Along with Elaine Overholt’s private teaching, Big Voice has some of the best vocal, acting, piano & guitar teachers/coaches to be found anywhere!
We are thrilled to introduce world-class performer and master coach, producer, songwriter and pianist, Mark Masri, as the newest member of our teaching staff at Big Voice Studios. His is one of the most acclaimed voices in North America. See for yourself as he performs his own song “The Face” with full orchestra:
Mark is recognized as one of the most critically-acclaimed voices of our time His many credits include his own PBS Special which aired throughout Canada and the U.S., appearing with the Vivaldi Orchestra in Moscow, a headlining North American solo tour, guesting, with Megan Hilty on legendary producer David Foster’s ‘Hitman Returns’ TV special, as well as recordings with Jon Secada, Olivia Newton-John, Delta Goodrem and Jim Brickman. This wealth of experience, his masterful piano-playing, and his ability to understand every genre of music, from pop to classical to classical/pop to R&B/soul to rock, along with passion for the highest expression of the human voice, makes him a highly-desired coach.
Mark will be sharing that passion in both private lessons and heading some of our newest Group Classes.
As a songwriter, his haunting lyrics and melodies have been included in projects that range from film, to TV, to albums of other artists, as well as his own.
As a producer, not only in the recording studio, but on stage, gives Mark a deep understanding of what the performing singer faces on a day-to-day basis, from vocal stamina while touring, to creating that ‘magic’ onstage, to dealing with musicians and sound engineers.
Mark will lovingly push you where you need to go.
Kristina Minchopoulos is not only one of the most exquisite voices and performers in demand around the world, she is a most gifted teacher, made all the more powerful by her extensive experience as a very well-schooled and well-travelled artist. She has a particular passion for the classical / pop crossover voice and is constantly in the studio, creating her own unique style with some of Canada’s best producers, maestros, conductors and accompanists.
After graduating from the York University Opera Performance program, Kristina attended the Daniel Ferro Vocal Program at New York’s prestigious Julliard School of Music in 2010, studying under renowned maestros from La Scala in Milan, Italy. She has also worked with Elaine Overholt in creating a powerful onstage presence and well-crafted series of shows for various events.
Her performances include soloing alongside The Tenors (formerly The Canadian Tenors) at the Royal York, Windsor Arms and Four Seasons hotels in Toronto, and The Pacific Rim in Vancouver. She has also performed solo at the NASA Space Station in California, the AUTODESK Convention, The Zed Project, and Le Salon de Chant, to name a few.
Kristina’s opera and theatre roles have included Gasparina (La Cantarina), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Yum-Yum (The Mikado), Diana Berry (Anne of Green Gables) and Zerlina (Don Giovanni). She constantly lends her talent to such charities as The Alzheimer’s Society of Canada, The Silver Gala Ball Healthcare Foundation and the Kidney Foundation.
All during her performing career, Kristina has had a passionate and prolific teaching practice, leading singers of every genre of music to find their greatest vocal and performing potential. She also happens to hold her Grade 10 in Piano from The Royal Conservatory of Music.
What a voice and talent Denielle Bassels has! One of the most unique and powerful artists on the performing/recording scene today, Denielle is an award-winning singer, songwriter, and teacher of jazz, blues, pop, theatre and music off the beaten path.
Since her return to Canada from Switzerland, where she was performing her unique style of jazz/electro-swing/pop, Denielle has completed her Bachelors of Music from Humber College, released her studio EP “Gypsy Summer”, won the grand prize in the John Lennon Song Competition, and received airplay on both Canadian and European radio. She is a performer for “Electro-Swing Club Toronto”, and her quintet regularly performs various jazz festivals across Ontario, thus giving her first-hand experience in developing a powerful stage personae. She also just received an $8,000 songwriting grant from New Venture Seed Fund.
Bassels has been influenced by singers such as Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Louis Armstrong, Peggy Lee and Amy Winehouse. “At a Jam one night, (in Switzerland), I met a band of gypsy players who asked me to improvise to a tune I’d never heard of, ‘It doesn’t matter, make it up’, they said. And so I did. It was the beginning of many musical adventures”.
As a gentle and passionate teacher, Denielle has helped singers, from children to adults, prepare for auditions and roles for anything from entering music schools to professional roles in theatre, commercials and showcases for pop and R&B performances. No two voices are the same, and so her approach with each student is very personal and caring, catering to each unique individual.
“My goal as a teacher is to unlock the voice that’s already there.” Denielle has also just won a grant from the Canada Council For the Arts and is writing her first full-length album, expected to be released in early 2015!
Brooke Harris is a Toronto based, classically trained soprano who now splits her time between teaching and performing as a pop-rock singer/songwriter. As a seasoned performer and teacher of many styles, Brooke is in high demand as a vocal coach and understands how to “cross over” in vocal sound from classical to pop to rock to theatre. Her understanding of impeccable technique and how that flows and supports all styles makes her a valuable asset to Big Voice Studios. Brooke also has a deep passion and experience in the art of songwriting and how the singer needs to honor the song in order to build powerful performances.
With a Masters degree in opera performance from the University of British Columbia, she has sung classically in Europe and the United States and has been a member of the famed Nathanial Dett Chorale. While pursuing classical music, Brooke performed several operatic roles with orchestra including: The Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Diana in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld.
Brooke has been writing and performing her own music for well over ten years, and recently released a solo EP of original music titled Six Trax under her middle name Gray.
