* Dillon Beede, voice instructor
Teaching Artist Statement:
As a voice teacher, my goals are to develop my students’ abilities to communicate in the healthiest, most efficient means possible. I meet each student where they are in their vocal journey and help them progress towards their goals at a student-led pace.
My approach to teaching voice focuses on developing students’ understanding of their instrument, both artistically and scientifically, through inquiry, guided study, practice, and self-assessment. Furthermore, I create a studio environment in which students can develop critical thinking skills through observation and analysis of performances, interpretation of assigned works, evaluation and reflection of lessons and performances, and problem-solving skills in the practice room.
My pedagogy is grounded in the work of generations of historical vocal pedagogues (Manuel Garcia II, Marchesi, Lehmann, etc.) integrated with the work of contemporary voice researchers (Titze, Miller, etc.) It is willfully negligent for an educator to dismiss the work of their predecessors only to adopt the newest fad-teaching paradigm and conversely, it is negligent for an educator to dismiss new research in voice science and rely solely on the “aged wisdom” of their predecessors. I constantly seek out research that examines the work of our pedagogical predecessors and verifies, objectively, their subjective teachings.
The discussion and study of multiple genres (classical, musical theatre, folk, country, and pop) is common within my vocal studio. The human voice is capable of limitless sounds and styles when used in a healthy, efficient manner with appropriate guidance based on the stylistic expectations within a genre. Fundamentally, I believe that various styles of music teach us to utilize different “palettes” of vocal colors and my responsibility is to equip my students with the skills to appropriately select the best vocal “colors” for their song.
Ultimately, I strive to provide my students with the tools needed to be life-long musicians and to communicate, in whatever genre or style, in a healthy manner. Not all students will sing on the preeminent stages of the world, but my students will have the confidence, technique, and ability to communicate and share the diverse human experience through song.
Dillon joined the CVSM faculty in Spring 2023. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from Hastings College in 2011 and continued his education at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, completing the Master of Music-Voice Performance and Vocal Pedagogy; Pedagogy emphasis with honors. He is currently a doctoral student at Teachers College-Columbia University completing the EdD in Music and Music Education. While at Westminster Choir College, his graduate voice research studied the effects of musical exercises in combination with Stemple’s vocal function exercises for voice feminization in individuals assigned male at birth.
Upon completion of his masters degree, he held a private voice studio in the Princeton community teaching students of all skill levels as well as specializing in transgender voice modification. He has also maintained private voice studios in York, Aurora, and Hastings, Nebraska before moving to Pennsylvania. Students from his private and collegiate voice studios have continued in music to pursue career paths in music education and performance with students being accepted to respected music programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
He has attended NATS Summer Conference (2017), Westminster Choir College Vocal Pedagogy Institute (2018), Westminster Choir College Choral Pedagogy Institute (2019), University of Michigan Choral Conducting Symposium (2020), and he has pursued additional conducting studies with Dr. Brandon Johnson (2020-2021).
Dillon has served as a guest clinician, conductor, and taught vocal master classes in schools across Nebraska, Arizona, South Dakota, and Pennsylvania. He has also presented at the Nebraska Music Educators conference, focusing on solo repertoire assessment and implementation for middle and high school music directors.
His professional memberships include the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Pennsylvania Choral Directors Association (ACDA-PA), Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), Alpha Psi Omega (APO), and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (PMA).
Dillon joined the CVSM Faculty in Spring of 2023. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from Hastings College in 2011 and continued his education at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. While at Westminster, Dillon performed with the Westminster Symphonic Chorus under the batons of Yannick Nezet-Seguin (Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra), Sir Simon Rattle (Berlin Philharmonic), Jacques Lacombe (NJ Symphony Orchestra), James Jordan (Westminster Choir College), Amanda Quist (Westminster Choir College) and Joe Miller (Westminster Choir College). During his time at Westminster he also studied voice with the late Julian Rodescu and Christopher Arneson and further studied with Matthew Anchel after graduation.
