The voice faculty is a dedicated group of teachers, scholars, and artists who emphasize good vocal health, efficient technique, and confidence in performance. These basics apply to all singing, no matter if your interests are traditional art music/opera, popular/jazz, choral music, or musical theater styles. Whether your wish is to pursue music as a career, or you just want to sing in the shower, our nurturing instruction will inspire confidence in your ability, help to develop your singing skills, and foster an appreciation of vocal music that will last a lifetime.
With some exceptions, we believe that serious vocal study should not begin before the age of 14, but we feel that it is never too late to begin instruction. The habits learned early in vocal study can determine the length and success of a potential singing career. We encourage students to participate in outside activities that support their dreams and ambitions. We encourage regular recital participation to help develop self confidence and a positive performance persona.
Come join us and see what your voice can become – we will be with you every step of the way, guiding and encouraging you.
James Bailey, tenor
Tenor James Bailey, a native of Baltimore, has sung leading roles with several regional opera companies including Greensboro, Annapolis, and Summer Opera at Catholic University, and National Opera, based in Raleigh, NC. These roles include, Ferrando, Lindoro in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algieri, Nemorino, Rinuccio, and both Dr. Cajus and Fenton in Verdi’s Falstaff. Mr. Bailey has also been featured in secondary roles with Des Moines Metro Opera, Baltimore and The Washington Opera companies. He has appeared in TWO’s productions of Susannah, La Traviata, Baby Doe, and Roméo et Juliette, as well as The Crucible by Robert Ward. Mr. Bailey also appeared as Reverend Parris in The Crucible for the Lyric Opera of Cleveland. James has most recently appeared with Baltimore Opera as the Fourth Jew in Strauss’ Salome, and Trin in Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West. Mr. Bailey has concertized throughout the Baltimore-Washington area in various works by Haydn, Händel, Mozart, Rossini, Saint-Saëns and Orff. He is a recipient of a Master’s Degree from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied voice with Phyllis Bryn-Julson. While Mr. Bailey maintains a private voice studio, he is also a member of the voice faculty at Howard Community College.
Susan Berkson, soprano
Susan Berkson has trained the voices of Washington-area youth in her private studio in Rockville since 1996, as well as in Los Angeles in the 1980s. She is currently an adjunct member of the music faculty of Howard Community College in Columbia, MD, and has taught voice at Good Counsel High School in Olney, MD. Ms. Berkson is also an accomplished vocalist in her own right, having sung at venues such as Town Hall in New York, Washington’s National Cathedral, the Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center, and Strathmore Hall in North Bethesda, MD. Her new CD, Life as a Song, available on iTunes and Amazon, is a compilation of Jewish lifecycle music, growing out of her nearly 25 years of work as the first ordained female Cantor in the Washington area.
Deborah Kent, soprano
Dr. Deborah Kent is Professor of Music and former Director of both The Music Institute and the Department of Music at Howard Community College, where her duties include serving as advisor to music students, coordinating voice and related activities, and teaching applied voice lessons, Music Appreciation, and Music Fundamentals. Her legacy as Director of Music was the revitalization of the HCC music program through close examination of coursework and the promotion of growth through the college’s performing ensembles, a project that resulted in many new credit courses and several new ensembles. As a result of this effort, the HCC Music Department received its accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music in 2009. In 2003, Dr. Kent further extended the HCC music program outreach by starting a community music school, the Music Institute. Through it a population that would not be reached through the credit program is served. With the formation of the non-credit program, HCC’s music department motto, “Music for a lifetime” is fulfilled, serving students ranging in age from infants through retirees.
Dr. Kent has served two terms as President of CHEM, the Council for Higher Education in Music, a statewide organization of music department representatives that promotes dialogue and coursework articulation between institutions of higher learning. During her tenure in that organization, she facilitated completion of an articulation of Music Theory and Eartraining requirements that was approved by MHEC, the Maryland Higher Education Commission. She is a former president of the Peabody Conservatory Alumni Association and member of the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Council. Prior to moving north, Dr. Kent served on the music faculty at Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia, MS.
Dr. Kent received a Bachelor of Music degree in Theory/Composition and Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Mississippi College. She later received the Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She is a member of NATS, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and is a much sought after voice teacher, attracting students from all over the Mid-Atlantic region. A dramatic soprano who has performed concert and operatic literature from the seventeenth century through today, she considers voice with orchestra literature and the operas of Verdi, Puccini and Wagner her specialties, as well as more intimate art song literature.
Lorriana Markovic, soprano
Lorriana Markovic, soprano, is an accomplished performer of opera, art song, and oratorio, specializing in the interpretation of Russian vocal music. Dr. Markovic received her D.M.A. in Opera/Vocal Performance from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she presented a three part recital series entitled “The Evolution of the Russian Romance Through the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries”. She is the recipient and winner of many awards and competitions including Vocal Arts Society Discovery Series in DC, Pittsburgh Concert Society, Concours d’Interprétation de Musique Tchèque et Slovaque in Montreal, a Russian Scholarship to study in Moscow from the University of Pittsburgh, and has been presented in recital by The Steinway Society by WQED-FM, Pittsburgh.
Dr. Markovic has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Russia. Locally, she has performed at the Walters Art Museum, BlackRock Center for the Arts, Music in the Great Hall, and with the Opera Theater of Northern Virginia. Her roles include Fiordiligi, Giulietta, Tatyana, Tosca, Countess, Marschallin, Mimi, and Musetta.