Title/Position: Professor, Jazz Vocal PerformanceProfile:
What would you say are the outstanding highlights of your professional life?
Touring with Tops in Blue throughout the U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, the Aleutian Islands and to Southeast Asia as well as U.S. government-sponsored tour to Portugal and the Soviet Union
The publication of my two books (The Professional Vocalist: A Handbook for Commercial Singer and Teachers and The Versatile Vocalist: Singing Authentically in Contrasting Styles and Idioms, both Scarecrow Press)
Recording in Dallas/Ft. Worth (Radio IDs and back-up vocal tracks for Six Flags entertainment parks), Nashville (back-ups for artists and jingles), and Miami (Latin artists and tracks and jingles for cruise lines)
Teaching and presenting master classes and workshops in Europe
Rehearsing and performing in TV and industrial shows and adjudicating alongside people I admired, such as Lalo Schifrin and Quincy Jones, Elmer Bernstein and Mel Tormé
What is the relevance of music in modern society?
The desire to make and/or hear music is fundamental to every human being, and what unites us. I believe that making music together, rather than just listening or as an observer (or critiquer), is most important. Subsuming one’s individuality in a choir or an orchestra to present music as one unit and “being on the same wavelength” is important in this age of fragmentation.
What do you hope to pass on to your students?
Striving to make the most expressive music possible, regardless of style and regardless of setting…even during rehearsals. Sharing music with others, whether as a performer or teacher (preferably both). To help “amateur” musicians and audiences enjoy and savor music as an invigorating and emotional experience, rather than as a competitive sport.
Rachel L. Lebon is the author of two books: The Professional Vocalist: A Handbook for Commercial Singer and Teachers (Scarecrow Press, 1999), which has been favorably reviewed by the Library Journal, Music Educators Journal and the Jazz Educators Journal, as well as The Versatile Vocalist: Singing Authentically in Contrasting Styles and Idioms, (Scarecrow Press) published in 2006. Her journal articles have been published in the Journal of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
She is a member of the Professional Voice Institute—an inter-disciplinary team devoted to the treatment of Vocal Disorders. The team has presented educational clinics for various organizations, including the
Florida Speech and Hearing Association (FLASHA)
National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS)
International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP)
Lebon has adjudicated and presented papers, workshops, and clinics worldwide for such organizations as the
National Association of Schools of Music
Voice Foundation Symposium on Care of the Professional Voice
National Association for Advancement in the Arts
National Association of Teachers of Singing
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
International Association for Jazz Education
Conservatorium von Amsterdam
Maastricht and Hilversum Conservatories
She has performed around the world. With the Air Force ensemble Tops in Blue, she toured
With with North Texas State University’s One O’Clock Jazz Band she served as cultural exchange on an official U.S. State Department Tour of the U.S.S.R. and Portugal.
Her professional activities include jingles and back-up vocals and recordings in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, Nashville, and Miami, as well as network television specials. Her CD, entitled Voicings, was issued in 2004.
Dr. Lebon has also performed as a soloist with the
Nashville Opera Quartet
University of Miami Opera Gala
Civic Chorale of Greater Miami
She has premiered music by contemporary composers, including Kevin Hiatt and Richard Landry.
Dr. Lebon received B.M. and M.M.E. degrees from North Texas State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Miami. Lebon was previously on the faculty of Belmont College, Nashville, Tennessee, an Academic Instructor in the U.S. Air Force, and is currently Professor of Music (Jazz Voice) at the University of Miami.
Rachel Lebon is professor of jazz vocal performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where she also coaches musical theatre students and advises students on vocal health concerns. She received B.M. and M.M.E. degrees from North Texas State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Miami. Lebon previously was on the faculty of Belmont College, Nashville, Tennessee, and has toured worldwide with the U.S. Air Force Tops in Blue. She has participated in a U.S. State Department Tour of Russia and Portugal with North Texas University’s One O’Clock Jazz Band. Her professional activities include jingles and back-up vocals in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, Nashville, and Miami, and network television specials. Lebon has appeared with the Nashville Opera Quartet and as soloist in various oratorios. She also performs contemporary music in the South Florida area. An active clinician and a member of the Professional Voice Institute, an interdisciplinary team devoted to the treatment of vocal disorders, Lebon’s articles have been published in the Journal of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She is the author of the book, The Professional Vocalist: A Handbook for Commercial Singers and Teachers, published by Scarecrow Press.