General Information About Voice Lessons
- The voice is an instrument and as such it is important that each individual avail himself or herself of the opportunity to learn how to use their instrument. While each Choir class will devote time to vocal development, it is highly recommended that singers study privately either through the KISD Private Lesson Program or with other teachers in Katy or Houston.
All voice teachers who teach on campus are contracted by KISD. Students pay the teacher directly. The fee for KISD voice lessons varies, depending on the distinction level of the individual teacher. Depending on your teacher, the charge for voices lessons will be between $18.50-$24.50 per half hour. Each teacher will provide a studio policy detailing the preferred method of payment and attendance guidelines. The KISD voice teachers will teach in the Choir Practice Rooms.
- The object of the voice lesson is for students to learn good vocal technique and how their individual voice functions. Students will build a repertoire that includes art songs, arias, and some musical theater or vocal jazz. Students will also study the All-State Choir repertoire, prepare for UIL Solo & Ensemble, and explore various composers and styles appropriate for the individual. In order for the student to be successful, it is crucial that he or she practice between lessons.
- Students desiring private lessons instruction must complete a student application, available from the choir director, and return it to the choir director. A deposit of $70.00 will be required which shall be given to the private lesson teacher before the first lesson is given.
- It is important that the student/parent obtain all contact information from the instructor (phone, email, etc.) in the event a lesson must be missed. Unexcused absences from voices lessons will be charged the full lesson price.
Brian Shircliffe – Voice Teacher
Brian Shircliffe is a lyric baritone from San Antonio, who has performed with numerous opera companies including: Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Diego Opera, Dayton Opera, Arizona Opera, Lake George Opera, Pine Mountain Music Festival, Opera Vista, Opera Piccola of San Antonio and Opera in the Heights. Brian was most recently seen in the world’s first Mariachi opera, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, with Houston Grand Opera, which was performed at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. His recent roles include Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles, Heiki in the world premier of Rockland, Dumdum in Hagen’s Vera of Las Vegas, Don Carissimo in La Dirindina, Guglielmo in Così fan Tutte, and the Celebrant in the Houston premiere of Bernstein’s Mass. Brian recently made his opera directing debut with Opera Piccola of San Antonio. The Houston Chronicle has praised Mr. Shircliffe as having “a sure vocal presence, a natural, unblemished sound and an easy delivery.” In 2007, Mr. Shircliffe won both third place and the Audience Choice Award in the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. Mr. Shircliffe can be heard on Newport Classics recording of Dominick Argento’s opera Casanova’s Homecoming, as well as the first professional recording of Scarlatti’s La Dirindina. Brian holds a Master’s of Music from The University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, where he was a student of Dr. Timothy Jones, and teaches voice at San Jacinto College in Houston where he currently resides.
Justin Coffey – Voice Teacher
Justin Coffey began his musical career at Deer Park High School under the direction of Mr. Barry Talley. While in high school, he was placed each year to the Region Choir, was a featured soloist at contest and in concert, and received medals and Superior ratings each year at Solo & Ensemble Contest. He was twice named Texas State Solo & Ensemble Contest Outstanding Performer, and was first chair baritone and soloist in the Texas All-State Mixed Choir. He was also member and officer of many student clubs and honor organizations, published as both a poet and graphic artist, named a Jones Scholar, and was included in Who’s Who Among American High School Students.
He attended Louisiana State University and the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, studying conducting, voice, vocal pedagogy, acting, repertoire, Alexander technique, and more under leaders in their respective fields, performing lead opera roles, and winning several scholarships and vocal competitions.
After graduate school, Mr. Coffey sang as an outreach artist with Houston Grand Opera and as a member of their mainstage chorus, gave masterclasses throughout the country, taught as a member of the voice faculty at St. Agnes Academy and Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, and was Artist-in-Residence at Houston Community College. His students were frequent All-Staters, leads in the school musicals, nominated for Tommy Tune Awards, and received untold thousands in college scholarships.
After four years at St. Agnes and Strake, he was hired as Director of Vocal Studies for Santa Fe ISD, and then took on the head directorship of Clear Lake High School Choir in Houston, where his students achieved many successes, including being named to the All-State Choirs, winning across-the-board Sweepstakes trophies each year at contest, and being named Texas State Solo & Ensemble Contest Outstanding Performers.
2014 was a particularly wonderful year for Mr. Coffey—he was asked by the Houston Symphony to send twelve of his students to perform with them in concert, one of his AP Music Theory students won the Austin Symphony’s Young Composer Competition, and his choirs were named as finalists for the Grammy School of Distinction Award!
Mr. Coffey has now returned to his first love, private voice teaching, and re-opened his music studio, Piu Mosso Music. He is quite pleased to be working with the talented and hardworking directors, students, and parents of Katy ISD.
Kristen Turner – Voice Teacher
Kristen Turner is an actively performing Opera singer with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Northern Arizona University and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from The San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
While pursuing her Bachelor of Music degree she competed in and won the Northern Arizona University concerto competition. As a winner of the competition she had the opportunity to sing Joaquin Rodrigo’s Cuatro Madrigales Amatorios with orchestra. Also, throughout her studies and professional career Ms. Turner has had the privilege of performing an array of operatic roles including, Nella from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Queen of the Night from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Helene in Hindemith’s Hin und zurück.
Although she specializes in Opera, Kristen enjoys teaching a range of styles including Classical, Jazz, Musical Theater, and Contemporary. In your lessons she hopes to strengthen your vocal technique while helping to release the artist within!”
Amanda Shelton – Voice Teacher
Amanda K. Shelton (soprano) graduated with her Masters in Vocal Performance from Texas State University in San Marcos.
Ms. Shelton has performed with Texas State Opera Theater as the Grand Duchess in Romberg’s The Student Prince, Mrs. Grose in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, Prince Orlofsky in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Mere Marie in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, La Ciesca in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. She has also participated in Opera in the Ozarks, a two-month program in Arkansas, where she sang the roles of Lady Billows in Britten’s Albert Herring and the Witch in Humperdinck’s Hansel & Gretel.
Recently, she has been singing with Austin Lyric Opera as a member of their chorus and participating in Spotlight on Opera singing the title role of Puccini’s Tosca.