* Grace Boscolo, voice instructor (Greencastle location only)
Teaching Artist Statement:
As a Music Educator and solo performer, I have a deep passion for vocal pedagogy & private voice instruction. I love being able to help students realize their full potential & reach their individual goals. While I believe in the importance of a classical approach to instruction, I enjoy exploring a variety of musical genres with my students.
Grace earned a B.S. in Music Education from Messiah University. It was during her time at Messiah that she studied voice under the instruction of Dr. Damian Savarino. Currently, Grace is an Elementary Music Teacher in Chambersburg Area School District & private voice instructor in Greencastle, PA. She has performed on various occasions as a solo & choral singer. At Messiah University she was a member of Women’s Ensemble, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers & Opera Workshop. One of her favorite performing memories is singing with the Messiah University Concert Choir in Slovenia & Croatia. She has been in a number of musical theatre productions as well as a Messiah University Opera Workshop production that featured selections from the opera Gianni Schicchi. Grace is a CVSM alumna having studied under the direction of Richard Overcash.
* Fred Davison, voice instructor
Dr. J. Frederick Davison is an experienced vocal instructor and performing artist with numerous appearances in leading roles in opera and musicals, and as a concert soloist and recitalist embracing a wide variety of musical styles and genres. He earned a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Peabody Conservatory of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree with an emphasis in conducting from UCLA. He has performed with the Washington Opera, Washington Civic Opera, Goldovsky Opera, Opera Theater of New York, Annapolis Opera, Fairfax Choral Society, Capitol Hill Choral Society, Angeles Chorale (LA), Mercersburg Area Community Chorus, Totem Pole Playhouse and a host of other organizations in the New York, Washington, Baltimore, and Los Angeles areas.
* Paula Hepfer, voice instructor
Teaching Artist Statement
I believe that each student has a unique voice; the work in my studio focuses on freeing that sound. When done properly, singing unites body, mind and spirit. My goals for my students are to leave my studio with healthy vocal habits and greater musical literacy. I believe that the experience of performing is vital to learning to sing. Working with my students and helping to expand their musical expression and enjoyment is one of my greatest joys. I recently had a former student remind me that I helped him prepare for Regional Chorus and in the next sentence say, “I still sing”. Music lasts a lifetime. It is a privilege to participate in that kind of life-giving experience.
Paula Hepfer has degrees in vocal performance from Indiana University of PA (BA, Applied Music) and the Pennsylvania State University (MM) where she taught voice to non-music majors as a graduate assistant. She is a founding teacher at Cumberland Valley School of Music. She specializes in building the voice by incorporating stretches, proper body alignment, connecting to the breath, attention to diction and understanding of text and musical line into lessons. Paula has successfully prepared numerous students for District Chorus auditions, school and community musicals, solo and college auditions. Former voice students are vocal music instructors in numerous public school and private settings. Many are active soloists and performers in their communities. As the current Executive Director and former Program Director of CVSM, she has shaped and provided performance experiences for thousands of students who have attended the school over the years.
Paula Hepfer has been an active soloist and performer for many years, singing classical, musicale theatre, sacred, pop and jazz standards, as well as contemporary Christian literature. She has performed with Totem Pole Playhouse, the Mendelssohn Chorus, Pittsburgh; the Shippensburg Festival Chorus, toured with the Continental Singers, appeared as featured soprano soloist on the Penn State Alumni Series and has been a featured performer at numerous CVSM events. In recent years she has performed regularly with the Praise Team at her Church. Her latest performance has been singing “That 70’s Show” featuring songs of Carole King, Karen Carpenter, Barbra Streisand and even Dolly Parton with Brian Helman, pianist; Mark Miller, guitar; Herm Hopple, bass; and husband, Sam Hepfer on drums.
