Nancy E. Harris, M.H., L.M.R.V.T., Vocologist www.TheVoiceBuilder.com The Voice Builder, 1974-Current—independent music teacher; vocologist doing workshops/ lessons in singing, stage presentation, speech, vocal pedagogy, and storytelling; adjudicator;
EDUCATION Lessac-Madsen Resonant Voice Therapy Certification, 2005 Summer Vocology Institute, Nat Center for Voice and Speech, and University of Iowa, 2001 (Habilitation for the Speaking and Singing Voice) Master of Humanities, University of Colorado at Denver, 1983 (Theatre, Voice, Comparative Literature, and Art History) Bachelor of Arts, University of South Florida, 1966 (Theatre, K-12 Vocal Music Education)
AWARDS Best Vocalist, Best Comedienne, and Best Show –Sister Mary Amnesia in Nunsense--for Denver Victorian Theatre’s 1996-‘97 season Nominated Best Actress –Princess Margaret in The Student Prince for Bonfils Theatre 1972 Best Show and Nominated Best Actress –Louise (Gypsy) in Gypsy for Bonfils Theatre, 1968 Best New Play and Choreography—Denver Drama Critics Award for Little Women: The Musical for Littleton Town Hall Arts Center, 1998 Full-tuition theatre-performance scholarship at Un of S. Florida, 1966 National Graduate Record Exam ranking 96%
FAMILY I was the eldest of a large musical Air Force family—six kids—with two parents who played the piano, sang, and loved Romantic music. My dad, my first voice teacher, had chromesthesia (i.e. “This is a yellow chord, and this is a purple chord, and you always follow a yellow chord with a purple chord.”), so he could play anything by ear (and color) from the age of five. Sadly, that gift skipped me and went to the elder of my two daughters.
My mom taught beginning piano (but not to her own children—she knew better) and all of my siblings play piano or guitar and sing well. Several have written musicals (Judah ben Hur; David; Scary, Scary Night), my missionary sister sets up music programs around the world for YWAM, and another brother writes songs as an avocation. One sister became an SLP after two earlier careers, fascinated with the science of the voice, as am I.
My husband played piano as a child and his baby grand became mine for many years, until we no longer had space for it. Both of my daughters had piano lessons, and one tried cello for a while, but they went on to become a graphic artist and a choreographer. Music is still important in their lives, especially for the choreographer!
Although I always wanted to play the piano (especially Chopin), I only had lessons in the 6th and 7th grades from an extremely weak teacher. I taught myself after that, until college, when I took Intermediate piano, and learned all of the things I’d not been taught earlier.
Dr. Jacques Abrams at the University of South Florida was a very wise teacher…he realized I had huge holes in pedagogy, and I wasn’t a piano major (K-12 Music Education, Studio Voice) so he turned my intense desire to play Chopin into a great teaching tool. First he gave me the simple “Raindrop” prelude, which I did ok on. THEN, he pulled out a Chopin Nocturne in B that was black with runs, complicated rhythms, etc. I covered my face and cried out ,“I can’t play that!” He said, “Do you want to play Chopin?” “…yes…” “Well, we will take this apart a measure at a time and learn it.” By using my desire, that clever teacher taught me to count correctly, to do runs, phrasing, and difficult rhythmic patterns (4 against 3).
Although I never became the pianist I wish I were (as I don’t have much spread in my hands and large chords are difficult), I am competent when accompanying my voice students, and playing close-chord jazz.
Later in life, I luckily found Patricia Parraguez Chen to teach piano to my two girls and took lessons myself from her. When I was asked to teach piano to a friend’s daughter, I went to Patricia first for lessons in piano pedagogy. I wanted to prepare any students I might have, correctly, so that I could turn them over to her when I could no longer demonstrate difficult late Intermediate pieces.
PROFESSIONAL – PIANO TEACHING, VOICE TEACHING I taught my first voice lesson in 1974 and first piano lesson in 1990. I taught a small studio of voice and piano students while also raising my girls, working with my husband in computers, and teaching college, until retiring from that in 2002. I continued to teach both in my growing studio until 2006 when the demand for my voice teaching (plus my need to release the littlest piano students to someone else younger than I) led me to refocus my studio strictly on voice. I had 42 students by then, plus was performing musicals at Town Hall and was the lead Mezzo in the Opera Colorado Ensemble. I continued to work on piano with two high school boys until they graduated, but the only other piano students I accepted after that point were those who were also my voice students.
