*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.
*Richard Overcash, voice instructor
Teaching Artist Statement
Teaching voice student show to develop a full, rich, and resonant tone is a most rewarding experience. In the private vocal studio setting, the teacher-student relationship is a dynamic interaction based upon genuine concern for developing excellence as a student singer. Positive progress is achieved through truth, honesty and a patient approach to the muscular growth of the laryngeal function. The whole body, mind, soul, and spirit must join together to perform excellence in musicality and a heartfelt rendering of the text. Through many years of teaching, my greatest joy has come when I have had students leave the concert stage and state, “I really enjoyed singing that piece of music. I performed the way we planned and practiced it. When can I sing again?”
Richard has been a music educator since graduating from Elizabethtown College with a B.S. in Music Education, earning a proficiency in vocal performance. He has taught in public and private schools in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, and Tennessee. During some of these teaching years he also earned a Masters in Music Education from Temple University. He taught a variety of music courses at the University music department and several hundred voice students. He also directed three different choirs while teaching there. In more recent years he has been minister of music at churches in Chattanooga, TN; Greencastle, PA; and currently in Baltimore, MD. He has directed county choruses in upstate New York, Tennessee, and three times for the Franklin-Fulton County Music Educators. He has maintained a private voice studio in his home and taught at CVSM from 1991-2005, returning to CVSM in 2013.
Richard is a bass/baritone and studied with Robert Regal and Dr. Janette Ogg. He is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
*Suzanne Sweigart, piano & voice instructor
B.M. Piano Performance, Houghton College. M.M. in Voice Performance, Westminster Choir College of Ryder University. Solo performing experience in voice in the greater NY, Phila. and Gettysburg areas. Recently sang the Mother role in Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck) with Center Stage Opera. Has performed with the Westminster Choir at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center under conductors Leonard Bernstein and Richardo Muti. Also teaches voice and piano at Mt. St. Mary’s University in Maryland. Experienced teaching all ages, emphasizing the fundamentals as a springboard for advancement.
*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.
*Autumn Turner, voice instructor
Teaching Artist Statement:
I strive to always encourage and care for my students, and place their needs above my own. My goals are to teach new aspects of vocal training in every lesson, and provide constructive critique when needed to help each and every student be the best they can be. As an experienced and passionate Voice Instructor, I believe in an approach that gives students positive, constructive ways to learn. I design my lessons according to my students’ needs, with an emphasis on confidence-boosting activities. I teach a variety of styles including: classical, pop, and musical theatre. I start every lesson with vocal warm ups and breathing exercises. I emphasize that most of the vocalization comes from the diaphragm and breath control. I instruct my students in using the head voice as well as the chest voice, encouraging them to utilize both ranges. The best part of my lessons is making them engaging and fun for their appropriate age.
Autumn Turner has been teaching private vocal and piano lessons for over a year now and has over 8 years in vocal training. She is a qualified vocal instructor who absolutely loves seeing people reach their full potential in music. During her time of study in music at Liberty University she played the lead role in the opera for three years and was one of two freshmen selected to be a part of an elite ensemble, the Chamber Singers. She was one of sixty students worldwide selected to participate in the Oberlin Conservatory’s summer program in Arezzo, Italy where she worked with several prestigious vocal teachers, conductors, and operatic directors to perform La Rhondine, the Sull’Aria duet, and learn the Italian language. After completing an undergraduate in Vocal Performance at Liberty University she went on to get married to her husband, Corbin and started her own vocal studio in Lancaster, PA. She now teaches vocal lessons in the Chambersburg area. She enjoys teaching about the voice and the art of using it.
Autumn Turner has a Vocal Performance Degree from Liberty University, eight years of training in voice and five years in piano, and a background in Musical Theater and Opera. She’s had various roles in many professional, traveling, and local theatre productions including: The Sound of Music, Music Man Jr., Seussical, The Wiz with Shirman Hemsley, and Fiddler on the Roof. She played the lead role for three years in the Liberty University operas including: Madame Glavari in the Merry Widow, Fiordiligi in Cosi Fan Tutte, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, and Nedda in Pagliacci. Autumn was also one of sixty students worldwide selected to participate in the Oberlin Conservatory’s summer program in Arezzo, Italy where she studied with various professional vocal instructors and conductors. She’s been a part of the Liberty University Chamber Singers Choir and has also won various music scholarships and vocal competitions. She also enjoys singing in church and playing the keys, and has vocal experience in modern music as well.