Biography

Kathy Harris knew from an early age that singing would be her passion in life.  She began piano lessons when she was 8 years old and added singing lessons eight years later.  She went on to study Voice Performance and Opera at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and Yale University and her training culminated in four years of involvement in Young Artist Programs with the San Francisco Opera Company.  For the past twenty five years Kathy has had a varied career at home and abroad, performing opera roles such as Puccini's Mimi and Madame Butterfly,  Amelia in Verdi's Ballo, and other standard repertoire by Mozart, Handel, Menotti, Gounod, and many others.  She is also at home on the concert stage, where she has been heard in a vast array of orchestral, oratorio, chamber music and recital performances.  In recent years, Kathy and guitarist Christopher Kenniff performed in concert as Duo Cantiga, championing the works of Dowland, Granados, and many contemporary composers.  She has also made a specialty of performing works by women composers in programs scheduled during Women's History Month.

                                                                                                                                                     

Kathy began teaching singing lessons while studying at Oberlin and continued in the same capacity at Yale .  She has been on the faculty of Kean University in Union, NJ since 1994, where she has served as Coordinator of Vocal Studies and as a member of the Concert Artist Program Faculty.  She is a member of NATS, AGMA, AFTRA and the College Music Society.  In addition, she has taught previously at SUNY Purchase Extension Division and the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, NY.  Her students are performing regionally with opera companies, professional and community theater, choral societies, young artist programs, jazz clubs, etc.. and have distinguished themselves in competitions including those sponsored by Classical Singer Magazine and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

"Highlights of Il Corsaro included soprano Katherine Harris...a marvelous vocal and dramatic reading" Opera News

    

 "...an absolutely first-rate Cio-cio San...communicated the character's innocence and vulnerability...singing of rare purity and evenness of production." Deseret News, Salt Lake City

  

"...has a soprano with a melting lyricism....not afraid to exert a dramatic presence (Mimi)." San Francisco Chronicle

  

"[In] Schubert's The Shepherd on the Rock...a full rich tone...Harris has a lovely voice and acquits herself very well. (Shubertiana CD, recorded SONY Studios, 2006) American Record Guide

    

"Harris' voice is analogous to a shimmering and priceless crystal aglow with indescribable sonic colors.  The apt word is 'jewel'." The Enterprise, Bucksport, ME

 

 

 

Please feel free to contact me at any time! I'd love to discuss your previous musical training, if any, and your goals--whether they're to be a professional singer or simply to enjoy music for the rest of your life. 

 A dedication to helping students find their "voice" in whatever form that takes infuses my approach to teaching.  Having studied with some of the finest teachers in the country, I strive for a healthy technique involving relaxation of the vocal mechanism (jaw, tongue, larynx), allowing the voice to connect gently to the flow of air as it is released from the lungs.  Singing is such a personal form of expression and the study of singing can't be separated from the individual. The pursual of vocal technique should be a means to an end, enabling the singer to be expressive in the way their musical instincts lead them.  In many parts of life, we're striving to find balance.  In learning to sing, we seek balance between energy and relaxation, and look for the most beautiful tone which rests somewhere between bright and dark.  And because I think all of this talk about singing can become way too cerebral, it's important to keep in mind that making music is an act of love and generosity and the singer should never lose touch with the sense of fun which brought them to this place of wanting to be the best musician they can be.

By Kathy Harris

Teaching Philosophy