We moved to Arizona to help raise my grandson mid-2014, so most of my studio moved on. However, I taught those interested in continuing with me online via Skype, starting five years before the pandemic. Since then, I have continued teaching online a relatively small group (nine students at the moment who are in Hawaii, New York, Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado), due to my husband’s severe health issues. And also because of his health, I think I would have to cap the number of students at a dozen, if more were to find me (I’m not out recruiting.)
VOLUNTEERING When young, I was very adamant that music needed to be supported and shared with the community, and so, after I graduated from college, married, and moved to Denver, the first thing I did was volunteer for the Symphony (at the time DSO, later to become the CSO). I did whatever they needed, and worked for the Junior Symphony Guild for a total of 20 years, inventing the Peppermint Penguin for the Tiny Tots Concerts, and even “running” (more like shuffling) in full costume (which I’d also created) in the Symphony Run one year.
Director of Youth Education Program - Junior Symphony Guild. Recruited, trained, and scheduled docents for programs in ten Metropolitan Denver schools; scheduled concert dates, spaces, and performing groups; located and collected teaching materials; arranged for booklet printing for students; and taught The Introduction to the Orchestra; even conducted DSO in the Tiny Tots Orchestra as the Peppermint Penguin once!
Board of Directors, Junior Symphony Guild - multiple positions from 1969-‘89: Youth Education - explained above; Rummage Sale chair - recruited sales staff, arranged collection points, scheduled, advertised, managed sale; Performance Group chair - managed meetings, recruited and scheduled performers for JSG Designer Showhouse; Graphics - taught calligraphy to members; Phone - for DSO Annual Campaign; Music Appreciation chair three years - arranged meetings, presented programs; Showhouse - staffing, undecorated areas, pianist for parties/ special events.
Humanities Lecturer - for Denver Symphony Guild's Denver Public Library series and for Junior Symphony Guild's Music Appreciation Series. Wrote and presented lecture series of theatre, art, music, dance, and philosophic comparisons in chronological format for three years.
Denver Symphony Orchestra College Outreach Liaison - purpose was to create humanities programs which would increase student participation in events of the orchestra and other regional cultural organizations; I worked with University of Colorado Denver.
IBM moved us to Palo Alto, CA, for 4 years (’72-’76), and I was busy raising babies during that time, plus being a church soloist, singing opera, etc. When we returned, I went back to the JSG again.
In March of 1985, Patricia Chen recruited me to be her secretary when she was President of DAMTA, and I joined MTNA. I have belonged ever since, and have held a number of positions, making life-long friends in DAMTA. Whereas my work in the JSG was for symphonic music for the general public, in MTNA my focus was upon improving my teaching skills for individual students, and providing them with opportunities to perform and gain confidence and poise.
There is no single most-gratifying volunteering experience—each one has taught me something new, and introduced me to new people. I believe each experience has been of great personal value, as well as great value to my students.
Positions held: Colorado State Music Teachers Assoc: Outreach Chair Denver Area Music Teachers Assoc: President, VP Newsletters (named Lyrics), Secretary, Treasurer (constant officer for 23 years until moved to Greeley in fall 2008); Greeley Area Music Teachers Association: VP Yearbook and Programs; 2008-09 (redesigned yearbook) East Valley MTA of Arizona MTA: VP Yearbook 2017-2019 Annual Conference Presenter: CSMTA three times, ASMTA twice, guest singer at ASMTA banquet 2018
Other Volunteering I’ve Done: The Denver Civic Theatre Board of Directors - chairman of capital fund-raising (raised $250,000 in one year writing grant proposals) to build the theatre at 7th & Santa Fe; Volunteer coordinator; script reader; general assistant to producer and president, Henry E. Lowenstein. Carnegie Hall-Royal Conservatory Achievement Program — Denver representative—set up locations, schedules for evaluation sessions, provide information to interested teachers, recruit volunteers for evaluation days Girl Scout troops (two, 5th - 11th graders), trained girls in leadership, stress, physical and camping skills, career development; Guest Lecturer – lectured on Communications for Leaders at two-day Girl Scout conference. Women's Environmental Coalition - Bylaws Creation Committee, Newsletter Editor; YMCA of Palo Alto Board of Directors Young Audiences, Inc. - artistic merit critic/observer; Recording for the Blind read multiple music textbooks Gifted Child Instructor - taught art and French to gifted elementary students at Bromwell Elementary School, Denver, for two years. Also directed Spring Arts Festival and scheduled guest artists for both years. American Sewing Guild, and Assoc of Sewing and Design Professionals - member and former officer
Other teaching I’ve done Movement Teacher - created and taught psychomotor development for children*, yoga, health, aerobics, modern dance, creative dance, and creative theatre classes, both privately and through JF Images, YMCA, Jewish Community Center, Gove Community School, Holiday Health Club, and Dance Art Centre for 14 years.
