CFA Faculty Biography

Brenda Smith
School of Music
Associate Professor
Specialization: Voice

T: (352) 273-3174
F: (352) 392-0461

P.O. Box 117900
Gainesville, Fl 32611-7900

Dr Brenda Smith teaches studio voice, diction and vocal pedagogy. She has been widely recognized for her contributions to the concept of lifelong singing through proper voice care. Dr. Smith is a lyric soprano with special interests in the recital and concert repertoire. In addition, Dr Smith was translator, collaborator and assistant to Dr Wilhelm Ehmann and Dr Frauke Haasemann, the pedagogues whose work in Germany and the United States developed the concept of voice building for choirs. She is the translator of the book Voice Building for Choirs by Wilhelm Ehmann and Frauke Haasemann (Chapel Hill, NC: Hinshaw Music, Inc.; 1980).

Dr Smith works regularly as consultant, clinician, and conductor with amateur and professional choirs throughout the world. She has been associated with the choirs of St. Ignatius Loyola, the Central City Chorus, and the Dessoff Choirs in New York City, the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, the Cathedral Choral Society of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., as well as the choirs of the Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, Fla.

Because of her interest in public and private music education, Dr Smith has been the Two-College Choir Interest Chair for the Southern Division of the American Choral Directors Association and the Florida Repertoire and Standards Chair for Youth and Student Activities.  She is a frequent adjudicator and clinician for the Music Performance Assessment Festivals of the Florida Vocal Association.

Dr Smith collaborates regularly with Dr Robert Thayer Sataloff, implementing projects to promote vocal health through the choral experience. A frequent presenter at the International Symposium on the Care of the Professional Voice, sponsored by the Voice Foundation, Dr. Smith is the author with Dr. Sataloff of the textbook, Choral Pedagogy, now in its third edition, published by Plural Publishing Co.(San Diego, CA, 2013). The book is the only text exclusively devoted to the relationship between vocal pedagogy, choral conducting, and voice science.  Dr. Smith serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Voice and is a consulting editor for singing voice issues at Plural Publishing.

In recent years, Dr. Smith and Dr. Sataloff have investigated the possibilities for lifelong singing.  The results of their research are documented in the textbook, Choral Pedagogy and the Older Singer (San Diego CA: Plural Publishing, 2012).  The book is dedicated to the Oak Hammock Singers, the choral ensemble at the continuing care retirement community, Oak Hammock at the University of Florida.  Dr. Smith and Professor Ronald Burrichter are the conductors of the ensemble.  With Professor Burrichter, Dr. Smith directs a program called "Sing for Life", a weekly class for Parkinson's patients,their caregivers, and student volunteers.  Sing for Life is intended to provide strategies to strengthen the vocal quality and range of its participants and to improve the quality of life.  The program is sponsored by Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida. 

Additionally, Dr. Smith is the author of Cantare et Sonare: A Handbook of Choral Performance Practice published by Hinshaw Music, Inc (Chapel Hill, NC: 2006). She has presented at the national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, regional meetings of the American Guild of Organists and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Dr. Smith has published articles on matters of choral and vocal pedagogy in the numerous journals and textbooks.

As Coordinator of Musical Activities at the German School of Middlebury College in Vermont for 14 years, Dr Smith founded and directed the “German for Singers” program, a curriculum combining culture and language study with vocal performance. Annually, Dr Smith presents workshops at colleges and universities throughout the United States, Germany, and Switzerland.

In June 2000, Dr. Smith was honored by the Voice Foundation and the National Association of Teachers of Singing as the recipient of the Van Lawrence Award in recognition of her demonstrated excellence in teaching of singing and her active interest in voice science and pedagogy. As the Van Lawrence winner, she traveled to the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden in 2001 to pursue topics in the acoustics of the voice with Dr. Johan Sundberg.

Dr. Smith earned a B.M. degree in vocie performance at the University of Evansville with further study at the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik der Ev.Kirche-Herford and the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst/Hamburg in Germany. She holds the M.M. degree in voice performance from Westminster Choir College, Princeton NJ and a D.M.A. degree in vocal pedagogy and performance from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Before joining the faculty of the School of Music at University of Florida, Dr Smith taught at Westminster Choir College, Dickinson College, Rowan University and State College of Florida.


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