William Vennard, NATS President (1964-66)
William Vennard (1909-1971) was a past president of NATS and a pioneer in science-informed voice teaching, a pedagogy that culls the fruits of voice science to enlighten the arts of singing and teaching. Vennard was chair of the voice department at the University of Southern California from 1950 – 1971, during which time he forged connections between singers and voice scientists. Until recently, most of Vennard’s contribution to the field rested on his two main achievements: his authoritative text, Singing, the Mechanism and the Technique, first published in 1949 and still in constant use, and his 1960 award-winning film Voice Production: the Vibrating Larynx, made at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, in collaboration with Janwillen van den Berg, the Dutch speech scientist and medical physicist who played a major role in establishing the myoelastic-aerodynamic theory of voice production.
Yet Vennard was not a trained scientist. His growth from trained singer to teacher to scholar was led by a desire to understand the vocal mechanism from a scientific point of view. This trajectory may now be more easily traced, thanks to research materials generously donated to the USC music library by Thomas Cleveland, Director of Vocology at the Vanderbilt Voice Center and former Vennard student.
USC is pleased to announce the William Vennard Collection, which consists of his personal lesson notes, books, and images taken by Vennard in preparation for his film.
The one-day symposium The Art and Science of Great Teaching: Celebrating the Legacy of William Vennard on Friday, May 18, 2018 at USC in Los Angeles will formally open the Vennard collection. Speakers include Stephen Austin, Ken Bozeman, Thomas Cleveland, Cindy Dewey, Lynn Helding, Scott McCoy, Kari Ragan, and Donald Simonson. The symposium is made possible by a USC Libraries Dean’s Challenge Grant and cosponsored by the Thornton School of Music, and is free and open to the public. For more information, see: http://libguides.usc.edu/vennard
William Vennard Symposium co-chairs:
Lynn Helding, Associate Professor of Practice in Vocal Arts and Voice Pedagogy, University of Southern California Thornton School of Music
Andrew Justice, Head of the Music Library
University of Southern California Thornton School of Music