* Joel Newman, guitar & voice instructor
Teaching Artist statement:
My approach to teaching voice is different from teaching guitar, but in both cases, learning how to study/practice is paramount, as is a sense of self objectivity. That is what I try to teach my students. Each student is unique and I adapt my teaching to them. I teach using the music that the student wants to learn. Rock/Blues/Jazz/Soul/R&B/Funk/Country are my are my strengths on guitar, as well as music theory, improvisation, playing and singing, songwriting and technique. For voice I teach the time honored technique of Bel Canto. Though a classical technique, I am not a classical singer and I know it works for whatever style of music the student applies it to. My main focus when working with voice students is to get them to their biggest best vocal placement and teach them how to properly practice their songs. I love teaching, I love being there when the light bulb turns on. My burning desire is to ignite a spark then light and pass on the torch to any and all open hearts and ears.
I consider myself “street learned” on guitar. I studied plectrum style guitar privately in NYC for many years with some name brand teachers, Allen Hanlon and Pat Martino to name a couple. I also studied music in classes from ‘Sounds of Joy’ studios and from the great bebop master Barry Harris. I studied Voice for nine years in NYC and in New Jersey in master classes and privately with Judy Hages. I find I’m constantly reinventing myself as a teacher, taking on summer youth rock camps, group singing classes as adjunct faculty @ Frederick Community College, and even coaching middle schoolers to sing musicals!
I’ve played and sang at many venues in NYC, (CBGB’s , Spiral, Lion’s Den, Dan Lynch etc.). But mainly was more of a session guitarist collaborating and recording with such old style greats as T.M. Stevens, Dr. John, David Sanborn, Miroslav Vitious, Dick Wagner, to name some. My biggest claim to fame is recording on the actor Tim Curry’s 3rd album for A&M records “Simplicity”, where I co wrote a song on the album. Since relocating to Maryland I’ve played in many bands from variety wedding bands, to R&B and Rock bands. I did a stint in Taipei Taiwan in the “Brown Sugar” house band for several months. Up until recently toured, recorded, co-wrote, and co produced with the now defunct western Maryland favorite Blues band “Moondog Medicine Show.” I still write, record and perform my original music.
* Suzanne Sweigart, piano & voice instructor
BMus/Piano Performance & Pedagogy from Houghton College; MMus/Voice Performance & Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College of Ryder University. Ms. Sweigart has a passion to teach the skills and enjoyment of both voice and piano. Her performance experience is vast and broad, from small, informal audiences to soloing before thousand-plus capacity. In addition, the experiences of performing Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center under famous conductors & orchestras as part of her education at WCC Symphonic choir, was invaluable. She taught voice at Mount Saint Mary’s University for twenty years until she moved closer to Chambersburg. Ms. Sweigart helps her voice students understand the uniqueness of their instrument and how it works to make the most beautiful, exciting sound their own instrument is capable of without abusing it. Ms. Sweigart stresses the importance of technique and theory for both voice and piano, because a foundation in them makes for better performance, satisfaction and, therefore, fun!
* Elisabeth Turchi, voice instructor
Teaching Artist Statement:
My teaching philosophy is best articulated by Alan Lindquest: “Teaching singing is much more than just teaching ‘a voice’. Singing is the voice of the soul, and the spirit of the person must reflect through their singing.” Everyone has a unique way of expressing themselves, and it is my goal to work with you to find the healthiest way of expressing yourself through song regardless of the vocal genre. From nurturing a youthful beginner, motivating an aspiring vocal professional, to challenging an adult learner, it is my joy to bring guidance, varied repertoire and experience, and solid technique to each student that invests in this craft.
BFA Carnegie-Mellon University, MM Shenandoah University. Elisabeth’s passion and artistry have charmed audiences abroad and in the United States. Her versatility is evident in the diverse roles she has performed, comic to dramatic: from Musetta (La Bohème) and Anna Glawari (The Merry Widow) to the Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute) and Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia). She has sung with the Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Camerata of Washington D.C., Atlantic Coast Opera Festival, Harrisburg Opera, New Opera Festival of Rome, and Gotham Chamber Opera. Ms. Turchi’s numerous concert engagements include Handel’s Messiah at Massachusetts’ Mechanics Hall and a European tour of Haydn’s Creation. For more information, please visit her website at www.ElisabethTurchi.com. Lisa is a proud CVSM alumna and former student of Margaret Weeks.