Hello! My name is Serena!
Music shapes my life and has made me the person I am today. My experience in training in opera, musical theatre, jazz, and pop has expanded my musical skills and knowledge. Not only have I been trained in performance, but I have also studied music history, music theory, conducting, movement training, ballet, Alexander Technique, acting, yoga, stage craft, improvisation, other languages, diction and the International Phonetic Alphabet, voice science and anatomy, and vocal pedagogy. I have completed my Bachelor of Music in Operatic Vocal Performance from the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University under the tutelage of the legendary Carol Vaness. I have also studied with acclaimed teachers and coaches around the world including Dr. Kari Ragan and Maestro Dean Williamson.
I am very excited to announce that I made my Seattle Opera debut singing ALITSA and RACCOON in their touring production of "OUR EARTH", as well as performing on the mainstage in Verdi's NABUCCO and Donizetti's MARIA STUARDA. My upcoming performances include singing ALKANDRE in "PENELOPE" with Vespertine Opera in Seattle, WA; FRASQUITA in "Carmen" with OperaBend in Bend, Oregon; and SUSANNA in "LE NOZZE DI FIGARO" with the Seattle Opera Guild. I also made my international debut in December 2014 singing GRETEL in "HANSEL UND GRETEL" with Opera Mariposa in Vancouver, BC. Recent performances include THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT with Portland Summer Opera's "THE MAGIC FLUTE" by Mozart, a Soloist World Premiere of "In Nocte Plena" by Tommaso Traetta with Ensign Symphony at Benaroya Hall, Seattle, both Adele and Ida in Skagit Opera's production of Johann Strauss's "Die Fledermaus", and both Queen of the Night and First Lady with NOISE's production of "The Magic Flute". I have also been the featured soloist as "Christine" in Ten Grand's Phantom of the Opera at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA, and many lead roles in both opera and musical theatre: such as Semele (Semele), Marie (La Fille du Regiment), Gretel (Hansel und Gretel), Countess Ceprano and Gilda (Rigoletto), Blondchen (Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail), Maria (West Side Story), La Fee (Cendrillon), Sarah Brown (Guys and Dolls), Cathy (The Last 5 Years), Rosina (Barber of Seville), and more! I have also been part of jazz ensembles, and won the Battle of the Bands at Indiana University with a rock group! I am proud to have won the Seattle Opera Guild/Opera Plus Young Artist Scholarship Award for the 2015/2016 season, the Encouragement Award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions, First Place in the National Classical Singers Competition, the C.M. Gerber Scholarship, Music Dean's Scholarship, Music Faculty Award, First Place at Washington State Solo and Ensemble Competitions, First Place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) National Competitions, and many more!
Teaching brings me such joy! To share the love of music and to educate the musicians of tomorrow is both gratifying and inspiring. I have been teaching since 2005 and provide a fun and focused learning experience where there are no "wrong" questions, and everybody's unique voice is celebrated! Many of my students have gone on to study music in college, and have landed lead roles in musical theatre, choir solos, All State and All Northwest choirs, and won awards in Classical competitions.
In my spare time, I like to practice yoga, dance, and have recently taken up aerial silk acrobatics as a hobby!
*** Lesson Details ***
My studio provides musical knowledge through private lessons including healthy vocal technique, basic understanding of music theory, and basic piano skills. I encourage a fun and focused environment. Come ready to learn, and let's make music!
A typical lesson will include vocalises that detail proper technique, some ear training work, some music theory training, and will be followed by repertoire. During this time, students will learn how to produce clear and authentic diction (English and other languages), breath management, phrase shaping, smooth transitions between higher and lower pitches, stylistic ornamentation, as well as dramatic involvement of the piece.
Students will learn the importance of the foundations of breath support, and how to create a healthy sound for any genre while keeping the unique qualities of their own voice-- no cookie-cutter singers here! Students will also learn how to read music, practice effectively, perform authentically, and take care of their delicate instrument for a lifetime of singing!
While Skype is a marvelous tool that has revolutionized the world of teaching, nothing can replicate natural acoustics. In-studio lessons are suggested for a clearer and more personable lesson.
**Skype lessons are reserved for long distance students only**
STUDIO ABSENCE and CANCELLATION POLICIES:
Regularly scheduled and attended lessons are the best way to see positive changes in your voice! The smooth running of the Studio Schedule helps make that happen. Therefore, missing lessons is discouraged and make up lessons/cancellations are not given in the Studio unless:
- I have had a performance or rehearsal that conflicts with our lesson time and cannot have the lesson as scheduled. If this occurs, I will inform you of the event as soon as possible and give you the option of a make up lesson or cancelling the lesson.
- Notices of foreseen cancellations (family vacations, religious holidays, school functions, special occasions etc.) are eligible for rescheduling or cancellation if given before the first lesson of the month.
- Of course, life can throw us for a loop! Illness, emergencies, and unforeseen events may possibly be given make ups or cancellations and will be determined at the Studio's discretion. (In the matter of illness: standard procedure is that if the student can attend work/school, they should come to their lesson. A cold can easily be worked around. If the voice is affected (for singing students), Studio time can still be used to work on ear training, music theory, music history, etc.)
All other absences will result in the lesson being marked as "missed". A hard copy of the Studio Policies and further details will be given to the student at the first lesson. Please feel free to ask any questions or clarifications.
*** Studio Equipment ***
The studio lessons take place in a separate studio room of the house. The room includes seating for parents to observe lessons as well as a weighted keyboard (88 keys), music stand, desk, and materials. No pets. Lots of street parking is available.
*** Specialties ***
Other styles and genres: Musical Theatre, Jazz, Pop, and Rock.