The Magic of Motion - psychomotor development program for ages 3 months -6 years. Created, developed, taught, and directed program for three years; included recruiting and training teachers (staff of eight), producing in-services, acquiring equipment, developing written resources and logs, scheduling, etc. Extended program to five locations. Immensely successful with waiting lists. At Gove Community School, it existed for 20 years.
Applewood Academy, Inc., Director and teacher - tutored grades 3-8 for three years in English, math, art, science, languages, history, and music (own home school).
Computer Application Instructor -- trained users on accounting, word processing, and legal time and billing packages for two years, Management Technology of Colorado, Inc.
College instructor--15 years, from 1987-2002--maintained Colorado vocational license
**** The Art Institute of Colorado, Denver, Colorado Apr. 1996-Oct 2,2002 General Education Dept. (part-time again, at my request) Jan. 1992-Mar.1996 General Education and Music and Video Business Depts. (full-time, 24 contact hours per week, 4 quarters of year) Jan. 1991-Dec. 1991 Communications Technology and General Education Depts. (part-time, up to 20 contact hours per week, 4 quarters of year) Courses Taught: Western Civilization to 1600 Acting & Movement for Animators Understanding the Musical Experience; Humanities; Communications & Technical Report Writing; Speech; Language Arts I & Language Arts II; Composition; Job Preparation/Career Marketing; Mathematics; Introduction to Computers (MS Works, DOS); Research Skills; Computer Science (MS Works, DOS, Windows) Sociology Computer Science & Research Methods (Claris Works, DOS, Windows); Art History Committees: Orientation (part of Student Persistance Committee); Newletter; General Education Restructuring Committee
**** Parks Junior College, Thornton, Colorado Jan. 1987 - Apr. 1991 (part-time, up to 5 classes per quarter, 4 quarters a year; rejected offer for full-time position due to other commitments) Courses Taught: Speech Communications College English I Humanities (created/did state paperwork) Basic College English-grammar Student Survival-Communications 100 Technical Report Writing Principles of Management and Supervision Business Correspondence Committees: College Mission Statement Committee Student Retention Committee College Catalog Rewrite Committee
PROFESSIONAL MUSIC/ACTING WORK AFTRA: American Federation of Radio and Television Actors – past- voice talent for radio/tv commercials and movie extra; radio announcer, radio producer, radio/tv sound engineer, radio/tv music librarian, and tv floor manager for WUSF-FM and WUSF-TV. NOTE: Audition cassette available. VASTA: Voice and Speech Trainers Association—past member Professional Performer – singer with two jazz albums extant: With All My Love, Nance and Nance Sings Love; plus multiple storytelling albums*; actress; musical theatre and opera performer; puppeteer on Washington, D.C. public television and for Elton Norwood Puppet Theatre; clown; Mario Singers; soloist for West Coast Premiere of "King Solomon's Gardens" at Stanford; (See attached performance list) One Misty Moisty Morning* - with partner, Professor Brad Bowles of University of Colorado at Denver Theatre Department, created children's audio cassette company, produced and performed songs, prose, and poetry in two volumes. Also did sales, accounts, promotion, and clerical NOTE: Cassettes available for review. Director, Producer –former General Manager and Artistic Director for Opera and Beyond; former Artistic Director of Rocky Mountain Opera Company; Director of JSG Melodramas in 1985, 1987; responsible for auditions, selections, acting direction, crew direction, set design, costume design, artistic impression, and choreography of multiple singing and dancing acts; same for Olio section of Schola Cantorum's final concert of 1976 in San Francisco.
