Tag Archives: voice students

International Thespian Festival

I am once again in Lincoln, Nebraska for a week of student engagement at the International Thespian Festival.

We started the journey on Sunday morning, arriving in Lincoln less than 8 hours later.

And then the crew from Webster enjoyed a steak dinner at Misty’s, across the street from our Embassy Suites hotel.

I’ll have photos and updates throughout the week!

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Studio recital

Since I’m taking the next month+ off from teaching voice lessons, and since travel is about to start, we had a studio recital on Monday evening.

With Greta, my youngest student.

With Isabella, a junior at Burroughs.

And a good time was had by all!

NYC18: my kids

I didn’t catch up with nearly everyone I wished this trip.

Some of my kids were out of town.  Others were occupied.

But every NYC trip brings me such joy as I reconnect with students from across the years.  This tribe is active and vital and energetic and living/striving the dream.

From Greenwich Village to Lincoln Center and at points in between, here are some shots with my kids this trip:

JeffA

Well, after seven years in the Lou, JeffA is heading back to Texas. He leaves today.

jeffa2014 - 1

At my home in 2014.

Here’s the story —

On April 4, 2011, I received this email:

     I don’t know if you remember me, but you and I spoke earlier this year about the possibility of me coming to Webster as a musical theatre major. Good news! I have been accepted into the program, and am now trying to work out the logistics.

     We spoke earlier about my serious concerns that I’d like to study voice with a classically based instructor to ensure I maintain proper technique. I’ve done some research and talked with some students . . . who told me about how musical theatre majors incorporate themselves into the school of music. With my research being nearly complete, I thought that I’d talk to you and see what my next step would need to be.

    My family and I will be up at the university in a couple of weeks to get a tour and check out the entire living situation and all, and I was hoping that I might be able to get a sample voice lesson with a couple of voice professors to see who would be the best fit for me. From my research, I’m particularly interested in possibly becoming a student of yourself or Ms. Carole Gaspar. However, I do understand that it might be a difficult task getting into either of your studios as not only a freshman, but also as a musical theatre major (considering most of my instruction will take place in the theatre arts conservatory). Nevertheless, I’d really like to see if I could arrange such a meeting/ sample lesson with you when I’m up there in a couple weeks.

Well, Jeff became my voice student, and a surrogate son in many ways.  (Even though he called me “Mr. Carter” in his original emails.)

He changed majors to Pre-Med, and then changed schools to Saint Louis University.  He stayed around for a Master of Science post-baccalaureate degree.  He took the MCAT.

He sings like a demon, he’s smart as a whip, and he’s kind and considerate.

And he’s going to med school in Texas starting next month.

Along the way, we have shared countless meals, hours and hours at the piano singing, a few drinks, some evenings at Scottish Arms.  He was a stalwart when I broke my leg, and he housesat one summer while I was abroad and painted a room or too.

Last week Jeff took the oath and became a commissioned officer in the US Navy.  The Navy will help with med school and loans to date, and he will owe them some years after finishing his training.

Jeff at his M.S. defense on Wednesday. I stole this from his mother’s Facebook page.

His momma must be so terribly proud.


We sang away the evening two nights ago. And toasted life with some damn good whiskey.

This is the guy I’d want as my own kid.

And I’m going to miss him more than I can possibly say.

 

Memories: senior recital

Twenty years ago today, my then-seniors in high school sang a senior recital.

I found the program in my father’s belongings.

Of these students, I visited with Matt Wilson in Chicago two or three years ago, and Jimmy Boswell is a Facebook friend.  The rest have disappeared.

These students were an especially good group, and I adored teaching them.

Senior recital

Aaron sang his Senior Recital on Sunday afternoon.

He and I have had a three-year road. Along the way, he’s been an all-district chorister for four years; an all-state chorister for two; an all-national NAfMe choir member this school year; and a SWACDA all-divisional choir member this year. He’s taken Gold ratings at state contest both time he went with vocal solos. And he’s played cello in his school orchestra, soloed with the choir and the orchestra, soloed with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra holiday pops concert, and found time to be a competitive swimmer.

And be top in his class at Pattonville High School.

Kids like this make a teacher’s life heaven. I love this guy to pieces.

I shall miss Aaron tremendously when he goes off to Miami University of Ohio in August. We get a few more sessions of singing, though, in the midst of my travels and his summer schedule.

Commencement 2018

With some of my Department of Music colleagues prior to the ceremony today.

With Jennifer Johnson Cano, 2018 Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts outstanding alumna.

Some music education graduates with their two lead professors, Dr. Trent Patterson and Dr. Stuart Chapman Hill.

With my own sole graduating voice student, Caroline Adams.