school sectors. Heidi has sung with a number of choirs including RPM Voices of Rhode Island Gospel Choir, Salisbury Singers and Salisbury Lyric Opera of Worcester and is presently the alto section leader of the Central Congregational Church Choir of Providence. Heidi joined the FSPA Voice Faculty in 2017 and FSPA Academy in 2020.
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.
Instructor of Voice and Songwriting
Cordelia Tapping is a singer and composer based in Boston. She has performed at the Vermont Jazz Center, in Music for Food concerts, as backup for Lake Street Dive, and on the stage of the Yellow Barn Music Festival in Vermont, as well as in Boston and New York neighborhoods on Yellow Barn’s Music Haul. In 2015, she was named a Young Arts Merit winner in jazz voice. Born in Boulder, Colorado, Cordelia moved to the Boston area at age 7 and attended the New England Conservatory preparatory school, where she studied jazz voice and violin, as well as participating in the Youth Chorale and Youth Camerata. As a student at Oberlin College, she was a member of Collegium Musicum. She is now working for Music for Food while continuing her bachelor’s degree in jazz voice at the New England Conservatory of Music as a student of Dominique Eade and Carla Kihlstedt. Cordelia joined the FSPA Voice Faculty in 2019.