PERFORMANCES MUSICAL THEATRE & PLAYS-22 The Music Man, LTHAC, Chris Willard, Dir—Mrs. Paroo (Marian’s mother) 2014 The Fiddler on the Roof, LTHAC, Sharlene Wanger, Dir-Grandmother Tzeitel & Shaindel, Ensemble 2008 Little Women: The Musical, Town Hall Arts Center, Nomad Theatre, Sharlene Wanger, Dir.-Marmee 1998,1999, 2001, 2005 *Denver Drama Critcs Awards for Best New Play, Choreography Cowgirls: Arcos Azules at Crossroads Theater, Wade Liviingston, Dir.-Rita (pianist), 2005 Trolls—Federal Theatre, Homeless “Lady”, 2003 Oliver, Performance Now at Lakewood Cultural Ctr, Brady Darnell, Dir.-Widow Corney/Mrs. Bumble, 2003 *Dialect Coach for British accents, also Cinderella, Littleton Town Hall Arts Center, Sharlene Wanger, Dir.-Queen Maisie, 2000, 2006 Nunsense, The Denver Victorian Theatre, Mary Lynn Green, dir. - Sister Mary Amnesia *Awards for Best Vocalist, Best Comedienne, and Best Show for DVT ‘96-‘97 season Gypsy, Bonfils Theatre, Denver, Robert Bannister, dir. - Louise (Gypsy), Best Show, nom. Best actress 1968 The Student Prince, Bonfils Theatre, Denver, Robert Bannister, dir. – Princess Margaret nom. Best actress 1972 The Boyfriend, Un. of S. Florida , Peter O’Sullivan, dir.- Polly Brown 1966 Ernest in Love (The Importance of Being Ernest), Un. of S. Florida, Jack Clay, dir. - Cecily Cardew ‘66 Man of La Mancha, Bonfils Theatre, Denver, Gary Montgomery, dir - Aldonza understudy & Fermina June ‘77 Bonfils Theatre, Denver-one of trio “The Persimmon Sisters” Mar ‘72 Celebration, Bonfils Theatre, Denver - Angel understudy, chorus 1971 How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Bonfils Theatre, Denver – secretary 1970 Camelot, The Denver Post Opera FoundaOon – chorus 1969 The Sound of Music, The Denver Post Opera FoundaOon- New Postulant, chorus, makeup 1967, 1968 The Man Who Came to Dinner—chorus, 1961; makeup director for others shows ‘62
OPERAS-16 An Extract of Opera-Opera and Beyond—Princess, Good Fairy, Director--2013 Hansel and Gretel-Opera and Beyond—Mother, Witch, ArOsOc Director, Sets--2012 Eugene Onegin, Brico Symphony -- Filipevna (Nanny) 1979 The Marriage of Figaro, Un. of S. Florida - Countess Almaviva, Marcellina 1965 The Gondoliers—Loveland Opera Theatre—Inez 2007; Albert Herring-Act II Picnic Scene- Loveland Opera Theatre-Mum, 2009 Il barbiere di Siviglia Fredda ed immobile scene-Loveland Opera Theatre -Bertha, 2009 Lakme-Sous les dome epais scene-BelAria, LLC--Mallika 2008 Madama Butterfly-The Flower Duet Scene- BelAria, LLC--Suzuki- 2008 Ride of the Valkyries, Brico Symphony – Rossweisse 1978 Norma—Opera Colorado – solo quartet, chorus 2006 The Flying Dutchman—Opera Colorado—chorus 2008 Nixon in China (NAXOS recording)—Opera Colorado—chorus 2008 The Elixir of Love-- Opera Colorado, chorus 2007 in Italian; Loveland Opera Theatre-chorus 2009 in English The Masked Ball-- Opera Colorado, puppeteer, chorus 2007 La Traviata—Opera Colorado—chorus 2007; Abduction from the Seraglio-- Opera Colorado –chorus 2006 Julius Caesar – Opera Colorado – chorus 2005 La Boheme --Opera Colorado – chorus 2004 La Traviata -- Opera Colorado – chorus 2004 Carmen--Colorado Opera Troupe – chorus 2003 I Pagliacc-- Colorado Opera Troupe – chorus 2001 Cavalleria Rusticana--Colorado Opera Troupe-chorus 1998 Tribute to Nat Merrill—Opera Colorado—chorus 2008 Also Cast in Outcasts of Poker Flat, West Bay Opera, California - Duchess 1976-dir had heart attack, cancelled Also Cast in Tales of Hoffman, West Bay Opera, California – Niklaus 1976-transferred back to Denver before performing
