Emily Colay

Emily C.

Minneapolis, MN

Lesson Details

Opera Voice

Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I have enjoyed a 25+year career as a professional singer, choral conductor, vocal coach, and songwriter. Classically-trained in the Bel Canto style of singing, I had the unique opportunity to travel the country with artisan parents, performing as a gypsy singer and dancer since I was 14 years old. I graduated from the MN Center for Arts Education, where I more fully developed my songwriting abilities. I have performed with countless musicians and performance companies, crossing all genres, from rock to jazz to world music and beyond. This diverse upbringing has become the foundation from which I teach voice today.

My philosophy is to highlight the individual characteristics of each singer's voice - as unique as their own fingerprints. I build vast repertoires of music for each student, encouraging their personal exploration of musical genres, languages, vocal technique and styles. I also help the budding singer to understand basic concepts in music theory, music history, sight-reading and songwriting.

I utilize my teaching opportunities to build each student's self-confidence and sense of power, while also nurturing qualities of self-love and self-acceptance. Through the language of music, I journey with my students on a path of artistry, dignity, beauty and grace.

I am currently the Vocal Music Director at Heartbeat Performing Arts Center, Vox Medusa performance art company, and my professional quartet, The Ages.
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Emily teaches

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About

Emily passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Emily delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+ and special needs

Teaching since:
1995

I have been so blessed to enjoy a career as a working vocalist, conductor and educator for my entire adult life.... sharing my deep passion for music, and the power of my voice, with thousands of audience members and students around the globe.

I have performed with professional opera companies, performance art groups, rock bands, world music projects, musical theatre companies, various vocal ensembles, as well as projects of my own creation.

I am the Vocal Director for award-winning performance group, Vox Medusa, and my professional quartet, The Ages. I conduct four children's choirs at Heartbeat Performing Arts Center, where I also also offer private voice. I have conducted choirs for the Minnesota Opera, and taught vocal classes at StageCoach Theatre Arts schools for 15 years.

I sang with famed festival band, Wookiefoot, for 10 years as the featured female vocalist, as well as WF side project, Mad Love. I've been a guest vocalist for many other bands and djs, as well as an accomplished collaborator and songwriter.

I have sung in dozens of languages (36, at last count!), and speak both French and Spanish. I have performed across the US, for audiences of 10,000 and more. I have performed in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Iceland, Amsterdam, Germany, and Israel. I am headed to Spain in October 2018 on tour with HPAC, The Ages, and Vox Medusa.

My greatest asset as a singer has been my breadth and diversity of experience.... and THIS is the main foundation of my teaching: to explore the wide range of each voice, to expand our musical interests and knowledge, and to inspire each singer to embrace their own unique sound and sing with deep passion and joy.

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Experience

Vocal Music Director
Jan 2017 - Present
The Ages

Creative and vocal music director of Minneapolis-based female quartet, specializing in complex multi-voiced music, featuring music spanning many cultures, eras, and genres.

Vocal Music Director
Sep 2010 - Present
Heartbeat Performing Arts Center

Conductor of 4 youth choirs, teacher of early-education music classes, private voice instruction

Vocal Music Director
Sep 2002 - Present
Vox Medusa

Songwriter and lyricist for award-winning Twin Cities performance art group, director of vocal music, choral conductor

Singer/Songwriter
Sep 1992 - Present
Emily Colay

Professional vocalist and songwriter hired to perform with various musical and performance art groups. Accomplished session vocalist, featured on various recordings. Prolific lyricist and songwriter, with well over 100+ original compositions in my repertoire.

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Vocal Music Director - Spring Musical
Feb 2018 - Apr 2018
Richfield High School

Vocal direction for Richfield High School's Spring musical production of "Legally Blonde."

Vocal Music Educator
Sep 2000 - May 2015
StageCoach Theatre Arts Schools

Instructed vocal classes at a half-dozen StageCoach Theatre Arts franchises in the Twin Cities metro area, directing music for several musical theatre performances each year.

Creative and Vocal Music Director
Sep 2009 - Jun 2011
Cantara

Conducted a community women's choir, which performed at various local music concerts and festivals.

Choral Conductor, Regazzi Choir
Sep 2004 - Jun 2006
Minnesota Opera

Aided in transitioning the renowned Twin Cities girls' choirs, The Bel Canto Voices, into a youth choral program at the Minnesota Opera. These groups later became the first national youth opera company, Project Opera.

Education

Conducting
Sep 2004 - Sep 2005
Concordia University
Diploma, School of Music
Sep 1992 - Jun 1994
Minnesota Center for Arts Education

Languages

English
Fluent / Native Proficiency
French
Limited Proficiency
Spanish
Professional Proficiency

Photos & Videos

From "An Evening With Emily," Varsity Theater, 2011
From "An Evening with Emily," Varsity Theater, Minneapolis, 2011

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From "Persephone," Bedlam Theater, 2010

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With Wookiefoot at the Cabooze, 2009

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"Whole Lotta Love" with Wookiefoot at The Quest nightclub, Minneapolis, 2003
Photo credit: Darin Back, 2016
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3 Reviews

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Sasha May 26, 2018
Vocal Training · In studio

Emily is such an amazing teacher who gives you both great life and vocal advice. She is an amazing person who truly cares about you and always wants what’s best for you. I strongly respect her as a teacher and a strong powerful woman. I’ve been taking lessons from Emily for the last 2-3 years and it is definitely a highlight of my week. I’ve improved so much and learned a lot from Emily because she is such a magnificent teacher and mentor. I wouldn’t want to take lessons from anyone else!

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Aubrey May 24, 2018
Vocal Training · In studio

Emily is an amazing vocal coach! She allows much flexibility in choosing music you live but that also challenges. Listening to your voice she is able to distinctly tell you what you need to work on and Ashe gives you vocal skills that ou will be able to continue to use and work on for years to come.

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Anna May 24, 2018
Singing · In studio

Before I met Emily, I didn’t consider myself much of a singer. My voice was very weak, quiet, and poorly supported. I had also convinced myself that I had a very limited range. Emily convinced me of the exact opposite! Her instruction empowered me to validate my vocal journey, find a wealth of confidence, and sing out!

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