ABD for my D. M. A. in Vocal Performance/Pedagogy at The University of Southern Mississippi (expected graduation May, 2012)
M. M. in Vocal Performance at The State University of New York at Stony Brook
B. A. in Music at The University of New Orleans
My performing career includes both operatic and concert repertoire. At The University of Southern Mississippi, I performed the role of Nedda in I Pagliacci and Mimi in La bohème. At Stony Brook University I was able to die on stage yet again as Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi. I have worked on and performed over a dozen operatic roles. My recital repertoire is diverse, and it includes selections from Monteverdi’s Scherzi Musicali, Schumann’s Myrten, Poulenc’s La courte paille, and songs of Britten and Bernstein. I particularly enjoy presenting classical music by modern composers. I have recently performed Martin Amlin’s Two Songs on Poems by Anne Fessenden for soprano, alto flute, and piano, Maura Bosh’s In the Meantime for soprano and flute, and Dusan Bogdanovic’s Crow for voice, flute, guitar, and bass.
I also recently enjoyed premiering a work for saxophone quartet and soprano called Dream Songs, composed by local jazz musician Rex Gregory at a club on Frenchman Street in New Orleans. Additionally, I have also performed arrangements of classical music with my husband, composer and jazz vibraphonist James Westfall, who is a Monk Institute graduate and touring musician. Keeping classical music innovative is very important to me as a musician.
I am equally passionate about teaching and performing. I have had opportunities to teach a variety of music courses during my graduate studies, in addition to teaching studio voice privately in New Orleans and maintaining an active performing schedule. My assistantship at The University of Southern Mississippi included teaching approximately fifteen undergraduate voice students each semester. My current position as a faculty member at the Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts includes teaching approximately ten students a week in a variety of musical styles. Finally, my private voice studio includes about ten students whom I teach every week. I truly enjoy working with young singers and helping them develop their unique voices. There is never a dull moment during my lessons. In my teaching, I have found that the amount of energy I give during a lesson is reciprocated by the student. Among the most satisfying teaching experiences for me have been the studio-wide workshops I lead on movement and acting for the singer. Once a singer is able to engage with the character and the music in those ways, I have found that the quality of their singing grows exponentially.
Kathleen Westfall - New Orleans Soprano