Title/Position: Lecturer, Vocal PerformanceProfile:
How did you choose a music career?
I have always sung. However, formal music started with 5th grade band and then I was hooked. Whenever I sang, my teachers would encourage me to study voice, which led to lessons at 14 years old. I remember so clearly when my voice teacher told me I had an operatic voice because I thought that was the coolest thing in the world.
What would you say were your most outstanding highlights?
Singing the National Anthem for President Reagan.
Premiering a role for Gian Carlo Menotti in Spoleto.
What do you want prospective students to know about the Frost School of Music?
The Department of Voice Performance at UM Frost boasts a extremely talented and uniquely collaborative faculty, who offer diverse talents.
Home. Music can help find us know who we are and who we can become.
What do you hope to pass on to your students?
I hope that my students not only gain practical knowledge of their own vocal instrument and its successful use, as well as the artistry required for performance.
What music have you been listening to lately?
I often touch base with the grand artists of opera like Price, Horne, Pavarotti, Freni, Caballe, etc. I also try to keep in touch with new musical theatre productions. Big Fish was just released on Broadway and is quite promising.
What advice do you have for students?
Know your voice. Know how to keep it healthy. Be a dependable and consistent singer matched with creative and innovative artistry. Be early!
Frost students? I expect them to represent them, me, and the school well.
I have to say that I am most happy when my students are learning. One of my favorite comments was, “I could not have asked for a more receptive, clear teacher than Maria Denison. When appropriate, she welcomes student feedback and tried her hardest to make sure her students understand the importance of Italian diction, and can apply course content outside of the classroom. She also made her lectures, due dates, and overall expectations very clear, much to the appreciation of her students.”
Maria Fenty Denison, mezzo soprano, is a lecturer in the Department of Vocal Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where she teaches Voice, Diction, Opera Workshop, Vocal Techniques for Music Educators, and more. Denison holds a D.M.A. in vocal pedagogy from UM Frost, and earned a M.M. and B.M. in voice performance and pedagogy from Westminster Choir College. Accomplished in the concert hall and operatic stage, she was featured recently with the New World Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Master Chorale of South Florida, South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble, and Festival International de Colmar. She debuted at Avery Fisher Hall as mezzo soloist in Handel’s Messiah and received reviews of distinction for her work in Beethoven’s Mass in B Minor, Mass in C, and Symphony No. 9; Mahler’s Symphony No. 2; as well as Verdi’s Requiem and Duruflé’s Requiem. Maestro Gian Carlo Menotti cast her in the premiere of his work, The Singing Child with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra. Denison’s doctoral research “Pediatric Voice: delineating the voice science and investigating child training methods toward pedagogical application” centered on the physiological findings of the developing young singer. She presented recent research findings at the Florida Music Educator Association’s 2013 professional development conference. Denison founded both the Girl Choir of South Florida and The Musical Theatre Academy at St. Mark’s Episcopal School in Ft. Lauderdale. She has worked as a vocal pedagogy clinician at the Gould Voice Center in Denver and served as voice consultant for The American Boychoir and Florida Singing Sons Boychoir.