To have someone with Kat Lucas‘ world-class experience teaching at Big Voice Studios is truly a coup! As a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and session musician, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her students at Big Voice. From 2009-2014, Kat toured with international pop icon P!NK on backing vocals, keyboards and guitar and she is currently the lead vocalist, keyboardist and writer/lyricist for indie band Belle Ayre.
At age three, Kat started at the Yamaha Music School, studying classical piano, jazz piano, improvisation, and composition and then represented Yamaha all over the world, conducting workshops, performing her original material and learning all she could about stage performance. By Grade 9, she had completed her Grade 10 Piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music and wrote a concerto called “Dreamcatcher” which she performed with the ‘Toronto Philharmonia’. Kat has also had extensive training in both guitar and voice. Some of her early coaches include Oscar Peterson and Carol Welsman, but most recently, her training with Elaine Overholt has taken her knowledge of the voice and performing to another level.
She has performed at arenas and stadiums all over the world, including festivals such as iHeart, Isle of Wight and Hyde Park Wireless. Her television appearances include the American Music Awards, X-Factor, Ellen, The View, The Today Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, VH1 Storytellers and Jimmy Kimmel.
When Kat discovered the toll that a major tour can take on one’s vocal cords, she set herself to learning the importance of proper technique and training, and how to keep her voice healthy under a very demanding tour schedule. With over a decade of experience in the music industry, she is very excited to share her wealth of knowledge and take her students to the next level in their understanding of proper technique, and stage performance. We LOVE having Kat at Big Voice!
Michael Hanrahan – Acting and Performance Coach
Michael Hanrahan has established himself as an integral part of Big Voice Studios in Toronto where he instructs students of an elite standard on song performance and speech training and co-teaches the sought-after Performance group sessions with Elaine Overholt. His straightforward approach to coaching inspires singers and actors to find their authentic, powerful and passionate voice and communicate that in their given field. Michael Hanrahan is a founding member & actor of The Soulpepper Theatre Co. which The New York Times heralded “the best reason to stay in the city [of Toronto].” He was hand-picked in Chicago to join the Stratford Festival Theatre Company where he spent four years. Mr. Hanrahan has lent his spectacular speaking voice to many television and radio endeavours for the CBC, The New York Times, and The Discovery Channel as well as appearing in numerous films, television series and commercials. Mr. Hanrahan has been an instructor at De Paul University, MacMaster University, The University of Ottawa and The University of Waterloo as an artist-in-residence. He has also guest lectured at many other colleges and universities throughout North America.
Look out Big Voice Studios – here comes a whirlwind known as Chris Tsujiuchi. Immediately after Chris Tsujiuchi graduated from Sheridan College’s Musical Theatre Performance program, they were smart enough to unhesitatingly hire him on as a vocal coach and accompanist. And now we are thrilled to introduce him to you at Big Voice Studios! His talents are vast, ranging from risk-taking performer to musical director to brilliant pianist to arranger to passionate teacher.
Chris has taught and/or music-directed legions of artists in the Canadian musical theatre and pop scenes at Sheridan College, Randolph Academy and George Brown College as well as the brilliant cabaret icon Sharron Matthews. As a singer, he has also toured with the prestigious Nathaniel Dett Chorale and created his own one-man cabaret shows. His extensive and well-received live performances have led him to completely understand the demands of putting a show together and making it world-class.
Robert Horvath was born in Budapest, Hungary. He began his studies at age of 7 and four years later he won First Prize at the Hungarian-Russian Competition for Young Pianists, which was broadcast on Hungarian National Radio in 1982.
He studied at the Bela Bartok Conservatory of Music and at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, where he graduated with a prize in piano and a Master’s Degree in Performance and Teaching. In 1995 won a scholarship to the Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin, Germany. After arriving to Canada in 1998 he has made solo piano recordings for CTV‘s music library and numerous recordings with the Sheraton Cadwell’s Orchestras. Robert is regularly engaged to classical concerts as a soloist with symphonic orchestras. He has great reputation as well in the jazz and big band styles as he had played jazz on musical events with well known bassist Dave Young. Robert has been the musical director of several musical productions in Toronto including “Me And My Girl” and “Hello Dolly“.
Throughout his musical career, Robert was consistently worked with classical, jazz and musical theatre singers as an accompanist as well as a coach.
Currently Toronto based, Robert is in great demand as a piano teacher, to which he maintains a strong and active commitment. He runs a thriving private teaching practice in the city and is an established piano tutor to young pianists.
In 2008 Mr. Horvath was rewarded a grant by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Glenn Morley – Composer / Conductor / Music Director
Glenn Morley is a Toronto-based composer, conductor, musical director and producer with an extensive background in music for Theatre, Television, Film, Album Recording and Multi-Media Productions. He has credits as Composer/Musical Director/Conductor for more than 2000 television episodes and Film projects, garnering numerous nominations and awards.
He co-produced and orchestrated ‘Canto‘, Gino Vannelli’s acclaimed Classical CD, as well as producing Alfie Zappacosta’s Album ‘Start Again’, numerous tracks for Take Three, and Mark Masri.
Mr. Morley was the Musical Director for the Opening Ceremonies for the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal at the Royal Ontario Museum, and Musical Director/Producer of The Canadian Songbook Project at Massey Hall for the Luminato Festival. He has frequently conducted orchestral engagements across Canada for Holly Cole.
He is a founding member and past President of the Guild of Canadian Film Composers, and is currently a Director of SOCAN, and is also President of the Glenn Gould Foundation.
Mr. Morley has given numerous lectures, courses and seminars on all aspects of Music Production and Practises at a number of Educational institutions including York University, the Royal Conservatory of Music, Ryerson University, Humber College, and the Law Society of Upper Canada.