Photo: Karen Brunssen attends a virtual session featuring Stephen Alltop (on screen) and Joachim Schamberger.

Bienen School voice and opera faculty, students, and alumni played important roles in the National Association of Teachers of Singing’s 2020 National Virtual Conference in June.

Voice professor Karen Brunssen, who recently concluded her two-year term as NATS president, was  a member of the conference planning committee. She also presided at the opening ceremony, participated in a Q&A with Lawrence Brownlee, introduced and appeared in many sessions, and joined Madison Leonard ’16 MMus on a teacher-singer panel.

Faculty member and NATS National Mentoring Committee member Theresa Brancaccio ’82, ’83 MMus, joined by NATS Voice Science Advisory Committee member Aaron Johnson ’95, ’99 MMus, presented a session about her Singer Savvy app. Kurt Hansen ’83 MMus, senior lecturer in voice, participated in a panel discussion with other NATS members who have served in military ensembles. Voice lecturer Patrice Michaels hosted a virtual composers’ coffee and conversation, composed pieces that were presented, and led discussions with artists, including baritone Evan Bravos ’13 MMus. Faculty members Joachim Schamberger and Stephen Alltop DMA ’96, with several Bienen School voice students, presented the livestreamed session “Orfeo Remote: An Experimental Opera Film.”

Marcia Porter ’91, ’93 MMus, a NATS National Board of Directors member as the South Eastern Region governor and an Advocacy Committee member, sang in the recital “My Sister’s Keeper: The Songs of African American Women Composers.” Meghan Dibble ’03 MMus presented “Biofeedback in Vocal Pedagogy: Real-Time Success Using Mobile Application Technology.” Melissa Treinkman ’05 offered “Lifting the Curse of Knowledge in Vocal Pedagogy.” Victoria Holland ’95 MMus ’04 DMA, a member of the NATS Art Song Coalition, gave presentations on the Royal Conservatory of Music Certificate Program and on 21st-century songs by American and Canadian composers.

Other participating alumni included Errik Hood ’10 MMus, who oversees the SNATS Chats webinars for students; Melissa Foster ’96, ’01 MMus, who recently adjudicated for the National Student Auditions; and Julie Krugman ’94 MMus, a NATS National Board of Directors member as the New England Region governor.


  • Karen Brunssen
  • Stephen Alltop
  • Joachim Schamberger
  • Theresa Brancaccio
  • Kurt Hansen
  • Patrice Michaels