Breakout Session

Rocking The Traditional Singing Boat: How to Make the Transition from Classical to Contemporary Musical Theatre and Beyond

Monday, July 11 • 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

Presenter: Melissa Foster
Introduced by: Kimberly James
Location: Marriott Ballroom - 4th Floor

Music Theater has evolved significantly over the past century. Singers in Musical Theatre today are required to sing in multiple registers (i.e. Belt, Mix, and Legit). They need to understand the nuances and style differences as well. In the past 20 years musicals have begun to require rock and pop stylings and vocal effects. This presentation will discuss registration and resonance for contemporary music theater, and the stylings and specifics for musicals requiring popular music influences in the styles of Pop, Rock, Singer Songwriter Folk, Country and R&B.

About Melissa Foster

melissa-foster_headshot_copy.jpgMelissa Foster is a Senior Lecturer at Northwestern University. She currently serves as the Head of Musical Theatre Vocal Studies for the Northwestern University School of Communication. Teaching responsibilities have included Musical Theatre Voice, Vocal Pedagogy for the Choral Educator, Pop and Rock Singing Styles, and a masterclass series for Opera/Musical Theatre crossover. Foster also has active private studios in Chicago and New York, and has been fortunate to hold past positions in the Bienen School of Music, North Park University, and Columbia University. She currently serves as the Music Director for the North Central College Summer Music Theatre Program, and is an artist in Residence for the ArtsLink Foundation. Past positions include conductor/associate conductor for several major choral groups such as the Cantores Minores Chicago, one of the nation’s outstanding Boy Choirs, and the Women’s Chorus Conductor at North Park University. Foster has taught numerous masterclasses around the nation, and had the pleasure of working with the casts of numerous professional productions in Chicago and New York, including Broadway in Chicago’s 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and The 1st National Tours of Peter and the Starcatcher and the Book of Mormon.  When not teaching, Foster is a professional studio vocalist, with recordings on RCA, Sire and Universal Records. She has trained in the Estill, Voiceworks and SLS methods.  

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