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.
- Let’s Sing (ages 6-7)
- Voice I (ages 8-9)
- Voice II (ages 10-14)
- Voice III (ages 11-14)
- Voice IV (ages 11-14)
- Teen Voice (ages 13+)
- Boys’ Voice (ages 9-13)
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 Assistant Director, Vocal Director
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 Pro 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
Thomas Gareau is a lyric baritone working in the Boston area. He has performed a wide variety of repertoire, from jazz to musical theater to opera and oratorio. As a regular and soloist with the Boston Choral Ensemble, he performed in the memorable production of Thomas Tallis' Spem in alium
at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross as part of the Boston Early Music Festival. Other notable engagements include Odyssey Opera's debut concert production of Wagner's Rienzi
at Jordan Hall. Thomas has appeared in numerous solo recitals performing standard repertoire and unearthing lesser known art songs and arias. Thomas is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory with a BM in Vocal Performance (summa cum laude, member of Pi Kappa Lambda). He also holds his MM in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance from his alma mater, where he served as graduate assistant for undergraduate vocal pedagogy, instructed voice for the Boston Conservatory Vocal Arts Academy, and served as full-time faculty for the Boston Conservatory Vocal/Choral Intensive. Thomas joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 2015.
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
Mariko Matsumura, a native of Tokyo, Japan, graduated with high honors with a BM in Vocal Performance from University of Montana and a MM in Vocal Performance from Longy School of Music. A recipient of the 2006 Penelope Davis Honorable Mention Award, she has served as assistant and accompanist for St. Francis Xavier, UM Dance and Drama Departments, and Missoula Children’s Theater. Mariko’s performance credits include Messiah, Aida, Hansel and Gretel, Der Rosenkavalier, The Magic Flute
, and numerous premiere performances throughout the Boston area. Mariko has performed with Lorelei Ensemble, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Jyugoya Ensemble, Chorus Boston, Setegaya Women’s Chorus and Opera Unmet. She currently serves as Music Director and Soloist at First Parish in Malden. Mariko joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 2002.
Instructor of Voice
Shauna Martin joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 2006 and has more than 20 years of teaching experience. She holds a MM in Opera from University of British Columbia and a BM from Brandon University. Shauna’s performances include a wide variety of operatic and musical theater roles in works by classical as well as contemporary composers. She has performed in the Czech Republic as well as with Canada’s regional orchestras. Shauna performed several times on CBC Radio, most prominently as a soloist in Stravinsky’s Les Noces
. She is a proud founding member of the humorous and popular children’s show, Opera Night in Canada
, which successfully toured for four years and was featured on CBC Radio’s Arts Report