SOLOIST Solomon’s Gardens, Stanford University, West Coast Premiere – mezzo 1975 Spice of Life, Chandler Center for the Performing Arts—2018, 2019, 2020 Fantasy and Fairy Tales--Opera and Beyond--2012 An Extract of Opera and Other Funny Songs—Opera and Beyond--2012 Mostly Disney--Opera and Beyond—2011, 2012 Holiday Songs—CHC, AARP--Opera and Beyond 2011 Holiday Caroling for Children’s Hospital--Rocky Mountain Opera, 2010 Caroling at TCH White Sage Music, 2009 Arias@Avo’s-Fort Collins Opera, 2009 Songs My Mother Taught Me—Loveland Opera Theatre--May 2009 Loveland Opera Theatr: Gala—Fall 2007; 2008, 2009; Soiree—Dec 2008; Liberty Heights Operetta Program – Director Vera Scammon, mezzo 2002 Operettas & Musicals-S.O.S. Benefit – Augustana Lutheran, Director Vera Scammon, mezzo, 2002 Montview Presbyterian Church, Denver, John Kuzma, Conductor – Alto soloist for Elijah 1991; mezzo solo for Bach bm Mass ‘90 NATO Headquarters Officer’s Club Band, Fontainebleau, France - guest jazz singer 1965 Mario Singers, Mario’s Restaurant, Denver - paid mezzo 1 year Epiphany Episcopal Church & Broadway Baptist Church, Denver - paid mezzo, alto 11 years St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Palo Alto, CA - paid mezzo 3 years Misc: Symphony Debs, KVOD Marathon, Denver Symphony Guild, Schola Cantorum, Pizzicato Performance Group, Fortnightly Musical Club
CHORAL Gala Opening of Ellie Caulkins Opera House--Opera Colorado, 2005 The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London, England, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Conductor - Messiah chorus Robert Shaw Choral Workshop--graduate credit for two-week workshop under Robert Shaw in N.C. Cherry Creek Chorale, Denver, Brian Leatherman, Cond - chorus, soloist, 1997-2002 Carmina Burana with the Colorado Ballet – chorus, 2000 Schola Cantorum, San Francisco, CA, Royal Stanton, Conductor - 4 yrs, chorus San Jose Symphony’s Beethoven’s 9th- chorus Montview Presbyterian Church, Denver, John Kuzma, Conductor –chorus, Carmina Burana Regisingers, Regis College, Denver - 1 year Mountain Bell Singers and US West Singers, Denver - 6 years chorus and soloist University of South Florida, R.W. Hugoboom, Gordon Johnson, Conductors - all choruses, madrigal singers
Management Technology - office manager for husband’s computer business (included bookkeeping, promotion, secretarial) and technical writer (software documentation) and his book editor (Prentice Hall) 1977-2008
Technical Writer - software documentation for The Digital Group, Inc., Management Technology of Colorado, Inc., and Vernon Business Systems, Inc., 1977-2008.
Editor - two software-conversion computer books for Prentice-Hall; the Capra Advisory, a political/economic monthly; and the Women's Environmental Coalition Newsletter. All involved collecting materials, typing, layout, computer enhancement, and production of final printing masters.
Design Times, Inc., and Norlen Building & Design, Inc. - office manager and bookkeeper for both, part-time.
Natty Hats by Nancy--newly formed in 2012; all promotion, website management, and product creation;